The McClymonts — Meet Three Awesome Aussies
They're a well-established (and multiple-award-winning trio) in their Australian homeland, but for the McClymonts, conquering country music in the U.S. is an entirely new challenge. But with wit, energy, beauty and charm to spare, sisters Mollie, Brooke and Sam put a fresh 'down under' spin on country that already has audiences here taking notice. They've even "opened" for Ozzy Osbourne!
The McClymonts' U.S. debut album, 'Chaos and Bright Lights,' coincides with their first official U.S. concert dates which began earlier this month. The sisters are soon to open a series of shows for Jason Aldean, having already shared a stage him and also with superstars Lady Antebellum. They've also been the recipients of numerous honors, including four CMAA (Country Music Association of Australia) awards and the Group of the Year honor at the Golden Guitar Awards three years in a row. Earlier this year, their single 'Finally over Blue' even knocked the Eagles from their chart-topping 10-month run on the Australian radio airplay charts.
The Boot sat down with the McClymonts, who hail from Grafton, New South Wales on the northern coast of Australia, to talk about the new album (produced by Adam Anders, music producer for the FOX musical series 'Glee' who has also worked with Shania Twain, 'Hannah Montana' and Nick Jonas), and what it's like to "start from scratch" in the U.S. after achieving remarkable success at home.
Your harmonies are amazing. Is that something that came natural to you?
Brooke: I think there is a natural element to it that comes with sibling harmonies. But we practiced in the car, traveling to country music festivals. We've been doing this our whole lives but we've been constantly touring for the last four years. You can either harmonize you can't. Some people just can't get it. And we do all sound alike, it's the tone in our voices. That's why our vocals blend and it works.
You write together, too. Do you instantly know who's going to sing which part?
Mollie: Yes. We know our roles. [laughs] When someone's taking a solo or singing a verse, our voices sound completely different. But when we sing together, it sounds like we have the same voice. It's quite strange how it works.
What's the biggest difference between writing in Nashville and writing in Australia?
Sam: No different, but over here you're more likely to get a cut. In Australia, it's pretty hard. That's why a lot of people strive to come to Nashville, the constant work.
Brooke: But the writers in Australia are just as wonderful as they are here. It feels more like work here or you feel like you're getting work done when you're over here. You feel like you're achieving something, because you're going in at 9 o'clock for a songwriting session.
Mollie: We don't do it the Nashville way when we go home and the three of us write together. We usually say, 'you want to write a song together?'
So it's more spontaneous when you're at home, then?
Brooke: We do plan it sometimes but it's where we want to and more relaxed and we can take as long as we want. Over here, you only have a set amount of hours. If you have to finish a certain time, you have to reorganize another time.
You've made an unusual new video for the single, 'Save Yourself.' [Watch the video below.]
Brooke: We were really pressed for time with this video. It's all digital so we could just spend a few hours in the studio singing and being crazy. And the background was dropped in. It's just really vibrant and bright and fun.
Speaking of fun, you have 16 dates coming up on Jason Aldean's tour beginning in September. That has to be exciting.
Mollie: The amount of people he gets to a show, it's like the amount of people who go to an Australian festival. To have all those country music fans sitting there and just to be open to listening to our music, we're so lucky.
One recent concert date with Jason had you sharing the bill with Ozzy Osbourne. That had to be interesting!
Sam: It was the Buffalo Chip (during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota). We were on the bill the same day. Jason was on after us.
Brooke: We never did get to meet Ozzy. We stood about five feet away and we weren't allowed to have cameras. But it was weird to see our name alongside his. We kind of thought, "Oh no, here we are, three chicks that no one's heard of with just acoustic instruments at a biker rally!"
Sam: But they were all lovely and supportive.
Mollie: It was fun. Good experience.
You've visited a lot of radio stations and met a lot of fans. Do people ever ask you unusual questions about Australia?
Brooke: "Do you know Keith Urban?"
Mollie: "Is Australia New Zealand?" No, New Zealand's another country!
Brooke: "Does Australia have a national anthem?" "Do you have motels in Australia?" I think this one guy thought we lived out in the bush in tents or something.