Q&A Scene: Betty & Oswald


Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
We’ve just released our new single ‘King Of Bohemia.’ It’s loosely about this homeless guy in Newtown who we see nearly everyday. It’s the delusions of a madman but also a homage to the value of a life spent moneyless. How do we measure existence and what is more fulfilling? A life of security or one spent living on the edge? Passionate and unimaginable.

We are also going on tour to promote the song in April with our band. We’ll be going to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and a few regional spots before heading to Canada in May to play Canadian Music Week and get whisked up in the magical land of Montréal and Toronto again.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
A tin of chickpeas with a twist of lemon. One time I was in Paris and I’d run out of money so I would eat tins of chickpeas with lemon on the street. I was reading Hemingway’s ‘A Moveable Feast’ and in the book he was in Paris without any money and he’d pick the chestnuts from the big parks and eat them. He talked about how the hunger he felt could be satisfied by something greater than food. I know that if I’m eating a tin of chickpeas with lemon then something incredible is probably going to happen. Sometimes it’s good to be a little hungry.

Which song resonates most strongly and why?
Anything that captures the grittiness of life.

Any on the road anecdotes?
Well our tour van is this old plumbing van which has ‘Hanna Plumbing’ written all over it and when we go on tour we sleep in it. It’s great because it’s a plumbing van so no one knows you’re in it. The number of times we’ve opened the van door in the mornings half asleep, half naked, a little undershowered to find ourselves face to face with someone. It’s been old ladies, inner city business people sipping on their lattes, and every time there’s always that second of eye-contact and the look of shock as the realisation dawns on them that some scraggly strangers have been sleeping in front of their house, or next to their cafe table. It’s just become a casual tour ritual, so don’t get a shock if you find us brushing our teeth by your front lawn. We’ve probably slept in front of your house too.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Tom Waits, Louis Prima, Patrick Watson, The War On Drugs, Father John Misty, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Half Moon Run, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte.

What’s next for you?
A tour, Canada, and probably some chickpeas and lemon.

What’s your scene?
The beach. Tea with gin at your grandparents house. They have the best stories.

About Betty & Oswald

Gritty, mediterranean, reckless abandonment. Whiskey on the back of a motorcycle on a tiny island in Greece. What is the sound of Betty & Oswald? They walk the fine line of an aesthetic which is both nostalgic and modern. They recall Tom Waits and Louis Prima but there is also something distinctively new about what they do. Describing their music is a difficult task, yet it is its elusiveness which renders it so appealing and fresh. They have been praised for their highly engaging live show. Their genre-bending, kaleidoscopic sound and outrageous stories leave any audience enthusiastic, sweaty and tangled. Their music, and the brand that Betty & Oswald have created, is unique, exciting and cool, a fact that has ensured their success so far, and promises for an exciting future. At the heart of Betty & Oswald is a grittiness, a reckless abandonment, an honesty of youth, adventure and experience.

Tour Dates

Betty & Oswald ‘King of Bohemia’ Tour
Friday 10th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney NSW
Tickets: Gobookem.com
Saturday 11th April – The Brewery, Wollongong NSW
Free Entry
Friday 17th April – Sooki Lounge, Belgrave VIC
Free Entry
Saturday 18th April – The Espy, Melbourne VIC 
Free Entry
Wednesday 22nd April – Lass O’Growrie, Newcastle NSW
Free Entry
Thursday 23rd April – No. 5 Church St, Bellingen NSW
Saturday 25th April – Miami Marketta, Gold Coast QLD
Free Entry
Sunday 26th April – The Milk Factory, Brisbane QLD
Free Entry

About Mandy Hall 948 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.