Q&A Scene: Katie Bates

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour? 

My new single ‘Polka Dot Dress’ is a song I’ve been itching to record and put out for quite some time now. It’s a bit more on the grittier and sultry side of all of the songs I’ve written. I’m really excited about the direction of this song and where the rest of the album is going, which I’m currently recording at the moment with my band. Though I still have the alt-country/Americana genre within my music, my rock and grungier influences are sneaking their way back in too – which really excites me. It’s that great feeling knowing that I have no limits to what I can do with these songs. Polka Dot Dress was super fun to record and play with the different ways we were going to approach it. Working with Lachlan Bryan and Damian Cafarella on this single (and album) has been truly wonderful – not only are they both incredibly talented musicians and writers themselves, they both have so many great ideas and think of little things to enhance the song that I never would have thought of myself. On the track playing as well are band members Tom Brooks playing guitar and pedal steel, and Patrick Wilson on the drums. I’m very lucky to have those guys play with me as well, they are fantastic.

Lyrically, Polka Dot Dress tells a tale of a travelling one-time lover who essentially is on the edge of temptation to succumbing to a woman’s charm, when he knows that he shouldn’t. It’s a fun and sultry song and I think that anyone can make their own conclusions to the story.

We really wanted to capture the vocals and essence of the song in a way that the listener feels like they’re part of the story – we wanted to build the song from being that beat-poem-esque, almost whispered voice to the heavier guitar-driven and dramatic chorus for it to really have impact.


What’s your favourite work at this point in time? (your own or your group’s work)

My favourite work is probably close to being Polka Dot Dress, but there’s a couple of new songs on the record that are my favourite – one being a song called Self Proclaimed People Pleaser, which for anyone who’s seen my live I play that at every show, so it’s not exactly a new song but it’s yet to be released.


How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

A strawberry dipped in melted dark chocolate – strawberries are unpredictable; they are sometimes more sour than sweet or vice versa, but there’s always a bit of both. Which I could say the same for my songs. (The dark chocolate because I love dark chocolate and that makes the strawberry better.)


Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

I was recently on tour with American singer-songwriter Hannah Aldridge, and we were playing a show at the Heritage Hotel in Bulli with Ben Leece and Lachlan Bryan.

The four of us had to sleep above the venue, and as it turns out the Heritage is very well known for being haunted! Upon arrival, the manager gave us the “people who’ve died here in the last 100 years” tour. We explored all the rooms and one of them was full of old dirty mattresses and a creepy doll house. We were hearing things all night and even had our bedroom door aggressively fly open by itself when it was completely shut! Despite us all being terrified of this eerie place, not going to the bathroom alone, and being by totally ourselves up there – it was a very fun night!

What, or who, inspires you?

Musicians I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with in this lovely community constantly inspire me. It’s really nice to be inspired by your friends and seeing them feel as passionate about music as you do. If we’re talking someone specifically, then that’d be Dave Grohl. Every time.


Which song do you wish you wrote?

Lime Tree Arbour by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Beautiful song.

What’s next for you?

The next few months will be dedicated to finishing writing and recording this album I’m currently working on – it’ll be my first full-length album. Another single will be out early next year as well.

In January I have a couple of shows in Melbourne and then I’ll be off to play some more at the Tamworth Country Music Festival – my favourite time of the year!


What’s your scene?

Two-stepping to honky-tonk bands with my friends at my favourite bar in Melbourne, The Rooks Return. Then in to bed with a nice cup of tea at my cosy home in the hills.

Tour Dates



Saturday 23rd Union Hotel, Brunswick VIC (Polka Dot Dress Single Launch) w/ Peta Caswell

Friday 29th Blarney Books and Art, Port Fairy VIC w/ Lachlan Bryan



Saturday 4th Bayview Country Picnic Festival, Bittern VIC

Monday 20th The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth NSW

Wednesday 22nd City Sider Diner (Midnight Murder Ballads), Tamworth NSW

Thursday 23rd The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth NSW

Saturday 25th The Press, Tamworth NSW

Sunday 26th Pig & Tinder Box, Tamworth NSW


About Mary Boukouvalas 1614 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.