Interview by Adrian Erdedi. Photos by Paramount Studios Sydney.
A little while ago I met a very sweet girl, at an event at Piano Room in Sydney. She introduced herself, she asked me how my day was, what I did and what my plans for the rest of the night were. She took interest in me, when she didn’t even know me. And she continued to do this to so many others. Her name is Mindi Jackson of the Rogue Traders.
Since then, getting to know Mindi has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. She is so talented, she knows her stuff. She is so god damn sexy, and wears the most fabulous outfits. She is kind, generous and very intelligent. She is everything female artists (or females overall!) wish they were.
Below is an interview I did with Mindi, she is just fantastic!
EVENT: If you are one of the lucky people invited to the Romel Model Management and Paparazzi; Celeb 4 A Day Christmas Party this Tuesday the 7th of December at Piano Room, you will get to see the stunning Mindi perform onstage.
MINDI ON WORK AND LIFE
What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?
Right now we’re smack bang in the middle of the festive season, so we’re busy doing gigs and events and things which is fun. Any spare time I spend writing and recording as much as I can and I’m also spending some time in the studio getting into production which I’m loving.
In February 2009, you joined the Rogue Traders, replacing Natalie Bassingthwaighte, how were you told that you were going to be part of such a well known band and what was your first reaction?
Well originally James Ash from Rogues approached me on Myspace and asked me if I was interested in auditioning. Initially I didn’t believe it was really him! Very excited when I discovered it actually was.
I was totally into it and we moved forward from there. I went to their studio in Melbourne then they came to a gig of mine in Sydney and a few weeks later I got the official call. I was in Newtown eating gelato and James called me with the news. I was so pumped I wanted to get started straight away. Such exciting times! It was the beginning of a whole new chapter for me.
How did you find it settling into the band?
Really easy, the guys are great and were always all about me bringing who I am to the table musically and stylistically. So that made settling in really easy. James and I have very similar musical influences and we both have quite a warped sense of humour as well, so we hit it off from the get go.
You’ve been singing since the age of 5, so what advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?
Sing and play as much as you possibly can, practise your craft. Get out there on stages and perform in front of people. Listen to lots of music, old and new and see what floats your boat, it helps you learn who you are as an artist. And, always remember that persistence pays off.
Is there a charity/cause that is close to you and if so, why?
This year I did some work with the Sony Foundation for ‘You Can’. ‘You Can’ are raising much needed funds to build long term care centres for 15 – 30 year old cancer sufferers. By donating old and unwanted phones Australians can help this cause.
A staggering 1 in 100 people in Australia are diagnosed with cancer before the age of 30, and in the last 25 years there has been next to no improvement in survival rates for this age group. ‘You Can’ aims to build specialised cancer centres for this age group and give them the services they need and deserve, and help them survive. It is a great cause, and so easy to make a contribution. Check it out at www.sonyfoundation.org.au
How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?
I make sure I spend lots of time hanging with my partner, family and friends. I love spending time outdoors going to the beach as well. Music is one of those things that’s all encompassing, you could have it going through your head all day and all night. I just make sure I switch off sometimes and zone out….even just couch time in front of the tv is like heaven.
My Mother and Father always told me…
To turn the music up.
When was the last time you cried? If you wish to divulge, why?
Haha I’m useless….I can get teary watching Beauty and the Geek for goodness sake!
MINDI ON FOOD
Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?
My number one is Shanghai dumplings…top of the list….steamed veggie with soy sauce and chilli. Yum! Wine and Cheese is one of my favourite indulgences. I find it decadent and completely relaxing. I love Indian and Italian food. I also can’t live without my soy mocha hit on most days.
How often do you eat out and cook at home?
My favourite meal to eat out is breakfast, which I do a couple of times a week. I love breakfast down by the beach. Dinners I eat out a few times a week too. I love going out to eat with friends, but I also love to cook. I’ll cook at home most nights. I really enjoy creating my own ‘spin off’ recipes.
Probably a spicy Arrabiatta sauce with olives and fresh basil over Kamut spaghetti, topped with shaved grana padano cheese. Simple and fresh.
What is one of your best cooking tips?
My food philosophy is simple and fresh ingredients, organic where possible as it makes all the difference with flavour and with nutritional value.
MINDI ON FASHION
Being in a great Australian band, you need to look the part, wearing the best threads. Who or what influences you most in Fashion?
I love quirky and bold fashion and I love being able to incorporate quite theatrical elements into the mix. I also love vintage shopping and finding rare and interesting pieces from years gone by.
A few of my all time favourite music and fashion icons are Deborah Harry, I’m a big Blondie fan, and David Bowie. And I love what artists like Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga have brought into the pop music arena of today. Big fan.
In terms of designers, some of my faves (to name a few) are Ellery, Romance Was Born, By Weave, Justine Davis, Alex Perry, Balmain, Ginger & Smart, Tovah, Anthony Capon and Surafina.
What is a fashion trend you hope will never resurface? (eg.Hyper-colour shirts!)
Jelly sandals. they make your feet too sweaty.
Bold accessories, a GHD, black nail polish, a killer set of lashes, some statement heels, red lipstick, Oyster magazine.
Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?
David Bowie’s in the 70′s because just imagine what you’d find! Goldmine.
What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?
At this moment (and it changes daily) it’s a cream ankle boot by PeepToe.
MINDI ON HER HOME
Who or what influences you most in home décor?
I have to say my house is a little quirky. I like bursts of colour and interesting pieces. There’s a few themes running through my house. We have music – the studio…it’s organised chaos. Lots of gear and instruments, and a mirror ball for inspiration.
I have a retro dressing room which is basically a room full of clothes, shoes and vintage decor. I don’t like everything to be perfect, I like a bit of character.
At home….. lots of music, good speakers, a comfy couch, an acoustic guitar, a big & full bookshelf, interesting art, herbal tea and good pillows.
What is your one design rule you like to stick to around the home?
I don’t really have rules. My design approach is a little experimental.
Do you have one feature in your home you love most?
Probably my studio.
What is your kitchen like?
The kitchen itself is quite simple but the oven and stovetop is a big shiny stainless steel monster! I love it.
MINDI ON LIFESTYLE
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a leafy suburb called Hornsby Heights in Sydney.
Where is your favourite place to relax in Australia?
The Hunter Valley. I love going up and renting a big house with a group of friends. We drink wine and play board games.
What car do you drive, best thing about the car and why you bought it?
Ford Escape. I love going for big drives and I love to have lots of room.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Probably my shoe collection.
Where would be your ultimate holiday destination?
France. I’ve never been, but I’m going this year and I can’t wait!
The one thing I can’t leave home without is…
If you could be a fly on the wall of any celebrity home, who’s wall would you like to sit on?
Prince. I’d fly around him and try and soak up some of his musical genius.
Three pet hates?
1. Rude people
2. Bad food
ONE GOOD, ONE BAD
(One good thing and one bad thing about each)
good: Hearing your song on the radio!
bad: Having to think twice about leaving the house in trackies.
good: Australian fashion is amazing. Most of my favourite designers are Australian.
bad: I want too much of it!
good: the beaches
bad: the traffic!
good: I love a ‘make it up as you go’ holiday adventure. It’s fun not knowing what’s coming next.
good: he’s naughty
bad: he’s naughty