5 Questions with Clare Bowditch + Giveaway!!

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Thursday 12th August 2010

Clare Bowditch‘s brand new album Modern Day Addiction! Cover art and design by Ortolan.

Ok so the problem with me is that I gush about everyone.  So then when I meet someone who is truly some kind of radiant, ethereal angel, I have no way to accurately describe how AMAZING they are, because I am always banging on about how amazing people are.

BUT the truth is, some people are just a little bit more amazing than others.  And Clare Bowditch is most definitely one of those people.   It is  impossible not to fall in love with her on the spot.  Everyone who knows her is in love with her.  My boyfriend is even in love with her, and I am ok with that.  Because I am in love with her too. :)  She just has some kind of magical serene energy about her – being in her company is a bit hypnotising… truly!  It’s like she has ‘The Force’ from Star Wars.  She could say anything really and you’d be hanging onto every word.  Luckily, Ms Bowditch uses her powers for good and not evil!

Recently Clare’s powers have been put to very good use recording her brand new album Modern Day Addiction, with her spunky partner / drummer Marty Brown.  In BERLIN.  This is particularly impressive given that Marty and Clare have 3 very young children!?  These are touring musicians, people!  I have no idea how that works.. but anyway…IMPRESSIVE!

Coolest. Parents. Ever.

Clare  and co. would love to give 5 lucky Design Files readers a signed copy of Modern Day Addiction! Oooh la la so special!! Please leave your comment here before midnight tonight (Melbourne time) to be in the running!  If you subscribe to these posts by email, please don’t reply to your email, just pop over to to enter!

*Update – This giveaway is now closed.  Thanks so much for all your brilliant comments!  The 5 winners have now been drawn!  Winning comments were numbers 6, 20, 33, 56 and 68 – Beth, Chris, Pete, Michelle, Bridget – congratulations! I have just sent you an email! :)

HUGE Thanks to Clare and Marty and the whole gang for this super brilliant giveaway!   Don’t forget to pop over to Clare’s website and have a listen to the fab new album… you won’t be disappointed!

AND now over to the lovely lady herself…

5 Questions with Clare Bowditch!

Modern Day Addiction is so different from your previous work… political-disco – genius!  How did this brilliant new sound hit you?!  Was it a bolt of inspiration in the middle of the night?  Or has it been simmering for quite some time?

That is an excellent question and the truth is, it was both of those things. The first song from this set of songs was called The Start of War, and when it arrived in my head half-way through a solo tour in 2008, I wasn’t quite sure where to put it! So I laid it down on my loop-pedal and tried to work out what it was all about. To be honest, it kind of scared me,  because as humans we DO get comfortable with the sounds and smells and people who are familiar, and so too with music of course. But it also got me really excited, so I sat with it for a while just to work out whether there was any more where that came from.

Perhaps this is why we needed to go to Berlin for a while – to just make a bit of room for something new to come through. And I think it did. Having said this, this is still very much a ‘Clare Bowditch’ kind of an album:  I haven’t gone and had a full-body make-over, if you know what I mean. But I think the themes we’re playing around with on this album really required a lot of humour and a lot of immediacy in the sound. We put two straight years of our lives and everything we’ve got into this one – my great hope is that people will enjoy it thoroughly!!!

– I just read on Twitter that you and the New Slang gang are giving up your ‘MDAs’ for a week!?  What is your MDA?  How is that little experiment going?!

Yes, so we’ve decided to walk our talk for a week and do a little experiential observation project (via videos and blogs) where we become our own guinea pigs! It’s a way for us to get some insight into whether there is a relationship between ‘everyday’ anxieties and ‘everyday’ addictions, which is one of the questions Modern Day Addiction poses. The glorious thing is how willing the New Slang were to take me on in this challenge!  Rach has given up sugar, Warren and Annabelle are putting aside their internet-addictions, Marty won’t be drinking and Tim is giving up something which is actually one of his greatest coping strategies: eating toast.

I already gave up a few of mine in the making of this album, so what’s left is this thing called ‘Late Night Stimulation’, which sounds a hell of a lot sexier than it is. It’s when you spend your nights on the computer working, workaholic-ing (Lucy, does this sound familiar?) or tweeting, or texting, or phoning, or watching TV, or doing anything you can to avoid ‘switching off’. So for the next week, I’ll be spending from night-fall to sun-up avoiding all un-necessary electronic equipment, turning off lights and living by candlelight. How this will be possible the week before an album comes out is beyond me, but so be it!  My only exception to this will be ‘v-logging the experiment‘!

– Your number one collaborator is your lovely fella Marty – how do you go living together, wrangling 3 kids together, working together,  performing together?  Is it a match made in musico heaven?  What is your special secret to a brilliant life/work relationship (and being a great Mum too?!)

Marty? Marty is practically a saint, that’s how! A very very tall saint. And our secret as a family is not such a secret, it’s simply an acceptance of the terms, which we like to call ‘delicious chaos!’ All parents of young families know this feeling I think!  It’s akin to riding an incredibly powerful wave: in good moments, we’re happy because we accept that we’re being carried towards a shore, and we may as well enjoy the ride in the meantime. In uncertain times, we feel like we’re drowning and we can’t see the shore yet and we don’t know where the steering wheel is and so on and so on. Whenever a human being enters into the ‘procreation game’, there’s an incredible amount of risk and trust involved, always.

But I think ultimately, we just kind of trust that what we’re doing is what our muses compel us to do, and that there is indeed value and a good-example to be set by following your heart.  Although to be honest, right now, my daughter just wants me to quit music and get a job in a cup-cake shop, so we’ll see how this plays itself out in years to come.

– You often work with Kat Macleod and the very clever ladies at Ortolan graphic design studio for your cover art… how did this relationship come about?  What is it about Ortolan that you love?

I was in a bookshop seven years ago and I picked up this incredible book called ‘Bird‘ by 3 deep Design, and it was so incredible that I wrote down the name of the artist, Kat Macleod, and tried very hard to locate her on the interwebbie! But no luck. Then I saw that she had designed some post-cards for Kleins Perfumery, and I took one home and stuck it to my wall. For some reason I assumed she was French and very well-known (but only in French, which is why I couldn’t find her on the interwebbie). One day a journalist called Dan came to my house to write a story, and asked me what kind of art I liked, and I pointed to the post-card and said ‘Her art. I like her art. I think she’s French. Her name is Kat Macleod’ and Dan scoffed into his coffee and said ‘Kat Macleod? She’s my housemate! I’ll introduce you!’ and the rest is history.

What do I love about Ortolan?  Kat, Sim, Chloe, and the delightful Narelle?  Their curiosity. Their concentration. Their belief in the value of making something truly beautiful, which always takes a great deal more time and life-juice than the packaged variety.

– What’s your favourite little pocket of Melbourne and why?

I have so many! I live in the north, and it is probably where I belong most, but I must admit that I also have a deep and abiding affection for Elwood, which is where my Father grew up. And one day, when I grow up and write a hit song for Lady Gaga, I’m going to buy a second house there. We will spend weekdays in Brunswick, and weekends in Elwood. It will be ‘the perfect lifestyle’. Do you think there really is a perfect ‘lifestyle’ Lucy? And could someone please tell me, what does the word ‘lifestyle’ actually mean? See – this is why I need the Design Files: to set me straight.

HA! I think you’ve got the ‘lifestyle’ thing waaay more sussed than me, CB…!  I seriously need a lesson in life / blog balance!

If you would like to get a better idea just how amazingly lovely Clare is, you can follow her brilliant tweets, and I really think you should also watch this hilarious little video, documenting Clare’s progress with her  ‘Modern Day Addiction Experiment’ this week…!

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Thursday 12th August 2010


  • Johanna 6 years ago

    I am in love with her too! :) I soo much want to win! :)

  • bailey haines 6 years ago

    I can’t wait to hear her album!

  • mark 6 years ago

    cool prize. claire is very cool!

  • Alisa 6 years ago

    I love her too! What a great post! x

  • Rebecca 6 years ago

    Sigh. Such spunkiness, and set to great music.

  • Beth 6 years ago

    Great photos! thanks for the giveaway Lucy!

  • Alice 6 years ago

    Amazing! I didn’t know Clare Bowditch before your post, thanks hips for sharing! I’ll have a look at her myspace now…

  • Bec Vincent 6 years ago

    such a beautiful music maker. ohh yes please for me : )

  • Thanks Lucy for introducing Clare’s new work and the giveaway. I’d heard of Clare before but not really connected with her music. I love the modern day addiction theme!

  • Shelley Panton 6 years ago

    I’m a BIG Clare fan and was only thinking yesterday it’s time i pick up a copy of her new album .. hope i’m one of the lucky five! xo

  • amy 6 years ago

    clare is clearly a goddess and i’m fairly sure i’ve been crushing on her since forever. cool interview <3

  • caro 6 years ago

    hi lucy! great to see your interview with clare! i remember a wonderful gig at the hifi bar – clare introduced her mum to the punters to wish her happy birthday. as we happily filed out after the encore, clare was at the back, chatting to people and handing out pieces of home made birthday cake as a parting gift =)

  • Kirsty 6 years ago

    Lucy, the fact that you do bang on about how wonderful people are is what makes YOU so wonderful.

    & the fact that you use the term “banging on” elevates you to rock star status in my book. x

  • Laura 6 years ago

    Love love love!!! Such a fab interview – Love the cover by Ortolan,..such cool cats! x

  • Sophie 6 years ago

    How cool! I was just about to open this up to read as a Clare Bowditch song came on the radio, and I was busy thinking about how ace she is… clearly I am not alone.

  • Kelly 6 years ago

    Thanks for posting this Lucy! It’s kind of like a double whammy when you get a new Clare Bowditch album. Kat’s artwork – along with Ortolan – paired with Clare’s music just make them so beautifully lustworthy!

  • Hollie 6 years ago

    Ah Clare Bowditch is AMAZING! Some of the happiest times in my life have been to the soundtrack of Clare’s songs. I fell in love with my [now] husband at work whilst falling in love with her song “You Look So Good”. I can’t wait to hear the new album!

  • julie jenkinson 6 years ago

    Clare Bowditch is a musical wonder and fab Mum and seems to combine both very successfully. I love her honesty and joy

  • Rosanne 6 years ago

    Love your posts Lucy – but also admire Clare and what she has done to the music industry and raising a family at the same time….Looking forward to hearing the new album…..
    Plus – i have a daughter with the same name as her daughter … Asha..x

  • Chris 6 years ago

    Clare is simply lovely! Saw her at the Opera house recently and she was divine!

  • julie gibbons 6 years ago

    How amazing is all that PLUS little kids!? I have little kids; I KNOW.

    To win? That would be divine…. count me in

  • Brigid Sundborn 6 years ago

    Clare is amazing and if I don’t win the CD I’ll just have to buy it!

  • Grant 6 years ago

    I have always been a big fan of the new slang. The match of Clare Bowditch and the New slang makes perfect sense

  • Chris 6 years ago

    Super great songs by a seemingly super great lady. A signed CD is a swell prize, to be sure…

  • Meredith 6 years ago

    Lovely post Lucy, and great giveaway. Hope I win!

  • Jessica 6 years ago

    oh, yes please.

  • Janelle 6 years ago

    this is one of the reasons i cling to my cd collection…it would be so much cooler to receive a signed cd than download a song which would remain hidden on a computer or ipod!!

  • Mikhaela 6 years ago

    I love Clare and would love to win a copy…

  • seona 6 years ago

    so wonderful you’ve put out another album clare! cant wait for the live promoting to start, you are an absolute angel live!

  • Catherine 6 years ago

    Love it! And what a gorgeous album ! x

  • Carrie 6 years ago

    my modern day addiction = music & design!

  • Kate 6 years ago

    As soon as i heard this song on the radio i fell in love with it! So fabulously catchy – she’s a great song writer, and i’ve followed her recent album, hearing about her travels overseas and inspiration.
    I’d love to be inspired by it too! Thanks Lucy.

  • Pete 6 years ago

    The album art looks great. And it must be something in the Melbourne water that sees red haired chicks rise to the top.

  • Lindsay 6 years ago

    Just awesome!

  • leah deighton 6 years ago

    Oh, what a luvli giveaway!!!
    Please pick me!
    It looks awesome!!!

  • little bird big chip 6 years ago

    great interview, I love hearing about how artistically inclined ladies juggle their art and their family. what a little ripper!

  • Gemma 6 years ago

    I love Clare too. Would love to win the new album!

  • sam 6 years ago

    very exciting. i love her too!

  • aleta 6 years ago

    What a discovery! I follow a twitter link to read more about the lovely Clare Bowditch and her new album which I covet, and I find a site that I’ll be coming back to. Even if I’m not one of the lucky 5, I’m happy I found this place. Great interview, and more fodder for my serious girl-crush on Ms Bowditch.

  • Susan Brock 6 years ago

    What a spunk-meister! And she just gets groovier with every passing album. Great interview Lucy!

  • sarah g 6 years ago

    happy days – what a great interview. i think it hit the jackpot when it comes to the spunkiness of both you gals!

  • Josephine 6 years ago

    I am such a geek with modern music that I haven’t heard her yet. I stopped listening after Dragon, Countdown and Kate Bush went off the air. Please don’t lynch me for that. However, everything I have read about her in interviews always makes me think, ‘this person sounds so amazing. I’ll have to check them out.” That’s a huge compliment to her charisma as if it isn’t Kinks or Stones, old French tunes or anything vintage, I’m never interested. normally Great interview, Lucky. I love the opening para. xx xx

  • deb 6 years ago

    some things are just meant to be – I love how Clare ‘found’ Kat Macleod.

  • kathryn hall 6 years ago

    Lovely interview. Clare Bowditch sounds intriguing. I can’t wait to listen to her new album.

  • Brendan Hardy 6 years ago

    yet another Brilliant giveaway… put me in the running. I am having a week of listening to music suggested by others and its working out really really really really really well…
    Really really… so. If I don’t win. count me in on a purchase anyway…

  • kim 6 years ago

    yay, great post lucy! i love cb!

  • chellie_d 6 years ago

    Oh Claire; oh Design Files … so, so fabulous! Big inspirations both. x

  • Zoe 6 years ago

    I love Claire and her music! Hope she tours it soon!
    DF rocks!

  • Anna Davies 6 years ago

    Can’t wait to hear the new album!

  • Tim H 6 years ago

    if music is as good as cover art its going to be awesome album

  • A.M 6 years ago

    Clare’s album artwork by Ortolan is just as DIVINE as Clare herself!

  • Dave 6 years ago

    It is such a pleasure to be exposed to such attention to detail… Claire’s songs are so delicately put together. The new album sounds sensational. And that cover! It is work like this that keeps me buying music that I can “touch” and bucking the digital trend. Inspirational, as always – l can’t wait for the next gig!

  • Clare 6 years ago

    We share a name and hair colour! Yay! I loved finding out that she travels with her three young children. I love finding out that there are people out there combining domesticity with an amazing career, however imperfect the combination feels to them at times. I’d love to win the album – I’d give it to my honey, who would enjoy it even more than I would.

  • Gela 6 years ago

    Beautiful album, I’d love a chance to win a copy! :)

  • Dave 6 years ago

    PS… and it’s signed!? Bonus!!

  • Michelle 6 years ago

    Follow CB on twitter and love her!! Also love her music and have some of her previous albums :)

  • Jane 6 years ago

    Would love to become more aquainted with Claires music. Thanks for the interview. J

  • Janelle Chapman 6 years ago

    Admiration for her talent, her being mum to 3 children and managing to combine that with a career and her beautiful comment on their attitude to parenting. All of us could do well with that attitude. Love her and would love to win this PLEASE!!!

  • Elizabeth Kennedy 6 years ago

    She is beautiful. It always sucks to realise i’m never going to be that cool :p
    Would love to go in the draw!

  • Paula 6 years ago

    Oh, CB is a red-headed goddess. Love hearing about how she met Kat Macleod. :)

  • Jenn 6 years ago

    Lucy I always love your blog and was really happy to see this post especially as I saw Claire play last night at RRR which was brilliant!!!!!!:)

  • Miriam 6 years ago

    yes please! would love to hear the new sounds, Clare is jsut divine!

  • Pippa 6 years ago

    Love your work Lucy and would love to win the prize!

  • charmaine 6 years ago

    A talented and intelligent woman. As for the perfect lifestyle it is whatever makes you happy.

  • Lou 6 years ago

    Oh yes please! Love Claire and adore that album cover. The ladies at Ortolan can do no wrong really.

  • lisa rowden 6 years ago

    how fab-u-lous x

  • JestaCat 6 years ago

    ooh! Could I win a cd? Please? Love me some Aussie chick rock. :-)

  • Bridget 6 years ago

    I love Claire. It’s incredible to watch her perform.

  • mark b 6 years ago

    great music, great artwork, top giveaway – would love a piece of the action.

  • I have a girl crush on her!
    She just seems to cool & groovy & real!
    but its ok if I dont win….I will buy the album anyway!

  • Siska 6 years ago

    this is fantastic!

  • David 6 years ago

    The album is almost as stunning as Ms. Bowditch herself. What a great performer and songwriter.

  • handmaderomance 6 years ago

    yay!! lovely interview! one of my fav live performers too, i think its ‘the force’ you mention, hypnotism is definitely involved. would love to be in the winning for this great giveaway. autumn bone still gets a play on my ipod and buddy always makes me cry. clare’s lyrics are more like story telling! love! love!

  • Brent 6 years ago

    Saw Clare for the second time during Splendour in the Grass. Her Julia Gillard impersonation was hilarious. Great interview!

  • Kate Abbott 6 years ago

    She is sooo awesome – I have the biggest crush on her – i love her to bits! She is just so geniune and lovable!
    I would love a pack! pretty please?!?!

  • Sharon Parker 6 years ago

    I would love to win but I will buy the album regardless, can’t wait!! Being married to a muso, sometimes I think our life is a bit crazy but hearing about Clare and her 3 young kids just shows you that it is all possible!! An amazing artist and woman.

  • Mummageorge 6 years ago

    Love Ms Bowditch’s talking voice (heard her on the radio) but have only heard a little bit of her music. It’s great stuff.

  • ness 6 years ago

    Hi Lucy
    Thanks for the interview, have been a big fan of clare’s since back in the early days before Autumn Bone seeing her play solo at the (now no longer, sob) Hoey in Sydney. Would love to win, but as others have said will buy the cd anyway if I don’t. Win win sitch.
    Love the ‘files.

  • Bec 6 years ago

    Another great interview Lucy, with an inspiring, hard working talent! It shows you really can have all it all. love the sounds from MDA…

  • Therese 6 years ago

    Downloaded Start of War when it was first released & have been waiting paitently for this album ever since. My 8 year old loves it too & tries to keep up with Clares amazing vocals. I heard that there are something like 13 vocal layers to that track- so impressive. Fingers xx to win a copy.
    So proud she is a Melbourne girl!!

  • claire 6 years ago

    …love ms bowditch’s music…and am not surprised to hear that the stunning album artwork is ms macleod’s crafty work…fingers crossed!

  • jo marks 6 years ago

    my teens and i have a massive girl crush on the divine ms b – she is awesome! :)

  • Iain Prinle 6 years ago

    I’m with your man (not actually, that would be weird), I also have a crush on CB ;0)

  • Sarah Jean 6 years ago

    Ooh I love Clare Bowditch – and I havent yet gotten around to buying the new album! hint hint :) heh

  • Bec 6 years ago

    Such a good interview! How i would love to be one of the lucky winners! thankyou! x

  • Jordan 6 years ago

    Clare Bowditch is no doubt my favourite Aussie Artist!
    I have always been intrigued by Clares music ever since she formed her first band Red Raku.

    I introduced many of my friends to Clare after she released Autumn Bone (back in 2004) and since then my friends and I always try to see her play when she plays within Melbourne.

    When Clare won the best female artist at the 2009 Aria Awards it was the best thing ever to happen in Australian Music. An honest, kind hearted and naturally beautiful woman finally winning the award!!!

    I can’t wait to hear Clares new album and have my fingers (and toes) crossed that I win one of the signed copies.


  • Giselle 6 years ago

    One word – LOVE – for the music, the lyrics, the politics, the person. Mmmmm.

  • Danielle 6 years ago

    I can not believe she can achieve all that!!
    Good on you!
    Your amazing :)

  • Sean Moon 6 years ago

    Loving the stuff i’ve heard so far from the new album, really enjoying the new angle, while remaining a faithful fan of the earlier sounds you have delighted us with. Its always considered adventurous to go for something different, yet so many successful artists have become household names through adapting their sounds. I think MDA will introduce you to a whole new fan base without the loss of your existing fans…. You are bigger than the music, and it shows. Keep up the stellar work, and i’ll keep listening to it! :-)

  • Such a great post on such a cool lady with such an awesome album. I am in awe. True story.
    x dana

  • Belinda 6 years ago

    CG exudes amazingly rare energy and grace….. thank you TDF for giving us the opportunity to experience it.

  • Alexandra Moloney 6 years ago

    What an inspirational woman! I have four young children and have recently gone back to uni……I don’t know how she does it! LOVE the new album – Modern Day Addiction (wine) is my fav. Congratulations Clare!

  • ktrn 6 years ago

    That album looks really cool, how could it be bad? :)

  • tiffany 6 years ago

    Can’t wait to hear this one!

  • kate 6 years ago

    I love this woman so much. She’s so comfortable in her body and she has this quirky sense of humour that really came out when I saw a solo show of hers where she wore sunnies and played an old casio with some teapots. Amazing. Would love a signed copy of mda!

  • Melita 6 years ago

    Magnifique prize. She is such a grounded, wise, talented (and the list goes on and on) lady. What a great prize xx

  • Monique Cannell 6 years ago

    love her music. please count me in the competition. xo

  • E-Gene 6 years ago

    My wife and I love her too. We too want to be the cool parents like them.

  • Alison 6 years ago

    That is a sweet and lovely post. Would love a chance for some new music

  • jessie 6 years ago

    she is divine. seriously. as a young(ish) lass i find her drive and passion truly inspiring
    gorgeous post

  • Cat 6 years ago

    Thank you. Your post has led me to: snippets of the album; a no gloss piece by Catherine Deveny; Clare’s MDA “video”; more photos; and more to smile and sigh about. If I don’t stop now, I could be finding myself with some of Clare’s own MDA!! Love it Lucy xox

  • Lucy 6 years ago

    GUYS you comments are so awesome! I agree with all of you!

    YES CAT i know there is too much to love and chuckle about when you start looking around on Clare’s website! And on twitter too! A brilliant local talent… love it. I’m sad I missed her Julia Gillard impression at Splendour the other week! There has been much hype about it!

    Stay tuned – winners will be announced tomorrow! :)

  • Sundari Carmody 6 years ago

    I really enjoy listening to Clare Bowditch. I am glad I made it to her Perth gig right before she took off to Berlin!

  • Emma 6 years ago

    Great posting on a great Aussie artist :) I saw Clare play a few years ago in Bris Vegas and have been a fan ever since. Her lyrics and tunes are inspiring and raw in honesty. This latest effort is going straight to my ipod.

  • MsUnreliable 6 years ago

    Alas, I missed the deadline but I just wanted to join in with universal praise. I had the great pleasure to meet Clare many years ago (I still cherish my signed copy of Autumn Bone!) and I know what you mean – amazing just doesn’t come close to describing her – she’s an absolute ray of sunshine!

    xx Kit

  • Camila F. 6 years ago

    After this post I can’t help it…I also fell in love with her! What a lovely interview, she’s truly amazing!

  • lindsey clare 6 years ago

    ah nuts, i’m too late. but anyway, i’m a big Clare fan. she really is amazing – and so genuine at the same time. very admirable!

  • Margie 6 years ago

    bloody hell… “three young children” and “touring parents” in the same sentence… I am amazed.

  • melanie cecilia 6 years ago

    Your really described Clare so well here Lucy…radiant, ethereal angel. If there is ever a woman that really lights up a room its Clare, it really is hard not to gush over this amazing woman. Thanks for the interview.

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