The Kaje talks versatility to Axe Girl

Addison Axe (aka Axe Girl) is a woman of many guises. Having first tasted the spotlight as part of Chicken Shed, whose hit single “I Am In The Love With The World” was part of the 1997 Christmas Number One chart race (it peaked at 15), Axe became fascinated with the idea of fame. However, post an appearance on T4’s hit reality series “Musicool”, she realised that fame was not all it was cracked up to be but the performer within still craved exploration. Back with a new single, “We Believe”, and a one-woman show “The Yellow Wallpaper”, we have plenty to talk about…

Your career has taken on many dimensions – how do you describe yourself and what you do…

I describe myself as a performer and composer and that seems to take me on many unexpected and exhilarating adventures. I try to be open to new ideas and directions, and just follow my instincts. If a project interests and excites me I’ll just take the plunge and jump in. The result is that in the last two years I have acted, sung, played guitar and written music for projects ranging from composing dance music for CSI:NY to mandolin and banjo songs for Shakespeare theatre productions. I’ve played in three bands, ranging from breaks to folk to punk, and released music on my own label ‘Axidental’ and co-started theatre production company ‘The Horror House’.

My ethos is to do what I want, but whatever that is, do it whole-heartedly and to the best of my ability. This means I think carefully about every new thing I take on, and conduct it with passion and enthusiasm.

From Chicken Shed through to “The Yellow Wallpaper” – what have been the real highs and lows?

Even as a kid I was obsessed with performing and was singing solos in front of huge audiences and acting on TV from age 7. I see this as a real blessing, as it means I’ve never suffered from stage fright or even questioned the urge to get up and entertain. It’s all I’ve ever known.

You came to mainstream attention through T4’s “Musicool”-would you consider revisiting the mainstream exposure?

I was quite young when I did “Musicool” and wasn’t quite expecting the exposure it presented. It was a great experience, and if the band I was in at the time hadn’t split up, it could have led to a lot more. At that time I was at college and just went with it. I wouldn’t do a ‘reality-based’ thing again, but should the opportunity arise to do something ‘mainstream’ that I believed in I’d definitely go for it. The thing I’ve learnt is that the integrity of the project is core. If I love and believe in what I’m doing, no stage is too big or too small. As soon as you doubt what you’re doing, that’s when you lose your way.

With success comes pressure – how have you stayed focused on your end goal?

To be honest I put more pressure on myself than I think anyone else could impose on me. The fact is there is nothing else in life I would do.

What is that goal? Has it changed as a result of the twist and turns in your career?

Definitely. I started very young (I was gigging at 14 years old) and when I was starting out, I was hungry for fame and fortune, but as soon as you taste it, you realize how unfulfilling it actually is. I feel lucky to have learned these lessons so young! My end goal now is just to make the music that feels right to make, to go out there and perform it, and just to hope that it reaches and moves people. That’s what it’s all about. So I am still chasing success, but the word has a very different meaning now.

Can you tell us a little more about “The Yellow Wallpaper” and your involvement with the project…

So, “The Yellow Wallpaper” came about after the immense success of Hamlet House of Horror. HHOH is a dark musical (based on Hamlet if you hadn’t guessed) that I co-wrote the music for. I ended up playing the role of Ophelia when we took the show to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. The show went down so well we decided to do another. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a one-woman show (me!) and is quite an experience as it is the most intense role I have undertaken to date…

The show debuts in London before an Australian tour – what prompted you to take the show down under?

I was planning a trip down under to do some tour dates promoting my new single “We Believe” (After the UK our next best following is in Australia and we want to spread the word!) When I discovered the Perth Fringeworld Festival was on at the same time it seemed like it was meant to be. We put The Yellow Wallpaper together much sooner than originally scheduled, and decided a London premier would be fun.

Your music has already experienced success in Australia-are you looking forward to taking Axe Girl down under?

Absolutely. There is such a thriving rock scene across Australia, some of my favorite bands are Australian, I love Australians! It’s an awesome place to tour.

What can people expect from an Axe Girl show?

Sex, love and rock n roll

You have just unleashed your latest single “We Believe”-can you tell us a little more about it?

“We Believe” is the first single off my upcoming EP. It sounds like it’s about ghosts, dinosaurs and Dracula, but on a deeper level it’s about our need to believe in something, and that it doesn’t matter what you believe in or making other people believe the same as you, just finding something to live for.

What is next for both Axe Girl and for Addison Axe…

The single is out now, and we’re preparing for our Oz dates promoting ‘We Believe’ Jan-Feb 2012. The EP comes out in March 2012, and will be followed by a UK tour.

I’ll be performing The Yellow Wallpaper at the end of Jan at Perth Fringeworld.

Words and Images: Jeremy Williams


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