The Audreys aren’t dead, they’re just resting. After a decade of touring, a handful of ARIA winning albums and countless performances, Taasha Coates and Tristan Goodall are taking a year and a half off from their famous country/folk project. But not before a string of goodbye-for-now performances, of course.
“There’s a clue right there,” she says of the band’s enviable unbroken run. “We have been going at it for a while. It came time to do another record and we just weren’t 100% sure we had anything to say,” she explains with surprising openness. “I mean, it’s not like you make any money out of releasing records, so you really have to feel very passionate and driven to do it, to really have something that you want to put out there,” she explains. “So we’d done four records now and lots of touring, and just decided to give it a rest for a bit and come back fresh. It felt like a good time to do it.” Which isn’t to say the pair are sick of each other. Despite the odds, they’re still a nigh-on unbreakable unit. “No, it’s incredible,” she says of their bond. “And we’re still best friends. We used to be a couple. We still love touring together, we just want to do other things for a bit and see if we can find a new inspiration. But it’s ridiculous how long weve been doing it, and it’s great, you just become so comfortable with each other… which is great, but can be dangerous too. “Both of us want to do something a bit out of our comfort zone for a little while.” For Coates, that means stepping out on her own with a solo record. “It’s really scary, but good to be pushing myself outside of what feels easy and natural. It could be a big pile of shit, of course,” she warns. Still in the writing process, one track had its live premiere at a recent Audreys show, suggesting perhaps it won’t stray too far from the comfort zone. “It’s going to be pretty alt-country,” she says. “Whatever the fuck that is.” Looking back on the band’s dream decade-long run, it’s hard for Coates to pinpoint key highlights as expectations and stakes continually rise and change. “When you start out your goals are this big and once you’ve achieved them you make bigger goals, and keep shifting the posts,” she says. “I remember really clearly the first time we played ourselves on the radio, we nearly crashed the car we were so excited,” she recalls. “Whereas now if I was with someone and it came on I’d go ‘ugh, sorry,’ and turn it off.” Due to play a select handful of shows as a duo before going into hibernation, the pair will perform alongside the likes of Jason Isbell, Bad//Dreems and Koral & The Goodbye Horses at new Americana festival Silver Raven Festival. “I actually ran into the guy who was booking that show at the airport in Sydney and pretty much begged to be put on that bill,” Coates says. “I’m a huge Jason Isbell fan.” The pair’s run of intimate duo performances will afford audiences another chance to bask in the warm fuzzy glow of the pair’s onstage rapport before the hiatus. It’s something Coates herself will also be savouring. “I’ll tell you what I’m going to miss, it’s being on stage with Tristan, more than any venue or festival. I’m going to miss looking over and see his goofy smile, and have him throw all his jokes at me.” Although Goodall may help in some capacity with the solo album, they’re actually looking forward to hanging out without pressing Audreys commitments lurking overhead. “We keep talking about things we can do in the meantime that aren’t touring,” she jokes. “We could start working on a new record just one day a month, or put out a covers record. Then we got drunk one night and had a random idea to do an electronic album.” Or a pub quiz team, perhaps? “We could make a killer pub quiz team. Just start cleaning up.” The Audreys will perform at Silver Raven Festival on Saturday, April 2 at the Turkey Flat Vineyards (Barossa Valley). Tickets can be bought via the Silver Raven website. silverravenfestival.com