Angus & Julia Stone 1 ©Jennifer Steinglen

Photo by Jennifer Steinglen

It wouldn’t do justice to ANGUS AND JULIA STONE to regard the Australian siblings ‘just’ as a brother-sister-duo. With their solo records The Memory Machine and By the Horns (Julia) and Smoking Gun and Broken Brights (Angus) both have proved that they are independent folk artists who need to go their own ways to realize their musical visions.

Nevertheless 30-year-old Julia and 28-year-old Angus have joined forces in the past to unite their creativity and produce the albums A Book Like This (2007) and Down The Way (2010). With a little bit of convincing by the famous American producer Rick Rubin (BEASTIE BOYS, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) they have decided to go another part of their musical way together. The result of the reunification is simply called Angus & Julia Stone and will be released on August 1. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION could meet the two of them for a short interview and of course our first question touched on the interesting choice of the album title.


Usually bands name their debut albums after themselves. Why have you decided to name your third album ‘Angus & Julia Stone’?
Angus: We were lazy. (laughs)
Julia: It’s just the way that it turned out. We couldn’t find something that felt right. And so we asked Rick Rubin, what if we just call it Angus & Julia Stone and he said that’s a good idea. I guess it does feel like a first album in a way. It’s the first time we have written some of the songs together.

How would you describe you new record in three words?
J: Angus and Julia…
A: … Stone. That would be four. It’s difficult to answer that question.

Then let’s keep ‘Angus and Julia Stone’. The titles or the lyrics of your songs often bear the word ‘heart’. So do you favour listening to your hearts over listening to your heads?
A: That’s the challenge – finding the place between the head and the heart. When we are writing songs, it is a mixture of head and heart. But the heart is the catalyst and the generator that supplies the feeling.
J: Sometimes just listening to the heart can create lots of chaos. Writing a song you use parts of your mind to figure things out. But when it comes to music, the choices you are making are mostly heart-based. I think talking about a song ruins it. It’s nice when it’s unknown and a bit of a mystery. And that’s what the heart is: mysterious. You don’t know why you fall in love with certain persons – it’s a magical thing.


And what would rather break your hearts – losing your hope our losing your passion?
A: Passion.
J: Yeah. I don’t think hope is necessarily a positive thing. Hope is like this idea that something in the future is gonna make your life better. And that’s kind of a hard way to live. Passion is what drives you right now to be here and do stuff. When you put hope on something, it makes it harder to enjoy being here right now.


In the internet one can read pretty personal things about you; for instance about the death of your grandpa, failed relationships and how you get along with each other. Would you sometimes like to erase certain things?
J: I never read any of it.
A: It is what it is. You are sort of evolving and you evolve in this day and age with the internet. And that’s fine.
J: The internet is constantly changing with you. You say something when you are younger and then you feel different as you grow older. Everyone accepts that, that’s what we do as humans – we are always changing our minds.


Angus, I have read that you could imagine going back to your job as a labourer, in order to do something with your hands again. Do we have to be afraid that we will lose you soon?
A: I think things run their course. If you feel like you want to change, just do it. I definitely get to that point at the end of tours and recordings. You are just over and that’s a natural feeling. But you can do it all at the same time, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.
J: The most important thing is to make yourself useful. It doesn’t matter how, if it’s music or if it’s building houses.