After 25 years of singing and touring as one third of The Waifs, Vikki Thorn is stepping out on her debut Australian solo tour with several South West dates.
Thorn will tour the region this month, fronting her own trio with Heath Cullen and long term The Waifs bassist Ben Franz.
She said after wrapping up The Waifs anniversary tour last year, she felt it was the right time to explore life as a solo artist.
“It was a bit of a now or never moment for me,” she said.
“We’ve all done stuff separately, but it is my first time stepping out on tour with a new bunch of songs.
“I’ve been writing a lot of songs over the last five years that aren’t really part of The Waifs story for me.
“When you are a solo artist, for reasons unknown, you feel the songs need to be played and be out there, so I basically just got tired of playing in the bedroom.”
Thorn told the Mail her new music was more representative of who she is as an artist.
“The Waifs have been pretty much my whole experience,” she said.
“I think what people forget is as artists we move beyond that artistically but don’t always get to show that in the band because we are the sort of band love to please our audience, and play the songs they want to hear.
“It doesn’t give a lot of room to move forward sometimes. This felt like the right thing and a natural progression. It feels pretty good right now.”
For the last six years, Thorn has split her time between Australia and the United States.
It was in her new home of Utah that she found her voice and began producing music like never before.
“Over here, I don’t have a musical community like I did in Australia to trade ideas with, so spent lot of time on my own with a guitar and all these songs started to emerge,” she said.
“I usually write one or two songs a year but in the last couple of years I’ve been writing up to seven. There is an element of storytelling in all my songs and I’m living in an incredible part of US that is a really old western town, with cowboys with guns on hips and those themes of lifestyle are coming out.
“What’s coming out more is my love for old R ‘n’ B and soul music, I don’t write those songs but love those inflections and when I get to sing like that. I love really belting it out.”
She credits the isolation for inspiring the stories present in her new music.
“I basically had nowhere else to go, nothing else to do, no TV, surrounded by millions of acres of wilderness,” she said.
“I went through this period where I only wrote homesick songs and my sister-in-law said ‘Oh my god, you are so whiny. Why don’t you write about the incredible place you live’.”
“It is what I needed to hear. It spurred me to look around and write about something not inside of me.”
As for including regional areas on her first solo outing, Thorn said it was a no-brainer.
“I wanted this tour to feel like the old days,” she said.
“Playing in pubs and smaller intimate venues.
“Big stages are fun for a different reason, but to be honest I miss playing the small intimate stages.”
Vikki Thorn will play Clancy’s Fish Pub on March 22, The River Hotel on March 23 and Nannup Town Hall on March 24.
For tickets, visit thewaifs.com/tours.
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