“So yes, music is sex. Being there, watching the music, being on stage: it’s all just about sex. So if you start singing about it then everyone is like, ‘Great! You’re thinking about what we’re all thinking about! This is fantastic, it makes me feel really sexy!’ That’s it.” – Bree Tranter
Earlier this year I sat down with my dear friend and inspiring musician, Bree Tranter, atop a hill in Centennial Parklands, Sydney. We spoke about her single More Sex and Love and the big city, while she paged through her little black book of notes on life and shared a few experiences and insights into her journey to creating her debut album, ‘Another Night on Earth.’
When did you move here?
I moved to Sydney in 2010. It was after The Middle East American tour and right before our last Australian tour.
I base it off when I met Scott, my partner and dancer in the More Sex and Love video. Because I met him in 2009, our friendship and break up went all the way into 2010. He was there when the band broke up and when we recorded our last record and he was there when we did our last tour, ending in Splendour. He was supporting me when the band broke up.
Do you feel like you knew your music when you came here? What do you feel you knew about your music when you came here?
Oh wow! There’s a kite the shape of a bird, but I thought it was real when it was in the air! Umm…I don’t know, I did the Winter video, and I recorded it in that house and I had lived there for maybe a few months, or even a year and I did it with Javed and…that bird…that would have been my music, or that was the first time that I recorded that song properly and did a video.
Do you have your little black book around?
Yeah, I’m just drawing a butterfly in it right now. I feel like a high school student reading out in class.
I think that’s nice because the past is one thing and the present is another. I just have to roll a cigarette quickly. I don’t know why I need to smoke a cigarette, but does the book say?
The first song is Love Tell Me, which is now called More Sex and Love. I renamed it, which is a nice story.
I have this white board in my room. I use the whiteboard to gather notes, put chords up for band practices, and stuff. I had a listing of shit I was doing or some song names, and we had this house party where there were people upstairs, showing themselves around.
One of the friends came up to me at another party a couple days later and told me about how he read the white board. He thought it was a funny to-do list because I had written in the top corner ‘To Do’ and it then read, More Sex and Love and…well, he kind of rambled the songs off, and mentioned that he was really confused about the list and what I had to do.
It was my song tracking, but the first one was part of my to-do list. More sex and Love, that is not a song, that is my to do list! When he told me that story, I said that maybe I’ll change the name to that. So I did and I made it work. And it kind of does because I am talking about sex and love in the song.
More Sex and Love does sound like it has a type of philosophical spin to it?
It does. As far as why it’s on my note board and what I think about the sentence, and how it psychologically applies to the song: it means everything.
Everything to do with life because I find that we are so focussed on sex most of the time that we lose sight of what love is. And not just saying physically. Sex doesn’t have to be just physical, it can be so many different things in the way that it’s born inside of us.
I find that we try to fulfil ourselves by dressing up and trying to look good – whether to get laid or not…so that people may find you attractive; so that you can feel good about yourself. I look into how that works within my relationship with Scott and how that messes with my head.
It’s fucked up and confuses the hell out of me personally. So, when you say more sex than love, you really mean more a reminder of the love?
Yeah…I think it was originally more love, and there was a space there. I think I was on this sex mission so put that there for thirty days and kind of left it. I thought it would be a really good experiment having more sex. I think it really helps the love, which is laughable because it no longer was about the sex if you had to have it every day. Therefore it was about the person that you loved.
May I ask, what is it about writing music and sex?
You’re breathing it when you play live. It is just sex on stage. So I guess if you can fit the words in as well, then it all just goes together. I think it works because it is just that. It’s just saying it out loud. You’re just saying out loud what everyone is doing there anyway.
So yes, music is sex. Being there, watching the music, being on stage: it’s all just about sex. So if you start singing about it then everyone is like, ‘Great! You’re thinking about what we’re all thinking about! This is fantastic, it makes me feel really sexy!’ That’s it.
You did tell me about getting your sex on stage, which I thought was really honest. I think you were talking about getting all the satisfaction that you needed from it as well?
I think a lot of people would. But I think as an insecure person who has never had that stuff given to me on a platter, of course, it’s the number one easy target for me to be fulfilled. If you put anyone in front of an instrument no matter what, someone will have a crush on them.
It’s so magical how being on stage and showing emotion, or not showing emotion and showing it through an instrument…just by someone watching someone do something, it turns them on. It’s crazy. It could be anything. I guess with music, it’s just so much more easily accessible.
And you never felt that in The Middle East?
I think I did, but it would have been felt subconsciously. I wouldn’t have been aware of it. Of course, it would have fulfilled me, though. The fact I was touring with all boys would have fulfilled me. The fact that I was on stage and that I would know guys would have to look at me. These are assurances for an insecure person who never had boyfriends or guy friends. It was just a jackpot for me without me realising it…or realising it?
The desire that comes from not getting what you want?
Yeah. For example, the long distance with Scott is probably the best thing that could have happened for us and probably what made us. I don’t think that if I was living in Sydney and touring, and I met him at a party…it just would have gone down so differently. I would have been so needy.
I just got lucky that I was away and that I got stuck without being able to see him. Otherwise, I would have been a psycho and it wouldn’t have worked out.
I just think it’s such a crazy thing when you’re faced with your insecurities and then what choice you make from there.
I think the song has a lot to do with insecurities and looks. I remember writing it about my jealousy over Scott being such a free lover on the dance floor, which I couldn’t get my head around; especially when everyone wants that person’s attention.
And I’m the insecure person who just happened to score him. When you’re out you’re like, ‘Come on! This is when I get to flaunt it. This is where you get to flaunt me, this is when we get to flaunt us. On the gold baby! Come on! Give it to me and let me relish in the fact that I’m here with you.’
But we would go out, and we would get drunk and I would see him so freely dancing with everyone else. He didn’t need my attention because he had it from everyone else. He didn’t need to be solely focussed on me, but I needed it.
But the image of the dance floor and him dancing is a mix of jealousy and awe right?
Yeah. The challenge is that I could have been so easily satisfied in a relationship that did just suit me.
It’s just like well, I could have been fine and easily satisfied if he was a normal guy and was obsessed with me and then all my insecurities would have washed away because he would always be by my side, always focussed on my world.
But with Scott, he really forced me to deal with my insecurities on my own. I’m not saying he would abandon me or anything, he just did it the way that he wanted to do it; which made me more insecure, but made me look into my insecurities and realise not to be fulfilled by him.
Instead, I had to look at how I love myself because he wasn’t that.
Visit Breetranter.com to find out more on Bree and how to listen to, ‘Another Night on Earth.’
Photo credit: Sunny River
© Jonathan Boonzaaier 2016