The Texas singer on writing honestly, the place she calls home and why this isn’t actually their first time Down Under.
Sharleen Spiteri is relaxing when we chat early on (her) Thursday morning. Texas have just come off a three-night run that included the Summer Nights gigs in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park and she hasn’t been to bed yet. ‘I’m sitting in my Mum and Dad’s with a cup of tea and a slice of toast,’ she says chirpily, ‘and you are Interview Australia Number 5 and you’re my last one of the morning.’
Luckily tiredness hasn’t taken its toll on the singer, who doesn’t seem fazed by the amount of interviews she’s got lined up ahead of the band’s upcoming tour to Australia. ‘I’ve been talking about Texas for 30 odd years and I don’t think I’m ever going to get bored of it,’ she says. ‘Some people talk to you and they make it really interesting. Then there’s some who don’t really want to do it, but their editor has given it to them and they’ve a list of f*cking questions that are as cold as a wet fish.’
Texas are starting their tour in Europe this month before heading out to South Africa and then on to Australia in December. With a new album, Jump on Board, just released and a string of previous hits that topped charts around the world, the tour is big news. But does being away from home for that long ever take its toll?
‘You get a day here and there, to go home and see the family, make sure they’ve not wrecked the house and that the bins are getting put out properly,’ Sharleen says. ‘But you do sometimes get to a point where you think, f*cking hell I’m fed up with these clothes, I’m in and out of this suitcase constantly and I’d like to just be able to do my bloody laundry. Apart from that it’s the best life in the world.’
‘Home is the place where, when I shut the door, my family are there and I can cook my dinner and just be with them. If that’s a make-do home for a moment then that’s what it is, but it’s a home there and then.’
Jump on Board is the ninth studio album from Texas, not counting Sharleen’s two solo albums. But when it comes to writing new material, the thing that drives it is honesty, she says.
‘You can’t think about the past and you don’t know what the future holds. So you write whatever your emotions or feelings are at that time, then they connect with the emotions and feelings of other people, the ones who are listening. That’s when your songs become their songs, because they put their own faces and familiarities into it. You need to write from a very honest place before it can touch anybody else.’
This isn’t actually the band’s first tour of Australia, despite what the media might have said up until now. ‘Every single person that’s spoken to me has asked about that. I don’t know who wrote that, and I don’t know where that’s come from, but it’s not,’ she says. ‘I’m just looking forward to getting out there and going, “guys, it’s been a long time, it’s not through lack of trying, but hopefully we’re going to blow your minds and you’re going to invite us back”.’
It may not be their first time in the country, but this will be their first time in Perth. ‘I’ve never been, so I’m looking forward to it very much,’ she says. ‘It’s going to be summer for me a whole year so I’m looking forward to getting my all-year-round-suntan.’
Texas are at the Astor Theatre on December 15.