In preparation for my interview with Ruby — whose real name is Bex Chilcott, and whom I had the pleasure of learning about through Baby Robot Media — I researched her back story.
In preparation for my interview with Ruby — whose real name is Bex Chilcott, and whom I had the pleasure of learning about through Baby Robot Media — I researched her back story. Visit her web page and you will read that she left home in Perth when she was 16 to work on a pearling trawler in Broome, a town on the northern coast of Western Australia. I got up there by hitching up some trucks. I went to where all the truckies loaded on and off and waited for a trucker who would take me.
I found two; they would swap and take 5-hour shifts. We managed to do in 36 hours, with a quick stopover in Newman. There was a carriage where they slept. Throughout my interview with Ruby, I was reminded of my semester abroad in Brisbane, Australia Queensland in When I first arrived in the country, I underestimated its size: Although I never visited Perth during my travels, I did notice how that city seemed to be the only one I had heard of in Western Australia.
Welcome to my conversation with Ruby Boots on Music Historian. I was then picked up and drove five hours down to Southern Utah. I fell asleep for the last hour of the car ride and woke up in her driveway. That drew me to think that I might want to play guitar and sing. You can imagine how important she is to me. She was my role model and wound up meeting her in Salt Lake City.
We worked on the song for two days. The first verse is really about having faith in our life path and what you want out of life; having enough guts to follow that, to the point where you would make that journey after ten years of holding it in your psyche, and a little bit of self-sabotage and self-sacrificing in the second verse.
Luckily, Ruby understood the sentiment behind the opening to my next question for her. I wondered whether she found it difficult to put speak very honestly about her feelings. She paused to think about the question for a few seconds. The overall sound and style for this record has an Americana feel and traces the traditional roots of country — a storytelling vehicle about the life of the folk.
This is my first full-length album; I wanted to pay homage to where it started for me. Ruby also told me about her days on a pearling trawler. She would be out at sea with a crew for two to three weeks at a time. Ruby assured me that this work was what she needed to help her learn guitar and songwriting. I started singing on the deck with him late at night because there was nothing to do. Eventually, I learned a couple of chords, and I picked up the guitar. My day-to-day life out there started changing because I was playing guitar and learning.
I think, I am trying to learn how to work less; to slow down a little bit. I am lucky enough that my heart led me out of the city. Working on boats was great; it removed a lot of the chaos for me. I am looking back at the time I first started playing, and I think playing out there , I was processing all of that previous chaos. It was not until her last year on the pearling trawler; she picked up the guitar.
During her time away from the work at sea, she would write songs and perform at local venues in Broome. Ruby contemplated being a professional songwriter for several years. She credits The Waifs for being her greatest inspiration during this time. It was for this reason, Ruby traveled about 9, miles, or 14, kilometers, to meet Vikki in the U.
Interestingly, the artist did not take too long to make her final decision. Three years prior to the night she made her decision, Ruby had played on a set with The Waifs only once. She meant a lot to me, and to my creative career.
I would only be with her for seven days to write songs. She had never written a song with anybody else. I had only written a song with one other person. The beautiful thing about it was, it was close to 10 years prior that I had been thinking about being a songwriter. It was very cool to work with a woman behind the desk.
There is a very different energy in the room, a softer energy, it was very enjoyable. Not to say that she did not take control, but it was a different energy. I liked working with her, and when we got into the studios, she helped me flush out my songs, the music, and words.
Tony was very fast-paced, and what we got through was very quick, and I felt like we could go in any direction at any time. We went in the right direction for me. It could be very rare to have those connections, on the road. I felt relief for her that she recognized what she had been through and just how much the decisions she makes now affect her professional, creative and personal development. On the topic of her professional development, Ruby is not the only Australian musician I had heard of who aspired to travel to the U.
I asked Ruby the difference between being a musician in the U. That is a big difference. My dream is to be on the road for that much of the year. In Australia, it is almost impossible to do that; you burn out your audiences if you visit every city every time, because there is also less of us. Here, there are so many places to play. But I think once you have gotten to that point to be able to tour as much as the others, you are on the way.
Eventually, I would like to move over here if I can. She has already performed with independent Americana acts, including Kim Logan. Years ago, when she came to Nashville for the first time, she also met the front man of The Blackfoot Gypsies, Matthew Paige. When I had told her that I listened to them, and even interviewed them, chills traveled up and down her arms. However, I know that getting to the U. I wanted to know about the challenges, and the rewards that came with those challenges for the artist, Ruby.
I work a couple of jobs so I can stay on the road and everything. That is not to say my music is not going well, but as it grows, it costs more to put a band on the road. I think the sacrifices you make — the times you get to spend with your friends and family — I face many challenges but at the end of the day, doing what you love, truly love, outweighs that all.
There is this DIY mentality where people… it is all about the realness. It is not a pop-polished genre. I am glad there are challenges. It teaches me things about life. I am certainly not complaining about it. We have this deep love of life. We have the opportunity to connect with people, music teaches us so much, so much about ourselves emotionally. During our conversation, a fan emailed her. She took out her iPhone to read that email, and shared with me what she read. It is for this reason, and another — the composition of the music — I decide whether I am interested in an artist.
I then asked another fitting question, who are the musicians who have touched Ruby with their music? Although The Waifs are an obvious answer, she still admits that this question was difficult. She gave it her best shot.
Then I could list off those two, and about fifty. It depends on what musical aspect you are talking about. As our conversation neared an end, as did the iced latte she bought at the beginning of our talk, I asked her one last question — where would she like Solitude to take her into the future? I hope that it can take me on a path to write six or seven, or, however, many more . I hope that it gets me in America. I would like to move over here, and like I said, work hard on the road over here.
This country siren from down under translates hitting the grind, both emotionally and physically into music. Her style of storytelling will make you wonder, what is going on in the country down under, and can we have some of that sound up here.
Lucky for these listeners, Ruby is not slowing down anytime soon. Until the end of March next year, Ruby and her band will tour Australia. In late September, she finished her tour in the United States. I want to be on the road and play for people.
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She was born in Perth, Australia, dividing her time between her mother's and father's homes in her teens. She quit school at the age of 14, and moved out on her own when she was