Kingswood: The Nashville Diaries

Get the latest from Beat

Kingswood: The Nashville Diaries



It’s 9.50am. The hotel room phone rings. “Shotgun not,” I hear mumbled from beneath the doona of the adjacent double bed. No one moves, the ringing stops. I’m almost able to fall back into the dream from which I was awoken, when it starts up again. I pick it up, “Hello?”

“Fergie baby. Get yaw arses outta bed and get down here right now, I got your breakfast in the warming oven but at ten o’clock we all leavin’, and I’m gonna have to throw it all in the trash.”

“Shag I don’t think we’re gonna make it we had a…”

“Do you want me to come up there? I’ll whip your butts, now get down here I just put a fresh pot’a coffee on.”

Shagayla, Anesha and Lala, three of the most kind, dedicated, and hilarious women in the world. They ran the kitchen in our hotel and we quickly became very close. Every morning they’d feed us, tease us, braid our hair, talk about each other’s families, about love, loss, and hope. They brought joy and soul into every day and I truly believe they had an impact on the heart of this record.


Alabama White was nothing before Nashville but a half-written poem in the back of an eight-year-old lyric book that flew over from Australia with us. I remember Zack the studio assistant sitting at the piano, shifting between three chords at the nod of Al who is playing a very cheap Epiphone Firebird bass. Next to him is Braiden also playing bass; they are working on this dueling concept and it sounds like each bass is bouncing of the last note of the other. It’s weird as fuck but I can see the focus and excitement in Al and I know that when he’s like this, it’s gonna be cool. J and Eddie (Spear – Engineer/co-producer) are trying to find the beat. They assemble a secondary kit and play opposing rhythms. I’m on the floor writing out that old poem onto a big piece of cardboard. I have a melody, and I can hear this fragmented, polyrhythmic experiment syncing up. The kits are to be panned hard left and right, as are the basses, each soloed will sound like a different song. It sounds like it could play at Rainbow Serpent on loop for 80 minutes and all would be pleased. Al is writing a response verse, starting each line with the last word of the call. We break for lunch, Martin’s BBQ, right next door. You can smell it from the Sound Emporium Lobby. 
I can’t recall us all being so collectively excited. This is unlike any song we have ever made before.


We’re tired. It’s been a long day in the studio, which followed a late night catching up with old pals Sticky Fingers, who played the Basement downtown. J proposes we pop into a bar for a quiet beer and play a few games of shuffle board. It gets competitive and loud. Soon, a bartender overhears our accents and makes her way over with a tray of four fireball shots. She looks like Dolly Parton. She likes Aussies; we drink the shots, finish our game, and plan to get to bed. But we don’t, Al steals a hat off a poor bloke who was getting dumped, I walk in front of a car full of dudes who looked like they’d just taken out a hit on someone, I think they only spared me out of shock as I held out my hand like Neo from the Matrix to stop the car, and on top of that all of us were violently ill that night, and the next morning. 
Turns out the house fireball is diluted with coolant fluid, not uncommon in fucking shit bars run by dickheads. I can’t recall who won shuffle board.