Missy Higgins is steadily making a name for herself in the U.S. Her second album, On a Clear Night, was released last year in the U.S., and since then her singles have been gaining ground in the TV soundtrack and radio markets. All the while, Higgins continues to tour and write, and is preparing to record her third album. I spoke with her this past week, on the eve of her current U.S. tour.
Have you ever thought of doing anything besides being a musician or songwriter?
Yeah, I have. I've been [thinking about it] a lot lately, for some reason. I don't know if I could settle into any other career long-term that wasn't something to do with the arts or music. I think if I end up doing anything else it will have either something to do with the environment, activism, or some off-shoot of the music industry. I have a desire to study and learn about different things like Aboriginal culture, the environment, theology, psychology, or literature. I want to start exercising that side of my brain again because it's been lost in the rubble over the years.
Do you think you would ever take time to stop what you are doing right now to do that, or are you going to try to incorporate that into your life as a full-time musician?
I think I will take time after this album is finished in the States. I'm planning to take a bit of time off in Melbourne.
What do you when you're not touring or recording? It sounds like you're going to be studying some things....
I read. I rock climb. I recover and get ready for the next tour. I don't seem to be ever taking breaks that are very long. It's usually just a big intake of breath before I step out and do it all over again.
What inspires the things you write about?
Human connection, and my exasperation at the human brain and how many different forms it likes to take, and all the unpredictable directions that it takes and how that makes me feel. Self-analysis, a lot of the time. Human relationships in some form or another.
Have you noticed any shift in your writing process over the years?
It seems to become a little bit harder when you're in the middle of promoting yourself. It's hard to get the promotional side of the industry out of the creative sphere that you need to work in. It's a battle to push that side of things out of my head when I'm trying to write a song. It's a constant effort to keep myself in a space that's creative. It's possible, but it's just more of an effort these days.