Bec Sandridge on being an accidental rockstar, the rise of Wollongong and a future career in skateboarding

Bec Sandridge is breaking the status quo by releasing a 7” double A-side of her hits You’re A Fucking Joke and In The Fog, In The Flame. A couple of days before her Sydney show she caught up with Happy in Newtown.

bec sandridge
Photo by Liam Cameron

Ever wondered about Bec Sandridge’s aesthetic, her guitar playing, and what her next purchase is gonna be? Well, whether you have or not, now is your chance to find out as Sandridge dives into the heart of it all.

HAPPY: Your production aesthetic translates so well into your live show. It feels like watching a rock band, is this what you’re going for?

BEC: I don’t think it was a decision to look like a rock band, but I’ll take it. It was a decision to play the guitar…guitar has always been my instrument.

HAPPY: It’s like you’re the lead guitarist.

BEC: Well, I don’t really know how to sing, and I don’t know how to like…perform, perform. I learnt the guitar in year nine, and that’s well, what I know. At the same time, I’m a pretty self-taught guitarist. Maybe that’s why we seem a bit rock n’ roll, a bit rough. Like I don’t know how to play to a click track.

HAPPY: Well, and you’ve got that wah pedal. It blows minds.

BEC: Well, to be honest the whole electric guitar thing for me is a bit scary, and exciting because I’m not very good with technology. I know “oh I’ve got big feed, I can jump on it at this point. Let’s see what happens.”

HAPPY: Awesome.

BEC: Yeah, it’s not calculated.

HAPPY: Your visual aesthetic is calculated though, everyone’s is. Did you always have the ‘Bec Sandridge’ style or did it come through as you were becoming a professional artist?

BEC: I feel like I’m more aware that performing is a large aspect of what I do, and when I shifted from doing singer/songwriter stuff to more, kind of, disco indie pop I was aware that theatrics could be a really cool tool.

Some of my favourite artists like Cindy Lauper and Kate Bush are very theatrical but I don’t think that needs to be a bad or compromising thing for artists. Performing is just as cool as, I don’t know, spaghetti bolognese.

HAPPY: Onto production, you’ve got Tony Buchen producing now. What’s the process like with him in the mix?

BEC: I do all of my demos on Garageband or voice memos on my phone and I just send them over to him. I usually have a pretty strong gut feeling as to which ones I want to do.

Initially when I took In The Fog, In the Flame I joked with him that I had been listening to some Springsteen, War on Drugs, Fleetwood. Then he just put a beat down and I was like: you’re a genius. He’s a real visionary with songs, he goes in really headstrong which is pretty scary, but exciting.

HAPPY: And instrumentally, where do you start there….?

For the rest of this juicy interview get your sweaty mitts on a copy Happy Mag Issue 3.

You can catch Bec Sandridge playing at Yours & Owls Festival (and under 18’s mini fest) October 1st and 2nd. Get your tickets here!


Check out Bec Sandridge on our list of best new Australian bands in 2016.