Tequila Mockingbyrd return with effervescent Tell Me video

Tequila Mockingbyrds

Anglo-Aussie trio Tequila Mockingbyrd have released a video for Tell Me, the first song from their as-yet-untitled second album, the follow-up to 2016's Fight And Flight. The release is the first from the band's new line-up, with singer/guitarist Louisa Baker and bassist Jacinta Jaye having replaced Estelle Artois and Jess Reily last year. 

"Being in a band pushes personal commitments, priorities, finances etc. to the absolute limits," says band founder and drummer Josie O'Toole. "It's not a hobby, or even a job... it's a lifestyle. That can be enjoyable/right for a time but unfortunately circumstances can change along the way which mean that lifestyle is no longer sustainable."

Despite two thirds of the line-up being different to that which recorded Fight Or Flight, the new song picks up where that album left off: it's a snappy, fizzing slice of hard rock with a big pop chorus that still manages to snarl.  

"It's a rocking tune written by Louisa about standing up to a crappy relationship," says O'Toole. "She sent us a demo of the song and it stuck in my head for two weeks. We gave it a road test last year, including it in our tour set and it sat well alongside the other material so we thought it'd be a fitting first single from the new album. 

"We recorded drums and bass at Lighthill Studios in Australia (same place we recorded Fight and Flight) and guitars and vocals were done at Puzzle Maker studios in Bristol. It's the first time we've recorded a song across two hemispheres but we're really happy with how it turned out... ain't technology great!"

Where did you find Louisa and Jacinta?

"We already knew Jacinta from playing round the traps in Australia. We landed a few shows in Aus supporting the likes of The Darkness and Nashville Pussy and Jacinta was an obvious choice. She jumped at the chance to fill in and it was a no-brainer to eventually welcome her on board permanently. Then we found ourselves in need of a singer/guitarist for the Euro 2017 summer tour. 

"We searched high and low in Australia but eventually reached out to an industry friend in the UK who suggested Louisa. We were blown away by the material she sent us then had a quick Skype chat which went something along the lines of "Reckon you can learn 13 songs on guitar and vocals in three weeks? Wanna go on tour with a vanload of hairy Australians for two months? Yes? Okay, let's do this!". Jacinta and I landed in the UK three weeks later and played our first show with Louisa five days later at o2 Arena [as part of the Stone Free Festival]... no pressure!"

Do you feel like you're starting again?

"At this point not so much - it was last summer's tour that was really the baptism of fire. Now we've played to as many people in the UK with the new line up as the old line up so it feels more like we're continuing where we left off last summer. It'll be great to have new material that we've brewed up together this time though. Feels a lot more like a band now we've had the chance to write and record material that we've all got a personal connection to."

Tequila Mockingbyrd

L-R: Jacinta Jaye, Louisa Baker, Josie O'Toole

Do you have any concerns about how the changes will be accepted by your fans?

"I feel last year's summer tour was the big test but the reception blew us away and was enough to make us think... "We've got something here". I'll admit i was a little nervous about how we'd go writing new material as I feel we set the bar fairly high with the first album and I'd only really ever written with Estelle and Jess before. The unknown is always a bit scary but once Louisa, Jacinta and I started fleshing out ideas in the studio we felt instantly that spark. You can't second guess what others are going to like. But if you wholeheartedly believe in what you're doing and are having a ball doing it, then that's all that matters as far as we're concerned!"

In what ways will your new album be different from Fight And Flight?

"Our songs have always been about life experiences and obviously there has been a lot happen in the last two years... the new album reflects that. New stories to be told and new ways of telling them... we now have a piano ballad and a sea shanty for example! Obviously Louisa and Jacinta have brought their personality, experiences, skills and influences to the album. People have said it's a little more accessible and poppy but the vibe and the foundation of good time, honest rock remains."

What are your plans for the rest of the year? 

"Full steam ahead... Kicking off our "Road to Summer" tour at Hard Rock Hell Ibiza, then off to Spain, then Italy followed by our first UK headline tour and some festivals (Camden Rocks, Amplified). Rounding everything off with an almighty bash in Morecambe with Massive Wagons and co. Looking to release the new album August/September time then heading back to the UK again in September supporting The Treatment and Airrace. Really hoping to tee something up in Oz for the end of the year. It's been far too long!"

Tequila Mockingbyrd Tour Dates

May 05: Hard Rock Hell Festival, Ibiza, ES
May 12: La Ley Seca, Zaragoza, ES
May 13: Café Cultural Auriense, Ourense, ES
May 15: La Tribu, Maliano, ES
May 16: La Nube, Bilbao, ES
May 17: Rocksound, Barcelona, ES
May 18: Café del Teatre, Lleida, ES
May 19: Festival Henares Rock, Guadalajara, ES
May 20: Urban Rock Concept Festival, Vitoria, ES
May 30: Talking Heads, Southampton, UK
May 31: The Iron Road, Evesham, UK
Jun 01: The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes, UK
Jun 02: Camden Rocks Festival, London, UK
Jun 03: Corporation Nightclub, Sheffield, UK
Jun 04: Robin2, Wolverhampton, UK
Jun 05: Fibbers, York, UK
Jun 06: Bannermans Edinburgh, UK
Jun 07: The Queen Vic, South Shields, UK
Jun 08: Kasbah Nightclub, Coventry, UK
Jun 23: The Iron Road, Evesham, UK
Jul 01: Keynsham Festival, Bristol, UK
Jul 07: Seven Sins Festival, Swansea, UK
Jul 08: Amplified Festival, Gloucestershire, UK
Aug 04: The Platform Morecambe, UK

Tequila Mockingbyrd supporting The Treatment & Airrace

Sep 21: Club For Bach, Cardiff, UK
Sep 22: The Underworld, London, UK
Sep 23: The Waterfront, Norwich, UK
Sep 24: The Portland, Cambridge, UK
Sep 27: Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, UK
Sep 28: Corporation, Sheffield, UK
Sep 29: The Cluny, Newcastle, UK
Sep 30: Stereo, Glasgow, UK

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.