Ever since I head Maple Glider’s 2021 album To Enjoy Is The Only Thing I have been captivated by the voice and song writing of Tori Zietsch. Songs of sheer beauty, compassion and pain, with a voice that can flex from a breath to a roar. Now we have her sophomore album I Get Into Trouble, no less beautiful but more assured. This is an artist who has received numerous journalistic plaudits and gathered a growing fan base, but who still wields her honesty as a tool to speak truth to power on subjects like religion and sexuality but, by her own admission, a little more “playful and adventurous musically” this time around. It’s an album that’s sure to end up on ‘best of 2023’ lists, and rightfully so (it’s on mine).
Joyzine was lucky enough to have Tori Zietsch answer 10 Questions for us and you will discover her earliest memories of music videos, CDs, cassettes, and LimeWire, musical influences and covering Blondie, her first band’s name, and why she chose to be Maple Glider. So, thank you Tori for taking the time in such a busy promotional schedule to answer our questions.
1) What is your earliest music-related memory? What do you remember being played at home when you were a child?
I remember watching a lot of music videos on VHS. Mostly I can remember the Bee Gees, Lionel Ritchie, LeAnn Rimes and Billy Joel. The CD’s I can remember playing at home were by Shania Twain, Cher, George Benson, Dolly Parton, Powderfinger, Phil Collins, Ella Fitzgerald, Prince, Roxy Music, Usher, Kelly Rowland and Van Morrison. In the car we’d listen to Kylie Minogue’s ‘Fever’ on cassette and a CD from a woman named Sue-Anne who played at Eumundi market. I think the album was called Vivid*. The first record I ever heard on vinyl was Neil Young, Harvest Moon. Life changing.
Joyzine: Sue-Anne’s Vivid is not currently on any streaming services so I couldn’t share a song.
2) What was the first record that you ever bought? Where did you get it and do you have any recollection of the experience?
I think the first CD I intentionally went into a music store and chose was ‘That Day’ by Natalie Imbruglia. It was a single. Though I also bought a Pepsi Hits Max compilation from Crazy Clarks that was a few years old around the same time. They were like $1 or $2. The first vinyl I ever bought was ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ by Cat Stevens, and I bought it before I owned a record player.
3) When did you really start to develop a passion for listening to music? How did that come about and what were you into at the time?
Omg. Nelly Furtado, Stacie Orrico, Hilary Duff, Kelly Rowland, Pink, Delta Goodrem, Christina Aguilera! I’d just lock myself in my room and sing along for hours. Then when I was older I’d just google search different genres on our tiny, shared family “netbook” as we called it and download everything that came up on LimeWire. I fell in love with a lot of folk artists this way.
4) What was the first gig that you went to? Where was it and what was it like?
I saw Sarah Blasko and Jack Ladder play at a venue called Starcourt Theatre in my hometown of Lismore. It was very rare for people to include Lismore on their tour, and it was also rare for shows to be all ages. I bought a ticket with money I’d saved working at a fast-food restaurant. It was the first time I’d heard of Jack Ladder and I’ve enjoyed his music ever since. Sarah Blasko was a huge inspiration for me starting out playing music. She was very charming and played a really beautiful show.
5) What are your memories of starting out making music? What was the first song that you learned to play?
I used to write songs in the computer room at school, singing and typing haha. The first song I played on guitar and sang was a song I’d written called ‘You Have Hope’ lol. I think the first song I learned to cover was ‘Heart of Glass’ by Blondie.
6) What was your first band/musical project? What music was influencing you at that time? What are your memories of playing your first gig and are there any recordings out there?
My first band was called ‘The koikids’. We picked the name by randomly flicking through a dictionary and placing our fingers on words. We used to write songs that way too. Our first gig was in a skatepark. We won a competition to record 5 songs at a school. They probably still live on myspace. I cringe at the thought.
7) How did the name Maple Glider come about?
I had taken a break from music for a while after being in a project I wasn’t enjoying. When I decided to start a new project I wanted it to feel light and fun. A sugar glider is a really cute animal that glides through the air and I thought it would feel nice to be named after something like that.
8) Which band/artist do you think has had the biggest influence on your music over the years? What is it about them that inspires you?
I was truly changed after hearing Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Tramp’, as well as ‘Epic’. I’ve only seen her perform a couple of times but I really admire her work and she also just seems like a beautiful person.
9) Who are some of your favourite current artists? What do you like about them?
Jen Cloher, Mitski, Beverly Glenn Copeland, Julia Jacklin, Winten, Japanese Wallpaper, Angie Mcmahon, RVG, Hannah Mckittrick, Bumpy, Kee’ahn, Waxahatchee, Leah Senior, Miya Folick, Juice Webster, Hand Habits, Fiona Apple, Kara Jackson, Stella Donnelly. Great songwriters, producers, performers. I could list so many more. All just amazing.
10) How would you describe the difference between I Get Into Trouble and 2021’s To Enjoy is the Only Thing and what do you hope people will take away from listening to the new album?
I think probably that I Get Into Trouble is more thematically and lyrically revealing. There are a few songs you can’t hide from. It’s maybe a little more playful and adventurous musically too. To Enjoy is the Only Thing is also a very intimate and personal record, quite lonely sounding in a lot of ways. Both kind of blend into one another, I just think that I Get Into Trouble is maybe a slightly more developed and accelerated version of the first. But I guess I would say that!
I hope that for people who connect with some of the themes on the album that they find safe spaces within the songs to allow any kind of emotion and feel validated! And to everyone else, I hope you just vibe with the sound and have a good time listening.
I Get Into Trouble is released through Partisan Records and available to buy as a download, CD or neon pink vinyl, or through all good streamers.
Joyzine: Thank you Tori and here is her latest video for ‘Do You’ plus the video for ‘Dinah’ below that.
You can read my review of I Get Into Trouble here.
Review by Paul F Cook