I only ever had this lust for the arts and travelling, so I was always going to earn my livelihood through creativity, or be a drifter. I kind of mix the two.
Berlin is very much home now. Having lived there and in London I’d say London is a well suited tired guy in front of the telly, who gets wasted on the weekend. Berlin is loads of people dancing with their kids at a Tuesday morning Karaoke in the park.
Sometimes I’m locked away when I write, sometimes I’m around a million people, but always it begins from the mind’s ear. I hear a painting, or I visualise the sound, so that helps to choose instruments and resonance and mood and build it from there.
I love being reminded of my lawnmower accident because I always forget (Wallis is left handed and lost five fingers on her left hand in an accident with a lawn mower. She had four of her fingers sown back and started to play with an upside down right-handed guitar). It’s like a prop — kids love it! I’ve gotten so much love and laughter from it.
I was a brat of a child growing up, with my bum hanging out of my pants, covered in nettle stings and mud. My earliest memory is understanding the word ‘car’ when pointing at one.
For me, I think work life balance is about me being relaxed about taking a chance, not taking life too seriously, but taking focus and passion very seriously. And luck — Lady Luck and me have great craic altogether.
I’m fairly 50/50 when it comes to being health conscious. I think that split balance keeps me in check. I’m conscious to keep my body and mind fit enough to push myself quite hard. And that’s healing. After that I switch around and do a month of stupid, which is also healing. Keeping going keeps me going. So far...
The best advice I ever received was “Talk to the crowd, say even a few words between songs... say your name” and then later it was “shut the fuck up and sing”.
Positivity, communication and comic relief are the traits I most admire in other people.
My main fault is that my pendulum can swing real selfish. I close off if I want to.
If I could be someone else for a day I’d be Putin. I’d come out to my next press conference with a side parting and Chaplin moustache, and say “I’ve done wrong” and veto my finest work.
My idea of happiness is my loved ones laughing their heads off.
I think Ireland has changed radically for the better. Especially in the last three years. Love, respect and passion to fight the state is driving Ireland’s moral compass right now. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of those politicians/bankers/clergymen/police getting time to be honest. We need more symbolism of justice. More Pantis.
I do believe in life after death, but I believe we never really die. Like, our bodies eventually turn to chemistry. That gets turned into a table, or a molecule, or gets breathed into dogs lungs or whatever, so in the most simplified way, something never dies. And anyone who’s missed someone or feels a ‘vibe’ in a room knows the physicality of feeling a presence as if it were alive. So I think the spirit is as strong as the vessel it keeps.
My idea of misery is the moment when any of my faults cause misery.
So far life has taught me that it’s all one big orchestra. Some strings might break, some shit might go out of tune, but there’s always a harmony somewhere.
Catch Wallis Bird live: April 25, Dublin, Academy (and an instore gig in Tower Records at 3pm); April 26, Galway, Monroe’s Live; April 27, Cork, Half Moon Theatre. Her new album Architect has just been released, along with the single ‘Hardly Hardly’.