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BASSINTHEGRASS returns to inundate Mindil Beach with some of the hottest acts kicking around, including Macklemore, Middle Kids and The Jungle Giants, plus homegrown talents King Stingray, Vassy and J-Milla.

Ziggy Alberts also descends on Darwin for the first time, so Tierney Seccull caught up with him to chat about inspo, preshow rituals and who he’s keen to see play at BASS.

Ziggy, we’re so happy you’re coming to visit us in Darwin. And it’s your first time here?

Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it! I’ve never, in all the years I’ve toured Australia, never done a Northern Territory show and never done a Darwin show, so it’s pretty cool getting to do anything that’s your first. I’m super excited, and hopefully for anyone that has been waiting a long time for a show, I’m excited to finally be there and play.

Well, you are most welcome, there’s a lot of people very happy to see you. Where do you find inspiration for your songs and storytelling?

Well, I really like adventures, that’s definitely helped me. I love the open road, and so much [is] inspired by the places you go and experience, the people you meet, living life – that’s a big one for me, for sure.

I also love to reflect … Even if it’s not the most positive thing, you’ve got to do something with those emotions, so I definitely find inspiration from inward looking. Inner exploration and outer exploration. Sometimes songs are a combination of both.

‘New Love’ draws parallels between rivers that lead to seas, and that … is an analogy for trust on an emotional level, so I love trying to blend the two worlds together. It’s probably my favourite thing when you can blend, and when you can bookmark, cool environmental moments or memories, you know? Where you can bookmark a memory of clove burning in Bali and the smell of that, and the prayer chants in the wind … I find that to be some of the most inspirational stuff.

Audience connection and authenticity is your jam, can you tell us a little bit about that?

I’m pretty much a people’s person, I’m someone that wants to chat … I’m always ready to start a convo with somebody, that’s kind of my extroverted nature, I’m always happy to try and make friends.

I’m completely solo on stage, so I guess the audience in some ways is almost like the band, they’re singing and clapping and we’re doing interactive stuff, so I’d say that’s another factor … For me, I’m there to play music for people and try to bridge the gap and I just love doing that because it’s joyous and you see people laughing and smiling, and you get to have these really cool moments.

Before hitting the stage, do you have any little rituals you can share with us?

Oh yeah, for sure! I try to run every day before I play, that’s something I started doing last year and it was so good … A couple of hours before the show, if I’m being really good, I try to sneak a little nap … it’s extra special if I get a little kip in! But my non-negotiables are Wim Hof, vocal warm-up, meditation, and then I go on stage – those are my three things that are just non-negotiables.

Yeah, nice – get in the zone, love it! And are there any other acts on the line-up you’re keen to check out?

Coterie, those fellas are really nice, we met backstage at Bluesfest and I’d love to see them play. It would be sick to see Bliss N Eso, they’re always great … Definitely keen to see Northlane. My brother’s a big metal head … I was at a Northlane show, just in the crowd before I went away last year, and it was one of my favourite things. I don’t listen to screamo and metal all the time, but I love the scene and I love the ethos, so shout out Northlane.

And Macklemore, that’s pretty choice. I used to listen to Macklemore way back in the day. One of the early covers I did when I first started playing back in Soundcloud, I used to cover a Macklemore song, so that’d be cool to see that.

BASS kicks off the start of your New Love tour – you’re off to the US, Canada, Europe and the UK – you hanging out with us in the Top End for a little while and any plans while you’re here?

I get in a day or two early, which is sick, so definitely keen to explore a bit of Darwin. I don’t have any plans yet, any recommendations on what I should be doing in Darwin?

Oh gosh, so many. There are some beautiful walking trails near the airport along Rapid Creek that almost make you feel like you’re in Kakadu. And you’ve got to get a laksa and a juice from one of the markets – Mindil Beach on Thursday night and Parap on show day would be a hot tip!

I’ve heard there’s one lady at the [Parap Market] and there’s always a line?

Yep, that’s Mary. You’ve got to get one into you while you’re here.

Oh, all that sounds so good. Night markets on Thursday, then Parap Markets on show day, and I can hop straight out of the airport and go on a little nature walk – I’d love to check it out.

COST $149-$525

Photo: Janneke Storm

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