Saturday, May 15, 2010

Q & A with Brooke Fraser

For those of you who don't know, Brooke Fraser is the worship leader of Hillsong Australia. In addition, however, Brooke has released two solo projects and is currently working on a third. Brooke recently took the time to answer some crazy questions from her fans. Enjoy!

Hillsong,Brooke Fraser

Q: Would you rather be thrown into a tank with a great white shark or into a nest of black widow spiders? – Tony
BF: I would like to see the shark being thrown into the nest.

Q: What’s a shadowfoot? I think that’s the only thing in your songs I have absolutely no interpretation for? Actually I think I have one but I’m not sure, can you clarify? – Ashley
BF: This is C.S. Lewis’ influence on me. The song ‘Shadowfeet’ was inspired by his wonderful book ‘The Great Divorce’ and in particular the following passage:“Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?”

Q: How overwhelming can it be (or is it) to have your job? The songwriting/ touring/ expectations(!); it probably sounds glamorous to some but I’m not sure how I’d be able to deal with it. So, is it overwhelming to deal with all those expectations (and does it make you insecure at times?) and how do you handle it? – Mary
BF: To be frank, it can be overwhelming and I don’t handle it well all the time. I’m no superwoman.

Q: I was wondering, are you Jewish? – Amanda
BF: I’m not, but I’m a big fan.

Q. Why did it use to say ‘Brooke Fraser – “‘cos no one likes a cranky grocer” at the top of your blog site – any reason for this?- Anonymous
BF: No reason. It means nothing. I wanted to prompt confusion.

Q: Do your songs just come to you, or do you have to think about it?– Anonymous
BF: Each song is usually 20% of the former and 80% of the latter. Inspiration + muscle.

Q: (I assume that you read) What are some of the most profound books that you have read that have made a big impact on your life.- Shellie
BF: Too many to mention, but all of the authors are deceased.

Q: Do you find that you are your own worst critic? If yes, why? If no, why not? How/when do you become fully satisfied with a song? What criteria do you use to evaluate your own songs? – Anonymous
BF: I am absolutely my own worst critic, unfortunately in every area of life including my vocation. In terms of being satisfied with a song, with writing there’s a certain amount of common sense and a large amount of intuition involved in knowing when a work is complete. Sometimes I have to finish something without being fully satisfied with it, however, as with “Love is Waiting” on the “Albertine” album. I was writing that song for what felt like forever and still working on the lyrics in the vocal booth as we were recording it. I don’t feel like I ever really nailed that lyric.

Q: How tall are you exactly? – Steph
BF: I live in the realm of 5”9-10.

Q: When you have sung any particular song too many times, does it lose meaning for you? How do you ’save’ that song? – Anonymous
BF: Some songs fatigue quicker than others and I’d rather not sing them anymore but know that people still want to hear them. Other songs still feel very raw and potent to me, as if I just wrote them. “Arithmetic” and “Albertine” are songs like that for me. Every time I sing them I must go back internally to the place from whence they came.

Q: What kind of guitars do you play? Any specific preferences? I am guitar-shopping and would love any advice you have, seeing as I love your music. – Anonymous
BF: I was very fortunate to be given a Martin 000XM Auditorium guitar by a friend when I was first beginning to learn and have been hooked on Martins ever since. My primary axes are my Paul Simon signature guitar (my beloved) and an Eric Clapton signature, both smaller body guitars which don’t dwarf me and are lighter in weight than larger dreadnought guitars (I borrowed a friend’s Taylor for 8 months when my guitars were in repair and it gave me back issues). I still have my 000XM which stays home and a Baby Martin (backpack guitar) that comes on the tour bus with us. The 000XM is at the lower end of the Martin range and thus an affordable entry guitar into the Martin world, but there are still plenty of guitars (Takamine etc) at lower prices that will do the job for you if you’re a busker, pub player or just enjoy playing for recreation. On the electric side of things, my writing was revolutionized earlier this year by the acquisition of a Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessee Rose semi-hollow body electric.

Q: I was wondering what do you usually do in your spare time?- Anonymous
BF: When I have spare time I love to cook, eat and read. These three activities mean that I have to chuck some kind of exercise in there to balance things out.

Q: I have to ask what is the meaning behind the song “C.S. Lewis Song?” It is one of my all-time favorite songs but I have been curious as too the meaning behind it and if it’s related to C.S. Lewis or a personal experience in your own life. – Trey
BF: The first line is a Brooke-ified version of C.S. Lewis’ own words:“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”This quote summarises the song. The rest of the lyric is all mine, but I couldn’t think of anything to call it, so gave Clive the nod he deserved.

Q: How many of the songs you write do you actually end up recording?- Anonymous
BF: I reckon 10% of all my ideas end up as finished and recorded songs. Maybe less. But you have to write the crap ideas to get to the good ‘uns.

Courtesy of Brooke Fraser.
Hats off to Miss S for sharing this with me!


  1. Cool! The next Hillsong DVD should be good! :)

  2. Well, of course I knew that about Brooke. :D Lol. I heart heart her songs!! My current favorite is "Hosanna." Really, they are all awesome songwriters. :D I read her answers about songwriting here and they really make me feel a lot better, because I can identify! (e.g., writing 9 crappy songs before you get the one good one!)


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