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Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive Q&A

Feb 25, 2012

Australian rockers Tonight Alive have climbed their way from the underground hardcore scene into the mainstream with fresh new sound that has caught the attention of rock lovers everywhere. It all started a few years ago when two guys on guitars joined forces with a teen that could carry a tune - singer Jenna McDougall. Find out more in this Kidzworld Q&A with Jenna!

KW: What made you first interested in music?

  • Jenna: I'd been a singing since a young age, getting into choir and musicals once I started school. It wasn't til I was cleaning out my Aunty's attic in 2003 when I found an old classical guitar that I started teaching myself to play and write music.

KW: How did you get discovered?

  • Jenna: As a band, it's hard to say! We'd been playing in our local scene for a couple of years before we were picked up by an indie label. We recorded a handful of demos and put them on the net in our first year.  Between that and playing every show we could, our fanbase grew and once we acquired management in 2009 our second two EPs found more exposure and we began attracting a lot of attention online.

KW: How would you describe your sound?

  • Jenna: Aggressive, versatile, poppy, edgy, fun!

KW: How do you come up with song ideas?

  • Jenna: Lyrically, I'm always writing every idea I get down into my phone or on scraps of paper so I find a lot of them stem from my day to day thoughts. Musically, Whakaio will have a guitar in his hands most hours of the day so we're generally inspired by experimenting and listening to a wide range of music; often a lot different to the kind of music we play.

KW: What does each person in the band add to the group?

  • Jenna: I think something we all add to the band is a good sense of humour. We're always having a good laugh and paying each other out. After touring extensively over the past two years, everyone has learnt their role in the band and everything just rolls smoothly!

KW: You have a new album coming out in February, can you tell us a little bit about it?

  • Jenna: Firstly it's called What Are You So Scared Of? and it's an album about moving on and moving forward and the idea that everything happens for a reason. We hope that the 14 tracks will inspire out listeners to have ambitions, work hard for what you want, be happy with what you have and don’t ever let anybody tell you you can’t.

KW: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received since starting out?

  • Jenna: In regards to song writing we were once told that the 'chorus is the most important part'. It helped us put our songs into perspective and pushed us into the right direction towards making progress!

KW: Do you ever get stage fright?

  • Jenna: I don't, but I remember when I thought I'd be sick every night before I went onstage. It was less about caring for what people would think of me but more about the pressure I put on myself to be the best that I can!

KW: Who are some of your musical inspirations?

  • Jenna: Missy Higgins is my number one! She's an Australian singer/songwriter and I've listened to and loved her since 2004. I look up to her in every sense! She's talented, gorgeous, but above all grounded. It was her music that I was listening to when I started writing and will probably always listen to for the answers to my questions! I'm also a huge fan of Rufio, The Script, Jimmy Eat World, The Starting Line and Thrice!

Have Your Say

What do you think of Tonight Alive? Do you like their music? Let us know in the comments section below!

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