With The Gum Ball 2017 kicking off this weekend, we catch up with headliner, Kim Churchill ahead of his performance at the Hunter Valley Festival. A real celebration of music, and Australian talent, we find out a little more about the 25-year-old singer/song writer.

How are you and where are you currently?
I’m doing pretty great. I have been parked out he front of my favourite cafe in Sydney the last few days in the van. Rehearsals through the day (last one today!) a shower and some hipster food in Newtown in the evening and I feel I have finally mastered a good night’s sleep in the back of my van on a busy city street. Its taken me years! Sleep is a wonderful thing.

So, The Gum Ball is this weekend, what do you particularly enjoy about this festival?
The people first. Some of my closest friends and favourite people on the planet run this festival and I cant wait to see them. Then the music. The line up is always incredible and every band is a must see live in particular. The location as well is stunning. It’s calming and restorative out there. I think as I grow up I’m finding more and more how wonderful places like that are.

Will you have any time to check out any other acts, and if so, who are you looking forward to seeing?
Yes I plan on staying out the rest of the festival after my set. Particularly Boo Seeka. Their songs are epic! Also The Gurge! And Dashville Progress Society has so many of my close friends in it that it really does warm me up inside to see them all up there. Might even jump up with them if they’ll have me.

You’ve taken your music all over the country, where’s the most inspirational place you’ve visited?
I love Angourie, near Yamba. It has an aura about it that settles me like nothing else. I’m a pretty hyper person, so I normally go for places that calm me rather than excite me. But calmness is a beautiful exciting thing when it can be truly felt.

What can The Gum Ball expect from your set?
A completely new vision coming to life. I’ve been dreaming of this show for a few years now. Its almost like 3 one man bands. The other two players are incredible drummers first and foremost but they sing amazing harmonies. Also brilliant on the keys!

I read you’re releasing some new material this year – tell us a bit about the new stuff?
It’s been a long time coming. Probably the most important learning period of my life to date. I’m very proud of the album that is being released soon. The first single, ‘Breakneck Speed’, just came out and for me that’s just the beginning. Just mega excited to share with everyone really.

What are the three things you can’t live without whilst you’re on the road?
Breakfast, sleep and good fun interactions with wonderful people. All are easily attainable which is nice. Though sometimes breakfast and sleep fight it out for my attention. Breakfast normally wins.

Where’s the most incredible destination your career has taken you so far?
I played a show on a Quarantine Island in an old church on the Saint Laurent river in Quebec. Very odd place where a lot of nasty stuff happened (so incredible in an eerie, sad way). Its kind of like a museum now. We had to be flown over with the equipment in a little plane.

You played at Glastonbury previously – how did it feel to be able to have ticked that off?
Brilliant. I saw so many acts I needed to see in my lifetime and the shows were incredible. I ended the whole thing far more hungover than I had expected too. It’s the concept of pints I think. Just so romantic. And real old school ale! though I’d give or take the legit cider. Tastes a bit like cat piss if you ask me…

Where’s somewhere you haven’t played yet that you’d like to play at?
Brazil please universe!

Finally, for anyone visiting the Hunter Valley for the Gum Ball – what’s a must do activity whilst here outside of the festival?
Go check out Barrington Tops. Maybe even take the road trip out to a swimming hole called ‘Lady’s Well’. It’s beautiful and really gives a nice representation of the nature around there and how stunning it is.

Thanks Kim, and we look forward to seeing you play this weekend at The Gum Ball.

The Gum Ball kicks off this Friday 21st, in the Hunter Valley, NSW, get your tickets now HERE

by Hannah Shakir