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Q + A: Angie Hart Of Frente

More than 30 years after they took the world of Australian music by storm, Melbourne indie-pop icons Frente are hitting the road to celebrate the anniversary of their iconic debut record, Marvin The Album. Set to do a full lap of the map in May/June this year, the tour will kick off with a hometown show at Corner Hotel on May 6, before moving to Oxford Art Factory (Syd), The Zoo (Bris), The Gov (Adl), and finishing up at Badlands in Perth on June 10, with supports from Sally Seltman in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and Lo in Perth. We caught up with Angie for a Quick Q + A

Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?

Thanks for having me! This morning, I’ve been bathing in the wonder that is the One of One, Women in Music Breakfast Event. My make-up is all over my face, as I had a little cry watching so many strong and vibrant femmes perform and speak. What a time to be alive!

Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for? 

My name is Angie Hart and I am one of the founding members of indie-pop band, Frente. I’ve been creating music, starting in the aforementioned band, for 35 years – wow, did I just say that? 

Who are your greatest inspirations?  Why?

I’d have to say that most women/gender non-conforming people that make music right now are inspiring me! There’s such a joy and honesty out there, which is especially highlighted by so many voices finally being given the limelight they deserve. I am loving seeing artists like Mo’ju, Baarka, Emma Donovan, Vika and Linda and Laura Jean doing some of their best work. It makes me very emotional. It feels like a reckoning and it definitely inspires me to create.

How do you create music?  Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first?  Explain your process.

I begin with a lot of words, most times. Out of these, I will normally get one line and that is the crux of the song. I build a melody and the chords around the rhythm of the words – I never want to compromise the message, so it comes first. Sometimes, the whole song comes at once and funnily enough, even though it comes easily, it is often the strongest of the songs.

Simon and I write together, based on a theme that we have both been tossing around. We create a jigsaw of words, melody and chords and build the song with all three weaving into being on and off, as we go back and forth honing the meaning and the feel of the song. It can feel a bit like making a mosaic.

What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?

It’s always challenging! That’s what keeps you coming back! There isn’t a moment when you don’t think that it’ll be your last song or that you’ll never get that same thrill of inspiration ever again, but it’s always there – it just takes a lot of faith and the ability to be open for that next drop from the muse. 

Tell us about your upcoming tour?

We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of our debut album, Marvin The Album. We are playing the album in sequence, from beginning to end, and then some of our favourite songs from our other releases to close the show. Currently, we are enjoying the privilege of having Sophie Koh, Tamara Murphy and Ben Weisner touring with us in the band – it is a beautiful thing!

What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?

Your best music comes from your best self. Nobody can be you, so don’t be afraid to follow your creations wherever they want to lead you – you know what you’re doing. I can guarantee that every artist harbours some degree of doubt or hesitation on a regular basis, so if you’re feeling the fear and trepidation – do it anyway! 

Tell us your favourite Zen practice.

Either folding the laundry while listening to a podcast (Fiction Podcast by The New Yorker, is my fave) or gardening – I love weeding and pruning, though you wouldn’t know it to look at the garden right now because touring and gardening don’t happen at the same time!

More About Frente

First forming in the late ‘80s around the core duo of Angie Hart and Simon Austin, Frente gained a following for their quirky, catchy, and dreamlike compositions, living up to Simon’s own description of the group as “pop that doesn’t know any better”. Following the release of their 1991 EP Whirled, Frente signed with Mushroom Records, and swiftly gained widespread attention for 1992’s Clunk EP, which hit the top three on the Australian charts, eventually going Gold. Mere months later, in November 1992, Frente would up the ante once more, sharing their debut full-length effort, Marvin The Album, with the world.

Almost immediately, Frente became a household name throughout Australia and the wider world. Singles such as Accidently Kelly Street, No Time, and Ordinary Angels received widespread airplay, while the record would go on to reach #5 in Australia, #4 in New Zealand, and top the US Top Heatseekers chart ahead of an eventual Platinum certification in their home country. Before long, Frente were everywhere, touring internationally, playing alongside the likes of Counting Crows, The Beautiful South, and Alanis Morissette, and even appearing on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in the US.

Now, following a 21st birthday celebration (and reissue) of Marvin The Album in 2014, Frente! are set to honour the record’s pearl anniversary with an Australian tour which will see them playing the album in full across the country. “It has been my dream to be a ‘lifer’ in music and hitting a milestone like this while still practising our craft is fulfilment personified for me,” says Angie of the achievement. Angie and Simon will be joined on the road by an eclectic line-up which includes bassist Tamara Murphy (Spirograph Studies, Kate Miller- Heidke, Paul Grabowsky), award-winning songwriter Sophie Koh on keys, and percussionist Ben Wiesner (Missy Higgins, The Audreys, Rob Snarski). “These three are all bringing a different energy and sound to the music and keeping the eclectic ethos of Frente alive,” says Angie.

Following the release of Marvin The Album in 1992, Frente would release the album Shape, to critical acclaim, in 1996 before calling it quits two years later. Since then, the group has been active sporadically, releasing an EP together and touring on and off. Angie and Simon have both embarked upon various musical ventures consistently from that time. Throughout it all though, their 1992 debut album has maintained a constant source of enjoyment and fulfilment for not only their fans, but themselves as well.

“It’s so great to be playing these songs live again. They take on a new meaning and I gain a new and deepened reverence for them every time we open up the book on these songs. In the decade between the last time we played this album, we seem to always forget how the songs go and what they are about. We are approaching them with fresh ears and hearts and seeing them with a different perspective that only time can bring. The love we have for our younger selves now is full of compassion and, at this point, intrigue – we did that?!” says Angie.

The upcoming shows will also be an opportunity for Frente to connect with their legion of fans, while bringing back the personal, heartfelt nature of the music that has meant so much to so many for so long. “We are really looking forward to seeing everyone,” says Simon. “We look forward to bringing some supports to the shows that celebrate where we are now and who we are inspired by at present time. We are also armed with anecdotes and bad jokes, so beware!” warns Angie.

Alongside the newly-announced tour dates, Frente’s sold out vinyl reissue of Marvin The Album (released late last year) will have a second pressing, ensuring fans can get their hands on the deluxe physical treatment at the shows. “Since we recorded Marvin, the internet was invented, social media arrived (we toured nationally and internationally for over six years without either of them), CDs came and went, we released cassingles for Marvin and we are now around to see their return to favour, we released a few 45s and a 7-inch, but we never released Marvin on vinyl until this birthday,” says Angie.


Tickets from

Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets


Tickets available from | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets


Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

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Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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