IF ELLA Hooper has learnt one major lesson from the rebirth of seminal ’90s rock band Killing Heidi, it’s to never say never.
After a capital-city tour in June to celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary, Hooper, who had gone on record to say Killing Heidi was dead and buried in the years following the 2006 break-up, said she had gotten it “so wrong”.
“I’m just a bit of an idiot and famous for making big statements and going back on them,” Hooper said.
“I genuinely didn’t see a time where it would feel good and natural.
“But cut to a few years later, I’d done whatever growth necessary to be (in a place) where it was like ‘That isn’t a bad idea’.
“I got it so wrong about this and how it would feel.”
Rocking out to rave reviews, Hooper said she was loving recreating the former version of herself who burst on to the scene as a 13-year-old from the tiny village of Violet Town in regional Victoria.
The dreadlocks, eyebrow ring and shiny two-piece outfits are firmly consigned to the past, but Hooper, 33, said she realised the teen who took the country by storm after the release of Killing Heidi favourites Weir and Mascara (1999), and number-one debut album Reflector (2000), was still an essential part of her.
“I’ve realised I’m not the same person, but you are the same person in a way,” she said.
“It’s a continuum and you haven’t completely changed.
“I needed to prove to myself as a solo artist and not just be the chick from Killing Heidi, but I always will be.
“So at this stage of my life, why not?
“I’ve been able to incorporate back into it, and I’m enjoying getting into that character again, but I couldn’t get into it before the time was right.
“I wouldn’t want to live her life all day, but for one hour on stage, it’s fine.”
The early Naughties belonged to Killing Heidi, with multiple tracks landing in the top 20 of triple j’s Hottest 100 and the outfit taking four ARIA awards, earning four-times platinum status as well as an APRA Songwriters Of The Year award.
Fast-forward to 2017 and Hooper, along with fellow original member and brother Jesse (guitar), long-term drummer Adam Pedretti and new members James Gilligan (bass) and Lena Douglas (keyboards), are hitting the road with a regional tour, which takes in 11 dates from now until November.
While their time on the road is a far cry from the wild days of their original run, Hooper said they were enjoying being back in the saddle in a different way.
“We were ratbags back in the day,” she said.
“Your teens are like your most party-crazy years and we did it all on the road.
“Now we drink coconut water.
“We’re so f*****g funny now behind the scenes, and we’re so not rock’n’roll off stage any more.”
Hooper said the current tour, which came about organically after the success of their city run, had been a great opportunity to reconnect with fans old and new. While unsure of what the future holds for Killing Heidi, Hooper said the band was living for the now, and loving it.
“We haven’t really talked about more music,” she said.
“We’re focussing on our (previous) music and making things work.
“We’re following the feeling and it’s great.
“I’ve loved playing live, reconnecting with fans, and working with Jesse.
“We get along so well.
“And I’m trying to work on the error of my ways.
“So never say never.”
IF you missed Killing Heidi at the Caloundra Music Festival, you can catch the band at Redland Bay Hotel on November 17 and Cully Fest in Toowoomba on November 18.