This Way North interview

By Salim Ghazi Saeedi(*)

I have a peculiar approach toward new music myself. My mind is mostly progressive rock oriented but my music listening ranges from jazz and classical music to funeral doom metal (this one is a recent Adelaide discovery, Mournful Congregation). So this is why whenever I want to think of my favourite genre of music, I just can think of one genre; “good music”. I was strolling in Brisbane’s CBD, Queen St and two young artists grabbed my attention. This Way North. Being a duo definitely makes their creative forces to go beyond conventional genres. This is why I immediately felt an affinity with them. But more precisely Leisha’s guitar soloing sounded like Jeff Beck’s. Maybe I just stopped by because of that! Visit This Way North’s website at

Salim: I just got hold of you in the middle of an Australian tour! Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us what made you to start from the Canada “North” to the Aussie island of the South?
This Way North
: Hey there, we are Cat Leahy (drums) and Leisha Jungalwalla (guitar). We met in Canada touring there with different bands and when we both returned to Melbourne we started jamming and the rest is kind of history.

You just released a new single! Tell us about it.
Our new single is called ‘Make it Work’, it’s a song that explores the drive, sweat, tears and hard work that goes into making a passion project come to life, whether that be music, art, sport or business.

What inspires your lyrics?
We were inspired to try and capture the optimism and strong mind-set that people carry with them through the ups and downs that come and go from doing something they love. The risk taking involved but also the creative freedom that you get from it too.

How being a duo affects the creative process of song writing? Does it make you feel limited at all
It doesn’t make us feel limited but it definitely challenges us too as we want to fill the space in the song but also allow enough space so it doesn’t sound too crowded. We have done a range of styles of song writing before from each of us coming to the other with songs we have written and workshopping those to sitting next to each other and writing a line each. We like to mix up how we write.

I find it a bold act to be so committed to touring the way you are. Do you have long term plans for touring?
We have long term plans to keep being musicians for sure, we would like to make a sustainable career out of it if possible. We have toured a lot this year and will do again next year for sure to help grow our following. Plus we both love being on the road! So it works well!

Do you use any digital equipment/instrument in live performance to accompany the sounds of guitar and drums or they are the only instruments driving your music?
Leisha uses a loop pedal in a few songs and Cat is starting to use a sample pad more often too. We find these things help to open up our options for sounds a lot.

Tell us about your influences. Music-wise or else.
We are both influenced by people who take risks with things they believe in, hence ‘Make it Work’ as our newest single. That’s also why we left our other jobs to pursue music, we didn’t want to regret not trying to do something like this. We are influenced a lot by musicians who continue to grow and take risks with their own music, we don’t necessarily have to like all of their music but appreciate when artists are willing to try different things and not stagnate.

Name 3 people you like to dine with. Dead or alive.
Frida Kharlo, Jimi Hendrix and Meshell N’degeocello

What you consider as the next big step in your career?
To begin to grow our team around us, get people who are passionate about what we do and are willing to work as hard as we do to continue to grow this project.

Thank you very much for your time.

Visit This Way North shop:


(*) Salim Ghazi Saeedi is a Brisbane based, Iranian composer and guitarist mostly known in avant-prog and rock in opposition genres.

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