There are few artists in the country who can claim to be as divisive as Briggs, whose work championing issues regarding racism and prejudice in Australia has made him, in his own word, “a lightning rod for rednecks”.
Similarly, while she’s achieved incredible success both at home and overseas and has proven one of Australia’s most popular artists in recent years, Courtney Barnett’s music can also prove divisive, with a vocal segment of listeners always ready to pull the pitchfork out.
Now, the two have sat down for a discussion on ABC’s show The Mavericks, and the first point of order seems to be what it’s like to be such a polarising voice in Australian music.
Discussing the reaction to his recent protest record with A.B. Original, and the fiercely combative anti-Australia Day anthem ‘January 26’, Briggs discusses his feelings on being genuinely hated by a segment of the community.
“I want the Ice-T response where people are running over my album with steam rollers,” he says, pointing out that he wants to provoke not only discussion but also genuine emotion.
“I’m used to death threats,” he adds, “but it’s the people who don’t send you the threats you’ve gotta worry about.”
Asked by Courtney if the whole process was emotionally intensive, he admits “I used up all my feelings”.
No doubt it’ll make for a fascinating chat when it airs next Tuesday on ABC and iView.