It was approximately 90 minutes before The Jezabels were due to take the stage at their recent showcase at The Bee last Saturday, but technical difficulties within the audio set-up meant that the band had yet to soundcheck. While this would be to many other bands, the ultimate nightmare, vocalist and frontwoman of the band, Hayley Mary, was the picture of consummate cool as we sat down to talk personal style, her obsession with black and food. Lots of it.

Hayley Mary, 25, Vocalist of The Jezabels

Who is your style icon?
I don’t really have a style icon. I guess I kinda steal from a lot of women and men. There was a band called Shakespear’s Sister a long time ago, I think it was the 90s, and they had two women in it and both of their styles really interested in me. To a certain extent there’s a certain goth-ism in me that Kate Bush is definitely influential and like, Freddie Mercury. But I’m not really as extroverted as them in fashion, but there’s a touch of it. I mean, Michael Jackson was great but I’m not really as daring.

Shakespear’s Sister

I will never be caught dead in …
I would say one thing this year and next year I’ll change my mind. Glitter though, I really don’t like it and that’s eternal. It sticks too much.

I splurge on …
I do actually splurge on clothes because they’re the only thing I can buy because I don’t have a home. So I can only really buy myself clothes, not furniture or anything. But I would say, tight black things. My most recent purchase was a tight little black skirt.

I skimp on
I don’t buy leather but it’s not really because I’m skimping. It’s because I don’t like to wear leather because of ethical reasons, so I like to buy pleather and I sort of think that’s skimping by default because I buy cheaper clothes.

Describe your personal style in 3 words.
It’s a bit boyish but kind of 80’s and a bit gothic.

What are your personal style rules?
I don’t really think in terms of rules. I like to wear black cause it’s just the best. But I’m not the first person to feel that way. Black is easy and practical. I think style is quite a practical thing. You need to communicate who you are, it’s not as shallow as others may think. I see fashion as pop, a lot of people look down on it, a certain intellectual minority because they don’t give popular culture enough credit. But it matters to other people as well, for a reason cause it’s a way of self communicating. Rules though? There aren’t really any. I think anything really goes these days cause it’s such a fragmented society we live in.

What is your most treasured possession?
I am pretty into possessions but I don’t have one in particular. Maybe at the moment, it’s my suitcase cause I just bought it.

When are you at your happiest?
When there’s good food.

What is your beauty regime?
Pretty non-existent. Oh, I moisturize with sorbolene. I do put on makeup for a show because I find that it’s like putting on a costume, it helps me get into character, hence the black as well. I like to change clothes before I go on stage. I just generally mess up my hair so it doesn’t sit weird to be honest.

What is your favourite scent / smell?
It sorta depends on the context. The smell of food could be really great until you’re sick and then it’s horrible. It’s probably something really gross like the mix between a loved ones sweat and their deodorant or something.

From l-r: Sam Lockwood, Hayley Mary, Heather Shannon, Nik Kaloper

Yay or Nay? Spotify.
Yay. I listen to a lot of music that way.

I hate it when a man …
Tells me what to do.

I love it when a man …
Is open-minded and gentle.

What’s currently playing on your iPod?
I’ve started listening to Garbage recently cause we’re doing a support with them [in the Garbage UK tour kicking off in July], revisiting their tracks. I’m also revisiting and rediscovering Depeche Mode cause I never really listened to them and I was quite surprised because they’re one of those bands that I describe my musical taste, and they fit into it quite well but I’ve never heard them really.

My idea of a perfect holiday is…
Wandering a city knowing where the best places to eat are. And just walking everyday in the city. Not to tourist destinations or anything but walking from just one suburb to another.

So food seems to play a huge part of your life.
Yeah, I think it’s cause there’s not a lot of other comforts on the road. I mean, food, good food, is also sometimes hard to come by but you don’t get much sleep, and you don’t get to do much else apart from soundcheck and play but you always have to factor in food time. I would include listening to music and reading books on that holiday as well. Food is remembering that you’re alive. I really like pho soups, but I’m vegetarian so I struggle to find vegetarian stock. I generally like Asian food cause I grew up in Australia though roasted potatoes are also perfection.

For more on the The Jezabels, visit their official website at

Image credit: Claudia Low