Fresh from his role as co-artistic director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the multifaceted performer is touring his play, The Beast. Surely there’s an app for that...
What’s your latest technology purchase?
I was robbed and had to get a new laptop. I now have two Apple MacBooks: I use one every day and the other for all my audio recording. That one’s not connected to the internet and it doesn’t know about Twitter or Facebook. It’s very naive. All it has to concern itself with is making music.
It’s easy to be corrupted by Twitter so that’s nice.
That’s right. I don’t put dirty things on it.
What apps do you use?
Netflix and Stan. I also have PlantNet, for identifying plants. I use Duolingo to keep my French up. I’ve got Tiny Scanner, which lets me take photos of receipts and save them as PDF files. And there’s an app called TodayTix for booking theatre tickets in London and the US – it’s brilliant.
You’re the app whisperer! What social media do you use?
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Twitter is probably my best connection to the world. If you want to know if someone has died, Twitter is the place. You know they’ve passed away pretty much before they do. I follow everyone in my industry, news sites and people whose opinions are interesting and different to mine. But I’ve got a rule: I don’t respond to anything on the Israel-Palestine conflict after a glass of wine.
Real books or e-books?
Real books. When you’re reading an e-book, how do you know it has an ending? And I think the idea of having a battery in a book is counterintuitive.
What technology do you take on planes?
If I have to work I’ll take my laptop but generally I’ll take my phone and stream weird stuff.
What’s your worst technology habit?
I have to get used to not engaging with my phone. Some people engage with social media a lot. They take lots of photos of themselves, their friends, their food and the people they’re with. I’m not saying that’s bad but if I’m in a room with really interesting people, I just want to live it. I feel like you’re sacrificing the joy of the moment in order to present to the world that you’re having fun.
Is there a gadget you want but don’t have?
There are gadgets that I have but don’t want! We have two dead iPads in our house. We should just get rid of them because whenever our kids get on an iPad, they become like Gollum with the ring and it’s awful. So we often let the batteries run down and don’t recharge them.
Do you ever have technology-free time?
I’ve never consciously gone technology free but we don’t want our kids looking at bloody screens all day. We always say no to screens before school and they can watch a bit of TV after school but no getting on an iPhone or a tablet because it’s really bad for kids, I reckon.
How old are your children?
They’re six and four. A tablet is good for long-haul flights with kids but mostly my six-year-old just wants to play Minecraft so I give her half an hour to play the game and that’s it.
What do you think has been the best tech invention?
I think the prevalence of online music is absolutely extraordinary. It’s so great for a consumer but so bad for a creator. ￼