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Late start, no worries

David CharlesworthSouth Western Times
Erin Zolnier for lifestyle
Camera IconErin Zolnier for lifestyle Credit: Jon Gellweiler

From late nights on call to rocking venues across the South West, Bunbury-born singer Erin Zolnier stepped up to the mic 15 years ago and hasn’t looked back.

Erin has performed at venues across the State with her band thePlatinum Project and started her own journey to the stage when she began taking her daughters to music lessons.

Through this Erin met Ray Risdon who would become her singing teacher and a close friend.

“He’s amazing, a very talented and wonderful teacher,” she said.

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Bunbury singer Erin Zolnier swapped nights on call for nights performing with her band the Platinum Project and loves it.
Camera IconBunbury singer Erin Zolnier swapped nights on call for nights performing with her band the Platinum Project and loves it. Credit: South Western Times, Jon Gellweiler

Erin then met bandmate Guy Italiano who taught her to play in a band, which was an entirely different experience.

“You have to kind of unlearn the classical stuff, throw that out the window but use those techniques you learned to not damage your voice,” Erin said.

“People who haven’t learnt to sing in a technical way damage their vocal chords, because when you’re belting a song you’re singing from your throat not your chest.”

Through Guy, Erin met Paul Curulli and Orlando Fazzolari and together formed the Platinum Project.

Erin Zolnier for lifestyle
Camera IconErin Zolnier for lifestyle Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Erin had worked as a pathologist for many years and found understanding the science behind musical technique helped her.

“I was lucky because I learnt the technical stuff and could visualise it in my head through the science background,” she said.

Erin has now traded late nights on call for nights on stage, a stay-at-home mum during the week and a performer at the weekend

“Instead of being on call for a weekend at the hospital, I get frocked up and I go out the door at 7 o’clock at night and I sing,” she said.

Over the past four years the band has built a studio where they now rehearse and record.

“When we originally started, Guy and I, we had our gear on top of 45 gallon drums,” Erin said.

Erin said the band could tailor their performances to an event thanks to a set list of more than 200 songs.

“The jazz blues stuff like Eva Cassidy or Crazy by Patsy Kline, right through to the Divinyls and all the eighties and nineties rock,” she said. “When we do our own songs we tend to write with a little more country slant.”

One of Erin’s favourite musical memories is when she sang Crazy on the famous Beale Street in Memphis while on holiday.

“The musicians there, you wonder why they’re not famous because they’re just so good,” she said.

Erin said it was the people she met at gigs that made a night great.

“When you’re playing and the first person gets up on the dance floor by themselves or you see the one at the bar that’s singing along to whatever you’re playing, that’s good,” she said.

“You meet the most interesting people, because you’re up late at night with everyone who’s up to have a good time, that’s the fun part.”

Erin said she loved performing with the band and only wished she had started earlier.

“I’m probably old enough to know better but not old enough to stop,” she said.

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