Tag Archives | interview

Interview: Wye Oak

Interview: Wye Oak

Jenn, of the wonderful duo Wye Oak, answered some questions below. They are brilliant and I really recommend checking out their last EP and albums- Wye Oak. Their fuzzy, dark, folk noise will win you over! Check it out.

Can you make two sentences that rhyme to describe your band?

It’s awfully hard, with music, to define

without also having to consider achieving rhyme.

That’s a cop out; but the truth is

my attempts were all like half-assed seuss-es.

Hope this isn’t the first question;

what a ridiculous first impression.

Stopping now, so as to prevent

any additional embarrassment.

[ed: BEST ANSWER EVER.]

“My Neighbor/My Creator” is the best thing I’ve heard in ages. Are you happy with how it turned out?

Yes, we were very pleased with how it came together. Typically, the more relaxed, loose setting of an EP is a good opportunity to experiment, learn, and stretch…it was a lot of fun for us. Also, it was the first time we had worked with others in the studio, namely our co-producers and engineers Chris and Mickey Freeland, and we were happy to have the chance to learn from the experience before attempting another full-length. (Soon!)

How did that remix of ‘That I Do’ come about?

Mickey Free is a great friend, has been familiar with our music from the very beginning, and was a valuable contributor to the recording and mixing of the EP. We’re big fans of his music as well, so it was exciting for us to see where he might take one of our songs. Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

What have you been listening to lately?

Some wonderful Baltimore bands have releases in the works. Lower Dens is the new project of Jana Hunter, who has done several solo albums on the Gnomonsong label. Their new album, “Twin Hand Movement,” is pretty unbelievable, and we’ve both been listening to that tons. We’ve also been loving “In Evening Air” by Future Islands, another great Baltimore band.

What’s something you’re excited about?

Excited about this years Baltimore Ravens (American) football team. We Baltimoreans take a lot of pride in our home team, and it’s looking to be a great season for us.

I feel sad that I missed your UK appearances last year. Do you enjoy touring?

Yeah, those UK shows last year were a blast. We played the End of the Road Festival out west of London, and also got to play at Scala in London. We’re really hoping to get back over to EU/UK before long. I’m kind of sad it’s taken us so long to make it happen, but I guess there are a lot of logistics to sort out. We’re very much looking forward to making it back as soon as possible!

What’s your favourite place to play?

I have always loved the Black Cat in Washington, DC. They’re very kind to us there. As for overseas, we played at Botanique Rotunda in Brussels on our last trip, and that was a pretty magical place.

Do you work day jobs back home?

Yes. Jenn works at an American Southwestern restaurant with delicious food which converts itself into a great music venue on most nights. Andy does freelance work on various television and commercial shoots around town.

What’s next from Wye Oak?

We’ll be recording a new full-length in the next couple of months, then doing a little bit of touring around the States. Hopefully we’ll be back over to the UK in early 2011.

Wye Oak are brilliant. Have a listen to them over here and keep your ears out for their next album.

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Nico & Jonsi

There is a brilliant, detailed interview between Nico Muhly and Jonsi over at the Reykjavic Grapevine.

Photo by Lilja Birgisdóttir / Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir.

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Interview: Cryptacize

Interview: Cryptacize

I love Cryptacize! They are great. Listen to their songs (here!). They’re an all round wonderful band; their records are brilliant and they’re great live, go see them when you get the chance. Nedelle answered some questions below…

Photo by John Ringhofer

I saw something like 400 bands last year and you’re one of my most favourites; I love your live show. Did you enjoy touring here?

Wow, that’s rad, thanks. We loved touring there, I want to go there again soon!

What’s your favourite place to play?

The Windmill in London was great, “roof dog” being a big part of that. And in general there are too many places to name really! I love this place called the Echo Curio here in Los Angeles. It’s small and run by really nice people.

What’s been the most fun/rewarding experience you’ve had as Cryptacize?

There are so many, being in a band is a lot of fun, I recommend it to every one! My favorite part has always been writing songs. It’s super difficult and frustrating, but that’s also why it’s the most rewarding.

As well as loving your live show, Mythomania was one of my favourite records from last year. Have you got many new songs? How do they compare to the old ones?

We have a lot of new songs in the works, I think they’re way better than the old ones! Onwards and upwards!

What are some of your plans for 2010?

We’re about to start recording an EP. I hope it’ll come out around the summertime. Then we’ll start working on a full length.

Do you work day jobs back home?

No, but we need them! I’ve been looking for one lately. My goal is simply to find a job where I’m not being paid really badly to help rich people become richer, and sadly, I’m discovering these are pretty hard to find.

How did the three of you meet?

Right now we’re actually a four piece!

I met Chris in 2001 when we worked at a record store together in Berkeley, CA. Then a few years later we re-met at a music festival we were both playing at. I was playing solo at the time. Then I started playing guitar in his band The Curtains, and then we started writing songs together and made up a new band name (Cryptacize.)

I met Aaron (our bassist) in college in San Francisco around 2006, though we didn’t start playing together until last year. We know Corey, our current drummer, through miscellaneous musical circumstances, he’s played in a lot of great bands including Gowns and The Mae Shi. And he also has a rad solo drum project.

That’s the long-winded version!

Do you come from musical backgrounds?

Well, I guess so. Doesn’t everyone though?

Both my parents are musicians and I grew up playing the violin and performing in musicals. Chris started playing the drums at age three! Super baby! And he’s played guitar/drums/bass in bands all his life.

I like your mixes you post on the Cryptacize blog. What are some songs you’ve been digging lately?

Thank you! Chris and I do them together. We’re working on a new one right now. I’ve been loving this harpsichord/tack piano album of Lou Harrison compositions. Something about the timbre cleanses my brain.

As for modern tunes, my favorite band right now is Nodzzz. Their songs are top notch!

I really love your DIY music videos. Do you have fun making them?

YES! imovie is the best- and just the fact that the technology is so easy and comes free with your computer kind of blows me away. I mean, technology doesn’t really thrill me. But this does. I can’t wait to make more, maybe I’ll make one for our EP.

If you could make a music video and have anyone you want, dead or alive, star in it, who would it be and what would you make them do?

Maybe I’d choose to be in a silly “Annie Hall” type scenario opposite Woody Allen.

If you could give your other two band members super powers, what would they be?

If we could all fly I’m sure our live show would markedly improve!

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Interview: Clare and the Reasons

Interview: Clare and the Reasons

Clare and the Reasons are playing The Allotment at The Luminaire on March 24th- grab yourself a ticket! Clare did a little interview quiz, below. Have a listen to their music on Myspace.

Can you make two sentences that rhyme to describe your band?

Strings and horns, kazoos and drums

Saws and washboards shake your bum!

You’ve toured so much, what are some of your favourite places to play?

LONDON, LONDON, LONDON, KYOTO

What are the best and worst things about touring?

Not being able to take care of “real life” things is nice… But I miss vegetables…

What’s your favourite track to play live and why?

“Our Team Is Grand” I think it’s a journey, each time, for us and the audience.

I love your Moon River/Ice Ice Baby cover with My Brightest Diamond, it’s brilliant. If you could cover any song and have it be even more amazing than the original, what would it be?

Ooh, well, most things we like, are brilliant, so I wouldn’t think we could do better.  Maybe “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot….We could probably do interesting things to that.

Have you got many new songs?

Just the ones on “Arrow” they still feel very fresh to us.

What are your plans for the coming year?

Tour, tour, tour! I would also like to learn to sew better.

What are some records you’ve particularly been enjoying lately?

Lotte Lenya singing Weill, Loney Dear, Wildbirds & Peace Drums…

Best live band you saw last year?

Loney Dear

Clare, if you could give all your band members a super power each, what would they be and why?

Bob, the ability to teleport us, instead of driving long distances.  Olivier, the ability to make cheese with his mind, because we need cheese. Jon, the ability to grow limbs, so he could play cello and snare drum on “you got time”.

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Interview: Caitlin Rose

Interview with Caitlin Rose

Hey Caitlin.

Hey Anika!

How did you end up signing with the wonderful Names Records?

I’m a little fuzzy on that (long year), but Billy Campbell emailed me at some point in ’09 and was eventually redirected to Aaron at Theory8 records, the Nashville indie I’m signed to. Phone calls were made, attorneys were called and papers were signed over my first plate of raw oysters in London a few months later.

Are you a fan of any of the other acts on their roster in particular?

I’ve been listening to the She Keeps Bees record a little and really hope to catch them live soon. I hear Alela has a phenomenal voice so I look forward to hearing her too.

Did you enjoy your England trip? What happened with the prawn?

The trip was fantastic, but the prawn… not so much. I was traveling with a friend and piano player in my band, Skylar Wilson. We were doing a show in Brighton that night and the desk lady at our hotel mentioned a 30% discount for guests at a restaurant across the street. It was raining and we only had an hour before soundcheck so we went for it. It was a lovely place and I wouldn’t want to tarnish their reputation so I’ll just give them the benefit of the doubt and say that that’s the last time I ever order anything with prawns. It was a lovely dinner, but the next day I felt worse than ever before, especially on the hour long train ride back into London. I missed my instore at Pure Groove. It was a bummer.

How did you find The Allotment?

I thought the Allotment found me? Like I said…long year. Everything is a little hazy. I love it though.

What are some key differences between English people and people from Nashville?

English people, or at least everyone I met that week, had such brilliant senses of humor. Not to imply my fellow Nashvillians are missing a funny bone, but the jokes were more my style. It’s just different is all.

To compensate, I will say that Nashville parties a little harder. I’m a sucker for a good last call at 3:00am… then a gas station beer-run for a party that never seems to end.

Are there any things you particularly want to do/see on your next visit?

I was sad to have missed the Beatles to Bowie exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery this time around and I hear it closes this month. I’m sure there will be something going on when I visit, but I’m a horrible tourist. You’ll have to keep me posted on what’s happening!

When did you record the Dead Flowers EP? Are you happy with how it turned out?

It was almost three years ago. Another record had been in the works before that and it never really made it to completion. It was pretty disheartening to spend so much time on something that never quite worked out. Dead Flowers took only three days and yes, I’m very happy with the way it turned out. For where I was in my life then it’s a perfect representation of what I was doing and the whole experience was very reviving.

How do you feel about recording your full length? Do you know how you want it to sound?

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about doing anything. We’ve got another two weeks before tracking, but we’ve been working up the old songs and the new ones in the practice space trying to piece them together sound wise. I think it’s going to make a lot of sense and I’m thrilled to be working with Mark Nevers at Beechhouse. He’s made some brilliant records and I’m a big fan of his. He also likes The Replacements so that’s a good sign.

Who are your favourite Tennessee bands? Do you have any tips?

The music scene here is really incredible. It’s so innovative. New people are showing up every day and adding to the mix of things and the musicians are the cream of the crop. You can’t do much better really. Some of my favorite writers in town or from town are Patty LeMay(Spiritual Family Reunion), Justin Townes Earle, Tristen and a guy I met recently named Rayland Baxter. He sings like Jackson Browne and is extremely tall. That’s a pretty good combination if you ask me. My roommates play in a band called And the Relatives that I’m very fond of and my bass player, Jordan Caress, plays in a band called Korean is Asian. They sound a little like The Band writing songs for Linda Ronstadt. There’s also the whole Infinity Cat(local label) scene for all the kids that like to rock out which I try to do from time to time. Especially for an almost-all-girl punk band named Heavy Cream. This new “Nashville sound” is incredibly diverse.

What’s an average day like for you in Nashville?

Thanks to the London trip, I wake up to tea with milk and sugar then at night I usually end up at a show/bar/both. The in-between changes daily. It really isn’t much worth talking about, but I have been doing a lot of these interviews lately. I need a computer desk. The amount of time I’ve been spending on the internet makes me feel bed-ridden.

Are there any albums coming out this year that you’re especially excited for?

Deer Tick is working on something here in town this month and their last record is one of my favorites so I’m sure that will be amazing. My friend, Jonny Corndawg, is recording his album here now as well and he’s gonna let me sing on it! Phosphorescent, another one of my favorites, is putting something out soon too. I’m not big on new music, but I’ll probably be buying a lot of records when spring rolls around. Hopefully everyone else will do the same. The UK is a lot better about that than the US though so I’ll keep my little lecture to myself.

I know you love Julie Doiron. Me too. What’s your favourite of her songs?

The first one I ever heard was “Dark Horse” and I completely fell for it. Most of my favorites are on “Woke Myself Up”. Songs like “Wrong Guy”, “No More” and “Me and My Friend” are hard hitting without being overly emotional or bitter sounding. “Wrong Guy” is an especially unique idea that comes from a strange place in the female mind, one of which I have been identifying heavily with these past few months. It’s devilish, but it’s honest as well.

What’s your favourite type of pudding? Mine is apple crumble with custard.

Pudding’s a little different over here in the states than where you are. I can’t say I’m much of a fan, though I’m not real big on sweets. The only kind of pudding I’ve ever eaten is the kind that Bill Cosby sells. I’ll just go with vanilla JELL-O pudding.

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