How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
Oftentimes, I will have written a musical sketch and will let it play and see what comes. Usually it’s a feeling that starts with a word or phrase. I build it from there pretty organically, and then go back and restructure my story if it needs it. Then there are days where I have been collecting thoughts in my phone or notebook, and I’ll start with a written idea and find its melody….and it pours out quick. It’s a pretty weird solitary process until I have something I can’t let go of, I rarely share anything until I’m satisfied on some level.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
I can’t speak for anyone else, and I appreciate all kinds of music, dark, humorous, instrumental etc. For me, it’s just going as deep into things as I can, whatever that means at that particular moment….if it makes me want to cry or laugh hysterically later, I think I wrote a decent song.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
I used to overthink that, wondering how people would take things, or if I was exposing too much. As I continued to write, that’s where I found my biggest freedom. So, no…not anymore. Not ever. No way.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
At the moment, it happens to be the entire second half of the last song on the album, ‘Oil & Water.’ Most meaningful for me in my life after a very hard couple of years… the best? Hopefully the best words are yet to come to me….;)
What inspired “Love Lies Bleeding”?
A heart to heart out in the country with one of my best friends who introduced me to the disarmingly beautiful flowering plant (Love Lies Bleeding, Amaranthus) while wandering through a farm and telling me about feeling trapped in her life/marriage. Never fun to hear from someone you love. I was struck by the moment and promised a song would follow that day to remember it. She didn’t think I was serious. My manager says I’m too earnest sometimes…
This song is about the many paths and choices we have – and if they are indeed choices at all, or if we are being lead by something more powerful and mysterious – and how we will never know the answer to that. The roads we go down are not always pleasant and hold infinite possibilities of promise, hope, love, sadness, despair, and fear. The hardest thing to do is follow your own way without being completely terrified.
Is there a link/a common theme among the songs of the new album?
I’d have to say yes, in a way, but not on purpose. I think the flow of the record takes you on a journey to places most of us have been, or will go soon. Strong currents of love, pain and change and the things those beasts create in our lives.
What is the best suggestion your producer gave you?
To trust my intuition on where to start on our first day of recording. I had to get over the shock of being there and just go…
What are your plans for 2019?
We have a few weeks of tour booked so far on the East Coast, a few shows and festivals in the South- hoping to get out to the West Coast this year, all while writing a new record that’s already in the works. Plus a pretty remix that’s coming soon….
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your album “Rose of the West”: A penumbra.
- The best show you ever played: Opening for Warpaint at home in Milwaukee at Turner Hall Ballroom.
- The one thing that you must have backstage : Peace, heavy on the white wine with a touch of clean restroom.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: In front of my Grandpa, Classical and Italian Folk -not in front of my Grandpa- George Michael, and 2 Live Crew- so it was kind of a “Dirty Dancing” childhood.
- Favourite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: There are MANY! But first one to float in is “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by The Police.
- Last question is “unusual,” we want to know your best relationship advice: Since this is solicited advice… I would have to say my best advice is CLEAN UP WELL AFTER YOURSELF. That not only applies to dishes and dirty socks, but also your whole emotional/mental messes. Like ending old relationships properly, not hiding things, learning from your mistakes, not taking someone for granted repeatedly, having some class and manners, and respecting yourself first. Also, be careful on dating apps! It’s scary out there.