I love being interviewed! I like being challenged by questions, and I'm always curious to hear what people will ask. This blog post, isn't my own post, but rather, an interview from the Concerts in Your Home blog. Enjoy!
Describe your most memorable house concert experience.
I played at two incredible house concerts this summer. I wanted to mention them both because while one was in Iowa, and the other in Wisconsin, they were hosted by sisters! Both girls used to babysit me when I was little, so that was pretty cool, especially because I got to spend some time with each of their families. Both concerts were outdoors, kid friendly, and had amazing energy. I'd take credit for the awesome vibe, but I'm pretty sure that the sibling hosts were responsible for that...
What's your best opening line? (from one of your songs, or one of your favorites)
"I came to battle my senses..." from 'Slow Down', off of my latest EP, with the same title. And from a Dar William's song, "Go ahead, push your luck. Find out how much love the world can hold." from 'After All'.
What song is most likely to make you cry? (if you were the crying kind)
I am the crying kind...depending on the day. I think that's why I'm a musician. Music has always been a place for me to channel thoughts and emotions. I'd have to say, 'Rich Man's War', by Steve Earle. I cried the first time that I heard it, and I'm still so moved any time that I hear it. It's an incredibly well-crafted song, and so relevant. I'd also (again) go for Dar Williams, 'After All'. The first time I really listened to that song... I think I might have held my breath the entire four minutes and forty-eight seconds. Her line, 'Well the sun rose, with so many colors it nearly broke my heart...' makes me want to be a better person.
How many miles did you drive last year?
21,761. Give or take.
What is your favorite thing about house concerts?
The people! I love singing for an audience that comes specifically to hear music, and I love getting to hang out and connect with people as the night is winding down.
If you could no longer sell your music on CD, what would you do differently?
I'm not sure I know what this question means. I guess as we dive deeper into the digital age, this is a possibility, but I'll be keeping my CDs around for a while yet- even if they function as nothing more than a keepsake. CDs or no CDs, I'll keep writing songs, making recordings (digital and video) and I'll ALWAYS keep touring. I love the road.
When is the last time someone critiqued your song, suggested a way to make it better, and you agreed?
I meet with a few songwriter friends of mine every few months, and we'll critique our new songs. I don't always take their advice, but I always listen. Even if I don't wholeheartedly agree with a different idea it still serves a great purpose. It either solidifies my original thought, or it prompts a new one. And if their suggestion is better, I'm always really excited, and SUPER grateful.
Have you ever watched yourself do a full concert on video? If so, what did you learn?
I have not. I hate watching myself actually, and strangely enough (I guess?) I hate the sound of my own voice. Especially when I'm speaking. Man, it makes me nuts. I guess I'm lucky that not everyone has that reaction.
Is there anyone you like to go to for songwriting help or advice? If so, who?
Every once in a while I'll ask my husband to read through lyrics or listen to a song. If the message isn't clear or if something doesn't make sense, he'll tell me. He's a great writer, but he's not a musician, so he just goes on gut instinct, which is what I want. I want to write better and better songs, but I also want people to like them 'just because'.
What is the best stage name of all time?
Anytime people go by just one name, I think that's pretty cool. It was like 1999 before I even knew Jewel's last name. (It's Kilcher by the way.) Also, The Band, is pretty great. If that's your name, you're obviously amazing.
Car you drive vs the car you'd most like to drive.
I drive a 2005 Corolla, which I LOVE! I can't really explain why, but I think I'll drive a Corolla for the rest of my life. If they made a hybrid version, I'd be coveting it right now.
What percentage of your songs are about love relationships?
I don't write many traditional love songs, much to my husband's dismay. (Just kidding.) I write a lot of songs about humanity, people that I've met and that have inspired me, and I guess those could be considered love songs....if that's the case, I'd say about 80% are love songs. I you're only looking for romantic songs, I'd say about 5-10%.
You can bring back any dead artist, and be their apprentice for a month, who do you choose?
I'd go with Scott Joplin. First of all we share the same birthday. Second of all, he kept me from quitting piano when I was in high school. Third, he's awesome.
You can recruit anyone in the world to manage your artistic career, who is it?
Probably Louis C.K. I don't think it would be a wise career decision, but we'd laugh a lot...
You can work with any living record producer. Who do you choose for your next project?
I already have him. I have done my last four projects with Chris Cubeta at Galuminumfoil Studios, and only want to work with him. He's an amazing musician, fantastic songwriter, and very creative. Even after I've hit it bit, I'll be going to him. Well...unless Rick Rubin calls. Then they can co-produce.
You must personally destroy every instrument you own, except one. Which do you keep? Which do you destroy first/last, and why?
Nope. Can't do it. I wouldn't even hypothetically destroy the flute that I never picked up again after 8th grade.
Top item on your bucket list.
I'm living it!
Cat, dog, or goldfish?
I love all animals. My first pet as a child was actually a frog named George. He's now 21 years old and lives with my parents in Green Bay, Wisconsin. And I'm a HUGE fan of my rescue dog, Chip.
Writing retreat. You can go anywhere in the world for 2 weeks, where do you go? One instrument, one suitcase - what do you bring?
I'd go to a cabin somewhere in the woods. Some place where I could have a fire, and also had an unlimited supply of wood already stacked up indoors. It would have a piano in it...that way I'd only have to bring my guitar. I'd also bring lots of notebooks, a lot of Dixon Ticonderoga pencils. They're the most wonderful pencil.
Plan B, or no Plan B?
I think I might even have a Plan Z! I have a million plans. That way if one thing doesn't work out, I have many other great options. They're all music plans though. So if by Plan B, you mean getting some kind of 'real job', then no Plan B.