“I feel in general my solo work feels more true to who I am as an individual.” 7 Questions with Claire George

When I go to a music festival I always do my best to discover new music.  It’s one thing to go and hear your favorite bands but, unless you knew every act on a lineup, more than likely you’ll have gaps in your schedule.  What I’ll do is chat up some of the crowd or some of the local photographers and ask who’s a performer I should check out today?  It was Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP) 2018.  Of the people I spoke to, many suggested I check out Claire George.  Prior to that CHBP performance, I had not heard of Claire, but after seeing her set I was mesmerized.  Her set was a mixture of great vocals interplayed with synths, fascinating lyrics, and danceable beats.  I was instantly a fan.  Recently, I reached out to Claire and had an opportunity to do a short interview.  Here’s my short interview with Claire George:

1.) The first time I saw you perform was at Capitol Hill Block Party 2018 as a solo artist, but through research it looks like you were the lead singer of an indie rock band called HEARTWATCH. Hearing your work as a solo artist and the music presented by HEARTWATCH, I’d say the two present very different music styles. Was it a challenge to transition to a solo artist, or was your solo work always something you had in mind and were hoping to get out?

It was definitely a challenge to create my solo work as I had never made music on my own, but I definitely feel it better represents my musical tastes and my life more. Learning how to produce electronic music on my own presented a lot of challenges for me but also felt the most rewarding because I put so much more of myself into making it. I felt pretty worried about the reception of the solo work after the band’s material, and there were definitely some fans who want me to make something less dark, but I feel in general my solo work feels more true to who I am as an individual.

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Capitol Hill Block Party 2018

2.) Your latest release, “Alone, Together” and it’s quasi remix “Alone, Together (Forever)” are fabulous both in composition and message. “Alone, Together” was described on your site as the different seasons in the lifecycle of a failed relationship. I personally love how the song ends with a sense of hopefulness. On the flipside, “Alone, Together (Forever)” carries some of those same feelings, but is more reminiscent of Robyn’s “Dancing on my Own” in that it’s very danceable but with a very relatable message. Would you mind speaking to the creation of both songs?

I wrote the first version as a piano ballad by myself, but when my friend Josh from Yumi Zouma saw me perform it live he asked if he could help me produce it out. When we got into the session the song took on a whole new light and I loved it so much that I wanted to share both versions with the world. I like that the version that I wrote solo feels pretty isolated and intimate and the version with Josh feels much more collaborative and dancey, something you want to listen to with another person.

3.) Regarding your 2018 EP, Bodies of Water, one song in particular that pulled my attention was Orbits where you have these poetic lyrics of what sounds like recognizing potential but you also mixed in references to the Voyager space program (which launched a literal Gold Record into space). When it comes to song writing do you approach each song with intention in that “with this song I hope to convey (blank)” or do you let each song flow into what they eventually become in that there’s no real plan, it comes together on the page? How would you describe your approach?

I create both ways, sometimes with a general intention, sometimes with a phrase or idea in mind, and sometimes with a whole concept in place. Orbits came out with an intention for sure, and I knew I wanted to connect the romantic idea of the Golden Record into the song. A lot of my music comes from just sitting down and letting things spill out of me though. Sometimes when I try too hard to have a plan or intention behind it, it can feel forced, so I try to let things flow however they want once I sit down to write.

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Barboza, October 2019

Something I like to do to create a through-line for all the folks I interview is I ask the prior interview subject to provide 3 blind questions for the next interviewee with no knowledge as to who I would interview next. These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject Icelandic Singer Songwriter Asgeir. Asgeir asks: (Claire: Love this!)
4.) When you were young – What did you want to become when you grew up?
Mariah Carey, but my own version haha! I was obsessed with her. I wanted to be a pop star when I was little, but that got buried for a long time and the desire to be an artist only came bubbling back up for me after college.

5.) What was the best advice someone gave you?
Start now, you will never again be younger than you are today.

6.) How do you think popular music will sound in 50 years?
I think we will be even more integrated with technology and perhaps there will be machines assisting in creation of music but I don’t like to think that they will take over the process completely. Perhaps we will have machines that can tune into our emotions and feelings and adjust/create music that suits us. I think there will be even further development in electronic music but will get the hang of making things sound more natural. We will probably have even busier more distracting lives so the songs may be even shorter and to the point than they are today!

7.) As my final question, I follow you on Instagram, and earlier this year you shared your first “Clairetoon”. Were these “Clairetoons” something you’ve always done, or something new you wanted try and share? Can we expect more “Clairetoons” throughout the year?

This is something new I’ve wanted to try out and share, and yes! I will definitely be sharing more throughout the year 🙂

(I want to thank Claire George for taking the time to answer my questions.  Check out Claire’s latest single, Alone Together, and the song’s remix, Alone Together (Forever), on all streaming platforms.  Also check out Claire’s debut EP, Bodies of Water, also on all streaming platforms.)

“Soup is overrated” 7 Questions with Ásgeir

The third album “Bury the Moon” by Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir is an album I would describe as an folky atmospheric dream pop album with lyrics that feel deep and meaningful.  On the day the album was released, Ásgeir detailed the experience of leaving Reykjavik to go write at a friend’s summerhouse with just a guitar and piano, in an effort to bring his music back to it’s roots and make it more honest.  He also detailed writing the lyrics with his dad which added a more personal uniqueness to each song.  I really enjoyed the album, and was happy to have the opportunity to interview Ásgeir.  Here’s my short interview with Ásgeir:

1.) I enjoyed your new album “Bury the Moon”. In particular I enjoyed Pictures, Eventide, Youth, Lazy Giants, and Rattled Snow. There were a lot of themes of memories. Were there any main themes and or motivators behind the album as a whole, or were the songs more of a collection of ideas? 

There is no one thing or theme that ties the whole album together. I would rather say that it’s a collection of songs that I’ve made through the years but the lyrics were all written in a similar time period and maybe that has something to do with why they sound unified.

My idea and motivation behind making this album was to try and see if I could have fun again recording and writing. I felt like at times in the past I’ve been struggling with pressure and stress and not been able to enjoy the process as much as I should have. That’s why I wanted this album to be all about the songs and not the recording process as much. These songs were just simply recorded and I didn’t let my head get in the way of what I felt when I was in the studio.

2.) As a bilingual artist, does it change the creative process, when creating music that is going to be translated to both Icelandic and English? Is this something you have to keep in mind constantly when creating your work, or do you feel some themes are broad enough that they translate well no matter the language?

I never think about that when I’m writing a song. I always start by writing the song (melody and chords) first and then the lyrics come after that. They are usually written in Icelandic first and then translated into English. It’s just a step by step process. Never thinking about the obstacles ahead, only what is being worked on in the moment. Sometimes we struggle with the translations and it’s not always easy to find the right words and rhythm but it usually works out in the end. But obviously the lyrics change a little bit from Icelandic to English but that can also give the songs more depth in my mind.

3.) I read in an interview that when you’re home in Iceland, you enjoy going to the countryside where things move slower and the air is fresher. When you’re on tour do you seek these seemingly tranquil places out also, or do you try to take in as much of a new city as possible before heading to the next stop?

There is never really time to do much outside of the schedule when you’re on tour, and when you have a day off it’s usually spent at a hotel in some city.

I’m usually not that eager to go out and explore in my off time, I just like to rest
and take it easy.  But when and if I go out I try to get to know the city a little by tasting something from the food culture or just walking the streets to sense the vibe from the cities.

Something I like to do to create a through-line for all the folks I interview is I ask the prior interview subject to provide 3 blind questions for the next interviewee with no knowledge as to who I would interview next. These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject Hip Hop trio, New Track City. New Track City asks:
4.) If you had the ability to communicate one message to a newborn baby and they could understand you, what would that message be?
Soup is overrated

5.) What’s one decision you made that you think shaped the person you are today?
There have probably been many that have shaped me but one was to give up on a career in sports and put all my focus into my music. I think also to move out of my parents home when I was 16, from the countryside into the city, it was challenging and something that made me who I am today.

6.) What cartoon, movie or TV show character do you think describes you the best?
Bilbo Baggins, Just want a quiet and simple life when I’m done with my adventures.

7.) For my last question, I’m born and raised in Seattle. I heard your cover of Heart Shaped Box and was very impressed. What do you feel is the quintessential Nirvana album and why?
For me In Utero was their best album. I loved all the songs and the sound on that record and I know that for them that was the sound they were always after. It had the rawness of their first album but songs that were more like something that could’ve been on Nevermind.

 

I have to thank Ásgeir for taking the time to answer my questions. Check out his website for news about upcoming shows, and check out his latest album Bury the Moon on all streaming platforms.

“Lose sight of the shore, it’s never too late to go after what you want no matter the circumstance…” 7 Questions with Hip Hop Group, New Track City

In 2017, when I started going to live shows on a weekly basis, one of the first things I decided to do was post a picture or video on my Instagram from every set I attended.  After a month or two of doing this, a handful of bands started to reach out and ask if I had any interest in checking out their music.  New Track City was one of the first bands I remember reaching out.  Not only was I impressed by the work that brothers Bem and Chi Stone had already released, but I was impressed by how authentic they were.  Interacting with them on social media, listening to their music, and seeing them perform live, you get a sense that they’re being themselves and are willing to put in the work to be successful.  With producer Dru rounding out the trio and news of an upcoming album, I’m excited to see where this evolving hip hop group will go in 2020.  I had the opportunity to interview New Track City recently.  Here’s my short interview with New Track City:

1.) Each of your albums have a fairly distinct feel from one another. My introduction to New Track City was the “The Damn Gina Tape”, but the album I find myself listening to randomly on the regular at my day job is “Lose Sight of the Shore”. The album has the great flow from Bem and Chi Stone, but Dru’s production really makes that project shine. How did you approach the creation of “Lose Sight of the Shore” different from your other work? Was it business as usual or did you have a concept for what you wanted the album to be when it was completed?

Man, “Lose Sight of the Shore” came out in August, 2017 and we remember being like yo… This is our first album with all original production, everything from the ground up is gonna be all us. We wanted the sounds to be colorful with live instrumentation showing everyone who our influences are, a throwback album with new school inflections with the overall message of motivation. Lose sight of the shore, it’s never too late to go after what you want no matter the circumstance and we feel like we accomplished that.

2.) I’ve always enjoyed the group’s Instagram page. It’s a mixture of cultural pride, and a celebration of modern hip hop. Every now and again you’ll say “this artist is one of your favorites”, but I always wanted to know, who do you feel are the top three best hip-hop artists of all time and why?

Wow, well it would be different for all of us and it changes but we all agree on Jay Z, Kanye West, Outkast or A Tribe Called Quest depending on the day. Reason being, Jay Z is every rappers blueprint to greatness musically and in life. He says bars that make sense years after you first heard them. Kanye West because he shaped the sound of music time and time again and opened the door for folks like us to even pursue music plus, he’s witty as hell! Outkast because they may be the most unique Hip Hop Act of all time from style, to how they rap, to their overall sound. Tribe’s PRODUCTION IS EVERYTHING, so we had to throw them in there.

3.) Kind of going off the last question, I heard in past interviews you mentioned what music styles inspired your style. There are styles that definitely permeate in your work, definitely jazz (Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, etc.), but what kind of blew my mind was that you gave shout outs to ABBA, and also mentioned trying to rap over Butterfly by Crazy Town. Do you feel that it’s important that emerging hip hop artists today should explore styles outside of hip hop, and who are your favorite go-to non-hip-hop artists?

It’s definitely important for Hip Hop acts to explore outside of the genre because although Hip Hop is running things, it incorporates everything! To us, it only makes sense to reach outside the genre because that’s how you develop your own sound and keep the culture fresh. We have a huge list of artists we listen to outside of Hip Hop. Amy Winehouse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Joss Stone, James Brown, Davido just to name a few.

Something I like to do to create a through-line for all the folks I interview is I ask the prior interview subject to provide 3 blind questions for the next interviewee with no knowledge as to who I would interview next. These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject, Whitney Petty and Molly Sides from Thunderpussy. Molly and Whitney ask:
4.) If you had to choose one thing to go away forever, would you choose vegetables or the wind?
Well, since we need wind to create renewable energy, we’d have to say get rid of Vegetables because fruits would still exist so that would take their place.

5.) Would you rather be in the air or in water?
Flying in the Air!!!! On some Superman / Thor stuff, that would be INCREDIBLE!

6.) If you knew the world was ending in 48 hours what would you try to accomplish?
This question is insane! Where do we even start!?!?! We’d tell our family and friends we love them. Leave all our valuables to them. Take a final drive listening to our catalog, take in one last view of nature catching a beautiful sunset reflecting on the life we lived and then yeah. Go meet Nipsey and Kobe in the sky.

7.) For my last question, I heard in a past interview you mentioned movies and television were art forms that inspired some of your work. What are three must see films or television programs each of you recommend checking out?

Not a fair question, too many to name but if we had to. “Kill Bill”, “The Matrix”, ” Bad Boys 2” and “Rush Hour 2” and “Supernatural.” ‘Dragon Ball Z” dang this question! (lol)

I have to thank New Track City (Bem, Chi Stone, and Dru) for taking the time to answer my questions.  Check out their website for news and events, follow them on Instagram, Youtube, and other social media, and keep an eye out for their next album some time in 2020.

“We are still considering L******** C*** if we are denied our trademark again.” 7 Questions with Whitney Petty and Molly Sides of Thunderpussy.

When I started going to live concerts frequently in the area, the first non festival show I went to headlined by local performers was Night 1 of Thunderpussy’s 2016 New Year’s Eve Party at Neumos. I had heard part of their set at that year’s Capitol Hill Block Party and was very eager to see a full performance. That New Year’s Eve show not only kicked off my fandom of Thunderpussy, but also kicked off my fandom for local music. Since then I’ve attended 20 plus Thunderpussy shows, have attended their New Year’s Eve show each year for the past 4 years, and have become a proud member of their local fan group. I was very happy to get the chance to interview lead vocalist Molly Sides, and lead guitarist Whitney Petty. Here’s my short interview with members of the band Thunderpussy:

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1.) Let’s start with the name. I’ve been a fan of the band since Capitol Hill Block Party 2016. I heard you folks killing it at the main stage and once I heard the band name I was hooked. Where did the name Thunderpussy come from? Were there any failed or “possible” band names you guys had thought of before deciding on Thunderpussy?

Whitney: Well, we are still considering Lightning Cock if we are denied our trademark again. Also thinking of starting a side band called, “Feelie Dan,” for weddings and bar mitzvahs, that type of thing. I think the only one that ever came close to competing with Thunderpussy was, “Hottie Couteratti,” but Thunderpussy is just too good. It really stuck hard and fast when I first threw it out to Molly as a joke for the first time.

2.) Regarding the outfits, where does the band’s fashion sense come from? The outfits have always been fantastic. Is there a theme for each show or does one band member find an awesome outfit and the bandmates (kind of) coordinate accordingly?

Molly: That’s something I really enjoy doing. I come up with a theme, color scheme and draw up sketches to send to our costume designer, Pakio Galore. We meet often and talk fabrics, designs, alterations and then he goes wild. We spend a lot of time at JoAnn’s! On tour, I bring a bedazzling kit, because I love to source fabrics and outfits and then alter them on the road. Or I’ll being those treasures home and take them to Pakio where he can reuse the fabrics for something more elaborate. Tour is basically an excuse to go vintage shopping 😉

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3.) Having been a fan for a few years, I feel like every time I hear some Thunderpussy News, it’s always something impressive, be it the first time KEXP played your songs on air, Mike McCready mentioning the band during Pearl Jam’s Hall of Fame induction, the “Danger Diva” film, SXSW, etc. What do you feel has been the most “Oh my Gosh!” moment of this journey?

Whitney: Jeez there are so many. Most recently, I would say getting to meet Tanya Tucker at an event in Seattle. Holy shit. I have been a big fan since I was a little girl and she is a fucking legend. Before that it was going in the studio with Chad Smith. What an incredible person and one of the greatest drummers ever.

Something I like to do to create a through-line for all the folks I interview that I ask the prior interview subject to provide 3 blind questions for the next interviewee with no knowledge as to who I would interview next. These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject local drummer, Andy King. Andy asks:

4.) What’s your favorite tour food?
Whitney: Popcorn

5.) What seat do you like in the tour van the best?
Whitney: The way back

6.) Do you listen to music or do you like quiet on the drives?
Whitney: Music!!

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7.) For my final question, I’ve attended the Thunderpussy New Year’s Eve show for the past 4 years. The line up this year looks insane and I know it’s going to be another great time. If you were going to pitch the show to someone who had no idea who you or anyone on the line up were, what would you say, what should they expect, and what set this year’s show apart from other years?

Whitney: Well, speaking of costumes, I am especially excited for mine this year 😉

We are experimenting with color, lights, and fog a bit more. I’m very excited for what our lighting designer is working on!! Also, musically, we are playing a LOT of new stuff which is always very exciting for us. We consider these New Years shows to be the one time each year that we can really put together the stage show the way that we want it, all the elements that we can’t afford to take on the road (yet!), so it’s like an incubator for future ideas. We always try to push ourselves on NYE.

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I have to thank Whitney and Molly for taking the time to answer my questions. Check out Thunderpussy’s debut album Thunderpussy and their latest EP Milk It. For more Thunderpussy news follow them on social media and keep an eye out for future Thunderpussy events near you

“My goal is to always learn more and to always improve. Drinking did not help that for me.” 7 Questions with Andy King

If you’ve spent time in the Seattle music scene, there’s a good chance you’ve seen drummer Andy King perform.  Andy is one of the Seattle music scenes most dynamic performers.  As of this writing, reviewing photos and videos I’ve taken at shows, I’ve personally seen him perform in 9 different bands ranging in styles from punk, alternative, and overall, rock.  On January 9th, Neumos will be hosting the 3rd Annual Andy King Drum Marathon, in which Andy will perform sets with 4 of his current bands.  The first Andy King Drum Marathon, he reportedly performed for 5 hours straight (with slight breaks to change out equipment).  For $8 (plus fees) you can see Andy attempt this event for a third consecutive year, and all proceeds for this event will benefit SMASH! which aims to provide affordable healthcare and dentalcare to local musicians.  I had the opportunity to speak to Andy.  Here’s my short interview with Seattle drummer, Andy King:

1.) Thanks for doing this Andy, now I’ve seen you perform with Dust Moth, Reader, Trash Fire, and a number of other bands in the area. I’ve always been curious, how many bands are you currently a member of and can you name them all?

Right now I play for Reader, Subways on the Sun, Trash Fire and jjjacob jjjames

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Trash Fire

2.) Ringo swings, Charlie Watts rocks, and John Bonham does his own thing. I’ve seen you perform primarily in rock bands but then there’s something like King Snake, which I feel like is its own thing. Kind of going off the last question, how would you describe your drum style?

My favorite drummers are Matt Cameron, Steve Gadd, William Goldsmith, Matt Chamberlain, Jimmy Chamberlain, Dave Grohl and Neil Peart and I feel like I absorbed ideas from all of them when I was young and play a good rock beat 🙂

3.) Congratulations on being 3 years sober! That’s a great accomplishment especially being in a profession where “non sobriety” is very prevalent. What advice do you have for folks who are also trying to pursue a sober lifestyle?

Thank You 🙂 getting sober is a very personal thing but if someone wants to quit and thinks they have a issue with a substance I would tell them don’t be afraid to ask for help, for me personally getting sober has helped me face problems I was numbing out and it has helped me grow into the person I really am and play at the level I should play at. Things have become more clear the cloudiness is gone. My goal is to always learn more and to always improve. Drinking did not help that for me.

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King Snake X Zoolab

These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject, The Brooke and The Bluff.  The Brooke and The Bluff ask:
4.) What is one thing you need on tour that you can’t live without?
Probably a good book to read most likely about aviation.

5.) What do you like to do with your downtime in a new city?
See if there are any aviation museums near by and check out the book stores 🙂

6.) If you could tour with any band or artist who would you go with on the road? Why?
It would be fun to open for the Foo Fighters 🙂 they seem like they would be fun and the shows would be rad 🙂

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Mirror Ferrari

7.) For my last question, I follow you on Instagram and you’re a big fan of planes and aviation. If someone was visiting the area and also had a similar love of planes and aviation, what are three essential things you recommend they should check out (events, museums, exhibits, etc.) and why?

If you like airplanes go to the Museum of Flight right by Boeing field, The Flying Heritage Combat Armor Museum in Everett or the Heritage Flight Foundation in Everett.

 

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I have to thank Andy King for taking the time to answer my questions.  You can catch Andy perform with all of his current bands listed above at the 3rd Annual Andy King Drum Marathon.  All proceeds will benefit SMASH!.  You can also catch Trash Fire open for Thunderpussy this New Years Eve at the Showbox (this line up is insane).

“More voices mean more expression and for us that can only be a good thing.” 7 Questions with The Brook & The Bluff

From Birmingham, Alabama, Indie folk band The Brook & The Bluff are coming to Seattle Tuesday night (11/5).  The first time I heard The Brook & The Bluff, I had let Youtube go on autoplay while working remote.  The band’s smooth cover of the Childish Gambino song “Redbone” came on and I was impressed.  Listening to the band’s more recent offerings, songs like “Everything is Just a Mess” or “Hallways“, it’s hard not to get drawn in by the vocal magic this band seems to emanate.  With the release of their first full length album “First Place”, I had an opportunity to interview all four members of the band, Guitar player Alex Bolton, drummer John Canada, bassist Fred Lankford (all from Mountain Brook, Alabama), and vocalist/key and guitar player Joseph Settine (from Bluff Park, Alabama).  Here’s my short interview with The Brook & The Bluff:

1.) Most interviews I’ve read, talk about the origins of the band name, The Brook & The Bluff. I think it’s a great name. You’re quoted as saying, “I think we will always claim ourselves as a Birmingham band no matter what, it’s inherent in the name.”  Was that always the intention of the name, The Brook & The Bluff? Were there any rejected names that as a group you thought up, that still stick out today?

The Brook & The Bluff was definitely always intended to call back to where we’re from. When we started performing under that name, it was just Alec and I (Joseph) playing acoustic cover songs in Auburn, and it was actually the first name that we came up with. There had been another band we were in during our first couple years of school that was called The Freewheelers, and we considered that but ultimately wanted to be something new.

2.) I read that each band member has a choir background and in each song, there is an emphasis on the vocals. How does having a band where each member has a choir background affect the songwriting process? Would you say it’s an advantage or at times can it be a hindrance?

It is absolutely an advantage at all times. The voice is our only instrument that’s actually in your body, so we think it’s the most expressive when it comes to all of the different textures in the music. More voices mean more expression and for us that can only be a good thing. It really affects the songwriting process just as far as making sure we always have room within the song for more voices.

3.) I checked out the music videos featured on your YouTube channel. In one sense, some videos are simplistic in that it’s footage of the band performing the songs in what looks like a studio, however, a common trait is the unique filming style which mixes filters and at times a type of pinhole lens. It contributes an almost dreamlike quality to the video and really adds to the song. Where do the concepts for your videos come from? Is there a feeling you’re trying to evoke through these videos?

We originally wanted to try and have some type of performance video for the first three singles with a similar kind of thread visually, but have them shot in different places, so we reached out to our friend Drew Bauml to see if he’d like to shoot them and then gave him the space to create that dreamy aspect that you’re talking about. I really believe in letting people have as much room to create as possible, and we don’t know the ins and outs of filming, so we really let him run with it – sent him the songs and he was off.

These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject, Hip Hop artist Nick Weaver. Nick Weaver asks:
4.) Social media is a must for all DIY artists. Do you work to balance how much social media time you have every day? If so, what steps do you take?

Social media definitely is super important, which can sometimes be overwhelming for an artist. Our philosophy is basically not oversharing and staying genuine. People’s feeds are overflowing with so much of that “content” every day, so we don’t want to be part of all that noise and want to focus on the highlights and most important pieces to share.

5.) Name one artist who’s no longer alive that you wish could have seen perform. Why?

Donny Hathaway… and his live record is exactly why.

6.) Favorite pizza spot in your hometown?

Our favorite spot in Nashville, where we currently live, is Five Points Pizza. As for Birmingham that’s probably up for contention… Davenports, Salvatores and Tortugas are all really really great tho.

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7.) As my final question, as a band you folks enjoy trying the local cuisine and beers of each place you stop at while on tour. What city has the best food? What city has the best local beer? (Please include recommendations, if possible)

Our favorite food city is definitely Austin, Tx. Our friend and album art designer/designer for everything we do lives there and he’s taken us to so many places. I think the place we went to with the best pasta I’ve ever had is called Pettrucci’s. We also went to a taco truck out of an old school bus, I don’t remember what that was called. The best local beer city I think has to be Asheville, North Carolina and you could have any beer from there and it will be good.

 

I have to thank The Brook & The Bluff for taking the time to answer my questions.  I really hope you enjoy what Seattle has to offer in food (I recommend snacking on stuff at Pike Place Market), and what we have to offer in beer (can’t go wrong checking out the bars and breweries around Capitol Hill).  Check them out tomorrow night at the Columbia City Theater, and check out their album “First Place” wherever you get your music.

 

“One fan at a time.” 7 Questions with Nick Weaver

The first time I saw Nick Weaver perform was on a Thursday night at the Vera Project. 

He was the opening act for another local hip hop group, New Track City.  The crowd for Weaver’s set was small at first, but once he got on that mic it quickly grew.  If you ever get the opportunity to see Weaver perform live, be prepared for a level of lyrical fire you rarely hear in hip hop acts today.  Since that initial performance, I’ve seen Weaver kill it at every show of his that I’ve attended.  I’ll usually bring a friend or two to his shows, and Weaver never fails to impress.  I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions.  Here’s my short interview with Nick Weaver:

Lets start with something a little easy.  One of my favorite Northwest Hip Hop songs is Macklemore’s “The Town”. 
1.) The opening line of “The Town”, First memory of Seattle Hip Hop?

Nick Weaver: Not pertaining to Seattle, but first time seeing hip hop in Seattle was Jurassic 5 at Bumbershoot back in 2001. They played in Memorial Stadium, such a great thing to see as a kid.

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I read an older interview of yours from January 2015, where you mentioned that your big four of hip hop were Nas, Biggie, Jay Z, and Eminem. It’s been nearly 5 years since that article was published.
2.) Would you still say those are your big four and would you also say that those artists have had the most influence on your sound?

I definitely still think those 4 artists are the most influential towards my original style. To be honest, these days my sound evolves to something different everyday. The list of artists currently influencing music could be Hot Chip on one day, or Saba on another. Lol. It’s a rollercoaster.

I read one of your artist bios and your experience as a recording artist sounds fascinating. You went from mass producing your own first album onto one of those 100 CD spindles and then selling each one for $2 a CD, to getting millions of plays across streaming sites.
3.) Having experienced the transition from burning your own CDs to Streaming, what advice would you give artists today attempting this similar almost DIY approach?

I hear lots of my peers saying “I just don’t understand why Spotify isn’t giving me love.” It’s no question their music is great. But you absolutely have to have that fanbase that’s LOOKING for your stuff. You do that by playing as many local shows as you can, having engaging social media, and keeping a continuous release stream. Oh, and having money to invest in sponsored ads 🙂

These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject, the band Moon Palace. Moon Palace asks:
4.) What is your favorite road snack?

Nutter Butters. It’s not even close. Nutter Butters are the best thing ever. That sugary peanut butter is making my mouth water as I type this.

5.) Favorite venues to play at?

Locally I really love the stage at Neumos, such a great revamp they did a couple years back. The Crocodile’s sound and room layout is heavenly.

6.) What is your dream band to open for?

Jungle. I absolutely love this band and their live show is so incredibly inspiring. They are a massive influence on where my music is heading.

7.) For my final question, I follow you on Instagram and every now and again you talk about a love for coffee. Where can I find the best latte/cup of coffee in Seattle, and also what was the best cup of caffeine you’ve ever had (be it the beans, the preparation, etc. what made it special)?

Bruh ok, this is my favorite question! In Seattle, it’s Porchlight Coffee and Slate. Those are my top two. My FAVORITE, FAVORITE coffee shop is Pallet Roasters in Vancouver, BC. Their Benchmark espresso roast is perfection. However, the BEST cup of caffeine I ever had? Portland’s Albina Press. I had an almond milk latte. The dude working there pulled an incredible shot of espresso. Crema so thick it looked mud on top. Damn.

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I have to thank Nick Weaver for answering my questions and giving me a new coffee place to try out. Check out his website (thenickweaver.com), and check out his latest singles “Lund” and “Meyers Briggs“.