Hello Hannah! Thank you for your time! How have you been and what has social distancing been like for you? We have been on lockdown in France since March 16 and heard this week that it will go until at least May 11. It’s been unusual, quiet, worrisome, normal, peaceful, stressful, the gamut. The news is all over the place, so we don’t ever really have a sense of what is going on. A sort of disorientation and grief comes in waves because parts of the day is perfectly normal and even beautiful -- sun, spring flowers blooming, a good conversation, work, planning meals, uncorking a good bottle of wine, the usual. And then comes the weird new behaviors we are adapting to, the data, headlines, not making plans, no trips ahead to look forward to, the talking heads in their living rooms, arguing, anger, the charts and graphs with curves and lines you can stare at but can't take away what you need. All that becomes very present and reminds us of all the unknowns, the dark. There are people I always turn to because they are the smartest ones, but there is no one to ask about this. How this will end. No one knows.
We love everything about your latest release. One song that sticks out is the title track “Stingray" Tell us more about this song!
"Stingray" is a rock song describing a release from the shackles of an unhealthy relationship. It’s not about breaking up. It’s about understanding what was really going on, and no longer having space for the dysfunction in your life. It’s an anthem and a rock song and it is fun to play with the band! It always makes me smile to play it.
Was it a song that was written quickly or overtime? I had written the first verse very quickly and I knew I was on to something, but I wasn’t 100% sure what the song was about. I did spend some time researching narcissism and the stages of breaking the hold, and I kept those in mind as the remaining verses unfolded.
Share with us why you chose the name Stingray for the album. Stingray is a great word. It is an elegant and otherworldly fish, hovering and traveling great distances. Stingrays are evocative, scary, and elegant. And they are a Chevrolet!
Who are you listening to the most right now? I have very eclectic tastes than run through the centuries-- classical, modern, new music, folk, pop, rock, experimental. I’m listening now to Laurie Anderson, Jill Sobule, Lou Reed, John Prine, and Cowboy Junkies’ latest release “Ghosts”. I’m listening to a lot of my friends on their live stream living room concerts.
Do you have plans to tour? Like many things, that have been put on hold. I had started booking my summer/fall, but most of those shows have been canceled. I am going to take this time to do more songwriting, making videos, and curating virtual events, like MUSEfest, a festival that amplifies excellent women in music and film. Tell us about your writing process. Do you write daily or just when inspiration hits? I normally am very disciplined about my creative process, but I have to say, I have been really unfocused during the lockdown. In the first few days of the lockdown, I thought -- “This will be great. I will get so much done.” But that hasn’t been the case. I have been tired and distracted, and I have a lot of work in my day job (thank goodness, knock on wood). Normally I have multiple things I am working on in my studios like my live set, new songs for an upcoming recording session, a song I am writing for a specific project, and learning a new instrument or tool. I often try to get into my studio first thing in the morning before other things claim my day. New songs arrive in different ways. I am very interested in the creative process, and less interested in becoming a factory repeating what has worked for me in the past. New songs are the result of a creative journey, experimentation, risk-taking, creating problems, and sticking with it until they are solved. The kernel of inspiration might be a lyric or tune I have swirling around my head. It might come from playing around with a new tuning or chord progression just to see what happens. Songs come out of conversations I have with people, magazine articles, or characters I invent. Every now and then, a song will just fall into my lap, but that’s pretty rare. I have hundreds of unreleased songs. Sometimes they sit unfinished in my songwriting folder (in google docs) and then I’ll pull one out a year later, and drop parts of an old song into a problem area of a new one. And the mashup makes sense and solves the new song’s problem.
Where can our readers find you online and connect and listen to your new album 'Stingray'? You can hear Stingray on Spotify: Subscribe to my youtube channel here: Find tour dates, t-shirts, and more here:
Listen to 'Stingray' here.