Welcome to the second edition of our Artist Interview Series! Last week we sat down with Carolyn Grigar of Charlie Moses to talk a little about her debut release on Predator Friendly Records, Someday We Will Sleep Though The Night. Here you go...
1. “Bathysphere” is a Smog cover. What made you want to cover it and what does Smog/BillCallahan mean to you?
Ooooh I like this question. I’m trying to warp back to the first time I heard Smog… I was working at the Stumptown Coffee in Old Town—this bustling, echoey, cavernous space. I was 19. It was a crazy busy day and I was doing a million things at once, and then Bathysphere started playing over the stereo and I had one of those frozen-in-time-and-space moments. I was transported, floating peacefully through the sea with just this song and I. I look for that in art—something that removes me from where I am and plunks me into some other world. Bill Callahan does it through storytelling—the simplicity of instrumentation and the complexity of lyricism. That’s what Smog means to me and it’s for sure why I wanted to cover Bathysphere.
2. Was “Gardens” written in your usual style, with a guitar, and then converted to an electronic arrangement or was it written as an electronic track?
Nah, Gardens was definitely teamwork between Jeff (The Great Mundane) and I. If I remember right he’d been sitting on that electronic track for a bit, then played it for me and I wrote a vocal melody to it and then started layering harmonies from there.
3. These songs feature more electronic production than your usual guitar and vocal approach. How do you interact with the songs vocally or emotionally that is different when using electronics production verses just guitar and vocals.
Oh man, process… It’s different and not different. In both scenarios I’m hulled up in my mental den working on melody and digging through the emotional archives. In both scenarios I’m piecing together a story. When it’s just me and my guitar it’s a form of catharsis and I don’t feel any emotional restriction. This was my first time collaborating with electronic production and I was able to let it be less of a journal entry and more of a dance party or whatever. Ha! Less work more play.
4. Charlie Moses and The Great Mundane - each sound quite different from the other. Overall, how did the collaboration process go between the two of you?
It was fun! Jeff and I were just messing around with what worked and what didn’t work with the two of our styles combined. It felt easy and intimate and supportive—we weren’t trying for anything or expecting anything so the finished product of our recklessness was a pleasant surprise.