06/14/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2018 08:40
1. What are your top 5 albums of all time?
Tell Me I'm Pretty, Cage the Elephant
Mariah Carey MTV Unplugged live album
The Midnight Organ Fight, Frightened Rabbit
Blue, Joni Mitchell
Golden Hour Kacey Musgraves
2. Who are your greatest music idols/influencers?
Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit
My boyfriend and friends influence and inspire me a lot. A lot of my best friends are musicians, or artists of some kind.
3. What was your first 'I got this' moment as an artist?
Most of the time I don't feel like I totally know what I'm doing. I saw my friend Kevin Johnston play at Pete's Candy Store a long time ago (2007?) at a time when I was singing backup for singer-songwriters and bands, and I knew I had to do that too and start writing songs in a more purposeful way.
4. What are you listening to right now?
Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves, Long Live the Dead by Jordan Lehning, Cigarettes After Sex, Both Ways by Donovan Woods, Kendrick Lamar, Mental Illness by Aimee Mann
5. How do you feed your imagination?
Music, and going for walks, and reading.
6. Are there any causes/charities/nonprofits that you support?
I love Why Hunger and I Don't Mind. I would like to to do more with charities that have to do with mental health/suicide prevention and arts programs in schools.
7. What artists shaped you?
Frightened Rabbit, Wakey Wakey, Mariah Carey, Jaymay, Joni Mitchell, Chicago, Fiona Apple, My parents music: Jim Croce, CCR, Jackson Browne, Carpenters etc. classic rock.
8. Who is your dream collaboration?
I don't know. I used to really want to write a song with Scott Hutchison, but he passed away. I like playing music with my friend Hayley Batt and my boyfriend, Paul McDonald. I think it would be cool to a side project or poetry book with Hayley Batt. Paul and I have a side project called The Sweetheart Deal and will be playing some shows at the end of the month.
9. Can you describe your creative spaces?
I like to have really empty spaces to write in. So my office I keep with as little clutter as possible. At least at first and then if I leave something out or put something on the wall it's very purposeful. Honestly I find I write the best or get ideas on airplanes and in hotel rooms. I guess having no responsibility to take care of the space frees my mind. But I always like to have guitar in the living room and then sometimes when I'm watching really stupid, boring tv my mind wanders and I write at the same time.
10. What is a typical weekend like?
Every weekend is different cause I end up traveling for acting work or going to comic book conventions.
But, Now that I'm in LA, I like to swim if it's hot out!!! I like to hike and I like to go see friends play at little places like The Echo or Hotel Cafe. If I'm in Nashville, I like to go to Radnor Lake and hang out in East Nashville. I like trying new coffee shops. I like to watch CBS Sunday morning. It's news for Grandmas and I love it. I try to watch it every week.
11. Are there any specific magazines/podcasts/websites/brands you want us to pitch for you?
App called Mend that does a podcast
CBS Sunday morning is my dream some day!!
I loved doing the article with Darling.
Elle women in music issue.
Busy Phillips is going to have a new talk show. I follow her on instagram.
The New Yorker, they always have poetry.
New York mag
12. What are your favorite brands for equipment/tech/headphones/speakers/etc
13. Can you name a few key life experiences that most shaped who you are?
Moving to NYC. The Lion's Club talent shows when I was little really hooked me into music and making it my thing. The theatre department at Wesleyan in Lincoln, Nebraska instilled a real sense of discipline and work ethic when making art that has really stuck with me my whole career whether music or acting.
I used to run away a lot but it would just be around to the other side of the lake at my grandparents house or to the car. I'd bring coloring books and a caboodles box with stuff. I think I realized early on that I really needed space to hear my own thoughts; that other people around me really affect me and I'm very empathetic. I think writing songs by myself or being on stage is a way to turn down all the noise of the world. I love being with my friends and family but creative time to myself is really soothing to me.
14. Do you collect anything?
I like band merch. I buy a lot of snack food protein bars, and just hoard it in my cupboards. Gummy candy.
15. How would you describe your style? Who are your style icons?
Growing up and still, I've always really loved Gwen Stefani, but I wouldn't say I necessarily dress like her. I also like Lana Del Rey. I feel like my style is in transition right now. But I like my hair super blonde as possible. I like a lot of t-shirts and torn denim and overalls and onsies and cool jackets. White shoes. Delicate jewelry if any. Really into mascara and lashes and eyeliner.
16. How has your acting career influenced your music?
Every time I have to be a new character and go to a set in a new place, I have new stories and a new environment that can spark song ideas.
Some acting roles (like Walking Dead and Spring Awakening have lead people to my music.) And having audience is obviously important for fueling a music career.
17. Are there any artists you look up to whose career you would like to emulate?
I used to think so, but now I sort of feel like I'm doing my own thing that makes me happy. Creative careers are sort of unpredictable no matter how much you try to shape them. I think I'm happy to just keep getting work whether it be in music or televison or theatre. I'm happiest while I'm making stuff and finishing stuff.
18. How is 'Oh Jonathan' an evolution from 'This Is War'?
How have you grown as an artist in the years since? I've spent a lot of time experimenting. I was actually working on a completely different album called 'Shadows' or 'Shadow in a Room' and I have all those songs so maybe I will eventually finish that record, but 'Oh Jonathan' just sort of naturally wrote itself. I think emotionally I had to feel that relationship had to be seen or hold some weight and it never got that in real life, so maybe that's why I felt a strong desire to write all these songs.
Many of the songs on my last album This is War I had played out with a band before recording. These songs on Oh Jonathan, I created in the studio just me and Ben Greenspan the producer, so that was a big difference.
19. Can you tell us a little bit about inspiration behind the 'Boy Band Hero' video?
Well I really wanted to work with Jason who directed it and I really like simple videos so that the images support the song and you listen to the song closer rather than the image overtaking the song and the song becoming soundtrack. We did this in a one shot with a very slow pull back, and mixed in images from when I was growing in Nebraska from various sporting, school events. I found the Kinks shirt on e-bay.
20. Can you send us a track-by-track for the songs on the album? (anecdotes from recording, etc.)
21. Can you describe the album in five words?
Daydream windy whispers lost muse
22. Which song do you find to be the most autobiographical and why?
They are all extremely autobiographical, most of the scenes I describe really happened tho maybe not in exact order or specifics or maybe some I exaggerate.
23. What are the most prevalent ideas/themes/inspiration on your album?
Wanting companionship, isolation, unrequited love, imagination, immaturity, growing up, sobriety
24. Were there any current/world events that influenced you or that you specifically wanted to address on this album? How did they translate into the songs?
I think social media makes it very difficult to move on from a past relationship, past life. I think you can make up a lot of stories in your head and feel isolated but also inspired in certain ways because of social media. I don't directly address social media in my songs but I think they played into the creation of them.
25. What is the most interesting thing about this album to you?
The trumpet solo in Loser.
26. What did you learn about yourself during the making of this album?
I recognized time passing in a different way and aging, I learned more about gratitude and steadiness and process.