Olivia Awbrey: 10 question interview

Olivia Awbrey from Portland Oregon is coming to play LOUD WOMEN on 13 April at the Hope & Anchor. We got to know her a bit better by asking her our 10 questions …

If you could add one member to your band – any person, living or dead, musical or otherwise – who would it be, and what would they play?
I think right now I’d want Tig Notaro telling jokes between each song.
I’d love to have her as a hype-person.

Who would you most like to cover one of your songs?
Patti Smith or Kim Deal.

What was the last song you wrote, where were you when you came up with the idea, what inspired it, and how did it turn out?

I’m currently working on a new song about romanticism and how it fails people. It was inspired by archaic ideas of relationships and how that pressure keeps people from letting themselves be messy and honest in getting to know each other. I have a hard time writing about love and relationships, but I’ve been thinking about it more recently. Of course I’m just hiding personal experiences in the format of writing about someone else. I chose to write about Robert Frost getting wrapped up in himself and the pressure of individualism and romanticism rather than just choosing a path and walking it. I think it’s turning out okay.

Which was your favourite gig you’ve a) played and b) watched?

My violinist Margaret and I played a duo set together in Bolton, UK last year and the vibe of the all-ages and everything was really fun and intimate – the audience was super warm and it just felt good. With my band, we played a show at Turn, Turn, Turn in Portland last year and it was the first time playing our new material out to a full audience after months of rehearsing in a garage – that was really rewarding!! Favorite gig watched recently: My friend Emily Overstreet in Portland plays in a bunch of projects and
her solo songwriting is stunning – catchy, minimalist and a little ambient. She played a show at Mississippi Studios in Portland a couple months ago and I cried the whole time.

Recommend a record that you think our readers might not have heard of.

Definitely check out Elly Swope from Portland. Her album “It Feels the Same Everytime” is great. Also my friend and drummer in my band, Dan Klee, is about to drop his album “Portraits” and that’ll be on the internet somewhere. 🙂

What’s your best piece of advice for young musicians?

Ha! I feel like I’m a young musician. Still learning a lot every day. Although after 10 years I’m getting the hang of something. If you’re just starting out I would say: make music with people who make you feel good, and the rest will fall into place. Doubt is normal, and fucking up is encouraged every once in a while.

Your top 3 most beloved albums ever – go.

Ah. I have to say #1 is still Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen – I’ll never tire of the cinematic masterpiece that it is; #2 is Last Splash by The Breeders; and #3 is Chris T-T’s Capital.

What are your musical goals?

To make music with people who share the same love of camaraderie and craft. And longevity. I’d like to be making music when I’m 80!

What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now?

We are finishing up our debut full-length, recorded half in my hometown Portland, OR and London, UK. Not exactly sure when it will be released, but hopefully late 2019 or early 2020. And we’ll be doing a proper tour for it in the US and UK – so look out for that!

Give your top 5 contemporary bands/musicians.

1 – Courtney Barnett – she nails the balance between working really hard and not giving afuck, and I’m always blown away by her honesty onstage.

2 – Anna Tivel – she’s a songwriter from Portland who weaves worlds into her albums through lyrics and melody and I love everything she puts out.

3 – Dan Klee – he’s a rock songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/lyricist in Portland and he makes these arena rock masterpieces from his bedroom – definitely worth checking out (and i’m biased, because he drums with me, haha)

4 – Hurtling – they’re a London-based trio [ed: playing this year’s LOUD WOMEN Fest, in fact!], and I just love Jen Macro’s guitar playing and singing.

5 – Roseblood – they’re a Portland power group led by Kathy Foster (from The Thermals and making some really dark, heavy music that fills the abyss in my soul.

Follow Olivia Awbrey on Facebook, and catch her live in London on 13 April at the Hope & Anchor, with The Plan, Tuffragettes, and The Other Ones

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