Feb 8, 2012

My interview with The Weepies

Source: http://theweepies.com/
It was one of those rare moments....you know the moment where you hear a sound that makes your insides glow and you instantaneously fall in love and want more....MORE. You want to know "What or who is this that just moved me so deeply?" and you Google parts of the lyrics or the soundtrack of the movie you just finished watching (when I say YOU, maybe I just mean me...this is what I do ;)) Anyway, to try to make a long story short, this is how I found the Weepies, roughly two years ago, and it is a love that does not fade....not even an ounce....in fact, it grows! ....and now they are at the top of my favorite bands/singers. With this in mind, you can maybe imagine the excitement I felt when hearing back from their management that they would happily (HAPPILY!) participate in this interview. I must also add that I'm almost equally excited to find how their honest, humble and sweet music also so well reflects the way they answered all the questions. 
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you........


My interview with The Weepies
Linda: For the readers who have not yet discovered The Weepies and your amazing music, tell them a little bit about yourselves... What do you want us to know about you?

The Weepies: We’re songwriters from the USA.  We were both solo artists who were fans of each other when we met.  We began writing together soon after, and have been writing together for 11 years now.

Linda: You have now sold more than a million singles and half a million albums..... This is a great achievement!! When did you start feeling that you were successful?

The Weepies: We still rent a small house, and drive a 2004 Toyota Matrix, so that’s weird to see those numbers in black and white like that.  It’s been very gradual, so I suppose it never felt like, “poof, we’re successful.”  But we did quit our day jobs a decade ago, and we are still excited about being able to do this every day. Probably the most successful-feeling moments are still private, artistic ones, when writing or recording goes well.  There was a feeling of momentum in 2006 when we were touring dozens and dozens of nights in a row, and over a few months the crowds went from 12 people to a thousand, and that was astonishing and connective.  As far as the sales numbers it feels totally surreal.

Photo by Jeremy Cowart: The Weepies in their backyard - a Linda - Lost in Switzerland exclusive premiere ;))

Linda: I once read how the name the Weepies came about and found this so beautiful: 
"The Weepies came about from a few different sources,  but one was,  you know,  those sort of old movies that were called weepies,  where you could basically be guaranteed that if you needed a good cry,  you could go and see one of these and bring your hanky and have a good time. And we want to be able to provide that for people. 
We want to make music that touches them and moves them in that way, the place where tears come from, for joy and for sorrow".
This is certainly how I feel when I listen to your songs!!  "Living in Twilight" and "The world spins madly on" moved me to tears when I first heard them, "Antarctica" and "Take it from me" almost makes me feel slightly intoxicated and songs like "Be my Honeypie", "Be my thrill" and "Same changes" makes me smile and...well.....bouncy! Are they deliberately written to make me feel this way? Do you also get deeply moved by the music you write and do you manage to keep the feelings for the songs considering that you must play some of them rather frequently?

The Weepies: Thanks for the compliment!  We just try to make songs that move us personally. We don’t take it for granted at all, songs seldom work if we’re not actually feeling them as we write.  We’ll abandon many more than we finish because of that.  And then our favorite performing moments are when we feel the song again, maybe in a new way.  It helps to lean on the audience, which is another amazing experience.  You really do get in touch with other people’s emotions during the song on some occasions.  The group-feeling thing is addicting and not our usual mode – we’re much more insular day to day.

Linda: Not sure that everyone knows, but you are not only an amazing duo in the studio and on stage, but you are also married with kids. I find the whole story about how you two met amazing!! You were both individual singer/songwriters and fans of each others music... For us with, let's call them, "normal day jobs", it would seem almost as an impossible thought working together with the one we love for various reasons. What are the pros and cons? How do you make it work? ...and also, can you ever switch off from work?

The Weepies: We basically work every waking hour, and some when we’re half-asleep – it’s just a personality thing that both of us have, and had before we met.  We truly love having a work life that’s so intertwined - the downside of working with your partner is you have to face them even when tired or irritated with them (not that this ever happens by the way can you please put your dishes away you don’t need to “soak” your cereal bowl in the sink darling). It can be intense, but for us it beats not seeing your wife or husband by a mile.

Linda: What is the most exciting article or review you have ever read about yourselves?


The Weepies: Reading about ourselves gives us the spins, we avoid it whenever possible!  PASTE did a nice article awhile back, the writer was very kind, and we truly appreciated that.  It was one of the earliest articles that treated us like a legitimate band, and that was really fun.  But again, good or bad, too many people’s opinions don’t really help you be productive or happy, so we attempt not to read it.  We slip up late at night when awake with the baby sometimes, it’s always, always a mistake.

Linda: I have always found it so amazing that I never seem get tired of your music all though my playlist "The Weepies" is, by far, my most frequently listened to over the past couple of years. My own personal thought on this is that it might be because you take turns in being the main voice in your songs. They are all with that "Weepies feeling" to it, but with a different sound. How does this process work for you of choosing who sings?

Source: http://theweepies.com/
The Weepies: Again, thank you! Steve always wants Deb to sing, and Deb attempts to get Steve in front of the mic at all.  The reason things tilt toward Deb on the records is that Deb is a little less shy about her voice.  When we met, we were already infatuated with one another’s voices, our dynamic likely grows out of that early relationship.

Linda: Your song "Same changes" was chosen for the Soundtrack of "Morning glory". How did this come about and was it a song recorded for the movie or an existing song that they picked?

The Weepies: “Same Changes” was written and recorded during the same time as the “Be My Thrill” record – it’s about our kids in the back yard.  “Be My Thrill” wasn’t a concept album, it was just really a record of a time in our lives, so what was going to go on the record was definitely up in the air.  Our label at the time (Nettwerk) has great ties to film & TV, and some music supervisors and others were given a sneak preview of a bunch of tracks we were working on.  This movie expressed their keen interest, and we didn’t want to say no to a movie with Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams and Diane Keaton.  


Linda: How important do you think being featured in different soundtracks has been so far for you? I was also thinking about "Can't go back now" which was featured in the "Adam" soundtrack and your music's appearances in various hit TV shows (such as Grey's Anatomy, How I met your mother, One tree hill etc. just to mention a few).

The Weepies: It’s been critical to our being able to continue doing this for a living. Most people wouldn’t know about us without some of the placements. Really it’s impossible to understate the effect it continues to have.  Music placement is the new FM radio. 


Linda: If you had the opportunity to design your dream gig (no limits!), choosing everything from venue, artists to collaborate with, location, theme, audience etc. How would you describe it?

The Weepies: NO limits?  Maybe we’d play at the next solar eclipse.  With the Grateful Dead (come back Jerry!)
Realistically though, headlining shows are most often our favorites, as opposed to festivals or group collaborations – the audiences tend to know what to expect and it feels very much like “Go Team!”  Ryman Auditorium and San Francisco’s Fillmore are the best venues we’ve played yet – I suspect there are many more that would be fun!

Linda: List your own 5 favorite The Weepies songs =)

The Weepies: Well, whatever we’re working on now is probably our favorite.  And there are ones we love and want to defend for having been generally overlooked. But we tend to come back to (and are grateful for):
"World Spins Madly On"
"Somebody Loved"
"Orbiting"
"Nobody Knows Me At All"
"Be My Thrill"


Linda: Who inspires you both musically and why?

The Weepies: Each other, seriously.  Then we take different types of inspiration from our friends and peers than we do from our elders and past masters.   We are really students of it all, so we try to work off of everything we hear.  We give each other “writing challenges” all the time, and we’ll take a similar challenge from listening to Benny Goodman or Ryan Adams – write a song like that.  Write with that sort of attitude.  Write a song that changes keys like that, or write using just two chords like that.

Linda: All though I am far from bored of listening to all your already available tunes, I am obviously very excited about a possible release of your next album! Can you share anything regarding progress and timings?

Source: http://theweepies.com/
The Weepies: We are working hard!  We have dozens of new songs.  We have not set a date, and we don’t have a label.  It’s a cyclical life – write, record, tour, collapse, repeat.  We’re in write-record.  The biggest question for us is, are we going to be able to do another big record, or is it possible to go back to the early rock and roll model of releasing a single song (and maybe a B side) at a time, and release one every short while?   We’re keeping our heads down for a couple months more at least, we can feel that the writing part is still working for us at the moment, and we want to stay in that moment as long as we dare.  The cycle will come back around likely sooner rather than later.

Linda: Unless my information is incorrect, you only did one European tour back in 2006 (unfortunately before I found out about you). Any plans to come back?

The Weepies: First, that tour was a blast.  Second, that tour nearly broke our backs!  It was wonderful, but we were massively understaffed (ie: we were on our own as a band, no tour manager, sound person, roadie, driver, interpreter or local contacts).  We’re sort of in the dark about what level of support there is.  Next record, we’d love, love, love to get back.

Linda: Thank you wholeheartedly for all the inspiration, emotions and happiness your music brings!!! ....and thank you for taking the time to do this!! I am a huge fan and will have one of my most exciting moments clicking the "Publish" button."


xox

6 comments:

  1. oh... thank you so much Linda for this post!!! i'm loving it!!!

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  2. Fantastic interview - cannot wait for more Weepies music.

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  3. Yes pleaseeeee come to Europe!!!!!

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  4. I love them and their songs! How did you invite them for an interview Linda? Amazing! I always wonder if you work in some music company lady. Are you? :)

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  5. Karla/Josh: Thank you both so much for your comments!! Am so happy oyu enjoyed it =p x

    Mel: I'm keeping my fingers crossed right with you!! x

    Cherry: Ha ha haaaaa!! Am (unfortunately) not working in the music industry..... I got in touch with their manager ;) x

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  6. That was lovely. Thank you.

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I read and treasure all your comments..... Thank you for taking the time! x

My Little Fishies