Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Michelle Blades [ Interview # 133]

1)      First, to get it out of the way, I have to ask you about comments recently made by someone saying that she wishes one day “female music” will just be known as “music music”.   Do you find the term “female music”, which I have used both to describe and separate music from other music, to be sexist?
It's a complicated question. I think if you're making feminist music, then sure the label female music would fit just any particularly specific genre of music, like specifying something is protest folk or anarchist punk. But ideally and personally, I'd like people to look at the product a person does as just music, regardless of gender. I don't think most people specify if a woman made a piece in a malicious way, but I do believe that at its base it is sexist. There are a few compliments after shows I could have done without- some that show a true separation in peoples minds between male musician and female musician, as if it is extra impressive because a female is actually doing what male musicians do "normally"?  Music is for anyone to create. I am proud to be a woman, and I am proud to be a musician. When someone listens to my music, I hope they enjoy it in the way human beings are moved by other human beings' expression.

2)      Your musical style is one that is tough to peg, especially on your latest release.  Sometimes it’s like your songs are two built into one.  Is the process for creating a song much the same for you as it would be for other bands to perhaps create an entire album?

Oh man I don't know. The creative process is so different for everyone I can't really say. I think maybe the songs change a lot within themselves because I don't sit and write them down on paper.  I usually fiddle with something and then put it down, pick it up another day and mess with it again (but it being a different day with different feelings the song changes) and so forth. Or I'll make it in one sitting and think halfway "how can I fuck this up?". I feel like I'm still learning how to play the instruments I'm using so the songs are kind of studies of the instrument meshed with expression, along with the usual mesh of influences and whatnot, which I'm sure musicians share in common. I think it's important to grow with your music, be it within the same song or throughout a span of several albums. Your choice.

3)      What has your experience with Midnight Special Records been like?  They seem cool.

MSR has been amazing. We're a team. I live with the label in a house/recording studio in Bagnolet, a suburb just outside of Paris. We make music together and clean the house together, scheme together and cook together, inspire each other. It's really a great collective of people. Ever since I moved here I've been in awe of how many artists and fellow friends have come together and made such beautiful work, from recording, putting days of work into building a kickass tv studio set, making fliers, setting up lighting, photo work, borrowing of equipment, etcetc. It's really a young, grassroots label and I couldn't be happier or more honored to be a part of it. 

4)      You are from Paris, which really doesn’t need any sort of background from the likes of me.   It’s actually one of the few places outside of the U.S. I would like to visit one day.  So my question is, if I did somehow find myself in Paris one day, somehow, would you be my tour guide for a day?  (Of course we could video tape it and put it on the YouTube)

I'm actually not from Paris. I moved here in December, but I and was born in central America grew up in the States. Still, I'd be super down to give you a tour. I hope you like coffee because it'd be the tour de café.

5)      Have you ever been to Germany?  Would you ever go there or bring Lucia Lip to Paris so you two could collaborate?   That is one piece of music I would pay a lot to hear.

Never been but I'm on tour going in a couple of days to play a show! I'm super stoked. I'm on tour with our friends Dark Rooms. You should really check them out, they're amazing.  And I'm gonna have to open a new tab and check out Lucia because I've never heard.
6)      Is Sandy (of “Sandy Was a Weak Rager”) based on a real person?  Is it Sandy Duncan?

hahahahaha. No, unfortunately. I made that song in my bathroom when I lived in Miami. Hurricane Sandy hit Florida before she headed up for the northeast and everyone was sensationalizing so much in the media, and being wildly depressed and bored at the time I was ready for some destruction, but  the storm literally provided some mild gusts and chilly weather and I spent Hurricane Sandy drinking beers outside of a Whole Foods with my friend. So I made a song about what a bummer it was (although yes sure ultimately we got lucky, I'm glad there were no severe injuries)... and then like two days later she destroys Jersey and New York and I kind of had my tail up my ass and stopped explaining the song to people. 

7)      When will “Zoroaster & Two Devils” be available on cassette?


8)      I feel like since music has become digital, artists and smaller labels can take more liberties with how they release music physically, meaning everything doesn’t have to be on CD anymore.   Cassettes are my first and most favorite, but records are second.  Would you ever release an album on vinyl?

I'd love to release a vinyl. We're thinking about doing so for my next release, it's just all about the budget. If we had the money we'd release everything on vinyl with a digi download. Sounds so dreamy.

9)      Final thoughts, plugs, good wine suggestions, myths about Paris debunked, etc…??

I guess a thank you to you dude, thanks for being interested in my music! We're touring the states in December! Rolling through the deep south. 

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