Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lotte Kestner [Interview # 1 6 1]

1)      First and foremost, a noted name who I shall not name recently said that she hopes to one day see a time when “female music” is labeled as “music music”.    I don’t see “female music” being sexist in the sense that stating “female” vocals over “male” vocals is like saying trumpet over trombone.    As a female artist yourself, how do you feel about this?

You know, for some reason I never get bothered by those sorts of distinctions. Although the term "female music" is a bit unpleasant, because it also implies that it's about "female" subject matter and that it might be geared toward a female audience. And I never think of my music as being that. Sometimes I get a little tired of only being compared to female artists, since the majority of music I listen to is written by males. There's a lot more to anyone's album than just the sound of their voice. There are so many aesthetic choices, word choices, and personal histories, and those things don't seem like they should be grouped by gender. 

2)      You are from Seattle, which is kind of cool because I’ve always wanted to move there.  (The idea of sleeping all day really appeals to me and I think the rain there would help)   Do you feel like, nearly twenty years after the death of Kurt Cobain, that Seattle is finally able to pull together its own music scene and not just be known for grunge?  (I like a number of bands from Seattle that are as diverse from Tender Bats to Postmadonna)

I was living in California when Kurt Cobain was alive. But I got really into the Seattle bands, Pearl Jam in particular. By the time I moved here 9 years ago there wasn't much evidence of the genre anymore. Everyone seemed to be writing folk songs. A few years ago, a lot of soul vocalists emerged. And then of course we have Macklemore now. So Seattle has plenty going on that's retro or danceable, but nothing really as earth-shattering as Nirvana. Some of my favorite local songwriters are Bill Patton, Mike Dumovich, Courtney Andrews, and Kevin Long. Just good solid prettiness. 

3)      Also, being from Seattle, do you know Shannon Smith?   I think she still lives there, if she isn’t in some weird state like Colorado.

Hmm, no...

4)      You have a “Poetry EP” that came out back in July, and the concept of this is something that has always appealed to me.  I constantly write poems myself, and sometimes I’d feel like I wanted to put the words to music, but every time I thought about it in my head it’d always come out sounding like an already existing band.   This lead me to the concept of “Poetry EP”, which is basically that I would have loved to/or one day make a compilation of my songs only performed by the musicians I feel they are suited for rather than me.    So how does this EP come about?  Do you have to be in a band in order to make it happen or do you think I should start emailing bands and asking them to sing my songs?  I also honestly kind of thought this was something people wouldn’t do or care about unless maybe I was tragically killed, you know.

Ha, who knows, I suppose it depends on how good your poetry is. :) 
As for this particular project,  I've been writing a lot more poetry since I hurt my wrist two years ago and realized I could never play guitar quite the same or as often as I used to. I was posting my poems on my Tumblr, and Damien Jurado read one and turned it into a song.. surprised me and sent it to me. He's one of the most beautiful artists I've ever heard so it was a significant moment for me. Then I got the idea to sing a few of my poems myself, include Damien's song and get a few more friends to record some,  and print up some cds to offer to people contributing to my Kickstarter. One of the other songs on the EP, by Caleb Ian Campbell, he also just took it upon himself to record that one without me asking. So it all came together really well. I've since used more of my poems as starting points for songs. I used to always write the music and words together, but now with the injury.. it helps to just start with the words. 

5)      You are associated with Saint Marie and Saint Loup Records.   If I added the word “Saint” in front of my record label, would you let me release a tape for you?  (“Saint Tile Tapes” has a certain ring to it, no?)

I think that would be too confusing :)

6)      What do you feel are the main differences between your solo music and music as part of a band?

Well the solo music is a lot more bare bones. Recording at home allows me to craft things as carefully as I like. The words and the vocal performances are so much more spotlighted than they were on the Trespassers William albums. But it's not like it's some huge departure, which I think is a good thing. I'm still me writing about the things I care about. There aren't any gimmicks. 

7)      Great new question for all the lovely bands on Saint Marie:  Will we ever see a Saint Marie Tour, where maybe you, Nightmare Air, Bloody Knives, Panda Riot, The History of Colour TV and Drowner tour together?

I'm up for it. I've only met Anna from Drowner, she's the sweetest, I'd like to tour with her. 

8)      Final thoughts, shout outs, etc…??

I'll give a shout out to Sadistik because he's the only person who's ever given me one :) 

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