Huge thanks to The Well Pennies for the Q&A! Good stuff…
Q: What piqued your interest in music?
A: “Nothing spiked our interest; music spiked us. We were both born with the bug. From very early ages we were obsessed with music to a weird degree and nothing about that has changed. It’s the reason we get up in the morning.”
Q: Who do you look up to in the music world?
A: “We definitely look up to a lot of producers; we’ll buy albums just because they’ve produced them. T-Bone Burnett, Ethan Johns, Jon Brion, and Danger Mouse, they’re masters of vibe. There is a fluidity to the albums they produce and very few can accomplish that. They take risks and have a knack for capturing the human element which is rare in this day and age. For the Raising Sand record, T-Bone had Plant and Krauss each pick songs that they wanted to sing and then made them sing each others songs; what a bad-a**!
As far as songwriters, melody writers, and players that we look up to – Chris Thile, Noam Pikelny and the rest of The Punch Brothers are some of the best players in the world right now, and we’d include The Bad Plus in that category as well: the god-tier of instrumentalists. They are masters of their instruments and not just in a virtuosic way. Anyone (not everyone, mind you) can play fast, but these bands know how to use their talents to really shape songs and bring out the best in the music in a mind-blowing way. Randy Newman, Dolly Parton, Ray LaMontagne, Ralph Stanley and Sam Beam are probably our favorite songwriters and melody writers ever. And we have to throw Tom Waits in there too, because he’s just cool.”
Q: How would you describe your music?
A: “Pop music with folk instrumentation: Iron & Wine with more banjo; Sufjan Stevens with less banjo; Mumford & Sons with the same amount of banjo just with an extra ‘X’ chromosome.”
Q: Where is the best place to find your music?
A: “iTunes (to purchase the EP), but we also have music on our Facebook page, Reverbnation, and, soon, on our website. YouTube and Vimeo also have videos of us with more coming in the future.”
Q: What song(s) do you wish you had written?
A: “Don’t get us started! To name a few:
“The Wild Hunt” by The Tallest Man on Earth
“Little Person” by Jon Brion
“I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today” by Randy Newman
“I Know You Know” by The Punch Brothers
“Jolene” by Ray LaMontagne
“Bundah” by Christina Courtin
“The Sandman, the Brakeman and Me” by The Monsters of Folk
“From the Morning” by Nick Drake
“Tick of Time” by The Kooks
“Shiny on the Inside” by Leona Naess
and of course
“Cheer up Murray” by The Flight of the Conchords”
Q: Anything new?
A: “We just put out our first EP called The Well Pennies [EP]. And we’re playing shows around Southern California this summer: The Roxy, Amplyfi, The Gypsy Den, Molly Malones, all over the place. Check out our Facebook for a calendar.”
Thanks again, Bryan and Sarah!