Me Talk Pretty Talks "We Are Strangers"
Wed, 23 Nov 2011 09:29:51
"We want everybody to come to our shows and be inspired," declares Me Talk Pretty frontwoman Uliana.
That's a lofty goal, but Me Talk Pretty will undoubtedly accomplish it. On their debut record We Are Strangers, the New York quartet cooks up invigorating and infectious rock 'n' roll with ethereal flourishes and a danceable groove. It's an enigmatic sound informed by a myriad of influences and personal experiences accrued from life all over the globe. That's precisely why Me Talk Pretty are one of the most intriguing new bands to emerge this year…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief and Dolor author Rick Florino, Uliana and Leon of Me Talk Pretty discuss We Are Strangers and so much more.
Where does the story of Me Talk Pretty start?
Leon: It started in 2006 in New York City. That right there is the easiest explanation. There's so much going on in New York City. There are so many cool different types of music happening. Tying it with both Uliana and my background, we had a lot of inspiration around us. We've always wanted to create something a little different but at the same time familiar.
Uliana: I came from here oversees following a huge dream to front a rock band.
How do you tend to write?
Uliana: Sometimes, lyrics come simultaneously with a song. Certain things inspire me while I sing. There are words that just come with the song. I feel that's probably the most inspiring. I'm describing what I feel without really thinking about it. Then, I step back and I realize that's where I'm at and what I want to write about. Sometimes, you take the melody and write lyrics to it. I take a lot of pride in my lyrics because they mean a lot to me. I'm very lyric-oriented as an artist. I tend to listen to lyrics a lot even when I listen to my favorite artists. When people connect with our songs and lyrics, it means the world to me. English is my second language so it means a lot to me when people do connect to what I sing.
What's the story behind "Wake Up!"?
Uliana: Everything started about six years back when I was in Romania. I was watching all of these amazing bands on TV wondering how you get to be on stage in front of a ton of people in that context. I had this amazing choice to come to America with my mother. A few years right after, my mom passed away. "Wake Up!" talks about that and the life she wanted me to have and the sacrifices she made for me to have a future in a much better world. "Wake Up!" is an homage to her. It's a very intense song live. In the beginning, it was hard for me to talk about the song. For about six to eight months, we never said anything about it on stage. It became easier for me especially when people came to me and said, "I feel there's something very special about that song". Now, it's one of our most appreciated songs.
What's up with "Keep Waiting"?
Uliana: That one is a very girly song. It talks about being approached by a guy and being in that state of mind where you're not quite sure what you want. You simply want to take your time and figure out if you want to pursue a relationship or not. From a girl's point of view, it talks about whether or not you want to pursue this person. That's why it's called "Keep Waiting".
Is it important for you to paint a picture and tell stories with the songs?
Leon: We're all artists in our own weird ways. Uliana is actually a sculptress.
Uliana: I went to school for fine arts back home in Romania. When I can and I have time, I love to sculpt and all of these crazy things.
Leon: The live show is an opportunity to put visuals and our own art form behind the actual songs. When we're writing, we're always thinking about moments for the live show, artwork, and how to bring the songs to life three-dimensionally. We like depth in everything. We wrote from that mentality and we approach everything from that mentality.
If We Are Strangers were a movie or a combination of movies what would it be?
Leon: Wow, we've never been asked that question [Laughs].
Uliana: I have it! I feel like we're out of The Blind Side or Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Those people who never think they can do things and suddenly you just realize that if you really want you can bring a message to the world and change things around you. You can make a difference. This is our avenue to speak. It's our first chance to make a difference. We want to give those people who don't think they have a voice a chance to speak. When I first came to America, I didn't speak any English. Some people gave me credit and some wrote me off. I don't want to do that. I think our public is so important. Everybody has a voice and can express themselves. That's what we want to do.
Have you heard Me Talk Pretty?