The Staves Talk "The Motherlode"
Mon, 11 Jun 2012 13:10:12
Exquisite songwriting and graceful delivery remain pointed hallmarks of The Motherlode EP [iTunes, The Staves.
The three sisters make impactful folk rock that nods to the late '60s without simply retreading worn ground. In fact, they forge their own way that's decidedly fresh and utterly poignant. The Motherlode EP is pure folk gold and it's the start of a shining presence here in America for the trio.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Camilla of The Staves talks the EP and so much more.
What's your take on The Motherlode EP as a whole?
There was a short amount of time between writing these songs and recording them. We recorded "The Motherlode" before, but we wrote "Pay Us No Mind" and "Wisely and Slowly" and then pretty much, a couple days after or even a day after, went into the studio and recorded them. We were in a certain headspace, and it feels more immediate and fresh out of the oven, so to speak. The three songs seem to fit quite well with each other.
What's the story behind "The Motherlode"?
We wrote it a while ago, and I suppose it's different from most of our songs. Most of our songs are written about personal experiences or feelings about a certain situation. This one is a story about someone else. It's interesting for us to write like that. We've been playing it for a while, and it hasn't gotten old for us yet. It's a mournful one. A few things inspired the story. We found a poem in the paper from the point-of-view of a woman who was a woodcutter. It was quite a sad poem about how everyone had left. It was really bitter actually. It was just moody and atmospheric. We read it and thought the imagery was really cool. That was probably the seed that started it. We were intrigued at the thought of someone living alone and the feeling they had. Why didn't they leave and go with everyone else? It's a combination of things.
Is it important for you to tell stories in the songs?
Yeah, we really like that in other songs. There are images that can take you on a journey. That's something we definitely like to do in our writing.
What encourages that? Do you tend to read often or watch many movies?
We like movies. I do quite a bit of drawing and so does Jessica. It's the music that we love like classic singer-songwriters from the '60s and '70s. That inspires us a lot in our style of writing and arrangements. That's probably the biggest thing. We're getting more into actual folk. That's proper storytelling and passing things down through generations. That's really interesting.
Where did "Wisely and Slowly" come from?
It's a comfort song really, even though it sounds quite mournful.
What artists shaped you?
We still listen to the people we grew up listening to like Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Neil Young. Now, we're really big Feist fans. We think she's great. Of course, Bon Iver is a real treat to listen to.
Have you heard The Staves?