This week we interviewed Vetiver an American folk band led by singer-songwriter Andy Cabic. Vetiver is a great band for the outdoors and I’ve been listening to their latest release “Tight Knit” over and over this summer. For more information on the band (tour dates and all that) check out here and here.
Also, here’s a couple free downloads, courtesy of Sub Pop Records:
Who are your favorite musicians? Is the music you listen to similar to the music you write?
It’s hard to pick favorites, and I listen to a lot of different artists, all the time. Skeeter Davis, Slapp Happy, Michael Hurley, Fleetwood Mac, Erasmo Carlos…it’s an endless litany, my favorite music.
I’m not sure I hear obvious similarities, but perhaps there are allusions in the details, in the feeling, between the music I write and artists I admire.
Last year you recorded some covers of older folks artists (Townes Van Zandt, Michael Hurley…etc) How did you begin to admire these artists? What sort of influence have they had on you?
The way I came to know each songs we recorded on “thing of the past” is different. Some I stumbled across myself in record stores, others were passed onto me through friends. Each has made it’s own unique impact on me lyrically, melodically, in sound and feeling, both just listening to them a lot, and by learning them and recording them with my friends.
How is it different playing and composing a song on your own and playing with a full band?
Writing on my own feels private and obscure. Sharing and reworking the songs with others often lends clarity and insight, providing an opportunity for new perspectives, and adding greater emotional resonance to the songs.
What made you choose the title “Tight Knit” for your latest album?
I chose the title because I thought it fit the album and the artwork, and the pocket my band had been playing in up to and during the recording of the album.
There are lots of names that people have used to describe your music and the music of other artists you’ve work with (Psych Folk, Freak Folk, Naturalismo just to name a few). Do you like the idea that you are part of a certain movement of music or do feel limited by the categorizing?
I don’t care one way or the other. I like that people listen to my music. Categorizing things by nature limits them, tries to define perception, and I don’t find that necessarily useful, though others might.
How did your music relationship with Devendra Banhart begin?
In San Francisco years ago, on a foggy night, at his apartment, sharing songs and wine.
Where do you write your songs? Do you purposely sit down to write or do the ideas build up in your head?
Yes, all of the above. There’s no one way to go about these things. at some point sitting down to write is required and I find being in comfortable, familiar surroundings helps.
Do you have any reoccurring dreams or a particularly interesting dream to share?
I don’t often remember my dreams, so no.
What should a great song do?
It should make you want to listen to it again.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I’m not sure. I’d have to think about that. Maybe Thailand. Or Patagonia. Some place with a combination of natural beauty and remoteness.
What was the last delicious thing you ate?
Collard greens from Sandra Dee’s in Sacramento.
I love the last song (“At Forest Edge”) on your latest album; what was the inspiration behind those lyrics?
The lyrics are inspired by the melody. I expanded from one line or image to peek inside a mythic vignette about disorientation and desire.
Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen one?
I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts or not, probably because I haven’t ever seen one.