ListenSD got a chance to chat with BRAIDS before their show tonight in San Diego at Soda Bar! It’s a show not to miss!
What music have you been listening to during this tour?
We’ve been listening to Here We Go Magic – A Different Ship, Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly, and FKA Twigs new EP – M3LL155X
You have mentioned you three listened to Joni Mitchell during the recording process for Deep in the Iris. How have you found this to affect your recording experience?
Austin said in an interview for Consequence of Sound that your songwriting and recording experience for Deep in the Iris was driven mainly by a desire to be vulnerable. How does this desire to be vulnerable translate into stage once you have finished all the songs?
We make ourselves open to the audience and to what each of us are experiencing on stage. Before we go on stage we often remind ourselves to not fall into habits, we want to experience what each night is offering. We’re conscious to not close off, to give and to receive. Some nights there is the vibe of all going into our turtle shell, and usually we’ll take note of it afterwards, someone will say ‘hey you were a bit of a turtle tonight.’ Then the next night we’ll be really on fire and connected with each other and the audience.
How has your perception of songwriting and music as a medium of expression changed?
We’re trying to write songs that can stand on their own without production tricks being the backbone of the song. Having the songs translate to a number of instruments and environments. We’re also trying to be more confident with our decisions, and to let go of things that are good but not great. It’s hard to let go sometimes, but it’s important to narrow in on the material that is really beautiful.
Jana Hunter (Lower Dens) has claimed it is almost impossible to be an artist and not reflect the times. This seems to be what you are doing with “Miniskirt.” Do you believe that once an artist reaches a certain amount of fame there is an obligation to use music as a platform to make social or political statements?
If the artist feels an obligation to take a political stance then it comes across as ingenue and not really that helpful. You should just stand by what you believe in. And if it’s important to you to make art about it, then that’s great! I don’t think you should ever feel pressured to take part in a movement. If it resonates with you then reflect on it and defend it to the bitter end!
Raphaelle’s singing is in every album distinctively versatile and experimental; it can go very high and very low, several times and all within the same song. Who or what are your vocal influences?
I love Bjork, Alanis Morsette, Joni Mitchell, Katie Lang and Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries.
You are remarkably known for your chemistry and cohesion as a band, and it sounds like your retreat into the U.S. to record Deep in the Iris wasn’t always easy. What do you think it is that allows you three to remain together throughout the years?
We’ve always made our friendship the centerpiece of the band, before the music, before playing shows, comes our friendship. If that starts to get out of whack then we cut back on the work and bring our relationships into focus. When we first went to Arizona we didn’t write music for three weeks. We just roasted marshmallows, made fires, went for walks and watched movies. After that we were ready to record and be vulnerable with each other because we trusted one another and were happy together.
How do you find Los Angeles different from Montréal in terms of music and recording?
Wow, I’m really not sure as we haven’t lived there yet. But it seems COMPLETELY different. It’s LA !! It’s very cheap to live in Montreal and the music scene isn’t that huge there, so there is a closeness that is birthed from the proximity and the constant community input; everyone in the english music scene pretty much lives within the same 15 blocks. So many of our friends have moved to LA in the last year. Every time I visit LA I feel this magic and excitement in the air. I think that’s what our friends have flocked to. We’re probably going to be next. We love the West Coast so much.
Lastly, lots of your fans are curious about your song “13,” as it is a beautiful song you performed for KEXP but has not been released on any album. What was “13,”? and when (if ever) can we expect it to be released?
We actually just finished mixing it right before we left on tour. It will be on whatever we release next. Most definitely 🙂
Thanks to BRAIDS and Tell All Your Friends PR.