How the devil are you Breanna Barbara?
Hey Breanna, how the devil are you?
Hey there ! I am great. I just ate a homemade twinky and some Vietnamese food.
Talk about you, and how you got tho where you are today.
I am 27, I have been travelling around most of my twenties playing music, studying theatre and once I wound up in New York I sent my demos to a producer I admired and we made a record. Speed to a year and a half later and here we are.
What was your process for writing and recording your full debut, Mirage Dreams?
The songs that ended up on the album have been sprinkled through my life as early as 18 up until 26, when I recorded the record. My writing process is at mercy to something else. Nothing that I have control over that is. But usually they come from not writing for a long time, having specific experiences, those experiences boiling up and then finally them coming out when they’re ready. Then after I had a solid collection of my favorites I sent them to Andrija down at the Bombshelter. He invited me to make a record and so I did ! Recording my little demos with him and all the incredible musicians was a whole other world. I was blown away every day at how talented everyone was. And I loved being in Nashville. The whole experience was exhilarating.
How do you find the recording process? Enjoyable or painful?
So enjoyable ! Oh my god. I felt at home, like I was exactly where I should be. We did the record in two weeks, so we were in the studio from morning until night for two weeks straight. Every morning I woke up looking forward to getting into the studio. I was sad when it was over.
What’s your favourite song on the record? (Mine is probably ‘Nothin But Your Lovin’.)
Nice! I love that one too…it’s definitely a popular favourite. I would have to say that one or 'Daddy Dear', my doom metal song. Ha ha, just kidding, but seriously some really eerie things happened when we recorded it. There’s a train track by the studio and apparently trains rarely go by but on the second part that I sing it you can hear a train go by ! Obviously we kept that take.
Your Facebook page lists your genre as occult blues; what’s that then?
Ha ha yeah. Well I was getting labelled under a lot of different genres at the time and I asked a friend of mine one night what he thought. He listened to the album and came back with that. I thought it was kind of funny and so I just put it up there and now it’s kind of stuck. As much as I’d like to think my music comes from a spooky place, I don’t take the genre too seriously.
Touring; everyone has to do it. Have you got a place you’ve really loved?
Europe! Europe is the shit. I was lucky enough to tour with my boyfriend’s band over there and it blew me away. The hospitality was absolutely incredible. They feed you, put you up in hotels, and pay you! It’s not like that in the States. I am hoping to tour Europe next year as well as California. I love playing in places I have never been before.
What’s the toughest thing about touring?
And what makes it all worthwhile?
Meeting people. Being a part of a community that is so pure and so fun.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve played live?
Burlington, VT. I hopped in a car meaning to go for a short while and ended up living there for almost two years.
Social media: pain in the butt or vital to artists in 2016?
Oh it’s the worst. But I try to keep it light and fun and not take it too seriously. The worst part about it is the screen thing. I feel like my eyes are going bad.
You’re living in New York at the moment; there’s the stereotypical view of “The Big Apple” but what’s the city really like?
The city is a hustle. But it's filled with some of the most ambitious and energetic people I’ve ever met. If you like high energy this is a good place to start.
You’ve travelled around the US a bit, Minnesota, Florida, New Orleans, and now New York. How has that influenced you as a person?
I have found that I am most at peace when I am in motion. I think that’s why I like touring so much. It’s hard to get sick of a place when the next morning you have to leave it.
And what impact has that set of towns and cities had on your music?
I owe so much to every city I have lived in. Saint Augustine, FL is where I saw my first punk show, New Orleans is where I first sang on the street, Burlington, VT gave me comfort to perform my songs out loud... All in all, the music communities in these cities just to name a few are vast and diverse. Without them I would never be the musician I am today.
What’s the one song you couldn’t never listen to again?
'Sweet Dreams' by Angel Olsen.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Where can you buy the album ;)
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
Black and straight up.
Thanks so much for your time Breanna. Good luck with your debut, and the rest of 2016.
You can buy Breanna's debut album from all good online stores and a few decent real life stores. It's out now. For more information visit her Facebook page.