I was watching some youtube videos about evolution, and although it was pretty interesting, it was nowhere near entertaining as the comments. I love when people get really irate about shit (especially when it’s somewhat of an intellectual topic) but then have no idea how to write, speak or spell.
@TheQuestionall R U FUCKIN 90? Do u have a biology degree? have u taken any classes on evolutionary bioblogy… have u even watched good vidios about in on utube…. ur a fuckin idiot that goes on what u herd from one guy here and a shity video there. read somethin or take a class. go to a lecture and ask the prof these things. ul get the answers. noone is adding years arbitrarily. the concept of evolution has always been stated for over millions of years. 3.5 billion actually. when life started
make peace with songs that will never be. scatter ashes. notes and words will reincarnate as better songs later. also, every song is like a sandwich. self-contained, edible, disposable, compostable, able to be copied but not exactly. so if you want to do a rockabilly song it doesn’t make you…
Brilliant! Everything makes so much more sense now.
When she’s not busy smoking hookah with Emily Haines or singing about “fucking in a dumpster” with Jenny Owen Youngs and Allison Weiss, the eternally numinous Bess Rogers has been focusing on her new album and getting ready to embark on a seriously jam-packed touring schedule this spring.
Now, Bess takes the time to chat with us about her whirlwind career, the differences between touring with Ingrid and touring solo, and even answered such burning questions as who came up with Edith, Edna and Ethel.
Ingrid Revolution: On the internet you have stated that you are working on a new album, how far into the process are you?
Bess Rogers:I’d say we have about half of all of the instruments tracked. It will be a while, though before it’s out. We still have to get it mixed, mastered, etc.
IR: As far as sounds go, will it be similar or different to your past projects?
BR: I think there will be some similarities, but for the most part this is a very different record for me. I am really excited about where it’s all headed, but I guess I won’t have a real answer for you until it’s finished!
IR: Will it be a full album or EP? How did you decide which to make?
BR: This is going to be a full length. I’ve wanted to make a full length for a while now, but it’s been hard to find time to write enough songs and record them because of all the touring that I’ve been doing over the past year or so. This winter I’ve been mostly home and have had a good couple of months that I’ve devoted solely to writing a new record. It’s the first time in my life, actually, that I’ve ever done it that way. As a result I think all of the songs really fit together cohesively.
IR:Do you often have more songs that you need for the album? How do you make the decision to leave some songs out?
BR: For this record I did have more songs, but that is not the norm for me. I’ve never really been an incredibly prolific writer, but this winter I wrote more songs than I’ve sometimes written in a year. On top of that, I had a bunch of older songs to choose from, so I did have to eliminate some songs from the record that I still like. But it was easy to pick which ones fit because half way through writing this record I realized that there was a common theme running through all of the songs. I wrote a lot more songs based on that theme, and so some of my older songs had to get the boot.
IR: Do you plan on doing more solo touring this spring and/or summer? If so, are you going out with anyone specific?
BR: Yep! I’ll be out a lot this spring and summer. Right now I’m working on something with my friend Rachel Platten, who is awesome. Allison Weiss and I have been talking about doing some more shows together as well. Right now nothing is totally official.
IR: Spring Break Forever Tour? Jenny said maybe the fall? Make it happen, please!
BR: I would love for it to happen too! It all depends on everybody’s schedule. We are all working on new records and so it can be complicated. But rest assured that we all want to sing “fuck in a dumpster” on stage again ASAP.
IR: Do you have any idea when you will be on tour with Ingrid again?
BR: Right now I know she’s working on some new music, so there are no concrete plans. I will be playing a show with her in Delaware in early April. Right now that’s the only thing in the books!
IR: What do you enjoy/dislike and what are the differences between touring with Ingrid and the band and doing solo shows?
BR: I really do love both, but they are very different. Touring with Ingrid is much easier, really. We live and travel on a tour bus, we are able to buy groceries, sleep in the same bed every night, etc. Our schedule is a lot less hectic because we drive at night while everyone is sleeping. That leaves time for things like exercising, watching movies, doing things that normal people do, etc. A lot of times touring solo, I spend all day in the car, get to the venue, play a show, drive some more, sleep in a crappy hotel, and then get up to do it all over again. Obviously it’s less luxurious and more tiring, however it is all worth it to get to play my own music on stage. In both settings, I have been very lucky to tour with some of my best friends in the world. That really makes it a million times more fun, no matter what the circumstances. I also love playing Ingrid’s music and harmonizing with such amazing singers. I guess it’s nice to go back and forth between the two because I never get bored or content.
IR: Did you meet Emily Haines or anyone from Metric at Lilith Fair/ who was the coolest person you met at Lilith Fair?
BR: I did. I am a big Metric fan, so I watched their set side stage every day we played with them. But it wasn’t till the last night that we all got to hang out a little bit. We smoked some hookah together! (eeeeee!) As for the coolest, I’d say Sarah MacLachlan wins. She was incredibly sweet, down to earth, and absolutely perfect on stage. She made everybody who joined the tour feel like they were part of a family, and I think we all really appreciated that.
IR: Do you think you are all going back to Bonnaroo this year? Any good stories from Bonnaroo?
BR: I don’t know about Bonnaroo this year. I wish I had better stories, but it was just so god damn hot that I barely saw anything. I know, that’s really lame. I did wait in line for 2 hours to get on to the bleachers to see Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z, only to leave 20 minutes after we got on because we had to pee so bad.
IR:Who is a musician you would/have gotten starstruck meeting?
BR: I was pretty star struck meeting Dave Matthews. He was so sweet and normal and goofy. But no matter how many times I saw him or talked to him, I couldn’t really stop thinking about how crazy it was that I was talking to Dave Matthews.
IR: What are all the instruments you can play?
BR: I mostly play guitar, uke, sing. I also play some bass, keys, flute, and trumpet. And mandolin.
IR: It’s great that you all play so many different instruments and incorporate them into the live shows.How do you all delegate instrument responsibilities for live shows? Is is up to Ingrid only or is it more of a group effort?
BR: It depends. With new songs that Ingrid starts playing on tour, we will all contribute and make up parts on whatever instruments are available. But for a lot of the tours we try to play the songs the way they sound on her records. So sometimes we’ll switch instruments to try and cover all of the parts that need to be there.
IR:How do you all have time for and come up with the extra stuff you do before tours? For example, the “Toxic” dance moves, the opening act for Holiday Hop, clap patterns in songs? Does everyone in the band contribute to those ideas or is that all Ingrid?
BR: Ingrid comes in with a lot of the ideas, for instance the “Toxic” dance. Ingrid had that whole thing choreographed beforehand and we all learned it on the first few days of tour. The opening act for the Holiday Hop was actually based on something that Allie and I had been doing (Edith and Edna - we actually have a twitter account and tweet from it once in a while) where we would sing pop songs as old ladies. We all thought that Edith, Edna and Ethel (adding Ingrid) would be a great opening act, and so we wrote the songs together while on tour this fall. I’m pretty sure we drove our tour manager insane singing about indigestion for weeks, but we had to practice! Other things like the clap patterns (assuming you are talking about “Locked Up”) are things that develop after playing those songs night after night. I can’t remember who had the idea, but I do remember working on it and perfecting it over the course of a tour.
IR: Does anyone actually know the clapping patterns in Locked Up? If so, then could you teach us?
BR: We all have a specific pattern that we do except for Chris who just does whatever he feels like every time. :) I could teach you mine, but I don’t know everyone else’s!
IR: Does the band have a ritual that they do before every live show?
BR: We do have a little group “thing” that we do before every show. It’s always changing and evolving and basically getting more and more bizarre. I don’t think I could even describe it to you!
IR: Do you think you will continue playing in the band as long as possible? I know you are doing well with your solo work and for now you seem to be fitting it all in, but do you think you will be able to continue it?
BR: I really love playing in the band and definitely want to do it for as long as I can. I think, as long as I can do both without sacrificing either, I’ll make it work!
IR: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened during a live show? On the bus? etc.
BR: A lot of funny things happen on and off stage so it’s hard to pick one. There was one infamous show in Ann Arbor, MI where I was kind of zoning out and trying to catch a feather that was floating in front of me. Ingrid looked over and saw me making this weird motion that looked like I was cupping my boob. She made fun of me for a few minutes and then we tried to sing the next song in the set, which was “Men of Snow.” Well, as you know, it’s a pretty quiet, sensitive song. Every time we got to the chorus where we all sing soft pretty “ooh’s,” someone would start to laugh. In the end, we couldn’t get through the song at all, and Ingrid would just call out “polka version!” and we would play the chorus like a polka instead. We were laughing uncontrollably, as was the audience. Dan Romer even fell on the floor laughing with his accordion. It was a special moment.
IR: Does everyone like hanging out with each other right after tours are over or do you have to take a little break from one another?
BR: Once we’re off tour, I think we all appreciate having some physical space and being in a living situation where you don’t have to say “excuse me” any time you want to go anywhere. But we are basically a big traveling family, and so we definitely miss each other once we’re separated. (except for Elliot - nobody misses him)
IR:How did you and Chris meet?
BR: We both studied music at SUNY Purchase. He used to play bass with Regina Spektor (who also went there) and I would go see them play as a duo and drool.
IR: Do you, Andrew, and Jenny plan to do any more “Once More With Feeling” podcasts? They are truly hilarious, entertaining, and wonderfully inappropriate. We would be very sad if you stopped.
BR: It’s always way too long in between podcasts, but we have no plans of stopping! We are just all busy people. Hopefully we’ll get together soon and do another one.
IR:How come you and Allie don’t make as many YouTube videos anymore? Not enough time? I just miss them. I will never get sick of watching quite a few of them. “Big girl/little cart,” “The Debutant Ball,” “Boats N Hoes,” just to mention a few of the classic ones you’ve put up.
BR: Aww thanks! I’ve actually been thinking about this lately. I love making videos and want to start doing it again. I just think that after being on tour for so long, maybe I lost my drive to do it. I think taking a little break from touring this year will be good for things like that. I am excited about hitting the road again, and will try to take lots of video!
IR: How did you get the inspiration for your lovely song “Goozy Guss?”
BR: Dan Romer looped a section of music to work on something, and after hearing it repeated a few times, we realized that I was singing “Goozy Guss.” And the hit single was born!
IR:Any parting words of wisdom?
BR: Don’t drink and drive, stay in school and eat your vegetables! Oh, and thanks for your thoughtful questions and great blog!
Be sure to check out our tour section to see the latest updates on Bess’s tour schedule and get ready for the next part of our exclusive interview series, where we chat with Elliot Jacobson!