In our world of information-by-the-minute, endless communication methods and amounts, and constant connectivity, sometimes it’s a beautiful thing to just press play and sit back. Just last week, we took a break from the mounds of digital communications, put on one of our favorite artists on SoundCloud, and let the suggested songs lead us down a path of unplanned bliss. There were a couple of skips here and there, but then we landed on Songs of Water.
After hearing “11 Miles,” we immediately reached out for more information. After getting in touch with Stephen, we fired over a few questions to get to know this impressive act a little better.
TMN: Thank you for taking some time to talk to us today. When we stumbled across your SoundCloud the other day, we became instantly intrigued and wanted to know a little more. So, talk to us about how Songs of Water came to be.
SoW: Our music was born out of a community of friends who all loved to explore different sounds and create experimental art together.
TMN: Let’s go back before the start of the band. What’s your musical background like? Were you classically trained, or was it something you taught yourself?
SoW: Myself (Stephen Roach) and Luke Skaggs both grew up with strong bluegrass heritages. Jon Kliegle came from a family of traveling accordionists, Elisa Cox is classically trained, Michael Pritchard and Greg Willette are both self taught multi-instrumentalists and composers.
TMN: Looking back into your past, can you highlight five artists who helped influence what fans hear in Songs of Water?
SoW: Dead Can Dance, Daniel Lanois, Peter Gabriel, Abyssima Infinite, and Nick Drake
TMN: Your sound seems to carry a lot of worldly influences. How did that come to be? Did you spend a lot of time traveling, or was this a result from simply exploring other culture’s music through your headphones at home?
SoW: Everyone is the band tends to be musical explorers. Some of us have had training in certain areas, but mostly we just experiment with sound designs. Everything sings. We like to find its song and give it voice.
TMN: While you’ve been releasing songs for two years now, it seems like this album has picked up a little bit of steam in the blogosphere. Do you pay much attention to that kind of stuff? Do you work with a publicist? Or, do you just simply put out music and hope people come across it?
SoW: We are mostly independent but have worked with a great publicist for the new album. Ever Kipp at Tiny Human out of Seattle. He’s done a wonderful job getting the word out.
TMN: Speaking of the current state of music, we’re curious – what are some of your favorite songs currently?
SoW: Piramada by Efterklang – whole album. Laura Viers – “July Flame”.
TMN: Do you guys have an agent? Can we expect to see a Songs of Water tour coming soon? If so, please make it out to Denver. (Laughs)
SoW: So funny, Denver just came across our table this week. We have worked with Every Step Touring and are currently planning a string of late-summer and fall dates to support the album. Maybe we will see you.
TMN: We usually wrap things up with a few random questions, just to get an insight into your personality. Let’s start things off with an all-time favorite – what was your very first job?
SoW: Cleaning dog poop. That’s when I became a musician.
TMN: Ideal concert to play – where would it be, and what other artist, dead or alive, would be on the bill with you?
SoW: Red Rocks Amphiteatre, Colorado with hmmm… how about Sigur Ros?
TMN: You’ve just come home from a massive tour. What’s the first restaurant you eat at in Greensboro, and what do you order?
SoW: Boba House Asian vegetarian restaurant. Red Curry. Thai hot. Glory.
TMN: Alright, last but not least – if your music were an animal, what would it be?
SoW: This picture describes it best. An unlikely friendship between a wolf and a bear. I am also particularly fond of owls, so add my owl in there and you’ve got us. Quite the unlikely pair but it carries a fairy tale like quality of magic to it.