THROWBACK THURSDAY PHOTO CONTEST:
What big timer did this bright-eyed boy become? Answer correctly and you could win tickets to see him with his new band at 9:30 Club!
To enter, send your answer to contests@930.com. Winner picked 12PM tomorrow!

THROWBACK THURSDAY PHOTO CONTEST:

What big timer did this bright-eyed boy become? Answer correctly and you could win tickets to see him with his new band at 9:30 Club!

To enter, send your answer to contests@930.com. Winner picked 12PM tomorrow!

SHOW PREVIEW: Big Star’s Third
Boy, oh boy, are we in for a big treat this Saturday at the Club!
Most music buffs are by now familiar with Big Star’s delayed success story, but here’s a quick recap. The Memphis power poppers were initially active from 1971 to 1974, during which time they recorded three albums: #1 Record, Radio City, and Third/Sister Lovers. None of the albums achieved commercial success upon their releases, and Big Star soon disbanded. It wasn’t until 1978, when Third had a proper, widespread release through PVC Records, that Big Star’s genius was finally noticed. 
Although Big Star was at that point inactive, Third became a cult classic and eventually landed a spot on Rolling Stone's “500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list. Numerous bands formed in the early 1980s, including R.E.M., The Replacements, and The Jesus and Mary Chain, were inspired in part by Big Star’s newfound eminence. Now deemed "Memphis’ answer to The Beatles,” Big Star’s legacy is undeniable, as depicted in Nothing Can Hurt Me. 
To further the legacy, as well as commemorate Big Star mastermind Alex Chilton, founding drummer Jody Stephens, along with Chilton-collaborator Chris Stamey (of The dB’s), hatched “Big Star’s Third” tour. Stephens and Stamey called upon friends, including Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Pat Sansone of Wilco, to embark on a four-day stint of performing Big Star’s two most celebrate albums, Third and #1 Record, in their entireties. 
This Saturday’s Club stop on the once-in-a-lifetime tour features, in addition to the above star-studded list of musicians, special guest Lesa Aldridge (Chilton’s muse for much of Third) and a twelve-piece chamber orchestra. Bring tissues, because the experience just might make you misty-eyed.
-Madelyn Dutt
Join us this at the Club this Saturday, August 23 for Big Star’s Third. Send your ticket confirmation to contests@930.com by 6 p.m. today (August 20) for your chance to win merch signed by Jody Stephens!

SHOW PREVIEW: Big Star’s Third

Boy, oh boy, are we in for a big treat this Saturday at the Club!

Most music buffs are by now familiar with Big Star’s delayed success story, but here’s a quick recap. The Memphis power poppers were initially active from 1971 to 1974, during which time they recorded three albums: #1 Record, Radio City, and Third/Sister Lovers. None of the albums achieved commercial success upon their releases, and Big Star soon disbanded. It wasn’t until 1978, when Third had a proper, widespread release through PVC Records, that Big Star’s genius was finally noticed. 

Although Big Star was at that point inactive, Third became a cult classic and eventually landed a spot on Rolling Stone's “500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list. Numerous bands formed in the early 1980s, including R.E.M., The Replacements, and The Jesus and Mary Chain, were inspired in part by Big Star’s newfound eminence. Now deemed "Memphis’ answer to The Beatles,” Big Star’s legacy is undeniable, as depicted in Nothing Can Hurt Me

To further the legacy, as well as commemorate Big Star mastermind Alex Chilton, founding drummer Jody Stephens, along with Chilton-collaborator Chris Stamey (of The dB’s), hatched “Big Star’s Third” tour. Stephens and Stamey called upon friends, including Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Pat Sansone of Wilco, to embark on a four-day stint of performing Big Star’s two most celebrate albums, Third and #1 Record, in their entireties. 

This Saturday’s Club stop on the once-in-a-lifetime tour features, in addition to the above star-studded list of musicians, special guest Lesa Aldridge (Chilton’s muse for much of Third) and a twelve-piece chamber orchestra. Bring tissues, because the experience just might make you misty-eyed.

-Madelyn Dutt

Join us this at the Club this Saturday, August 23 for Big Star’s Third. Send your ticket confirmation to contests@930.com by 6 p.m. today (August 20) for your chance to win merch signed by Jody Stephens!

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Hailo
Thanks to our partner Hailo, cabbing to and from shows is easy as pie! The free app connects ride-seekers with licensed taxis in D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria in just two easy steps. 
Hailo’s making things even easier for concert-goers who arrive early to three upcoming Club shows. Those lucky enough to get into Backbar at George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic on 8/24, the 5th Annual Michael Jackson Dance Party on 8/29, and Jamie XX on September 5 will receive $10 off their next Hailo ride! On top of that, you’ll get to enjoy happy-hour-priced drinks and early entry into the Club!
Backbar opens an hour before doors and holds only thirty people, so be sure to arrive to the Club early enough on 8/24, 8/29, and 9/5 to get in! Also download the Hailo app and stay tuned to their blog for more updates.

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Hailo

Thanks to our partner Hailo, cabbing to and from shows is easy as pie! The free app connects ride-seekers with licensed taxis in D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria in just two easy steps. 

Hailo’s making things even easier for concert-goers who arrive early to three upcoming Club shows. Those lucky enough to get into Backbar at George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic on 8/24, the 5th Annual Michael Jackson Dance Party on 8/29, and Jamie XX on September 5 will receive $10 off their next Hailo ride! On top of that, you’ll get to enjoy happy-hour-priced drinks and early entry into the Club!

Backbar opens an hour before doors and holds only thirty people, so be sure to arrive to the Club early enough on 8/24, 8/29, and 9/5 to get in! Also download the Hailo app and stay tuned to their blog for more updates.

Declare your love to your favorite artists and send it along to contests@930.com, and you might win tickets to see them live!

Declare your love to your favorite artists and send it along to contests@930.com, and you might win tickets to see them live!

SHOW PREVIEW: Charli XCX
Have you been missing some awesome, soul-lifting, smile-inducing pop in your life lately? Well, if so, worry not my friends, because Charli XCX is here for you. At only 22-years-old, Charli XCX has been featured on two number one pop hits (one of which is “I Love It" by Icona Pop), and her fantastic album True Romance has charted in the UK, Australia, and the US. The young British songstress has taken the airwaves by storm this summer with not one, but two, crazy popular hits. Charli’s second number one hit, “Fancy,” her track with Iggy Azalea, is undoubtedly THE song of the summer and “Boom Clap" has been climbing the charts around the world. It’s not difficult to see why everyone has fallen in love with her work.
Charli XCX seamlessly blends catchy pop with thumping electronic beats and sometimes contrastingly dark lyrics. Her album, True Romance, is filled with pop gems like “Nuclear Seasons" that you just can’t help but dance to. So, if you’ve been looking for an excuse to have girls/guys night out, don’t worry, Charli XCX has got you covered.
-Janice Freeman
Charli XCX will perform at 9:30 Club on Thursday, October 2.

SHOW PREVIEW: Charli XCX

Have you been missing some awesome, soul-lifting, smile-inducing pop in your life lately? Well, if so, worry not my friends, because Charli XCX is here for you. At only 22-years-old, Charli XCX has been featured on two number one pop hits (one of which is “I Love It" by Icona Pop), and her fantastic album True Romance has charted in the UK, Australia, and the US. The young British songstress has taken the airwaves by storm this summer with not one, but two, crazy popular hits. Charli’s second number one hit, “Fancy,” her track with Iggy Azalea, is undoubtedly THE song of the summer and “Boom Clap" has been climbing the charts around the world. It’s not difficult to see why everyone has fallen in love with her work.

Charli XCX seamlessly blends catchy pop with thumping electronic beats and sometimes contrastingly dark lyrics. Her album, True Romance, is filled with pop gems like “Nuclear Seasons" that you just can’t help but dance to. So, if you’ve been looking for an excuse to have girls/guys night out, don’t worry, Charli XCX has got you covered.

-Janice Freeman

Charli XCX will perform at 9:30 Club on Thursday, October 2.

SHOW PREVIEW: Metronomy
Is it just me, or does the fact that Metronomy’s first album came out 8 years ago make you feel old? It feels like just yesterday that Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe) came out. The debut album is a true electronic masterpiece and really put electronic music on the map as a popular genre. On top of that, unlike many artists who struggle to follow-up after such a strong first release, Metronomy has somehow created three more incredible albums since 2006. Oh, and the band’s last album, Love Letters, charted higher in the UK than any of its previous releases. Now that’s impressive. 
Love Letters is still distinctly electronic, but has some soul and disco influences imbued throughout. Especially on the track “Month of Sundays,” you can hear some 1970s inspiration in the guitar and backing vocals. Metronomy’s other albums, Nights Out and The English Riviera, are incredibly impressive as well, with the latter containing the band’s biggest hit to date, “The Look.” “The Look” is the kind of song you just can’t help but shimmy to (yes, shimmy). It’s smooth, catchy, and combines the best of rock and electronic music. Basically, I’m saying Metronomy has somehow not faltered on any release to date. So, seriously make sure to catch Metronomy on its fall tour and I swear you won’t be disappointed. 
-Janice Freeman
Catch Metronomy Wednesday, September 17 at 9:30 Club!

SHOW PREVIEW: Metronomy

Is it just me, or does the fact that Metronomy’s first album came out 8 years ago make you feel old? It feels like just yesterday that Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe) came out. The debut album is a true electronic masterpiece and really put electronic music on the map as a popular genre. On top of that, unlike many artists who struggle to follow-up after such a strong first release, Metronomy has somehow created three more incredible albums since 2006. Oh, and the band’s last album, Love Letters, charted higher in the UK than any of its previous releases. Now that’s impressive. 

Love Letters is still distinctly electronic, but has some soul and disco influences imbued throughout. Especially on the track “Month of Sundays,” you can hear some 1970s inspiration in the guitar and backing vocals. Metronomy’s other albums, Nights Out and The English Riviera, are incredibly impressive as well, with the latter containing the band’s biggest hit to date, “The Look.” “The Look” is the kind of song you just can’t help but shimmy to (yes, shimmy). It’s smooth, catchy, and combines the best of rock and electronic music. Basically, I’m saying Metronomy has somehow not faltered on any release to date. So, seriously make sure to catch Metronomy on its fall tour and I swear you won’t be disappointed. 

-Janice Freeman

Catch Metronomy Wednesday, September 17 at 9:30 Club!

CONTEST: Limited Edition Deadmen Poster 
D.C. rock and rollers The Deadmen are having one helluva summer. In June, they opened Frank Turner’s legendary 9:30 show. Last month, they played FloydFest. Now, they’re headlining our stage.
To commemorate the occasion, The Deadmen, with the help of Typecase Industries, have printed a very limited amount of the very badass poster above. Wanna snag one of these bad boys for yourself? Here’s what you’ve gotta do:
Reblog this post and send the link of it on your blog to contests@930.com. (Don’t have Tumblr? Share this link on any of your social media pages and email proof to contests@930.com.)
The winner not only gets a copy of the rad poster, but a pair of tickets to this Saturday’s show, too! Hop to it - the contest closes Friday, August 8 at 5pm!

CONTEST: Limited Edition Deadmen Poster 

D.C. rock and rollers The Deadmen are having one helluva summer. In June, they opened Frank Turner’s legendary 9:30 show. Last month, they played FloydFest. Now, they’re headlining our stage.

To commemorate the occasion, The Deadmen, with the help of Typecase Industries, have printed a very limited amount of the very badass poster above. Wanna snag one of these bad boys for yourself? Here’s what you’ve gotta do:

Reblog this post and send the link of it on your blog to contests@930.com. (Don’t have Tumblr? Share this link on any of your social media pages and email proof to contests@930.com.)

The winner not only gets a copy of the rad poster, but a pair of tickets to this Saturday’s show, too! Hop to it - the contest closes Friday, August 8 at 5pm!

9:30 INTERVIEW: Anges Obel
Danish singer-songwriter Agnes Obel crafts dreamy, classical compositions with contemporary flair. We chatted with Obel ahead of her upcoming 9:30 Club show about performing live, her album-making process, and the value of social media in marketing musicians’ careers. 
Madelyn [9:30]: For your upcoming U.S. tour, will you be solo or with your supporting band of cellist and violinist?
Agnes Obel: Yeah, I’m going to come with a cello player and a violin player. Mika Posen from Canada is going to play violin and Anne Müller from Berlin is going to play cello. And I’m going to play piano [laughs].
What attracts you to the musicians with whom you perform live?
I’ve been working with musicians who play classical instruments, so they have a classical training, and it’s quite different from what I used to play with, which was only rock background, which is very different from a classical background. What I’ve been trying to find is musicians who are classically trained, so they can play these instruments, but on the other side, they can also be free and sort of have a more rock and roll approach to playing concerts and working with effects, and loop stations, and improvising. Also, thinking of the whole thing as more like band - I’m not interested in hiring classical musicians, then they get some sheets, and that’s it. I want it to be something we do together because that’s how I always played in bands. Mika and Anne - they’re both very much like this; they have the classical background, but they are very capable of playing with effects and both have solo projects on their own. They’re really wonderful to play with. 
I had the pleasure of seeing you at SXSW when you played in a church. That performance was very sublime; the church setting was perfect. Are your “normal” shows that stripped down, or when we see you at the Club, will there be lights and projections?
I think we’ll be able to do more than we could at the SXSW show because there are a lot of limitations to these kinds of shows, you know? You have like a fifteen-minute change over, so you can’t really do what you normally do. But it’s going to be stripped down in the set up. We’re still just going to be a trio, and we’re going to build everything up from these three instruments. So what we’re aiming at is trying to build it up to sound more orchestral with loop stations and effects and stuff, and again, having it really sparse. And I think it’s more interesting when you are fewer on stage because it gets very clear what’s happening. I really like the simplicity, and the simplicity getting more complicated. So it’s going to be something like that, but of course, not the same because SXSW was really something special [laughs].
What’s your favorite type of show to play? Do you like festivals? Or do you prefer big concert halls, or smaller, more intimate rooms?
I think I like all the three things you mentioned. But, of course, with classical instruments that you amplify and play loudly like it’s a rock instrument - that is very highly complicated to set up to play at a festival like SXSW. It’s not easy to do it. It’s a little like climbing a mountain, and if you do it, you’re very happy. But it’s really hit or miss with the set up. I’m on festival tour at the moment, and we’re playing a lot of shows like this where you have to get up on stage and everything is made for a rock band, or for an electronic band, or for somebody who has everything on a computer. [Laughs.] It’s sometimes really terrifying, actually, because you don’t know if you can do it. So when you’re in a club - a normal club - or in a venue or concert hall and you have a proper soundcheck and you have all those things and a good acoustic - of course that’s way easier. And you have time to find out the room. I really like to do that - to get to know the room before you play the concert, and find out what kind of room, what kind of acoustic, and what kind of atmosphere you can work with. In a festival, you can’t do that; I’ve never tried that, because we never have any time. But that’s also the exciting thing. So, I like it all, I guess.
As a Danish singer-songwriter living in Berlin, does writing and singing in English come pretty naturally to you? Or is it a translation process where you write in your native tongue, then do it in English?
No, no, I write in English. That’s how I learned English - from singing in English. Actually, for me, it’s very much my music language, so it’s actually more weird for me to sing in Danish. I guess that must be weird for people who speak English as their first language to hear that from somebody who comes from another language. I went to this school - it was a music school, but also an international school, so the main language was Danish, but also English, and they taught us English through music. Before we understood it, we would sing it. That means I have a very natural relationship to the language - in terms of music, at least. It seems very sort of connected for me. But also, I work with it in a very sort of sound way. Of course I think about the lyrics - use a lot of time on the lyrics - but I feel like the sound, and the sound in a room, and the words, they color each other - the sound and the semantics. And that’s even more obvious to me when it’s English than when it’s Danish. So, yeah, I like to sing in English.

Have you gravitated towards any instruments besides piano? Could you see yourself playing anything else on a record in the future?
Well, I played bass on the previous album, and guitar, and all the beats - rhythms and stuff. Because I do it myself, I end up having to do some of the instrumentation, even though I’m not very good at these instruments. So, yeah, definitely. And the next album, I’m planning to work less with piano, and more with other kinds of old keyboards, so yeah, I could definitely imagine that [laughs].
Speaking of your third record, how much have you been able to focus on that? Or are you just focusing on touring?
I’m focusing on it because I’m planning it. I’m trying to find new instruments to work with, so it’s sort of on the research phase and starting to write things. It’s still sort of just in the incubation phase - [laughs] it’s a very early phase. But most of my time is with the touring and getting that album working. I’m touring with different musicians at the moment -  I’m not touring with Anne and Mika right now - I’m touring with two Belgian musicians, so every time you start playing with a new band, you have to rehearse and get to know each other. It takes a lot of time, I think. And just traveling - I haven’t been home for four weeks right now.
Do you think that, ideally, the new album would come out early next year? What’s your timeline for it?
Oh, no, no, no. I need a long time. [Laughs.] I’m just starting to think about it and to write a few things. I’m the type who needs a year or two years or something. I’m not one of these fast ones. I need a long time.
Nothing wrong with that! So, you produce your own records, and I’m wondering how having complete creative control in the recording studio impacts other aspects of your life as a musician? Does it help at all as a touring musician to know your records in and out and to say, “I did everything of this”? 
That’s a good question. I never got that question before. I’m very focused on sound. Live sound -  I want it to sound a certain way, so I’m very involved in the sound aspect, and of course the arrangements and everything. But it also means when we start playing it live, and we change the arrangements and we develop the songs, I keep on thinking, “Oh, I want to go back and rerecord it!” You can get sort of obsessed with certain aspects of the sound. I ended up also mixing the two last albums, so when you produce it, and record it, and mix it, and write it, and play it, you can tend to become a little obsessed with it. And when you start playing it with other people and changing it, then it’s like you’re opening the whole thing up again. I think it becomes very personal and also takes a lot of time of your life, basically. I’m still not a point where I can write the songs and leave the production and everything to somebody else. Could be fun to try it at some point and say, “Okay, you do it, and I’ll just see what’s going to come out at the end.” So far, I’ve had this need to have the songs and the universe in the whole of my hands so I can make sure I get my ideas and visions out the way I want it.
I know that Myspace was instrumental in your discovery as a musician. Do you still use social media as a main marketing tool for your career? 
First of all, it’s true that I had one song in a German commercial that was discovered on Myspace in 2008, but it didn’t help me so much. It was just in Germany and it took me two years to get a record deal, and it ended up not being in Germany. I couldn’t get any contract in Germany, so it didn’t help me so much. I think sometimes it’s just something it says on Wikipedia, but the reality is it wasn’t that easy [laughs]. I learned that you have to be very careful with these kinds of things. I think, obviously, it has changed everything that music is available everywhere. Social media is part of it. I think the most important platform right now is YouTube, for discovering music and for also letting you know bands that are not on labels [and don’t] have promotion and stuff. They have an output of form; that’s extremely important. And that was also important for me - that’s how I started doing music on my own. And I remember before, I was playing in a band, and in this band project, everything was about getting a record deal, but when I started working alone, that was a time where Myspace was really big. In that period, everybody was like, “Oh, let’s just get it up on Myspace and show it to our friends.” So, the whole spirit has changed and it’s already some time ago now, you know? But it’s not about labels anymore. It’s about getting it out there and finding - because everything has become way more niche - you can always find an audience now, it doesn’t matter if they are far away. So, yeah, I think it’s super important, and it’s really great for everybody who doesn’t fit into the classical category that the record labels use when they sign us. Obiviously, it’s really good. But I don’t use a lot of time with Twitter and Facebook, I have to admit. I’m not that connected myself.
You work with your boyfriend, Alex, on music videos for your songs. What’s the collaborative process between you two like?  
I’m working a lot in our home, and he has a studio in our home, too, so he ends up hearing a lot of stuff before it’s done. He will make something without me even knowing it, and then just showing it to me, and then if I like it, he will make a video for it. I dunno, I guess I’m really lucky with that because it doesn’t have to be conceptualized and planned. It just sort of happens in the process.
-Madelyn Dutt
Agnes Obel will perform at 9:30 Club on Wednesday, August 13.

9:30 INTERVIEW: Anges Obel

Danish singer-songwriter Agnes Obel crafts dreamy, classical compositions with contemporary flair. We chatted with Obel ahead of her upcoming 9:30 Club show about performing live, her album-making process, and the value of social media in marketing musicians’ careers. 

Madelyn [9:30]: For your upcoming U.S. tour, will you be solo or with your supporting band of cellist and violinist?

Agnes Obel: Yeah, I’m going to come with a cello player and a violin player. Mika Posen from Canada is going to play violin and Anne Müller from Berlin is going to play cello. And I’m going to play piano [laughs].

What attracts you to the musicians with whom you perform live?

I’ve been working with musicians who play classical instruments, so they have a classical training, and it’s quite different from what I used to play with, which was only rock background, which is very different from a classical background. What I’ve been trying to find is musicians who are classically trained, so they can play these instruments, but on the other side, they can also be free and sort of have a more rock and roll approach to playing concerts and working with effects, and loop stations, and improvising. Also, thinking of the whole thing as more like band - I’m not interested in hiring classical musicians, then they get some sheets, and that’s it. I want it to be something we do together because that’s how I always played in bands. Mika and Anne - they’re both very much like this; they have the classical background, but they are very capable of playing with effects and both have solo projects on their own. They’re really wonderful to play with. 

I had the pleasure of seeing you at SXSW when you played in a church. That performance was very sublime; the church setting was perfect. Are your “normal” shows that stripped down, or when we see you at the Club, will there be lights and projections?

I think we’ll be able to do more than we could at the SXSW show because there are a lot of limitations to these kinds of shows, you know? You have like a fifteen-minute change over, so you can’t really do what you normally do. But it’s going to be stripped down in the set up. We’re still just going to be a trio, and we’re going to build everything up from these three instruments. So what we’re aiming at is trying to build it up to sound more orchestral with loop stations and effects and stuff, and again, having it really sparse. And I think it’s more interesting when you are fewer on stage because it gets very clear what’s happening. I really like the simplicity, and the simplicity getting more complicated. So it’s going to be something like that, but of course, not the same because SXSW was really something special [laughs].

What’s your favorite type of show to play? Do you like festivals? Or do you prefer big concert halls, or smaller, more intimate rooms?

I think I like all the three things you mentioned. But, of course, with classical instruments that you amplify and play loudly like it’s a rock instrument - that is very highly complicated to set up to play at a festival like SXSW. It’s not easy to do it. It’s a little like climbing a mountain, and if you do it, you’re very happy. But it’s really hit or miss with the set up. I’m on festival tour at the moment, and we’re playing a lot of shows like this where you have to get up on stage and everything is made for a rock band, or for an electronic band, or for somebody who has everything on a computer. [Laughs.] It’s sometimes really terrifying, actually, because you don’t know if you can do it. So when you’re in a club - a normal club - or in a venue or concert hall and you have a proper soundcheck and you have all those things and a good acoustic - of course that’s way easier. And you have time to find out the room. I really like to do that - to get to know the room before you play the concert, and find out what kind of room, what kind of acoustic, and what kind of atmosphere you can work with. In a festival, you can’t do that; I’ve never tried that, because we never have any time. But that’s also the exciting thing. So, I like it all, I guess.

As a Danish singer-songwriter living in Berlin, does writing and singing in English come pretty naturally to you? Or is it a translation process where you write in your native tongue, then do it in English?

No, no, I write in English. That’s how I learned English - from singing in English. Actually, for me, it’s very much my music language, so it’s actually more weird for me to sing in Danish. I guess that must be weird for people who speak English as their first language to hear that from somebody who comes from another language. I went to this school - it was a music school, but also an international school, so the main language was Danish, but also English, and they taught us English through music. Before we understood it, we would sing it. That means I have a very natural relationship to the language - in terms of music, at least. It seems very sort of connected for me. But also, I work with it in a very sort of sound way. Of course I think about the lyrics - use a lot of time on the lyrics - but I feel like the sound, and the sound in a room, and the words, they color each other - the sound and the semantics. And that’s even more obvious to me when it’s English than when it’s Danish. So, yeah, I like to sing in English.

Have you gravitated towards any instruments besides piano? Could you see yourself playing anything else on a record in the future?

Well, I played bass on the previous album, and guitar, and all the beats - rhythms and stuff. Because I do it myself, I end up having to do some of the instrumentation, even though I’m not very good at these instruments. So, yeah, definitely. And the next album, I’m planning to work less with piano, and more with other kinds of old keyboards, so yeah, I could definitely imagine that [laughs].

Speaking of your third record, how much have you been able to focus on that? Or are you just focusing on touring?

I’m focusing on it because I’m planning it. I’m trying to find new instruments to work with, so it’s sort of on the research phase and starting to write things. It’s still sort of just in the incubation phase - [laughs] it’s a very early phase. But most of my time is with the touring and getting that album working. I’m touring with different musicians at the moment -  I’m not touring with Anne and Mika right now - I’m touring with two Belgian musicians, so every time you start playing with a new band, you have to rehearse and get to know each other. It takes a lot of time, I think. And just traveling - I haven’t been home for four weeks right now.

Do you think that, ideally, the new album would come out early next year? What’s your timeline for it?

Oh, no, no, no. I need a long time. [Laughs.] I’m just starting to think about it and to write a few things. I’m the type who needs a year or two years or something. I’m not one of these fast ones. I need a long time.

Nothing wrong with that! So, you produce your own records, and I’m wondering how having complete creative control in the recording studio impacts other aspects of your life as a musician? Does it help at all as a touring musician to know your records in and out and to say, “I did everything of this”? 

That’s a good question. I never got that question before. I’m very focused on sound. Live sound -  I want it to sound a certain way, so I’m very involved in the sound aspect, and of course the arrangements and everything. But it also means when we start playing it live, and we change the arrangements and we develop the songs, I keep on thinking, “Oh, I want to go back and rerecord it!” You can get sort of obsessed with certain aspects of the sound. I ended up also mixing the two last albums, so when you produce it, and record it, and mix it, and write it, and play it, you can tend to become a little obsessed with it. And when you start playing it with other people and changing it, then it’s like you’re opening the whole thing up again. I think it becomes very personal and also takes a lot of time of your life, basically. I’m still not a point where I can write the songs and leave the production and everything to somebody else. Could be fun to try it at some point and say, “Okay, you do it, and I’ll just see what’s going to come out at the end.” So far, I’ve had this need to have the songs and the universe in the whole of my hands so I can make sure I get my ideas and visions out the way I want it.

I know that Myspace was instrumental in your discovery as a musician. Do you still use social media as a main marketing tool for your career? 

First of all, it’s true that I had one song in a German commercial that was discovered on Myspace in 2008, but it didn’t help me so much. It was just in Germany and it took me two years to get a record deal, and it ended up not being in Germany. I couldn’t get any contract in Germany, so it didn’t help me so much. I think sometimes it’s just something it says on Wikipedia, but the reality is it wasn’t that easy [laughs]. I learned that you have to be very careful with these kinds of things. I think, obviously, it has changed everything that music is available everywhere. Social media is part of it. I think the most important platform right now is YouTube, for discovering music and for also letting you know bands that are not on labels [and don’t] have promotion and stuff. They have an output of form; that’s extremely important. And that was also important for me - that’s how I started doing music on my own. And I remember before, I was playing in a band, and in this band project, everything was about getting a record deal, but when I started working alone, that was a time where Myspace was really big. In that period, everybody was like, “Oh, let’s just get it up on Myspace and show it to our friends.” So, the whole spirit has changed and it’s already some time ago now, you know? But it’s not about labels anymore. It’s about getting it out there and finding - because everything has become way more niche - you can always find an audience now, it doesn’t matter if they are far away. So, yeah, I think it’s super important, and it’s really great for everybody who doesn’t fit into the classical category that the record labels use when they sign us. Obiviously, it’s really good. But I don’t use a lot of time with Twitter and Facebook, I have to admit. I’m not that connected myself.

You work with your boyfriend, Alex, on music videos for your songs. What’s the collaborative process between you two like?  

I’m working a lot in our home, and he has a studio in our home, too, so he ends up hearing a lot of stuff before it’s done. He will make something without me even knowing it, and then just showing it to me, and then if I like it, he will make a video for it. I dunno, I guess I’m really lucky with that because it doesn’t have to be conceptualized and planned. It just sort of happens in the process.

-Madelyn Dutt

Agnes Obel will perform at 9:30 Club on Wednesday, August 13.

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Gibson Guitar Showroom
Gibson Guitar’s DC Showroom, nestled amidst the hustle and bustle of Chinatown, is a place of rock refuge. Lined with gorgeous guitars and filled with natural sunlight, the showroom invites visitors to reflect on the music of Gibson-wielding greats, such as Les Paul, Johnny Cash, and David Byrne. The space is primarily reserved for private concerts and special occasions, so if you’re ever invited to attend an event there, be sure to cancel all other plans.
The rockin’ Gibson folks are currently giving away tickets to Boris at 9:30 Club on Saturday, August 2. For your chance to win, visit the Showroom’s Facebook and Twitter pages. 
-Madelyn Dutt (@MaddyDutt)
Boris will perform at 9:30 Club on August 2. 

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Gibson Guitar Showroom

Gibson Guitar’s DC Showroom, nestled amidst the hustle and bustle of Chinatown, is a place of rock refuge. Lined with gorgeous guitars and filled with natural sunlight, the showroom invites visitors to reflect on the music of Gibson-wielding greats, such as Les Paul, Johnny Cash, and David Byrne. The space is primarily reserved for private concerts and special occasions, so if you’re ever invited to attend an event there, be sure to cancel all other plans.

The rockin’ Gibson folks are currently giving away tickets to Boris at 9:30 Club on Saturday, August 2. For your chance to win, visit the Showroom’s Facebook and Twitter pages. 

-Madelyn Dutt (@MaddyDutt)

Boris will perform at 9:30 Club on August 2.