The JA 5: Interview with Brandi Carlile.
Our singer-songwriter blogger Cat Cosentino sat down with Brandi Carlile last Thursday, shortly before her performance at The Community Theatre at Mayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown. Here's a bit of their conversation. Enjoy!
JA: Where did you and the Twins, Phil and Tim (Hanseroth), first meet? And can you remember the first time you played publicly together?
BC: “We met in Seattle, we bumped into each other at this little recording studio. We were making demos with each of our respective bands and we started to hit it off, became fast friends, started singing together. The first time we gigged out was at a place called The Tracter. And Phil wasn’t in the band yet, it was just Tim. Phil was in the audience, Tim was on stage. I think we did some sort of Third Eye Blind cover.”
Fun fact--Phil and Tim Hanseroth are former members of The Fighting Machinists, and co-produced Brandi Carlile's self titled album with her. Tim plays guitar, Phil plays bass, and they're identical twins who are Seattle natives. Tim and Brandi also have matching tattoos!--editor Jon
JA: What affects you more as a singer/songwriter: home or the places you travel to?
BC: “Mmm, that’s a real good question. One of the best actually. Whichever is the most tumultuous. Whichever one is more of the ‘struggle ‘ effects me more at any given time. If I’m struggling the most with home and family and interpersonal relationships, I write about that…but if I’m struggling more with being gone and being confronted with myself I write about that.” Me: AND THIS COMES IN WAVES?: “Yeah, absolutely , it comes in cycles.”
JA: Do you listen to music as often as you write it?
BC: “More. And I get obsessively focused on one thing for a long time. I’ll get turned on to an artist or a band and I will listen to the record hundreds of times over and over and over again before even switching to another record. “
JA: How does it feel to be in the first round of the reincarnation of Lilith Fair, having been a part of it in the past?
BC: “It felt incredible, and I knew it was going to be a big deal but when I got there and was actually sort of seated next to Sara in a press conference and answering questions about how Lilith Fair has affected my generation, it felt like a really big deal. It was a really beautiful idea and I hope they do it again next year.”
JA: Is there a song that you sing that touches you so deeply that it changes the way you breathe, the way you think, and the way your heart feels on stage? One that transports you to a different place?
BC: “Yeah, absolutely. It changes. It’s usually about the same few songs. The song that does that universally, all the time, is a cover tune, and its “Hallelujah,” and I don’t do it very often because it has been done so many times, but in a really beautiful place with a really great crowd sometimes I’ll just do it. And I always do it with a symphony, too. As far as my personal songs go, I think I feel more transcended by a song called “I Will.”