Saturday, August 6, 2011
LindsayJayne: Talking Music, Life, and Thor in the Land of Enchantment
By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS) -- When Producer Joey Belville called to ask me to play cello on a song by the group LindsayJayne, I asked, “Who?” Joey replied, “Dude, just wait. These ladies are the real deal!”
I went to meet Lindsay and Jayne at Solomon’s Porch in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Quite frankly, it was a perfect day for an interview. We had our first morning of rain in over sixty days. So the atmosphere and smell of fresh rain made it an inviting time to sit down and talk.
I looked around the café. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a young lady and so I approached. “Are you one of the gals I’m to interview?” I asked. “I am! Are you Brian?” “And your sister?” I continued. “At the bookstore.” If they like books, then I like them already.
We sat down on a couch off to the side of the café and began our conversation.
“Tell me about yourself?” I asked. “Who is LindsayJayne?” “Well, we're sisters who write, perform, and play music,” Lindsay replied.”
“And have you been playing music together for long?” I then asked. Jayne jumped in: “We’ve been playing music our whole lives. We have a fairly musical family. Our parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all play music. It’s sort of in our DNA.” Lindsay nodded. “As a matter of fact, when our mom was pregnant with each of us, she would put headphones on her belly and play music to us,” Jayne continued.
The sisters laughed at the idea, remembering a family moment that obviously resonated with both. Looking at Lindsay, I asked, “What instrument do you play?” “Guitar.” And you, Jayne?” “Piano.”
Ok, ok, I mused. Nice answers. But give me the story: “How did all of this all happen?”
“Well it began over six years ago,” Lindsay said. “I moved to Bend, Oregon where I did a two-year discipleship program at a church called Westside. There I met my husband, Eric. It was around this time I started to pursue my music. “After about five years in Oregon, Eric and I decided to move back to New Mexico for me to pursue my musical passions and for Eric to pursue a career in film. As you know, the movie industry has a large presence here in New Mexico, so Eric felt this would be a good fit.”
Jayne jumped in to expand the horizon: “We each were developing our musical pursuits around the same time: me in Albuquerque and Lindsay in Oregon. So when she moved back we both had our own individual musical interests, but didn’t think about combining them.”
”So how did you begin?” I went on to ask. “It began one afternoon when Jayne was playing piano,” Lindsay said. “I went to get my guitar. We started playing together and realized that ‘this could really work.’”
“Initially,” Jayne interjected, “we were writing for fun, just sisters reconnecting. But then we realized that the songs we were writing were pretty good. So we decided to take this a little more seriously.”
“Around this time a band called Elliott was on tour from Oregon,” Lindsay said, taking over. “And knowing me from Oregon, the band asked if we would be interested in opening for them. We said yes. “We played an art gallery called Revlis, and invited Joey to attend so he could hear Lindsay and I play together.”
Around this time in our interview, Joey Belville strolled into Solomon’s Porch with a backpack and workout clothes in tow. After a brief chiding for his workout shorts, we invited Joey into the conversation.
“I remember the concert really well. The ladies did an amazing cover of the U2 song ‘Sweetest Thing’” Joey stated. “Bono would be proud.”
“We did four original songs that night,” Lindsay said. “Plus the U2 cover.” “I think ‘Sweetest Thing’ came out real cool,” continued Jayne. “We added a minor chord twist that took it in a new direction.” “Yeah. I really felt they had a great chemistry,” Joey clarified. “The way two sisters can intertwine their vocals into one is quite wonderful. Also, the songs were great.”
”Tell me about a couple of the songs you’ve recorded,” I said. “The first song is called ‘No More Pretend,’” Joey stated. “It's a waltz in ¾ time.”
“What sort of instruments do you use in it?” “It’s pretty simple,” Jayne replied. “We had guitar, piano, glockenspiel, and crickets.” “Crickets?” I asked. “We recorded outside at night and caught the sound of crickets,” Jayne replied. “It was pretty cool.”
”And what is the song about?” I asked. “The lyrics were co-written,” Lindsay said. “But basically it’s about life after someone leaves -- sort of a song of absence and longing for that person.”
“How long did it take to record?” Joey gives his answer: “It took a little longer than normal. I was figuring out the style, musical intricacies, and such. So, in all, over two months.”
”And the second song, ‘My Apologies,’” I tossed out. “What is that song about?”
“Essentially,” Lindsay clarified, half joking, “It’s about me and how I can be stubborn when I fight. It's basically me apologizing for myself.”
We all laugh.
“And the instruments in this song?” I continued. “Overall, this is a more upbeat song,” Jayne stated. “We have electric guitar, synthesizers, cello, drums, bass, and acoustic guitar.”
Joey nudges in. “This song is different from ‘No More Pretend,’ sonically speaking. It’s quite a bit more upbeat. All of the LindsayJayne songs are really vocal-centric, though. There are layers and layers of vocals—a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs.’ The vocals really help build the song. In a way, it’s a journey of vocals: very lush and atmospheric.”
“We’re excited about this track,” Jayne stated. “It’s dreamy and lush, yet still intimate like ‘No More Pretend.’”
”What have been some of your musical influences?” I asked. “We have many,” Lindsay said, thoughtfully. “To start, Alison Krauss. We grew up with her music. But beyond that, we enjoy The Civil Wars, Brooke Frasier, Feist, Jon Foreman, and Copeland.” “But we pull from a variety of influences,” Jayne stepped in. “We like a unique sound with eclectic instrumentation.”
”Do you have a name for the EP?” I asked. “Yes. As of now, it’s called Seven Seas,” Jayne stated.
”Do you have a release date?” “Not yet. We’re still working with Joey in the studio. But people can get the first song off of iTunes under the On Mono label,” Lindsay responds.
“Dude,” Joey screamed, clapping his hands. “You have got to put this in the article! Lindsay was Natalie Portman’s stand-in for the movie Thor. How cool is that?”
“Really?” I asked Lindsay. “Yeah. It was really fun working on the set. I met a lot of great people and got to see what happens within the background of a major movie.”
”So what’s next for the group?” I asked, concluding our time together. “Our goal is to finish the EP, perform more, and see what happens next,” Jayne replies.
I’m sure there will be a lot of “what happens next” for this talented sister duo. If my hour with them is any indicator of the quality of person and talent potential, then the sky is the limit.
And speaking of the sky: As we say our goodbyes, a light rain is falling, refreshing all that it comes into contact with. Maybe just like LindsayJayne.
To learn more about LindsayJayne, check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lindsay-Jayne/125060870873302?v=info or hear their newest single, My Apologies, http://amzn.com/B005G0E3OS
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