Hello, Haley. Would you please introduce yourself to our readers? How long have you been making music professionally and where are you from?
I am a girl from South Dakota who moved to Duluth, MN a couple years ago to be a professional snow hut builder, and I started playing gigs to get soup money. I’ve been playing shows since I was about 15, so 6 years, not too long, and I’ve made 2 albums.
Your ..The Size of Planets is very introspective and honest. Are all the songs about you and your experiences or do you write lyrics about characters?
Well, I guess it would be fair to say they are about me and my experiences, mostly, because even the characters are stemmed from my imagination, and like most writers, “characters” make good symbols for things in real life.
Musically, you have gone with a stripped down feel on Planets . Can you tell us about how you go about writing a song? What, in your opinion, makes a great song? What makes a great song?
Yes, I like simple music. I am not always a big fan of big-production, though in some cases it’s great (hip hop, 80’s music). I never really consciously said “okay, this is going to be a very stripped down album- no horn sections-nothing”, but since I play live with just myself and a drummer, I felt it wouldn’t be right to present something that isn’t what I do in shows.
A great song, in my opinion, is one that you hear and say “what was that?”, and you want to listen to it again and again. one that pulls you in like a fishing line. It moves you, does something to you.
I don’t know how I go about writing songs, really. I just do.
Are you currently working on a new project? If so, do you see it as a continuation of Planets or are you going in a completely different direction both in sound and lyrically?
I am currently working on a new album. At this point, I’m not too sure what it’s going to be like, but I don’t think it will be a “continuation” of SOP. I don’t want to make another record exactly like that one. I’ve been recording stuff on an 8 track in my house, and like the spooky, grainy sound of it. So, I may go that direction.
Lyrically, my songs have changed quite a bit. It seems the songs are more first person, and less “about” a character or whatever. They also seem to be a lot darker, I guess. Haha.
David Frankenfeld is your drummer, correct? How connected is he to the song writing process?
Yes. Well, I write the songs, and then we work on a drum part together. Pretty simple.
How did you become acquainted with Low? What is it like touring with them and how was it having Alan Sparhawk play on your album?*
Alan Sparhawk asked me to tour with them last February after seeing one of my terrible “experimental Tuesdays” thing, where I struggled through some new stuff on a ratty farfisa organ and a guitar. I was very excited, and embarrassed!
Touring with Low is a beautiful experience. They have been one of my absolute favorite bands since I was like 15, which made it even more surreal. I love watching people watching them. They are like zombies, or people on drugs- completely hypnotized- it’s amazing. Their music really moves people. Also, Zac is hilarious.
Do you have any artists that you consider influences?
Okay: The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Richard Buckner, Low, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, many many more.
What artists are you listening to right now?
The Walkmen, Paul Westerberg, Selby Tigers, Washington Phillips, Charlie Parr, The Kinks, Mississippi John Hurt.
Are there any authors that inspire your writing?
Yes, Margaret Atwood. She’s incredible.
Any other contents?
I have a Midwest Tour in March- check out the dates on my website!