It was your brother Noah who told me “there’s nothing worse than the ’email interview” so I apologize for that. But in an effort to get the word out about your band and album, we have to make due. Thanks for taking some time to respond to these.
1) I first heard you perform on the YouTube videos from the Fremont Abbey as “The Gundersen Family.” What made you decide to organize the band as Le Wrens?
Lizzy: We didn’t have a name in the beginning when it was just me and Jonny and we wanted something that would signify us as a whole and not a front man/woman and backup man ordeal.
2) What’s with the name? Is it a literary reference?
Jonny: Our good friend Tommy came up with the name Le Wrens. A Wren is a small bird with a beautiful voice and Leis French. French always sound better and classier.
3) Tell us a little about the story behind Don’t Forget Me. Where did you record it? What was that like?
Jonny: We recorded it in a matter of 3 days with an additionally 3 days of pre-production. It was recorded by Eric Oz at Iron Orng Studios in Seattle.
4) How do you describe your sound overall? Folk country? Or do you, like most artists, hate “categories” for music?
Lizzy: Me and Jonny have been playing music together for 6 years now so it was a pretty incredible experience being able to finally get our stuff down and hear it played back. Especially having it be something that your proud of and get to share with others. Eric was so easy to work with and made us all feel comfortable and at home. We were very lucky to have Noah our brother be our producer for our album. He had great insight and was really helpful.
Jonny: I dislike categorizing our own music but I ask myself asking that same question to bands. I would say we have a little mixture of folk and country in our music.
5) It seems like there’s something in the water in the great Northwest. Do you have any reflections on why there’s such great music coming out of the Seattle area in recent years?
Lizzy: There is so much inspiration here. So many people who are fighting to achieve goals and become what they dream of becoming and that is a very admirable trait that many people in Seattle that I have met have. Not only are the people in Washington inspirational but you can’t walk outside your door and let the beauty of Washington’s scenery go unnoticed. When you are surrounded by these things art just sort appears.
6) What were the musical inspirations for the album? [Aside from Noah, obviously]
Jonny: For me Ryan Adams’ album Ashes and fire. The production of that album was something that I wanted people, myself included, to hear in Don’t Forget Me.
Lizzy: I have always been a huge Patty Griffin fan. When listening to the production of that album the songs can go from sounding like they were recorded in a Cathedral to a close intimate cafe show. I want listeners to feel intimate but there were a few songs that I wanted to sound bigger and a little more epic.
7) What were the lyrical inspirations for the album?
Lizzy: The whole album is about memories. Some that I would like to forget and some that I will always cherish. The inspiration for my lyrics came from things that I was both experiencing and just seeing at that point in time. Whenever I write a song its brought forth by strong emotions. Pain, happiness, anger, sadness, etc.
8) Are you promoting “Don’t Forget Me” as a radio single? Can you tell us a bit more about the story behind that song?
Jonny: It’s the single for the EP and we have definitely pushed and promoted it the most . Hopefully we will someday hear it on the radio.
Lizzy: I wrote that song because I was afraid of being forgotten but most of all regretted. I wanted him to remember the things that we experienced together.
9) What are your plans for the band in the immediate future? Will you be touring with these songs, or writing for a full LP?
Jonny: We will start touring but it will be on a smaller scale. Touring the North West at first and then maybe down the Coast.
Lizzy: I’m always writing new songs, most of them won’t ever be heard but a handful of them will be keepers for our full length.
10) Is there anything you’d like our readers to know about Le Wrens?
Jonny: We have some exciting things coming up. We will be playing Bumbershoot in September
, we will be playing at an Invisible Children’s fourth estate summit in early August. We are also performing a live session on KCTS 9, Seattle’s PBS TV station and it will be aired the 27th of June at 7pm. There are some other shows here and there that you can find and learn about on our facebook page.