Artist Interview: Ben Doerr from Seattle’s St. Paul de Vence – Folk music Kickstarter!

Introducing St. Paul de Vence, folk music from what seems to be the Mecca of the movement, Seattle, WA.  From their historically-themed and beautifully-written self titled album last year, this band has been near the top of my list.  When I found out they were working on a new project, I had to get the inside scoop.  HERE ya go!

1) We gave your debut album a rave review last year. What have you been up to in 2013?

***2013 has been kind if amazing! There have been some big changes, noteably in the personnel department. Some folks have moved on to other projects, but Kale Lotton and Jonny Gundersen came on board on bass and drums (respectively), which has been amazing! They’ve really lifted the whole energy of the music and allowed us to grow, sonically. Also, we gained the delightful and talented Lydia Ramsey. She’s been such an inspiration. She has a really different way of looking at arrangement than me, which is great – she sees things I don’t always see, or hear. And to sing with her is divine! Just having that female presence and energy in the band has been a really good balance as well as expansion of our sonic landscape (not to mention she plays one million instruments!). We’ve also played some really great shows this year…kind of culminating with Bumbershoot! That was quite the experience. Just so fun and so great to be on the same boat (so to speak) with all these artists we know and/or love!

2) How is the Seattle music scene treating you guys?

***Its been really good. You know, we haven’t played that much in Seattle proper this year. Kind of by design, I guess. I mean, we don’t want to just play in town all the time. We want to play really fun shows. We supported the Last Bison in the spring, at Tractor. That was a really great night. A packed, sweaty, beer-soaked house. Just full of energy! Then we went out a bit…some really great shows in Portland, Wenatchee, Tacoma…all great towns for us as well. Then it was Bumbershoot, and now we’re playing this Saturday as part of a secret-ish show with Seattle Livingroom Shows. We’re headlining with Joseph, this sister-band from Portland that I’ve been dying to play with! So, there’s been some gap and it’s about doing the important, or really fun stuff for us.

3) We hear you have a new project in the works. What can you tell us about the new music? Is it more of the same sound, or have you taken one of those White Album to Yellow Submarine changes?

*** Haha, I don’t know if it’s white album, but it’s different, for sure. We’ve had, what seems to me, a slow evolution to where we are now. Two years ago we released a really raw, live-take album. This one will still have a live-band approach. That’s who we are. We like playing music together. It’s no use playing with a computer for months on end, but there will be a different approach. For starters, we’ve hired producer Mychal Cohen (of Campfire Ok) and we’ll be tracking at Seattle’s historic London Bridge, with owner, Jonathan Plum, engineering (he has worked on Pearl Jam Ten, Blind Melon and many other awesome records…not to name drop). It’s just a great support team. That’s a new thing for me – and for us – to have a real organized team going into the studio. Also, we’ve been in pre-production rehearsals with Mychal for months, so the level of prep is beyond anything I’m familiar with. It’s so great! And then there are the songs, of course. I’ve been able to write and shape these songs onto drums and bass as rhythm, and onto a woman’s voice, with Lydia, so it’s been a totally different song-writing experience. I’m loving it, though! And some of the original narrative from my grandfather carries over, in a natural way. It just kind of happened. I guess there is still story to tell.

4) For those readers who are just meeting you all, what would you say is the best one-song introduction to your sound?

***One of our songs? I think Mama.

“Mama” by St. Paul de Vence // Live in Wenatchee, WA // July 19, 2013 from St. Paul de Vence on Vimeo.

5) ‘Tis the season. What is your favorite Christmas song? Would you ever consider a Christmas EP?

***Oh man, with time and budget, I would love to do a Holiday EP. I think maybe this summer we’ll cut one, so we’re ready! By the time the season is on, it’s over. Haha. I think White Christmas, Bing Crosby. It crushes everything.

Dear readers: If you want to be a part of this exciting Kickstarter project for this quickly-rising band, stop by and give them some money!  We live in the digital music revolution, so join in!  Vive la REVOLUCION!

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