Monday, 1 March 2010

Interview with Adrianne Gold from When I Was 12

Thanks to a tip off from Colin, by far and away the best CD ive heard all year is 'Dear Eskimo' by New Jersey's When I Was 12. (my review can be found here- ). Its amazing that more people have not yet discovered this unique little gem. i was lucky enough to catch up with vocalist and song writer from the group, Adrianne Gold to find out a little more about the band, their wonderful sound and her writing.

BRILLDREAM-Hi Adrianne, how are you today?

ADRIANNE GOLD- Absolutely sleepy! Wanting to be under covers but writing a ten page paper on copyright infringement instead.

BD-Could you tell us how When I Was 12 got together? I like to think you all met at a Teddy bears picnic...

AG- Starting my freshman year of high school I've started writing these quirky little love songs, changing the members of the band here and there, and changing our name constantly. We went from: At The Bake Sale, to Donnie Drywall and the Sheetrock, to Some Slumbering, to The Curious Girl, to Hattie and the Fox, and finally to When I Was 12.

Currently the band consists of myself, Dan Houwen, Carolyn Haynes, and Eric Resnick. Dan and I have been working together since my senior year in high school and I'm a freshman in college now. He's the sweetest, I friended him on the band myspace and thought he was really cute so we got together and once i heard him play bass/guitar, it was a done deal. I met Carolyn at college, first term, in my piano 101 class. She had really adorable red hair, wore the cutest sweaters I've ever seen, and had the most infectious smile/laughter, (not to mention she's a whiz on the glockenspiel AND saxophone!!!) We met Eric at the starbucks on our campus. Carolyn and I saw him patting his chest, loved his yellow shirt, and knew he had to be a drummer. I like anyone who likes coffee.

BD-Your songs are poppy and dreamy but with very clear and direct lyrics. Who influences you as a songwriter? And is there a single moment that made you want to be a musician?

AG- Oh, so many people influence me as a songwriter. Definitely Tilly and the Wall, Saturday Looks Good to Me, and The Magnetic Fields; they all write really brilliant love songs. I remember it was 8th grade and my dad told me if I learned to play guitar he'd buy me a heart shaped one. I think that's when I knew I really wanted to be a musician, or at least I knew I really wanted a heart shaped guitar.

BD-To me, a lot of the lyrical content seems to tackle the thorny issue of relationships, both romantic and platonic. Are they based on real life events and people? And do you think people are either in love or longing for it?

AG- Almost always real life events and people. God, if it wasn't for these boys, you know? WHAT WOULD I WRITE ABOUT. I'm always writing about all the boys I've met/haven't met/boys who have broken my heart/boys who I've broken their hearts/boys I've fallen in love with/boys I thought I fell in love with/boys/boys/boys.

BD-Your lyrics also have a pin sharp eye for detail. Are you a people watcher?

AG-Don't get me started on voyeurism, especially living in a city now, it'd be almost impossible not to watch everyone and everything. I am always so curious about where they're going, who they're meeting, if they're in love, or if they're just running late. Details, details, details. Colors are so important to me, and just the little things that can really bring a listener there or make them feel like they know who I'm talking about.

BD-They also, in places, have a very nostalgic feel. Are you a diarist? Or are you the type of person who scribbles a lyric on the back of a bus ticket so you don't forget it?

AG- i have the worst memory so I'm the kind of girl who will scribble words down on any surface she can find so she won't forget them a moment later, although most of my songs are memories, and it's hard to forget them, even when I want to.

BD-I love the song 'Oh Telephone Wires'. Can you tell me a little of what its about? And how long did it take you to come up with those amazing harmonies?

AG- We recorded our CD at Cambridge Sound Studios with Jim Salamone, we had the most incredible creative chemistry, and he helped us come up with the higher harmonies for he song. He's a real stand up guy. This song is about a girl and a boy whose hearts froze in the winter, and though they thawed come spring time, they just couldn't love each other the same. They had moved on whether they wanted to admit it or not. Bittersweet. They're off to find something better but at the same time we all know how hard it is to let go, of anything, of anyone.

BD-Did you really see the Mona Lisa?

AG- Unfortunately I did not. I also know that the Mona Lisa is no longer located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was using creative license, it rhymed, I couldn't help myself. You try rhyming things with pizza, it's hard, you know? I think the Mona Lisa was at the Met for a little while though, sometime in the 60s or something. the entire "S is for Subway" song is hypothetical. I was going to let this boy take me to New York City, but I was too afraid to. I was only imagining what it'd be like, or what it wouldn't be like.

BD-You have told me before that you have "Millions" of new songs. When can we expect to hear them?

AG- Our new drummer Eric Resnick is also going to record our new CD. We are thinking 12 songs, half love songs, half anti love songs. I've come to the conclusion that true love does exist but not all of the time and that when you're sad or angry you don't want to listen to something about fairy tale endings. Hopefully you'll hear them soon. You can hear them now though if you attend our shows!

BD-Is there any other New Jersey bands we should know about?

AG- Of course!!!! The Front Bottoms (sweetest boys ever existing in existence!) Safe Travels (Classiest guy I know) Mike Bruno (Haunting and beautiful) Dan Abary (His voice will make you melt) We Are the Sun (such fun!)

BD-Finally, whats your favourite book, item of clothing and cheese? and whats the best birthday present youve ever received?

AG- Favorite book, it's hard to narrow it down to just one so I'll tell you top 2. I know Ursula K. Le Guin is most known for her science fiction pieces but you've gotta read this short story "Very Far Away from Anywhere Else" it's very very endearing. I also like "Girl in the Flammable Skirt" by Aimee Bender, a little risque, but very artsy and intriguing.

Favorite item of clothing, I'd have to say my black shiny and gold and silver sequiny dress. It's so much fun to wear.

Favorite cheese, hm I've been ordering the chicken marinara melt at subway with provolone cheese, but I've always been into munster cheese and lately brie!

Best birthday present I've ever received? Maybe my megaphone. It's so much fun to shout into and sing with at shows. I also just really like birthday cake or cupcakes or anything sweet.


The debut album from When I Was 12-'Dear Eskimo'is available from here-

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