16th Annual Artist Survey: Erika Spring of Au Revoir Simone | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

16th Annual Artist Survey: Erika Spring of Au Revoir Simone

Spring on 2018's Best Albums, #MeToo, The Muppets, Social Media, and Swimming in Selena Gomez's Pool

Feb 04, 2019 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar's 16th Annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the last year, plus some fun personal questions. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2018 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from Erika Spring of Au Revoir Simone.

Spring released a new solo EP, Scars, last year via Cascine. She was also in the band Nice As Fuck with Jenny Lewis. Au Revoir Simone's last album was 2013's Move in Spectrums. In 2017 the trio appeared in the revival of David Lynch's Twin Peaks.

For our annual Artist Survey we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about the midterm elections, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West visiting the White House, the #MeToo movement a year later, mental health conditions in the music industry, whether or not they have Flossed, childhood birthday parties and vacations, which Muppets character they are most like, whether or not they are going to The Good Place after death, and much more.

Top 10 Albums of 2018

1. Christine and the Queens: Chris

2. Robyn: Honey

3. Cornelia Murr: Lake Tear of the Clouds

4. Mary Lattimore: Hundreds of Days

5. DRINKS: Hippo Lite

6. Blood Orange: Negro Swan

7. Paul McCartney: Egypt Station

8. MGMT: Little Dark Age

9. King Tuff: The Other

10. Bonny Doon: Longwave

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. midterm elections have played out? What do you think the results mean for the Democrats' chances of taking back the White House in 2020?

I was thrilled to be able to vote for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the midterms. I think the community activism that has been activated since before Trump got elected is really making an impact and empowering people who didn't feel like they had a voice to vote and for others to run for office. I also think the attention being brought to voter suppression around the midterms has been important. Who knows, but maybe there will be less manipulation in 2020 because of it.

Despite compelling testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and sexual assault allegations from other women, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in a Supreme Court Justice and many Republican women didn't believe Ford's story. What does this tell you about the general state of the #MeToo movement in 2018?

It's heartbreaking and maddening but the ripple effect that Christine Blasey Ford's bravery has had on the world is really palpable. I think she inspired a lot of people to share their stories and be heard. She was heard. Kavanaugh's confirmation is insane. I feel that her testimony has made a huge positive impact on the world and will continue to.

Be honest, did you Floss in 2018? (Meaning the dance craze, not the dental care.)

Yes! It came pretty naturally to me, I used to dance and I can do all kinds of jazz squares and coordinated steps/arms. I find it adorable watching people try to learn to floss.

Which Muppets character are you most like and why?

I saw the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of Moving Image (actually twice, once after a screening of Yellow Submarine)and many original Muppet puppets are there. I saw the Janice puppet (the guitar player in the band) and remembered how much I loved her as a kid. I'm a keyboard player and bass player but I relate to her love of side ponytails, hats, and beaded necklaces.

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit tragically took his own life this year. What should be done to improve mental health conditions for musicians?

This is such a heartbreaking story. I can only share from my experience, but what has helped me is talking about my stuff and hearing other people's stories. Talking with friends, family, astrologers, healers, therapists, whoever... And hearing other people's stories of what they're dealing with and how they get through is such strong medicine for me. I think the bend on social media (specifically Instagram) towards honesty and not glossing over the darker sides of human experience is really awesome. I don't share a lot of that stuff but I read a lot of it and it definitely has helped me.

In 2018 there were more dire predictions about climate change and we witnessed some of its likely effects firsthand with various deadly storms and forest fires. What should touring musicians be doing to better offset their carbon footprint? How bad do you think it needs to get for governments and corporations to take stronger actions to fight climate change?

This is such a huge and urgent question. It's so urgent that we move away from fossil fuels. Because of the scale of the problem, my personal opinion is that corporations are doing way more damage than individuals. To use the example of water waste, the water that can be conserved by individuals not watering their lawns in California is dwarfed by the water being used in the oil and fracking industry. And of course these problems go back to $ in politics and greed, politicians putting corporate interests above the interests of future humans. I have hope that the Green New Deal and growing awareness of what's going on will help shift things. But, yes, at the same time, I think there's a lot of ways musicians could lighten their impact on tour (so much bottled water! Ugh). Better routing of tours can sometimes reduce flights and carbon footprint so that would be great if it was taken into consideration more.

Where do you stand on social media in 2018, is it uniting humanity or ruining the world? And which platform do you find most useful and which one do you think is doing the most harm? 

I was just talking with some friends about striving to set positive examples for our kids and not be on our phones constantly and we were laughing that when we were kids the narrative was all about how TV was gonna ruin us. That seems so quaint now! And happily we have access to much better content but it does feel like such uncharted territory and such a challenge to fight against the dopamine rush of social media. As far as platforms go, Facebook is obviously doing the most harm, omg.

www.aurevoirsimone.com

www.erikaspring.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/erikaspringmusic/

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