2015 Artist Survey: Tamaryn

Tamaryn on 2015's Best Albums, Music Streaming, Donald Trump, Outrageous Tour Requests, and Gun Control

Feb 29, 2016 Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice
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For Under the Radar's 13th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2015. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2015 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Check out our Best of 2015 print and digital issues for answers from Arcade Fire's Will Butler, Julien Baker, Blanck Mass, CHVRCHES, Dan Deacon, The Dears, Dutch Uncles, EL VY, Everything Everything, Father John Misty, Field Music, The Flaming Lips, How to Dress Well, Sondre Lerche, Low, Luna, Mew, NZCA Lines, Cullen Omori, Natalie Prass, Small Black, Surfer Blood, Telekinesis, Vampire Weekend's Chris Baio, The Walkmen, Youth Lagoon, and others.
 
Here are some answers from Tamaryn (aka NYC via New Zealand songwriter Tamaryn Brown). Her latest album, Crane Kiss, was released in 2015 via Mexican Summer.

A shorter version of this interview ran in the Best of 2015 print issue, which is still on newsstands now. This is the full unedited version of the interview.
 
Top 12 Albums of 2015

Off the top of my head, because I hate lists (and not in order):

Róisín Murphy: Hairless Toys
The Black Ryder: The Door Behind the Door
Best Coast: California Nights
Pictureplane: Technomancer
Wax Idols: American Tragic 
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly
The Prodigy: The Day is My Enemy
Chemical Brothers: Born in the Echoes
Neon Indian: VEGA INTL. Night School
The Game: Documentary 2.5
Justin Bieber: Purpose
Them Are Us Too: Remain

What was the highlight of 2015, for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point?
 
High point was finally releasing the Cranekiss LP, which I had been dreaming up for so long. It's everything I hoped it would be. Low point was everything else. 

What are your hopes and plans for 2016?

I hope to be a stronger person emotionally and not take cruelty to heart in such a stifling way, personally and universally. 

With the launch of TIDAL and Apple Music in 2015, there are more streaming music options, but the same issues of adequate artist compensation persist. What are your current thoughts on streaming and which service would you most like to have your music on? 

The more places you can hear my music, the better, in my opinion. I may not see the effect monetarily, but that's not the point. Being a part of culture and a part of people's lives and identities is what I'm interested in, as far as releasing music goes. I'll work a day job in exchange for that. 

What are your thoughts on Friday being the new global release day for albums? Is it helping or hurting album sales?

I never know what day it is.

Mainstream pop music is increasingly embraced by indie rock musicians and listeners, as well as serious music critics. At this point, do you draw any distinctions between Top 40 pop and indie rock/pop? Are you comfortable with this shift?

I like good songs, no matter where they emerge from. I wish that more artists I know and love in the underground were heard, but that doesn't exclude the mainstream being able to make killer music. 

What are your thoughts on how the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is shaping up?

Scary. I am heartbroken by the senseless violence seemingly everywhere you look these days. Trump even potentially being president is a joke that's not funny in the slightest. I'm voting for Hillary myself, but the future of politics looks a lot like the past, doesn't it?  

Ryan Adams covered Taylor Swift's 1989 (and then Father John Misty covered Adams covering Swift). If you were to cover another artist's album in its entirety, which would you pick and why?

Roxy Music: Avalon-because it's perfection in a tuxedo.

What's your earliest music-related childhood memory?

Dancing to Kate Bush in my godmother's room after being scolded for trying to grind like a Solid Gold dancer while watching it on TV. She said, "Nobody is watching, who are you trying to impress? Just move any way you want and feel the music guide you, free yourself." 

What outrageous request would you most like to put in your tour rider as a joke?

An electric chair.

What's the most disastrous date you've ever been on?

I don't date, but I've had plenty disastrous relationships. 

Which Star Wars character are you most like?

Luke Skywalker, naturally. 

Following the terrorist attack at the Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris do you think that security at music venues should be improved and do you now worry about something similar happening at one of your shows?

The world is full of violence and chaos. What happened was devastating and rings close to home, but I am aware that violence can strike anywhere and at any time. Most of the time it's hard to even get out of bed, but the show must go on, on and off the stage. 

FFS (Franz Ferdinand + Sparks) proved that collaborations can work. What other two bands would you like to see unite as one new entity? 

Depeche Mode and Madonna. 

What song will most unite or amp up the tour bus or van (à la "Tiny Dancer" in Almost Famous)? Which song do you love that the rest of the band or crew refuse to let you put on?

Everyone in the current lineup loves this group The Blue Nile. Nobody tells each other not to like things. Open minds over here. 

Can you tell us about the first time you got drunk?

Seven years old in the New Zealand sand dunes on pink sparkling wine with Mom. 

CHVRCHES' Lauren Mayberry, among others, has spoken out about misogyny in the music industry and the sexist, and sometimes sexually violent, Internet comments from male fans. What are your thoughts on the issue?

I am proud to see women speaking out about being sexualized and abused in general. Comments are a place for cowards and shouldn't be taken to heart, but the larger implications of the way women are still treated in these times is a topic I think is only beginning to be explored.  

The World Health Organization associated cured meats with an increased cancer risk this year. What band does that mean you can no longer listen to? 

What? LOL. 

2015 saw the return of the Star Wars and Jurassic Park franchises. Which movie from your youth would you most like to see brought back and which one do you hope they leave alone?

Let's have some original ideas people! No more remakes (unless it's Labyrinth and I get to play Sarah and Bowie is back as Jareth). [Note: These questions were answered before the passing of David Bowie.]

If you could drop a copy of one album in the inbox of every citizen of the world, what album would it be (besides one of your own)? 
 
Purple Rain.

Which actor or actress would you most love to have in one of your music videos?

Peter O'Toole before he passed, or James Spader.

Mass shootings continue to be a problem, and yet the U.S. government still has yet to take action on curbing gun violence. What are your thoughts on gun control?

This question leaves me at a loss. How can you stop people from wanting to kill other people? I guess take away the guns, but there is a deeper problem we need to address, and that's teaching the value of empathy and practicing it. 

If the world was ending in 24 hours, what would you do in those 24 hours?

Absolute excess and love. 

www.tamarynmusic.com

 

 



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