2015 Artist Survey: The Bird and the Bee

Inara George on Streaming Music, Being Fired, Childhood Memories, Star Wars, and Bad Dates

Feb 04, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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, Tamaryn, Telekinesis, Vampire Weekend's Chris Baio, The Walkmen, Youth Lagoon, and others.

Here are some answers from Inara George of The Bird and the Bee. The Los Angeles-based duo (which also features Greg Kurstin) released their latest album, Recreational Love, last summer via Rostrum/Polydor.

Top 10 Albums of 2015

I am really embarrassed, but I would be lying if I said I knew about any new music that came out. I've been in a sort of music shelter for the past few years.  I've been more focused on my kids and podcasts. I did like the few songs I heard of the Alabama Shakes. I really love her voice.

What was the highlight of 2015, for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point?

I'm sure the high point for the band is the release of the new record. That's always fun. The low point was more recently with the terror attacks in Paris and Beirut.

What are your hopes and plans for 2016?

I'd like to finish a solo record I've been slowly chipping away at.

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?

I have no idea which one is the best one. I think I use Apple Music most because it seems easiest for me. But that's just because I have an iPhone. And as for the artist compensation, that's a hard one. When I think about how things have been going it feels like this tidal wave of change. I see people trying to dam it up and it doesn't seem to make that big of a difference. The music will always be there. And people who want to find ways to capitalize on it will always be there. I'm not sure how it's all going to work out. I'm curious to see the future.

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

I don't think there's a ton that can help album sales. I think this probably helps for a little while. But it's not going to stop the decline.

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?

Things are so different today than they were when I was a kid. It felt like you had a handful of new records to choose from every year. Today I can barely keep track of anything. There is so much music coming out. So it makes sense that everyone is kind of embracing the music that has the most visibility. Not to say that mainstream pop isn't great music. But it does feel a little harder to find space if you're a smaller band. 

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

It's too soon to tell. Right now it feels a little too much like a circus.

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?

Hall and Oates? Hahaha...

Have you ever been fired from a job (be it a day job or musical one)? Why were you fired?

Yes! My friend needed a vocal on this demo he was working on. And he needed it to sound like Courtney Love. He asked me if I thought I could pull it off and I figured I could probably do it. And of course I couldn't. Her voice is so amazingly full and rasping. I had no chance. But he didn't fire me, really. We just agreed that I was fooling myself to think I could pull it off.

What's your earliest music-related childhood memory?

My father was in a rock band and I have a very clear memory of dancing on the stage at a concert. I must've been 4 years old.

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

A 10-pound turkey with stuffing? I don't know.

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

I haven't dated in so long. It's hard to remember. I always found dates at fancy restaurants to be kind of embarrassing.  

Which Star Wars character are you most like?

Probably Luke...I'm very enthusiastic. 

Where do you see yourself in five beers?

Asleep.

What's the lamest breakup excuse you've ever given or been given?

It's not you, it's me. I've done that a few times and had it done to me.

What currently overlooked artist is creating a body of work that will one day be considered a work of genius?

Van Dyke Parks. I know people already say he's a genius. But certainly not enough people.

Many musicians seem to become less relevant and creative with age, relying on greatest hits and covers albums or releasing music nowhere near as strong as their earlier work. What do you plan to do to combat this?

Just keep making stuff.

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?

There needs to be way more restrictions. It's insane to me that it takes more effort to check out a book at the library than buy a gun.

Which recent anniversary for an album, film, TV show, or historical event has most made you feel old?

The Back to the Future thing. 

If your house were on fire, what would you grab as you were running out?

My children.

2015 is the year that Marty McFly traveled to the future in Back to the Future Part II. Beyond not having hoverboards, what most disappoints you about 2015 now that we're here?

I didn't see this question! I don't think I ever saw Back to the Future Part II.

What's the biggest goal for your life that you have yet to achieve?

Complete serenity.

In which way would you least like to die?

Being hit by a car while I cross the street in the cold rain. 

www.thebirdandthebee.com



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Ballerina
March 1st 2017
8:27pm

So happy you are back, your music always makes me feel great :)