10 Questions with ... The Weepies
May 25, 2015
1. What is like to work with your spouse?
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times! There's really nowhere to hide - everything comes out in the open quickly, so things can't fester. It probably makes for a healthier life overall, but there is also bloodletting. We still enjoy each other, making music together, and raising kids. We feel lucky.
2. How did you pick your band name?
Picking a name seemed pretty inconsequential at the time. It was just an organic thing we were doing, playing in the moment and we needed a name so we wouldn't be "Deb & Steve" - it was maybe two months between first calling ourselves a "band" and releasing the first Weepies record. The fact that it worked, that people came out and supported it in a way we had never experienced, was totally surprising. And by then, there was no going back on the name that we more or less picked one morning because it made us smile.
3. Is it true you two record your albums at home in Pasadena?
We've always recorded at home because that's what we could afford. Now we have an attic and call it a studio, but it's the same we've always done. We find working at home the most natural - you just put up the mics and play.
4. Did Deb's diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from Stage 3 breast cancer affect the creation of your latest album, Sirens?
We hope it hangs together like a musical photo album. We didn't write specifically about anything that happened - it's much more satisfying and interesting to just be open in the moment and see where the music goes, but Sirens was made literally upstairs from some very heavy emotions. The songs that made it to the surface are all informed by what went on below. It's hard to say what exactly happened way down there, but this is a record of that long, extended moment.
5. Tell us about the impressive list of guest musicians on Sirens.
There are Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello); Gerry Leonard (David Bowie); Rami Jaffe (Foo Fighters); Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel); and Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam), among others. We basically rung up our heroes and they all said yes! Mark Knopfler was the only person we approached who couldn't do it (they were really nice about it; he was just swamped in the middle of everything he's doing). We wanted these specific people on these songs; we've listened to their work and admired them for years, so we had an inkling those players would vibe with those particular tracks. Still, everyone far exceeded our expectations -- we simply say Thank You. We are deeply grateful.
6. Are there any other musicians and/or performers that you would love to work with in the future?
Sure! A thousand people! Lindsay Buckingham, Paul Oakenfold, Ben Watt, Brian Blade, Rhianna. I think Madonna could probably produce the hell out of a Weepies track. We're totally open. And Mr. Knopfler, we still have that track with your name on it!
7. What songs are you most excited for fans to hear?
"Ever Said Goodbye," "Sirens," "Fancy Things," "No Trouble"... all right, all of them! But seriously, we are proud of this collection; we feel it caught a moment and the supporting band is fantastic. The radio remix of "No Trouble" and "Fancy Things" are probably the most experimental groovy tracks we've done in a while.
8. With touring and recording, how do you keep a balanced family life with your children?
We homeschool and work at home, and the boys see what our lives are like every day. We share as much as possible. Kids can handle a lot, and so we include them. Every parent worries (we're no exception), but we hope we're doing a good job of balancing things.
9. What can fans expect from one of your live shows?
It's a six-person band; great players that includes our 10-year touring band with the addition of Pete Thomas from the Attractions for this run. We're readying quite a number of the new songs, with a healthy dose of some older material. And a ton of unbridled enthusiasm - we cannot wait to play!
10. Your songs have been used on TV shows and movies. Do you think that's how many people are learning about music today?
We've often discovered music that way - from way back when Peter Gabriel's song came through the boombox in Say Anything, to Rickie Lee Jones to Air ... it's definitely a significant way to hear music. No matter how people get to see movies or TV shows or whatever we'll call those visual stories in the future, music will be an important part of that experience.