Beer and Pavement

Dubb Nubb Interview (Director’s Cut)

Posted in Interview, Records by SM on March 8, 2012

Just like yesterday’s interview with Believers, I submitted a rather long interview for the T/F blog that needed editing. This one is with Dubb Nubb. You can read the edited version here or scroll down and read my director’s cut below. For more information on Dubb Nubb, go to their Facebook page and/or their Bandcamp space where they offer many lovely recordings for your enjoyment.

Give us your elevator spiel about Dubb Nubb.

Deelia – We’re an indie folk band and we’re a folk band. And we’re guitar, ukulele, one drum, and tamborine. And we do harmonies and we’ve been together since we were about 16/15. And Amanda joined the band in the summer. And we go on little tours and stuff all the time. We just put out like our third or fourth release.

Hannah – Some people would like to say that we’re like indie folk. And some people say we’re freak folk. I think it’s because it’s hard to categorize what our genre is. It’s kind of a mixture of lots of different stuff. Because we grew up listening to Bob Dylan, stuff like that. That kind of folk. Right now we’re listening to Fleet Foxes and that other kind of folk and combining that together.

I read somewhere that you started writing songs at 15. I suspect that you grew up in a musical household. What was that like? What kinds of experiences did you have growing up that made you give songwriting and performing a try? What kind of music was playing in your home?

Delia – Well, Hannah started playing guitar when she was ten. Our dad plays guitar and he taught her how. We always grew up listening to music. My parents blaring music on the stereo like every morning is how we woke up.

Hannah – A very artsy, musical family.

Amanda – And they took us to see a lot of shows. We would go to concerts in our pajamas, like on weekends, I don’t know, music festivals and stuff like that. Going to shows was such a part of our family.

What are your biggest influences currently? What are you listening to? What makes you think “oh, that sounds like us” or “that’s what we want to do”?

Delia – I think one of the major influences we had was this band called First Aid Kit. They put out a cover a Fleet Foxes song. They have these harmonies…they put out an EP not too long ago. They’re pretty much our age, too. So, we were really inspired by them in the beginning.

Hannah – I’ll say what is really inspirational is going to shows to see bands perform live. Like Shenandoah Davis and we saw…oh, what’s that band we saw when we were like 16? [turning to Delia] …uh, if you were still in love, why are you asleep?

Delia – Uh…

Amanda – Like ladies…

Hannah – Yeah like ladies we’ve seen live…

[The sisters fumble a bit, trying to recall bands they’ve enjoyed.]

So, just any live music or do you prefer the harmonies or a certain sound or a certain thing you’re drawn to?

Delia – I mean, we like a lot of different kinds of music. We listen to electronic music and just general indie people, like on Pitchfork or whatever. That kind of stuff too. So, we listen to a lot of different kinds of music. So, our sound is unique like oh, this is a folk song…there’s a lot of different elements…

Amanda – Do you just sit down and write a song and you want it to sound like this?

Delia – Not always, but sometimes if I have a really weird inspiration, I want to use this element in there. I know other people who are in bands who are like “I want to write a song that sounds like this band.” And I think that is so silly.

Well, let’s talk about the songwriting process a little bit. Do one of you come to the other one with an idea? Do you hear something…obviously, you don’t want to emulate it, but maybe something gives you and idea…Do you say “let’s sit down and write a song?”

Delia – Our songwriting process has changed a little bit now that we don’t live in the same house. Basically, what happens a lot of the time is that I will write a song by myself and it will be kind of an unfinished song. We’ll come together and we’ll finish it together, putting out all the parts for all the instruments.

Amanda – Don’t you write them as poems first a lot of times?

Delia – I used to, in the past, I would just write lyrics, but lately I’ve been having the melody in my head while I write.

[turning to Hannah] So, where do you fill in?

Hannah – She’ll sing it to me. Basically, she’ll sing me the song and I’ll make up chord progressions, write a bridge, and write a chorus.

[our food arrives]

There’s a lot of naïveté to your aesthetic and energy, in a good way of course. It reminds me of Beat Happening and even some of the Moldy Peaches stuff. However, you write some pretty heady, mature songs with some complex arrangements and lyrics that show you to be well beyond your years. How did you get to that point? Were there some experiences or just years of work?

Delia – One of our most intense songs, “Soldier”, is like…People get really emotional with that song. But the song is about… I wrote it when I was sixteen… It’s about my high school boyfriend going to bed too early… It’s about my high school boyfriend. We broke up and it’s about that. It’s just this really immature subject matter, but I made it into this really intense, crazy song, right? … Sometimes when you’re really upset, you write the best songs, of course.

Amanda – Do you set out to write a song with a really good metaphor or do you just write lyrics as they come out?

Delia – I think it was how I was feeling, you know? I really felt that way at the time. And looking back that was really dumb. I mean, that guy was…whatever.

You’re writing a lot of poetry…

Delia – I’ve always been a writer. I love creative writing. I always have. When I was in elementary school, that was my jam. I’m sort of in the creative writing program at Mizzou right now. That’s always been an interest of mine. I guess that plays into when I want to write a song. … It’s hard to be like “How did you write that?” I just sat down and … That was one of the quickest songs I ever wrote. Some songs take me forever and that one I just wrote it in a matter of hours. That’s like the best songs sometimes.

Sometimes immediacy…when you don’t play with something too much, it comes out way stronger, way more honest. Hannah, do you have anything to add to that?

Hannah – I haven’t written too many of the songs, but what I’ve noticed with Delia is she’ll have an idea. “Oh, I want to write a song inspired by this line of lyrics or inspired by this thing that happened to me. What’s most inspirational, I think, is when we go on tour and our different experiences outside of our everyday lives are really inspirational.

Even though you haven’t written as many of the songs yourself, you’re obviously involved in the structure piece of it as primarily the guitarist…I guess, that’s the piece you bring to it. Even the structures of the songs are pretty complex. It would be very easy to write some simple ditties or something, but you write some pretty complex songs. Is that from your training early on?

Hannah – I learned on classical guitar and I really enjoyed it. What I really liked about it was dynamics…What I really like is when a song is moving forward into a different idea musically. I try to make it sound interesting and that…I mean, you should listen to the lyrics, but you should listen to the music too.

Well, a great band…that works. You have to have all those components. Then, you bring in your sister to play percussion. So, when did you (Amanda) come in?

Amanda – I joined the band in May, because we were going to do a little tour after they graduated from high school.

Hannah – You kinda joined our recording in March.

Delia – That’s true.

Amanda – I did play percussion on some of their recordings, but that was like sitting at a full drum set. You know, playing some parts. And so, when we were trying to figure out what to do for this tour, I had some drums in my parents’ basement…but I didn’t want to really pack a whole drum set…So, I just found this drum my dad had, an old banjo and it broke. He had taken it apart and used it as a drum. I just started playing it and it sounded cool. … One thing that I like about adding the percussion in is that it kind of… [turning toward her sisters] You guys are amazing at what you do, the dynamics and stuff, but they were really not that good at keeping a steady tempo [laughing].

Hannah – I am like the queen of rushing. I just want to go faster. It’s really bad.

Amanda – So, I feel good about keeping them on tempo.

Delia – It’s good to have that heartbeat of the song. It really adds a lot of texture. I think before, it didn’t sound as…I think it can be more epic now.

Amanda – And it’s really simple. I don’t do anything very complicated at all.
[I then proceed to tell the girls how Pavement added Bob Nastanovich to the lineup just to help Gary Young keep the beat.]

Amanda – I was booking shows for them, coordinating their recording, and merch and all that for three years. It’s been awesome to actually play with them as well. Not just bossing them around.

You boss them around?

Amanda – Sorry, was I really bossy?

Hannah – You’re still bossy.

Delia – But it’s okay, because you’re the boss!

One thing that I noticed in a lot of the songs is that there are a lot of things about places, distance, and travel. There was the whole project you did – It Feels Like Home – seems to be running throughout your material… Is travel a part of your lives? Have you had a lot of people come in and out of your lives? Where does that come from?

Delia – I think the original thing it came from is that Amanda used to live in Jackson, Mississippi for like three years. We would always go down there with our parents and drive eight hours to visit her. We go down there and do Dubb Nubb stuff there a lot of the time. That trip in itself inspired some of our songs… Ever since we did all that Jackson stuff, people really liked us down there… We decided we should go other places, travel other places and see how people like it… It all started in Jackson, Mississippi.

Amanda – We didn’t really go on really far-reaching family vacations.

Hannah – Yeah, we never really went on family vacations. So, when we went to Jackson or to Nashville, it was like kind of a big deal for us.

Amanda – Well, also, like with places, these people…

Hannah – We experienced different cultures and kind of…

Delia – …more unique people that really impact you in a short amount of time and you never really see them again.

Amanda – And people are really connected to the places they live… So, if you write a song about that place, that’s gonna…

Delia – It’s like a memory.

Hannah – Like Tennessee Mountains. The St. Louis song… That’s one…

Amanda – But if you’re in Mississippi, and you say you wrote this song the last time I came to Mississippi and it has the word “Mississippi” in it, they’re gonna go crazy.

Delia – We played “Tennessee Mountains” in Tennessee… it was really fun.

Amanda – And that’s like way better than being at a show and be like “I know everybody has had a terrible breakup. This is a song about a terrible breakup. Yay!” It’s just happier. It’s a song about how much I love St. Louis.

So, do you consider yourselves full transplants or are you still St. Louis people?

Delia – It’s hard. I mean, we (she and Hannah) just came here in August… It’s hard to be like “Oh, we’re a band from Columbia!” I usually don’t say that. I usually say that we’re from Columbia but we’re a St. Louis band. I still feel connected to the St. Louis music scene. A couple of bands came from St. Louis for our show. We played the Blue Fugue last week. It was just so much fun and we’ve known those bands for a couple of years. We used to play shows with them on Cherokee Street… It’s hard to stray away from St. Louis.

You all had a lot of success there. Good press, you got to play Lou Fest. On top of that, there was all the touring, you’ve had a couple of opening gigs…

[our waiter interrupts for coffee refills]

So, you’ve done all these really cool things, especially in the last year… True/False, the Daytrotter session – which is a pretty big deal… What’s your personal highlights from the last year because a lot’s happened?

Delia – I would say the Daytrotter was the big… Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening because we have always been fans of Daytrotter since we were very young… I think Lou Fest was really fun.

Hannah – Playing in Nashville…

Delia – …all the tours we went on this year were great! They all went really, really well.

Amanda – Yeah, this past tour we went around the state of Missouri and that was just really awesome. All the shows were really different, but they were all successful. Which is cool to say “We’re from Missouri and we’re only playing shows in Missouri.” … We played in Cape Girardeau and not a lot of bands stop through and play Cape Girardeau.

Delia – “You guys will have to come back…”

Amanda – It was cool to know that you don’t have to go very far to go on tour, get fans, and have a good time.

Well, it has been a knock on bands that are really great, but then they sort of fizzle out because they never leave town. So, they never get any exposure outside. There’s no way they can keep it going… Do you all have dreams and goals of something bigger? Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but…

Hannah – I think one of my dreams is to tour with a band that’s well-known. And that would just be really fun and get lots of exposure and learn from them.

Delia – Yeah, that would be the next step, definitely. We’re trying this summer.. We’re going to try to devote the summer to touring around. We’re playing a tour around working at rock ‘n roll girls camps. We’re going to work at one in Oakland, CA. So, we’ll tour around there…

Amanda – I’m excited for that.

Maybe you could start a rock ‘n roll camp for girls here?

Amanda – Seriously. That’s not an out of the question dream, because there are these rock ‘n roll camps for girls all over the country. Even in smaller places, like Murphysburg, Tennessee has one…. but there isn’t one in Missouri.

Yet.

Amanda – Yet! Exactly! So. we;re going to hopefully go to two different ones and be counselors and spend a week… And they do shows during lunch time. They have girl bands come play shows…

Delia – Our other dream is to play SXSW. We were trying to get on that recently, but we’re sorta not sure about it.

Amanda – It kind of sucks because of the timing… We’ll see. We’re still trying to get some kind of show.

But you are playing True/False again…

Delia – …which is awesome.

So, what do you enjoy about doing True/False?

Hannah – It’s so fun because… It’s fun to have an audience and play for people, but they didn’t come to hear us play. It’s kind of fun to see people’s reactions. People come up to tell us good job and it’s really rewarding…

Amanda – Yeah, because they didn’t come to see the music even… It’s not like they came to a show and never heard of the opening band. They came to see the movie…

Delia – So, sometimes we play the little church venue and everyone was just so into it. It was just so much fun. The acoustics were so good. We could sing really loud. It was awesome and we got to see a really good film. It was just a lot of fun. I think Columbia is a lot of fun at that time. Last year was so fun. Pearl and the Beard played…

Amanda – That was really cool to meet them…

Delia – Yeah, now they’re our friends…

Amanda – …and we opened for them.

Do you have plans to do more than just do your sets or do you try to go to parties, or see other films?

Hannah – I want to go to some of the shows, definitely. Maybe all of them. The other bands sound so cool. And I’ll definitely go to movies.

Delia – We didn’t get into some of the parties last year because we weren’t 21. That was a problem, I remember.

Amanda – Yeah, you’re still not 21. [laughs]

Hannah – I got a fake ID… just kidding.

Delia – On tour, we got kicked out of a bar we played at, because they were scared that the police would find out that we weren’t 21.

Amanda – And it was good that we got kicked out, because by that point there were only creepy dudes in there that were talking to us. So, we were really happy to leave.

Delia – Yeah, that’s cool…

Amanda – That was an insane tour…at an absinthe bar…

Absinthe bar? Where was that?

Amanda – St. Joseph… What was it called? [to her sisters]

Delia & Hannah – Cafe Acoustic!

Amanda – They were very nice.

Delia – Yeah, they were great.

Amanda – They kicked us out really nicely.

Well, they’re drinking absinthe…

Amanda – Right.

What do you have in store? You talked about SXSW, the summer camp thing, True/False of course… Anything else you have plans for?

Delia – We’re going to try to do a music video.

Hannah – Those are really successful… Our last one…

Delia – We did a little, tiny video of us just playing in the woods and people really liked it. We’ve never done like a full-scale video before. The last music video we put out was when we were sophomores in high school. A friend filmed us playing around in the park…

Amanda – It’s very cute.

Delia – Anyway, we have a friend who makes films and he said he would make a film for us. And we were thinking of putting out an EP because we have a lot of new stuff, but we’re not sure we’re going to record it. Those are two things we have in mind.

Last thing… Tell me something you love about each of your sisters.

[laughs]

Hannah – I love that we can play music together and have fun together. And not just hang out and be sisters, but hang out and be friends.

[sighs, laughs]

Amanda – My sisters are the funniest people that I know. And we have a funny, weird sister language. I like that…. [laughs] And they laugh at my jokes. Well, Delia laughs at my jokes. Hannah tells me that they’re bad. And that’s funny too.

Delia – We have so much fun going on tour for a week and half. We didn’t fight the whole time. I feel like a lot of bands fight on tour, but we had fun and made up weird jokes. It was really great. We do have fun having adventures with each other. We’re not just a band. We hang out and do stuff with each other on the weekends and stuff. It just a bond that not a lot of people have with their siblings. It’s really special.

[giggles]

Advertisements
Tagged with: ,

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Carrie the Destroyer said, on March 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    If a twee falls the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

    [giggles]

    This might be the tweeist thing I’ve ever read, Early. And this is coming from someone who used to read the Tullycraft blog (which was a pretty good blog; they mostly posted obscure and not so obscure indie pop mp3s daily).

    • Zac said, on March 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      OK, Carrie the cynic. It does come off a bit thick. That’s why Andrew edited it for the T/F blog. It’s cliched and doesn’t really do their music justice. I get that. Would it have been better if I closed the post with [laughs]?

      • Carrie the Destroyer said, on March 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm

        yes, infinitely better.
        Especially since that end is the only place where [giggles] occurs.

        I have no doubt in my mind that the ladies have chops, but I don’t care much for traditional interviews with musicians. They tend to be pretty samey shop talk about influences and processes. I used to enjoy pitchfork Guest Lists and Root Blog has a series of 20 little questions they ask musicians (mostly random stuff like pets and favorite things and people). I’d rather find something to relate to musicians on a human level than on a self-referential level.
        No fault of your own though, since T/F asked you to do this kind of stuff.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: