We had the opportunity to chat with Emma's Lounge! They are a fantastic five-piece alt-folk group. They have a brand new album Confluence coming out on October 12, it was great to chat with them ahead of it's release. Check out our interview below!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
I’ve been making up songs in my head since I was really young, before I knew how to play an instrument. I remember dancing around my front yard using a broom as a “mic stand” when I was probably seven or eight years old.
I started playing guitar at 10 and have been playing and singing ever since-- although I wouldn’t say the time has turned me into a magnificent player.
I “came out” as a musician late-- in college-- because I had severe stage fright. But with the encouragement of friends and loved ones I’ve been chasing it ever since.
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
For me, the music pretty much always comes first. When I’m lucky, (usually when I’m walking or driving alone), I’ll get full arrangements in my head and I immediately have to start writing things down. I try to get as specific as possible, down to fine details like, “...then four sixteenth notes on the four.”
Once I have a musical foundation and a chord progression, then I’ll usually start singing gibberish along with it to try to come up with a melody and meter. I’m sure I sound insane during this part. I try to make sure no one is around.
Then, I start writing lyrics or shaping lyrics or thoughts I’ve previously written down. I consistently write and sometimes when music comes into my head, I try to connect the vibe of the music with themes and tones from random bits I’ve written.
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
So many...here’s a mouth-vomited list of new and old in no particular order: David Byrne, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Prine, The Cars, Elvis Costello, Odetta, Aretha Franklin, Rage Against the Machine, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Connor Oberst, blink-182, Deer Tick, Jack White, Jonathan Richman, The Shins, St. Vincent, Vampire Weekend, BIG Something, Shovels and Rope, Bill Withers, The Clash, The Doors, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Lou Reed...I’ll add Chon to the list just for our guitarist Brendan.
There are a million more I could list.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
I recently completely swapped out my old rig for a Kemper and I love it. It lets you model any guitar or bass amp or cab, and has a ridiculous amount of effects. I’m still just scraping the surface on using it to its fullest.
It’s especially handy in Emma’s Lounge because we don’t have a traditional bassist. So our lead guitarist, Brendan, and I trade back and forth shifting down an octave and the Kemper does a pretty convincing job at sounding like a bass.
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
I’d say our vibe is raw, pure energy and somewhat aggressive love haha. We try to create an atmosphere of inclusivity and positivity at each of our shows, and our hometown shows are usually like mini-festivals.
If I were to guess, I’d say our two favorite things at a venue are a hyped up, engaged crowd of people ready to get rowdy and a sound guy who is good to work with and attentive. With four lead vocalists, two octave-shifting guitarists, and two keyboards, we don’t make it easy on our sound guys.
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
That it exists. And it’s awesome. Does that count as or two things?
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
Yes! We are releasing our first true album together, Confluence, October 12 and we’ll be touring around the release. We put lots of work and energy into the album and we’re proud of it. We hope fans will give it a listen and come rage with us at a show.