We had the opportunity to interview a fantastic up-and-coming artist Mariee Sioux! She has an alt-acoustic sound that you'll be sure to dig. She also does a great cover of The Cure's "Love Song". Check out her interview with us and check out her music!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"I was always surrounded by music as a child as my father played in bluegrass bands and was always practicing at home and jamming with his friends. But I never played music my self till I was 18 and taught myself to play guitar. I was deeply moved by music at a young age, making mixed tapes for my school rides of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel songs since I was about 8, crying at the beauty of Joni Mitchel since 4th grade, I don't think I realized that a lot of my other friends at this age weren't necessarily experiencing music like that yet. I was a pretty shy young person and NEVER imagine playing music or being a performer though, it's still kinda of a shocking surprise, my music is a deeply personal and internal experience for me so it's still taking adjusting to even after 13 years of playing to share publicly these kind of feelings and songs. Songwriting really just happened to me I would say, I never tried to "pursue" it. I've wrote poetry since in about 5th grade, and after teaching myself guitar, I went on a very profound and influential trip to Patagonia in Argentina by myself at 19 where I was very isolated and first began transmitting my feelings through melody and words at the same time. It was so cathartic and truly magical feeling, to make something out of nothing, to be part of creation in that way that was even more than just writing, it just started pouring out of me on that trip and has been a part of my life ever since."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"There is really not one specific way I go about writing music or songs. I am always coming up with little tidbits of melodies in my head while driving or walking, and I am always writing weird shit in my journal no matter how cliche or bizarre the imagery or poetry might be. It's really almost a spiritual feeling process when the songs start to actually form themselves, it feels beyond me most of the time it is when I step out of the way of thinking and "trying" to write the song that things start aligning in ways that can bring chills to my own body. That's when I know something is good is if it gets stuck in my own head or can make myself cry when I start singing it. I can never force a song or force myself to write. I've gone almost a year without writing a song, but there are always things floating around in my head or the ether, I feel like I have to be in the right space at the right time to bring it down into a sonic and earthly realm. I am always jotting down lines here and there, or making voice memos on my phone to catch a melodic idea or phrase, and usually in a very mystical way rhyme and melody begin to form the more I repeat and almost chant certain verses I am coming up with. I'll have 3 or 4 different bits of songs floating around thinking they are separate songs perhaps and then 6 months later they will all align together with some guitar part and all of a sudden I'll realize they are all part of one song that fluidly make sense in their meaning and rhyme scheme. It still feels like magic. There are also times I have sat down and a song just flowed out of me in one go, words, melody and guitar parts all in one stream. That is truly an other worldly experience and has only happened a few times. I love that the process is still quite a mystery to me, I still so fascinated, surprised and honored to take part in this kind of creation."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"Wow, I have so many inspirations, but the major ones from early years even before I wrote my own songs were: a home town legend Aaron Ross who wrote songs nearly as good as Bob Dylan and amazed the youth in our community. Joni Mitchel who entranced me with her depth of feeling, voice and incredible song smithing since I was about 9. Simon and Garfunkel. Also in high school Elliot Smith with his sensitive gentle power, Neutral Milk hotel and their mind blowing lyrics and one of a kind sound, I had never heard anything like it and listened to "Aeroplane Over the Sea" probably more than any other record during high school. Bjork always mind blown. Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom felt and still feel like some of the greatest gifts we've been given to the musical world in centuries, their authenticity and miraculous songwriting have inspired me immensely."
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?
"Ya know I really don't have a lot of gear. I tend to play acoustic steel or nylon string guitars without effects. I am more of a solo acoustic performer but there might be a change in that in the future years who knows. I do love to mess with a classic Boss Delay Pedal for fun, and I would love to explore the effects for vocals more in the delay reverb realm."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"The shows I tend to play need to be more on the listening room type of experience. There seems to be some sort of quality in the music that quiets people and can bring on a very intimate feeling show. I love this kind of experience even if it still makes me pretty nervous a lot of the time. The vibe can also be very meditative with many people I see in the audience closing their eyes to really have an "experience" with the music. There are a lot of strange unusual imagery in the songs so I think it can seem to make people get present and maybe drift away a bit in the landscape of the songs. I appreciate this most about a venue, when people can be quite and present and are getting some type of experience out of hearing this kind of music in that kind of environment which isn't so common these days it seems like. I would really like the shows I play to be on more of a healing experience kind of intention as many people have come to me telling me this music has been sort of medicinal for them in their lives. I have liked playing at small theaters, and community centers and moving away from the bar or alcohol scene as my quieter music doesn't really translate or get heard very well in those types of places."
6. What is one thing you want the public to know about your music
"I feel like it is important to share that through different plant medicine ceremonies over the past few years I have come to realize and understand that performing these songs and music for me is truly a form of ancestral healing. In being able to express in this way it has deeply touched and release certain traumas and silence or oppression that I have realize lay in my family lineages and passed down into me on a cellular level. I feel like getting to transmute these things into sonic release and connection with others it has been deeply healing for me and is perhaps why others have found their own personal connection or healing in it as well. I am humbled at the path to share in this way for my ancestors, who I know have been instrumental in guiding me to find these ways and the music, and to be able to share it with others at this profound and challenging time on earth as a human species."
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"YES! I have my 3rd album completed and it will be released in May 2019. I am very excited to share this new music with people it touches on ideas of heartbreak, loss, indigenous prophecy and the need to welcome grief back into our lives for the health of society. Look out for it ! Thank you so much, much love, Msioux"