We got the chance to chat with Seattle's own Linda from Work! They recently dropped their fantastic 'Two Weeks Notice' EP which you need to check out ASAP. But don't forget to read our article!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"I’ve been drawn to music for as long as I can remember! I’ve been singing and playing piano/guitar since I was a kid. I led my first band at 15 and our name was, not even kidding, The Prosti-tots. So subversive, right? Writing and playing music has always been the way I express myself. I briefly studied music in college but was always told that my voice was too loud or didn’t blend well. Shoehorning my music into graded assignments just wasn’t for me. Since those days, I’ve lived and played music in Austin, Chicago, and Cleveland. Seattle has been my home for the last 5 years and I’ve never loved a scene more."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"I always start with an emotion or an event that I feel like I have to write about. That usually becomes the working title for the song (e.g. The Mean Song, The Hangover Song, The Song About That Time I Bit My Tooth In Half While I Was Asleep and Woke Up Screaming). From there, Sam (drummer, husband) and I talk and talk and talk about how the song should feel and sound. I’ve always got a handful of guitar riffs that I’m working on at any given time, so I pick through those and see what works best for our theme and he does the same for the drum lines. Then we bring in Mary (bass and vocals), and work on the transitions, embellishments, and rework any parts that just don’t feel right. The lyrics are totally inconsistent; I generally work on them throughout the entire process and finish them at varying points while songwriting."
"We have a very low threshold for songs that don’t work. Before I ever pick up an instrument I always know where I want a song to go. We do so much planning up front, that when a song just isn’t getting there, we cut it. One day Sam couldn’t remember the Faulkner quote about killing your darlings while writing, so he misquoted it as; “Sometimes you just gotta kill your babies”. After he explained himself and my horror wore off, that became our new inside joke and mantra while we write. Don’t be precious. Don’t force it. If it’s not working, just kill it."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"Our biggest influences as a band are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs & Metric. The New York, garage revival scene in the early 2000’s really spoke to me in my formative years. The combination of flashy and gritty, dirty and pretty was a revelation. I never had that Brody Dalle growl to my voice so I always felt relegated to singing pretty pop songs. For a woman in rock, it always seemed like you had to dress and act like ‘one of the guys’, act like you weren’t trying too hard in order to be accepted into the places that I wanted to play. That was never me, though. I’m feminine and very intentional and I like that about myself. I saw Karen O wearing dresses and lipstick while shrieking into the mic and it changed everything for me!"
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?
"Most of my tone comes from the fact that I use a sort of irregular Guitar/amp combo. I play a Fender Cabronita which is a semi hollow guitar with Gretsch style pickups. It has a super jangly, indie-pop sound by itself, but through the Marshall it takes on a sharp, acerbic sound. The low tones never get too muddy and high tones... taste like a lime? That’s how I think of it, I guess. It’s sour. One thing I was very conscious of when choosing gear for this project was that I wanted a crisp sound both vocally and instrumentally. We deploy reverb/echo effects very intentionally. This definitely stems from a personal reaction to the reverb overuse we see all too often on the west coast. If you or a loved one are suffering from reverb addiction/abuse please get help. You are in our prayers."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"Sam and I have been making music together for years, but adding Mary on bass was the final piece to really find our signature style. Combined, we bring the vibe of a house party with the perfect mix of friends and strangers. We like the same things every band appreciates in a venue: good sound and good drink specials."
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"Linda From Work is the result of years of writing and growing. I had been in other bands, but they were always someone else’s band. I finally got to the point where I was sick of collaborating and compromising. Linda is the music I have always wanted to make and I am so proud of what we are doing."
7. Can you tell us about the writing, recording, and promotion process for your Two Weeks Notice EP?
"We were so lucky to work with Jack Endino to record this EP. When he expressed an interest in producing the album after he heard us play live we were so excited, but we were also dead broke! We could only afford two days in the studio to record and mix six songs. We thought this was basically impossible, but Jack said he could do it. It was nuts. The pace was crazy and we didn’t have the luxury to be picky about the little things. Most of the vocal and bass lines in the EP are all first takes. There is very little ‘studio magic’ going on when you listen to our album. We simply didn’t have the time to do it and honestly, I’m glad. I love how it sounds! It’s raw and real. Recording is a tough process. There are so many live bands that I see and love, but when I put on their album it falls flat. Or, the opposite: when a band’s live show doesn’t hold up to the studio tricks you hear on the album. Jack is a master of getting the true sound of a band. Two Weeks Notice is the definitive Linda From Work, just with our best foot forward."