Artist Spotlight - Young Winona
(Photo Credit - Benjamin Knapp)
We had the opportunity to speak with Cassie Gaffaney from Young Winona! Their brand new single "Confess" drops tomorrow! Get the lowdown on Young Winona and "Confess" today!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"I picked up my first guitar around age 7 and started writing music from a very young age. When I finished high school I got a little sidetracked and studied acting for 3 years and thought I wanted to work in that world so music took a backseat. It was when I moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to do the Hollywood thing as an actress that I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t super passionate about it all."
"So, one day I just had this lightning bolt moment… I NEED A GUITAR IN MY LIFE!... I remember driving down to this music shop on Ventura Blvd a friend had told me about. I bought myself a Big Baby Taylor, wrote a bunch of songs and started my band all within like a week. We’ve all been playing together for almost 6 years now."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"I like to write lyrics first. I find it helps me articulate what I’m trying to say at the time without having to worry about anything musical. I have a ton of lyric ideas that I’ll just scribble on my phone or in my email drafts. When I start playing around with melodies and musical ideas I go to the words and see if anything immediately jumps out at me from the page. It’s cool because I’m somewhat detached from their meaning and I can just focus on it if sounds right, sings well and fits with the mood."
3. What artists have inspired your career?
"So many! But my all-time favorites are Lucinda Williams, Nine Inch Nails, Best Coast, Iron and Wine, PJ Harvey, Courtney Barnett, Tom Petty and The Beatles."
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboard etc) that you love to use? If so, what's the story on them?
"My guitar is a custom telecaster made by the amazing Erik Goehrisch of Lush Guitars. That is my BABY and I love to play it. I use a Fender Blues Jr amp that cranks and my favorite guitar pedals are the OCD overdrive and Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run. I can make all the sounds for Young Winona with just those two pedals."
"For the first couple years of the bands existence I was playing all our shows on borrowed electric guitars, pedals and amps. We simply wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the generosity of our friends George Pajon Jr and Dylan Dresdow for hooking us up with some much needed gear to help us get off the ground."
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 love music that is super heavy and raw. As a band, we never ever rehearse anything to death. I think it’s more fun that way – songs take on a life of their own in performance so we never want to get complacent by drilling them into the ground. Also, Geoff is a bit of a wild card and he never plays the same bass line twice which definitely adds to the fun and is why we love him."
"Oh, and I like venues that sound good and aren’t a total bitch to load into."
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"I want the public to know that we as a band exist and we have music for your listening pleasure."
7. Tell us about the writing, recording, and promotion of your new single “Confess”?
“Confess” is a continued collaboration with a lyricist friend of mine called Jeff Holgate. In the past he’s sent me poems that I’ve turned into music and sometimes he’s written words to some demos I’ve sent him. He’s a just an all-round great dude. He took what was originally a darker concept and gave it a more hopeful outlook. I want to confess all my sins became I want to confess - love will win. His interpretation is a true testament to the understanding and commitment people in long-term relationships experience."
"We recorded the song at 64 Sound in Highland Park, CA along with 4 other songs we’ll be releasing throughout the year with Poor Man Records. The music video was shot in a bathtub which I’m sure has some underlying symbolism about the cleansing benefits of confession in there… 😏"