Story and Interview by Miwa Sakamoto
Ever since I can remember, my love for music has been as real as the beat of my heart and the rise and fall of my breath. Music is a powerful thing. It can evoke profound emotion in it’s audience: empower the meek as well as knock the most hardened person to their knees weeping. My whole life, this has intrigued me and I am still learning new depths and dimensions to songwriting.
There’s no doubt that I can attribute my love of music to my father. He is the one who introduced me to the greats: Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell. He kept an acoustic guitar in every room of my childhood home and constantly filled the air with melodies and lullabies and for that I appreciate him deeply. Observing my father on and off stage I find myself humbled yet empowered. With all life has thrown his way, he has remained a kind and honorable man who plays music from the heart unswayed by outward successes.
I met Brandon when I was an eleven year old tomboy and his little brother, Brody, was my best friend. I used to go over to their house and shoot BB guns at empty soda cans and play HORSE until my mother would call me home for dinner. It wasn’t until high school that Brandon and I started playing music together. Our band was called Night Vision. Yes. Night Vision...so you can imagine how riveting our sound was back then. The band eventually fizzled out. It wasn’t until after high school that Brandon came over to my apartment one day to say he’d been in love with me since I was eleven years old. (Thinking about that day, and all we have been through since, reminds me of how thankful I am to have him in my life.) We began playing as a duo shortly after our relationship took off.
Actually, it’s a breeze. We agree on just about everything, and if we don’t then I do what any other wife would do. I burn his food and shrink his clothes. As I mentioned before, it’s a breeze!
My songwriting process for Showstopper began on a hand drum. First came the rhythm Boom Boom Boom. Next, I navigated a progression on the bass string of my guitar and we laid them both down on Protools. At that moment, I found myself dancing around the room and out came the hook:
“I’m a I’m a I’m a I’m a ah.
I’m a I’m a I’m a I’ma ah
After that, Brandon and our friend Boots Ottestad joined in and the verses and bridge were constructed and at that moment Showstopper was born.
When I was younger what I wore on stage, and in life for that matter, was all-important but as I get older my concern grows less and less. I prefer for my presence to be felt instead of seen. Especially these days when so much of society focuses on the exterior of a woman, I find it integral to not project the same behavior onto myself. Though at times, I’ll be honest, it is difficult.
This past September, Brandon and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. The title track on our new EP, Together, reflects our journey over the past decade as friends, bandmates, lovers, human beings and husband and wife. To me that song is, and will remain, the most meaningful out of them all.
Tony, thinks he knows everything. Well, okay fine, he does know everything. In fact, he happens to be one of the most brilliant people I know but please don’t tell him I said that. We work best together when we’re fighting.
Brandon and I are putting together a West Coast tour right at this very moment. Washington, Oregon, California...we’re coming for you!