You know Greta Salpeter as the precious-piped vocalist and astonishingly captivating pianist for The Hush Sound. But come this summer, you'll know her as an unstoppable solo creative force. In a moment that caused considerable amounts of fangirl glee on my part, Greta agreed to a mini-interview so that Buzznet could learn more about her side project, what it's like to create and put out a record DIY-style, and why the door is still open for The Hush Sound.
Buzznet: So you're almost done recording a solo album--how exciting! What steps are left?
Greta: I'm going to announce the side project name soon, launch the website, and start playing shows this summer. The songs are very upbeat and summery with a 60's pop tinge. I think it sounds different than the band and very fresh. Minty, almost.
Buzznet: When did casually "doing your own thing" become solid plans to record solo material? What was the "let's do this!" moment, if there was one?
Greta: I've always had plans to record solo material, this break just served as the right time to do it. The "let's do this" moment was when I decided to actually book studio time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, rather than wait around in LA for all the people who had offered to work with me to finally have free time. I wanted to work without a producer and without other voices in my head, and I'm very happy with the product so far. When / if the band decides to write and play together again, I think this break will strengthen us dramatically.
Buzznet: Was it a bit intimidating to take a leap without a label and/or a band? What went through your mind?
Greta: It was a much easier to make a record without the band and label. Within the next two or three years, new bands won't even need record labels for promotion. I hope that the art of making records and touring goes back to being a DIY craft because where it is now, so much music in our scene has been over-produced, co-written, torn apart and analyzed by management and labels to the point where it's totally lifeless. I just want to make something that's real and true to where I am right now in my life. And as soon as this record is done, I'll start working on the next one.
Buzznet: How was the songwriting & recording process different?
Greta: The process was faster and more intuitive. All of these songs took on lives of their own and I couldn't really stop them-- they were the ones insisting to be recorded and to be left the way they are. The people I invited to play on the record are all friends whose musical style I really admire and wanted to mesh with my own. In The Hush Sound, it would take us months to make records while we'd nit-pick over every single note. For this record, we worked very quickly, weighing everyone's opinion on the best path for the song and then just laying it down.
Buzznet: Is this Hush Sound "vacation" similar to the No Doubt-creative-hiatus? You guys sort of did it quietly and with minimal drama--was that the goal? :)
Greta: The goal was to take a break without terribly disappointing any of our fans. We don't have concrete plans to start writing or touring together, but the door is always open.
Buzznet: You're so good at storytelling during your shows--tell us a story about one of the songs we don't know much about/haven't heard yet
Greta: The song "Anna Lee" is about a girl I knew in catholic prep high school who would speak openly about her vows of abstinence until marriage, but then act like a floozy on the weekends. (Yes, I said "floozy".) She stole this guy I really liked from me and I was really disappointed for a while, until I found out that she'd gotten pregnant out of wedlock. (Yes, "out of wedlock". Here I am again with the Catholic lingo.) In most cases I've seen, those "True Love Waits" rings usually end up being pretty ironic.
Buzznet: When do fans get to hear the first song? Is there a release date in mind? Or an album title?
Greta: Fans will hear the first song in early July, though I haven't set a date yet. Anyone interested can follow me on twitter (twitter.com/gretamorgan) for updates on all the musical happenings!
Buzznet will be sure to keep y'all updated, as well. We're huge fans of Greta. Guess we'll add another must-see show to our summer gig list!