Q&A: Sharon Van Etten
I’ve had the privilege of seeing Sharon Van Etten perform on four separate occasions, and each time I’ve been wowed by the piercing beauty in her soft voice. The New York via New Jersey musician has released her sophomore album, 2010’s Epic, to high/wide praise and critical acclaim. And The Wounded Jukebox placed it smack dab in the middle of our Top 20 Albums of 2010. So we were glad for the recent chance to collectively sit down with her and ask seven questions. Read on to find out Sharon’s favorite animal in the whole wide world and her opinions on our nation’s budget. And music stuff.
How was your day today?
My day today? good! I went for a jog, I caught up on emails, I made a nice breakfast of boiled eggs, avocado on toast and sliced peaches with a coffee. I am excited to see my friend Molly Sweeney play tonight in Brooklyn at The Rock Shop.
Absolutely not. We should learn how to budget better or learn how to deal with the repercussions. The longer we put it off, the more trouble we will be in later.
A lot of your songs come from a sadder place or time. Do you have to reinvent or revert yourself when you play those songs live? If so, how do you do it?
I definitely channel painful times to get through them, and it’s been very helpful to me. I allow myself to go back to hard times and analyze why I went through it and who I am today and that gives me perspective.
You said in past interviews that during a particularly rough time in life, music was like a dire therapy for you. Has time changed things or is music still that way for you today?
I write in a way which is always therapeutic to me. Most songwriters write that way, no matter what time or place they are channeling. It’s because we FEEL something that we need to create and share it.
Matt’s mom loves your music and asks these questions: what singers do you admire most? And what’s your favorite animal?
Meg Baird, Diane Cluck, Kath Bloom, PJ Harvey, Zola Jesus, Lower Dens.
I like cats and chipmunks and fish.
How did you and your beautiful Harmonium meet? When does it become part of a song? (I.E. How did “DsharpG” come to be?)
I used to work for the NZ band, The Brunettes, and they were moving out of their apartment to go on tour and they asked me to store some of their things.
One of the “things” was their harmonium. The couple weeks I had it at my house, I wrote 4 songs on it 2 of which were “Love More” and “DsharpG”.
The Wounded Jukebox: great blog, or the greatest blog?
Trick question! one of many greats!
We’ll take it. Thanks Sharon.
(Epic is available now from Ba Da Bing! Records)