Interview: Suzie talk with Josh Rabenold about songwriting, life and new releases for 2023
In recent interview with Suzie, she talks about life as a musician, motherhood and new songs
Suzie talked with Josh Rabenold in a new interview on his youtube channel, where they talked about Suzie's music process and creation, the story of The Narrative, and how being a mom affected the process of music creation and the future of the band.
Suzie had inspiration and people in her family into music, one of them being her grandmother, "My grandma was really musical when I was little and so she taught me songs all the time," she spoke with Josh. Around 3 years old, her dad's mom would teach Russian folk songs and put her in front of an audience of friends to play alongside.
Answering to the question of when she started into music, she responded as it was a natural thing that happened when she was younger, "I was like singing and putting on performances and making my parents pay me money for tickets at a very young age, had that entrepreneurial spirit right from the get-go" she said. Also she affirmed that music was a good part in her life when she learned to play the instruments for the first time, such as a piano from friends in Canada that were taking lessons when she would spent the summer vacations in Toronto, "they were taking lessons and I would be at their house and then they would teach me what they learned and then I would try to play all. I don't think I was very good at it but that's probably what really started me," she continued. The encouragement came from her parents that got her a piano chair and she started to practice and get better at it.
When it comes to songwriting ideas, Suzie said that she would have more than 9 pages of words that she never would look back, "I might I have this terrible habit of putting lyrics into a doc. I keep like the stream of conscience and so it becomes just like this extended nine page document that's just trash and I always keep it in case I think I'm gonna find something good in there and I've I've never found anything good in there it's never happened and it won't it's never happened," she continues laughing. The process of letting go of lyrics also is discussed through the interview, where she says that feeling comfortable in deleting things is a good thing and the process of even not feeling inspired, to sit down and write things without any use is a habit that she keep to be active into songwriting.
As she got older, the poetry started to flow over her life, writing plays, parodies and songs that later with help of friends, started to get together melodically and sonically. Her first project before The Narrative was around when she was a senior on NYU, where she released four songs (Away, Bright Light, Fall and Cover and Penny Station). This four songs had help of Will Noon at the time playing in Straylight Run and Fun, who introduced her to Bryan Russell to help her produce the vocals, which produces The Narrative's songs and is married to her.
She told Josh about the story of The Narrative with the first meeting with Jesse and her happening through Craigslist as he was looking for musicians and after few conversations, they found out that they attended the same school, had mutual friends, lived minutes apart from each other. At that time, Jesse was playing into a New York project playing guitar, "[He was] trying to figure out where he belonged because he wanted to play music," she remembered, and the band started to get form. The first song recorded with Jesse was 'End All' (marked as 'End All Arrival' on January Window - older name for the band on Myspace) released later in their self-titled album in 2010.
The song "Eyes Closed" was discussed in the interview. The song, according to Suzie was the first to be worked by them. She said that Jesse felt that the lyrics "Oh my god, you're beautiful", where strange to be kept in the song, but it stayed and, she confirms, "I mean, that little line connects to so many people like I see people referencing that line all the time, this moment in this song it's just, like, it's probably a little cringy but it's like the good kind," and holds the title of most listened song by The Narrative with more than 5 million streams over platforms.
Around the time the band released the EP and songs started to get attention over the former AlternativePunk.net (chorus.fm), they got the chance to be featured on Warped Tour prior to the release of the self-titled and supporting the album on this tour and playing on the 2011 edition.
Following of the band's next releases they started to record the second studio album, 'Golden Silence' in 2012. For supporting the LP, the band released an acoustic/alternative version of their previous songs on the EP "B-Sides and Seasides" in april of the same year. The album, took longer than expected to be finished due to the band's arrangements production of orchestral instruments. Also due to personal and musical projects of Suzie's started playing with Chris Carrabba's side project 'Twin Forks' and touring during their debut year. Jesse at this time released his solo album 'here, sit, stay' and from 2013 to 2015 the band got production on a slow tracking process, with the album being released on December 2, 2016.
With "Monoliths" in 2021 and from the release of "Little Boys Break Hearts", the band will release a new song to close a three-acoustics-folky-songs project and finish the year with it.
As posted by Jesse on Medium, the band plans to release new songs in 2023, that are different from the three ones. Suzie explained that the process of the band's recording have changed into a more consistent system, "Jesse has gotten more into production over the last couple of years, so, what now the process is, I've been writing a song and putting some basic stuff in logic, a drum pattern or something like a program drums and a synth pad or something and then just vocals and sending it to him, maybe with a little bit more but usually pretty minimal." With that, she mention that the production starts with Jesse adding some guitars over it and vocals to so, send it to Bryan to, "take out some stuff or put some stuff in and then we'll usually re-record vocals with him, and anything that just didn't come out clean enough will record in his studio," she says.
"The first one of that methodology will come out in 2023," she reveals. "Right now, [there are] maybe like six or so songs that fit this new vibe, [...] then this new stuff will come out in 2023 and will be more, I think, kind of chill Indie pop."
More information to the following song from "Little Boys Break Hearts" will be posted soon.
- Text adapted from Youtube transcription