We caught up with the lovely Plum Green for an interview before the release of her latest EP titled The Red to see what makes her tick.
Who are your favourite NZ musicians/bands?
I am completely in love with 'Tiny Ruins'. She sings soulful, sad, lullabyes and she takes you away. We worked in a chocolate shop together years ago and we didn't realise both of us wrote music till last year! I love 'The Twitch' I always make an effort to see them live. I'm also a big fan of Matthew Crawley and Porcelaintoy. They're both playing (or have played by now) at my EP Releases (Matthew Crawley in AK, Porcelaintoy in Wgtn). I'm very lucky.
How do you come up with your lyrics?
I put a blank sheet of paper under my pillow and dream words onto it. Sometimes it happens when I'm awake, dreams and blank pieces of paper follow me wherever I go. It all real life though, my dreams and the words.
How would you describe your music?
On myspace and facebook I have put: “Melodramatic Pop, Folk Rock and Gothic”. When I perform solo with an acoustic guitar it's very folk. With my band (The Tenpenny hounds) I play electric and it's more rock, but it's all pop really, melodramatic! I added Goth on the end because I think a lot of my music has a bit of a sour twist and corruption in it.
How do you feel about people copying your style (both fashionably and musically)?
I have a lot of holes in my clothes and lovely strangers (girls my age usually) sometimes randomly stick their fingers through them. It's an orginal way to meet friends so, I'd say go for it. Let your clothes be holey...Musically...I think everything has been done before mostly. I shh my s's. I find it very hard not to. If I found that another musician was doing this on purpose to be like me I would find that hilarious. Other than that, I don't think they would be copying me, but people I've accidentily copied. .
What has got you to where you are today?
My friends. Over many years of playing and writing I've come to realise that behind every musician (who hasn't given up yet), there is a team of people who have given incredible amounts of support to them. Whether or not my music goes further, I am a very lucky girl just to have such blind love around me. I'm also a fiercely loyal friend, it's one of the most (if not the most) important things to me ever.
What is your favourite NZ venue?
I really love The Wine Cellar. It's romantic and cosy, I love taking people for dates there. I also really like Cassette because it has a backstage area. Sometimes I get so nervous I can't talk to anyone, so I like to hide.
What is in your CD collection at home?
I just downloaded some Porcelaintoy and Nemamo Ime off their websites! I have old cds from High School I will never let go of: Janes Addiction, PJ Harvey, B'jork, Janis Jopin and Billie Holiday. But these days when I get something new it's usually from the internet. The newest CD I bought was an album from 'The Twitch'.
Who else worked on your EP with you?
On the first track of the EP, 'Lisa' I am dueting with an old friend of mine 'Duncan Nairn' from industrial goth band 'Keller Kinder'. We went to High School together and the song is quite personal to both of us. It was a cool thing to do after I supported his band on their recent tour. Ben Cragg from 'Benka Boradovsky Bordello band' is featured on the 3rdtrack on the EP 'Nothing Faces On' and and another old friend of mine Jason McIver from 'Heathen Eyes' is playing guitar on the last song, 'Nymph-o'.
Where did you get the idea for the cover art on your EP?
It was done by the same artist who did my first EP. She is an old friend of mine and an artist who I admire a lot. Basically I wanted it to tie in with the title of my EP, 'The Red'. I got this title from one of my songs on the EP, 'The Red of Infection' which means the beautiful part of something awful. The blood rushing in to soothe and heal. The cover is sepia, and a picture of me in fake fur. The CD and booklet inside with the music and lyrics is red. To me this says, appearance is as fake as the fur I'm wearing and the most important part of this CD is what is inside.
Who would you most like to support live and why?
Regina Spektor, she's a red head, Jewish blood eastern european like me! Her voice is so amazing too. Fiona Apple, Cat Power and PJ Harvey would be ultimate.
Celebrate the release of Plum Green's EP - The Red:
6 November 2010 | The Wine Cellar | K Road, Auckland | From 6pm | $10
12 November 2010 | Happy | Tory Street, Wellington | From 8pm | $10
"The legend of Plum Green is that she is the descendant of Soviet royalty, the bastard child of a disgraced Monarch who sent her away from Eastern Europe as a child. But truth be told, she was born in an East London Squat her parents had broken into. The daughter of a Jazz singing Parisian show girl and a Saxophone playing Jewish intellectual, Plum Green’s music is enigmatic and deep. Her mixture of acoustic folk and grunge has made an impact and secured a loyal following. Plum Green has always had this mix of youthful wisdom, naïve worldliness, a corrupt innocent, which makes her music and lyrics heady and intriguing."
- Written by a combination of my wonderful friends - Plum