B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Will Kindler: Make me a spider any day! Or a raven…
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it? How’d it come calling to you?
Kindler: To be honest, I have no idea. There’s something fulfilling about telling a good story, and that’s all it is for me, I suppose. Being a musician is merely a vehicle for the telling of the story. It might as well be mountain climbing or bonsai gardening, for all I care!
B&L: What’s the making of a great show?
Kindler: Always the audience, number one. When you feel you’ve made the connection with those who’ve come to see you, there’s no greater magic in the world. And a pretty venue doesn’t hurt either!
B&L: Let’s talk about your latest record, “Marrow.” What sort of goals did you have for yourself when you set out to make this record?
Kindler: I just wanted a record done the way that I had wanted to for years – with focus on words and relative simplicity. I have very specific tastes that revolve around basic ideas. We got about halfway there…
B&L: It’s been out for quite some time (I know… You know…) Four years in fact (I know… You know…) What’s cookin’?
Kindler: A new record, hopefully! It’ll be called “Death and the Old Guard”, and I hope to finish the bulk of it this year. I have some dear old friends that I’ve been working with again, and they have woken me right back up.
B&L: Is songwriting an easy or arduous process for you? Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants kind of writer, or do you schedule “office hours”?
Kindler: It’s easy when I get the urge to do it – which is really only a few times a year. Generally, little phases will come and go where things just seem to pour out, they just don’t happen very often. And I never bother trying when I don’t feel like it – though I’d love to give that a go and see if there’s any oil in that well.
B&L: What led you to pick up a guitar and start singing in the first place? When did you think, ‘yup, this is something I ought to try for a bit…’? You’ve got a terrifically haunting voice and I might say that you’ve not even scratched the surface yet in terms of attracting people to said haunt. You comfortable doing what you do?
Kindler: Ah, thank you so much! I don’t know really. I wanted to be George Harrison or Roy Orbison when I was a very small boy – I remember making a little drum set out of plastic cups and tinfoil and had a section of construction staging that I dragged around as a stage. But it was all guitar after that – until Patsy Cline showed up. Then it was all over! I’d still rather be a guitarist than a singer, though I’m at best average at it. On the subject of comfort, I feel I should push myself to be a little less comfortable, actually. Good art can only be made in a vacuum for so long…
B&L: You’re a New Hampshire native. We’re keen on this particular part of the world – what about you? What does the Granite State do to inspire or inform your art (if at all)? You ever spend much time with the Old Man of the Mountain?
Kindler: Aha! You know, I do absolutely love my home state, and make as many trips as I can out to the mountains to read and work and clear the mind. Old truck on the windy back roads, nothing like it. But – I’m from Massachusetts! Spend most of my free working time out in the Berkshires. I love all of you neighbors to the north though, wish I had the chance to make it up there more often.
B&L: What are you looking for folks to take away from the music of Will Kindler when they place themselves in a position to experience it?
Kindler: I hope they take anything they want, as long as they don’t perceive anything as fake. I won’t do a song I don’t believe in, and I don’t tell stories that don’t move me. I hope it comes across.
B&L: What’s one tune (or, heck, a couple) that exists out there in the ether that blows you away that you kind of wish you had written yourself?
Kindler: Well, like I mentioned, ANYTHING by Roy. Joanna Newsom’s first record is so perfectly out there, I wish I could write like that. And all of my friends – I’m immensely jealous of all of them, and they’d kick my arse at songwriting any day of the week.
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see you perform at the Word Barn on May 19th?
Kindler: Bright & Lyon presenting the wonderful Dan Blakeslee of course! And, a probably very tired, very dirty, very excited boy of 30 who will do his best to tell a few stories. Shows like this are what bring them to life for me, and I can’t wait.
B&L: Question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
Kindler: Boy, that’s tough! Either a dozen acres of land to build a home in the country or a dozen bottles of Framboise Lambic to remind me why that’s a good idea in the first place…
Will Kindler will share a bill with Dan Blakeslee on Friday, May 19th. A time will be had. To reserve your spot, click here.