B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Kendl Winter: Yellow labs, seals, black bears, wolves, and humuhumunukunukuapua’a (AKA reef triggerfish – Google it).
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it?
Winter: It’s crucial medicine for ourselves and a way to connect and share with community.
B&L: How’d the Lowest Pair come to be? Why’d the Lowest Pair come to be?
Winter: We met at a music festival in Winona, Minnesota. We kind of resonated immediately and when the tesseract opened, we leapt. It had to be.
B&L: What’s the making of a great show?
Winter: Good sound, a listening attentive audience. A lot of our music is spacious and the quiet parts are as boldly part of the composition as the louder parts so it’s pleasing to be able to hear the in between the notes. A kind community of people at the show does really tie the room together.
B&L: Let’s talk about your latest recorded effort, “Fern Girl & Ice Man.” What sort of goals did you have for yourself when you set out to make this record?
Winter: We wanted to explore new sounds, push our own expectations of what our limits were as a duo. Open it up to production a bit but keep the core. Play some new songs…
B&L: What all is in that title?
Winter: Regions, space, action figures.
B&L: Is songwriting an easy or arduous process for you? Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer, or do you have to schedule “office hours”? How do Lowest Pair songs come together? Do the two of you float ideas off of each other, co-write, or…?
Winter: Yes. All of it, sometimes easy, sometimes forever in the making and never getting there, sometimes smooth, sometimes pulling teeth. We’ve tried it all and are open to suggestions. Shifty things, songs… try to regularly keep the net open and sort through the garble of findings.
B&L: What’s the importance of the banjo and getting people their recommended dose of vitamin b? (Vitamin b = banjo… this is no place to talk about actual nutrition… haha)
Winter: It’s such a versatile instrument, it’s warm, bright, loud, soft, moaning, barking… it’s open to interpretation. Aren’t we all?
B&L: What do you hope folks take with them when they experience the words you string together? Is it strange when folks congregate in front of a stage to hear you sing your songs? Or do you find solace in the experience?
Winter: I hope they see themselves in it. It’s a pretty powerful experience to have a stranger connect with a song that you spent writing in tears or in some sort of other dire need to express yourself. It shows the truth of this oneness. The deeper we reach into our own experience the more we see how universal the human experience is. It’s kinda nice not to feel alone.
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?
Winter: “Ooh Child” by the Five Stairsteps is my all time favorite song. Also, “Waterfalls” by TLC.
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see the Lowest Pair perform at the Word Barn on November 12th?
Winter: We’ll bring our banjos and guitars and be ready to sing for you! We’ve got some new tunes we’re excited to share and looking forward to sharing the bill with the awesome twin harmonies and silky strings of the Brother Brothers.
B&L: Speaking of 12, this is question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
Winter: Veggie sushi rolls. Or chocolate chip peanut oatmeal banana cookies. Or lifetimes. Yeah, that.
The Lowest Pair will make a visit to the Word Barn in Exeter on Sunday, November 12th. The Brother Brothers will kick things off at 8pm. For tickets and information click here.