B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Haley Heynderickx: I wish the answer came as easily as it did for you! Perhaps I’d make ties to the squirrel or hummingbird. Their general anxiousness levels seems kin to my own, but that’s a pretty big generalization.
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it? How’d it come calling to you?
Heynderickx: That’s a big Q right there. I’m not sure how to respond to it. It all just happened as it did. Music has been an outlet to make me feel sane. Besides teaching, no other calling echoed so greatly that I should continue.
B&L: What’s the making of a great show?
Heynderickx: A conversation between the storyteller and the audience. You can feel where there’s a camaraderie between the two – the energy is contagious.
B&L: Let’s talk about your debut full-length record, “I Need to Start a Garden.” What sort of goals did you have for yourself when you set out to make this record?
Heynderickx: (Laughs) I wish I could say. The motivators are still mysterious to me. Maybe the guilt of keeping these songs all to myself and my hometown. I knew they wanted to be shared outside of my bedroom and I somehow found the right magical creatures to make it possible.
B&L: You’ve been singing and playing music for quite some time (years in fact)… What took so long to get this batch of tunes together?
Heynderickx: Buckets and buckets full of self-doubt and indecisiveness and money and logistics, and all the things outside of music that make music difficult to become tangible. Once those hoops were jumped through and hula hooped, it has been a real treat to focus on the touring and the travels.
B&L: What inspires you? Are there particular experiences/interactions you pull out of your daily life that informs creative musical expression?
Heynderickx: The answer to this is always evolving. My friends, strangers on park benches, new cities, all the travel clichés and being out of the comfort zone clichés.
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 beautiful and haunting voice and I might say that you’ve not even scratched the surface yet in terms of attracting people to said haunt. When did you “find” your voice?
Heynderickx: Ah thank you for saying that. I’d like to take a moment to say I’m not sure I’ve necessarily “found” my voice yet anyway, as I’m still finding it. I’ve had good talks with my bud Andrew Stonestreet about this – our culture is obsessed with finish lines, end goals, but the creative process is never done, never finished. I’m constantly being torn down and rebuilt again. It’s a process I would never want to change.
B&L: How’s the garden coming? Generally it’s best to start in spring, so I’m assuming you’ve started. What does your ideal garden include (from a literal standpoint…)?
Heynderickx: Dead, dead, and ironically, dead. I’ve made the beautiful mistake of touring 4 months of the year and don’t even have a home at the moment to continue a garden. It would be a dream to have a big luscious backyard with zucchini and lemon cucumbers to make some zucchini bread and vinegar cucumber snacks, but that reality is far away from the present at the moment. I hope to make a home someday in the near future.
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?
Heynderickx: “Hanky Panky Nohow” – John Cale.
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see you perform at the Word Barn on June 16th?
Heynderickx: Simple tunes, awkward stage banter, a good time, a conversation.
B&L: You’re in the midst of a string of gigs opening up for Ani DiFranco… How’s that opportunity been? Has Ani been an influence on your own musical endeavors at all?
Heynderickx: It’s been monumentous! A true test of driving (average of 4-6 hours each day), performing for larger rooms, and shyly getting to know Ani. They’ve had a bit of a rough time with two of their tour busses crapping out on them in the last week but the whole crew seems in high spirits. I’ve known of Ani but had never experienced the power of her songs live; it’s left an unexplainable mark on me. She’s very inspiring to be around.
B&L: Question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
Heynderickx: I’d like 12 different tangible skills outside of music where I could be of use to society:
Metal welding, perfume smelling, walking dogs and mail sending,
Clothing mending, crashing weddings, helping micro loan lending.
Cave dwelling, mountain yelping, small town product selling
Cartridges of beverages, and praying for the world not ending.
That’s only ten, my bad. I drank too much coffee during this interview, thanks for having me.
Be sure to check out Haley Heynderickx when she sets down for a spell upon the Word Barn stage on Saturday, June 16th. Show starts at 8pm. Tickets and more information can be found here.