B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Aly Spaltro: I can’t say I’ve ever associated myself with an animal, but I will admit to being a total cat person, so I think maybe we share an essence!
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it? How’d it come calling to you?
Spaltro: I fell into music a bit by what felt like necessity, when I was 18. I took a gap year before college to live in Guatemala and when that trip fell through, I was faced with being stuck in my hometown while all my friends ventured out. I was really hurt and depressed and turned to music as a way to pacify myself and distract myself. It was so all consuming that it really healed the pain and became clear to me very early on that it was my newfound passion and what I wanted to commit myself to.
B&L: Is songwriting an easy or arduous process for you? Are you an “in the moment” kind of writer, or do you have to actively schedule “office hours” to get words on paper?
Spaltro: Historically, my process has been to quietly wait for a song to pour out of me in a moment. When I pick up my guitar, it’s usually with the intent to get something out in that moment. I’ve also worked well with ‘scheduling’ time and making a routine out of my process, especially in the arrangement stage.
B&L: How has this whole pandemic thing effected your music, if it all? For better or for worse…
Spaltro: I have been in a sort of creative hibernation this year. I bought a house in January (I closed on it two days before the global shutdown) and have focused a lot of my creative energy into house projects. I’m currently renovating a small greenhouse on my property in a music studio, and I’m hoping to have the inspiration to write again once I have a proper space to spread out in.
B&L: Your latest record, “Even in the Tremor” came out in April of 2019. What were the goals for that particular release? How was the response for that album?
Spaltro: My goal with “Even in the Tremor” was to initially find ways in lyric form to cope with anxiety through the practice of presence and gratitude. It’s ultimately what I hope people took from it. I found that the response to be wonderful – many people noticed the evolution, in terms of its spiritual and emotional growth, as compared to my earlier records.
B&L: What’s the making of a great show?
Spaltro: A great show is when the artist is present and connecting directly with their audience. It’s a symbiotic feeling that is present certain nights – an energy in the room (or meadow!) that feels that everyone is together and creating a loving space.
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see you perform at the Word Barn Meadow on November 14th?
Spaltro: Folks can expect me to make moves to keep my hands warm! 🙂 I’ll also bring the loving energy that we’ve all been missing from a lack of shows this year!
B&L: It’s an outdoors / socially distanced type of engagement which is weird that we have to think so carefully about this kind of situation “these days”… Have you played many shows?
Spaltro: I’m actually a bit of a pro at them at this point! I hosted a series of twelve small shows on my property in Maine this summer called ‘Live From The Hive.’ I have two acres and was able to create a small stage with ample space for people to spread out and enjoy a night of music together. Trees were the backdrop, the stars were bright, we had a campfire going afterward and each show was a success!
B&L: Is it weird to set foot onto stage and play to a room full of (mostly) strangers? Or do you bask in the opportunity to make new friends/fans?
Spaltro: Not weird at all! As an introvert, it’d only feel weird to me in any other setting. For the sake of connecting with strangers through music, it feels totally natural and enjoyable, though I have never truly gotten over a mild stage fright!
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?
Spaltro: There are multiple George Harrison songs I wish I wrote: “My Sweet Lord,” “What Is Life,” “Give Me Love,” “ Something”… He’s one of the best songwriters we’ve had.
B&L: Question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
Spaltro: In this moment, I wouldn’t mind a dozen nice cedar boards to install in the cathedral ceiling of my new greenhouse-turned-studio 🙂
Lady Lamb will lend us her songs when she visits the Word Barn Meadow for two shows on Saturday, November 14th. The 2pm show has sold out, but tickets still remain for the 5pm slot. For more information (and to secure your spot), click here.