September 3, 2009
Weather Pending Interview
Alrighty, Mobilers. We’re here with Janie and Rob from the electronically melodic Weather Pending. They’ve been buzzing on our radars for some time now and we’re thrilled to finally have them here on the SendMeMobile Stage. This is a group you’re going to want to watch out for. Check out our interview with the super talented group below to hear how they found each other, how Janie’s soulful vocals break the mold, and how they keep the electronic element of their music alive even at their live shows.
We introduce you to two-thirds of Weather Pending, Janie and Rob….
1. The three of you have such diverse backgrounds. How did you end up forming Weather Pending?
Rob and I (Janie) originally met in Santa Cruz and had been collaborating on several projects throughout the years, like my solo album (Lay Me Down) and Rob’s solo EP (Rhythm of Change). We wanted to take it to the next level and to do that we needed another element – another partner. We ended up posting an ad on the Web and had a few jams sessions with possible partners, but the “aha” moment came when got to jam with Brian. The first song we ever played together is the first track on our debut album, And How!, called “Complicated Two.”
2. You classify Weather Pending as electronica. How do you differ from what most people think of as electronic music?
It’s difficult sometimes because people do have in their mind a certain idea of what electronic music should sound like — they’re usually expecting something fast and pulsating. We realize that we don’t fit into a certain genre so we like to call ourselves “electronic soul” which encompasses the electronic element that we do use in our music (e.g. dub beats) but at the same time, the description also covers Janie’s soulful vocals and the songwriting that comes from our souls, which are also an integral part of our sound.
3. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
We all have such different influences. For Janie it was ‘60s folk that her parents played when she was a little girl and old classic musicals. For Rob, it was hip-hop and reggae and for Brian, movie scores and gypsy music.
4. What particular musical styles does each member bring to the mix?
Janie has a lot of jazz training and, ultimately, that’s what ends up showing the most in her vocals. Rob and Brian are both amazing musicians that can either play something new and improvised or bring in a particular style.
5. What is the songwriting process like for Weather Pending?
The songwriting process for us is always a little different and, for the most part, happens through improvisation and jamming. One of us may bring something to the table like a melody, a sparse set of lyrics or a beat, or we may start with a totally clean slate.
6. How does Weather Pending fit into the Bay area music scene? Is your style significantly different from the sound that dominates the area?
There’s such an eclectic vibe in the Bay Area — we can honestly say that there is no sound in particular that dominates the music scene out here. There’s a lot of indie, world, and electronic acts and we’ve shared the stage with them all. So ultimately we feel like we fit right in, while also not really sounding like anyone else.
7. Are people puzzled when they don’t see a drummer at live shows?
No, for the most part people get it and appreciate it. We did just meet an amazing new drummer named McKay, who has decided to join the band. He mixes the electronic elements with the acoustic elements, just the way it’s done on And How!
8. Studio production is a major component of the Weather Pending sound. How do you reproduce that sound for live shows?
Rob – During our live performances, I used my laptop to play the drums parts that we had recorded in the studio. So basically I was controlling the drum sounds with a foot pedal, and then also adding delay, reverb, and extreme equalizer effects during the show, to make it unique and different each time we perform. Now with McKay taking over the drummer role, I’m very happy to be able to focus my attention on other aspects of the live performance.
8. Do your songs have any common themes to which they frequently return?
We don’t purposefully try to send a certain message or have a certain style. We just want to make good music that connects with people.
9. Where should people look for info about where to see you live?
You can find us all the usual places – Facebook, My Space, Twitter and on our Web site at WeatherPending.net.
Weather Pending also let us know that for each CD sold they’ll be donating $1 to Playpumps International, an organization committed to bringing clean drinking water to 10 million people in schools and communities across Sub-Saharan Africa by 2010. Very cool!
If you like what you hear, you can download Weather Pending’s “Tide” by clicking the link, or head to their YouTube page and download the video absolutely free.
Posted by A. Sogal at 9:41 am