Brown Bird at PCMH – photo by Huck Photography
Interview with David Lamb and MorganEve Swain (aka BrownBird) by Andrew Lapham Fersch
What has Brown Bird been up to in the past couple months?
David Lamb (DL): We returned home (to Warren, Rhode Island) in the middle of December from a two month tour. Most of which was opening for our friends The Devil Makes Three. We had an amazing time with them. [Check out the HillyTown photos from the PCMH stop on that tour]
We did a few more dates in Providence, Boston, New Haven and Brooklyn with our friends Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons to celebrate the release of our new album Salt For Salt after that. Since then we spent time with our families for the holidays and have enjoyed life at home resting up and working on new music.
Rhode Island has been making some big music lately, do you feel it’s under-appreciated in the music world though? How has being from RI affected your music and musical career?
MorganEve Swain (ME): Most music is under appreciated to some extent, regardless of where it comes from geographically. In RI, there are many bands who are receiving a lot of attention, and many who aren’t and should be. But that happens all over the country.
Being a RI band helped us get our foot in the door for the Newport Folk Festival, which we played this past summer, and we owe due thanks to the strong creative community of artists, musicians and fans that is active in Providence and the surrounding area.
So what should people expect from your new music? Are you in the writing or recording stage?
(ME): Salt for Salt, our latest record, came out in mid-October, so we’ll be touring on it for a while before we release another one. In the meantime, we’ve been writing a lot of new material in the time we’ve had at home, and we’re excited to bring some of the new stuff into the live shows soon. We’ve spent the last few months listening to a lot of Mastadon, Baroness, The Sword, Romanian Gypsy music, 1960s pop music from Pakistan, Taraf de Haiduks and music from Greece, South Asia and Eastern Europe. I’m sure some of those influences will come through in the new material.
What’s your connection to Maine?
(ME): Dave went to boat building school in Arundel and lived in Biddeford and Portland off and on for a few years during Brown Bird’s early stages. He became a Rhode Islander when we met about 4 years ago, but we keep strong ties to Maine through good friends we have there, and hopefully a growing number of fans.
Boat building? Have you ever considered a coastline tour by boat?
(ME): We hadn’t thought of that, but it does sound pretty awesome! We once toyed with the idea of a canal tour in Europe…
How have your new musical interests changed your live show?
(ME): I wouldn’t call our love for metal and gypsy music “new” interests, but this might be the first time their influences have made their way into Brown Bird. I think a lot of that has to do with us being a duo- we’re more prone to entertain influences that pertain to us both, and we’re freer to experiment with ideas since there are only two personalities to work with. Certainly the energy from the music we listen to has come into our live shows and the music we wrote for Salt for Salt.
Any last thoughts?