The ladies of Los Angeles-based indie rock group Warpaint came by our LA studio to record their SiriusXM acoustic session and chat with us about their music, their process, and their lives on and off the road.
BC: Your sound has changed so much from The Fool to the most recent album (Warpaint), what’s inspired you along the way? What have you been listening to?
Stella: There’s no real pattern to it.
Theresa: I definitely listen to a lot more pop than I used to when we released The Fool. I used to think there was not any good music and now I feel differently. I guess I just started digging deeper. When we were on tour, like every time we were at festivals and were exposed to these new bands it’s like a whole world that you kind of have to search a little bit more for but there’s a whole world of people that are doing something quite interesting. I guess I was never really big into scouring the internet for new bands. I was oblivious before, and now it’s in my face.
BC: Good point. Now that it’s easier than ever to discover new music, is it easier or harder to find stuff you actually connect with, that really moves you?
Stella: There’s more to sift through, which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. But now when someone tells you about a band you can pull it up immediately whereas before you had to go to a center of music – ten years ago – to pick up a CD. You couldn’t stream anything, download anything. It’s changed rapidly, that access. But at the same time, I have gone through times where I feel like discovering new music and you go through this crazy labyrinth and sometimes you find nothing and sometimes you find something really special. It can be frustrating at times but if you narrow it down we’re a lot luckier.
Jenny Lee: There’s just moments of exposure on the bus or in the hotel room. In the same way that when you’re with your friends and you hear an album that you want to share. It’s not like a business transaction or anything,
Emily: On the bus we have dance parties.
BC: That’s awesome. What about when you’re at home, what’s your favorite place to listen to music?
Stella: On the way to rehearsal. In the car. I’ve got the worst speakers in my car but there’s something about the sound quality from those back speakers. And every time I put it on a better system it’s not as satisfying; it doesn’t have that grit.
Theresa: I like listening to music in the kitchen, because I like to cook.
Jenny Lee: I listen in the bathroom. I always rock it in there, no matter what. Because the acoustics are so good and it’s a party. Just bring the turntables in there. Or Pandora – I just like them choosing for me and…I dunno I just enjoy it.
Stella: I like how on Spotify some artists have cool playlists that you can discover.
BC: Has anyone told you that you ought to compose for films?
Jenny Lee: A couple people have said that before and I think we think that too.
Theresa: We play to a mood. How we play with each other and how we connect is pretty moody, vibey, and slightly cinematic, it’s just how we write. And the way we compose as well. It’s not very – verse-chorus-verse-bridge, we’re kind of like and-this-feeling-is-taking-us-to-this-place, and our songs are more orchestral, with different movements.
Stella: We’re at an exciting time in terms of music scoring because directors are hiring bands; it’s not just the same three or four and it’s opened up a new world. Now you can put together like, four minds to make a soundtrack instead of just one person who has a vision. Like Arcade Fire just did Her, and Trent Reznor has been smashing, so maybe, hopefully, we’re next.