Olivia of Babies' Babies | The Family Interviews
Meet Olivia of Babies' Babies
Yippie Yai Kay ay! Dust off your boots and pull up a chair at the poker table. I will pour ya two fingers of whisky, and we can all bask in the glory that is Babies’ Babies. The country music singer is paving their own way through the scene. On their way they stopped to throw some words our way. Yes sir this interview has got a lot to it. Almost like one of those fifteen course meals you see in old movies. Anyway take a peek below to see for yourself.
A MAD-LIB By Babies’ Babies
It has often been said that "a dog is a man's best GEORGE FORMAN." Dogs are very SMELLY.and can be taught many CUTE tricks. A dog can be trained to carry a VERMONT.in his mouth. And if you throw his ELIZA MINELLI, he will run and fetch it. Dogs will also bark CURIOUSLY.if someone tries to break into your GEORGE JONES.during the night. One of the most popular canine pets today is the TAMMY WYNETTE.Spaniel. Spaniels have curly FLESH TONE
coats and FURRY.ears. They also have very CUDDLY dispositions and live to be 2.years old. Other popular dogs are KIND.Terriers, German THE E STREET BAND, and the SLOBBERY.Poodle. Every home should have a loyal dog for a TED (FROM TED TALKS).
Where did you grow up?
Queens, New York (“the southern part of queens” a new fan told me while being cheeky)
What is your view on the current climate of country music today?
“Three chords and the truth” is the most notable quote about country music that sticks with me and to the walls of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Those who did this the best were (are) able to tell their story sincerely, while making those stories accessible to people who can hear a story that feels completely personal to them.
Country music today, for me, is looking back; country music today, in general, is looking so far ahead it seems near sighted. The country music I fell in love with that exists today in its closest proximity lies more with Americana as a genre (i.e. Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Margo Price, Gillian Welch).
I feel like the time where the tried and true country stars reigned supreme spans across the 1950s (ish) to 1970s (ish) fit into groupings in my mind, such as (but not limited to) Dolly Parton, Ernest Tubb, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams in the early days of the Grand Ole Opry, to Emmylou Harris and cosmic country artists such as Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers or the Byrds (specifically in the “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” Days) and then to Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings who brought the cowboys/girls together with the hippies. This is the timespan of which I believe encompasses a golden age of country music which may have come and past, but that I hope to bring forth in my work with some others artists operating within the cosmic American music /Americana genres.
Have you ever had a supernatural experience? What was it?
The day before Robin Williams died, I had gone to the Museum of the Moving image in Astoria, Queens and had spent an inordinate amount of time in the Mrs. Doubtfire section staring at his masks. Growing up, we went to Vermont every summer and had three VHS tapes we watched religiously (Mrs. Doubtfire, Cool Runnings and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure). For some reason I felt compelled to stay by the Robin Williams exhibit longer than any other that I'd visited that day (and it’s a small museum), so long in fact that my friends continued and saw the rest of the museum and gift shop and came back for me.
The next day, he was gone. As a musician and performer, I've often used the joke that the emotional hardships I've endured to write music function as a vessel for my jokes. I always felt that with the country scene i’d cared about from hokey jokes at the Opry to Hee Haw and the Ernest Tubb or Merle Haggard shows that my sense of humor, lying in a dark place, put me as a musician somewhere near a stand up comedian in my intentions (even if i wasn’t funny enough) but cosmically i’ve always connected with comedy that comes from a dark place.
Do you have a single favorite article of clothing? What makes it the favorite?
I have a shaggy suede coat I bought in 2013. I’ve worn it through every season and reason and always say if it’s our last time together I’ll remember her fondly. She’s shaggy and from another time completely, she makes me feel at home with myself (and hella cozy).
If you could only use 10 words for the rest of your life what would they be?
Probably all forms of the word baby, things I like eating and words relevant to music and the recording process in general and also words related to being cordial/kind (these are all things important to me) : 1. baby 2. babies 3. noodles 4. mono 5. stereo 6. reverb 7. echo 8. (I’m) hungry 9. (in my) monitors 10. Please (thank you)
Who have you been listening to lately?
Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Bobby Bare, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Roy Wood, ELO, The Flying Burrito Brothers, the Byrds
Do you have a favorite chord? What makes it your favorite?
Am resolves to all my favorite happy chords C and G, and in a way I can laugh and cry, but also Am to F which also makes me cry. I guess it doesn’t take much.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’ve had anxiety and specifically future anxiety my entire life. The cliche of longing for a time and place that exists no more, is very much a part of my day to day as well as a core of my being. I’ve always found myself looking back from wherever I stood.
I went to Nashville in February for a country music pilgrimage and longing for a home I hadn’t known in New York, and while all the history was there I realized a core to my being is longing for a time in a place that’s come and gone; everything looked like what I’d imagined (the honky tonks) but it didn’t sound quite so. For me a lot of what country music is in retrospection leading to my own introspection, and in paying my respects to the artists who made country music prolific in the golden ages of the 1950s-1970s more or less.
What was the intention with your latest album "Right On, Rosy!" ?
Rosy was a character in my mind from a “future past” universe. The future past (historically) repeats over and over and in a way nobody learns from their mistakes and the histories reincarnate over and over, musically the reincarnation happens with hope and accuracy in its intentions to pay respects to the sort of musical/religious/spiritual forefathers of country, aligning with not just the time but also the place. I could say I'm Rosy because in some ways I am, but in many ways I also am not.
One of my biggest influences when i started making country music was, from the angle of production and creating concept albums, Lee Hazlewood. I want my songs to tell stories and when someone hears them for them to hear a story all their own. I want to write songs that are bigger than themselves, soundtracks to films, plays and operas that don’t exist visually, but do aurally and spiritually. I guess my whole thing is telling my stories in a way that allows the listener to hear their own story, it makes it more personal I think.
In pt. I, Rosy escapes a life she likes, but one she knows too well (which is similar to a character Clara, form this similar universe from my last album, "Better Than Before") and in pt. II she meets spiritual guides: Brother Brian, Prairie Wife and Poor Joe. They each offer her a different escape: suicide/ complacence and meekness. What does Rosy pick you might ask? That, I leave up to you.
“Necessity is the mother of invention.” Now, i have to pee.
What do you think of this image?
What was your first live performance like?
I performed Eleanor Rigby a bunch of times awkwardly as a child not knowing just how dark the song was. More notably, my first live performance as a full band with Babies’ Babies was unknowingly on National Women’s Day. A woman who had ingested mushrooms told me I had a powerful presence which she could feel vibrating through her clitoris throughout our set.
What was the last thing you bought that you regret?
(see picture of me holding five pizzas)
Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)
Never take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night. But if you do, at least you’ll sleep like a baby.