ET: Tell us about your SXSW experience! Did any surprise guests make it to any of your shows?
CR: Hmmm, they all happened so fast, it’s hard to remember! A lot of musicians I really love came to a bunch of the shows. I think the Shakey Graves crew was at more than one, which was cool because I’m a big fan and can now say we are all in love. Our friends in Lucy Dacus and Liza Anne came out, as well as some really amazing musicians from the Brooklyn scene over there. Always nice to meet people whose work you respect.
ET: Who were you excited to see at the festival?
CR: We were all very excited to see Natalie Prass. We’d been jamming to her single, “Short Court Style” basically the entire ride down to SX. She’s also just a lovely person and I truly think she’s a living genius, so we made a point to see her show, even though we really didn’t have a lot of free time given our schedule. I was also excited to see Nathaniel Rateliff, who’s a dear friend. He and I go way back to when we both played folk music and no one came to our shows. It’s wonderful to see him crushing the world right now. Let’s see, oh and Hinds were KILLER. I loved their set so much, we fell in love with them pretty much instantly upon seeing them dance in unison. They are also very very sweet people!
ET: How do you wind down and keep sane on tour?
CR: Ha! That’s a great question. Well, we all really like each other, for starters. Everyone in my band and in the crew are very calm and level-headed, so when one of us is having a rough day we all try and share some of the load. I really really love my band, they’re just the best. Our tour manager, Emmett is also just a wonderful person to be around.
ET: Where is your happy place to create new music?
CR: Basically any place where there’s not music playing already, which is surprisingly hard to find if you’re in a public place. I travel a lot, so I don’t always have the privilege of making music in my studio or my bedroom, so I often find the nearest library and work via MIDI on my computer. Just to get the ideas down. Actually, I’m sitting in the library right now and am going to do just that right after I finish this interview!
ET: Tell us more about the visual and idea behind the red Adidas tracksuit and your band wearing blue? Why red as opposed to any other colors?
CR: This is probably a disappointing answer but I really just think it looks nice!
ET: I saw your Tiny Desk performance a couple of years ago where you had more of a folk sound. How did the shift to indie rock shift? How do you feel playing more of the high energy rock sound on this album compared to your past music?
CR: Well everyone’s gotta start somewhere, and I think when I was first starting out my lifestyle really reflected the type of music I was making, which was more stripped down and off-the-cuff. I still love folk music, and you can still hear a lot of it in the music I make now, I’ve just expanded my range sonically. I’m motivated, and will continue to be motivated, by different things, but I can say with certainty I feel more comfortable being able to stretch my wings a bit.
ET: What's your reaction or feeling of seeing your album get high marks alongside other great female artist albums (all released within a few weeks of one another) such as Soccer Mommy, Lucy Dacus, Liza Anne, etc.?
CR: I don’t want to speak for anyone, but I’d imagine Sophie, Lucy and Liza would likely agree that we’re grateful to receive positive response alongside all albums, in addition to those by other female artists. But I see your point, it’s nice that women and (when they’re represented in the media) nonbinary and trans artists are being fully recognized as valued creators.
ET: What artists have you been listening to recently? Any potential collaborations that you’d love to make happen?
CR: Yes, definitely! I’d love to collaborate with Shamir. We just met at SX actually! I’d also love to work with Mark Ronson and Rostam at some point. Really love their work. Been digging the new Shakey Graves album, Amen Dunes, Janelle Monae, Lana del Rey, Shame, Superorganism, SZA, Thee Oh Sees, Moses Sumney, U.S. Girls…There is so much good music, it’s so overwhelming!!
ET: What I love about LONER and seeing you perform, is how candid and satirical you are but also touching on real subjects. What events or people inspired the making of this album and your performances?
CR: Aw thank you! The album was inspired by a whole lot of things, but the short answer is it’s an amalgamation of where I was at in that time of my life. There are elements of frustration, sadness, humour, joy, etc…I like to think of it as if it as different elements of my personality that all summed together, sound like me. I’m a particularly candid and satirical person, so I’m glad folks are recognizing that in the music.
ET: What do you hope listeners and fans take away from LONER? How do you hope they feel when they listen to your songs?
CR: I hope it makes people come to a show!