post brought to you by: dyson
Brooke Fraser might be one of the most charming and lovely women I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with. Chalk it up to her New Zealand heritage or whatever you can, she is a pure joy to be around.
Hunkered down in the back of her tour bus before a show at Cafe 939 in Boston, Brooke and I discussed her tour, new record Flags, and many other bits about what it’s like being an artist today.
The show she put on after our interview was nothing short of phenomenal. The crowd was eating up every note and word coming off of the stage. And rightfully so. That charming woman I met in the back of her bus is the same woman you get to see on stage.
If you haven’t heard a tune by Brooke then I’ve got a fine one for you. Listen while you read. It’s a joyous experience.
mp3: Brooke Fraser – Something In The Water
brooke: I’m slightly nervous.
dyson: No! Don’t be nervous!
(this is just to show you how charming she is and picture her voice with this gorgeous New Zealand accent)
dyson: How did you choose Largo in LA for your CD release?
brooke: Largo’s probably my favorite venue in the whole world. One of the reasons I love it is because they have a technology free rule. That’s important to me because I love the music experience. As a punter and when I’m going to a show and am surrounded by people with phones I feel bad for them because they’re not connecting with the experience. You’re putting a filter between yourself and what’s going on. Largo feels like a concentration of pure musical experience. Everyone’s there, engaged with the music, and enjoying it together. I know at least one person got kicked out during my show.
dyson: How was it taking on the producer role of Flags.
brooke: In some ways I think it was probably inevitable because we had no clue how long it would take. We went to LA knowing we were going to stay there until the record was done. I didn’t know if that would be 3 months, 6 months, or 3 years. As the songs were evolving I felt like they had particular stories to tell and there was no producer I thought of who could treat these songs how they needed to be treated. Fortunately it worked. It’s not a perfect album and it’s not the most cohesive album I’ve ever released or will ever release but I’m really proud of it.
dyson: I know it’s way too early to ask in the middle of your tour, but are you even thinking about what’s going on next?
brooke: I am actually! I’m really grateful for Flags because it’s given me a freedom I didn’t have with Albertine. On Albertine the messages were so consuming and intense they were really all encompassing in terms of my mental and emotional state. Touring those songs night after night was a very voluminous thing while with these songs they feel so much lighter and it’s bringing such a great balance to the other material. Albertine felt like this massive backpack I carried with me all day long. So I do feel very excited about the next record and want to make it really quick.
dyson: What’s your favorite song to play on stage now?
brooke: I don’t know if this is a pretty obvious one, but I really love playing ‘Something In The Water’. It’s just super fun and people really get into it. I’m not sick of playing it yet and it’s good to look around the stage and see everyone have a smile on their face.
dyson: Do you listen to music on the bus?
brooke: Not really. If we do it’s mainly a music DVD that one of the boys have brought. We’ve had on U2 Rattle & Hum and Spinal Tap which isn’t really a music DVD. I actually only saw it for the first time on this tour. I think it’s one of those ones you’ve got to watch over and over again to get all the layers. (she was joking of course)
dyson: Where’s home besides here on your bus?
brooke: Well, this is kind of it. We’re on tour for the near, far future that we know of so all of our stuff is in storage. We’re kind of in a transient existence at this moment but hopefully at the end of this record cycle we’ll be able to buy a family home. I’m really a home person and traditionally I’ve found touring quite difficult but this tour is going quite well. I haven’t had a nervous break down yet which is a good sign. I’m definitely a person who needs that sense of home, somewhere.
dyson: What’s one thing I can get out of you that no other Brooke Fraser fans will ever know? Musical? Guilty pleasure? Routine before you slip into bed at night?
brooke: Hmm. I’m trying to think of something juicy for you.
dyson: Are you married?
brooke: I am married. That’s my husband up there. (points to the front of the bus) That’s a juicy secret for you, not really… His name’s Scottie. (as she proceeds to shout “Hey Scottie. Scottie!” “what” “Hello, I love you” “giddy up”) Everyone bunks so that’s the one special thing I do before I turn in is sneak in and make him give me a cuddle. I’m very cuddly. He doesn’t really like it though. He’s like “You’re too hot, you’re like a furnace.”
Hopefully this has given you a sense of what an amazing woman Brooke Fraser. If you’re interested in buying the record then click on the lovely image below and it will take you to a magical shopping cart. The record is worth it, trust me. Also download a free demo below.