a digital underground.
phoebe blue intereview phoebe blue intereview
A Moment or Two with
Phoebe Blue
Hey Phoebe!
Musicians ( specifically Jazz folks ) always have interesting names. Is Blue your real name?
Blue is my real name.
That's fantastic. Great name for performance - do you feel connected to the color in anyway? I think denim might be one of my favorite things..
Yea, having a color as a last name and one syllable is fun. I really dig the color blue.Also its actually an Irish last name and was cut off the boat from "McBluegan."  Denim is a cool favorite thing haha.
Where does music enter your life? Are you from a musical family?
I don't have a musical family. I used to think I wanted to be an actress. I would put on plays in my neighborhood. Later on make home videos. Eventually I think I realized I just wanted to be myself ,which was hard for me so I would act it out in character form and direct my friends around. I liked writing silly little poems and rhyming. I was very shy in school. So this was my alter ego of sorts I guess. Eventually I got a guitar when I was 16 but didn't like doing covers and didn't write my 1st song until I was 19 even tho' I didn't identify as a singer or musician.
Very interesting...What was your learning process guitar wise, and later, songs?  Did you take lessons or have any reference for how music works? I have a similar aversion to covers, and tended to cover the most obscure things, "learning" music by dismantling songs..
My neighbor gave me some lessons but I kinda discovered that I can't be taught I just have to really wanna do something my own way. It was really frustrating trying to play cover songs. I knew some chords but I didn't know what to do with them. Then I started writing silly joke songs and stringing the chords together. Adam Sandler was a big influence to me subconsciously I think.
What do you think of the idea that music is one thing? Meaning a creative continuum that flows throughout all genres / styles?
I try not to think about it too much, therefore I find myself going from writing antifolk songs to hip hop.
When I read the quote "song-writing over technique and personality over polish" to describe Antifolk, it reminds me of punk and hip-hop in their early forms, though in a way, the constant doing of music can naturally sharpen your technique and polish.
Yea exactly. By doing and experimenting you naturally get better and find your own genre.
I don't know how old you are, but I wanted your thoughts on physical media, meaning actual CD's, tapes, or vinyl.  Do you think music has more or less meaning in the current digital era?
I am 28. I definitely feel like this is a difficult time to promote yourself in a sense as a musician because even tho we have the internet, so does everyone else. Having a physical cd or vinyl or  tapes has become just an expensive trophy that most people don't have a way to listen to. I'm bored with spamming people with my free music on Facebook and I don't see an alternative if I want people to hear my stuff.
In an alternate universe, which decade of music would you choose to live / repeat ?
Hhhmmm the 60's seemed really cool and just breaking into weird beatnik stuff but I always wanted to be born in 77 so I could start teenage hood in 1990 and take grungyness from there being a woman of the 90's.
77 is a huge year for me. As an artist, I count 77 as the year of birth of my creativity. This is just a statement, but I could see you being very at home in the 90's scene...
I don't know how old you are but you probably seem much younger then you are if 77 was a big year for you ;) I do feel like my past lives make me old fashioned and I want to go back...
This bring me to your recent recording, Inquiries Acquired? I felt a lot of fire in the songs, like you were addressing the world, the "scene", politics and more. One of the peaks for me was Heads or Tails which lays it out pretty plainly: " 50% of everything fails. It's a statistic, look it up."  Is it safe to assume you are looking for something new from music as an industry?
Glad you dug the new album! I think in a nutshell this album like all of them is a stream of thoughts that screams out for help to people that can't help. It's a feeling of not knowing where to go when you are far from a traditional mind set yet not close enuf to the non traditional lifestyle. It's the unusual timeline of my world and the things I can feel around me.
The cover art of the album is by Kleyko. Its kinda like an abstract sesame street of the North Shore of Staten Island.
The drawings of candles represents the memorial spot of where Eric Garner was choked to death by a cop. I don't really think I'm actively "looking" for something new from music as an industry. I'm just trying to stay sane and this is how I do it.
photos: Kristopher Johnson