Hi Kate, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thanks very much! All is well. I’ve been so focused on the creation and release of the record over the last few months. I recently got out of town for few days for some rest and revitalization. Feeling so ready to hit the ground running again now with the completed record.
Can you talk to us more about “Whistle Cry”? Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
The “Whistle Cry’ “story began while I was living in London a few years back. I had been traveling all of the U.K. by train, solo, and was inspired by the solace and freedom the train offered. A series of imaginative poems and stories began on this journey. When I returned to Nashville, I was nostalgic for the life I had lived, loved and left abroad. I found steady comfort in the soothing sounds of the train outside my Nashville apartment. Its whistle cry brought memories back to life while encouraging the prospect of new ones. I often imagined following that freeing feeling…just climbing on board to somewhere new.
The single comes off your new album Heroine – what’s the story behind the title?
Heroine was inspired by a quote by a favorite author, Nora Ephron: “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” This song was written after a transformative time in my life as an artist, where I left New York city and headed to France with my guitar. While there, Heroine was completed, and it reflects my journey to becoming an independent woman. Heroine is meant to be an inspiration and anthem to all women seeking to find strength & independence.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process was an incredible learning experience. Some of the songs lived in notebooks lining my shelves in the form of poetry. Others were written while strumming a guitar or at the piano. Sometimes melodies or words lived inside my head until they were met with inspiration. Some happened overnight, some took years to come to completion. Many songs were written on the farm I grew up on in Frenchtown, and many were written or completed in Nashville, TN. The recording process was a dream come true. It was the most fulfilling feeling to “live” in a place of aesthetic beauty for so many months. To constantly be putting together and creating every moment as it’s happening, all with the goal of completing a record was surreal.
What was it like to work with Stewart Lerman and how did that relationship develop?
Stewart is a one of a kind guy, a wellspring of wisdom and vision. Stewart really took me under his wing and respected/believed my art from the beginning and every step of the way moving forward. It was a total delight to work with Stewart Lerman, Steuart Smith and every single member of the band on the album. Stewart and I met after I was searching for the right studio and producer to make a record with in the NYC area. I had been researching this for awhile and stumbled upon his website and credits. I emailed him my demos and story, thinking it was a shot in the dark after seeing the many great artists he had worked with. Most of which were of huge, huge, personal inspiration. I had people tell me, ‘You probably won’t hear back,’ heard a few sarcastic ‘good lucks,’ that type of thing. A week after emailing Stewart, I was on a roof at a BBQ in Brooklyn when Stewart called me and told me he was ready to make my record. “Let’s make a record!” I’ll never forget those words. So my point of this ramble is that not everybody who leaves a BBQ crying is upset – they’re might just be really happy!
How much did he influence the album?
If you listen to the album in its entirety, you can hear Stewart’s influence overall in every moment. Stewart never imposed on what I imagined during the process or put aside my vision. He has a very laid back way about him, which makes you feel calm and freed up to go wherever you are led while creating. No reservations. This was extremely influential as an artist making her first record. Stewart really helped me center the songs on the record as many of them were written for live performance. There were challenging, conflicting times along the way where I really looked up to Stewart’s experience and authenticity.
How did France influence the music on this record?
I love France and I love the French. The French “Joie de vivre” was like a wellspring of creativity that began to overflow when I needed it most.
What aspect of your life did you get to explore on this album?
Because this album was so many years in the making, I explored and experienced so many transformative stages of life along the way to it’s fruition. The primary aspects explored were struggle, independence, love, surroundings, people, and empathy.
Any plans to hit the road?
Absolutely. My next few shows are local to the Tri-state area, including opening up for James McCartney at The Saint in Asburgy Park, NJ (my home state).
What else is happening next in Kate Grom’s world?