Hi Erica, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi! I’m doing well, thank you.
Can you talk to us more about your single “Honey”?
I wrote Honey in Western Massachusetts and recorded it in Asheville, NC. We engineered it ourselves and tried to capture a sound that was full and warm, as well as authentic to the song’s origin. Drummer Billy Leva and I had been performing the song for a couple of years and we were really happy to record it with the addition of bassist Davis Collins and cellist Fanny Rose.
Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?
Honey was written during a time when I was moving away from spending a long winter alone and branching out more to welcome new folks into my life. At times it felt like a strange kind of dance being vulnerable to new relationships after spending so much time alone. Sometimes it was the kind that left my feet twisted, trying to move to a song I couldn’t quite hear and just hoping for the best. Honey came out of the feelings and experiences during this time.
How was the process of making a music video for “Honey”?
It was a great time! You can’t tell by the video, but it was actually 37 degrees outside and freezing rain while we were running around barefoot with frozen honey on our skin and cold pine needles under our feet. For the exterior scenes, we had to stop a couple of times in order to let the bouts of pouring ice come down. But despite the unexpectedly cold day and large consumption of honey, it was an experience that we were happy to have and excited to see completed! It was also the first time I had directed and edited a music video and that was a fun challenge as well.
The single comes from your new album Honey – what’s the story behind the title?
Throughout the making of this CD I had an image in mind of a single vertebra, half of it illuminated by the sun and the other half appearing as a crescent moon. I realized the image represented both the lengths these songs had come as well as the ways I had grown personally during the time it took to create them. Towards the end of the recording, I was hiking in Delaware and found a deer vertebrae. I began dripping honey on it and noticed how it glistened like the image I had originally had, illuminating half like the sun and half like the moon. The honey was what created the light and reflected the ways one can stand tall through all hours of the creative process. The title track, Honey, represents lyrically and sonically the feeling I had throughout the making of the album; the hope of something great being born, the disappointment during unexpected challenges, the curiosity, and the love.
How was the recording and writing process?
About half of the songs on Honey were previously written and recorded on my solo album, In Between Dreams. Introducing the band to the songs gave new space for them to grow. We started recording the album during a short break in our tour and then finished after the tour ended. It was a learning process for me; there were the ups and downs experienced with most creative endeavors. I’m incredibly thankful for the experience and glad to be able to share the collection with people outside of a live performance.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
My inspiration for the music and lyrics came from a mix of feelings and experiences with a variety of places and people. The songs were written by lakes in Michigan, old factories in North Carolina and rural buildings in Western Massachusetts. The places themselves influenced my writing, as did the journeys to and from.
Any plans to hit the road?
As winter clears we’ll begin our tour plans!
What else is happening next in Erica Russo’s world?
This winter we will start recording a new album that I’m really excited about! 2017 will bring an album release of new songs, videos, and tour dates.