INTERVIEW: Americana Duo The Black Feathers

Hi folks, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Sian: We’re doing great!

Ray: We’re out on tour and the sun is shining. What’s not to like?!

Sian: Mosquitos…

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “The Ghosts Have Eaten Well”?

Sian: It’s a song that’s about getting older and how our perceptions have changed over time.

Ray: Yeah, it’s interesting to reflect on your past after years of experience and see things in a different way. Those ghosts that may have haunted before aren’t so scary after all!

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Sian: We saw a beautiful sunset whilst on our travels and I had remembered an old TV show called ‘Round The Twist’, in the show they referred to the sunset as ‘ghost food’.

Ray: We both thought it was a cool idea, so sat down the next day and wrote it. It was one of the easier songs to write actually!

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Sian: It was recorded in an abandoned town just on the outskirts of Paris. It was kinda eerie, but really beautiful at the same time. We filmed in 4 different abandoned houses and under an abandoned railway track.

Ray: The graffiti on the walls of the houses were really interesting. ‘The flowers from the cemetery do not grow here’ was one of my favourites.

The single is a stand-alone track, but tell us about your album Soaked To The Bone – what’s the story behind the title?

Sian: It’s a line from the song ‘All For You’ on the album.

Ray: “If hope were the raindrops you know I’d be soaked to the bone”.

Sian: As it’s our debut album, and we’re just really starting out, it seemed quite fitting.

How was the recording and writing process?

Sian: Our debut album had been a long time coming so most of the songs had been written and taken out on the road long before we recorded them.

Ray: We wanted to try to keep as much of the live performance as we could, so recorded our parts together, and added all the additional instruments afterwards.

Sian: That’s where the fun really started for us, when the songs started to take on a new life of their own.

What role does the UK play in your music?

Ray: This is interesting, and kinda hard to pin down. Obviously, we live in the UK, that’s where we started out, and we’ve had great support from promoters and audiences there. We were always aware that our music was much more influenced by American folk and rock music.

Sian: It wasn’t until we played an open mic night in Nashville and people got really excited about our sound, that we realised there was more to it than that.

Ray: Since then, we’ve had reviewers compare us to Eliza Carthy and Tim Eriksen, Clive Gregson & Christine Collister, and a few other English folk acts. So I guess we occupy this middle ground between English folk and Americana, though that’s not at all what we intended!

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Sian: We find inspiration in everything and anything, there’s no specific formula for us. If it makes you feel, then it’s a good idea for a song.

Ray: Yeah, there’s no rhyme or reason to it. It could be a piece of prose, or a line from a movie, or just a throwaway comment from a friend over dinner. We just grab it when we can!

How has the road been treating you so far?

Sian: It’s been great. We played The Bluebird in Nashville…

Ray: Which was a great idea…

Sian: …the day after we landed in the US…

Ray: Not such a great idea…

Sian: …and we haven’t really stopped since. Played a radio show on WFMT in Chicago, went to Philadelphia Folk Festival, and then spent some time in North Carolina, before heading back to Nashville for Americanafest.

Any highlights?

Ray: All the shows have been great, but the real highlight so far was playing The Bluebird for the second time on the tour, but this time as part of Americanafest. That was a really special night

Does the set and approach changes as you embark overseas?

Sian: We don’t consciously change anything, we just do what we do and hope that people enjoy listening as much as we enjoy playing. So far so good!

What else is happening next in The Black Feathers’ world?

Sian: We’re just about to head off from our base in Nashville and hit the road for the next two months.

Ray: Heading back to North Carolina for the start of a journey across the Eastern Seaboard. We’re really excited!

Watch HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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