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INTERVIEW: Renee Wahl

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

I’ve been doing very well, busy, but well thank you!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “From Here To There”?

To me, this song is about the beauty and pain of discovery and then loss, and in the knowing you can never go back.  There’s a definite sense of melancholy.

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

This is the only song on the album I didn’t pen.  It was co-written by my friend Brian Langlinais along with Randy Sitzler and Drew Nelson.  Over the last few years when Brian would perform it live, I would join him and sing harmony.  I felt such a strong connection to it that I asked if he would mind if I added it to my set.  I had been playing it for more than a year when we went into the studio, and I wanted to include it on the record.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I would love to, but I’m not 100% sure I will.  There are 9 songs on the upcoming album and we’ll do one or two for sure.

How was the recording and writing process?

I typically like to write songs then work them out live before recording them.  I like to watch them evolve and take shape.  It’s part audience response and part band chemistry.  That certainly doesn’t mean that the songs don’t change once I get into the studio.  But it certainly helps to know what we want to do.

I was very fortunate to record with Stuart Mathis, who’s played with The Wallflowers and is currently on the road with Lucinda Williams.  He produced the album as well as engineered, played and sang on it.  He really gave me the opportunity to make the album I wanted the way I wanted.  I was lucky to have musician’s that I not play with live, but are also friends– Ron Eoff on bass and David Strayer on drums.  And we all value each other both personally and musically, which really makes it a group effort where everyone has input.

Having released two songs within the same timeframe – are both somehow connected?

Each song is really defined by the overall album theme, “Cut To The Bone”.  It’s all about getting through the flesh of things to the marrow.  All the songs revolve around awareness, either about oneself or another, and finding the beauty within or in spite of something painful.

How does your scientific background influence your musical career and the other way around?

Actually, it was my love for music that influenced my love for science.  I’ve always created and played music, but it was my love for the Beatles that sparked my interest in physics.  My fantasy to see them when they’re were still performing as a band is what inspired me to learn about time travel and eventually change my college major from music to physics.

From there, the science has for sure influenced my career in music.  Since music is physics, I see things from another perspective—from songwriting, composition and even how my instruments and equipment work.  People think of science as very straight and narrow, but Einstein said ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge,’ and I find that to be so very important, to be creative in science. If you’re just following a blueprint, how do you create something new?

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Absolutely!  I’ve got a new album ready to be released next month.  We finished recording it last year and have been doing a lot of prep for the release.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

The new album will be released next month on March 15th and it’s titled “Cut To The Bone”

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, we’ll be doing a few weekends out here and there until May, then we’ll be making our way out west for about 3 or 4 weeks.

What else is happening next in Renee Wahl’s world?

Sleep maybe?  Ha!  I plan just to keep writing, recording and playing as much as possible with a few detours with building a house and doing work on our touring van.  It never ends!

But I love it all and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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