Reviews

Set the Woods on Fire

Author: Ack
08/21/2007 | Herohill.com | www.herohill.com | Feature
Orenda Fink has been making music for a long time. Azure Ray, a great solo release and now her intimate new project, Art in Manila. She was nice enough to answer a few questions we had for her.

HH:: After creating and touring in support of your solo release after the Azure Ray split, you decided to form a new, full-time band for this release. Was collaborating and working closely with a set group of people something you missed or was it just a natural evolution after releasing a solo record?
OF:: It was something I missed. I still write most songs and lyrics independently, but there is just something magical that happens when you hand over this blank canvas to people you admire and trust for arranging. I have strengths and weaknesses, just like anyone else. It's great when you have friends who can fill those gaps.

HH:: Knowing that these songs would be played by a band, was the writing process different this time? Do you simply write the songs knowing the bands strengths, or is it more give and take?
OF:: I definitely wrote with the bands strengths in mind. For example, Adrianne's strong, emotive vocals, or Dan's great piano playing.

HH:: Is it harder to write personal songs when you are writing with a full band?
OF:: No, it wasn't hard at all. In fact, a lot of the songs on the Art In Manila record are more personal than the ones on Invisible Ones. The songwriting is just indicative of where I am personally.

HH:: The new record varies a lot from the spiritual subject matter on of Invisible Ones. Although you still revisit some of the themes (like on Golden Dawn), you seem to have answered a lot of the questions you asked before. What was your inspiration / goal for this release?
OF:: I guess I didn't really give much thought to this release thematically like I did with Invisible Ones. I just wrote as I was inspired. My goal for this band was to put together a group of songs that I would
really enjoy playing live.

HH:: The internet has certainly changed music. It seems like it is easier to get started nowadays, but a lot harder to survive as an artist. As a veteran of the music industry, how do you see the changes in how music is consumed (downloading, blogs) affecting artists?
OF:: To try to analyze this type of thing is maddening to me. I try not to think about it!

HH:: What inspires you to write music?
OF:: Writing music is cathartic for me. Other than that, I don't know. It is just something I have to do. I have been saying for years that I am going to stop, but I never can. I had a long talk with my friend, Shannon Wright, about this subject. I guess we likened it to an ex-lover that you can't stop going back to.

HH:: You are helping out Rilo Kiley with backing vocals on their upcoming tour and AiM is going to warm up the crowd on a few dates. Is it at all uncomfortable with them leaving Saddle-Creek and you still being part of that family?
OF:: It's not weird at all. Saddle Creek was very supportive about me participating on the tour. We're all pretty good at separating business and friendship.