Thanks to Wye Oak, Dungeonesse and many other projects, Jenn Wasner wears quite a few hats — but her current hat, Flock of Dimes, has given us the gift of Jenn’s lush solo debut, ‘If You See Me, Say Yes’. In between shows on her U.S. tour, we picked Jenn’s brain and learned what she thinks about airports, aquariums and Applebee’s.
Flock of Dimes is the solo project of the very talented Jenn Wasner, and it has grown from a hodgepodge of singles (2012) to the shimmering album If You See Me, Say Yes (Sept. 23). Though she was probably in need of a nap while driving across the States for her next show, Jenn took the time to shoot us an email update.
How is the tour going so far?
Tour has been an absolute blast, because I’m lucky enough to be traveling around with five talented, brilliant, hilarious people. We had never all been in the same room together before we met to rehearse, so we’re really enjoying making music together and getting to know each other.
You’re only in each city for a brief amount of time, so is there a particular thing you try to do when you’re in town?
To be honest, we’re lucky if we even have time to eat. On tour, any day that you manage to meet most of your basic needs is a good day. Fortunately our crew couldn’t be more solid — the six of us really know how to make our own fun. Currently we are in the midst of a two-day drive from Seattle to Minneapolis, and we are all mildly, pleasantly unhinged.
You performed at baggage claim at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport last winter — is that the most unique venue you’ve ever done a show in?
I mean, it would have to be, right? Actually, there is one place I can think of that would compete: once, Wye Oak had a show booked at “The Aquarium” in San Sebastian, Spain. I assumed it was the name of a venue, but when we got there, it was the actual aquarium. We loaded in past the shark tanks.
You’ve collaborated on covers with groups like Sylvan Esso before. Can audiences expect a cover in your current live show?
I’ve been closing some of the shows with a Joni Mitchell song on this tour, which is an absolute pleasure.
Who would you love to collaborate with next time?
As far as actual collaborations go, I don’t like to force those. If they happen organically and make sense, I’m into it.
What’s the biggest benefit of juggling so many different efforts and sounds?
To me, experimenting with a variety of sounds, styles, and ideas is just a side effect of thinking creatively. I can’t imagine limiting myself or the things I make for some kind of weird, arbitrary reason. I love making music and if I’m not challenging myself and trying to move forward, I’m not happy.
Does your music reflect your personal taste, or do you try to diverge from what you like to listen to?
A good percentage of the music I listen to doesn’t necessarily sound like the music I make (at least, on a superficial level). But everything that I’ve experienced and absorbed (musically and otherwise) is with me on an essential level. Creativity relies so much on instinct, and it’s almost impossible to truly see yourself and the things you make the way that others do, so it’s really hard to say what makes its way to the surface.
Who are you listening to right now?
Today in the van we have listened to: Deerhoof, Minnie Riperton, Neil Young, The Roches, Brainiac, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Zammuto, and the Space Lady.
What’s next for you?
Trying to find a place to eat in Fargo, North Dakota that’s not Applebee’s.
You can get tickets and catch Jenn on tour here!