- Posted on Feb 25th 2011 3:00PM by Melody Lau
Gino DePinto, AOL
At what point did Braids go from a high-school hobby to a full-time job?
Tufts: It took about four years to get to that point. For the first six to seven months, we were still finding our bearings as a band. I'm a year younger than the rest of the members, so Taylor, Raphie and Katie decided that they were going to take a year off after high school and not go straight to university and just play music. That was the first stepping stone. It felt really good to me that I was part of something where people really cared about me and was willing to wait for me. And then after that, we decided to move to Montreal and that was another big step. But after two years of university, we just thought that university will always be there, but we have a record coming out, and we're sitting on this record that we feel really good about, so we took time off and took a leap of faith.
How was the move to Montreal?
Standell-Preston: There were some really hard points, especially because I wasn't fluent in French, but I think it was a really good thing for us to have done.
Are you fluent now?
Standell-Preston: No, Austin and Taylor are. Katie and I can order breakfast.
What should people be doing when they listen to your music?
Standell-Preston: Just listen!
Tufts: It would be nice if they were just listening to the vinyl or CD on a nice stereo system, sitting down and maybe drinking a coffee or eating a scone or something.
Standell-Preston: A glass of wine.
Tufts: No, a glass of wine is too formal.
Standell-Preston: Gin and tonic? Yeah, a G&T while sitting down and listening to us on a nice pair of speakers, wearing comfortable clothes.
Tufts: You're making it sound like we're an adult contemporary band.
Standell-Preston: We are! That's how I'd describe our music, adult contemporary.
What are some of your influences?
Standell-Preston: For me, Bjork. It's a really huge one. I'm very inspired by her.
What's your favourite Bjork record?
Standell-Preston: 'Vespertine,' by far. It took her two years to record that thing, every day! That's her best album. It's so beautiful. I remember the first time I listened to that record, I was baking. I worked at a café, so I had to go in really early in the morning, and because I was the only one in the store, I would get to listen to whatever I wanted, and I would just crank up 'Vespertine' and bake away. I would try singing the really high notes really powerfully!
'Lemonade' was one of the first songs we heard from 'Native Speaker.' Can you explain how that song came to be and what it's about?
Standell-Preston: Well there was a guitar loop that came out and we really liked it, and immediately the lyrics just came out. It was from an experience I had when I was working at the café in Calgary. There was a bunch of European guys who would come in and just stay there all day, and they wouldn't do anything, so all of us were like, "What they hell are these guys doing? Don't they have jobs?" And so we thought they were doing something illegal. They ended up, like, taking the wives of other customers and making them their own girls. There was just one particular situation that stuck out in my mind, watching one of the women kind of just go towards the European group. There was a leader named Dragon. We kind of decided that there was a European sex circle going on, and that's what this song is about.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Standell-Preston: Katie Lee likes Justin Timberlake, and Taylor likes Dr. Dre. I like Rihanna, but everyone likes her. I watch bad videos of Miley Cyrus over and over again. I don't know why!
Would you ever want to play a show with her?
Standell-Preston: I wouldn't play with Miley Cyrus -- that's too guilty of a pleasure. But I would play with Celine Dion and Rihanna. That'd be great!
Catch Braids' SXSW Set Wednesday, March 16 at Beauty Bar/Palm Door (401 Sabine St.) 11PM, and Saturday, March 19 at Club de Ville (900 Red River St.) 11PM.
Keep Austin Weird: Fun Things to Do at SXSW | SXSW Survival Guide: Advice, Tips and Tricks From Artists | SXSW Road Trip Guide | Top 100 Bands at SXSW 2011
Latest SXSW News | All Things SXSW