ACL Music Fest 2014 Saturday Interviews – Second Weekend

Saturday ACL performers mouth off – again!

ACL Music Fest 2014 Saturday Interviews – Second Weekend
Photo by Shelley Hiam


3:30pm, RetailMeNot stage

Austin Chronicle: What's the audience like at a Tune-Yards show?

Merrill Garbus: People are really willing to emote. There's a lot of smiling and dancing and singing along and jumping. I think I'm learning how little I have to do as a performer, and I think part of that is that the songs feel like they're strong this time around. Not that they weren't before, but the songs kind of speak for themselves. That's been really interesting. It's not as if the audience is waiting for something to happen that they'll be impressed by. They're coming pretty familiar with the music, or if not they're ready to engage and ready to believe in it and not be skeptical.

AC: Your albums are whimsical in a way. Is recording an escape from the mundane?

MG: That's a good question. Yes, there are similar things. With recording I feel like it's the opposite. I like to think of our records as abrasive. It's really easy to stick a record on and have it play in the background, and I think that's an easy music to make in some ways. There's kind of a formula you can use to make it. And actually, no music is easy to make on some level, but I think that even if the albums are whimsical in some ways, I think they're fucking heavy in other ways. Maybe the topic or the lyrics or the feeling in the song.

I don't want to be whimsical and throwaway. I want to be like, "Hey, come here and listen to me." I want to grab people's attention and pull their ear in a specific direction. In that way, I don't want the shows to feel heavy. I want the shows to feel meaningful and listenable and make people listen to the lyrics and internalize them.

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ACL Fest 2014

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