What made you decide to start to become a soloist?
Back in Uni I was in a couple of bands, one that stuck was Johnny’s Gun, we played a few gigs in Camden, East London and Soho. It was when lockdown happened, it kinda just blew. And for a while I wanted less dependancy on a band and wanted to focus more on working by myself on my own projects, so lockdown was the perfect opportunity for that.
Introduce us all to you and your musical history?
Hey guys, I’m Jodie and I’m a new musician based in North London, I’ve been writing my own song since I was 16 and performing since I was 16. I tried to start writing when I was 12 when I started guitar but it was one lyric and it was just absolute shit, just repeated this one cringy love line that didn’t make any sense at all. When I was 16, it was when I started to take it seriously, getting contacts, starting out at one place where I grew up in Newbury, ACE SPACE for open mic acoustic nights every last Friday of every month… Had some interesting nights at that place with a couple of awkward poets but it was where it all started for me. I started to play covers mostly like Jack White who I was obsessed with music wise at 16 and still am to this day, Radiohead, Lana del Rey, the La’s, Tennis. I already knew this guitarist who was a family friend that loved jazz, was a brilliant Jazz guitarist, so I started singing Jazz, songs by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra with singing lessons. I still love to sing Jazz and its one genre that I’d like to use more with rock. But growing up I would collect CD’s before HMV closed, check out NME to find the new bands and watch Glastonbury. One band I loved was Wolf Alice and when I heard them they instantly became an inspired sound for my music. I joined this band White Foxes at Uni but it never took off, it wasn’t until Johnny’s Gun, the band I formed with two other uni friends of mine that it started to go in the direction I was wanting to move in, it had the Wolf Alice influences, to the Mazzy star haunting vibes, to the grunge shouty influences. But lockdown screwed that one up, so I started Red Little Hipster, which dived more into the Radiohead, St Vincent, White Stripes and Lana Del Rey, showcasing myself more as a guitarist.
Whats the best peice of advice you have received?
Always be yourself!
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic? If so what?
So many clothes and a small TV which I really didn’t need and now I don’t know what to do with it haha.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
What that lockdown was a hoax, it was hard to believe at first but then it started to settle in so nah not really
What useless party trick / talent do you have/?
Putting a bra over myself and doing some weird dance, mainly when I drink a lot
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
There’s many, Water rats was fun, my bandmate started running up and down while I was screaming one song bumping into all of us, covering Hey by the Pixies at the underbelly, that was fun and probably Hope and Anchor, had some intense grunge vibes with my bandmates.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Couldn’t hear myself, and I had to do these really high vocal parts
Name a four piece band made up of legends – who would be in it? (drummer, bass, lead singer etc)
Ellie Rowsell as the singer, Jack White as the drummer, Jimmy Page as the guitarist, Krist Novoselic on bass, that would be the dream
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
Be confident, keep trying, don’t give up and focus on what you want and what music you want to create, don’t give a crap what other people think, you will find out eventually if its not where you want it to be at.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Politics, it’s a shit show at the moment!
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Hey by the Pixies, mainly just to hear the guitar solo, just the best.
We recently reviewed your last single. How did you feel the review went?
I personally thought it was an accurate and fair response of the single and gave me a confidence boost on my music.
I hear you have a new album brewing, what can you tell us about it?
Red Little Hipster — There were a few situations that inspired it, one of the songs “Horizon” is about depression and low self-esteem while covering it to seem that you feel ok, inspired by Radiohead’s OK Computer and Thom Yorke’s solo single “Hearing Damage”. “Survival”, heavily sound influenced by the White Stripes, was a song I wrote about an ideal world where I lived in the US during Trump’s presidency and argued about everything that was pathetic about that man. “L.A Baby”, inspired by a mix of Lana Del Rey and Led Zeppelin was a sultry take about these sexual desires and feelings for an older guy that was toxic. “Skeleton” was a prog rock styled song inspired by Helter Skeltor by the Beatles, … about the ideal life of a skeleton. “Slutz”, a heavily punk track inspired by the Ramones and Amyl and the Sniffers. I wrote because at school I kissed a lot but never anything more and so many girls judged but they ended up pregnant and married before me while I enjoyed a party lifestyle so its taking the diss at those kind of girls. “Teach me the Blues” was inspired by the Kills and St Vincent mixing between my indie rock influences and then contrasting between my new favourite kind of sound, the more prog rock crazy sounds, using crusher for my riff at the end.
Talk me through the thought process of the album?
Similar to what I said before, I called it Red Little Hipster because it combines a mixture of feelings and it shows immaturity to maturity, shows a mix of being stuck in your own head .. “Eze” and “ Horizon”.. which is about masking who you really are and instead showcase that your brave and cool while your suffering in the inside, why I thought of the Hipster part and Red for the more emotional side plus also the rebellious aspect to the album, the disapproval of Donald Trump, responding to the judgemental people, the insanity that I and many people felt over Lockdown that was my topic for the song “D.A.T.E, and used my grunge influences to fulfil that anger and frustration. I just played around with some ideas on the drums that was my starting process and then the sound what I wanted it to be and then figured out what I wanted the songs to have meaning and finally express all the feelings and insecurities I’ve had over the years, the rebellious qualities included as well. I also was considering writing in more solos, like a lift off to the feelings displayed in the lyrics allowing the album to be a display of who I am as a musician, as a guitarist instead using the help of others. Overall my thought process was how much can I put of myself into 9 songs.
What was the recording process like?
I was back at home at my parent’s place, just stayed in my room, laid down a drum beat thinking of what would fit, then recorded it on my laptop with headphones and an interface on Logic. I would do a few takes just to make sure it was how I wanted it, then I would play around with chords, sound effects on guitar, using layering rhythmic chords and adding riffs for more variety. Before I would lay down a bass track that was simple so that I could allow the guitar to be the dominant feature on the album. Vocals was the worst because of thinking of lyrics, I mean I would freestyle and it would be total shit, so the vocals took a few takes, it started with a couple of lines that I liked and then I didn’t, I was like hell no way to cringe and then I kept writing and writing and rethinking past experiences changed it all, it all started to fall into place and it started to sound like the songs that inspired me, there was emotion to it, rebellion, less overthinking and there started to be a certain honesty to the lyrics. It took a couple of takes to get the vocals to match the lyrics so would work on it for an hour or two and then come back to it each day with a new idea I wanted it to sound like. After I just laid down some keys, using mainly organ and synth, some backing vocals and it all started coming into shape. But sometimes it could be hell, especially with the songwriting, but then when I started to shape the lyrics into what I wanted, it was so fun singing them.
Why record an album? A lot of artists are going down the road of regular singles, just interested in your thoughts on committing to an album right now.?
Personally, because it shows more of who you are as an artist, a single is a portrayal but an album is multiple portrayals. After two years of lockdown, people are frustrated, super angry and getting back to normal lifestyles, releasing an album that could be relatable to people, I thought was needed right now and this year especially artists are choosing to release their albums, over lockdown it was singles but now you can start gigging again.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the album?
It proved more to my personality and allowed me to be honest about how I felt and it let me move on and grow into a more feisty, confident woman, it also proved a lot more in me as a musician and songwriter, there was more generosity.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Only live where I would add a couple of weirder sounds and more of an acoustic drum sound but other than that no.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Find musicians to work with on my solo project and start gigging and just promote this baby, eventually in the summer yeah I will collaborate and write some more tunes, release an EP and then next year potentially the 2nd album.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Keep listening to Red Little Hipster, and follow me on jodiebrownband on instagram so you can be ready to hear the songs live in the early summer and can get sweaty!! Love ya guys