We are merely a skip and a hop away from ACL Festival 2k14, and so to get you properly hyped (as if you weren’t already) we’ve got yet another artist interview to tantalize you from your office chair or couch and get those feet itching to touch ground at Zilker Park already. Today’s interview features Shara Worden, the lady behind the moniker My Brightest Diamond, who released This is My Hand earlier this year.
ATH: Now, this is an ACL interview, but we’ve got to ask, which would you rather play: a club show or a festival?
Shara: When I was conceiving the album, I imagined an outdoor festival where a marching band approached the stage from behind the audience and surrounded them, creating a 3D affect. Then I imagined that on the stage the rock band would have a micro version of a marching band with flute, clarinet, trumpet, alto sax, and trombone, so that there could be this kind of call and response between the big macro marching band in the crowd and the mini but microphoned group on stage. Dreams come true! So sometimes when I get lucky, this situation actually happens and we are lucky enough to have a marching band in Austin!!!
ATH: You’re slated to play on the Sculpture/Zilker Stage from 4:30-5:30 on Saturday for both weekends, if you could pick any bands from the lineup to play before and after you, who would it be?
Shara: Whoever is playing before and after us!
ATH: Would you rather play to a crowd that knows all the words to your songs, or get the chance to win over a crowd who has never heard of you before?
Shara: My ideal engagement with an audience is when we can have it all, every emotion. I love us singing together, laughing together, dancing with abandon, and also being able to be silent and cry in certain moments. That’s my goal in every show, to create an environment for release, for oblivion, for anger, for joy and if that happens with those who know all the lyrics or with people who have never heard the music, then I’m happy.
ATH: This Is My Hand, your latest full length, has received a fairly large amount of praise… does this make you more inclined to play more songs from it, or can we expect a mix of new and old?
Shara: This show is a mix, weighing heavily on the new material but jamming some oldies too. Some of the songs on This Is My Hand are too difficult for me to play with a trio formation, so not all of them are ready for the stage. With some more work I will be able to play a song like “Shape”, but it’s in 5/4 and I sing in 4/4, then when the drums move to 4/4, I play my guitar solo in 5, so it’s tricky. I need to practice more. I recorded myself improvising and singing as I was writing, and then I often kept the exact improv, but formalizing it by notating it for other people to play, especially with “Shape” and the title track “This Is My Hand”, so it’s very hard for me to repeat exactly what I did. Possible ultimately, but I need more practice.
ATH: Best food you’ve had on tour so far?
Shara: Vietnamese noodles in New York.
ATH: Favorite song to play live?
Shara: “Pressure” ! I like the loud parts best!
ATH: Of the new songs, which have you enjoyed breaking in so far on the tour?
Shara: “Resonance” is fun because it feels like just pushing up against a wall and banging on it until the wall comes down. You never really know what it is going to be each night, so it’s a risk and that feels good to just take a chance.
You can catch My Brightest Diamond and her macro and micro marching bands on the Sculpture (Weekend 1) and Zilker (Weekend 2) Stages on Saturday at 4:30.