Pearl Charles, Lauren Barth, and Matt Adam’s (front man of Blank Tapes) drove down from Los Angeles, CA to get a glimpse of the Sound Jar. Their intent was to record some music, and get a taste of the North County countryside. Pearl Charles & The Pipes Canyon Band have a very distinct sound, which will give your musical taste buds a breathe of fresh air. Not to mention, she was nice enough to sit down with us for an interview and chat.
Where are you based out of?- Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.
What’s your opinion on today’s music scene?
Well to comment on what I know best which is definitely the Los Angeles (and more specifically the east side “scene”), I’ve found that there has been a consistent uptick in support for everyone's musical endeavors. It’s a really incredible thing. People have a lot of misconceptions about LA being an overwhelming competitive place, and of course there are healthy and unhealthy aspects of competition in the city, but the camaraderie shown between bands is truly inspiring. A lot of people have realized you can get a lot more done working together instead of fighting each other, and using the “step on anyone to get to the top mentality.”
What instruments do you play? and which ones would you like to learn?
I sing and play guitar, and have ventured into playing drums with my old band, “The Blank Tapes.” I play bass, piano, organ, but I would love to up my chops on all of those.
Who influences you musically , and what artists would you love to collaborate with?
I am hugely influenced by music which was being created all around the country, and even around the world during the 1960’s and 70's. I would be beyond stoked, and of course honored to collaborate with any members of the all-star studio bands like, The Wrecking Crew here in LA, or The Swampers in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (although in the South one of the most diverse groups of players.) I would love to get into the studio and record with some of the producers out there today, who work on keeping those classic sounds alive while infusing them with a distinctly modern touch.
Do you have any other music projects you’re currently working on, besides Pearl Charles & The Pipes Canyon Band?
I just finished recording vocals on a tune for Jonathan Wilson’s new EP, and also Lauren Barth’s new album, who is the bassist in my band.
How do you go about your song writing process?
Every song comes to being in it’s own way. At times the lyrics come first, sometimes the melody, sometimes the chorus and sometimes the verse. I’ve had entire songs come to me in a dream before. As of late though I’ve really been loving the co-writing process because you get to work with someone who brings complete new ideas to the table that you would never have yourself. It’s like adding a second half to your brain, and when you put two creative minds together you can get some really beautiful and unique results.
Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s?
I honestly love so many different varieties of music that it’s hard to pinpoint just who my true favorites are. I got my start in old-time country and folk music which transitioned nicely to the “Cosmic American Music” Gram Parsons would play, so I guess I would have to give a lot of credit to Gram (solo and with The Byrds) and Emmylou Harris for melding all the best elements of southern music like, gospel, blues, folk and country as well as rock’n’roll and soul music. I also love The Doors, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Terry Reid, Neil Young, David Bowie, Nick Lowe, Jim Ford, Elliott Smith, Dire Straits, Eagles just to name a few.
How long have you been playing music, and what got you into it?
"I’ve been playing music since I was very young, I started piano lessons when I was about 5 or 6 years old following in the footsteps of my older sister, but found my true passion in singing when I started voice lessons at the age of 9".
What type of message are you trying to portray in your songs?
"I feel like my songs are a way to sort of work through a lot of the confusion in my life, the words that fall short on their own or that we can’t say to people’s faces, oftentimes they are unconscious ideas we don’t even realize we have that are brought to the surface through certain melodies or harmonies that evoke those buried emotions."
Any releases in the works with your music?
"I’m still riding the high of recording my songs and hearing them for the first time in that context, when I come down a bit from that I think I’ll start thinking about the details of the release! I’m thinking a cassette tape would be good for the first run."
How was your experience at Sound JAR Studios?
I’ve recorded in a lot of studios which have all had their strong suits, but Sound JAR was just one of those situations where you get so much more than you bargained for. I think it was the perfect place to do our first recordings and we would love to come back and continued to be inspired by the space!
Interview & Photography by: Adam Chini