Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Greta Morgan (Gold Motel)

What is your process when writing music? Do you start with lyrics, notes, both or an idea?

I usually start with an image, then develop a musical theme and add lyrics last. Though, every time is slightly different. The song "Who Will I Be Tonight?" from the Gold Motel EP kinda wrote itself-- I sat down and wrote all the lyrics and music in about 10 minutes. That is my favorite of all the songs I've written in the last few years.

How have your experiences, such your band being signed to a record label when you were only 17 and touring with many popular bands, such as Panic At The Disco, Fall Out Boy and Rooney, affected the way you write and see music?

I've been fortunate to have touring and recording experiences that pushed me into the deep end of the music industry at a very young age. I was forced to evolve very quickly to keep up with everything that was happening with the band. I also learned the very important lesson of being highly adaptable and dedicated to your craft, even while traveling, while sick, while maintaining an incredibly busy schedule, etc.

After being signed with Decaydance Records and Fueled By Ramen for all the Hush Sound albums, is there any reason why you decided to self-release Gold Motel?

The most simple answer is that our contract with FBR was finished after the three Hush Sound albums. I didn't want to wait around for some label to come offer me a deal, so I just distributed the album to itunes and amazon myself, as well as offering physical copies in my merch store. If the right record contract came along, it's possible that I'd take it, but the internet makes selling your music so simple that a band doesn't need to be signed to reach people anymore.

What made you decide to go by the name Gold Motel? Also, is there a reason why you are credited as Greta Morgan as opposed to Greta Salpeter?

Morgan is my middle name and my mom's maiden name. Ray Charles was actually Ray Charles Robinson and Fiona Apple is Fiona Apple Maggart. I figure it's fine if I want to establish myself now using my mother's name. Nice to meet you, I'm Greta Morgan.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Everywhere! Mostly other records (Motown, Beach Boys, Kinks, Beatles, Jon Brion, Bob Dylan, Zombies), authors (John Irving, Anne Sexton, John Cheever, Truman Capote), and even television and film (MadMen). What I'm reading and watching always has a subtle influence on whatever music I write and record.

Who do you owe your musical talent/interest to?

My father is a music lover but cannot sing a note. However, he did fill a Wurlitzer juke box with tons of great records and we used to dance in front of it when I was a kid. My mom is a piano player and signed me up for classical lessons as a wee little baby. Music was always around as a kid.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Avocados. Easy!

If you could buy one thing for everyone in the world, what would it be?

a snuggie-- Most of the world's population could probably benefit from a blanket that doubles as a clothing item.

Where do you hope to be in five years time?

In five years, I hope to have have a handful of albums under my belt, I hope to be a very proficient drummer, and I hope to still be traveling and touring extensively. I'll be 26--still a baby in the scheme of things-- and if, for some reason, I'm a jaded, sad, and uninvolved musician, I ask that you please track me down and give me a slap in the face!

If you were a serial killer, what would your trademark be?

I'd be the "torch song killer" and I'd leave a tape with a sad song on it at every crime scene. (Are you freaked out that I thought up that idea so easily?)
[special thanks to Carla B for conducting interview!]

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