Preview: Grass Widow at Double HappinessGrass Widow photographed by Peter Hinson.
Tomorrow, Grass Widow will grace the stage at Double Happiness. The California band, who recently had an appearance on the popular IFC show Portlandia, will wrap up their tour in Philadelphia on the 12th, which supported their latest album, Internal Logic. This all-female indie underground outfit, incorporates many genres such as surf rock and post punk to create a retro sound. Guitarist and vocalist, Raven Mahon answered some questions about their label, HLR, as well as the band’s connections to Carrie Brownstein of Wild Flag and Portlandia.
Briana Henry: How is Internal Logic different from your last album? How have you progressed since your debut album?
Raven Mahon: This project has always been a way for us to process things that are pertinent and relevant for us in our personal lives, subjects that come up that sometimes are specific to one of us, but mostly that are meaningful and resonate for each one of us separately. We often all contribute lyrics that relate to our individual perspectives. So each of our albums really represents the time and space that they were written in. I think over time we’ve all grown as musicians and probably refined our recording style, which would probably come across if you to listened to all three albums in sequence. As far as Internal Logic, we were really in a place where we wanted to relax a bit and write songs that were fun to play live and felt good, less heady and wordy and personal and more about potential and the abstract, so we used a lot of outer space themes.
BH: What are some major differences between releasing your own music on your record label, HLR, versus releasing it through another company?
RM: Having our own label has been gratifying. It’s more work, but worth it because we have complete control over everything and are able to work with really great people to do booking and PR and distribution. There’s nothing fuzzy about financial stuff and nothing slips into the gray. Hannah and I used credit cards and savings to pay for the record and as we toured and sold copies of it we gradually paid ourselves back. At this point we are paid off and can put what we make into future band projects or plane tickets or even pay ourselves, which is amazing. I think working with a good label, who’s philosophy is aligned with yours, can open a lot of doors, and can work really well (we had a positive experience working with KRS and made a lot of close friends), but at this point we felt we could do it ourselves.
BH: How did your appearance on Portlandia come about? Connections with Carrie Brownstein?
RM: We met Carrie a couple of years ago when we toured with Wild Flag. We ended up becoming good friends with someone who was traveling with them, a camera person for Portlandia, so when we passed through Portland on tour last year we emailed the extras coordinator and were able to get on the show. It was amazing. So fun.
BH: What can we expect from your live show?
RM: Well, we’ll be playing instruments and singing songs we’ve written. No poop or dead chickens or special guests or anything.
Check out Grass Widow at Double Happiness sans poop and dead chickens tomorrow. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the door or here.