Northern Transmissions had the chance to talk with multi-artist Marissa Nadler about her upcoming album, July, which comes out February 4th on Sacred Bones/Bella Union.
NT: Your upcoming album July is being released by Sacred Bones and Bella Union. When did you decide you wanted to work both labels?
MN: I self-released my last two records (2011’s self-titled and the subsequent EP The Sister) and it was a great experience running my own label. But I found that I was spending too much time in front of the computer and at the post office and not enough time playing music. Sacred Bones’ Caleb had written me a while ago and I love the work that they have done with David Lynch, Zola Jesus, and Jim Jarmusch and Jozef Van Wissem. I think the focus on darker music makes sense for my music. Additionally, Bella Union is a wonderful label with a great roster and I’m so excited to be working with them.
NT: Can you tell us a bit about the album, how was your mood when writing it?
MN: It’s really hard to sum up an entire album with one mood. I guess I would have to say the mood was reflective. The album details a time in my life and writing about these experiences has been therapeutic. I worked with Randall Dunn, who has recorded Earth, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Sunn O))). Working with him in Seattle was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to work with him again.
NT: You play many different instruments, how many did you play on July?
MN: I wrote all of the harmonies before going into the studio, in addition to the main melodies. So, all the voices on the album are me. I played electric guitar, 12 string, electric 12 string, and voice.
NT: You are definitely a natural singer, when did you discover your passion?
MN: As a teenager.
NT: Do your songs flow out in bunches, or is your writing process more of an exercise in discipline where you have to remind yourself that you want to write a record.
MN: It’s a little bit of both. It takes discipline to focus and have the work ethic to continue on. Once I decide that I’m going to write a record, I usually hole up alone for a while and get really, really focused on the writing process and write all of the songs in a concentrated period of time.
NT: You have covered many different artists and appeared on numerous compilations. Is there a song or artist that you would like to cover or collaborate with?
MN: I would like to work with David Lynch and also Angelo Badalementi. Badalementi’s work with Julee Cruise has been a sonic inspiration for me and I think it would be really cool to collaborate. I would like to create film soundtracks as well.
NT: You also paint, wood-carve, bind books and draw. How passionate are you about these compared to your music?
MN: I’m heavily involved with fine art and actually teach fine art as well.
NT: Which five albums will always inspire you?
Patti Smith- Horses
Joni Mitchell – Ladies of the Canyon
Kate Bush- Hounds Of Love
The Velvet Underground – Loaded
The Band- Music From Big Pink