Laura Veirs is one of my favorite songwriters. I can’t think of a single song of her’s that I haven’t loved instantly, and continue to wear out on my inner-ear iPod. I interviewed her recently, a few nights after I saw her awesome set at New York’s Gramercy Theatre. Was there ever any other direction you thought your life might head down once you first picked up a guitar and became absorbed in it? ‘When I was a kid I wanted to be a trapeze artist. At other points I’ve thought of being a diplomat in china or a landscape gardener or a history teacher or a novelist’. Year of Meteors was a huge success. Certain songs on that album bring me directly back to specific points of my life. Do you often get that feedback from people about your music? ‘People do come up to me at shows and say things like “your record was the soundtrack to my life last year” or “I listen to your work while I’m painting, driving, running … ” and things like that. I think there are images in my music that people have seen before, and they see them again in their minds (maybe in a new way) when they hear the lyrics. I try to leave the lyrics open enough for people to insert their own meanings into them. I like to be personal in my writing, but not overly confessional’. Do you see [new album] Saltbreakers as a progression from Meteors or an accompaniment to it? ‘I see each album as a progression from the earlier one. We’re always trying to change and grow and push ourselves to be spontaneous and daring’. Ever just want to bust out some heavy metal chops? ‘Sure! It would be cool to be technically really proficient on the guitar like that. But I can’t see that happening anytime soon!’ [see also live review]
Listen to Laura Veirs’ song, Galaxies, off her Year of Meteors album.