Interview by Cher Dunn
After hearing the uplifting and anthemic debut EP from BØRNS “Candy”, I had to know more about the poetic man behind the new music and when we would hear more. We caught up with BØRNS about his previous treetop home, holiday plans, favorite poets, 2015 goals, and upcoming US tour with Misterwives!
How’s life in LA? Are you still in your treehouse? Tell us about the decor.
I have recently migrated from the treetops to a more grounded abode for a different perspective. I was living very simply with an outdoor kitchen overlooking the canyon, a loquat and apricot tree within picking distance, string lights and a shimmering disco ball in the branches and plenty of air to breathe.
Has living so secluded and minimally affected you or your writing in any way?
It freed me musically. I could sing and play electric guitar all hours of the night. And not having many belongings clears your mind of clutter.
Your music is really dreamy, upbeat, romantic and hopeful. Was that reflective of your life at the time you wrote those songs?
The songs came from the feeling of longing. Theres a lot of passion in what you can’t have. Also the feeling of weightlessness, like being in outer space or floating in the ocean or the caress of a lover.
You’ve been touring quite a lot this year, how has it been?
BØRNS: A grand experiment. It’s always an interesting game playing your music for people who aren’t familiar with it. You learn what jives and what you thought would jive but seemed way cooler in your head.
You must have grown quite a fan base this year, with all your touring and the release of your EP. Have you had any great fan interactions this year you could tell us about?
People say some pretty interesting things on the inter-web. Some flattering, some a little frightening. And apparently I really need to play in Hong Kong.
If you could choose any celebrity to like your music, follow you on tour and be your band aid who would it be?
Probably an old poet. Like the late Pablo Neruda. So we could have inspiring conversation about women and romance.
Are you excited to have a break from tour? What do you do to wind down after?
Not yet, the tour has just begun. I’ve recently inherited a claw foot tub that will definitely be a part of the unwinding process.
Plans for the holiday season? Do you think you’ll have time to write more?
I’ll be taking a trip to the tundra of Michigan. Probably do some snowshoeing and drink hot beverages while playing the baby grand piano in the house I grew up in.
Do you set aside time to write or do you write as it comes to you?
Whenever I give myself too much time I end up writing in circles and completely evolving a song from the original idea. I’ve found the less time I give myself the better. You can never fully recreate that initial gut feeling of a sound or emotion.
How is your full length album coming along?
It’s like building a fire. Just feeding the flames and seeing what burns the brightest.
How did you choose your bandmates and collaborators, did you know them before you moved to LA?
I met my bandmates and producers in LA. I think in any collaboration it’s important your vibes complement each other creatively and on a human level. We’ve all become really great friends.
When did a musician or a song really move you?
Tea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens was a record I grew up listening to. Those songs still resonate with me and take me back. Perfectly placed words and melodies.
Must read book or poetry for fans?
This is my Beloved by Walter Benton
What are you doing New Years Eve?
Drunken snow angels.
Looking forward to anything particularly in the new year?
My first US tour. Excited to hit the road.
Three things you hope will happen next year?
Become fluent in french, make a record in paris, meet a lovely parisian painter… Maybe I’m being too hopeful.
BØRNS performs an acoustic version of “Electric Love” with Zella Day.
Reviewed by b3