Thursday, October 20, 2016

Reeve Coobs Interview

Reeve Coobs: The Singer With The Songs
by Daniel Coston
from the October 2016 issue of Tangents Magazine

If you’ve seen her at the Evening Muse, or onstage with the Tosco Music Party, hearing Reeve Coobs sing is an unforgettable experience. After taking nearly ten years to complete her first album (What Love Is All About, released in 2012), Coobs has put together a second album that shows her to be as comfortable singing with a Rock band as she is with just an acoustic guitar. Me & You also shows that Coobs’ songwriting has continued to mature, and show that there is more to her music than just her voice.

Tangents: New album. Tell me about it.

Reeve Coobs: It’s a collection of songs that all came from people telling me I should write a love song. These are the songs that came out of those conversations, most of which are not actually love songs. 

Tangents: How did the process for this album change, as opposed to recording the first album?

Coobs: I wanted this album to sound different so This time around I chose to strip the music way down. It's mainly just me. Which was scary because I love my band and I love what they create musically but I also like to hide behind their artistry. This project seemed to call for something a bit stark. I also recorded a few tracks completely be myself which was very different. 

Tangents: How did Jeff, and the other musicians contribute to this album?

Coobs: Jeff took more of an advising role this time. Helping me critique and listen and say "yes, it's done". Eric Lovell really helped so much, not just as an engineer but also guiding and encouraging me to be brave and let the songs be bare. Jason Atkins and Daniel Flynn also lent their talents.  

Tangents: Has what you write about changed since the first album? Do you feel this album is more personal than the first album?

Coobs: I think I will always write about very personal parts of my life but this album seems to be maybe a bit more personal. I think as I'm getting older and maturing as a songwriter I'm learning the value of being as honest with the listener as I can stand. I connect better with a song when it's slightly painful or embarrassingly sweet. Either way I'm trying to push myself to tell the real story in a clever way. 

Tangents: This new album also seems to have more of a Rock & Roll edge on some songs. Was that planned?

Coobs: I wrote a few of the songs on the electric guitar instead of my trusty acoustic and that definitely changed the feel. But it still feels like an acoustic record to me since there is no bass and hardly any drums. I guess the rock n' roll vibe just can't be lost when you have distortion pedals. The vibe wasn't on purpose but stripping the songs down was. My next project I believe will be full band and lots of rock songs. I'm ready to be loud now!

Tangents: You’ve sung in a number of groups over the years. Is there more comfort in a group setting? Do you feel more comfortable as a solo act?

Coobs: I find comfort in both settings. I love playing live with my band because they are so talented and such great people. I love bringing the sounds in my head to life with the help of them. Solo gigs are fun and relaxing because I don't have to lead, I can decide in the middle of a song that I want to do something different and I can. It's freeing and in some ways more creative on stage. But playing with a band is more creative in the writing stage. It's too hard to chose, so I don't!

Tangents: Many people know you from the Tosco Music events. How did you get involved with those?

Coobs: I met John when I was in high school and started attending the parties then. A few years later, when I was working at The Evening Muse, he asked me to join the sing-a-long choir and the rest is history. John has always been a huge support for me and my music. 

Tangents: What does it mean now to sing at Tosco Music events to a sold out show of that size?

Coobs: It's such a fun and amazing time - every time! Every "TMP" I am a part of is different yet everyone feels like I've been a part of something special in our community. It really is such a unique night of music and I'm honored to be a part of it. Seeing the size of the audience grow over the years is truly amazing. Somehow even though it's such a big event now it still feels intimate and kind of like a big family reunion. It's magical. 

Tangents: At this point, do you consider yourself a writer first? Or a singer? Or does that change, depending on the day and time?

Coobs: It definitely changes. I think of them both as crafts and I work on them both and a lot of times separately. Some days I'm geeking out over a harmony part on a Gemma Hayes song that I have to master and some days I'm working tirelessly on finding the right word to finish a song.  

Tangents: Finish this sentence. At the end of the day, I’m happy if…..

Coobs: I've done something creative and spent time with the people I love.

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