This week we chatted with Benjamin Leon of Diego’s Umbrella, a gypsy rock band based out of San Francisco. In the latest installment of our interview series, Benjamin discusses the band’s unique sound, working in a sextet, and how he spends his free time.
This week we chatted with Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf of Goodnight, Texas, a folksy band with an old-fashioned sound rooted in both San Francisco and North Carolina. In the latest installment of our interview series, Avi and Patrick discuss their Civil War era aesthetic, their sources of inspiration, and working from both coasts.
This week we chatted with Shannon Harney, a pre-med student and musician based out of San Francisco. In the latest installment of our interview series, Shannon discusses her new album, her inspiration, and what she does in her downtime.
Twenty Two: Let’s start with the basics. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Shannon: I’m a galactic sky-walker, first of all. I turn 25 on Monday. I grew up in the redwoods above Half Moon Bay and aside from my stint as a pre-med student at UC Davis, I can’t seem to tear myself away from the Bay Area. I like to spend a lot of time staring really closely at natural design… rock formations, flowering bodies, tree-lines. Most of my curiosity about the world stems from a fundamental fascination with evolution and natural history. I think we learn a lot about human relationships by observing the innate cycles around us. Also, I really really love pickles, and spicy food, and crafty cocktails and vintage clothes.
Twenty Two: Have you always been interested in music and performing?
Shannon: Yup. I started doing musical theatre when I was really small and most of my performing until college was on the stage. I sang in plays, but I don’t have a trained technical voice, so it never really went anywhere. I thought I was kind of a lackluster vocalist until I started listening to Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor and I was like, “Nice! I don’t have to do vibrato to be awesome!” But my shows now definitely have an element of theatre to them. I can’t help it. I never really grew out of being an ostentatious five-year-old.
Twenty Two: How would you describe your sound?
Shannon: Seriously. I always sweat over the “genre” and “tagging” part of this business. I mean, in short, folk. Or indie-folk. I’ve been calling it forest-folk recently. It’s all very lyric driven, very communicative and emotive. I’m not writing to make people dance or as background music in a bar. I really want to talk to my audience, to look them in the face and tell them a story. If my fingers accidentally knock against some piano keys in the process, then that sounds nice, too.