Interview: Shivering Timbers

When Jayson and Sarah Benn began toying with the idea of crafting lullabies for their newborn daughter, they combined their efforts into We All Started In The Same Place, a haunting piece of lo-fi folk produced at the hand of the Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach. In 2012, they experimented with thundering psychadelia and lush, ghostly melody for the release of Sing, Sing. In our interview with upright bassist and vocalist Sarah Benn, she reveals details about Shivering Timbers’ 7" in the works.

Select interviews will be printed in the Premium Guide Book and CD samplers of  Brite artists are available as a Kickstarter reward. Get them both with the Music Lovers Pack and support Brite Winter on Kickstarter here. // Interview by Nikki Delamotte

“I always lament not having at least a small choir behind me. It’s just what I hear in my head.” — Sarah Benn

You’ve shared that you’re working on new material, including a track called “Married Girl”. Can you tell us more about what’s in the works?

We are wrapping up recording two songs, for a 7" to come out next summer. They’re two songs I wrote earlier this year, one called “Married Girl”, about a gal meeting some charming fella somewhere but having to let that go out of commitment and love for her husband. The other song is called “Good”; I wrote it shortly after the untimely passing of a dear friend and it asks the listener if they’d live their life again, if they’re satisfied with what they’ve done with their time on this earth.

What’s Shivering Timbers’ songwriting process usually like?

My songwriting process is pretty much to just sit down at the piano or with a guitar, and just start playing something. Often something will some of it, usually a chorus, or a melodic line that inspires some particular thought. From there, if I am able to finish the song, that’s the real work. Coming up with ideas and beginnings of songs is easy. Making them a complete work that I actually like, that’s really hard. I’m pretty critical of myself, but not during the initial phase of letting an idea begin, so that’s the fun part.

What have been some of your favorite places to play live?

Other than home-shows, I love playing in Cincinnati and St. Louis, my two favorite gig spots so far. Those cities somehow are full of people who appreciate and love live music, and the venues we play at there are run by some of the best people we’ve met. Eugene, Oregon was a really good time too. But, there’s plenty of places we haven’t been yet, so I expect the list to grow.

 What would be your dream collaboration?

A gospel choir. I always lament not having at least a small choir behind me. It’s just what I hear in my head. I’d also like to score an entire film, or use our music to inspire a script for a movie, maybe a collection of vignettes.

Brite takes place every winter. What’s your favorite winter memory?

One of my favorite stories to tell about winter is the year I moved to Ohio. It was April, and I was coming from Denton, TX, where I’d been wearing tank-tops and flip flops for a couple months already. I arrived in Ohio with a similar “wardrobe” on the first sunny, warm day since a big snowfall, so there were massive piles of dirty brown snow next to the roads, even though it was relatively warm out. I had never seen such a thing, and didn’t know what it was, so I asked if it was some kind of fertilizer!

Find Shivering Timbers on their official website, keep up with them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.