Interview: Jenna Fournier

Best recognized as the songstress fronting the shoegaze-steeped Nights, the multi-talented Jenna Fournier recently traveled to Japan to tour in support of the melodic, fuzz-laden Cleveland-based band. Also a fine artist, Fournier’s whimsical work often appears in the band’s various designs and music videos. We talk to Fournier about touring overseas, her art, and what’s in the works for Nights in the future.

Select interviews will be printed in the Premium Guide Book along with CD samplers of  Brite artists given as a reward to Kickstarter backers. // Interview by Nikki Delamotte

“Thoughts and ideas being filtered through the same soul and out the same hands and mouth — just different mediums.” — Jenna Fournier, on being an artist and musician.

This past year was a big one – you toured Japan and just announced you’ll be returning as a full band. How was the experience? What are you most looking forward to in April?

Touring Japan was amazing. It was both humbling and encouraging; I was billed with very talented bands. People were very kind and so excited to have me, very welcoming. The room was so quiet when I played you could have heard a pin drop. It’s wonderful to share your music to such an attentive audience and so cool that, despite the language barrier, I was able to really connect with people through music. Two different guys told me I made them cry! I do have some sad songs — but that was a first!!

I’m most looking forward to returning with the whole band. I love my guys so much, they are so talented. I know they will blow people away. And I picked April because it’s the season the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

In addition to the musical side of Nights, you also have composed a recent video from your own art and do some pretty incredible work on the side. Would you say your art influences your musical side and vice versa? 

My drawing and painting only influences the music in a way of branding, in that I often design our merch and posters, or in the few occasions where I consciously do drawings or art to go along with a song, like the “Lullaby” video. Otherwise, I wouldn’t say they influence each other, rather, that they stem from the same place — thoughts and ideas being filtered through the same soul and out the same hands and mouth — just different mediums.

You recently released “Crazy”, a track that had previously only been available in Japan. Can you tell us about anything new you’re working on and any other developments with the band?

Right now Nights is focused on sharpening ourselves behind the scenes in preparation for our Japan tour. We have new material written, some of it recorded, and another music video on the way, but don’t have a release planned anytime this winter. I am also working on a solo album.

What’s your favorite material to play live?

I usually prefer to play heavy songs live and get off on the energy of hearing everything loud. I write some really depressing songs, and don’t always feel like playing them when I’m on stage and bumming everyone out. There are some nights though where it just feels really good to sing a sad song.

If you could play one place – your dream gig — where would it be?

Right now I’ll have to say Iceland. I’m a big fan of their music scene and feel like maybe some sort of magic might rub off onto me if I could play there.

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

I enjoy the beauty of woods and trees covered with untouched snow. But, I hate being cold, and usually become somewhat of a hermit in the winter, replacing many nights of friends and beer and ‘adventures’ with books and tea and painting and writing.

Keep up with Nights on Facebook, follow Jenna on Twitter, and stream Nights’ music on Bandcamp.