Wendy Eisenberg streams on the Boston Hassle Instagram Live on sunday 12/13 @ 8pm. Join us won’t you?!!
Hi Wendy, so it seems like you’ve been getting some great higher visibility coverage of your latest record AUTO. Do you feel that this is true? Does it feel good?
Hi! It would appear that more people are becoming aware of the things that I do, yes. I’m grateful to the team at Ba Da Bing for making that happen, and I’m especially grateful to the people who have supported my music from when I started taking performing and recording stuff more seriously, around late 2014-2015. I still remember my first tiny house show in Boston with a bunch of NEC people with great fondness, a snowy night in Roslindale. I had played in a noise band before then, and also done lots of jazz and improvisation shows, but songs shows…they just hit different. The years since have been a deluge of shows, bands, recordings, etc, a great way to meet people and connect. In that way, the press feels good, like a sign that this music is affecting some folks, which can be hard to believe in a time when shows irl are on hold.
One of my favorite things about your work is its variety, and the sheer quality across your constant varied output. Looking down any new avenues lately that you care to elaborate on?
I am excited to share the new Editrix record (the rock band I am in) with you, out Feb 5 on Exploding in Sound. It’s a pleasure to be part of a label that supports Mass artists with humanity and humility. I also have a number of solo guitar and banjo improvised recordings coming out, plus a record of banjo songs is coming out on Dear Life Records in the summer. The last time I wrote songs on banjo was for Window Box, an absolute outlier of 2016. Very fertile things are happening.
How’s no IRL shows going for you?
It’s half amazing and half terrible, like all things, I guess. I really pushed it over the past few years with traveling and gigging, and it’s great to have a chance to just write songs and think about art and sit there. I appreciate the break. However, I vet out certain songs if they don’t hit when I play them live, and it’s been hard to sculpt material without that feedback. Plus, I love hanging with people at shows – I was very burned out last March when this was all starting, so those who saw me around then might not believe it when I say that, but the sociality of it was very important to me, and I miss it. The songs I’m writing now, because of that lack of sociality and feedback, are insular in a cool way, though.
During these fairly dark days that we are living through, are there any recent rays of inspiration from any aspect of life, that you’d care to share?
These days are very dark. I am inspired by John Akomfrah’s work right now, particularly the Last Angel of History. Cooking helps, music helps. Keeping loved ones safe and close by helps. Mutual aid helps. Reading things you think are too complicated for you and letting them make themselves understood helps. Ceasing to identify as an artist while still making art helps. Going outside with a mask on helps. The water, the trees. Imagining what the sunset looks like in different parts of the world.
Have you done many streams? What can we expect from this one, if we should be asking!? And also, what’s next for you?
I’ve done a bunch, yeah. I tend to just play songs with great ceremony, usually at my desk. It’s nice to play where I do the writing. Probably I’ll play some new songs, which are all about other people and my difficulty relating to them, the impossibilities of speech. I might hit up some Time Machine material too. It’s that time of year.
Next for me….those records, mentioned above. Some cool commissions have floated my way, those will bubble up. I am lucky to be able to do this.