Interview with Rachel Platten
with Rachel Platten
(In Her Own Words)
Boston Live (BL): What city do you claim is your hometown?
Rachel Platten (RP): Though New York City now feels like home, and officially I claim it as my hometown...I still have allegiance to Boston.
How do you feel playing Boston?
RP: I love being back, and having close friends and family show up at
concerts is pretty incredible. (at my last show, my 80 year old grandma came out! She's a firecracker).
What's your favorite venue to play in and outside of Boston,Why?
RP: In Boston, I have only played the Attic, and Harper's Ferry so far. This week I am also playing at Virgin Megastore and in August I think my booking agent is working out a date at Paradise. Besides the clubs...does my parents' living room count? I have my Baldwin in there...and honestly, there is a spot where my piano sits by the window and light streams in that is more peaceful and inspiring for me than anywhere else in the world. Whenever I am in the middle of writing a song... and maybe struggling to finish it, if I go to that piano the song seems to write itself...and be almost like a gift.
Where have you toured in the US and elsewhere?
RP: I think the coolest place I have gone so far is the Caribbean, I lived in Trinidad for 8 months and sang backup with a soca band for a while, and toured St. Barth's and St. Martin with my own band a couple years later. That was one of those moments you know you have to be incredible grateful for. You know the ones that you kind of log in your memory and vow to remember when things seem rough?
In the US, I have played Texas, for the South by Southwest festival this past year, Florida, DC, Atlanta, Boston, CT, New York.
'I'm really hoping to get out on tour this fall and see the rest of the
Who are the largest names you have toured with?
RP: Rusted Root, The Strokes, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, DJ Logic, Marc Ford (of the Black Crowes), hmmm.... man I don't know. These people are all incredibly talented, but really, some of the most talented musicians I have ever played with have been in the West Village in NYC'.
BL: What was the most memorable show you played? Why?
When I was in St. Barth's, I had to do like forty shows in thirty five days,
and I wasn't taking good care of my voice...there was kind of some bad influences
floating around the after parties...;) and I didn't realize that I had to
take care of myself physically.
I completely lost my voice after a couple weeks and I was freaking out....like, oh god, I am not going to sound perfect, those trills aren't gonna work...how am I gonna impress everyone? And I went on that night...and something changed. All of a sudden, I realized it wasn't about me sounding perfect, it was about being honest. And if I was gonna have a scratchy voice and sound raspy, then at least I would make it real and give it soul. And I think that might have been my most important show for me. When I realized that this thing I am doing isn't about me showing off, or getting praise or impressing people. It's about me being honest, and being real, and communicating a message. And that's when you really reach people. When you kind of take your ego out of the picture.
BL: Who do you consider to be your influences?
RP: Oh man, so many. This is a hard one for me cause my musical taste is across the board. But I think Jewel was a big one. Her voice makes me cry...and the Indigo Girls, I used to listen to those harmonies over and over until me and my sister could repeat them. Also, Ella Fitzgerald, there is a warmth in her tone that I love, and Janis Joplin, I love how gritty she is. I used to also listen to Whitney Houston a lot. yes, there it is, I am kind of a nerd. But come on man, that VOICE! whew.
BL: Who produced your latest album> where was it done?
My last album I put out was self produced, I did it my senior year of college
in the middle of my finals, and it was a crazy, incredible
experience. I did it at Talcom Mountain Studios, this great place in
like Danbury, CT that is on top of a mountain and overlooks the
evergreens, and it was all kind of thrown together, recorded analog
(old school style). But it still ended being one of CD baby's top sellers
for six months. So hey! I got that going for me. (oh that's from
BL: What if any is the message behind your latest album?
RP: Well, let me tell you about the mesage behind the album I am recording presently.. .The message is totally organic, kind of raw, intimate, honest, just be yourself...kind of vibe. I hate all the overproduced stuff that is coming out and I just kind of wanted to strip it down a little.
BL: Who is your current record label and management?
In terms of label, I am currently shopping for a label...trying to find the
right "home" for my stuff. I don't want to jump into some deal just
because I am offered a large advance, I hear horror stories about
artists' albums getting shelved and kind of being stuck, and I just want to tread lightly...and be careful. My manager is currently Noah Becker , Licensing supervisor at Sony BMG and someone I know I can put a lot of trust in. Legal is Aarti Tandon of Tandon Law, also my father is getting pretty involved as this stuff starts to get bigger than me. In the beginning he used to still send me grad school applications secretly... haha...but as he sees more and more people jumping on board and that this "might actually work out" he's all..."eh hem, well I
ALWAYS knew this would work."
BL: What do you want our Boston Live readers to know about you?
I'm a wicked fresh beat boxer and I put Biz marquis to shame.
okay, fine, I have one beat that I do really well...hahaha...but I am
working on it. No, but seriously, I absolutely LOVE meeting new people. I think this is what life is all about, meeting people, sharing stories, feeling that some things you thought you only had to go through are universal...and, so I encourage everyone to write me, or come to a show and introduce yourself! Also, I have a blog that I write weekly on my myspace page: www.myspace.com/rachelplattenband so you can keep up with me there too!