With the Joy of Violent Movement, I’ve experimented with things here and there. I recently started an audio-based interview segment, which started with an interview with the Austin, TX-based anarchy-electro punk trio BLXPLTN, right before their set at the Afropunk Festival, back in August.
In the second of what i hope will be a continuing (and expanding) series of audio interviews, I spoke with Rachel Ann Weiss, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who released her latest EP, Always last week. Deeply inspired by the work of the great and tragic Jeff Buckley, Weiss’s sound employs elements of jazz, pop, blues and soul with a vocals that have been compared by some across the blogosphere as being reminiscent of Amy Winehouse and Adele. Comparisons of that order are often arguable, depending on the listener’s personal taste and knowledge, but what I will say is that Weiss has a very soulful, smooth and at times husky vocal that conveys an emotional vulnerability and honesty that seems rare in a very ironic and vapid age.
Although Weiss is the daughter of Kathleen Turner, Weiss has been working hard to make a name for herself on her own accord, spending large portions of the past year touring in the UK and across the States. And if there’s one thing that’s consistent, the life of an independent (and often unsigned) musician can be extraordinarily difficult and involves quite a bit of hustle and moxie, as Weiss can attest.
In this interview, I spoke to Weiss at length about how she got into music and learned how to play the guitar; her love and adulation of Jeff Buckley; her songwriting process, including how lyrically, Shakespeare is a big influence; the personal experiences that have influenced her songs; Weiss’s famous mother and her influence on Weiss’s live performance – and if Weiss has felt the need to separate herself from her; and much more.