There are two types of girls when it comes to guitars…One is a girl who picks up an instrument and only uses it as a prop in her bathroom Facebook photo shoot. She can play one Dashboard Confessional song she learned in 8th grade, but alas it’s merely there collecting dust. The other is the one who saw that instrument as her best friend. She didn’t want it to impress anyone; she wanted to play because it was her calling in life.
Abby Weitz of Wise Girl definitely falls into that second category. She heads the New York pop rock band and isn’t afraid to dish about her punk past or how she’d never even entertain the idea of following in the steps of other Warped vets like Cassadee Pope and Juliet Simms and head to The Voice. She says she’s not enough of a ham and she’s actually uncomfortable when the spotlight shines her way.
She might be iffy about all the attention being on her, but she’s pretty confident when it comes to which festival she prefers, starting holiday traditions and more. So continue reading to find out about all that jazz.
Kendra: What made you go from the punk outlet of The Lookaways and head more towards a pop rock sound with Wise Girl?
Abby: Weitz: The Lookaways had basically run its course. We were trying to find a bass player after we got back from The Warped Tour and it was tough so we tried playing as a 3 piece and I was really unhappy about the sound, I felt like it sounded like something was missing. Then our drummer left and we were left with Sean (our current bassist) and I I tried to put together a few different lineups but it just wasn’t working out so I took about 2 years off from playing out all together to write. Over those 2 years my songwriting started evolving and I was much more concerned with the production and arrangement factors and I guess my influences had changed over the years as well. I started The Lookaways when I was 18 and Wise Girl was invented about 6 years later and I think those are the years where you really evolve as a human being, growing into an adult so I was in a completely different place. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Chris who produced our EP and currently plays guitar in Wise Girl. I had never worked with a producer before and have always been really stubborn about my writing and what I think I want the songs to sound like but he really opened up my eyes and does not hesitate to tell me to “shut up and listen” to some of his ideas, which is something I really cherish about our relationship haha. Chris has a huge influence on the sound of the recordings and I am really happy with the outcome and the direction we decided to take the music in.
Kendra: Having played both Warped Tour and CMJ, what one do you think was a better stage for your music and what you’re about?
Abby: DEFINITELY The Warped Tour. CMJ is kind of a mess, there are bands playing at venues all around the city and some of the venues being pretty far from each other. Warped Tour is like a big open space and anyone just walking by can happen to hear you and become a fan. I’d love to get Wise Girl involved with the Warped Tour for 2013, we will see!
Kendra: Since we’re approaching the holidays, if you had to sell your upcoming album as the latest, hottest gift of the season, what would your pitch say?
Abby: “Do you like to jump around to chick songs? Me Too! Get down with me”…No I’m just kidding I would probably say “Epic female pop melodies over Rock and Roll music, the catchiest songs you’ve ever heard on one disc!”
Kendra: Did you draw from more personal experiences for the upcoming album, or did you take more from your musical influences?
Abby: Just about every song I write is a related to a personal experience whether it be a relationship, friendship (relationship), personal feelings, not so personal feelings, etc. I will say the songs are an interesting mixture considering the different and more recent musical influences.
Kendra: You might have “wise” in the band name, but what’s one of the stupidest decisions the band’s ever made, or you can put it on one member…
Abby: Wow, I could totally blow up a lot of people’s spots right now hahaha. I would say when I first started the band I was a little too careful with some of the decisions I made for the band and we definitely missed out on a couple of opportunities but you live and you learn.
Kendra: Does the band have any holiday traditions you guys do together?
Abby: We do not, at least not yet! I think I’m gonna bring that up at rehearsal on Monday. You may have just started the first Wise Girl “Jew meets Christ” holiday; we are a mixed bunch.
Kendra: On a broader scale, there’s not a lot of money coming in from music sales…but to be honest, fans aren’t making millions either. Where’s the happy medium. Like how do you suggest fans suffering economically support their favorite bands without breaking the bank?
Abby: That a tough one that I’ve been thinking about but on the live concert side. I remember seeing a lot of my favorite bands in small clubs around the city and now they have gotten so huge that they’re playing huge places that are pretty pricey for tickets. But with album sales, I think if you can afford it, go out and support the artist and purchase the album. I have had fans personally contact me and ask me to send them some mp3’s and to be honest; I’m not opposed to it. I’m just happy that people want to listen. When they strike gold, I’ll be hitting them up!
Kendra: For your mixtape, I want your top 5 songs that you’d listen to at a New Year’s Eve party, go!