Multiple Levels of Instrumentation with AllegrA

allegra-interview
Come the end of September while most were posting tired memes of Billie Joe telling him to wake up, AllegrA was dropping her debut solo release, My Legs Are Growing. Being a multi-instrumentalist who did everything on the record, she fit in perfectly with the other women this month who slap the bass, tickle the keys, strum the strings and so much more.

Kendra: What made you go down the solo path?

AllegrA: I’ve been writing music since I was about 14, but I have never written specifically with the goal of making some sort of album or EP until now. Rather than making a cohesive body of work, I would just write and record songs sporadically depending on my mood at the time and then release it on the internet pretty much right away.

Kendra: When you were part of a group, did you play an instrument or did you start to take on more when you started your own thing?

AllegrA: I play in Yes Yes 1000x Yes as their bassist. I knew, broadly speaking, how to play all of the instruments I played on my tracks before I even joined Yes Yes. That said, being in Yes Yes 1000x Yes, which is Dan Hagendorf and Dylan Chieffalo’s project, has helped me learn a lot about the processes of making, promoting, and releasing a collection of songs.

Kendra: Are you more self-taught or did you take some lessons here and there?

AllegrA: I’m self-taught! My father is super into the drums so he raised me to speak the language of rhythm before I was even aware I could speak it. I started on the bass guitar, which immediately made sense to me, combining my musical ear with my rhythm. I think this is pretty evident in my tracks my style is pretty bass-driven, unlike so many guitar-heavy artists.

Kendra: When someone walks away from listening to your debut, My Legs Are Growing, what are three things you hope they take away?

AllegrA: I hope that my androgynous vocal timbre is something that sticks! I like to think that it separates me from a lot of other artists. I also hope that my music is effective in sounding like a full band played the tracks rather than all just me. That’s the goal. And I hope that when someone walks away from listening, they will want to hear more!

Kendra: We’re a very anxious generation and that reminded me of your track, “You Make Me Nervous.” Why do you think more and more millennials have anxiety nowadays?

AllegrA: “You Make Me Nervous” is about having trouble looking cuties in the eye. But I’m not too sure if more millennials have anxiety nowadays. Maybe millennials are just over-diagnosed. Not that there aren’t lots of people with anxiety, but it’s very easy to Google anything like a paper-cut and think you’re going to die.

Kendra: Being a queer woman in what you call a “male dominated world,” was music what you always turned to when this world wasn’t that fair to you?

AllegrA: Yes, especially turning to the music of other women and queers! I find a lot of comfort in knowing that, at least in music, music made by not-cis-dudes is becoming more and more accessible. Solidarity with other marginalized musicians feels very important to me.

Kendra: A new album out, will you be touring this fall as well?

AllegrA: I will not be touring this fall but keep your eyes peeled early next year! There may be something in the works.

Kendra: With you playing a number of instruments, if you had to make a mixtape that showcased a handful of them, what five songs would have to be on it?

AllegrA: I think songs that highlight specifically one instrument are great, but I tend to find it more impressive when bands pull off simple individual parts for the sake of collective sound. This is what I have tried to pull off with my music! Here are some I love:

Chastity Belt – “Black Sail
Indigo – “Kississippi
Land of Talk – “It’s Okay
Snail Mail – “Thinning
Beach House – “Gila

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