Q&A: Find your sense of self with Steady Holiday for FREE tonight
Dre Babinski personal project Steady Holiday may still not have a complete album out (yet!), but that hasn’t stopped the dreamy poetry that is her music from needing to be heard. ‘Til now, you mostly could have caught her with bands around LA, mostly Dusty Rhodes and the River Band (in which she played strings), opening for stuff like Fitz and the Tantrums and fun. She even played Coachella, which says a lot for a musician whose debut album, Under The Influence, comes out June 24, 2016 via Infinite Best.
The way she sees her music, the reasons she creates, and the need to be seen are all apparent in the upcoming album. Read what she has to say and go see her for free at the monthly Wood Shoppe event at Brick and Mortar.
The Bay Bridged: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself, like where are you from. When did you start writing music for yourself? You know, the basics of these kind of interviews.
Dre Babinski: I grew up in suburban Southern California. Very normal. Began playing the violin at 10 in public school and continued a formal-ish music education through high school, then hopped through bands for the following 10 years. Writing and learning the guitar have been more recent developments in the past several years, probably as an escape from looming adulthood and constant confusion about reality and myself. Probably.
TBB: You’re releasing a new album soon. What would you like to tell people about it before it’s out to the world?
DB: Being my first solo record, it means and represents a dozen different things to me, but I’d rather people have their own relationship with it. You’re safe to assume I think it’s important, great, fantastic.
TBB: Most influential musicians you’ve never met and that you have?
DB: Harry Nilsson is the first songwriter I felt a real personal connection with, beyond infatuation or obsession with the beauty, wit, legacy, whatever it is that draws anyone to anything. I really identify with him and the things he struggled with, how they manifested and how he dealt with them. His music and lyrics are such an honest extension of himself, yet feel larger than life and existing somewhere outside of him or time or place. He’s like a normal-guy superhero to me.
As far as musicians I know, easily the most impactful relationship I’ve had was with my bandmate in Miracle Days, Edson Choi. He is a beautiful, moving songwriter and has introduced me to some of my favorite music. Creatively he took me seriously long before I did, which was a certain kind of trust I hadn’t experienced before and wish I was equipped to receive at the time.
TBB: For you, how does personal image — not even the image you can choose, but the image you can’t change — affect how you create?
DB: It’s a trip to live such public lives through social media. It blows my mind how much the average person gives of themselves on the internet every day, to then electively have our relevance monitored and immediately quantified. It’s absolutely bonkers. The smartass and geek in me is finding ways to enjoy it, but intellectually I’m not sure that I’ll get there. It’s something I think about often. I’ve probably internalized a lot of energy on the topic, because it’s almost impossible not to when there’s a mirror/forward-facing camera held up to us at all times. I can’t say that it has consciously affected my creative process other than fueling a whole lot of social commentary.
TBB: In the end, what do you hope your music could bring to other people?
DB: I play and write music to make sense of my own life, it’s a medium and activity that translates best for me right now, and it’ll likely change at some point. It’s no different than loving a sports team, waterskiing, or a piece of furniture. When an abstraction can touch on the rawness of a memory or feeling, it immediately has context and a richer meaning. I feel like there’s so much pressure on artists to have a thesis and hope for what they’re trying to relay, it’s one of the reasons I have taken so long to share anything at all. When I step away from expectations and the desire to be understood, I find myself creating most honestly and connectedly — which ends up bringing the process, myself, and the listener full-circle. It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.