As someone who spends most days alone as a freelance writer, I knew exactly what Greta Morgan was talking about when she admitted to needing her space to create. It’s hard when others are around, but when she went to write and record Springtime Carnivore’s sophomore release, Midnight Room, she was all by herself through it all. We talked about Midnight Room which she admits is her most grown up record to date, the chapters of her musical life, her current tour schedule and more in this exchange of sentiments and thoughts.
Kendra: Right off the bat, you’re doing a bit of touring come February and March. First you’ll be with Fruit Bats, and The Head and The Heart. Then you’ll be heading out again. When the dates are that close, but they’re different tours – do you like to switch things up at all?
Springtime Carnivore: Yes! I love building a set specifically for the shows we’re playing. The Fruit Bats dates will be played as a female 3-piece and use a drum track on certain songs. The idea was to experiment with keeping a tour as simple as possible, considering these shows require a 14 hour drive each way. Anyway, I just wanted to roll up in my car and treat this like a road trip (instead of being in a rented van with a bunch of bandmates where every day is an expense). This is more of a “road trip with music” attitude and I hope that energy of spontaneity shines through. The lineup for Head and the Heart already will probably be slightly different. I’ve always done whatever feels the most true and natural so that I can feel totally excited in-the-moment for each step of every project.
Kendra: So you’ve had a few musical chapters so far; The Hush Sound, Gold Motel and now Springtime Carnivore. How did you view yourself during those times vs. now both personally and musically?
Springtime Carnivore: I was barely an adult in Hush Sound (15-19), but we miraculously had beginners’ luck and were signed on our first record, so I was thrown into the deep end of serious touring and making professional records as a kid. It was a totally wild and adrenaline filled experience that had many ups and downs. Gold Motel was a much quieter experience because we didn’t tour much. It was mostly a great learning experience in learning how to record. Springtime Carnivore feels like stepping into my own voice and really owning my powers as a songwriter.
Kendra: Back to the now. You went through a breakup, lived alone for the first time and thus Midnight Room was born. Did anything other than songwriting help you cope with living by yourself at the time?
Springtime Carnivore: I usually don’t have any problem being alone. I’m totally independent, but I felt that the “living alone” detail was important to my bio for this record because I truly wrote the whole record in that house where I was by myself. Usually being in nature is very healing because it makes human problems seem much less important. So probably being in nature and reading.
Kendra: In terms of what helps you as an artist do you prefer living alone, with a roommate or with a significant other?
Springtime Carnivore: Whether I’m living with someone else or not, the most important thing is to always have “a room of one’s own” for myself — my rehearsal space/studio is two miles from my home and it’s where I can go work without interruption. Right now I’m living with one of my childhood best friends, which I LOVE because she’s such a great conversationalist and a loyal, wonderful person. So I think community in living situations is generally positive for me, so long as I have that place I can go to write and be alone.
Kendra: When it comes to fueling the next album, have you got any real life inspirations to draw from yet?
Springtime Carnivore: Yes… there’s so much happening in the world right now that, even though I won’t make a political message, I feel that many of my emotions related to world situations will come through.
There’s never ending inspiration when you’re looking. I’ve also been keeping this journal where I write one moment from the day that is the most emotionally rich and so I’ve kept track of all these tiny gems of moments in otherwise mundane days. I’ve also been learning some piano film score pieces, which are really making my melody senses tingly. It’s hard to tell what will come together out of all these pieces, but I’m optimistic I’ll make it work!
Kendra: Other than the shows already on the books, anything else you have planned for 2017 so far?
Springtime Carnivore: I occasionally play with other musician friends accompanying them (I did this last year with Jessica Pratt and Kevin Morby), and I’ll be playing a show with Jenny Lewis in January, which I’m looking forward to. After that, I’ll hopefully do more Springtime Carnivore touring over the summer and probably go to Europe in the Fall.
Kendra: Lastly, say we’re in the middle of April, it’s a beautiful day and we’re throwing a backyard BBQ and you’re in charge of the music. Which five songs have to be on this very important mixtape?