The Olive Grove – Interview with Emily Wilder By Chris
I discovered the Olive Grove on cdbaby one day, just searching and what I found was something incredible, real songs, honest songs from a girl with a really lovely sweet voice. Her tunes are beautiful and really touching. I was hooked and love what she does. So read on and go buy the album from cdbaby "Here’s A Letter"
1. Are you happy how things are gone for you so far with the music?
Yes. Things are always moving forward, and no matter how small the
steps, I enjoy looking back throughout the years and seeing progress,
and achievements. Since moving to Portland, OR I have been surrounded
by a community that not only loves each other genuinely, but is
incredibly talented as well. I think a good percentage of my joy comes
from seeing my friends create and accomplish things alongside me.
happy. The title of this album was called "Here’s A Letter" because I
wrote it to my listeners. Like pages of a journal being sent overnight
mail, it’s like saying "Here’s my heart, do what you will with it’s
pinings." It’s terrifying, but the responses have been warm and
3. what inspires you
when writing music?
of course you have your traditional answers like heartbreak,
loneliness, etc. But my inspiration is in the tiniest and the hugest of
things. A lot of it is just taking time to be alone, in a crowd (if
that makes sense). I find myself feeling most creative when I’m around
people, but not obligated to have interaction with any of them. That
sounds odd, I bet. My faith in God catapults my creativity.
4. how has cdbaby & itunes helped with the music?
baby has been an incredible resource, and I would recommend them to
every independent artist with an album to sell. They do all of the
annoying dirty work that us artists are usually terrible at. By putting
them up on good ‘ol iTunes (as well as all the other big online music
stores), the music can go as far as i take it.
5. What it’s like to play all over America?
wish I knew. I’ve mostly stayed on the West Coast, but this winter I
hope to book some more shows in places like Chicago and Nashville. The
West Coast is always good to me. Every show is different. That’s what I
enjoy most about touring and playing unfamiliar venues. Mystery. 🙂
6. why start a new project/band?
The Olive Grove is
a great solo project. I shelled out all I had to make that album. All.
But with the growth of the community around me, I saw it was time to
collaborate ideas with a few special friends. Thus, we have formed
Great Wilderness, and after just 6 small shows in Portland, we’ve had
an incredible response. There comes a time when you know your ideas
would only be better if put through the press of another friend’s
Are you happy how people have responded to your music?
mother with 5 kids bought the album. They all sing along in the car
(fudging the lyrics, of course.) One of her sons is autistic. It calms
him down. Another couple recently lost their son, and bought the album.
His favorite place was the beach. The track "Simple" ("take me to the
ocean, where everything is simple") has been incredibly meaningful to
them. Stories like these are what make my efforts valuable.
8. how has sites such as facebook, myspace & twitter with help getting your name out there?
I suppose you’re being silly as an artist if you don’t have these
useful tools. They help me have an online presence and personality to
people I can’t run in to on the streets of Portland. They help people
get in touch with me after we met at a show. It’s about connecting with
real people (at least I try to keep it that way), and those networks
really help me do that!
9. what been the highlight so far?
My favorite part
about the album, was recording it. Such beautiful guest musicians
played on it! There was one day when I had some friends come into the
studio to do group vocals/stomping/clapping. It was a really fun time
and I can still pick out their individual voices. Interesting memories
were made during the expanse of time it took to finish that album. I
suffered through large chunks of it, due to some bad personal choices.
It comes out in the songs, but so does the story of forgiveness and
redemption. I don’t deserve to have an album out.
10. what was the inspiration for the album?
day, I was sitting on the edge of my bed, thinking about recording
again. I was staring at a stack of CD’s. One of the CD’s titles was
"Here’s A Letter". When I took a closer look, the title was nothing of
the sort. That was it, I was out of the starting gates, with no
knowledge of where this album would go besides the title. The rest
unfolded during the recording process. I literally wrote songs as we
recorded them. They were given to me. I sort of feel like an empty jar
being poured into and dumped out. I’m OK with that.