Adam Green and Binki Shapiro: Moldy Peaches star joins Little Joy's Shapiro

The newest indie buzz-band duo of 2013, Adam Green and Binki Shapiro offer refreshing, diary style honesty in this folk pop debut. I spoke to the two while they were in route to their San Francisco performance. Green reached widespread acclaim  when the Moldy Peaches' (his band with Kimya Dawson) song "Anyone Else But You" was featured on the Grammy winning soundtrack to the film Juno (2007). He is from Manhattan. Shapiro is an L.A. darling whose band Little Joy(with Strokes' Fabrizio Morreti and Rodrigo Amarante of Brazilian group Los Hermanos) has brought her critical acclaim. Additionally, she worked with Beck on his album The Information, and he has uploaded many of her Leonard Cohen covers to his Record Club blog. 

Shauna C. Keddy: Can you describe why working together seemed to work out so smoothly?

Green and Shapiro: We are similar in a lot of ways, but also different in ways that work. We can keep on talking and it goes forever-- that is a good thing when you are making artwork! [The two finished each other's sentences on this one.]

SCK: If you could colloborate with one musician or group, who would it be?
Shapiro: I am so fortunate in who I have been able to collaborate with in my career already-- Beck, Moretti, Amarante, I am really quite happy now!
Green: Binki is the #1 person i wanted to collaborate with!
S: We are so lucky, we are right where we want to be!
G: I guess I did have a fantasy that I wanted to write David Bowie's new album, but that didn't happen [laughs]. I do really love Jarvis Crocker.
SCK: Did you both want to be musicians since you were young?
S: I never really aspired to be a musician per say, I really enjoyed playing music and writing songs, it was the first thing that I felt really excited about doing on my own. I never really intended on being a musician, or to support myself in that way.
G: I did definitely, I have been playing guitar since I was twelve. I guess I thought I'd be some kind of folk singer, when I was younger. I started playing Moldy Peaches when I was 13.
SCK: What do you like most about being a musician and what frustrates you?
S: It's fun to be able to play songs for people live and witness that they have actually heard them and sing along; that the songs are significant to other people, that is a cool thing to watch. As a female in this world, sometimes it can be a little frustrating, that sometimes people act like I don't do anything other than sing. To remain humble and dispel some of those ideas can be frustrating.
G: We wrote the album together, it represents us both, we want to emphasize that. I love playing live. It's like you get to be a cool, fun version of your self, when you can enjoy it and feel like it's going well, you can get really into it; you give yourself to the music, the performance.
S and G: Having nothing there and coming up with something-- writing-- improvising-- but you have a record of it, and you build on it. That's a great feeling.
[Often the two would chime in together, adding to their point that the collaboration truly was a collaboration, they needed one and other to make it complete.]
G: It feels like its groundhog day, to have it take longer than we expected for it to come out, but finally it's here.
SCK: Do you have a favorite place to perform-- a specific venue, city, etc?
G: Santa Ana was fun for us! [laughs]
S: Brazil was my favorite place I have ever played, I would love to be able to venture over there again, there were some incredibly passionate and excited folks there who were very fun to play for.
G: I have made a lot of effort to tour in Italy. I love it there.
SCK: Who are some of your inspirations right now, musically or otherwise?
G: Paul Robseon is one of my favorites, he is a traditional folk singer, really cool. Jimi Hendrix, Tim Buckley, Iggy Pop.
S: Different things inspire me at different times- I am really stoked on really good lyricists. Right now I am listening a lot to David Byrne and Leonard Cohen; people who can talk a really simple idea and sentiment and say it perfectly and simply and articulately.
G: Also I am really into David Berman's book of poems called Actual Air.
SCK: Do you have a favorite song yet from the new album, to perform live or in general?
G: "What's the Reward" and "Nighttime Stopped Bleeding".
S: We've combined those two in a three song medley with "Don't Ask for More", that sounds really nice. It sounds good in our fun little odyssey of traveling [laughs].
By Shauna C. Keddy

Views: 382

Tags: Adam Green, Binki Shapiro, The Chapel San Francisco


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.