>> You might recognize Jess Abbott from her previous involvement in the indie rock group Now, Now! She has since parted from the band and has been working on her own project, Tancred, since! Check out this lovely interview with her where we talked about inspirations, spiders, and gay Riverdale!
Please tell us the origin story of Tancred.
I started Tancred for fun as a side project in 2011 and eventually started doing it full time in 2016.
What is your favorite part of the creative process of writing and producing music?
When it’s time to write I set aside a specific day and time for it. Environment is important to me, so I’ll make sure there’s some nice lighting and candles and shit and relax and hang out with a guitar until things start happening. When I’m recording I love dialing in guitar tones. It’s exciting to sculpt a sound that fits a song perfectly.
What were your inspirations for your most recent album, Nightstand?
Love, human interaction, sensitivity, travel.
What kinds of things did you learn about music and your career through being in Now, Now?
That list could go on forever. I learned a lot about how the music industry works, I learned a lot about tones, performance, writing, collaboration. Now, Now was a great starting point for me to learn how to work with my creativity and also how to share it with others.
Who are your biggest inspirations from outside the world of music?
Kirsten Dunst, Margaret Atwood, Buffy and Angel, my parents are some of the strongest people I know, Darby Costello.
What social topics do you think music has the greatest voice in at the moment?
It’s interesting to see so many musicians and actors coming out about their non-heterosexuality lately. It feels like music is really contributing to the expanding parameters of sexual orientation.
How did you come up with the idea to do a “gay Riverdale” themed music video?
I’ve been Riverdale-crazed since last year. We had to do a last minute video treatment concept and I was like eventually someone’s gonna make a Riverdale music video... maybe I’ll just do it. Brittany Ashley and I had been wanting to work on a video together for like two years and it finally lined up for this shoot. The gay part happened naturally. We’re gay, more or less. Also Riverdale itself is pretty gay, we really didn’t change that much.
If one type of animal could speak to humans, what animal would you want it to be?
Spiders. What if they’re really sweet and it would make us less scared of them?? Like when they drop down from the ceiling in the shower and it’s horrifying, what if they were just trying to be like “what kind of shampoo is that it smells really good I wanna get some” and we’re like “DIE."
What are your best and worst performance stories?
Best: we played a show in Lexington, Kentucky this year and in the middle of our song Underwear, our tour mates in the Julien Baker crew ran out during a heavy part of the song and threw a load of beach balls into the crowd and everyone was going nuts, it was so much fun.
Worst: We played El Paso, TX a couple years ago and the stage was really small and cramped and my guitar case was against the wall behind me and I tripped on it and started to windmill backwards and I fell over in the middle of a song. It sucked. Being on a stage is stressful.
Anything you would like to say to your supporters?
Thank you for following me through four albums. Your support and encouragement keep me going. <<