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THE POWER OF POP INTERVIEW; rebecca gates

Rebecca Gates spent the nineties at the cutting edge of indie pop with The Spinanes. As the indie scene rolls over "new" forms and structures to play with in the new millennium, Rebecca has re-surfaced from the demise of The Spinanes with a solo 7 song CD (The Ruby Series) that sits comfortably in the current "alternative" musical environment without sacrificing her vocal strengths and songwriting assets. Rebecca was kind enough to share her thoughts (in bold) with the Power of Pop on this intriguing new work.

 

why is the CD called Ruby Series?
started with the line 'ruby kisses' in "doos"....went from there

why did you decide to dispense with the Spinanes name?
time to move on.......

is it any different performing and recording under your own name?
not yet.

how did the CD end up at Badman?
dylan asked me to do 2 songs for shanti 2, I did, and then he invited me to do a whole record - and i said yes

it has been three years since the last Spinanes album, when did you write the songs on this CD?
december 99 to september 2000 mostly

how did you hook up with John McEntire? Are you a fan of Tortoise?
i met john years ago. through doug mccombs of tortoise and brokeback.
yes I am a fan of tortoise I think they are swell.

how much influence did he have on the musical direction of this CD?
quite a bit as far as finessing the sounds

how did you prepare for the recording of this CD?
wrote songs, played some with noel kupersmith, tried to change some habits.

how would you describe the recording process of this CD? Easy? Difficult? Heaven? Hell?
pretty easy

what inspired the songs on Ruby Series?
the kentucky derby, insomnia, miami

"the Seldom Scene" sounds like a torch song - was that the effect you
were aiming for?
a little bit torch crossed with an early 70s ballad.

"Lure and Cast" and "In A Star Orbit" were co-written with John. How did that collaboration take place?
and with noel and mike! just from working in the studio. I had them mostly written, but what all the gents contributed really boosted the songs in different directions. in a star orbit came out of me and noel just messing around in practice.

these songs are also very keyboard-oriented and electronic in approach - new territory for you - were you nervous about how these songs would be received, especially by long-time Spinanes fans?
no

i am particularly intrigued with the guitar-bass-cello arrangements on "The Colonel's Circle," could you run through how this all came together?
very simply. noel and i arranged the song, then while recording I asked him to bow some parts on the bass. I love a bowed bass and he has excellent skills in that area.....

are you totally satisfied with the final results?
there's always a few nit-picky things, but mostly yes

what is the indie pop scene like now compared to when the Spinanes first started?
I try not to pay attention to it - not that I don't ike it or support it, just have other things to get to

if you were a lazy journalist, what label would you pin on Ruby Series?
the best record since........

what do you hope to accomplish with Ruby Series?
lots of playing and people enjoying the tunes

what are the promotional plans for the CD?
the usual

will you be recording new stuff soon?
hopefully

 

a Power of Pop thanks to Dylan Magierek and Amy Lombardi.