Woody's A Girl Interview
Q & A with Trisha Farnan and Billy Bedard of the band "Woody's a Girl", conducted over Skype, promoting their upcoming album "Into the Red" to be released 12 July, 2013.
T: Hello! I'm Trisha.
B: And I'm Billy.
T: And we are "Woody's a Girl", across the globe!
Q: Tell us how you both got started musically.
T: I started playing guitar, well… when I was 8 or something, but then gave up and when I was 25 I bought my first guitar and started learning mostly Smashing Pumpkins songs to teach myself how to play, and then pretty quickly started writing just heaps and heaps and heaps of songs- we have about 200 songs today- then I put up some cover songs on a Smashing Pumpkins fansite and then, I met Billy.
B: I was going through a Pumpkins site, just looking up cover songs people did and came across Trisha's cover of… I want to say "Real Love"?
T: It could've been "Real Love", yeah.
B: I came across the cover and just… freaking loved the vocals. And I was in desperate need of a vocalist, I couldn't find anyone locally that I could just sit down with regularly and work with. So I had the idea of sending something by email to see if it would work, and it did.
Q: When did you each start writing songs, and what was that experience like?
T: I started writing songs when I was 25 and a half, never really imagined that I would write songs, but just started playing around with chords and experimenting. I already had a lot of lyrics sort of written up, some even from high school days, poetry. I wrote music and went through all my poems and went "oh, that one looks good for that bit of music". Other times, I had an experience in life and wanted to write an angry song about it.
B: I guess I started writing songs when I was in 7th or 8th grade, and they were just awful. Just awful, awful songs. And it took writing maybe a hundred or so of those very terrible songs till I felt like I wrote a half-decent song, and I just kept writing. I gradually learned the guitar, sitting alone for hours after school, but to me the focus was on the writing side of it. I was never one of those guitarists that wanted to learn how to shred and solo. To me, it was much more interesting to learn how to actually write something original. It was more rewarding being able to create something rather than just copy what somebody else did.
Q: What was the recording process for the album like?
T: For my end, I'd give Billy a song that I thought would be good to do, or he would request a song that he wanted to do, that we should do, so I'd send him the tabs for it and he would go away and do his sort of "miracle work" as I think of it, and come back to me with this sort of transformed, amazing sounding instrumental over email, and I'd do my vocals and harmonies over all that and send it back to Billy saying 'what do you think?'. Sometimes he'd say 'that's great', sometimes he'd say 'maybe try this', so eventually we'd get a finished product. I guess I got the easy end of it. (Laughs)
B: The way I've tried to describe it to people was that you drew the picture with all the details and shading, I just got to sit down and color it.
T: Yeah, I could see that.
B: The core elements were all there in the basic music and lyrics. I'd get the demo and learn it, familiarize myself with it, and then sit down and brick by brick build the song up once I figured a new exact structure. Sometimes I might go 'this song really needs a bridge' or 'we could put an intro of some kind in here'. So I'd kind of figure that out outright, and start off with the drums, and then the bassline, then layer 5, 6, 7 guitar lines over that and send it off. Even after getting the file back with vocals, I'd usually end up adding a few more guitars, some weird effects. So it was really an interesting kind of experience.
Q: What is your favorite song on the record and why?
T: It's a bit hard to choose, I've got quite a few equal favorites. But I really love "Song", the last song on the album. I just love how the album ends. There are other songs I absolutely love as well, but I just think that "Song" is kind of… magical. It makes me think of childhood. I don't know… it's great.
B: "Song" was one that really stood out to me. When I heard the original recording, it just sounded like such a catchy, hooky, pop song. I could hear the rock vibe in it, but it had that hook where I would hear it on the radio and it would be a hit. As far as my personal favorites…. I'd say I'm torn between "Beyond Pale and Ageless" and "Red".
T: Those are two of my equal favorites as well.
B: When I sat down and started doing the music, I had this idea of how I wanted them both to sound. And there's plenty of other instances where I really felt like what I was recording for certain other songs was pretty much what I wanted, or it would turn out great in a different way that I didn't expect, but with "Pale and Ageless" and "Red" those two ended up sounding exactly the way I wanted them to sound. I was so excited because I managed to capture the atmosphere I wanted them to have perfectly.
Q: Where and when can I find the album?
T: I think you can find it in CD form in California and Western Australia. But we'll post it in places. And it's supposed to be available digitally as well.
B: I think the hope is by late June, but that might be too optimistic, but we're still going through the final production and approval time, which will take a few weeks, and this is as of late May, then we've got to get them sent from the production plant to us, and CD Baby, a few other places possibly, and then we should be able to "officially" put it out. There will be limited physical copies, 300 I believe. And of course the digital download as well, so you'll have your options.
Q: Will there be a tour?
T: Well, I tell all my friends and family that if that ever did happen I would have to face the curtain so I wouldn't be looking at anyone, but if everyone's ok with that, sure.
B: It might take a certain amount of alcohol to get you to turn around.
T: It does help, I must say. Bit of champagne, helps, yep. But we'd probably have to do it via Skype or something, like Billy would be over there playing guitar, and… I don't know, we could have a drummer in Africa or something.
B: We could do the first international Skype concert.
T: That's right. "International: Live".
B: It'll be a concert taking place simultaneously, in two separate days.
T: Same concert, different hemispheres, different continents.
B: It would be cool, though. I miss doing live shows. And yeah, if I'm ever in Australia or Trisha's ever in California, we could do a little acoustic gig or something, just to do a couple songs live for the first time. I think that would be really cool.
Q: What does "Woody's a Girl" mean?
T: It's probably not as exciting as some may think. One of my friends used to have a kitten named Woody and I though it was a boy, and then it turned out to be a girl. And then Woody got hit by a car and it was very sad… But before she got hit, I was like 'that would be a cool name for a band. A one woman band' cause at that time I was on my own. So I was like 'Woody's a Girl, that's it'. So there you go. It was named after a kitten.
B: I've been working on an album for over 2 years and I just now finally know what the band name means. So I guess I learned something. (Laughs)
T: That's right. Good to learn.
Q: Do you plan on writing/ recording more in the future?
T: Definitely. Well, we've got a lot to work with already, but right now I'm not writing any new music, but I go through phases a lot. Like sometimes I'll just do music, other times I'll be writing fiction and stories, stuff like that. But I'll get back to music at some point.
B: I want to say we're already half way through recording the second Woody's a Girl album. So hopefully that'll be finishing up in the next few months. So yeah, by the time we put out the first album, the second one will be almost ready to go… But we do also have multiple projects going on. So you have the Woody's a Girl material coming out, which is mostly Trisha material where she writes the songs and I come in and add to it and whatnot, and then there's also Rotting Apples, which is the stuff that I write, and which is done more or less the same way, where I record all the instruments and Trisha records her vocals over it.
T: And there's other singers too, in Rotting Apples, not just me.
B: And what's great is that Woody's a Girl and Rotting Apples both have these massive libraries of content to pull from. So we could put out an album a year, and it could go on for, potentially decades.
T: Yep, so we're all set up.
B: But in the immediacy, I think once the Woody's a Girl album comes out, the hope is to do some promotional stuff, we'll issue a couple of singles, kind of like "tastes" of the album, if you will. And then the hope is by the end of this year to put out the first Rotting Apples release, which will be an EP. And then the goal is to do a release of some kind every couple of months, maybe 2 or 3 a year. So yeah, just keep writing/ recording and pushing forward.