No one knows the key to winning over people like Kayleigh Goldsworthy. Set to release her debut solo album Burrower in 2013, Goldsworthy spent a twelve-year career in alternative pop band, The Scarlet Ending, which came to an end earlier this year, and finally lead her to focus on her own music. An old-time country, folk inspired record, Burrower is Goldsworthy’s metamorphosis from part of a whole to front woman of her own project. “Where the Summer Goes,” the first single released off of the album, is a charming and melodic song that will certainly please fans who’ve been patiently waiting for her. Before she was about to shoot her music video for her single, she sat down with Substream to talk about her fans, three years of work and the importance of a home-cooked meal.
Substream: From what I’ve seen, you stay very connected with your fan base. Your Tumblr is filled with pictures of your life and you often respond to people who tweet at you. Why do you think it is important for artists to stay so connected with their fan base in such close way?
Kayleigh Goldsworthy: I guess I feel that way because a lot of times when you go to artist’s websites, it’s just like a very sterile, ‘this is what we’re up to,’ straightforward entry. With this approach, I’ve tried to do it a little bit differently than I’ve been used to. I’ve tried to make my website and all my social media’s like ‘this is my life.’ I’ve been in a band for so long that my solo project was hard to differentiate between the two, so I just made my solo project all about me. This is what I’m doing today, this is what the food I ate today, I went on a walk today or here are the funny things that happened to me. I’ve tried to approach the solo project so people got to know me not only as a musician but as a person. I think that’s why I tried so hard to stay connected so there’s that humility to me. So when you listen to my music or you like my music , or you come to my shows and you meet me, it’s the same person.
S: Why do you enjoy staying so close to your fans?
KG: With it just being me on stage, sometimes it has a tendency to feel a little lonely, so I really like having that interaction with my fans because they’re watching you but they are right there with you the while time. It’s a little like I have everyone around me contributing to the live show. I really love talking to fans and staying connected because I want them to feel like they are part of this too. All the things I do and go through, I want them to feel that sort of comradery with me so we all have this connected experience.
S: All the pictures you take suggest you’re a foodie.
KG: I really am! I like to cook a lot and my friends know I like to cook. I’ll always post photos for the, of my cooking, and now that I have a personal fan base, I just decided to include them on it too. I’ve talked to people at shows and they’ll bring me food or things they’ve made or they’ll come up to me and be like ‘I made this,’ or ‘try this,’ and I love having that sense of connectivity with my fans. Social media has kind of made them all my friends even though I don’t necessarily know them, but I feel like they know me and I really value that.
S: Favorite food?
KG: Oh God (laughs.) Anything with cheese
S: Me too (laughs.) What’s the best thing you ate on the road?
KG: When we were in Nashville, we had some amazing Barbecue. But then on our last night there, we went over to Corey Branans’s house and his wife made us dinner. It was this Chillean stuff. It was the most amazing meal ever. We’d go out every night and the one night we have a home cooked meal, we were like, ‘oh my gosh, this is amazing.’ Home cooked meals trump everything.
S: You’ve certainly been hitting the road quite a bit this last year. You’ve been in New York and Nashville playing shows and did the Revival Tour with Frank Turner, Matt Skiba and others. What was it like playing with those people?
KG: Honestly, it was very surreal. This year was with Chuck [Ragan] and Dave [Hause] and Rocky [Votolato], and I have listened to them for forever. It’s something that is very humbling and you don’t get necessarily stunned just because they are so down to earth, amazing humans. Last year when I played with Alkaline Trio and they brought everyone out on stage it was kind of like ‘are you kidding me? Sixteen-year-old me is high-fiving me so hard right now.’ I am very fortunate to be able not only know them but have them as friends and talk to them and see them from time to time. I actually just caught Alkaline Trio in Nashville all last week and I didn’t even know they were in town and I met up with them. It’s a very humbling experience and it’s wonderful to get to see them on the other side of things. Every guy and girl that I’ve met on the Rivial tour are some of the most genuine, amazing humans.
S: What’s your favorite part of touring recently?
KG: It’s been more like traveling and being all over the place. I guess I like the process of it because without having a record out or having a tour yet for the solo record, it’s the prospect of getting out meeting all new people. I just played a show in Syracuse and the fans were amazing and I stayed with them for like an hour after the show just to hang out and talk and meet all of them. Getting back into that live show setting as opposed to constantly working on the songs in the studio is what excites me most.
S: Where is your next stop in your travel adventures?
KG: I don’t have any plans right now. I’m just trying to snatch up a bunch of shows in New York and Brooklyn and try out some new material. I’m trying to get a small band together. On the record I have an amazing cast of musicians helping me. As much as I love being able to play solo, I also really love playing with a drummer or another guitar player or a banjo player. I think right now I’m focusing on shows close to home and trying to get the live show so when the record does come out, I can work at whatever capacity, solo or full band.
S: You’re used to playing as part of a group in The Scarlet Ending. From most of the Youtube videos, it looks like your solo project will be focused on just you and an acoustic guitar. Which do you like more, playing with a group or being on stage by yourself?
KG: I think it’s one of those situations where you’ve done one long enough and now the other side is refreshing and new. I miss playing music with The Scarlet Ending because I was playing music for over a decade with my best friends. Even playing in Syracuse by myself, it was a surreal, lonely feeling without seeing Jon [Tedd] or Kaleena on stage next to me. At the same time, there is something really intimate and personal about playing by yourself and that’s where I think my personality shines a bit more. TSE is a force and we all come out together but when you’re by yourself, you have to bear a little more.
S: TSE just went on hiatus after over a decade of making music together. Are you attempting to stay close and keep the door open for writing together in the future?
KG: Absolutely. I love song writing and it’s something I’ve done an awful lot of, not just for myself but for other people over the past few years and it’s something I want to get into a little more. Already I’ve started doing some co-writing and trying to figure out some stuff for the next record. Even though I’ve written all the songs on this record and a bunch of songs for TSE, it’s still very refreshing to see somebody else’s point of view.
S: Your identical twin Kaleena was in that band with you. What was it like playing with not only a sibling, but a twin?
KG: Kaleena and I have a very interesting relationship because often times as twins one is good at something and the other is good at another but together they make this super person. But, Kaleena and I are good at the exact same things. Growing up, we were both very musical, we were both in theatre, we were both always competing for the same roles, the same solos. She is such an incredible songwriter. I think being up there with her is something I can’t really put into words. There are so few twins that are actually on stage together. It’s like standing next to your equal that you love to death and also hope the best for, but she is so good. So it’s like in rehearsal it’s be like ‘you’re a little flat,’ ‘no, you’re flat.’ (Laughs)
S: So now you’ve begun to focus on your solo work. A few weeks ago, you released your single “Where the Summer Goes,” off your upcoming album Burrower. You wrote this album by yourself, correct?
KG: Yes. This is a collaboration of the past three years of me just songwriting. Originally I was just writing for my publisher and then I decided I kind of liked some of these songs and the direction I was going in. It started well before TSE stopped playing shows. Eventually I just decided to make a record. I actually recorded it three different times.
S: Wow. So do you like song writing and recording by yourself more than in a band?
KG: Honestly, I don’t, especially in the studio. When you’re in a band and you play something and you ask, ‘how is that,’ and then you get honest feedback like ‘that was really good but I think you could do this,’ but when it’s by yourself and you’re in a studio, all of the players are kind of like ‘what do you think of what I’m playing,’ and I’m like ‘well, what do you think,’ and they’re like ‘well it’s up to you,’ but I don’t want it to be all up to me, I want it to be a group effort, but it’s not a group effort anymore. I tried to give the reins to some of the players but it’s a bit harder because you control all aspects of the recording where as in a band it’s a group effort.
S: Your solo work sounds much more folky than your other work? Is that your favorite kind of music to write?
KG: I guess so. In TSE, everybody kind of listened to something different. I was always drawn to more acoustic, folky, old country music. I love it. I guess I didn’t realize how much it was inspiring me until the record was done. I really love that old style.
S: What were you listening to while writing Burrower? Did you have an artist’s or albums that were big influencers?
KG: Honestly, while I’m writing, I don’t really listen to a lot of music. It’s funny because being out there and having so many friends who are musicians, I’m kind of in a cave when I’m writing. I listened to a lot of old country music towards the end. Great old recordings like Loretta and Patsy and even Sinatra. And then even playing with the Revival cast, I was listening to a lot of their songs and I think that inspired me and being in that scene and experiencing that sort of revival house feeling was inspiring for that as well.
S: What are you most excited about on Burrower to show your fans?
KG: I’m excited for them to hear it for what it is on its own. The band was so important to me and this is so distant. I’m excited to get out there because it’s been such a long process. It’s been three years building up all my social media sites and revamping and trying to keep the interest of my fans because even though I don’t have a product. I’m really proud and honored that I have fans that stuck around even when I didn’t have a single out. When it comes to what I’m most excited to show fans, it’s proving to them I do have a record and it is going to be done soon.
S: Your record has really had a lot of personal, hard work put into it.
KG: This record has been on the backburner for a little while because TSE was the most important thing. As time went on and TSE kind of waned, I’ve been able to focus more and more on it and now it’s my top priority. Now that I have the single out, it takes me back because this is three years of work for me, it’s not like all of a sudden I have a record out. This has been such a long time coming, I can’t have an eloquent statement for how it all came to be because it’s been a long, arduous process with a lot of headaches and speed bumps along the way. I could’ve released the record probably two years ago, but I knew in my heart it wasn’t right. I’m just very appreciative of the people who stuck around and the people on the Revival tour to even give me an opportunity like that. To be able to play two sold out shows with them and have it be my send off into a solo career, I am a very lucky girl.
S: Kayleigh, thank you so much for your time and good luck with your solo career. See you out there!
KG: Thank you!
Interview by Stephanie Roe
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