In this interview, we speak with Bonnie Whitmore about her music preferences, influences, the new project, and more.
Full Q&A, links, and streams can be found below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into You, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
I’m not so good with genres or styles specific. I know they are necessary for describing it to others, but the initial attraction has to do with just liking the sound or beat or groove. I picked the instrumentation or tone for each song. This record especially wasn’t about picking a genre or style, but letting each song tell me what it needed. Fighter is softer folkier stye, while Cinderella needed to be more in your face ROCK with unhinged lap steel from Jon Dee Graham. I cover a lot genre and styles in the record alone. I prefer to let the listener decide which style or genre they feel it is, and that allow them to be more invested in my art. My first two record I think I conformed to being more “americana” which is a pretty broad stroke, but for this record specifically Im doing more for the art of it and not the genre.
How long have you been creating and sharing your music with the public?
Kind of all of my life. I started playing bass in our family band when I was 8 years old, but sang and played fiddle before I learned the bass. I didn’t start writing my own songs until I was 16. It hadn’t really occurred to me to do it before hand, but once I got the bug I was hooked. I put out a couple of records before my debut release in 2010, but those are what I like to say “have a lot of heart” but grateful they’re out of print.
Who or what influences your playing and/or writing? Also, what motivates you to keep going?
Influences are first and foremost my parents. Playing music is essentially a family tradition, but I also think your formative years are where you get your sound. With that in mind I remember clearly having Bonnie Raitt’s Nick Of Time, Tracey Chapman’s Fast Car and Traveling Wilburys Vol 1.
As for writing influences, I started playing with a then DFW band called Brent Mitchell Band when I was 15. Brent had a way of visually painting a story with his words and I was enamored by it. Poetry to music is what I felt it was and I think he influences my writing style greatly.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
This project was important to me to start a conversation. I didn’t want it to just be about my own emotion turmoil. There’s still a lot of that, but as I’ve gotten older I really wanted to write about topics that are important to me like feminism, depression, body shaming, self awareness and honesty. I think the goal of any project that you do is to put out the best and most honest music that you can at the time. I never want to look back with regret. I can say that this record I wanted to be more vulnerable and exposed to who I am. I want to start a conversation and to do that I have to be willing to be open even with myself.
What was the last song you listened to?
Twilight by Jon Dee Graham
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
Vinyl for indulging, MP3 for necessity and convenient.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
Bandcamp is my personal fave because I actually get paid from them!! What a novel concept. Getting paid for your music right?
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what are one or two of the biggest challenges you face when trying to attract listeners to your music?
The challenge isn’t so much getting people to be attracted to my music, but for them to want to buy it instead of getting it basically for free. I support my fellow artist by buying their records. If you love someones music and it’s worth something to you, then support them. I think we’d all love to able to say we’re artist and not having to starve in the process. But then again, I’m a masochist.
Do you gig, tour or perform? Do you ever live stream? Where can music lovers see you live?
I do all of these things. They can go to my website www.bonniewhitmore.com or like me on Facebook and all of those social media places. Touring is what I do and would love to come to a city near you!
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more of your music?
My website is www.bonniewhitmore.com. I’m on twitter, instagram, Facebook, reverberation, bandcamp, bandsintown, apple music and mostly likely other places in the world wide web. Hell if you just type in Bonnie Whitmore to your google machine, I’m the first one that pops up. Which ever way is easiest for you. Now if I was gonna suggest one, I’d say bandcamp because they are the kindest to the artist.
Any last thoughts? Shout outs? Words of wisdom?
Don’t kill the bee. Go Listen to Aaron Lee Tasjan.
Two mantras I live by:
1. Breath in the suffering, breath out the love
2. Not my circus, not my monkeys.