Interview: Azure Ray
Published on September 12th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Rocksucker was really quite taken with As Above So Below, the new mini-album by Birmingham, Alabama duo Azure Ray, so we fired some questions over to Orenda Fink – one half of Azure Ray along with Maria Taylor – to find out a little bit more about it…
To what extent did Maria’s pregnancy interfere with recording? Conversely, did it help to set a mood in any way?
It actually didn’t interfere much at all, except that she was a little more tired than usual and couldn’t partake in the nightly cocktails ;). It did help set a mood lyrically for her, so it took the EP thematically in a specific direction- addressing endings and new beginnings, and wonder and beauty combined with uncertainty of the future.
Were you involved much with the electronic elements on the record, or were you happy to leave that side of things to Todd [Fink, of The Faint]?
We were happy to leave that side to Todd and Andy [LeMaster, producer]. Maria played drums on the “To This Life” demo though, and we ended up looping those, but outside of that, Todd and Andy handled the beats!
What did the seven-year hiatus owe itself to?
Maria and I had been working together at that point since high school and recording records and touring extensively pretty much since we were teenagers. We just felt that it was a good time to take a break to explore some non-Azure Ray musical ventures. We always called it a hiatus and said that we’d just know when the time was right to start creating music again together.
Do you consider Azure Ray to be properly back on the scene now? If so, is there a full-length album in the works, or any other kind of project on the horizon?
We are very serious about Azure Ray’s re-emergence. We released our first full-length after the hiatus in 2010 and then followed up with As Above So Below. We’re going to tour for this and then another full-length is on the horizon. We’re having too much fun….
Coming from Athens, Georgia, are you fans of the Elephant 6 collective?
Yes, we’re friends with a lot of those guys and have known them for many years. Actually, I have a DJ/VJ project with Nina Barnes (Kevin Barnes’ wife). Our EP is about to come out on Polyvinyl Records.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming artists that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Yes, we love SoKo who is opening our US tour. Also, we love Sharon Van Etten, Whispertown and Dead Fingers.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your life with the entire works of just five different musical artists, whose would you choose?
Bulgarian Women’s Choir
Orenda Fink, thank you.