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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Longbird

Longbird, bandcamp, interview, Bobby Brown, Mariah Brown

Brother and sister Bobby and Mariah Brown have been playing cover songs together for the last couple years but began to write their own music a little over a year ago. The Tempe-by-way-of-Yuma folk duo performs under the name Longbird and released debut EP last month.

The four-track album Pioneer Cemetery is available to stream or purchase on Bandcamp for $5.

Below, read The Spec’s interview with Bobby and Mariah Brown of Longbird…

How long have you been making music?
Bobby: I’ve been playing music since childhood through piano lessons and involvement with the public school music programs and I’ve been writing music since I joined my first post-hardcore band when I was 15.

What’s your favorite thing about working with your sister/brother?

Bobby: My favorite thing about working with my sister is definitely the large amount of natural chemistry we have. We’ve been singing and performing together so long we really know how to blend with each other’s voices and feed off each other’s energy.

Mariah: We are generally always on the same page. We know each other’s voices and vocal patterns so well it’s never too hard to get a new song or harmonies down. Our voices really complement and mesh with each other.

Who/what are your influences?
Bobby: I’m influenced by a lot of technical math rock groups, namely bands like Rooftops and Invalids, but also by a lot of folk-based groups like Fleet Foxes.

Mariah: My mom (she is a musician as well), St. Vincent, Laura Veirs, Regina Spector.

What is your favorite song off the newest album and why?
Bobby: My personal favorite off our recent release is probably our single “1926,” which we’ve also released a music video for. The track is one that came most natural to me in the writing process and I feel like it really came out full bodied in post production.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
Bobby: Right now we’re mainly focusing on pushing and promoting this release. We’re in the process of getting our newly recruited band up to speed, but frequent performances are in the near future. We are excited about the potential of touring and working with labels.

Mariah: We’re just going to try and promote this EP as much as possible, and hopefully start writing again soon.

What inspires your music?
Bobby: I’m inspired by anything I find aesthetically pleasing from poetry to old furniture, to nature, to interpersonal relationships.

Mariah: Experience.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
Bobby: One band that I particularly admire is Death Cab. Their grassroots starts and natural rise to fame through genuinely moving music really exemplifies what I admire most in modern independent musicians.

Why do you make music?
Bobby: I make and listen to music for the opportunity to relate and connect to people on a personal level that’s deferent than other ways of relation. Music really offers a distinct type of personal connection that I’ve experienced my whole life through listening to other artists and that I hope to be able to achieve with the people who listen to our music.

Mariah: Expression and relief.

Who are some of your favorite local bands?
Bobby: The Phoenix area really has a lot to offer in its music scene, from hardcore to post rock to indie. Recently, I’ve been really impressed by the local post rock trio Ursus Colossus and the indie group Emby Alexander.

Mariah: I haven’t been in the area for very long, but out of the few I’ve heard, I’ve really enjoyed Emby Alexander and The Last March of the Ents.

Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
Bobby: Like I said before, personal connection is our whole goal in creating music, so if you feel so inclined, please reach out to us! Even if it’s just to say hi, we really enjoy interacting with people.

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