SASQUATCH Interview: White Sea | Bent | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Blogs » Bent

SASQUATCH Interview: White Sea




Morgan Kibby has cut her musical teeth in more ways than one. A solo artist as White Sea and member of the French electro pop group M83 for the last few years, Kibby has also lent her talents to movie trailers and television shows like HBO's popular series Girls.

Her debut as White Sea, In Cold Blood, is a self-described "break up" album and it's a very good one.

Last weekend Kibby appeared at the SASQUATCH! Music Festival and we sat down for a little chat shortly after her performance on the Yeti stage.

SW: Do you like doing interviews? Do you feel pressure to come up with really great answers to questions?

I don’t think it matters. I think as long as you are being truthful and genuine then it doesn't matter.

SW: Do you actually like to talk about yourself?

I like to talk about my work. I don’t like to talk about myself. I mean, who I am as a person is irrelevant I think. It informs my work but I think there is a very very thick piece of red tape between Morgan as a human being and my personal life and how that translates into my work. I’m always really excited to talk about my work. My personal life is boring. It’s not that interesting. I like people to be able to listen to my records and not superimpose my personal life onto the listening of the songs. I want them to be able to interpret [the songs] and have their own experience with the lyrics and the emotions that come. I like people to own the songs in their own way.

SW: Do you think it’s odd that there are strangers all over the country who are interested in you though?

I don’t think people are interested in me as a person. At least I don’t get that impression. It’s not like I’m fielding tons of emails or tweets or anything. I just get excited when people want to talk about my music.

SW: Okay, well then let's do that. Your debut album is titled In Cold Blood, what’s that referencing?

It’s not referencing the Capote novel, although it’s easy to think that. I love the expression and it came to me when I was trying to think of a title in the sense that this is a break up record. Myself, and a lot of other people that surrounded this very traumatic breakup for me, kind of divested themselves of any empathy or compassion and acted in ways, we all acted in ways, that I just didn’t even realize was possible. Good people acting very questionably. So this expression to act in cold blood is very appropriate for describing the experience I had when I lost my partner.

SW: I read where you said you are less of a storyteller and more of a stream-of-consciousness songwriter?

I guess it depends on how you define storyteller. I don’t think of myself as a storyteller. I think a lot of my lyrics come out more as a jot everything down, poetry type things. I try to string them together to make sense of them within the context of a song to make them cohesive. I make it work it somehow.

SW: So where does you song "They Don’t Know" come from?

I wrote that a very long time ago, almost 3 years ago. It was kind of a demarcation of the beginning of the end if you will of this relationship I was in.

SW: Okay. It is a bit brighter than some of the other songs on the album.

It is. Absolutely. That’s very perceptive.

SW: That brings me to my favorite song on the album, "Small December," a much better use of the phrase wrecking ball than that other song that is out there I might add.

(Laughs) I was so pissed when I heard that! I actually love that song as a pop song I think it’s fantastic, but when I heard it I was like you gotta be fucking kidding me.

SW: So is that song the low point of the album or a description of the time right before the low part? There does seem to be a struggle happening there.

That is the oldest song on the album. I must have written that 6 years ago. I think that’s why it sticks out a little bit like a sore thumb. It didn't necessarily fit within the context of the way I had produced the other songs. It’s a moment when I tried to be a little more vulnerable and just be honest in my sense of loss as opposed to constantly being angry. I feel like in the grief process of letting go, you know there’s those five stages of grief, I spent a lot of time in the anger stage and that’s where I wrote a lot of the songs from.

SW: You do have a way about your performances, you have a very passionate approach. Does that come from your connection to the music? Does it come from the voyeuristic nature of being on stage and having people watch you?

I’m a theatre kid. I’m just an emotive person and I don’t give a shit about trying to be cool to be honest. When I feel things I go for it. It’s not to everybody's' liking but I can’t help it. Sometimes I feel like I get stuck behind the keyboard, which is why in the White Sea set I like it when we play "Prague" because I get to come off the keys and really just sing which feels great. But sometimes it’s nice to have that as a shield and focus on playing my instrument and not get lost. It’s very easy sometimes to get lost in trying to connect with people in the audience and then it’s like you almost spiral down if you see people aren't with you, it can be very discouraging. So it’s nice to be able to hide sometimes. I hate talking to the audience. Anthony (M83) and I are the same way. You’re not here to hear me tell you what the name of this fucking song is. You want to listen to music so I’m going to play music for you.

SW: So speaking of relationships, I also read that you're a big fan of The Bachelor?

Yes! It’s so embarrassing! I think it’s pure comedy it’s totally ridiculous that these people come together and think that love is something you can find in three weeks. And I love the editors, I think they are really the stars. I think it’s hilarious. That’s not to diminish the fact that I think there are some very genuine people on the show who really are searching. It’s just a walk of life I don’t know. I would never in a million years consider putting myself out there like that.God that show is so good! That shit is comedy gold.
I’m convinced that they hire alcoholics to be on the show.

SW: I do think that this season, Andi might be one it in for the right reasons.

Andi is so adorable though and she is clearly really smart so I think it’s going to be a good season.

SW: And if it doesn't work out and she gets her heartbroken, she can always turn to your record!

Call me Andi!

Listen to White Sea's debut album In Cold Blood below.

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...

Add a comment

More by Ethan Maffey