Little Band of Sailors: Discussion with Rachel Mason on Her Newest Project
One of a kind musician, actress, and accomplished sculptor, Rachel Mason, has dabbled in several art forms. But now, her most recent project evokes much interest: a musical project entitled, Little Band of Sailors.
Fortunately, GALO Magazine had the opportunity to discuss Mason’s most recent and intriguing project before she left for a tour in Los Angeles. Below is an interview discussing her inspiration regarding Little Band of Sailors, her sound advice to aspiring musicians, and other artistic endeavors she foresees herself completing in the near future.
GALO: When and how did your latest project Little Band of Sailors come together? Are there other members in your band, and if so, what instruments are used?
Rachel Mason: The name, Little Band of Sailors came out of thin air. It developed from a bass line that Dmitriy Ivolgin came up with. The band itself is a rotating cast of characters, Dmitriy and multi-instrumentalist, Chris Haack has been a part of the project for a few months now and he played all of the songs on our recent tour through the Midwest.
GALO: I heard that you were a Yale educated sculptor. What influenced your interest in performing? Were you always involved in performing music?
RM: Yes, I studied sculpture at Yale and I continue to make work, and I have always done both consistently. Composing music and making sculpture are extremely similar processes for me and nearly all of my visual pieces have a musical counterpart that was developed in tandem.
GALO: What genre of music would you say Little Band of Sailors falls into — if any? Is this genre one that you have always had an interest in?
RM: I’m influenced by early heavy metal and gospel music — but all kinds of religious music. Recently, I’ve been listening to Russian folk singers. Mahalia Jackson is a huge inspiration to me. I also love Megadeth.
GALO: What do you hope to accomplish with the establishment of your latest project?
RM: I have a rock opera album that I’m recording now with Stu Watson. He was the protagonist in the most recent theatrical performance we did.
GALO: What message do you intend to spread with your music?
RM: I just do what inspires me.
GALO: Is there any advice you can give to other aspiring musicians and performers?
RM: Do whatever it takes to make your work.
GALO: I heard that you are going on tour Monday, July 18th until Tuesday July 19th. Where are you going specifically?
RM: I’m going to be performing in LA two shows– one at Human Resources which is a performance-collective and the other at the Durant branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. These two shows are with artists that are also musicians: Ted Letters and Thank You Rosekind (Michael Gerald Bauer, Joel Chartkoff and Mark Golamco).
GALO: What importance do you see in the establishment of independent music? (Music that isn’t mainstream, or under a corporate label.)
RM: It’s great. I just think the more people being creative, the better and the more people who love and encourage it — the better too.
GALO: Are there any other projects that you foresee in the future?
RM: I have more upcoming projects than I can possibly list here. I have upcoming theatrical performances at Dixon Place and a number of other galleries in the fall, and a rock opera which I’ve been at work on for now six years, but finally am recording. I’m really excited about a new body of sculpture that I have yet to show, and which I really don’t think I can say much about because it’s in progress.
GALO: Lastly, what is your favorite part of performing?
RM: I feel way more comfortable in front of an audience than any other form of communication. It’s the same with sculpture. I basically feel like it is communicating as a performance.