The Recording Academy Texas Chapter recently played host for GRAMMYs On The Road at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, held Oct. 12–14 at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including eight-piece indie folk collective River City Extension and folk/rock sister duo Tegan And Sara.
River City Extension's Mike Costaney, Sam Tacon and Joe Michelini discussed their hobbies outside of music, performing live and their latest release, 2012's Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger.
"We just do what we do," said Michelini on performing live. "I write what I write [and] we play how we play. We do everything to the truest of our nature. That can be strange to put on display live, but I think it's ultimately the most rewarding thing about playing music."
Formed in New Jersey in 2007 by guitarist/vocalist Michelini, River City Extension comprise Costaney (drums), Nick Cucci (guitar/vocals), Jenn Fantaccione (cello), Dan Melius (trumpet/melophone/mandolin/vocals), Patrick O'Brien (piano/organ), James Ramirez (bass/banjo), and Tacon (vocals). The band released their debut album, The Unmistakable Man, in 2010. Released in June, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger features 14 songs written by Michelini, who drew inspiration from artists including Feist, My Morning Jacket and Townes Van Zandt, and features official GRAMMY Awards photographer Danny Clinch on harmonica. River City Extension are currently scheduled to perform select dates in October and November, including a stop at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J., on Nov. 21.
Tegan And Sara discussed storytelling during live performances, recording their forthcoming new album and creative inspirations, among other topics.
"Our natural ability to [tell stories] and make jokes [seems] to really loosen up the audience," said Tegan Quin. "If the audience [is] disengaged or [isn't] giving us a huge response, we'll start telling stories and making jokes because it makes it a more human experience."
Natives of Calgary, Alberta, twin sisters Sara and Tegan Quin earned a spot on Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair tour in 1998 and subsequently signed with Neil Young's Vapor Records. Their debut album, This Business Of Art, was released in 2000, followed by If It Was You (2002), So Jealous (2004), The Con (2007), and Sainthood (2009). The latter two albums were co-produced by Death Cab For Cutie's Christopher Walla and peaked at No. 34 and No. 21 on the Billboard 200, respectively. Their most recent album, Get Along, was released in November 2011. In September Tegan And Sara released the single "Closer," which appears on their forthcoming album, Heartthrob, due in January 2013. Tegan And Sara are currently on tour throughout the UK and United Sates, with dates scheduled through December.