We’re excited to share with you an interview with Sallie Ford, the Oregon- based songwriter and guitarist. Her new album Soul Sick was recently released by Vanguard Records and has she just returned from a successful tour across Europe! Her US tour kicked off this week (see full tour dates below). Pitchfork reviewed Soul Sick and said, “Her energetic thrashing is infectious, like an open invitation to dance away your own pain."
At Women in Music we are proud to honor badass women making waves in the music industry! Read our interview with Sallie below and watch her adorable video here:
Stay tuned for a ticket and vinyl giveaway at @WOMENINMUSIC on Facebook and Instagram!
*Hi Sallie, tell us a bit how you got into the music and what inspired you to be an artist?
I grew up in a very musical and creative family. I played classical violin from age 9 till 16. Then, quit to focus on visual art, but got back into singing, playing guitar and writing my own songs in 2006, right before I moved to Portland. I started to play small house concerts cause I was underage and then my music sorta grew from there.
*Can you name a specific album or a song that made a real impact on you? Do you remember the first time you heard it?
I think the two albums that inspired me initially to experiment with my voice were Tom Wait's "Alice" and Squirell Nut Zippers "Perennial Favorites". I loved how Tom Waits took risks and experimented with his voice and was inspired by the classic timbre of Katharine Whalen's voice.
*You describe your recently released album Soul Sick as a “confessional” album. Pitchfork wrote “Her energetic thrashing is infectious, like an open invitation to dance away your own pain.” What was its creation process like for you?
The writing process was very natural and not forced at all. It felt like writing in a journal.My mom sent me this book "an artists way" which talks about unlocking your creativity and gives you tips on how anyone can be creative. One exercise I did try from the book was to write from my stream of conscious. It's the idea of writing without worry of being judged and capturing your raw thoughts. I was inspired by that for the album's lyrics and then would edit afterwards.
* How do you use your music to inspire and make a positive impact?
I guess I just write from my perspective and hope that others can relate or make some sort of meaningful connection with the music and/or lyrics.
* In your career, you have explored and experimented with plenty of music genres. You once said that you wanted to blend different eras of music—the 80s, 90s, 60s, 70s—maybe some 50s,” How important for a well-rounded musician like yourself is to experiment and collaborate with other artists?My new album was very collaborative and I think I learned the most from making this album then any of my others. It was a very collaborative experience working with my producer Mike Coykendall. He helped me bring my vision alive in the songs and also experimented a lot to create new songs inspired by the past.
*Can you share with us one challenge about being a female in this industry?
I'm often compared to other female vocalists, which can get old and annoying.
* And what is it that makes you love being a woman in this industry?
Rock n roll is very male dominated, so it feels special to be a women playing that kind of music.
*You just returned from your European tour, did you learn anything new about yourself on the road?
I can't say no to the French cheese!! Yum
* How do you prepare for such a heavy touring schedule ahead of this upcoming US tour?
I got about a week home to take it easy and kiss my cats many many times!
Thank you for chatting with us. We are excited to hear you perform at The Bell House in Brooklyn on 4/12!
Sallie Ford North American Tour Dates
4/6/17 Minneapolis, MN 7th St Entry
4/7/17 Chicago, IL Schubas
4/8/17 Ferndale, MI The Loving Touch
4/9/17 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
4/11/17 Allston, MA Great Scott
4/12/17 Brooklyn, NY The Bell House
4/13/17 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s
4/14/17 Washington, DC DC9^
4/15/17 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
4/17/17 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle – Backroom
4/18/17 Atlanta, GA Vinyl
4/19/17 Nashville, TN The Basement
4/21/17 Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall
4/22/17 Dallas, TX Three Links
4/23/17 Austin, TX Stubb’s (indoor)
4/25/17 Albuquerque, NM Low Spirits
4/26/17 Phoenix, AZ Valley Bar
4/28/17 San Diego, CA The Casbah
4/29/17 Los Angeles, CA Bootleg Theater
4/30/17 Oakland, CA Starline Social Club
6/1/17-6/4/17 Nelsonville, OH Nelsonville Music Festival