Gina Degnars of Little Invisibles
“I’ve always been drawn to the darker sides of art and music,” says Little Invisibles vocalist Gina Degnars. “Even back when I started taking piano lessons, when I was seven years old—I always wanted to play the minor chords, not the major ones. There’s a powerful beauty in darkness, I think.”
So there is, from Chopin to Poe to Twilight. And it’s that same dark, powerful beauty that resonates throughout Little Invisibles’ brand of hauntingly melodic alternative pop. With Gina’s aching voice and poignant keyboard at the fore, the band’s epic, sweeping songs rise and swell like waves on a moonlit shore until they crash over the listener like a sea of Byronic heartbreak. Five of these impossibly moving songs—all composed, like the rest of the group’s music, by Gina—make up Closer, Little Invisibles’ stunning debut.
How do you describe your music to people, Gina?
Hauntingly melodic alternative pop.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
Well, I was forced, kicking and screaming, into piano lessons when I was seven. Music was always a huge part of my world, since my Dad is a musician. Rightfully, I also have to credit the Smurfs for my love of music. I used to tune in just to hear the music in the background. I didn't realize until much later that the music was actually arrangements of classical masterpieces like Mussorsgky's Pictures at an Exhibition, and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. So that, and I've always been more of an observer than a participant in normal life activities...and never had any way to express myself. I didn't learn to sing until much, much later. I always wanted to write, but never actually did until things started to crash around me and I had to find someplace to put those impossible feelings.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I wish I could say something like "Skydiving!" But I actually enjoy more simple things like listening to some of the most beautiful music ever written while having some wine, and maybe cooking, or being near some lovely body of water. And sharing that experience with special friends.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Umm, EVERYTHING. I wish I had someone else to run my business!
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I hoped I was going to be a great musician.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Hmmm-well-it was very different coming back home after having been to music school. I had renounced any form of 'pop' music altogether...but then was rudely awakened to find that practically no one cared about classical music or jazz. I then considered that I had been an imposter in that other world of high-brow music...so there was this identity crisis going on. Eventually I figured out who I was, and went onto enjoy huge success just being me. Oh wait-that didn't actually happen. I did find a community of extraordinary musicians and artists in my area, and with that support was fortunate enough to create a happy fan base in a state known for its love of cover bands
What other artists out there do you love?
Top 2 Commercial-Radiohead and Bjork
Top 3 Classical-Chopin, Debussy, Satie
Top 2 Jazz-Chick Corea (acoustic piano) and Keith Jarrett
Top 2 Film Composers-Danny Elfman and John Williams
What does your future hold?
Gosh-it's so amazing I can't wait to get there! (inserting law of attraction stuff, who knows, it may actually work) I'm touring amazing cities and meeting all kinds of interesting people and I'm staying at the best hotels, and gosh, I've made enough money that I can actually give something substantial to my favorite charities instead of the embarrassingly small amount I give now, and I have an incredible house on a beautiful body of water and I can invite all my family and friends to come and enjoy it regularly and I can even pay for their plane tickets. I've written all kinds of music that I'm so excited about and people totally dig it.