Based in San Francisco (when not on the road), the piano-driven trio True Margrit offers up a singular brand of hummably wistful angst, science, redemption, and whimsy.
True Margrit's 5th album,"The Juggler's Progress" is now officially released both for digital download, and now available worldwide on CD! The band is on tour in support of The Juggler's Progress throughout 2010!
How do you describe your music to people, Margrit?
I describe it different ways, depending on how my mood strikes me...
2) Indie - Piano-Rock with a crunchy outer shell of angst and a sweet buttery filling of whimsical wistfulness topped with a sauce of hard cold science.
3) Ben Folds and Fiona Apple meet Elvis Costello, the Decemberists, and Pete Townshend for 3-D Scrabble and high tea.
4) High Fiber High Altitude Low Carbs
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
My mom, Sonya Eichler, is an excellent pianist and has a nice Steinway baby grand on which which I've tinkered as far back as I can remember. I started creating little tunes to the lyrics in THE HOBBIT and Lord of the Rings when I was about ten. I eventually branched off into non-Tolkien songwriting and then starting playing my wee tunes at gigs when I was fourteen. And then I joined bands.... and now here we are...
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I'm happiest when writing songs-- and playing piano & singing in True Margrit with Andrew Bacon, our drummer, and Gary Hobish, our bassist. And of course, all the red-blooded and keenest pleasures of life are high on the list, too-- including but not limited to eating great food...particularly food cooked by one or more member of True Margrit. You may not know this but all of us can cook the hell out of some tasty food.
Gary: black-bottom cupcakes and potato pancakes.
Andrew: fried chicken cooked in bacon fat and ceasar salad.
Me: sweet potato shepherd's pie and fried catfish.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
We are witnessing the fading of the major labels overweening domination of music and the flowering of a new paradigm for music discovery & delivery. It's such a level but gigantic playing field on the world wide web galaxy universe of music, it is kind of mind-blowing. There is SO MUCH great music out there ripe to be discovered. But it can be a challenge for fans to find music they love and for musicians to connect with their potential fans. ( Pandora is one cool place to search and listen...)
For True Margrit specifically, one of our strengths is that we are distinctive--we have our piano-driven-female-fronted-funky-quirky sound, plus lyrics that tackle ... well, unusual topics like centipedes, time-travel, and Hamlet. But because it's not your average bear it's also an unfamiliar possibly scary beast to some listeners. We are really quite cuddly- come on in. Relax. Great! Now --please tell your friends about us!
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I was going to live in the remote Alaskan wilderness and study wolf behavior...until I started playing my music in public when I was 14--then music was all I wanted to do.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Encouragement from friends and family was really key when I was a teenager.
As a maturing songwriter (a process that never stops!) I feel I've been blessed with the great and good fortune to meet a stream of gifted musicians to play with, both in Knoxville, Tennessee, and in San Francisco's local music scenes. I've learned so much from my various bandmates over the years-- particularly from Gary Hobish (True Margrit's bassist) and Andrew Bacon (True Margrit's drummer) and their excellence really raises the bar and makes me want to write better and better tunes.
What other artists out there do you love?
Playing in the San Francisco local scene and touring exposes me to artists I admire very much--to name just a fraction: Griddle, Blame Sally, 20 Minute Loop, Clair,Sit Kitty Sit, Katrina Litz, etc, etc
And as far as mainstream artists: I grew up listening to the Who, Led Zep, the Beatles ( of course) Kate Bush, Yes, Genesis, etc etc.
I also really admire Elliot Smith, XTC, Rickie Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell, Jane Siberry, Joan Armatrading, Suzanne Vega, Weezer, Stephen Trask, etc etc etc
What does your future hold?
Our next album is on deck for us, to be recorded in the upcoming months.
Plus: More songs. More songs in films! More tours! More is better! I'm working on a science -fiction/ theater/rock opera performance piece, which one day (hopefully) will see the light of day--or see the stagelights, haha. Thanks! Peace!