After reaching out to Eskimeaux, Gabby agreed to do an interview. Here’s what happened.
1. First off, who are you and what genre of music do you make?
My name is Gabby Smith and I have a cool rock project called Eskimeaux.
2. If you had to describe your music with a color, what would it be?
I try to reflect all colors in my songs or evoke specific colors for specific moods. But I guess if I had to choose a color for the project as a whole it would be earthy, like Forest Green.
3. What’s the biggest struggle you have when it comes to creating?
Time. I’m in a lot of projects and am on the road a lot, so finding time to sit down and actually make something sound high quality is my biggest challenge!
4. If you could play any show in the world, what would it be?
Anywhere, anytime with Björk.
5. What do you consider your biggest musical success?
I consider my biggest musical success the existence of my records on vinyl. It’s so cool to see a physical manifestation of your music – the thing is art in itself!
6. What inspired you to start making music?
I started a band with my friend after high school – our music was collaboratively written and I was the singer, so I just made up and sang/screamed words melodies. But when I lived in a recording studio for a little while was when I really started writing my own music. Seeing other people record their own compositions kind of opened my eyes to the fact that it could be done. I had been in orchestras and choirs beforehand, but it was obviously always performing someone else’s music. I just didn’t know it could be done; no one told me!
7. If you could hear any person living or dead sing to you, who would it be?
I would have my grandfather sing to me. He had the most beautiful voice and his last name actually means “canary.”
8. Who, aside from any band or musician, is your biggest influence?
Lately, my dog Frankie. He’s a little grumpy beam of hilarity in this weird, freaky world.
9. What’s your favorite book?
Super Mutant Magic Academy, by Jillian Tamaki.
1o.What do you like to do other than music?
I like to draw, knit, embroider, write, bake. I’m a pretty restless person and my #1 anxiety is “not being productive enough,” though lately, I’ve been trying to relax a little. My mom got me a kindle for Hanukkah so I’ve been reading a lot too. We have a couple of months off from touring right now so I’ve been filling my days with pretty domestic activities.
11. Who is your favorite musical artist?
I have a lot of different favorites for different reasons, but if I had to pick just one I would probably choose Björk.
12. What’s one piece of advice you have for young musicians?
Ira Glass said this amazing thing that I’ve kept very close to my heart. He said, “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years, you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close the gap and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just gotta fight your way through.”
An important statement relating to our current political climate that resonated with me a lot is something Nandi Plunkett from Half Waif tweeted. She said, “Feeling weird playing music right now so I’m reading a book on music history that says every known culture EVER has evidence of music. So even as our country threatens to rip apart there’s music at the heart of it: the sound of hearts breaking and voices rising up.
13. Lastly, what’s your lucky number?
My lucky number is always Frankie’s age, so right now it’s 4.
You can check out Eskimeaux on Spotify and iTunes.