Music takes us in a so many directions. Whether emotionally or physically, music has the ability to uplift or depress. Finding the balance, creating your atmosphere, and shaping your day.
MJ: Originally from Harrisburg but now you’re in Portland, right?
RM: The band started in Portland, Oregon, where I live now. I moved out to Portland from Harrisburg about four years ago. I always thought I would leave Harrisburg, but I always know that I will come back. I lived in L.A. for a little bit but ended up moving back to Harrisburg to get back on my feet. Right around that time, I reconnected with an old friend who was a musician a band called The Mynabirds. I kind of just threw it out there if she needed backing vocals to let me know. A few months later she called me up and we went on tour. We played Portland a few times and I really fell in love with the city, it’s very cozy and puts its arms around you.
How did your current band, Lenore, come about?
I knew I wanted to collaborate with other musicians and didn’t want to be a solo artist. With the supportive music scene out in Portland and being fortunate enough to have connections at some of the best venues in town from having previously toured — I would find myself doing these solo shows performing songs that I didn’t really feel connected with any longer. I wasn’t happy, it didn’t feel good, and I had some serious writer’s block. So after about a year of that, I kind of stepped away from music. One of my good friends told me, “You can’t step away from music, you’re too talented!”
So you eventually met Joy Pearson out in Oregon?
We met at a show, we were introduced by a friend and we started talking and having drinks till like 3 a.m. We started hanging out and realized our voices fit together very well. It felt really magical and had legs right from the gate. I got offered to do a solo show for a benefit in Portland right after we started hanging out, so I asked her if she wanted to do the show with me. She agreed, and it just has been non-stop ever since. We decided to enjoy music and have fun making it.
Where do you still draw inspiration from after being involved in music for so many years?
We all draw from various life experiences that we have been through. We draw a lot from imagery and nature. The general cycle of life looking at the light and the dark. We have that darker edge, but the idea is that we all experience these emotions and we all take comfort in feeling the depth of sadness or the wondrous joy of something like a beautiful day.
When did you start singing?
When I was younger, I was really shy and would never sing in front of everyone. I realized when I was in high school and I wanted to be in chorus, that I had to get over that initial fear of singing in front of people. Once I did, you couldn’t get me to shut up. I did eventually get some formal training because when I was 25 I started to lose my voice. I saw a doctor and got diagnosed with polyps. It was a process. I had six weeks of therapy just to try to avoid surgery, but it didn’t work. I had to get surgery. During recovery in Philly, I was doing a lot of training and then about a year later I met a woman named Rosemary who helped me get my voice back through real vocal training. I realized there was a lot of things vocally that I wasn’t doing correctly and I ended up injuring myself.
Tell me a little about the album you just released.
We just released our first full length, self-titled album on Sept.15, and the first single off it is Sharp Spine featuring Eric Bachmann. We actually did a Kickstarter campaign, received a lot of great support from our friends across the country. It feels really good to be able to release the album without being on a label yet. Now we are out here doing some shows on the east coast just a month later! We are going to hit Boston, D.C. and as far south as Lexington, KY. Coming back to play in Harrisburg to kind of kick everything off at HMAC is such a great opportunity.
I’m so glad I got to meet Rebecca and spend time talking about music, traveling, and life. Make sure you check out the debut, self-titled album from Lenore.