Interview: Grace Weber (Der Rath, Friday)

Tomorrow night, we’ve got a powerhouse of a lineup for you in Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, Grace Weber Band, and 1,2,3. For the middle two bands in that sandwich, the show will be something of a homecoming, as both Grace Weber and Yellow Ostrich are originally from Wisconsin and relocated to New York City. We were recently able to chat with Grace Weber about her Wisconsin roots, among other things – including Cash Cab and cheese curds. Check that out below followed by her music video for “Everything to Me,” and make sure to come to the free show, which starts at 8:30 at Der Rathskeller, to see if she wears her  “I was on the Cash Cab” shirt.

What was the hardest adjustment moving from Wauwatosa, WI to New York City? The absence of cheese curds?

The absence of cheese curds was definitely a difficulty I had to overcome (hoarding them in your apartment doesn’t work), but I learned to substitute slices of New York pizza for the curds. Otherwise, I think just getting used to the fast pace, high intensity atmosphere of New York was the biggest switch. In the right doses, the buzz of New York can be so inspiring and can keep you on your toes, but getting back to the Midwest recharges my batteries. I don’t know if I could handle New York if I didn’t get back to Wisconsin here and there throughout the year.

Who are your favorite Wisconsin acts?

Jeanna Salzer Trio, Paul Cebar, Yellow Ostrich, and Willy Porter!

How far back does your friendship with Yellow Ostrich go and how did it come to be?

Well, I know Alex through my good friend, Jeanna Salzer. I met him in New York actually when he played bass for Jeanna at a double-bill show I set up in the city. So, we don’t go very far back, but I know he’s an incredibly nice and cool person. It’s so exciting to see his and the band’s career take off.

Not only did you attract attention through an appearance on Oprah singing “Natural Woman,” but you were also on an episode of the game show Cash CabTell us a little about those experiences. Which was more surreal? Are there any plans for a Grace Weber talk show, game show, or variety hour?

Haha, oh yes, I was on Cash Cab, and it might have actually been more surreal than Oprah. When my Mom and I realized that we were going to be on Cash Cab, it kind of felt like winning the lottery. Like, one of those things you always dream of but never actually think will ever happen. We did horribly on the ol’ cab, but I got a shirt that says “I was on the Cash Cab!” so it was allll worth it.

I’m actually considering pitching a reality show to the Oprah Winfrey Network…I’ll keep you posted ;).

What’s the concept of your debut, Hope & Heart? Who and what inspired or influenced the album?

For Hope & Heart I really just wanted to introduce myself as a songwriter and pick out the best collection of songs that showed off my range as a singer and writer and represented who I am as an artist right now. We wrote around 35 songs for the album and out of those narrowed down the best 12. I wanted to touch on different topics in the album, have upbeat tracks and ballads, so that I could take the listener on a journey with me through the whole record. I’m so happy with how it turned out because I feel like it’s really me and it introduces people to who I am as a complete artist, the full palate so to speak.

Starbuck’s added “Baby Come Down” to its store playlist in January. What’s your Starbuck’s drink of choice?

Tall Chai latte!

If you weren’t a musician, what would your profession be?

Hmmmm, I think, I’d either try to be an actress on Broadway or be a producer of a really big TV show. The former because I’ve always kind of wanted to get back into musicals and theater and the latter so I could wear a headset and look important.

As succinctly in your response as possible, why should people come see your free show on March 9th with Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, and 1, 2, 3?

It will blow your mind. And I’ll give you a hug if you come. I promise.


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