Although the music of Meghann Wright generally comes off as exceptionally soulful Americana, in a recent chat with the Brooklyn singer/songwriter I find that she is, additionally, quite into punk and metal… Last year Meghann released Nothin’ Left to Lose, an LP reminiscent of the mid-‘90s, when so many heroines of alternative folk rock were channeling the spirit of Emmylou Harris. Meghann Wright is currently on tour, which kicked off Monday in New York, and will find her at our very own MilkBoy tonight, May 12th. Yesterday she took some time to chat with me and tell me what she’s all about.
Izzy Cihak: So Nothin’ Left to Lose has been out for a while now. What have been some of the highlights of promoting it?
Meghann Wright: I had an awesome time promoting the album on last summer’s Vans Warped Tour. The album dropped on our Nashville date and it was really exciting.
Izzy: Have you noticed patterns in the kinds of people who seem to be most into your music, or does it seem to be different every show?
Meghann: I think women relate to the lyrical content and men tend to really enjoy the instrumentation, but for the most part I have a pretty diverse group of fans, from teens to people my age and older. I like to try to make my music accessible to anyone who cares to listen.
Izzy: Is there anything you think is especially important for fans and potential fans to know about your process of making music, or just your aim as an artist?
Meghann: It’s important to me that my music touches people in ways that make them feel like they are not alone in whatever they may be going through in their lives at that moment. Music has always been there for me when I needed it and I hope I can help provide that same service to anyone who listens.
Izzy: What would you consider to be your most significant influences, whether musical or otherwise? I’m reminded a lot of some of the best singer/songwriters of the mid-‘90s when I listen to you. Is there anything to that?
Meghann: Wow that is an amazing compliment! I actually feel indebted to songwriters like Tom Petty and Dolly Parton for their lyrical and structural sensibilities. I also played sax and studied jazz for many years so soul and blues are a big part of my past as well. I love indie bands like Braid and heavier bands like Converge as well.
Izzy: I really like your music videos, in addition to your personal style, so I’m curious what that stuff draws inspiration from. Are there any visual artists you find to be especially inspiring? Do you have any significant “style icons?”
Meghann: Thank you! My every day look is pretty standard punk/metal kid with a leather jacket and jeans and a band shirt and a studded belt, usually w/ my Deftones belt buckle I’ve had for 10 years. I do love drama for music videos as well so the opportunity to dress up and play a character like I did as a madame of an old-timey brothel is always really fun for me.
Izzy: You just kicked off a pretty big tour. Are there any cities you’re especially excited to get to visit or revisit?
Meghann: I’m always excited to play Nashville because it’s one of my favorite cities, but honestly I love the opportunity to play anywhere and everywhere. Learning about and experiencing the locale is part of the fun of touring.
Izzy: What can be expected of your live set at MilkBoy?
Meghann: I like to be very intimate and raw with an audience so I tend to engage them between songs and open up emotionally.
Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you? How do you hope and plan to spend 2016, after this batch of dates wraps?
Meghann: I’m planning on heading to my mom’s farm in Wisconsin with my band for a couple of weeks to do a writing retreat and get cracking on a new album.