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Lights On Genevieve

05:45 PM Tuesday 2/23/16 | |

The former singer for “Company of Thieves” is continuing to pursue her solo career with the release of her “Colors” EP. Genevieve talks to Pollstar about her upcoming tour with A Great Big World, new music, and how going solo has given her space to “fly around and wave my freak flag.”

Due out April 1 on Wind-Up Records, the EP will feature a handful of versions and remixes of Genevieve’s catchy single “Colors.” The song was included on her debut EP, 2015’s Show Your Colors. NPR Music named “Colors” one of its “Favorite Songs Of 2015.”  

NPR Music editor/reviewer Stephen Thompson says, “An almost impossibly upbeat anthem of affirmation, ‘Colors’ has been inching toward its inevitable ubiquity all year.”

We interviewed Genevieve a few days after all the Grammy parties in Los Angeles. In fact, that’s how we met her. We happened to be at the CAA pre-Grammy party and ran into her new manager, Larry Butler, an old friend of Pollstar. That led to saying hello to his newest client.

After chatting, she learned that Pollstar was off to Las Vegas for the Academy of Country Music Awards in April and worked it to be the “+1.” Unfortunately, it was too late but we had fun telling her it couldn’t happen. It’s OK – she’s playing in Chicago that night anyway.

Genevieve is fun, friendly and gushes happiness. It also turns out she’s good. No. Really. She’s very good.  

Are going to Grammy parties worth it to you?

It is. I get to be myself and actually hang out with people who enjoy music.

So what’s your job at a party like that, as an artist? Are you “working it” or are you just there for the free food?

I walked in with absolutely no expectations and maybe even, I dunno, a little bit of, “Who the hell knows? This might be super-awkward. I might not know anyone here.” But I ended up running into a ton of different people that I know – artists, managers and people in charge of fun programs that work with artists. Just people I’ve met over the past decade of being in a band and going on tour. But, for me, I think the highlight of the night – aside from running into you of course and sharing a real fun laugh about my dress and being your date – was I got to meet Jakob Dylan!

It was so cool because, when I was a kid, my dad actually worked at Channel 11, PBS, in Chicago as an editor. Jakob’s dad, Bob Dylan, came in there for a "Soundstage" performance and my dad worked on that show so he got to record him live. At the end, Bob gave my dad this Electro-Voice microphone. My dad kept it and when I grew up, he gave it to me as a present.

So I was, like, “Oh my God, Jakob! My dad met your dad and now I have this awesome microphone and I keep it in my underwear drawer!” It was so silly. It was a fun story to share.

By the way, I do tell people that you were working an angle to be my date to the ACMs and I say, “I actually think she was serious.”

I was totally serious! I wasn’t even flirting or playing. I was, like, “Take me with you! That sounds like fun!”

So you’re heading out on tour. Where are you heading and what should a fan expect?

I’m going on tour, supporting A Great Big World, in March, starting on St. Patrick’s Day, which is going to be a riot, and we’re going all the way up the West Coast, even to Vancouver, down through the mountains of Aspen and Denver, and over to the Midwest, and we’ll end up on the East Coast.

What can fans expect? A bunch of new songs, a big celebration of wherever you’re at in life right now, and definitely us being present in the moment.

I think that both myself and A Great Big World are not artists following trends. We’re kind of marching to the beat of our own hearts. Nobody is trying to be cool or edgy or somebody they’re not. We’ll be collaborating and playing songs together, and probably making a ton of discoveries – and people can be there along with us. It will be like hanging out, really.

OK, so your single is “Colors” but “Lights On” is my jam.

That is awesome. That song is unreleased. I’m really looking forward to recording it for my album.  

Unreleased? It’s on Google Play.

That’s what’s so interesting: There’s a company in Chicago called Audiotree and, for their services of recording audio and video, you kind of let them sell it and share it with the world.

That’s a song I haven’t actually put out on official release. When I do release my debut album, that will be going on it. There could even be a few words changed.

So what songs will be singles or have videos?

I would love to know! I’m hoping to revive “Human Again.” I love that song. “Authority,” too. There will definitely be a few from my EP revisited.

So where do you stand with your career? Everybody on your team sounds like they’ve only been involved for a short time.

My agent at CAA is Adam Brill [AWOLnation, Capital Cities] along with his assistant Emily LaRose. It's really great working with them both.

For me right now? It’s exciting. It’s completely mysterious. I have this EP out on my birthday, April 1. It will include “Colors” and alternate versions of it, and then I’ll be working on my debut album.

Other fun things: I just sang on every single song on the new Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s record. I sang on two songs of Kurt Vile’s new record. I’m in Walk the Moon’s new video for “Work This Body.” It just came out a few days ago and I have a cameo where I’m a cosmic French teacher that kind of inspires the main character to stand up for himself.

It’s all kind of up in the air right now but it always is. You just say that it’s not.

Do you think you’ve grown stronger as a singer since your days with Company of Thieves?

Absolutely and, also, all of my music has more room for me to explore my range because I’m no longer competing with the actual, physical frequencies, the vibrations of other instruments that would take a similar frequency range as the vocal. It’s super fun to be in a rock band but a lot of times there’s compromise – which is beautiful because that’s part of collaboration – but the guitar or piano can compete with the physical space of the vocals. Now I can really play with whatever arrangements I want. I’ve been drawn to having a lot of space so I can fly around and wave my freak flag. I’m super into dynamics. I like rollercoasters. Just do your thing and celebrate.

Is there any particular market you’re looking forward to playing?

I’m going to tell you three things. The first two respond directly to your question.

I have never been to Vancouver or Aspen so those are the two places that I’m extremely excited about. One of my favorite things is to go to a new area and meet people and hear their stories, and find out where the locals like to eat.

The only reference I have to Aspen in my real life is the movie “Dumb and Dumber” so to go there and see it actually exists is going to be awesome. The third thing is that I’ll be adding on a few solo, headlining shows at the end of the tour. Those will take place in New York, Philly and Boston. I’ll be really excited to go to those places as well.

Upcoming dates with A Great Big World:

March 17 – Phoenix, Ariz., The Crescent Ballroom  
March 18 – Santa Ana, Calif., Constellation Room @ The Observatory      
March 19 – San Diego, Calif., The Irenic      
March 20 – Grass Valley, Calif., The Center For The Arts   
March 22 – San Francisco, Calif., Great American Music Hall        
March 24 – Vancouver, British Columbia, Rio Theatre
March 25 – Portland, Ore., Star Theater
March 26 – Seattle, Wash., The Crocodile     
March 28 – Salt Lake City, Utah, The Complex        
March 29 – Aspen, Colo., Belly Up Aspen    
March 30 – Denver, Colo., Marquis Theater
April 1 – Des Moines, Iowa, Wooly’s
April 2 – Minneapolis, Minn., Fine Line Music Cafe
April 3 – Chicago, Ill., Lincoln Hall  
April 5 – Akron, Ohio, Musica           
April 6 – Pittsburgh, Pa., The Altar Bar

Visit HelloGenevieve.com for more information and follow Genevieve on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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