Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Jenny Owen Youngs

Jenny Owen YoungsJenny Owen Youngs is a multi-talented American singer-songwriter. A whirlwind of creativity, she consistently puts together albums that satisfy her vast fanbase while maintaining her artistic integrity. As longtime fans, AMBY was thrilled when Jenny took the time to speak to us about being part of The Revival Tour, girl stuff, and the zipper principle.

AMBY: How would you describe Jenny Owen Youngs’ sound to those unfamiliar with your music?

Jenny Owen Youngs: Feelings + natural history + chugga-chugga-chugga.

AMBY: You released your latest album An Unwavering Band of Light last year. What are your feelings about the record now that you’ve had time to reflect on it?

Jenny Owen Youngs: My co-conspirator Dan Romer and I try to tackle something new with each album we write. With each new record we try and ask ourselves, “What’s going to be different this time around?” With An Unwavering Band of Light we went for a “dirtier” sound, with an emphasis on crunchier guitars and weird percussion, and in hindsight, I’m still psyched on the results. It’s definitely an album I’m very proud of.

AMBY: Which three songs are essential Jenny Owen Youngs?

Jenny Owen Youngs: Proooobably “Fuck Was I”, “Last Person”, and “Pirates”. These are the ones that people seem to really dig their teeth into and a show never goes by where I don’t play at LEAST two of these songs… if not all three.

AMBY: Your Apartment is a splendid song, what is the story behind it?

Jenny Owen Youngs: Girl stuff.

AMBY: Where did the idea for the Exhibit project come from?

Jenny Owen Youngs: Basically the purpose of the Exhibit was for me to loosen up, let go of my semi-neurotic perfectionist tendencies, and really focus on songwriting. So far it’s been pretty fun, and I’ve tried out some things I might not have under regular circumstances. It has also given me an excuse to go the American Museum of Natural History (not that one needs an excuse).

AMBY: You will be out on the road as part of The Revival Tour in March? What else do you have planned for 2013?

Jenny Owen Youngs: YES I will be part of The Revival Tour in March which I am super stoked about. After that I’ll be focusing on writing… in addition to completing the entire Buffy the Vampire Slayer series for the 22nd time. Wheeeee!

AMBY: Which artists have you been listening to lately?

Jenny Owen Youngs: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Cory Branan, Kate Bush, Gregory & the Hawk, and Now, Now.

AMBY: What song could you live without ever hearing again?

Jenny Owen Youngs: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – (ON OPPOSITE DAY. I love that song.)

AMBY: What is the funniest thing to happen to you at one of your gigs?

Jenny Owen Youngs: Recently in Detroit, I had one of those rare shows where I get a very bad feeling right before I play – a “This is NOT going to end well” sort of certainty. I psyched myself out pretty bad and was a wreck by the time I got on stage. Much to my surprise, as soon as I reached the microphone, a group of eight strong-looking young gentlemen who were all wearing black t-shirts and standing near the stage lifted their glasses and shouted “CHEERS, JENNY!” in their sonorous baritones… and proceeded to do so between every song. It was hilarious (at least to me) and also very comforting.

AMBY: If you could create a law that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?

Jenny Owen Youngs: FOLLOW THE ZIPPER PRINCIPLE WHEN MERGING, YOU JACKWAGONS.

AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?

Jenny Owen Youngs: Mostly the promise of new episodes of The Walking Dead, Archer, and Parks and Recreation. BUT more pertinently, I’m beyond excited to share stage, songs, and hang time with the guys of the Revival Tour. There is truly nothing like it.

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Jenny Owen Youngs that nobody knows yet?

Jenny Owen Youngs: I could tell you, but then it wouldn’t be something nobody knows yet.

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Thank you Jenny Owen Youngs, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout

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