Suzie Zeldin and Jesse Gabriel are The Narrative, a New York duo creating infectious indie pop. With some exciting new material in the works, we recently spoke with Suzie and Jesse to discuss creepy doll make-up, Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes, and covering songs — enjoy!
AMBY: Hello The Narrative, thank you for speaking with us today. What have you been up to lately?
Suzie: Thanks so much for featuring us on the blog. We’re actually in the midst of mastering our next single, mixing a full length album, and planning a new music video. Pretty exciting stuff!
Jesse: With everything in motion we’re trying to get full throttle back into interacting with our fans as well, which has been great.
AMBY: How would you describe each other in one word?
Suzie: Just one word? That’s impossible, but I think the closest would be “Brother.” Is that lame?
Jesse: “Lame-o”. Just kidding. “Bestie”.
AMBY: You recently released a video for your song Chasing A Feeling. What was one of the highlights you had while creating it?
Suzie: I think one of the highlights for me was walking into a sing along of “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” led by Jesse playing the ukulele wearing a tutu, girly underwear, and full doll make-up.
Jesse: Probably wearing a tutu and being in makeup. If you try hard enough, dreams really do come true. Honestly, it was our first music video and it was just amazing to actually be doing it, and on such a low budget with such a fun concept.
AMBY: What was the inspiration behind creating the “creepy dolls” make-ups and costumes?
Suzie: I think if you look at our past album covers for “Just Say Yes” and our self-titled, we’re definitely inspired by art, stories, and quirky characters. We have somewhat dark senses of humor and don’t take ourselves too seriously, so all of that kind of came out in the video. The song itself is telling you that life just keeps moving whether or not you’re ready for it, but the video is almost making fun of what happens if you try and force something into being the thing you want it to be, when it’s really not that thing at all.
Jesse: We were on a tight budget, so we were brainstorming concepts based on what we had access to: Suzie’s sister (who kindly volunteered her time), an empty house with crazy wallpaper, and a talented make-up artist, and this is what we came up with. We’re really pleased with it, but I think our director and camera crew would agree that the next video needs like half as many scenes. Shooting every scene as ourselves and then as dolls was very time consuming, and we were racing the sun all day long.
AMBY: Festival season is sadly coming to a close. If you could curate your own festival, who would be in the line-up?
Jesse: Oh, that’s tough. Counting Crows, Bon Iver, Florence & The Machine, Pedro the Lion, Stars, us, and then some really awful band so we can still look alright.
Suzie: Obviously ourselves, in the best possible spot in the lineup. Maybe Haim, The Lone Bellow, Fitz and the Tantrums, Jenny Lewis…
AMBY: You recently asked your fans the following questions, what’s your take on them?
a) What’s your favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger quote?
b) If Benjamin was an ice cream flavor, he’d be…
Jesse: A) I still think the scene from Kindergarten Cop when Arnold is upset about the kids not understanding how to play the “Who is my daddy and what does he do?” game is one of the best scenes of a movie ever. He’s so frustrated… then he re-explains it. “What I meant was.. YOU tell ME. Who is your daddy, and what does he do?”
B) Well, since this is straight out of “Wayne’s World”, there’s only one real answer. I’m just not going to stick it in an interview. That’d be nuts. Heh heh heh.
AMBY: Earlier this year, you recorded a cover of Radiohead’s Karma Police. Which other songs would you like to put your spin on?
Suzie: I think it would be fun for us to take something like Sia’s “Chandelier” and make it our own. Suzie is on a very big Sia kick at the moment. Suzie talks in third person when she’s excited.
Jesse: I’d cover the best song ever written, “True Colors”. Someone recently suggest to us we cover “Time After Time”. I thought that could be cool.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about The Narrative that nobody knows yet?
Jesse: We’re a really great band.
Suzie: And humble too.
Thank you The Narrative, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout