A GoPride Interview

Reyna Larson

Reyna Larson interview with ChicagoPride.com

Wed. September 15, 2004  by Keely Schalk

Reyna Larson
She’s baaaaack.

Reyna Larson of the band Mabel Mabel and Tilda Toro has decided to fly solo and let me tell you, I caught a few of the shows recently and it is a night worth experiencing.

Fresh off the release of her latest solo venture, Some Folks Need a Name, Reyna Larson kicked off the live tour dates with a show at Paramount Theatre in Aurora with Cathy Richardson and Michael McDermott and at least to her swarms of fans at the show, stole the stage!

She’ll be on stage locally for a Chix Mix “Plugged In” Production as a double bill with Sean Wiggins at Lily’s in September. Here’s a little taste of what she has to say.

KS: Where the hell have you been?

RL: Nice language.

I've been around.

Mostly recording a new record.

And camping. I've been camping.

KS: I hear you have a couple shows coming up in Sept., what can people expect to see?

RL: People can expect to see me playing with most of the ex Mabels.

I'm looking very forward to all of us being on stage together again.

On September 30, I'll be at Lily's on Lincoln Ave. with Sean Wiggins.

I will most likely be playing with a smaller band that evening. But on Tuesday September 7, there will be a listening party CD release of "Some Folks Need a Name" at Joie De Vine wine bar in Chicago.

KS: How would you describe this new project in terms of music style?

RL: I would say that it's a little more roots oriented. It seems to have this Americana sort of feel.

Some of the new songs still have some of the pop elements of previous material, but now it's a little more stripped down and less produced. Some folks are even calling it sentimental. Uh oh.

KS: What kinds of things influenced this new style?

RL: So many things really.

But I'd say the biggest was a trip to New Orleans in April. I was just blown away by all the musicians I stumbled (literally) across just pouring themselves into their music and loving every second of it . So unpolished and sincere.

Very inspiring.

KS: Can Reyna Larson fans expect to hear any of your older stuff at the upcoming shows?

RL: In time, yes.

Hopefully every show will be full of all kinds of surprises.

KS: I remember seeing you with Mabel Mable then with Tilda Tora what's different about this project?

RL: Me.

I'm in a place right now where less seems to be giving me a whole lot more. I didn't want this album to be challenging in any way.

Not lyrically or musically complicated. Just the simplest interpretation of my thoughts at the time.

I didn't want to hide behind a lot of production or a huge band.

And I didn't really feel like writing lyrics that people had to sit and figure out what the hell I was talking about.

It's definately a more vulnerable me.

KS: Someone explained the transformation from Mabel Mabel to Tilda Tora was like going from throwing a college kegger to hosting wine and cheese soirees, where does this new project fit into that, if at all?

RL: That's funny.

Man, I don't know.

Maybe somewhere in between.

Like a gin in the bathtub kind of party.

KS: Who's CD would I find in your CD player right now?

RL: Gillian Welch, Gotan Project, and Lucinda Williams

KS: If you could do a duet with anyone who would it be?

RL: Tom Waitts

KS: If you were stuck in an elevator and you could pick one famous person to be stuck with, who would it be and why?

RL: George Bush.

So I could poke him in the eye.

KS: Would you rather?????

...find true love or 1 million dollars?

RL: Well...I've found true love before.

A million dollars might be nice for a change.

...have x-ray vision or bionic hearing?

RL:x-ray vision

...always lose or never play?

RL: I hate losing.

Never play.

See what a baby I am?

...be too cold or too hot?


...be on the beach or in the forest?

RL: Definitely the beach

...be a dog named Killer or a cat named Fluffy?

RL: I'd want to BE the dog named Killer, but I would be stuck being the cat named fluffy.

...sing or write songs?

RL: That's too hard.

Sing them.

No wait...write them.

Okay, I changed my mind.

Sing. Really.

Catch the live show with Reyna (and Sean - read the interview with Sean Wiggins) at Lily’s, 2515 N. Lincoln, Chicago. Thursday, Sept. 30 – 9 pm - $10 cover.

Event Details or get more info at www.ChixMixProductions.com.

Interviewed by Keely Schalk