Interview: Steady Holiday

Steady Holiday is the epitome of following you dreams - of what happens when you go it alone, and give it all you got. Dre Babinski aka Steady Holiday pursued this solo project after years of playing alongside others. On June 24, she'll release her first album, but before that she was invited to Coachella based on a Soundcloud find and charmed dozens of fans, including us. Dre was kind enough to answer a few questions via e-mail for us.

How was it going from working in other bands to something totally your own? Was it weird performing in a live setting and having that much control or did you enjoy it?

Having my own project is something I've been building towards for a long time. In some ways it's a very natural progression and I feel equipped to be in this position, however it's also the first time I've taken ownership over all creative and logistic decisions, which is satisfying but a lot to take on. 

How did you get started in music and when you started did you ever envision you might be playing at Coachella or releasing an album?

I've been playing the violin since childhood and have played in many projects on the instrument. Songwriting and the guitar are relatively recent endeavors, and to both release an album of my own material and play a festival of that scale this early on continues to baffle me. 

What was the recording process like for this album and how did it differ from the ones you had participated in previously?

The record was almost entirely written and demoed by the time I met my producer Gus Seyffert. After just a few times meeting we gathered that our aesthetics paired really well and decided to record in the few weeks he had free in his upcoming schedule. Gus works very swiftly and intuitively and early on I knew the vibe was right, which allowed me to relax a little and enjoy the process. 

Your whole record is really dreamy and beautiful, how did you land on a particular sound or idea for this release? And what did you hope your debut would say?

Thanks! I can't say that I'm ever consciously steering toward a particular sound, rather it's a reflection of what I feel and love. I had film and sonic references for most every song, string sound, etc, which helped tailor a mood. This record is not just the debut of this particular project, it's truly my first solo effort and hope that the honesty with which I'm learning to write and live comes through. 

What was your reaction to being discovered for Coachella just by your Soundcloud?

I was very taken aback. That's one hell of an opportunity and I'm so grateful to experience a gesture on that level. It's very encouraging to know that it happens, cause this is obviously a tough time in a tough industry. 

You're going to have a residency in June. What do you have planned for that and what's your approach to bringing material to a live audience as opposed to a record?

Fire breathers. Musically though, I'm excited to bring the remaining material we haven't yet performed to life. There's a lot to play with using the record as a template, but adapting that to live setting allows it to be something different entirely. 

I really like the title and the idea of being Under the Influence - in this instance it would be under your influence. :) What's the meaning behind it, if anything?

Most of these songs were written from a place of feeling under the influence of something negative, whether that be a lover, demon, substance. In hindsight it's admittedly a distorted version of reality, but very true to the things I felt at the time.

I like the mystery and the beauty of your music and I'm always wondering like how artists stumble on their sound....so how did you know what Steady Holiday was meant to be or how did you land on a sound and know that like yep, that's it?

Well the violin is the instrument I can communicate the most efficiently with, so it's not surprising that it heavily informs the sound. Otherwise it's not a terribly conscious effort. I'm just doing the best I can with the tools I have. 

Even though this album technically isn't out yet...what are you working on next or what do you envision is next for the project?

Fire breathers. Musically though, it's hard to say where I'm going. It makes me very anxious to look too far ahead in any direction, especially creatively. I'm just trying to take it easy.