Interview: Phoebe Bridgers at Bumbershoot!

Phoebe performing on the Mural Stage at Bumbershoot. 

Phoebe performing on the Mural Stage at Bumbershoot. 

Phoebe Bridgers' journey leading up to playing this year's Bumbershoot Festival has been anything but ordinary.  She recorded her debut EP, Killer, with prolific songwriter Ryan Adams just one day after meeting him through a friend in Hollywood.

It's no wonder, since it only takes seeing her play once to leave you knowing that she is something very special.  She is a true songwriter in the very classical sense.  She sings lyrics that you can feel in your heart as you hang on every note she plays.

She was kind enough to take a break from her day at Bumbershoot to talk to me about her journey so far, recording with Ryan Adams and what's next!  Hope you enjoy!

Hi Phoebe! How has Bumbershoot been?
It’s been awesome! I came here when I was 14 and 15 so this is super cool. My Uncle’s from here and he wrote for Seattle Weekly, so he took me to Bumbershoot. I saw Death Cab for Cutie, a great Seattle band! So it’s really cool.

You mentioned that you recorded with Ryan Adams, how did that come about?
I met my boyfriend Marshall through Ryan actually. This is really crazy - my friend Harrison, my best friend, had been talking to Ryan for a while just as a fan. He sent him some music and Ryan thought it was great. Through that, I met Ryan in LA before Harry ever met Ryan because his studio is in right in Hollywood. I went over there with Marshall and we recorded the next day. Yeah so, I met him and recorded the next day. He gave me the guitar that I played today the first day I met him. It was a really weird, cool experience!

Did you already record a full-length album or are you working on that now?
I’m working on it right now.

What’s that experience been like so far?
It’s really cool because right now I’m kind of going through and finding my footing with different producers. I have the album pretty much 100% written, so I”m just waiting to get in with someone and it’ll be really fun. I’m hoping that it’ll be ready by the beginning of next year.

How long have you been writing?
I have some really embarrassing 10-year-old me songs, but I started taking it more seriously right at the beginning of high school.

Do you remember the name of the first song that you ever wrote?
Yes! It was “The Only Bird Flying the Other Way” - I wrote it when I was about 6. It’s a little embarrassing [laughs], it was about being misunderstood.

Do you still feel that way?
Definitely not [laughs] - I found my people!

I know you’re excited for Jamestown Revival - any other bands you’re excited about today?
Elle King was awesome and The White Buffalo, who’s playing right now, is awesome! The stage where I played is pretty much where I’m going to stay.  Kacey Musgraves, who I love, is also playing and that’ll be really exciting!

If you had to pick 3 “go-to” albums for inspiration, what would you choose?
Tom Waits - Hold On
Eliot Smith - New Moon
Joni Mitchell - Blue

Thank you so much, Phoebe!  For more information about Phoebe Bridgers, visit her Facebook page!