This is the second time I’ve interviewed Amber Nash. My excuse – if I need an excuse beyond her being bot-rockingly awesome – is that last time she was part of ukebucket and this time she’s half of Shiny and the Spoon.
Shiny and the Spoon have just released their new EP. You’ll be familiar with many of the songs if you’ve been following Amber’s YouTube channel (although still no sign of Pig Latin despite my protestations).
Here’s her lowdown on the EP, independent recording and being a girl.
Who’s Shiny and who’s the Spoon?
This is something that Jordan and I go back and forth with, mostly to be combative:) I guess I’m Shiny and he’s the Spoon. The name of our band really came from nowhere. We both just really liked the way it sounded and didn’t, at the time, realize how weird of a name it was. It wasn’t until Mark Utley, frontman for Magnolia Mountain, made our logo that the name started to make sense. It’s sort of a nursery rhyme, “dish ran away with the spoon” and “the cow jumped over the moon” sort of thing. I guess we like working backwards.
How would you describe the new EP?
It’s quirky, just like us. There are some “found” sounds, good melody lines, and some sweet, sweet harmonies. It’s playful, but understated…it doesn’t necessarily ask anything of the listener, just to enjoy it. We turned on a faucet, hit a doorframe with a ukulele case, messed with crazy reverbs, and really just made it what we wanted it to be. It reflects our personalities.
How’s it been recording and releasing your own music?
Hell and Heaven and everything in-between. The great thing about recording on your own is that you have complete control over everything…and the bad thing is that you have complete control over everything. Because we are a completely independent band, our progress kind of goes with the schedule of our whims and moods. But I’m glad we did it on our own. We’ve grown with the music, musically, technically, and emotionally. We really tried to make the EP as organic as possible, from the way the songs sound to the packaging. The front and back cover are hand-drawn by Mark Utley, and we do our best to make sure that the tracks sound as close to what we’re like “live” as possible. Apart from a faucet trickle, a trumpet, some hand percussion, and a bit of reverb on some tracks, it’s pretty much just us, raw. We’re really happy with it. There was nothing like going to the pressing company to pick up our EP, printed, pressed, and shrink-wrapped, after all the work we put into it.
What happened to ukebucket? Are you still a going concern?
ukebucket is no more! It is, however, still my handle on YouTube. The ukebucket boys are incredibly talented, but like many things, you grow, you change, and you move on. It’s impossible for us to collaborate because of many things…they live in Florida, and now we’re all busy with our own things. I know Rikk Palmer is doing his solo music thing, and I’ve got Shiny and the Spoon. I still listen to Bad Ukulele… sometimes and smile.
Which three songs does everyone have to listen to?
Simple Song, Two Pennies, and Good On You
A couple of your videos have gone ‘cute girl plays the ukulele’ style viral – how do you feel about that whole trend? Do you think the shock that girls can make music will ever wear off?
You know, like many things, I think it’s just going to come and go in waves. I absolutely love the ukulele. I love the way it sounds, how versatile it is, the way it looks, etc. It’s the only instrument I’ve ever been really passionate about. It allowed me to write my own songs. If it can do the same for others, cute or not, I say more power to them. YouTube is, obviously, not a site that is restricted for “professional and serious” musicians. It acts as whatever medium you want it to…a blog, a diary, a way to promote your music, etc. If that can help others unleash their creative side, whether they be male or female, I think that’s a good thing. And if it comes as a shock that women can make good music, well, I guess, my only comment is, where have you been???!!!!!