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|interviewed by robby sumner|
| Interview with Stef
November 22nd, 2005
Stefanie Drootin - Vocals, Guitar
Billy Talbot - Guitar
Laura Watral - Violin, Piano
Dave Osborn - Bass
Alance Ward - Drums
|E: Stef, you're a highly versatile musician currently fronting the indie band Consafos. What sort of activity has been going on in the last few weeks?
Stef: Well, I actually haven't been with Consafos. I'm on tour with another band right now.
E: You play in Bright Eyes, right?
Stef: Right. That's who I'm touring with right now.
E: Where've you been with that project?
Stef: We've been all over the U.S.... started going up north, then going east, then south, then back west, then north--actually, we're at our last show now.
E: What are your plans for after that?
Stef: Well, this tour is about a three-month tour, so we have a couple more months of it, and then when I get home, Consafos is going to go out with the Good Life. So Consafos is going to do some touring, then we're probably going to try to get some other tours set up.
E: So sometimes you're playing with Consafos, a band you started and currently front, and you also have other projects like the aforementioned Bright Eyes where the fanbase is probably bigger, but your role and recognition is smaller. Which would you say you prefer?
Stef: It's just two completely different things--I don't think I can really even compare them. I really love them both in their own ways... I love being able to do both of them instead of just one.
E: Is the way you perform as a musician similar in each?
Stef: Not really, because I play bass in Bright Eyes and I sing in Consafos.
E: What was the first instrument you learned to play?
Stef: That was piano, but I didn't play for very long. But we had one at our house, so I took lessons for a little bit, but just kind of self-taught.
E: And when did you take up guitar?
Stef: Only a couple of years ago.
E: Was it with the intention of playing in a band?
Stef: Well basically, I'd been playing bass guitar in bands for years and years, but I just picked up the acoustic guitar very recently, just for trying something different and keeping myself busy when I was at home.
E: How did you get involved in playing with Bright Eyes?
Stef: Just through old bands I was in... [Conor Oberst and I] would end up setting up shows for each other. We're just good friends... he asked me to play years back, and you know it's always changing--what members are playing. I don't always play with him. But I just have the occasion to go on different tours over the years.
E: So you'd known Conor a while before joining the band?
Stef: Oh yeah. I was on a tour years ago, and he helped set up a show in a friend's basement that we played, and we just became really good friends at that point.
E: When you're playing and touring with bands like Bright Eyes or another project, the Good Life, do you find yourself writing songs for Consafos?
Stef: I do... I have. Not always... it's hard, but I have with different bands that I've been on tour with. I have snuck away and written song.
E: Do you treat Consafos as a pretty big recording project, or is that just something to do between tours?
Stef: Right now, we're kind of neither. First we recorded, and we haven't really played that many live shows, so I guess we've done more recording at this point than live shows. But I think we'd like to be a live band.
E: And you see a lot of recording in your future?
Stef: Definitely. I already have a bunch of songs to start working on with [the band] after this tour.
E: Has your involvement with Bright Eyes just been limited to touring so far? Or have you recorded with him as well?
Stef: I have been recording in some of them... during this last recording, I was on tour with Azure Ray, so I missed out with that. But I did some EP's and some samplers and stuff like that.
E: Do you think that playing bass for something like Bright Eyes is sort of an anonymous job, seeing as how most people only think of Conor when the band is brought up?
Stef: I'm not sure. To me, it's hard to tell, but I think certain people--people who are really big Bright Eyes fans--who pay a lot of attention know. But I figure it has to be a lot of people who have no clue. Bright Eyes is Conor Oberst. So. I don't think people pay much attention to the other stuff.
E: With all the things that you do, all the instruments you play, all the artists you've performed with... is there anything that you could call the most rewarding for you?
Stef: Well, definitely the people I play with in all of the bands--Consafos, and Bright Eyes, and the Good Life. All the bands that I play with, the people are my family, pretty much. We're on the road a lot, and we work together to make music, and definitely the relationships I've made along the way are so rewarding. They're worth everything. And traveling, too... I've gotten to go to some great places through music.
E: All right, well thanks so much for taking the time to chat.
Stef: Well thank you, and it was nice to meet you. Take care.
[Note: actual interview occurred 2/17/05. For up-to-date information regarding Stef and her bands, visit www.greydayproductions.com]