Tamara Lindeman is the creator of the Canadian music project "The Weather Station." She and her band will make their Bloomington debut on Dec. 1 at the Blockhouse Bar. Lindeman spoke with the IDS about the history of the project, her songwriting process and why she decided to title her fourth album "The Weather Station."
Indiana Daily Student: Could you tell me a little bit about how you created the project "The Weather Station"?
Lindeman: Oh, man. I mean, it’s a long story. The name and the project began actually a pretty long time ago when I was making music alone on my computer, and it was sort of like instrumental, soundscapes-type music and I put it on Myspace. And I had to come up with a name so I called it “The Weather Station.” And then slowly it warped. Once I started getting more into music, I started writing songs and then I became more of a songwriter and New York became my focus. Yeah, it sort of slowly became what it is now.
IDS: When did you start performing with a full band?
Lindeman: It’s just since the last record. My last record, “Loyalty,” came out and I started touring with a band pretty much for the first time, so it’s the same rhythm section and then for this tour, I added a fourth member for the first time, which was really exciting. So, yeah, that’s basically the crew.
IDS: How has your music changed from your first record?
Lindeman: Oh, it’s changed drastically. Like, the first album I made pretty much by myself. I used looping and I used sampling, and it was sort of just a creation of music by recording it. And then on my second record, I did this pretty big about-face. I just made a record with a friend like in a basement on acoustic guitar, and it’s very simple and there was no studio stuff. It’s just what it was. And then “Loyalty" was kind of my first, proper studio record. And then this record was the first record I had ever made with a band, essentially. So it’s an entirely different sound again. It’s stronger, faster and more rhythmic than anything I’ve done in the past. So yeah, all of our records are pretty different, I think.
IDS: On your website you said that you wanted your latest record to sound like a rock 'n' roll album. What was the result?
Lindeman: I kind of say that as a joke, and also somewhat serious, you know? I like the idea of approaching a really, pretty tired genre, not tired genre, but a genre that’s not necessarily where people are innovating. And it’s not a genre that I feel comfortable with or feel like I’ve been in a million guitar bands and I know that world. I don’t at all. So it was kind of interesting to go into it and I sort of saw it as like my take on rock 'n' roll. If that music was my music and I was like interpreting what it meant to me, what would that sound like? So my record I think has the spirit of that, but the melodies are totally different. It’s my own weird thing basically, hopefully.
IDS: Most artists self-title their debut albums. Why did you wait until your fourth album to create a self-titled record?
Lindeman: Well, in a way it does feel like a debut in some ways. It sort of feels like a new chapter for me. It felt very different than anything I’ve done before so it did feel like a debut in some ways. So the self-titling made sense. Also, I just felt like there wasn’t a title I could think of that felt like the right title. Everything I could think of felt like it pinned down the music.
IDS: What's your songwriting process like?
Lindeman: It’s pretty ridiculous. I come up with melodies and chords and the structure of the song musically. And then I tend to just sing it a lot because I sing along and I kind of just make up words as I go along. And as I’m making up words on the spot, sometimes really interesting things can come out, and I kind of record it and then I play it back and transcribe it and try to figure out what the meaning of it is. And then I write more on that. And then I have a bunch of words that I then sort of edit and pare down to verses that make sense and lead into each other or the meaning that I want the song to carry. Yeah, I basically edit a lot and think about it a lot. There’s lots of things that aren’t necessary or aren’t totally perfect but, that’s my lyric, songwriting process.