3/01/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Alas, it's a rather dismal day in America as we are slowly watching Donald Trump win the Republican nom on this not-so-Super Tuesday. But Paperwhite is here with a new single to make everything better! "On My Own" is the most recent track, released today, by BK-duo, Ben and Katie Marshall. It's dreamy, it's infectious and it's the perfect song to listen to as you scroll through our interview with the chillest bro-sis pair in the land.

T4L: Did you guys grow up in a musical family?
Ben: Neither one of our parents wanted to do music as a career or anything like that, but they can both play the piano, sing, and play guitar. So they were always playing good music when we were growing up. The Beatles and Tears for Fears and all sorts of stuff that I think maybe in some ways sneaks into Paperwhite.
Katie: We have an older brother too who's a musician. I'm the youngest so I was always just watching what the boys do, and they kind of started taking music more seriously. They both ended up going to Berkeley College of Music and I ended up going there as well.

T4L: When did you guys decided you were going to work together professionally?
Ben: I was always kind of helping produce Katie's [stuff] since when she was first starting to write songs and make music. She'd come up with an idea for a song and then we'd work it out over the internet. But I guess it was about 2 and a half years ago.
Katie: It was almost a year after that when we started actually taking it seriously.

T4L: When you write a song now do you write the melody first? Or the lyrics, or do they sort of just organically come together and flow?
Katie: My songwriting process has completely changed in the past year. I used to write sitting at the piano, and usually in that case the chords and melody came first and then the lyrics. And that still happens sometimes as Paperwhite, but lately we've been calling the songs little "nuggets." And it'll just be a verse, sometimes it won't even have any chords yet it will just be drums and an interesting pattern. And then that kicks off a complete inspiration and we go from there.

T4L: What song are you most proud of right now?
Katie: I think it's a tie. "Galaxy" has a special spot in my heart, and then "Magic" is actually probably my favorite song because it was such a turning point for us. It felt like the beginning of something.
BM: I think my favorites are probably "Galaxy" and "Get Away."

T4L: Do you ever get writer's block?
Ben: Not really. In moments we'll get stuck and not know how to finish the verse. I also think that a lot of people view creativity as thing uncontrollable essence that comes to you and then it comes out. But the word is just "to create" something. Even if you're feeling stuck. There are so many times that I'll start a track that I'm totally not feeling at all but I'm just like "I have to finish this." Just to get the idea out there all the way and then maybe I'll never use it for anything but at least it was finished and I pushed through that.

T4L: Does being related help with honesty in creating songs? You know, being unafraid to say: "That's garbage" and move forward?
Ben: Today was a little like that. We were recording vocals and I realized after the fact I was probably being kind of mean about it...I didn't mean to be, but I was critiquing the vocals. It has nothing to do with Katie's ability, it's just a thing of "how do we do it so that it works?" Since we're so comfortable with each other we can get down to that and not have to tip-toe around it.
Katie: And I think instead of fighting about the things we don't like, we just work on the things that we do. If something doesn't work, we just don't do it. Say Ben puts something on the track, and I don't really love it, but I don't say anything, because I have a feeling Ben's not going to love it in 5 minutes. 99% of the time, he takes it out.

T4L: You have a cohesive, Paperwhite vibe that we feel really comes through in the music. Have you guys always had that same sound or was it something you had to find?
Ben: Definitely something that we found. But it's interesting to go back and realize that there were a couple songs on the first EP that already had that sound in them, we just didn't know what to call it yet.
Katie: It's interesting, yeah, because we feel as though Paperwhite sounds fairly different from the first EP.  It's really exciting for us to keep pushing and keep evolving and hopefully we'll find an audience that wants to join us on this journey. We're just so ready to get these tunes out there so we can continue because it finally feels like we're getting somewhere.

T4L: Over how long a period of time did you write all 6 songs for your upcoming EP, Escape?
Katie: "Getaway" is probably the oldest and that was pretty much finished in June or July. But it took us a lot longer to get a music video together than anticipated (laughs). And then once we had it we were like "I guess we should wait [to release it] until we have some other stuff as well to go with it."
Ben: But then the other songs we wrote in between then [July 2015] and now. Two of the songs that are going to be on the EP we just started writing about a month ago. Which is nice too to have some fresh ones. The song we've been working on today is one we've been working on for a while and it's like "I know what's wrong but I don't know how to fix it." And I've heard it 3000 times.
Katie: Literally.
T4L: It's like Groundhog Day Syndrome.
Katie: Yeah sometimes I just have to stop listening for a while. And then I re-listen and I'm like "Oh, this is why we like this song."

T4L: Did you always know it was going to be this combination of 6 songs for Escape or did the track list evolve over time? Have you had the chance to play all of them live yet?
Ben: It changes all the time.
Katie: Originally the EP was going to have 4 songs that aren't on it. And we've pretty much played all of them live. 4 of the 6 songs at least.
Ben: We added two of the new ones to the set at the show you guys saw at the Knitting Factory [in January].

T4L: So that was your first headliner show, right? How did it feel?
Ben: I thought it went really well.
Katie: Yeah, a nice surprise.
Ben: That was a fun night because the other bands are our good friends. IYVES is a friend of Katie's and Alan [Markley] plays keys in Paperwhite and Plastic Cannons is his band. So it was fun. A little family night.

T4L: Do you ever get stage fright? Or are you in love with performing? I guess it can be both, the two are not mutually exclusive.
Katie: Yeah, both. I get really nervous the day of, usually sometime in the afternoon. Like I can't eat lunch. And then by the time I'm at the soundcheck and I'm at the venue I kind of snap out of it.
Ben: I don't really get nervous just because I'm so used to performing in shows. I'm more worried about the logistics of the night. Whether people are going to come, whether everything's going to work, stuff like that.

T4L: Do you find the social media thing more of a hindrance? To see people's reactions?
Katie: It's not very natural.
Ben: It's nice when people like it! And even when it's negative, usually people will stand up for you.
T4L: Trolls, they're so scary. And it's like: "What's going on with YOU that you need to visit a Youtube video and comment that you hate these people?!"
Katie: I think people forget that we read these comments! We read almost every single one. We care about the audience and we try and see the reactions, and kind of go from there.
Ben: Honestly it's mostly funny though. They're so ridiculous.

T4L: Dream collaboration?
Ben: There's a band called Kate Boy. But the first one that came to my mind was Robyn.
Katie: St. Lucia.

(The audio becomes screechy as we express our great love of St. Lucia. It's 
like tweens with Harry Styles. St. Lucia is T4L's 1 Direction if you will.)

T4L: What are you listening to right now?
Ben: I was just listening to Chairlift.

T4L: If you were stuck on a desert island with any musician, who would it be? You don't have to be obsessed with their music, this is a personality thing. And they can be dead.
Katie: I guess I have to say Beyonce, because ...if there's any moment to be with her at any time....
Ben: What if she's just like...awful?
T4L: Then you could kill her with a rock. Lord-of-the-Flies-style.
Katie: We'd bond and work through her issues and we'd come out of it even closer.
T4L: And you'd be able to figure out why Solange attacked Jay-Z in that elevator.
Katie: I'd learn a lot.
Ben: In this scenario, will I ever get off the island?
T4L: Well maybe if you're with a more famous person, you are more likely to get off. Like, people are more likely to look for Beyonce. So that's another thing to factor in.
Ben: Well I was gonna say Max Martin, to absorb everything and pick his brain. But if I'm never coming back, then it doesn't matter.
T4L: You'd make a studio with coconuts and rock out.
Ben:  I think I'm going to actually go with Jack Black. Is that cheating? He's a musician.
Katie: That's so random.

T4L: Song that you heard and said "I wish I wrote that."
Ben: A song I love for the melody and production, is that song by Hailee Steinfeld "Love Myself." To me, that is just the perfect pop song.
Katie: "Elevate" by St. Lucia. I wish I wrote that song, oh my god. The first time I heard that, it was one of my favorite songs.

T4L: First concert you saw?
Katie: The Who.
Ben: Korn and Staind.
Katie: Tho Who our parents took us to (bow down to the Marshalls, the coolest 'rents in the game), but my first real concert was Avril Lavigne.

T4L: What is it like having your own Wikipedia page? And has anyone ever hacked into it and written lies?
Katie: Kind of.
Ben: We have a Wikipedia page?
Katie: We do. We were up there as Ben and Katie Mitchell, and so I hacked in and changed it to Marshall, cause I was like, we are not the Mitchells!
T4L: Like, props to whoever fucked that up. You'd think if you were going to get something wrong it wouldn't be your last name.

T4L; Anything else to add?
Ben: Oh here's something you can talk about: that we didn't name our single [their newest before today] after Sia's single [Unstoppable]. This happens to us almost every time. When we released "Magic", Coldplay released "Magic" and that band Magic released "Rude" around that time.
Katie: Then there was "Gold" too. Gold was just like a trending word at the time. Chet Faker's "Gold", kiiara's "Gold"... So it's called the Paperwhite curse, expect it about every other song.


Own an elephant sized puppy, or a puppy sized elephant?
Ben: Elephant sized puppy for sure.
Katie: And we would ride him around.
T4L: Go into mid-town.
Katie: I would love that.

Have a time machine that only goes back in time or forward in time?
Ben: Future I think.
Katie: Yeah, I think because if you go back in time you probably wouldn't be able to spend time with the people in your life now—but if you go forward, you can still be with them
T4L: And if you go back in time, and the machine breaks, there's no way to escape. Whereas if you go forward in time, they could definitely fix it.
Ben: And you could probably go back!
T4L: You did it! You solved it!!
Katie: It was a riddle right? 

Live in the house of your dreams with no internet, or live where you are forever?
Katie: Live in the house of my dreams.
Ben: Live where I am forever for free?
T4L: No. But you have internet.
Ben: Got it. Yeah I guess I'll say dream house.
Katie: Is it weird that we're answering every single one the same?

Be the famous author of Twilight, or the author of every Nickelback song?
Katie: That's the hardest one.
Ben: Whichever one made more money. Probably Twilight.
Katie: I'll have to go with Twilight.

Thanks again to Paperwhite for the Blue Moons, great chat, and for introducing us to the silliest puppy in all of BK! While most dogs dream of T-bone steaks, all Hudson wanted to do was binge-eat tissues. I think that's what they call the Gwyneth Paltrow diet...