NEXT BIG THING
by AJ. Wachtel
When you hear her music you wonder why she isn’t a national star? Her voice, range, delivery and projection are as good as anything you hear on the radio from a female singer today. The songs are great, the production is fine, so how come Amy Fairchild isn’t headlining arenas around the world? Read below and catch a glimpse of New England’s next big thing before the day approaches where this artist takes off and makes her name a household word everywhere in the music industry.
Noise: In 1997 you took off for NYC and then won The Lilith Fair Talent Competition in 1999. What did you see as differences between playing in front of New England audiences and people in Manhattan? Is this still true today in a different era?
Amy Fairchild: I’ve had my love hate with NYC. Back in 1997-2002 I loved playing to pretty full audiences at Fez, Arlene Grocery and Jo’s Pub when I was living there. I hated playing to three people, one being one of my best friends last fall at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3. I think live music is still alive and well for the most part it just takes constant touring and a single minded eye-on-the-prize attitude to build a substantial audience and I can’t say I’ve ever had either other those for any length of time. It’s all good, just the truth.
Noise: You won The Kerrville Folk Festival prize in 2001 and then got several awards at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the Billboard World Song Competition. Tell us a bit about each award and what winning each of them has done for your career.
Fairchild: It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what all those awards have done for me except given me a little boost in confidence and made my resume look nice and shiny. Receiving $20K from my song “Falling Down” back in 2002 helped to get me out of debt and allowed me to buy some equipment. That was sweet.
Noise: How do you write a song?
Fairchild: Still working on that! Please come hear some pretty decent ones at my CD release on Saturday, April 29th at The Burren in Davis Square.
Noise: David Marsh, in Rolling Stone said this about your 2002 release Mr. Heart: “If there still was a recording industry, this would come out on a major label and would be such a big hit you’d be sick of her by now. Not many people make records this good.” Have you lived up to his high praise and are you on track to reach your potential at this stage in your career?
Fairchild: Yes, actually, I think the record I’m about to put out is the best work I’ve ever done so, yup, I’m on track much to my surprise and delight.
Noise: You released your first album She’s Not Herself in 1994 when you lived in Northampton, MA, your second Mr. Heart in 2002, and then it took 12 years for your third CD Amy Fairchild in 2014. Why did it take you song long between trips to the studio?
Fairchild: I didn’t feel inspired and wasn’t writing. I wasn’t as disciplined a writer as I needed to be to keep being productive. I answered an ad when I moved to Boston in 2003 for part time work and that ended up being a second career in real estate (still doing it!). I wasn’t writing. Kinda simple as that. I took 12 years off to not have children. Dunno. Lots of different answers I could give for that.
Noise: Last year you released your fourth album and currently you are celebrating the release of your latest untitled music on April 29 at The Burren. Do you have a title yet?
Fairchild: Yeah, “WHAT THE F IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD???” For real, I think I actually just decided that yesterday, working on a T-shirt design that has the words “Nobody’s Satellite” – a song on the record. Think I’m going with that.
Noise: How has your music evolved since 1994 and will your new tunes have any surprises?
Fairchild: This one is 36 minutes and 46 seconds of straight screaming in sheer terror at what’s going on in our country right now. Doh. I’ve pretty much stuck to the verse/ chorus/ bridge/verse format for my whole life… no crazy tempo changes mid song or rap stylings on this new record. I think I’ve grown up as a songwriter in some ways, written more from another point of view. The songs aren’t all about boys for once.
Noise: Your style has been compared to Sheryl Crow, Carly Simon, Carol King, and Helen Reddy. Is this a fair statement?
Fairchild: Totally unfair. I’m really upset about being compared to some of my idols. Total bull****.
Noise: Adam Steinberg (Push Push) produces, co-writes, and plays guitar on your projects for many moons. What does he bring to the table in your career and why have you worked with him for so long?
Fairchild: Adam and I have very similar, if not the same, musical brain and it’s always been a natural fit. I do think from time to time that I’ll make the next one with someone else, maybe I will next time, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, ya know?
Noise: I see on Facebook you posted “If you’re interested in hosting a house concert contact me.” And you offer your talented services and certain dates available in CT, NY, PA, DC and MD. Is this the way artists plan tours in 2017? You decide where and when you want to go on the road and then you use social media to schedule the dates?
Fairchild: House concerts are an awesome way to play to a captive audience, practice the art of not caring if 13 small children are running around and fidgeting while you’re playing a ballad about your dead mother and fill in dates on the road. I pretty much prefer them to playing in clubs. It’s more friendly and there’s usually better food. You can make more money as well if you’re solo.
Noise: How else do you use social media today to help spread the word about your music and your career?
Fairchild: 24/7 INSTAGRAMING.
Noise: What’s in the future for Amy Fairchild?
Fairchild: Lots and lots of real estate. If you’re looking to buy or rent, contact me. Ha. Not kidding.