Kata Rokkar — Kata Rokkar – A Bay Area based blog about music, life and stuff by Shawn Robbins.Kata Rokkar — Kata Rokkar – A Bay Area based blog about music, life and stuff by Shawn Robbins.

Kuestionnaire: Westwood & Willow

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02/8/2011

Kuestionnaires, Music

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San Francisco’s Westwood & Willow have that kind of sweet and gentle approach to folk music that isn’t seen much these days. But it works in their favor because it gives their music a bit of a timeless quality. This is due to the accessible way the band sings pleasantly throughout their latest album, which is both lyrically hopeful and full of 60s folk familiarity. Doorways, Vehicles and Markets is simply as good as any album I’ve heard this year and I hope Westwood & Willow survives through this over-saturated genre and keeps making great music own their own terms.

You can catch the Westwood & Willow boys at Noise Pop Festival opening for Say Anything’s Max Bemis on Sat, February 26, 8:00 pm at the Bottom of the Hill.

You can also purchase Doorways, Vehicles and Markets here.

This week we have the both Kevin and Sean answer the world famous Kuestionnaire as they express their love for Oregon.

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1. Could you state your name and what you do in the band?
Kevin – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Sean – Bass, Vocals, Percussion

2. How would you describe your sound?
Post folk. Some people say indie folk or alternative folk, which is all relative, but essentially it is music influenced by, but not strictly, folk.

3. What is your favorite local band?
Kevin: Mr. Andrew
Sean: Picture Atlantic/Please Do Not Fight/Loquat (it’s hard!)

4. Any concerts that blew your mind recently?
Sean: Roger Waters’ “The Wall” was amazing – stellar production. Jonsi’s tour was also great, and locally, every time I see Debbie Neigher play I’m floored by how powerful one person and a piano can be. Amazing stuff.
Kevin: The Tallest Man On Earth in May of last year. We saw him play this small venue in Santa Cruz and he played perfectly and had great energy.

5. Any non-musical influences you would like to mention?
Kevin: Novels and my dreams are probably the most prominent.
Sean: Good ole fashioned reminiscin’

6. If your music was to be the theme of a film/TV show, what would it be?
We’re pretty out of the loop as far as television is concerned, so, not too much help there, but it would be awesome. As far as a movie, maybe a dark, kind of outrageous comedy that’s quite dramatic as well.

7. What musician/artist would you like to collaborate with for a day?
Kevin: Bob Dylan or Tupac (R.I.P)
Sean: David Gilmour or Steven Wilson

8. What is the album you listen to on a cold rainy day?
Kevin: Any of Nick Drake’s albums
Sean: “Lightbulb Sun” by Porcupine Tree

9. List four songs you would listen to on a roadtrip?
We’re gone do four albums instead, two each!
Kevin: “Better Dayz” by Tupac and “Blonde on Blonde” by Bob Dylan
Sean: “And the Glass Handed Kites” by Mew and “Animals” by Pink Floyd

10. Where do you see yourselves in 7 years?
Kevin: Hopefully platinum, if not, making a living via making music.
Sean: Playing shows and recording albums!

11. What is the last book you read?
Kevin: About to finish Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Sean: 3/4 of the way through “All You Need to Know About The Music Business” by Donald S. Passman

12. Is image a factor in music or is it a waste of time?
It’s definitely a large factor in music. People need a visual aid to take them to the places where your music goes. That’s not to say that bands cannot make amazing music without looking a certain way but if you look at history the big names in the industry had a defined look to go along with the success. Everyone has their own personal image and when you’re in band with people it’s good to put the strictly personal image aside so that all two, three, or ten of you are in harmony in sound and sight.

13. Any embarrassing moments on stage you would like to share?
One time, in Eugene, OR we accidentally wound up on a bill opening for folk black metal bands. There were quite a few people there to see the two bands after us and all of them immediately went outside to smoke cigarettes when we started playing. It sucked because our music didn’t fit in at all with what was going on haha.

14. Any favorite tour locations?
“Artichoke Music” in Portland, OR and “Tease” in Ashland, OR as well as Ashland and Oregon in general. Great people, beautiful land, and good food!

15. Lastly, what is your present state of mind?
Sean: Sippin coffee in a room awash with golden sunlight on comfortable couches and loose fitting clothing has my mind at general ease. Generally really excited to be playing Noise Pop later this month and pushing forward musically as far as possible.
Kevin: Now you got me reminiscin’ about tour, and I woke up feeling kind of weird but now I feel better. I had a dream last night where everything was in sepia that I flew my bike to a different state and met a friend I never had. It was a good dream.

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Westwood & Willow – Ghost Door from Doorways, Vehicles and Markets (2010)

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Picture Atlantic – With One Clipped Wing from When Everything is Numbers (2010)