I'd heard the name Little Brave from John Pointer - along with the words "really good" - and saw she was on the bill at Momo's one night a couple of weeks back ... so I stopped by, on the off chance. An immediate fan I became. Tonight is the second night of a month-long weekly residency there for her, and it's a show not to miss. See you there later!
Indie Sounds: Let's start with this one: why change performing as Stephanie Briggs, to Little Brave? What does the new name signify?
Stephanie Briggs: I've just gone through a really tough couple of years, which involved starting over from scratch, including friends. Nothing about my plain old name excited me. I wanted to have a name that stood for what I'd gone through and where I am now. Just little ole me standing up for myself and making my life into what I want it to be.
IS: You recently put out your latest album - Wound & Will. How does it compare to your earlier releases - Birds Barely Know Us and Spark? What should your fans expect?
Stephanie: I usually like to change up every album. I'm all about challenging myself musically. This time around I was more attentive to the words. I had a story to tell and no one to tell it to. Therefore, the songs were my vehicle.
IS: Tell us about making the album - where and when, and who was involved in the music and production?
Stephanie: Studio time took place around July of 2010. I had booked time earlier that year, but when it rolled around I found myself a bit too depressed, to be honest. I needed more time to process the situation I'd found myself in. This was the best decision I'd made, regarding this album. I wrote the majority of the songs you hear after I cancelled that studio time. I'm glad I trusted my instincts on that one!
I did the production with the help of my favorite engineer, Pat Manske, out at The Zone Studios in Dripping Springs, TX. I wanted simple instrumentation and simple parts. Like I said before, my focus was the lyrical content.
Download Wound & Will at iTunes.
IS: Backtracking a bit, what's your musical history - how did you get into it, and get to where you are today?
Stephanie: I started, like most of us do, in band playing the clarinet. I was sort of an overachiever, so by the time I graduated I was ready to move on to something else. I went to college and received a BFA in photography, but also bought a guitar and joined a band. I played bass for that band for five years, but my real love was guitar at the time.
I broke off and started my own project in 2005. I also found and fell even harder for the piano. I have played casually (and more like a songwriter) for about four years but I am currently working up my chops.
IS: So you're about to move to Austin proper, from New Braunfels. And you're also playing out a fair bit. What's on the gig calendar coming up? And who is in the live band?
Stephanie: In the live band I've got Michael Christmas on the drums, Luke Leverett on lead guitar, K Phillips on keys, and, as of now, rotating bass players. I've always been a road warrior from the beginning of my music career, so I continue to travel a lot. I just finished a west coast tour with K Phillips.
We have lots of Austin shows in July, including every Monday at Momo's at 10.30, after Dan Dyer. Another big show is at Texas Music Theater in San Marcos, with Bob Schneider on July 22nd.
IS: I see you just became a member of Patronism. For the uninitiated, what's that about, and how will you be working with it to engage with your fans, and make some money?
Stephanie: Patronism has been a blessing. For those of you who don't know, it's a platform, not unlike a fan club, where you pay a monthly dollar amount of your choice (as low as $2), and you can download all of my music, past, present, and future. I also post videos for patrons only and, in my case, poetry and blogs. I immediately fell in love with how intimate I could be with my patrons and how honest my content could be. I've also been posting demo versions of songs I write, sometimes the day of their birth!
Become a Patron of Little Brave here.
IS: What's next for you in this mad music business world?
Stephanie: To strive for excellence in my music and my creativity when it comes to shows. I always want to be better at everything I do. As an artist, I feel I should never lose that desire.