by Alisha Uppal
I know your new album is releasing! How do you feel about it?
Jenny: We’re really excited. It’s been done for over a year. We finally singed with a label and it took some time to do that and figure out a release date. But now we can’t wait to get these songs out to the world. We’ve wanted to play them for a year and a half, so we’re thrilled.
What is it like working with the label, versus when you were singing independently? What are some of the differences you see?
Tyler: We’ve seen some pretty significant differences; it’s mainly a quality difference and a relational difference. Labels-because they’re representing more than one artist-they have years and years of relationships with video people, photo people, press people, licensing people, radio people. We wouldn’t know where to start. I think people also work harder on both sides; the label’s working hard because they want us to do well and sell records and be successful, and the industry works hard because they want the label to come back to them.
I get this feeling from your songs that you guys really love nature and feel really connected to it. Is that what “To the Sea” is about?
Tyler: It uses that imagery of the ocean to paint a great picture of what love can look like. The depth of love and the mystery of that depth is similar to that of the ocean. I love the beach. I grew up on it and I’ve always loved surfing. So, I’ve experienced the power of the water: it’s scary and it’s beautiful.
Which song was the hardest to write?
Jenny: For me, it’s “Where To Begin”. I wrote that three days before Jane was born. Mostly it’s just about the fear of being a mom. Wondering if could still do the best things for Jane. Of course, Jane and I have a great relationship, and Sara and I do too. But that was a pouring out of all the emotion that builds up when you’re expecting.
Tyler: For me, it’s “My Dear One”. There’s this person in our life that we love so deeply and this person keeps making destructive decisions. The song is about wanting to rescue that person, knowing that I can’t do anything, yet retaining a sense of hope. It’s my way of communicating to that person that there is still hope. “Beloved One”, “My Dear One” and “Walk With You” are all about that person.
Do you usually write your songs together?
Tyler: What we normally do is we write separately and then we bring them to each other and critique and edit and adjust where we need to.
I know you write for others often, but is there a song that you wrote for each other that you would like to talk about?
Tyler: It’s a love songs record but I think there are different kinds of love. There’s family love, friendship, divine, romantic love, and so many of the themes cross over.
Jenny: The most obvious one is “Your Song”.
Tyler: Yeah, that one is fun, its cute, and its light. When we were writing that song, it was to break up some of the heaviness of the record. Talk about the sweetness of romantic love.
You both sound amazing together, and your voices flow together so well; how does it feel to sing together?
Jenny: It’s the best.
Tyler: It feels natural. It feels like it was meant to be.
Jenny: Last night was so fun. We played a show, which we haven’t done in a long time because we wanted to spend time with Sara. But it was really nice to get back out there; we just have so much fun together.
Tyler: Yeah, and we felt like that we really connected with the audience. I think one of my favorite parts was when we asked people what they wanted to hear. A couple of people chose songs we don’t know how to play anymore ‘cause they’re so old!
Jenny: This one lady pulled the lyrics up on her phone, and Tyler had it up there, trying to play it. It was hilarious! It’s one of those moments you’ll remember. This funny, special show.
I’m sure you’ve been asked this question a billion times but I know you met in college, so was it love at first sight? How did you end up together?
Jenny: I really liked Tyler as soon as I met him, he was just so friendly and warm and I thought he was really cute. Even though I was only 18 and in my freshman year of college, I didn’t want to casually date somebody. When we started dating it was really intentional. We were together for a long time before we got married though, around 3 years.
Tyler: We hung out mostly everyday for at least two hours. It was a lot of talking, and deep conversations.
Jenny: Music was a really big part of our friendship and when we started writing songs together, we ended up sharing a lot with each other. In the end, we’re really happy that it worked out.
I think a lot of people are really happy that it worked out!
How do you think that your music has affected your relationship and your life? How has it grown through the years?
Jenny: Music drives our life at this point, as a job and as what we do to connect to each other. It’s impacted the whole of our life. It’s grown so much. Initially we were like, “Okay, we’ll see if this works”. We booked this little tour where we’d play for 3 people every night and sold some CDs and t-shirts and we were able to make it, and we decided to keep going. Part of the reason is because Tyler really believed in it. He believed there would be provision and that this was something we could actually and realistically do. I wasn’t too sure about it. I think that for a long time I thought that you’re either super famous or just not really doing anything. I didn’t realize there was such a community in music, and a middle ground. I never saw myself doing that and being a musician until I met Tyler.
Tyler: I feel we’ve been writing songs for 11 years together, and I think the ideas have become more concise and coherent. We’re embarrassed of out old projects, we don’t even sell some of them, and we don’t think the song writing is that good anymore. There’s been a little bit of a guarding that we’re going to have our music that everybody hears and we’re going to have our music that only the two of us hear, or our family or our girls.
Jenny: Then we also have songs that we think are applicable to more than just us, which is what we share. We met a couple that just the other day and they told us how everything was happening around the same time for them as it did for us. They had a daughter a few months before we had Jane, and now they’re having a second baby. They talked to us about how are songs have been so influential for them, and it was so nice to hear.
So when you’re not doing music and not on tour what do you do? What are your hobbies? If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Jenny: My hobby right now is coffee, for sure. I’ve gotten really into different methods of brewing. If I hadn’t done this, I honestly don’t know what I would have done. I was an English major in college and I knew I didn’t want to go to grad school. So, after that I had no idea.
Tyler: I have so many interests. I have to be careful because I either get spread to thin or I can get really hyper focused on one that isn’t the right one. When I was 9 or 10 I wanted to be a filmmaker. I got to do a little bit of that with the music thing, so that’s been fun. I love archaeology, I would love to be one –
Jenny: You love to surf, that’s one of your hobbies that you don’t get to do enough anymore.
Tyler: Yeah, I was an amateur body boarder though-laughs-It’s pretty cool. I always dreamed of going to places like Hawaii, and we actually go to go there.
Tyler: It is amazing. But because I’ve been dreaming about it every month, when I finally got to do it it’s like, “okay its over”. And jenny wasn’t with me; she was on the beach. When I was out there it was great, I had this huge smile on my face but afterwards its like, “I think I like hanging out with Jenny better, I want to take a walk with Jenny”. And those were the actually the best parts of Hawaii.
I’m going to ask you a bunch of random questions not related to music; if your house were burning down, what would you take?
Tyler: It’s sad, but I would bring my computer. There are around 300 songs on there that are unfinished and I don’t think I can remember all of them…
Jenny: We would also grab my dad makes some instruments we would grab those. I think they’re special. We would take at least one of those; that would be important to me. And blue blanket for Jane (our daughter).
Tyler: It’s her favorite.
Tyler: Hi sweet Jane! Jane, who’s your best friend in the whole world?
Tyler: Jane, what do you like to snuggle with, or make a beautiful dress from?
Jane: Blue blanket!
If you had a time machine where would you go?
Tyler: I want to go back to when there were dinosaurs. I love dinosaurs.
Jenny: Visit England at some point. I want go back to some time there.
What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?
Jenny: One of the things we always say is just keep doing it. You get better with practice; keep writing preform as much as you can.
Do you have an advice you would like to give to Emory community?
Jenny: You have more free time now than you will ever have in your life. Use it wisely!
You can now grab a copy of the interview in the zine around campus as well !
Check out more about Jenny and Tyler at http://jennyandtyler.com/.