Q&A with Diane Birch

Eat Sleep Breathe Music caught up with the extremely talented singer-songwriter, Diane Birch for some Q & A.

ESBM: You have lived in many different places, South Africa, Oregon, London, Los Angles, and NY which of these places do you most consider ‘home’?

DB: The feeling of ‘Home’ to me is a constantly changing one.  It is all relative to my state of mind and circumstance at the time.  At this point in my life, I feel like home is in Brooklyn, NY and in many ways Oregon also feels like home because most of my family lives there now.

ESBM: What was the first song you wrote?

DB: It was a piano song called ‘Quando El Corazon Se Va’ which i somehow decided to give a silly spanish title!  It sounded like some kind of romance scene out of ‘The Godfather’!

ESBM: Why did you decide on the name ‘Bible Belt’ for your debut album?
DB: The title of the album symbolizes my home life growing up.  My father was a preacher and the religion came before everything else in our family.  As a result I felt very restricted, much like a belt that is too tight.

ESBM:What is your favorite song to perform live?

DB: I really enjoy playing Valentino as the audience claps a lot and the band all get to pull out there little tricks for everyone!

ESBM:You write all your own vocals, keys, and songs, can you describe your songwriting process?

DB: I don’t write very often but when I do it’s a very intense process.  It’s almost like I’m going into labor!  A feeling comes over me that something is about to come out so I immediately have to find a keyboard no matter where I am.  I put my hands on the keys and it’s as if something is leading me.  I just have to listen.  In most cases the music, lyrics and melody all come out simultaneously.  I start mouthing out sounds and after repeating the sounds over and over, words start to form.  It’s almost as if my subconscious is speaking and the only way to hear it is to listen with all my might.  If i’m sweating, that means I’m doing something right.

ESBM:Who are your major musical influences?

DB: Classical composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Bach are high on the list and represent my earliest and most significant influences.  Church hymns were also a big part of my musical influence as a child.  More recently songwriters like John Lennon, Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Michael Jackson, Hall & Oates, Motown & Philly Soul etc,..

Your bio mentions a ‘Goth’ phase that you went through, can you tell us a bit about that time period in your life?

DB: At the time I was going thru a major rebellion phase towards the church and also overwhelmed with creative energy with no place to go.  I was completely obsessed with the 18th century and came up with the idea that I was actually trapped in the wrong era.  I started wearing wedding dresses and wigs and would carry a fan everywhere I went.  It was the most liberating time of my life and one where I felt the truest to myself.

ESBM:I love your song “Fools” was there a specific person/situation who inspired this song?

DB: First of all thank you! This song was inspired by my time in Los Angeles and all the flakey narrow minded people that came into my path.  It also represents everyone from my parents to record executives that thought because I didn’t fit into a category that they understood, I was lost and my ideas were irrelevant.

ESBM: MySpace has become an amazing tool for artists to get their music heard.  Before S Curve records, you were contacted by a manger based in London because of the material you posted on MySpace.  Do you have any Myspace tips for artists starting out?

DB: I guess you just have to realize that everyone is listening and you really have so much power to control your destiny.  In the past people had to depend on a record label to let your voice be heard.  Now you can be in control of that.  Because I was on Myspace all the time uploading new songs and updating my page, there was a flow that started happening.

ESBM:What is the one thing you can’t live without, or need on tour with you?

DB: Well I definitely can’t tour without my vintage wurlitzer keyboard or my hat collection

ESBM:Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with or tour with?

DB: I would love to tour or collaborate with Hall & Oates, Antony & The Johnsons, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Alan Parsons, Daft Punk, David Axelrod, Burt Bacharach, Dr. Dre, Rolling Stones, Herbie Hancock…..

ESBM:What are you listening to now?  Favorites artists/CD’s?

DB: Giorgio Moroder-E=MC2, Hall & Oates-Voices, Goblin-The Goblin Soundtrack, Cut Copy, Serge Gainsbourg-Melodie Nelson, Michael Jackson-Dangerous, Fever Ray, Washed Out, Kate Bush- Hounds of Love

Diane Birch is currently on tour with Mat Kearny.  For more information visit her website and be sure to check her out NYC’s City Winery on October 24th, for the CMJ Special Showcase.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top