On Saturday, March 26th, Goodnight Moonshine will be playing at Harmony Presents in Hawley, PA. Today we are interviewing Molly Venter, who with her husband Eben Pariser make up Goodnight Moonshine. Molly, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. We are really excited to learn a bit more about Goodnight Moonshine and give people a little glimpse as to what they can look forward to at your upcoming show.
What made you guys decide to start working together and say “let’s make this official”? Was it a single moment or was it a series of events that eventually evolved into Goodnight Moonshine.
Molly: Early on we co-wrote the song “Willow Tree”; Eben created this gorgeous chorus and a few months later I settled on the story of the verses. So we right away saw possibility. We were learning each others creative impulses as well as personalities, and we found we had to be more careful and conscientious around our artistic collaboration than we did in our romantic relationship! Identifying our individual musical strengths has made making music together really fun and inspired- we know whom to defer to, depending on what part of the music we’re looking at, and we’re not afraid to tell each other what’s working and what’s not.
Being able to work together and share experiences with each other as you travel and play at shows I’m sure has helped to bring you guys even closer together. What is a memorable moment that you experienced working together, which would have been disappointing to experience without one another?
Molly: We’re both nomad-adventurer types, so what’s great about touring together is actually the small stuff; like figuring out a lake to jump into along our route, or finding that killer hole-in-the-wall mexican restaurant. When we’re touring separately, it’s probably the late-night jam-sessions with other musicians that we most miss experiencing together.
Your vibe with each other is both effortless and comfortable, and it is truly heard and felt through your music. Does it feel as effortless playing with one another as it looks to us?
Molly: Feeling connected and supported and having a lot of fun with each other does come naturally and I think that’s what translates onstage. And there’s also work because we want to help actualize each other’s vision; I work to get my rhythm guitar lined up with Eben, he works to get his voice blending with mine.
What has been one of your greatest musical accomplishments, whether an accolade or a personal moment?
Molly: I’ve gotten notes that someone has used my song in a play or at a training session or even in group therapy in order to move people and reveal something about themselves- and that’s the best. If something I made helps someone feel more deeply and then express themselves in the world more fully, I’m really happy.
How has being new parents influenced your music and lives as musicians?
Molly: Otis is 6 months now and absolutely everything is filtered through the lens of parenting! We’ve probably gotten more pragmatic and a little less precious about the process; I used to think I needed 3-4 hours of un-interrupted space to “get there” in my songwriting. Now I can drop in so that the writing is flowing pretty freely for a 60 minute session. Finite resources means there’s less time for self-doubt & second guessing!
What have been some of your favorite moments working together?
Molly: When we’re both really zinging- I’ll finish a song in the morning and Eben will find a perfect arrangement that day and we’ll play it at night and the risk & freshness of it will make the entire show really exciting.
Name 3 things you can’t live without when traveling.
Molly: Running/hiking shoes, yerba mate (the tea) & bamboo flatware!
What has been one of your favorite venues that you have played at?
Molly: Hmm, the performer-audience connection is key for me, so anywhere people are enwrapped by the experience – from a barn concert (Gilroy, CA comes to mind) to the Paramount Theater in Bristol – makes me feel pretty elated.
What do you guy enjoy doing in your “off” time, and do you find the switch from performers to daily life together easy to separate or does it all meld together?
Molly: We love to travel and eat new foods, cook, jog/hike, read, SLEEP – Eben dabbles in stand up comedy! It’s great to find a means of artistic expression that you’re not also trying to make a career out of. We constantly talk about our work, which is invigorating when we’re talking about creative ideas, a little less so when it’s business. I’ve definitely said “please let’s not talk about taxes”.
Saturday March 26, 2016 at 8:00pm
8 Silk Mill Drive
Hawley, PA, 18428