We were fortunate enough to catch up with Liz and Josiah Wolf from the superb Cincinnati-based band Dream Tiger for an interview. The band have released the stunning EP, in May 2020. Check out our interview below!
Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in Oakland ca. single mom, public schools, latch key kid. Both my parents are artists. My mom with film and photography primarily and my dad is a painter, photographer and musician. I grew up acting and dancing. My mom thought I would be a performer, but I’m very shy and don’t enjoy performing though I continued to do it because it was impossible to say otherwise.
I’ve been obsessed with music since I was a kid and there was always music and singing in my house. I had a tough time growing up emotionally, and my relationship with my mother was difficult, to say the least. Secretly I always wanted to sing but being so shy and not feeling comfortable taking up space I kept that to myself until I was in my 20’s. What is your songwriting process? It’s not one process for me though a lot of times the music comes first – melodies and production come quite easily. Lyrics are always very difficult. Whatever the opposite of prolific is, that’s me.
Tell us about your latest release?
This is the first in a series of EP’s I’m releasing this year. The music is really collaborative this time around more so than previous dream tiger records. My husband and I are taking turns releasing and co-producing each other’s EP’s, and it’s been really satisfying. The first song on ep 1 is ‘Gold’. This is the oldest of the three songs. I wrote it many years ago, and it’s had several version/lives leading up to this. Our friends Greg and Erin (teach me equals) play cello and violin on this and ‘The Sea’ which I released about five years ago (that should tell you how old this song actually is).
I wrote a whole second album about five years ago and only now are the songs being finalized and released in EP form until they come together again as a whole album. The second song “magnificent path” is an old beat/loop I made years ago and we took that as the basis and Josiah created really cool drums that we chopped up over it. The lyrics are inspired by/taken from a letter my dad wrote to my mom I’m guessing before I was born. Not sure why I have possession of it but I do, and it’s a beautiful love letter.
My dad is one of the voices in the magnificent choir. I didn’t tell him his words are about half the lyrics – but I’m sure he’ll read this! The third song ‘crystalized’ was a beat Josiah made years ago, and I took it for dream tiger and turned it into a kind of dream scene. It’s my favourite song on the EP.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
Who are your musical influences? I don’t really know what the messages are other than that I am as true as I can be and I hope someone else picks up on that and feels a kinship.
Who are your musical influences?
My biggest musical influence is kate bush. I’ve been listening to her music since I was a baby. Her first record came out the year I was born (1978), and both my parents are fans: my mom even more so. As i go; older the production of her records became more influential than anything about her music.
Beyond that Portishead, Thom Yorke, tricky, j Dilla, Colleen, Brian Eno, Harold Budd, James Blake, Son Lux and John Coltrane. That’s mostly all white dudes. I really love Kendrick Lamar (like a lot), and I would say his influence musically is more in his truth of self, how he grows and changes throughout his music and the absolutely impeccable expression of his experiences.
Who are your non-musical influences?
People who make a change in the world. People who grow visibly, acknowledge their flaws and then do something about it.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
As much as I don’t like performing (I have severe anxiety and basically blackout) I’ve had several I liked in hindsight. My first tour opening for WHY? We played a great American music hall in San Francisco to a full house, and I somehow performed well even though I was sick. People were into it, and that made me feel good. Opening for Of Montreal in Michigan we played an amazing set, and I actually didn’t blackout from anxiety. The audience was really cool – I guess I feel better when people seem to enjoy it. Also playing in Philly the venue is so nice there, and my big bass synth sounds filled the space. That is the best feeling. And friends who were really into the set. So i guess I just need that audience positivity.
What is your funniest gig moment?
Not sure. I’d have to ask Josiah….
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
Exposure, which sounds counterintuitive because everything is so accessible. But with over-saturation, it’s easy to slip between the cracks and not get noticed. Competition for label support etc.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
I started making my own music at 30. Bill Withers did it, I did it and you can too. Live your life and live it as many times as you want. Don’t be afraid to change and grow and experiment.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
That we stop killing unarmed black people.
FV Music Blog May 2020