Q&A with Judd and Maggie

Nashville based brother/sister duo, Judd and Maggie, have put out several solid records over the last couple years. Their most recent release “Kingdom of Noise” is still available for FREE download through Noisetrade. Blue Indian recently had the privilege of interviewing the duo.Jug bands listen up!

Blue Indian: Thanks for chatting with Blue Indian.
Judd and Maggie: You are welcome.
BI: Where are you from and where do you reside now?
Judd: Grew up in Baltimore, MD, currently reside in Nashville, TN
BI: Tell us about your family experience growing up. You guys come from a fairly big family, right?
Judd: We come from traditional New York, Irish-Catholic stock. Both sides of the family are proficient in hanging out, advancing in business, partying, and singing at parties. There are 7 siblings total in our family, plus our parents – there are two of them. They’ve all encouraged our musical endeavors. Couldn’t ask for a better family. We see each other a lot. They enjoy coming down to Nashville to work on our house, shop, party, etc. Our eldest brother is a Catholic priest for the archdiocese of Baltimore. He’s a great guitarist and plays with us sometimes. The youngest, Thomas, is a good drummer and also plays with us.
BI: How does the songwriting process work? Do you write together? Who writes the lyrics?
Judd: We usually write together. Judd will often come up with a melodic idea and we’ll fit words to that. But we find songs come every which way. Sometimes we write one in a few minutes, sometimes a few years. Weird how that works.
BI: “Kingdom of Noise” was such a solid album with such great melodies.  What can listeners expect from the new record?
Judd: Thank you. What to expect? Hopefully more solidity. We’ve recorded 8 or so songs for it so far, and have written a lot more than that, and are still writing. In fact we wrote one yesterday that we’ll be playing at our show tonight (9/1/09). We would tell you what we think it will sound like but usually when we do that, it conflicts with the general take. We’ll say “We recorded a Monkees record.” People will respond, “This sounds like a black-Irish dirge collection inspired by the Carpenters.” So we’ll just wait until we release, and let you be the judge.
BI: So, tell us about the Lemonhead’s Tribute album. How did you get involved with this project.
Judd: The guy who released this album just emailed us one day and asked us to cover a song. A few of the songs we wanted to cover had already been taken so we chose ‘Into Your Arms’, which Dando didn’t actually write, but obviously made popular. We were really excited to be a part of this project. We toured with Dando a few years ago and have always been big fans of his music.
BI: Your myspace picture shows you guys with several dogs. Dog lovers are we?
Judd: Actually we generally dislike dogs. Maggie really doesn’t like them. Judd just doesn’t care for them. This can be attributed to a few reasons. We never grew up with them, and also feel that people now project human emotions and consciousness on a creature that has no capacity for it. So our sentiments are reactionary. However, as you can see from the picture, we gladly coexist with them and mean them no harm.
BI: How has it been working with Cason Cooley and Ben Shive on the new record?
Judd: It’s been great. They are wonderful musicians, and we’re mutual fans of each other’s work, so it was fun to finally do something together. At this point they’re acting more as consultants, then producers – but we’re still indebted to them for what they’ve contributed so far. We wrote string arrangements with Ben Shive. Can’t wait to track those.
BI: How does touring work? Do you bring along a band? What’s your favorite venue and city?
Judd: We play with a band when we can afford it, which means we usually play as a duo. We like the Living Room in NYC a lot.
BI: How many people do you think will be disappointed if you don’t call the new record “The Poopsmith Strikes Again, For The First Time?”
Judd: I imagine not too many. We will though.
BI: Anything to say to your fans?  Any advice for young songwriters, brother-sister duos, jug bands, etc..?
Judd: Fans are like fingernails. Life would be difficult without them.
Young songwriters – don’t be afraid of being old songwriters
Brother-sister duos – you’re the best kind of duo
Jug bands – don’t abuse your jugs
Etc. – etc,
BI: It’s been a pleasure.
Judd: Likewise.