Band Interview: Charlotte Cornfield

Across the Globe, Travel and Success
An Interview with Charlotte Cornfield

By Aaron Binder
Photos courtesy Deb Kuhl
Charlotte’s Myspace

It’s amazing what you can learn in 5 minutes when you’re trying hard enough.  When it comes to Rubik’s Cubes, the fastest person in the world can solve 44 in that amount of time.  For us less freakish, math-minded people, we can still learn lots.  To use singer-song-writer Charlotte Cornfield as an example, she’s toured across North America…on a Greyhound, opened for Dead Prez and happens to be a pretty kickass drummer too.

We had five minutes to talk before her set at Audio Blood Media’s ‘Two Night Stand’ in December 2010, I learned that much and more about the blonde cutie from Toronto.  She owns a commanding personality, the moment you meet her is the moment you understand why she plays music.  Her heart is on her sleeve and she wouldn’t have it any other way, all she wants is to connect with people across the globe and right now is when it all begins.

She’s holed up in Toronto for the next few months as she writes and records her debut album.  In the meantime you can still check out her two EP’s and the handful of shows she plans on playing between now and the release.  Here are some words that we managed to coherently fit together while we chatted.

Interview

Aaron: First of all, Charlotte, you’re a relatively mysterious woman, you have a Myspace page and that’s about it.

Charlotte: Well, I’m going to start with things that are as opposed to things that aren’t…I’m from Toronto, I’ve been living in Montreal for four years and I’ve been studying music at Concordia, I just graduated from Jazz Studies and I play drums.

Aaron: Let’s talk about the future since we only have a few minutes.  You’ve been back in Toronto for a few months now in a studio.  The two EP’s you’ve put out have a folky side to them, is that translating into the new album as well?

Charlotte: Absolutely, I would say that this record is a split between more mellow, melodic, folk-influenced tunes and full-band rock and roll, it’s an even split but I think it has a really good vibe.

Aaron: After you graduated, did you have a lot of other options?  Is this more of a passion project for you?

Charlotte: This I was doing through University and it was always my plan to take it to Toronto as soon as I finished school.  I play drums in a bunch of bands including a jazz band that just got some funding from the Quebec government to make a record so I’m going to be working on that in Montreal as well.  I totally thrive on doing a bunch of things, but playing drums is really important to me so in my ideal world I’ll be able to alternate between the two.

Aaron: Back to the mysterious thing for a second.  One thing I noticed is that your lyrics sound well-traveled, North of Superior is a great song of yours for that and it sounds like you’ve been across the country a few times.  How much has that influenced your song-writing?

Charlotte: I think tons, moving to Montreal four years ago was a really important thing in my life and I write a lot about my two different homes Montreal and Toronto.  But traveling across Canada and the people that I’ve met have been amazing.  I did a big Greyhound bus tour across North America for 60 days a couple years and that just totally blew my mind ‘cause it was a way of touring and traveling that not many people do that allowed me to move to so many places.

Aaron: To me that seems like a really Canadian thing to do.

Charlotte: Yeah, it is, I think it really is.

Aaron: Was there anyone that really stuck out in your mind that still influences you today?

Charlotte: Yeah, I’m now really good friends with Leif Vollebekk and he constantly inspires me in song-writing.  I have a friend named Peter Nevin that influenced me; I have a few friends that constantly influence me.

Aaron: So you’ve released the album, you have the tour lined up, what’s the most exciting part of it for you?

Charlotte: I think being on stage and connecting with audiences, I think that’s what I really thrive on, being able to relate and being able to relate what I’ve worked so hard on and I care so much about to other people.

Aaron: What’s the one message you’re really trying to get across to the audience?

Charlotte: I think basically to understand my music so that they can relate to it.

Aaron: In two words describe yourself.

Charlotte: Totally searching.

Aaron: Thanks Charlotte.

Charlotte: Thank you.

Charlotte Playing ‘North of Superior’

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