Q: We love the uplifting message of “Featherweight”.
“I’m a featherweight, but I’m a fighter…I may be down but don’t count me out!”
Tell our audience a little bit more of the backstory of this song.
STRAY LOCAL: Featherweight is about the continuous fight with anxiety but the determination to beat it. Many of us struggle with overwhelming anxiety and living through this global pandemic has heightened many of those feeling for myself personally. It’s a message to those who may struggle with anxiety that even when you are hitting your lows, don’t be counted out.
2020 came in stages, first the lighthearted stage when we thought everything was just going to be closed for a few weeks. It was then that we all binge watched Tiger King, had zoom game nights, tried to bake sourdough…you remember. But after that the real weight of reality set in and we began writing Featherweight.
Q: What are your biggest challenges as a husband/wife duo?
STRAY LOCAL: Jamie and I are complete opposites and in many ways this makes us the perfect match. Jamie spends time in the big picture view of things where I spend time zoomed in, trying to figure out what actions need to be taken to get us to that big picture, making lists and trying my best to cross every thing off. When we aren’t careful this can seem like I’m missing the point or Jamie isn’t working on the details enough. This kind of miscommunication could cause tension. I think the biggest challenge is taking a step back and appreciating that both approaches are necessary to keep us on track. Luckily we keep our communication flow wide open and enjoy spending all our time together!
Q: What draws you to you indie pop?
STRAY LOCAL: Indie Pop is such a wide umbrella. We’re loving it because it allows us to experiment with tones and blending of sounds and influences that is celebrated within the genre. We definitely have a strong pop sensibility and writing within this genre feels like the right fit!
Q: Who has what roles in the band?
STRAY LOCAL:Jamie and I both write, record, and produce our music together. He plays guitar, bass and works with the percussion (we often program our drums) and I record synths, keys, and most of the vocals. Outside of recording, I primarily handle booking, social media, and pitching new music while Jamie handles the finances, keeping our gear in good working condition, and keeping an eye on the big picture.
Q: When did you start writing music?
STRAY LOCAL: Jamie was the main songwriter for the bands he joined in high school, writing his first song at age 16. We didn’t begin writing music together until 2013, a year after we graduated from the School of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. We had met and became instant friends our freshman year but did not begin playing music together until late in our sophomore year. We would meet in the practice rooms and Jamie would teach me how to play guitar and I would give him tips for singing harmonies. I was always a singer and hadn’t thought much about songwriting. It felt so personal and scary and I didn’t feel brave enough for that. But Jamie has a way of bringing the best out of me and so we started writing songs together. Like I mentioned earlier, we are quite opposite and this comes in handy with songwriting. While I am tuned into everything melodic, he’s primarily focused on the rhythm. So it’s no big surprise that after years of singing love songs together and being roommates and friends we realized we should probably make this match official. We got married in 2019.
Q: What are your musical plans for the next 12 months or so?
STRAY LOCAL: Our musical plans for the next 12 months are to continue writing, recording, and releasing music with much more frequency than in past years. We have already released 3 singles in 2021 and hope to put out at least 3 more by the year’s end. We also want to set up for some larger tours in 2022. As runners and musicians, we have done a tour in the past from the Carolinas to California where we incorporated performances at running events like run club and races were we run first and perform afterwards. We plan to set up another tour that includes a mix of typical venue shows and running events. We will actually be driving out to Utah in October for Grand Circle Trailfest, a 3 day running festival through Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Horseshoe Bend, where we will run 10+ miles each day in these gorgeous parks and then perform in the evening. It’s going to be challenging but pure magic. We are looking forward to a year of music, running and adventures.
More about us —> www.straylocal.com
On IG – @straylocal (our music) @straylocaltrackclub (our running)
Interviewed by Stephanie Pankewich
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