Q and A with Christie DuPree of MerrimentDecember 10, 2012
Merriment is a band that has released all different kinds of songs from folk to pop. This band offers the listener beautiful music that takes you on a journey with the band. Merriment consists of the beautiful and talented singer Christie DuPree and her equally talented brother Collin DuPree. With the support of Max Bemis’s record label, Rory Records, this band has no limits to how far they are going to go. BareBones was lucky enough to get a chance to sit down and talk with Christie about her band…
BS: Thank you so much for doing the interview. I am definitely a fan of all of your music that is out. I know you come from a very musical family, so when did your brother, Collin, and you begin making music?
Christie: I’ve been writing and such since I was about 14, and Collin started playing guitar and playing with me a few years ago.
BS: With siblings making up the band Eisley, a brother-in-law leading Say Anything, and a sister in Sucre, how do you think this has helped you in music or possibly influenced you?
Christie: Well we’ve grown up in a musical household, with our parents playing us music and singing to us since we were babies, and we began touring with Eisley at a young age, so I’d say it’s definitely influenced us. But at the same time I feel we started making music for the same reasons they did. It was just in our hearts from a young age.. not something we just randomly decided to do one day.
BS: What bands have inspired the type of music that you make?
Christie: That is always a tough question because inspiration is random for me. I never listen to a record and think “I want to draw from this” -It may happen on it’s own subconsciously, but I couldn’t tell you directly because I don’t know. Some favorite bands of ours are The Beatles, Radiohead, Good Old War, Blind Pilot, Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver..
BS: Your music has a very unique and beautiful sound to it, what made you decide that this was the style of music for you?
Christie: Aw thank you! I don’t think we ever decided what type of music to make. It’s just what came out when we started writing early on. Of course we put more thought into our songwriting now, but for me I just began writing what I felt was in my heart. As silly as that may sound, haha.
BS: Collin’s guitar playing compliments your voice perfectly. What steps does a Merriment song go through as its being created?
Christie: I usually I write the songs and then send them to Collin and he writes his guitar parts, but for this new record we’re working on, It’s been a pretty equal amount of the music writing part, and then I’ll do the lyrics/melody.
BS: Merriment is actually only the second band to be signed to brother-in-law, Max Bemis’s, record label, Rory Records. He has openly stated that he is a big fan of your music and can see you two really going places. What has the whole experience been like for you?
Christie: It’s been very exciting and was very unexpected actually… It wasn’t something we asked for at all, but Max called us one day out of the blue saying he had been talking to some people at labels about our band and wanted to know if that was okay with us, we said it was, and then the next day he called us saying that basically he wanted to sign us to Rory, and we kinda thought he was joking at first because it seemed to good to be true! But having Max working with us is amazing because for one, he is family, but he is so passionate about everything he does and knowing that he believes in our band apart from being our brother in law is a good feeling. And everyone else at Equal Vision has been so cool to us and made us feel like family as well. We couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity they’ve given us and we’re excited to start working on our first full length soon.
BS: What has the response been like for the band from family, friends, and fans? How do you respond to all of the support?
Christie: Everyone has been so great about it so far, and we’re very thankful!
BS: You recently played some shows on the Say Anything tour. What was that like for you?
Christie: It was a blast! A little nerve wracking at first, because it was the first shows we’d played with Max since he started working with us, so it was kinda like… “Okay, we can’t mess up or Max will be disappointed in us!” Haha, but we ended up having some really fun shows and their crowd was surprisingly nice to us! Despite the difference in their music compared to ours.
BS: Do you have a favorite song to play live? And why?
Christie: It’s always the newest song we have that I enjoy playing the most, because you have to actually think about the song and feel it out, whereas older songs become more routine and you’re not so worried about messing them up anymore.
BS: I saw you at the Dallas show, and you put on a phenomenal show. You mentioned at another show a member of the crowd started making fun of you and calling you Taylor Swift. Can you explain this incident?
Christie: Haha! Well we were opening for Mutemath, and some drunk guy yelled out “Good job, Taylor!” during our set, probably in an attempt to heckle, but instead it just made us laugh. Our sound is also VERY different from Mutemath’s, so I don’t blame him for not getting our music since he was there to see them.
BS: Have you had any other odd moments on any tour?
Christie: Another guy made fun of my dress once during a show… he yelled out “Did you get that dress at HOT TOPIC?” several times. Granted my dress DID have cupcakes on it, but still… It’s hard to play a show when you’re opening for a band and some drunk person in the crowd is hell-bent on trashing the openers no matter what, haha. But luckily we can always laugh about it later.
BS: You have played with some big names already. Are there any bands that would be a real dream of yours to go on tour with?
Christie: Good Old War, Greg Laswell, Blind Pilot, Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver… the list goes on for miles..
BS: Christie you are known for having a very beautiful and angelic voice, do you have any advice for other singers that are still trying to hone their skill?
Christie: Thank you! But I really don’t know… I just grew up singing and I wasn’t trained professionally so I don’t really feel qualified to give advice.
BS: Your EP “Through the Rough” is fantastic. I heard that you’re planning a full-length soon. Though it’s early is their any information you can give us on it?
Christie: Thank you! No spoiler alerts as of yet. We’re writing. We’re brainstorming. We’re anxious and excited to begin recording!
BS: Is there anything you want to show an audience or a message you are hoping to get across with the new album?
Christie: Hmm… That’s a really tough question to answer because I’d really just hope that our songs speak for themselves, and that our record as a whole speaks for itself.
Plus people take from music what they want to. And I’m fine with that. Our songs will mean one thing to us, and spark something completely different to everyone who hears them probably. But most of all I just hope that people love our record and will want to continue coming back to our shows.
BS: The music video for Blessed Soul is very unique and enjoyable to watch. What made you want to do the video in this way, and tell a story with your video? Can you shed any possible symbolism with us?
Christie: Basically our friend Chris Phelps wanted to shoot a video with us, and I had a vague outline of ideas, and when he came to town we literally just winged it the whole day, following that loose guideline. Then we tweaked a few small things afterward. It was pretty much a zero budged video, I handmade the mask Collin is wearing… That took about 5 hours straight the night before we shot the video, and the silly paper crown was a last minute thing we did before running out the door to find some woods… The video is pretty much open to interpretation haha. But for our first video I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
BS: What can we expect in the near future from your band?
Christie: We’ll be recording early 2013, and then whenever our record comes out we’ll probably be touring it a bunch. That’s all we can tell you right now but you can keep track of new developments via our website www.merrimentmusic.com and twitter.com/merrimentmusic
BS: Like many other fans, I have to agree with their simple flattering question: Are there any members of the DuPree family that are not immensely talented? Many fans have embraced Collin and you and have quickly fallen for your music. Is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
Christie: Haha 🙂 Just that we love them. And they truly mean the world to us. There would be no point in making music if no one was there to listen to it! We hope you all will love our new record as much as we do and will come see us on tour soon!
And you can check out Merriment along with the rest of the DuPree clan’s Christmas EP HERE for FREE download. Merriment’s song on the EP, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” is a great rendition, I highly recommend downloading the EP.