Getting to Know Wishbone Zoe: Avant-Garde, Hell Yeah!
Saera K is Wishbone Zoe or is Wishbone Zoe Saera K? You need to experience her in person to find out for sure. Western Massachusetts born and bred, Saera has created an interesting musical and visual world full of highly entertaining and esoteric sounds and images. The unexpected is expected at her shows. Get to know Saera a bit in this interview.
To learn even more about her, check out her website.
You describe yourself as an auditory / visual artist. What can new fans expect to hear / see of you at a live show?
Wishbone Zoe is generally myself and an orchestra of sound-making objects–so the very process of building tracks with the various instruments is pretty visual. In addition to that, though, I’m hugely influenced by theatre, film, and performers who aim to invite an audience into a world they create as opposed to simply providing a sonic experience (ie: Fever Ray, Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era, Tom Waits). I’m working on integrating some of those elements into my own performance in the spirit of surrealism and theatre
According to your bio, you like to make noise. What kind of instruments / items do you make to produce your junkyard rock?
I once had a ketchup bottle with nails in it…unfortunately that’s gone now. A few of my key noise makers are a restaurant-sized soup can, an AC cover/chain/license plate apparatus, a bit of silverware, sometimes a drill although it can often take up more space than it participates on a gig, and–most recently–I’ve begun using a small AM/FM radio that I find can create a huge variety of sounds, both beautiful and gross.
Your video projects are captivating. There’s a real sense of avant-garde style portrayed in them. Did you happen to make the masks that are used in them? They’re fantastic!
Paul Preston is the man! He directed and shot both of the two existing Wishbone videos, and is responsible for a large number of other Western MA music videos….those coyote heads are of my design, and they’ve started to become integrated into some live shows. Currently there are four: Kuro (Japanese for black), Shiro (Japanese for white), Rouge (red, of course) and the newest, a toothpaste colored guy named Toothpaste.
Thank you! Avant-garde is high on the compliment list for me.
Your experience at the Institute of Musical Arts seems to have been a pivotal point in your life. Can you tell us what it was like to be involved with such a creative group of people?
IMA brought me out of my(painfully shy and unsure)self, and cultivated a desire for something that I feel like I’d never been given full reign to explore beforehand. I grew up with an artist mom and a musician dad so I felt confident and powerful at home, but I went to public school in Westfield, MA, and had very little output for exploration and support elsewhere. Going to IMA when I was thirteen suddenly changed everything for me, because I could finally gain feedback on my art and more importantly was surrounded by like-minded peers for the first time in my life. It completely blew my mind that girls my age who were there had heard of Nirvana, let alone Violent Femmes and the White Stripes and Miles Davis.
Your first release called All of These Oddities included a companion graphic libretto in which you combined your lyrics into graphic novel-like depictions of your songs. Do you feel that the visual component helps give the listener a introspective perspective of your art?
That’s what I hope for! Many of those songs are pretty old, and went through a lot of stages on the way to becoming an album. I wanted to document that, as well as establish Wishbone Zoe as a visual act, in a throwing-it-at-the-wall-and-seeing-what-happens fashion.
You worked with Anand Nayak from daisy mayhem on that recording project. What was it like working with him? Did he bring some interesting takes on your music to the table?
Anand has been playing shows and recording various sessions with my dad, Paul Kochanski, for years, so it was through him that we met. I’m psyched to say that since then, we’ve become musical peers and friends, collaborating in a lot of those same ways. Anand offered magnificent advice for All of These Oddities and added some killer guitar and organ bits scattered through the record, and he mixed a track on the new record in (figuratively) seconds after I’d hit a wall on it for months. I love working with Anand–he’s one cool wizard.
How did you come up with the name Wishbone Zoe?
Oh, it is a mystery! (Though the libretto gives a hint…)
How is your sophomore effort coming along? When can we expect to hear / see it?
I’m tremendously excited to release Fossil’s Dream, which started just as an EP picking up scraps from the All of These Oddities sessions. It’s turned into an extremely personal concept album that, with the exception of that one track, and a beautiful mastering job by Mark Miller, I’ve written, recorded, mixed and produced on my own. While it will technically be a year-old re-release, it feels as though I’ll be releasing it for the first time with all of the labor that’s gone into it since. I’m excited to release some self-directed music videos for it this year, also.
The official date is May 28th at the One Bar in Northampton, MA on a bill with some dear, dear friends of mine. It’ll be online and in my road merch case this year as well