So to start, it’d be awesome if you could tell me who you are and a little bit about yourself.
John: I have an idea. Let’s both state our names. Full names with middles, birthdays, and…today.
Oh wow. Well, did you know I don’t have a middle name?
See, we’re learning so much about each other already.
My name is Jill Carrera and I was born in 1994 on November 16th.
November 16th. Good day.
Yup, I know.
My name is John DeLore. Bower is my legal last name. As an artist, I go as John DeLore, for many other purposes, as well. I was born December 1st, 1978 in the great state of Wisconsin. Brown County. Home of the Green Bay Packers.
And today is what? Today is June…
19th? I think today is the 19th.
June 19th. You lose track of time.
I heard a lot of people call you Reverend John. Why’s that?
I am ordained. Online.
Are you really?
I mean, you could be ordained online. We could ordain you. We could ordain you on this trip. You’re gonna come back the Reverend Jill Carrera. It’s gonna happen.
Oh my gosh.
Yeah, you just go online, put your name in, you’re ordained. It was a stage name at first, and then two friends of mine wanted me to perform their wedding so I went online and made it, sort of official. And I actually did a wedding last week, so I’ve done four so far and I’m doing one in Santa Barbara in July.
I want you to reverend my wedding.
You got it. The deal is made. You got it on tape.
What are you working on here at SPACE?
I’m working on my next album. That’s the majority. Three things, but mostly I’m working on editing my next album. A lot of it is recorded, but I haven’t had a lot of time in the last six months to do the sort of sit-down, real engineering, nitty-gritty, cleaning up edit points and getting the audio ready to get to the mix engineers, so I’m doing that. And I recorded a song yesterday.
In the corn crib, right?
Yeah, in the corn crib. It’s a little song called “Soldier of Fortune”…I think that’s what it’s going to be called. We did a little banjo recording last night, me and Dot [i.e. Brendan, our chef].
I heard about that. I want to hear it!
It’s really good. I might want to record a few more things to get some oo’s. I’ll have to get you in on it.
Oh yes, please. I’m into it. So, where ya been hangin’ out?
I’ve been doing some of it in my room, but I’ve found that if I charge my battery and take my Macbook down to the barn, the life of that just seems to fit my work stoppage and when I need to pee, or refill my wine, or get up and get food. It’s just nice. It’s super peaceful down there and quiet. It’s not bright, but you can see brightness. It’s a good spot.
And how was recording in the Corn Crib?
It was great! It’s a nice little spot. I really think the idea came up when Damon was up here last year. About recording an EP up here. Getting some musicians and doing SPACE Monkeys. That would be the name of the project. SPACE Monkeys Volume 1. Where we get a bunch of musicians, and we have one song each. We teach each other each other’s songs, and then we try to write a couple, like, in five days. And try and record the whole thing. But yesterday in the corn crib, I set up a microphone. I don’t know if you know anything about microphones, but you can put it on omni-directional, which picks up in all directions and all around the mic. So for my vocals, I put it on omni to get the sounds of the room on there. It actually sounds like I’m singing from inside of a cabin, which was the idea.
If you were on a deserted island, what discs would you need to have with you?
Discs? Records! Vinyls. What albums, let’s see… Nina Simone, I’m not sure which album. I’ve got about seven or eight on vinyl right now. Leonard Cohen. He’s got this Live at Isle of Wight, which is really, really good. It’s got a lot of his good stuff. It’s just him being him. And let’s see. JayHawks’ Tomorrow the Green Grass. How many do I get?
You get three.
Fuck, I’m out, so that’s it.
I can give you one more, I guess, if you’re really begging for it.
Yeah… probably Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
I’m sure you’ve got some musical heroes, and have you recorded with them?
Well, I’ve recorded a few. I actually got to record Weird Al Yankovic
Yeah, he did an unplugged version of Eden. It’s like mashed up with Layla. It’s phenomenal. I got to record Marc Olson from the JayHawks. I worked in public radio for a bunch of years, so I got to record a lot of really great musicians that came through. I got to record Jimmy Cliff. He did “Many Rivers to Cross.” He’s left-handed and all we had were right-handed guitars so he just flipped it around and played it.
I didn’t know you could do that.
I think he’s just used to going to places that only have right-handed guitars. So he just kind of grew up doing it.
What’s your typical schedule for writing something? Brendan was telling me that you like to write poetry at night.
Yeah, I like to type.
Oh yeah, you use your typewriter right?
Yeah, I don’t know. There’s something about hours of the day. Morning is good. Bright time is good for revising. But there’s something about when it’s dark that, for me, is better for the initial writing. Like, grammar is less important when it’s dark out.
Brendan was telling me how some musicians have their onstage persona that they put on. Do you think you have one?
Uh, I think so. I think so, but it’s hard to say. But it also depends on the room. I’m one of those people. I don’t really love rooms where there’s a lot of noise. Where it’s not a listening room. I get frustrated. Bratty. Well, not bratty. Just frustrated. And it’s finding the two people in the room that are listening and you play to them and converse with them. I guess that’s my persona. To me, it’s a heightened sense of communication, so I have to have a good room. There’s not a lot of costuming of anything like that. Did you grow up with a record player anywhere?
Yeah, at my grandma and grandpa’s house. I really want a record player.
They’re affordable. You could get one for like sixty bucks.
I could do that!
These records are a like a dollar apiece. It’s way cheaper than iTunes. It just takes up a lot more space.
Well, I mean, they’re like thin and compact.
Okay, I’ve got the last question. If you had to be reincarnated as a farm animal, what farm animal would you be?
Interesting. Apparently not a duck. They’re violent. I don’t know. Do I get to pick the farm, too?
If I could be a horse on Ryder Farm, I’d totally do that. They seem to be enjoying life.
I mean they don’t really have to do anything. They just eat and chill around.
Or a cat. Porch seems like a chill cat.
That cat is evil.
Yeah, it’s evil. But I would be, like, a nice cat.
Do you have a cassette player?
I don’t. But my truck does, so if you see anything we could pop in on the ride home…
I’ll have to check it out.
Interviewed by Jill Carrera