Indigo Girls were on the road in February 2020 and preparing to release a new album that April when the coronavirus hit. Rather than hold onto “Look Long,” the folk-rock act from Georgia, performing at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Wednesday, Sept. 1, decided to release its 15th studio album in the early days of the pandemic.
Amy Ray, who co-founded Indigo Girls with Emily Saliers in 1985, recently answered some questions over the telephone from a tour date in Boulder, Colorado.
Q: A lot of artists held onto new releases in 2020 until they could tour again. Why did you and Emily decide to go ahead and release the album?
A: It was a hard conversation to figure it out. We weren’t thinking, “Oh, things are going to open back up again in month,” but we were anxious to get music out there. There was so much bad stuff going on, our feeling was, in our little listening community, people would love to have new music and I think that’s true from the feedback I’ve gotten from people.
Q: You haven’t recorded with John Reynolds in two decades. What was it like working on “Look Long” with him?
A: Oh, it was great. The band we worked with is this band we loved so much. We actually met them a long time ago when they were touring with Sinead O’Connor. We had all played Lilith Fair together and we got to be friends. The drummer, John Reynolds, became our producer for “Come On Now Social” in 1999. We actually had the keyboard player, drummer, bass player and guitar player and the cellist for Sinead’s band. We toured off and on together over the last 20 years. Then, we were having tea with John in England and he said, “Let’s make another record together.”
Grammy- winning duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, also known as the Indigo Girls. CONTRIBUTED
Q: What was it like recording this album at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in England?
A: It was fun to make music together there. John had a hookup, so we decided to record at Real World because all of those guys live over there. That just made more sense and it’s such a great space. It feels very old and pagan and druid. Stonehenge is close by. I stayed in a little loft cottage that was built like 400 years ago. It was really fun and because you live there, everything is about the record so that was nice. It was a good, intimate moment with those people we love so much.
Q: What’s it like having a destination session where you’re living, eating and recording together the whole time?
A: It was a total luxury, no doubt about it, and we knew it too. Every day at breakfast, we all talked about how great it was to be together because we all just love each other so much and never get to spend quality time together. After 9/11, it got prohibitive to have bands come tour here from England. It got harder and harder so we looked at this as an opportunity to finally have a week together and talk every day and play every day. It was great.
Q: What’s 2022 looking like for the Indigo Girls?
A: We’re going to keep touring. I’ve got time booked to record a solo record in December. It won’t come out for a while because vinyl takes eight months or whatever. Emily is working on a musical with the Broadway actress Beth Malone. She’s in a workshop with that at the end of August. We’ve got a couple of other things happening like a documentary these folks have been working on for a long time. A really great director is making it but I don’t know where it’s at. We also have this musical film being made called “Glitter and Doom.” To me, it’s very punky, kind of an industrial goth Cirque du Soleil. They’ve used a ton of our music and done these amazing mashups between songs. We also want to do a lot of touring into 2022 because we didn’t do anything on this record so we’ll be staying busy for quite a while.
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO GO
What: Indigo Girls Look Long Summer Tour
Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
More info: 513-232-6220 or www.rosemusiccenter.com
Artist info: www.indigogirls.com