Hope Sandoval Breaks 'Bread'
Mazzy Star singer Hope Sandoval clearly doesn't like doing interviews. In New York to talk about her new solo album, "Bavarian Fruit Bread" -- released Oct. 23 by Rough Trade/Sanctuary, and credited tMazzy Star singer Hope Sandoval clearly doesn't like doing interviews. In New York to talk about her new solo album, "Bavarian Fruit Bread" -- released Oct. 23 by Rough Trade/Sanctuary, and credited to Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions -- she seems eager to do just about anything else: stare out the window, twist her hair, straighten her shirt.
She's met questions about herself, her songwriting, and even "Bavarian Fruit Bread" with blank stares and awkward silences. But, alas, we have finally stumbled across something that's caught her attention -- Mazzy Star's success and how being on a major-label has negatively affected her life. Not exactly what we're looking for, but we'll take it -- we'll take anything at this point.
"The larger the band gets, the more people from the label get involved," Sandoval muses of the MTV-driven success of Mazzy Star, which scored a modern rock hit in 1993 with the lovely "Fade Into You," from the group's Capitol album "So Tonight That I Might See." "All of a sudden, you become this sort of commodity. You're not really looked at as a person."
Tough nut somewhat cracked, Sandoval explains that the duo's rise from obscurity to the point where she found herself being unwillingly photographed while dining at an outdoor cafe in her native Los Angeles has played a major role in the group -- composed of Sandoval and guitarist David Roback -- deciding to take some time off.
"It wasn't so inspiring," she says. "Both David and I wanted to get back into music. It just wasn't a very good place. Also, I just felt like I wanted to be alone for a while and I think David felt the same." Though she and Roback split songwriting duties, the petite singer adds, "I think I was just very interested in playing my songs."
Though she's not much interested in providing details, Sandoval says "Bavarian" has given her a chance to explore vocal melodies and handle guitar duties.
More atmospheric and ethereal than the blues and folk-based material Sandoval's written with Roback, "Bavarian" includes a few songs that predate the 12-year-old Mazzy Star, including the sweet "Suzanne."
But most of the album -- which includes "Drop," a song written by former Jesus and Mary Chain leader William Reed, with whom Sandoval dueted on the track "Sometimes Always" on that band's 1994 album "Stoned & Dethroned" -- was written and recorded over the past two years in Oslo, London, and San Francisco, where Sandoval now lives.
Lending a songwriting hand, as well as guitar and bass, on the 11-song affair is former My Bloody Valentine member Colm O'Ciosoig, with whom Sandoval will play small venues in the U.S. and U.K. to support "Bavarian."
After meeting at a Snowpony show in London about three years ago, the two found that the music each had been writing simply "meshed" quite well. O'Ciosoig, with not much to add himself, says he found the experience to be refreshing. "It was inspiring. The sounds that she was coming up with were really beautiful."