Later this week, Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor are slated to release Remedy, the first full-length Azure Ray album in a decade. Despite the time away, Remedy picks up right where Fink and Taylor left off ten years ago, without missing a beat.
To celebrate the new album, Fink and Taylor sat down to talk The Beach Boys, sleeping outside a 24 Hour Fitness, and their first South By Southwest festival in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
contemplative, ethereal, cathartic, confessional.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
As a salve for the soul.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
There’s something very romantic about performing in Vienna, but all shows where the crowd is polite and attentive get gold stars.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
Probably a cross between Elliot Smith and Bill Callahan. Classic songwriting, poetic lyrics, dark as f*ck.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
Hmmm.. it’s either La Copine in the high desert, or Gus’s Fried Chicken in Memphis.
What album do you know every word to?
Sophtware Slump by Granddaddy.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
Nina Simone at Chastain Park in Atlanta.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
All black, all the time.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
“Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” by Dr. John. Whenever I hear that first line, “They call me.. Dr. John…” makes me feel like all is right with the world…
What’s the last thing you Googled?
How many fully vaccinated people have contracted covid-19
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Azure Ray – Remedy (haha) OR Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
A house boat? The parking lot of a 24 hour fitness? I mean… there were just so many weird places but I shoved most of them out of my memory ;)
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
Our first band, Little Red Rocket, played at one of the first South by Southwest festivals. We all got tattoos of a little red rocket on our forearms. We had such a bond with our band members and those days were so light and free and fun. I love that I still have the tattoo to represent those times. Don’t ask Orenda what happened to hers. LOL. I’m still mad at her ;)
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
Anything from the ’80s.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Hmmm…that’s a toughy. I’m blown away all the time by the kind hearts and generosity of all of my friends and family.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
I would hand myself a hair straightener and steal my hair cutting scissors. AND remind myself to not hold back and always give everything all you got.
What’s the last show you went to?
The last show I went to was our own show. Azure Ray played a daytime Sunday showcase with our friends and label mates, “Radnor and Lee.” The whole world shut down a couple of weeks later.
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
Wait…things just come on the tv still? I had no idea;)
What would you cook if Obama were coming to your house for dinner?
There’s only one thing I feel confident enough to cook for Obama. My grandmama’s Basta. It’s shell pasta with a very thick (almost stew like) sauce that’s flavored with slow cooked beef and Italian sausage. I hope he’s not vegetarian!
Remedy is out June 18. Pre-order it here.