Orenda Fink (ex-Azure Ray) released the debut album by her new band Art In Manila this past August via Omaha’s Saddle Creek records. Having seen all her old bands here in Athens, loving Azure Ray and really digging Art In Manila’s Set The Woods On Fire I figured it’d be a nice thing to ask her a few questions about what’s up and what not. She graciously complied and the result is below.
24 Hour Party Pooper: Can you talk a little bit about why Azure Ray ended and how Art In Manila came about? Indeed, is Azure Ray completely done?
a few sentences. I guess I would just say it was time for us to take
a break. We don’t have any plans to work together in the future, but
we always say, ‘never say never.’ Art In Manila formed out of a group
of musicians and friends who toured with my for my solo record.
24HPP: How would you compare the music scenes in Omaha and Athens? Also, how did you originally get involved in the Omaha scene?
way that they are very communal: lots of bands share members and are
very supportive of each other. However, the scenes have their
differences: Omaha is slowly growing as a town with a music scene,
whereas Athens has been pretty developed to nurture musicians for
quite a while. Also, there are certain aesthetic and stylistic
differences. I originally got involved with the Omaha scene through
Andy LeMaster (Now It’s Overhead) who introduced me and Maria Taylor
to Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes. He invited Azure Ray to tour with
them and we were subsequently absorbed into the Saddle Creek family.
24HPP: What’s it been like playing in Rilo Kiley’s band? Any good tour stories yet?
O.F. :It’s been really good. I’ve been acquaintances with those guys for a
long time, so it is nice to finally really get to know them. The
shows have been great and everyone is very professional…. the best
tour stories are always the ones that you can’t tell!
24HPP: Set The Woods On Fire sounds very fresh even though, as a musician, you’ve made lots of records before. I mean, on one hand I realize it’s the debut album from a new band but, on the other hand, it’s rare to get such a fresh sound out of seasoned musicians. To what can you attribute this?
group, had worked creatively with each other. Also, the fact that we
worked up all the music live instead of making a studio album could
have contributed to that sound. Also, I took almost a year off of
writing before I started this record, so that could have helped as
24HPP: Was Everything on Set The Woods On Fire written by you alone or did y’all collaborate as writers? Was any of the material originally written for Azure Ray but never got used?
cover (“The Sweat Descends”). But, that was mostly due to the circumstance that most of the
people in the band were also working and writing for their own records
at the time. On the next record I would like there to be more
collaborative songwriting. “Time Gets Us All” could have been written
during that Azure Ray time period. It was the only old song I dug
up, but I can’t really remember!