You went to UMass…were you involved in music and the arts while there? What was your focus there?
I’ve bounced around a few universities in my time. I don’t think it was necessarily about finding myself, but finding the courage to accept my path as an artist and commit myself to it wholly. However, my time spent at University of the Arts and Umass Boston really helped shape me as an artist before I ventured out on my own. I was involved with the arts more heavily at Uarts since vocal performance was my major. I was inundated with music, from theory and composition, to performing romantic era operas. It was in Philly during this time that I really began writing and composing my own material. It was an amazing experience, but for the price tag I knew I still wasn’t doing exactly what I wanted. I transferred to UMass Boston and focused on socio-cultural anthropology. It was here that I began hitting the bars and performing my songs. I immediately fell in love and signed my life away. I would’ve stayed at Umass, and hope to one day return, but I thought it’s now or never.
When did you start performing around Boston, and what was one of your most memorable performances from this city?
A man. And the romance that is California. And other things, but mostly those two.
What has been the biggest change for you, performance wise, in LA?
Getting people to my show. Coming from Boston, where everyone is train hopping, bike riding, and walking about town…to LA, the most vast and segregated city I know, was quite a change. If I was playing in Silverlake or East LA, it might as well have been China to those in Santa Monica. And forget about going to West LA during rush hour. Or any time of day for that matter. Whereas on the east coast, in a week’s time you might play a show in Boston, then venture to surrounding NE states, then maybe to New York, and you’re constantly picking up new people in those areas. In LA, you’re constantly playing in LA but always changing your plan on how to get those same people to your shows, and hoping for some newbies, which is a strange and rare thing in Los Angeles. To sum it up, I had some truly amazing shows in LA and some truly shitty ones.
Thanks!! As a DIYer in the music industry, making money isn’t and shouldn’t be one’s top priority. However, exposure should be, and if you get paid that’s an added bonus. So I’m always looking for opportunities to get my music heard and luckily people have listened. The Revenge spot was courtesy of one of the licensing companies I work with that pitch my music to film/TV. Every artist should do themselves a favor and submit their music to as many and all licensing companies out there.
Yes, the lyrics for that song and all my songs are on my bandcamp page. All you have to do is click the song and the lyrics will pop up. www.xeniadunford.bandcamp.com
Don’t really remember exactly, but I would imagine either in a dream or after drinking a bottle of whiskey! The making of the music video was a labor of love and I couldn’t have done it without all my awesome and talented friends who helped out. It’s a story of a misfit in love. I certainly can identity with Django the mime.
Thank you. It actually took me forever to write that song. I’d pick it up, then put it back down, and that went on for months. I probably would’ve never picked it back up if Forrest, my friend and bass player, hadn’t told me how much he liked it and that I should actually finish it. So I did, and it’s one of my favorite songs. It was indeed reminiscent of my transition to LA, but it’s truly just about the struggle, day in and day out, and staying strong throughout.
Also, here’s a dorky question…and since I don’t have my keyboard next to me and I’m a drummer (not a knack for ear training), what key is that song in? Did you think of the melody and words first, or pick the key, etc?
“Home Waits for Me” is in the key of Ab. I have no rhyme or reason when I write a song. Sometimes it’s the lyrics that wake first, and sometimes it’s a certain progression that’s captivating my ear. If after a while it still sticks, or if the song just happens to write itself, then it is born and alive, and now I’m just the vessel so to speak.
It was a spectacular weekend. Coming back east to a weekend of friends, family, and music was nothing short of amazing. We played both nights at Congress Hall, the host of the festival, and played to packed rooms every nigh.t The festival was very well put together and efficiently ran, and was a very successful showcase for us. I have wonderful memories.
How did the album title come about for His and Hers?
The title pays homage to my “silent partner”, co-writer and collaborator on the album, Scotty Mlodzinski. This album is ours equally.
Scotty Mlodzinski- Guitar
Forrest Pettengill- Bass
Adam Farley – Drums