Courtesy of Michael J. Media Group/

Q&A with Paper Bird

Vocalist Esme Patterson talks about the state of the seven-piece band while touring across the country.

By Hunter Woodall | March 7, 2013

Tags: Music


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When: Monday at 9 p.m.

Where: Mojo's

Paper Bird tries to keep things internal. When the seven-piece band is recording, its members avoid listening to other musicians so that their sound isn’t altered. They're a close-knit group, helped by the fact that two pairs of siblings fill out the band's lineup. Vocalist Esme Patterson took some time during the band's tour to talk about its new album Rooms and the group's ever-changing sound.

[MOVE]: How’s the current tour going?

[Esme Patterson]: I’d say this is one of the best tours we have ever been on. We’re on tour with a couple of other bands for the entire run. Shakey Graves, a guy from Austin, Texas, and He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister from L.A. They’re just amazing musicians, just a huge extra part of it to have the bands we’re playing with — bands that we’re looking forward to hearing play every night, that just makes it all such a more rich experience.

[M]: How does your latest album, Rooms, to be released March 26, compare to former releases?

[EP]: Well, I think with this album, we really dove into the recording process in a way that we never had before. We really experimented with the possibilities of what we’re capable of and definitely took some artistic leaps, and we really challenged ourselves to make something new and make something that really defined where our band is at right now.

In the past, we kind of brushed up songs that we’ve been playing for a long time, but with this album, we wrote and orchestrated the entire album in about three weeks and recorded it immediately afterwards. We were in the recording studio eight days straight for 12 hours a day and just kind of had a really intensive process ... The songs really feel like they belong together. It all feels like a whole.

[M]: Folk has re-emerged on a national level due to the likes of The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons. How does that impact Paper Bird?

[EP]: There are just a bunch of bands that are really bringing that music to a wider audience, and I think that’s definitely opened some doors for what we do also.

[M]: How does the family aspect play into the band?

[EP]: It’s so funny, people always ask us that. They’re like 'Oh man, how could you be in a band with your brother or your sister?' My sister (vocalist Genevieve Patterson) is one of my best friends in the whole world, and I couldn’t imagine doing this group without her. I think it brings a real grounding to the group. I think it really makes things easier rather than more difficult.

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