EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Doe Eye
Bay Area singer/songwriter Doe Eye (aka Maryum Qudus) took some time to sit down with The Owl Mag to discuss Noise Pop, music festivals, growing up in the Bay Area, and some other tidbits prior to her Thursday night Noise Pop show at Brick & Mortar.
The Owl Mag: So, Noise Pop. This is my favorite time of year. I feel like it kicks off festival season. So, being from the Bay Area, what do you love most about Noise Pop?
Doe Eye: They bring so many amazing bands to the festival. I’m really excited to see Grouper tomorrow night at Swedish American Hall. There were a lot of bands that played that I wish I could have seen over last few days that I didn’t get to catch. Noise Pop also brings in the film element and the art aspect… It’s my second year playing as well.
TOM: Who did you play with last year? What venue did you play?
DE: I played in 2013. It was with the Family of the Year…
TOM: Oh, no way. I went to that show! (laughs) At Bottom of the Hill. For some reason I didn’t remember that was during Noise Pop.
DE: Yeah, that was totally a Noise Pop show.
TOM: Cool. I noticed that you’re playing BottleRock in May. Are there any other festivals that you’re playing this year?
DE: Oh, that I’m playing this year? Not yet, and if I was I might not be able to tell you (laughs).
TOM: I figured as much. Thought you might give me some insight. What about attending? Are you going to any other festivals?
DE: I’m not sure yet. I love festivals. I love the bands that come through. I mean, if I were to go to a festival, it would definitely be Outside Lands or Treasure Island Music Festival.
TOM: Nice. Keepin’ it in the Bay Area. I’m guessing you might end up playing one or the other of those.
DE: (smiles) We’ll see.
TOM: That would be pretty wicked. On to the fun questions. Do you remember the first concert you ever attended?
DE: I went to Depeche Mode. I was twelve years old.
TOM: No Way. Where was it?
DE: Um, at the, now it’s called the SAP Center in San Jose, but at the time it was HP Pavilion. It was very exciting. Dave Gahan was wearing leather pants. (laughs)
TOM: That must’ve been an amazing show. Who did you go with?
DE: It was with my older brother.
TOM: Nice. My first concert, I was in eighth grade, we were on vacation in Rapid City, South Dakota, and my older brother and sister took me to see Skid Row and Bon Jovi on the Bad Medicine tour.
TOM: I have “Play 1990” written at the top of my list of questions.
DE: I don’t have that one on the set list, I’m sorry, don’t be mad at me. (smiles)
TOM: I really do love that song. So what have you been up to musically? What’s been going on?
DE: I’ve been working on a lot of ambient music over the last year. Not total pop songs that I’ve done in the past. Sort of thinking about maybe it’s time to make a new record, but I think I’m slowly getting there.
TOM: That was going to be my next question. Is there an album in the works?
TOM: Okay. So, is some of what you are currently creating leading to that?
DE: It’s more mental. It’s just happening in my head right now.
TOM: That’s cool. Okay, so back to Noise Pop being in all the small venues across San Francisco. I love how big bands will play small venues, like Bottom of the Hill. You grew up in the Bay area, so, what are some of your favorite spots in San Francisco? Where do you go?
DE: When I was a kid, when Bottom of the Hill had all-ages shows and my favorite bands would play, I would be there. And as a kid, I remember just being like, oh my god, if I get to play at Bottom of the Hill, all of my dreams would come true. If I ever get to play there, that’s it, I’m done. And so, Bottom of the Hill is still one of my favorite venues. I have a really deep connection with it, because I grew up watching concerts there. I also love the Independent. It’s a great size venue; it sounds so good. I love that venue a lot. Um, Great American Music Hall….there are a lot of really good music venues in this city.
TOM: It’s like endless, historical, amazing venues…yeah, I can’t even imagine what it must have been like growing up with all those venues within your reach.
DE: Yeah. There are a lot of amazing ones.
TOM: What are you listening to these days? What are you putting on the turntable?
DE: Just last night I was listening to the Brian Eno record, On Land. I’ve been listening to a lot of Brian Eno. Do you know the Brian Eno record with David Byrne, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts? I’ve been listening to that a lot.
DE: Um, what new records have I been listening to? The Thermals. I saw The Thermals at Bottom of the Hill like two weeks ago, they were so amazing. Deerhoof’s record, the most recent record and then the previous one, so so good. I’ve been listening to them a lot. Um…I’ve been listening to a lot of KMEL 106.1. Um, what else? Today, before coming to the show, I was listening to David Bowie, Scary Monsters.
TOM: That’s a good thing. This was really fun.