Brooklyn, NY (and Upstate NY native) Kayleigh Goldsworthy is a triple threat: Talented, Dedicated, and Beautiful. The songstress, well known for her previous band The Scarlett Ending, has loads of performance and studio experience, in addition to logging in thousand upon thousands of travel miles in the US and abroad. But Kayleigh seems no where near the end of her musical journey, and continues to pursue her craft with a fervor that puts most other acts to shame.
Her new album, Burrower, just got a release date set for November 5, 2013, so we’ll no doubt be on the lookout for that when it hits the shelves. But thankfully, we can get a taste of her latest offerings right now by checking out the latest single, “Where The Summer Goes,” right now at her website. So what are you waiting for?
On July 2nd, I met up with Kayleigh at Syracuse, NY’s Lost Horizon, where she performed alongside The Front Bottoms and A Great Big Pile Of Leaves, to get to scoop on her lengthy history in the music biz, what fans can expect from her new album, and who she hopes to share a stage with in the future.
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five!
K- Of course! Thank you for having me.
G- So you’re from Syracuse, and now you’re in Brooklyn… How is it going down there?
K- I love it. I mean, it’s a completely different change of pace, but coming home to Syracuse and knowing that you have a home where there is such a great music scene and there are a lot of great bands that come and go, you kind of get the best of both worlds being in NYC, and being in Syracuse.
G- You don’t get as many trees down there though, huh?
K- No, not as many stars either.
G- For sure. So let’s just jump right into this, because your album, Burrower, doesn’t have a tentative release date yet, but it’s done and ready to go, and you’re currently doing some shows in support of the release. Have you been doing a lot of playing and demo-ing the songs live in NYC?
K- I have been. I took a little bit of a hiatus after the past two revival tours to get the record finished and together and get it to be something that I knew I would be proud of when I came back to it. I finally am at that point so, in doing it all myself, I guess I just got to the point where it was ‘Ok the record is done. Now it’s time to reintroduce myself as a solo musician with this material,’ and that’s exactly where I’m at right now. I’m just getting back out there right now and testing the waters with this material and introducing this material as my solo record.
G- And how has the reception been to the new songs, and have you noticed any fan favorites off of the record?
K- Umm, it’s been awesome. People are really responsive to the music, and I’ve met people at all sorts of shows, like Lights, when I played last month in Syracuse with Lights, or Against Me! The fans at both of those shows were very responsive and I think that is something that is really cool right now with folk music.
And then, I guess in terms of fan favorites, I’m pretty lucky because, whenever I’ve asked friends that have heard the songs what their favorite is, I get a range. So, I’m pretty pleased with that. There is no better compliment than people that like specific songs, and then people that like different ones the best. It makes you feel good when there are not any filler songs on the record.
G- Very cool. Now, the record is done… Can you tell us about the recording process for the album? Where did you record it, who was behind the boards, and about how long did it take?
K- Sure. Burrower took a long time… A couple of years start to finish. It started as just a hobby with my publishing company. I was pitching songs to other artists, and I started to like them and said ‘Maybe I should record these songs.’
So, I recorded with my father in Syracuse. Then, I moved to NYC and re-recorded the whole record with different people. Then, I went to Long Island and finished it out there. So, Jim Goldsworthy (my dad) engineered a lot of the sessions, and then I had Ryan Segal in Long Island do a bunch. He’s done Glassjaw and a lot of Long Island bands.
I had Kiel Feher from The Scarlett Ending, who is now drumming for like Selena Gomez. I had Jay Weinberg from Against Me! play drums on the record. I had Ryan Byrne from Envy On The Coast play guitar. Yannis from Sainthood Reps, Brendon Thomas played banjo and mandolin, and he’s in a band called End Of America that is really great.
So, I had a handful of wonderful punk musicians come and join and help me on this record. And it turns out that everybody likes Country music, so it was pretty awesome!
G- That’s awesome! I didn’t know that.
K- Yeah. And Rick Parker mixed and mastered it. He did the most recent Lord Huron record, which sounds incredible. He also did Good Old War’s first record and a lot of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, which I thought is pretty great. Dandy Warhols as well.
G- So, you’re not playing around at all on this record.
G- This is the one.
K- That’s why I did it 3 or 4 times over. This is the one. I’m so proud of this record and I can’t wait until it is out.
G- Neither can I. You’re making Syracuse proud everyday!
K- Thank you! I hope to.
G- Ok so let’s dive into your history a little bit. I’m gonna throw some fun questions your way.
G- What was your first concert? Can you tell us how old you were, where it took place, and why it was or was not important for you?
K- OMG. My first concert was at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, and it was Hanson.
K- I don’t remember how old I was. My parents took us, and I think I hormonally balled my eyes out at the time. (laughs) That’s my first concert.
G- Well, mine was MC Hammer, En Vogue, and Vanilla Ice.
K- That’s pretty good!
G- As is Hanson.
K- I think it’s generational.
G- You were probably in 5th or 6th grade?
K- Something like that, yeah. Poor mom and dad. Screaming girls.
I actually saw Hanson play in 2007 at SXSW and the girls were still screaming. I was like ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ And they’re great now! They’re fantastic and they’re super smart in the music industry, but I couldn’t handle the screaming.
G- Well, have you had their beer, MMMHops?
K- (laughs) Wait… Seriously?
G- I am dead serious. They have a beer called MMMHops.
K- I’m going to go get that. Where can I get that? Is it on Amazon?
G- I’m not quite sure, but you can probably find it on there.
K- Marketing geniuses!
G- It’s a good one.
Now, you’ve toured internationally. You’ve been in a band, worked as a solo artist…
In your opinion, what would you say is the most difficult thing about being in a band or being a solo artist on the road, and what is your comparison between the two?
K- I think that there are a lot of difficulties depending on what you’re talking about. The difference between being in a band and being a solo artist, obviously, it’s difficult to command a crowd of people when you’re the only person on stage. I’m super fortunate in that I’m able to play acoustic shows, and then I’ve opened for bands like Against Me! and The Front Bottoms, where it wouldn’t necessarily seem like a normal opener, a girl in a dress playing acoustic guitar by herself. I think that it’s a challenge when you’re used to having 5-6 of your best friends around you to support you. You’re very vulnerable.
In regards to being in a band, you know, it’s like keeping a family together when you’re on tour and on the road. It gets hard, and everybody has a life, and I think a lot of times we forget that people in bands have personal lives and family and other things that need to take precedence over the music sometimes. So, it’s always a challenge to balance that out, especially when touring abroad and touring a lot.
G- Ok. Now, let’s have some fun for a second: 4 albums every fan of you should know about and why. Go!
K- Right now?
K- I have to go with right now, because I couldn’t possibly narrow that down in a span of, like, 4 days.
K- Daughter If You Leave, Laura Stevenson The Wheel, Hiems EP collection… All of them. And Jenny and Johnny’s record. I can’t remember what it is called off the top of my head. It’s a red one with her in a bathing suit. It’s fucking amazing!
Those 4 records right now are on repeat. Oh, and Justin Towns Earle Never gonna…
G- Give you up? Never gonna let you down…
K- NO! (laughs)
G- I just Rick Rolled in an interview.
K- Yes you did.
G- That’s a first.
K- And I’m stumbling because of my voice… I’m so completely beat. I can’t remember the name of the record right now, and it’s really pissing me off!
Anyways, I just went to Soundgarden and bought Lana Del Ray on vinyl, and… What else did I get? Whiskey Town 10th Anniversary double LP! Anyways, I listen to things… I’ve recently come back to listening. When I’m writing, I don’t listen to a lot of music. I’m a giant recluse, and lately I’ve been obsessing over these records, and I can’t get enough of them.
I don’t know how they’re going to influence me later because they’re a little more dancey or a little more electronic, but I’m so into them. The songwriting is just amazing.
G- Cool! Now, do you have a favorite song you have ever written or that is most fun to perform, or if you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of you perform before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
K- Well, I would either give them “Where The Summer Goes” or “Streetlights,” because “Streetlights” is a very personal song to me. It’s the newest one as well. When you record a record, and then you finally get to the point where you’re like ‘Can I write another song again?’ and then you do and you like it, you’re like ‘Ok I still got this!’ “Streetlights” is that to me.
And it’s kind of funny, but I also write songs about my own future in some really fucked up way. Somehow, there is relevance later on. I might be psychic. I don’t know. “Streetlights” is a very relevant song to me that I did not realize the relevance of at the time.
And “Where The Summer Goes” is just, like… There’s a reason it’s the first single on the record. I’m really proud of it and I love the way it turned out. I love the influence of the Bluegrass, the 3-part harmonies. I just think it’s such a fun, great song, so that’s always a good one to try and grab some listeners, I think.
G- It’s a great tune. So tell is, are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future…
K- Oh boy…
G- Or if you could curate your own 3-band dream lineup to go on tour with…
K- Oh my God!
G- Who would you want to tour with?
K- I don’t… I don’t want to pick 3!
G- Pick 1.
K- I can pick 5!
G- Pick 5.
K- I like options.
K- Jenny Lewis, Dave Hause, Laura Stevenson, Justin Towns Earle, Corey Brannon, I could go on. Ryan Adams, Rocky Votolato, Frank Turner… I could go on. There are so many amazing acoustic singer/songwriters.
But at the same time, I would love to go on tour with a loud band and just, yeah!
G- Rock out every night?
K- Yeah! When I played with Against Me! in Albany, it was just so fun! And I always knew it would be fun, but when I got there, it was really fucking cool. It really worked! I love that there is that sort of niche understanding where everything goes, and I get the feeling that people don’t want to see 3 band that sound the same anymore. I think it’s really cool that people are starting to be open to mixing and matching genres a bit.
G- I can dig it!
Now, to finish up today, you’ve been in the music industry for years… I remember you back a long, long time ago, and it’s a very difficult business and we both know this.
But, the music dream never dies and there are kids that are going to listen to your music and want to pick up a guitar and gonna want to start songwriting and things along those lines…
K- That’s awesome. I hope that happens.
G- It’s going to. From your experience and in your opinion, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands out here who want to try to do what you’re doing and make it in the biz?
K- Well, I think first off, I’ve been in The Scarlett Ending for 13 years, so I’ve been doing that and I went to college and got a degree in Music Business, so I think it’s important to always keep your eye on the prize, but also be cognizant of where you’re at in the music business. And be smart about it.
If you’re honestly getting chances to do something with it, then run with it, but you also have to be smart. That’s why I took time off and went to college, and I just didn’t do internships. Instead, I toured in the Summer. It was important to me to say ‘I’ve got something here, but let me also take care of my future in the meantime. In the Summer, there’s time to tour.’ When you’re in college, there is time to make the contacts you need, especially in the music business world… It’s like ‘I graduated from a music business program, so I know a lot of people in the music business now, and I’m a musician!’
But, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years, it just to not lose that spark, because it’s very easy to become jaded. It’s very important to have a level head and it’s very important to know when it’s a good opportunity, and when it’s a bad opportunity, and when it’s disguised as one or the other. It’s also really important to do what is best for you individually, because at the end of the day, we’re all gonna be too old to tour, and you want to be happy with what you did when you were there.
G- Dig it. Well, this was great, and I wanted to say again thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five…
K- Thank you!
G- We are rooting for you! Burrower will be out sometime in the near future, so make sure to check Kayleigh’s Facebook and links! Travel safe back to NYC tonight…
K- Thank you.
G- And keep doing what you’re doing… We’ll be watching!
K- Awesome! Thanks so much for having me!
G- Absolutely. Thank you!