Sure, we're always curious to know about an artist's upcoming release, most recent tour, or arsenal of analog gear, but XLR8R's also got a curiosity for quirk. Thus, each week, we email a different artist and find out what makes them tick, in the studio and in life. This next artist could still be deemed a newcomer, but you wouldn’t know it upon hearing the intelligent, carefully crafted dream-pop on Good Evening, her debut album alongside partner-in-crime Emily Jane. Here, we talk music and more with Nite Jewel’s Ramona Gonzalez.
XLR8R: What are you listening to right now?
Ramona Gonzalez: Journey in Satchidananda, by Alice Coltrane
What's the weirdest story you ever heard about yourself?
I'm an American Apparel ad come to life.
What band did you want to be in when you were 15?
The Berkeley high school jazz band.
Worst live show experience?
Even the bad shows are good in some shape or form, like playing (badly) in Oakland to a bunch of semi-aggressive DIY punks in the midst of a noise showcase. Matt Fishbeck [of Holy Shit] saved the day by standing in front of me the whole time and blowing cigarette smoke in my face.
Favorite city to play in?
So far, New Orleans.
Good Evening seems influenced by dozens of genres and styles of music. Can you elaborate on a few artists you went to for inspiration while making the album?
During the first stages of recording that album, I was listening to a lot of instrumental electronic stuff: cluster, woo, L.A. Free Music Society stuff. Along the way, I listened to a bunch of different artists, but off the top of my head, I can think of Virna Lindt, Wire, and Bill Nelson.
What is your favorite thing you own?
Well, I wouldn't say I "own" them really, because I found them on the street, but I love my cats, for sure.
Name one item of clothing you can't live without.
What is your favorite place in Los Angeles?
My little house, in Lincoln Heights.
What did you always get in trouble for when you were little?
Leaving my shit all over the house. Disorganization.
What other artist would you most like to work with?
What's the last thing you read?
I'm finishing [Louis Aragon’s] Paris Peasant right now.
Complete this sentence: In the future...
I'd like to live in Berlin.
Stupidest thing you've done in the last 12 months?
I do something really stupid, like, five times a day.
Getting a three-piece band together and recording a bunch more songs, releasing a 12-inch, a 7-inch, and I'm graduating from college in two months.
MP3: "Weak for Me"