Indigo Girls: "The Hardest Part Is Deciding What Not to Play"

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Thursday, Rocks Off talked to Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, who play House of Blues Saturday night with Atlanta proteges the Shadowboxers, who will open the show and then back up one of the most successful folk-rock duos of the past quarter century. After discussing songwriting, her favorite guitar and the Atlanta scene where they emerged in the mid-'80s, we left off in the middle of a discussion about her longstanding musical partnership with Amy Ray.

Rocks Off: What do you admire most about Amy as a songwriter?

Emily Saliers: Her music to me... her songs are quite visceral. They have a lot of immediate energy, and she's really a very good melody writer. The songs that she really rocks out on, I really admire that ability to rock. Because I don't have that -- I get to live it through her music. But Amy's a great songwriter.

RO: How do you imagine she'd answer that question about you?

ES: I think she finds it fun for her. My songs tend to have more chords, or different kinds of chords, and she enjoys doing that. It's something different from what she might write automatically.

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RO: The Girls are known for your exceptionally loyal fan base. Has the rise of the Internet and social media affected the way you communicate with your fans?

ES: Well... yeah. Definitely. I mean, if we're in the studio and shoot video on the phone or whatever, we can put that stuff up on our site. We have a Twitter [and] Facebook account, so we pretty much make use of all the social-media tools that we can. There's no doubt about it.

RO: Are you just naturally that sort of person that enjoys Twitter and that kind of thing?

ES: No, you know, I'm not. (Laughs) I can't really speak for Amy, but we're not big tweeters by nature. We understand the necessity of social networking, and it's awesome tools, but there's just a whole lot of talk going on out there, and sometimes it just feels noisy to me.

I feel like I'd just be adding to the noise. But I know people like to read it, and our fans like it, so we do it. But I wouldn't call it natural.

Location Info

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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