While touring on her new EP Everything to Me, Moore has made stops from upstate New York to as far south as Washington, D.C. Just last week, she stopped at the Rockland Music Hall on Allen Street in Manhattan for one last taste of the city before heading back home to Montreal.
Her classical singing style is combined with a variety of instruments, including the guitar, fiddle and piano, with her husband on drums.
I caught up with Moore in Sunnyside, just down the street from where she had been staying with some friends, at Pete’s Grill on Queens Boulevard to discuss her album and current tour.
So you are in town for a little while. Where are you staying in Queens?
We are in Sunnyside.
This is a long way from home. Where are you from originally?
I’m originally from Vermont, but now I live in Montreal, but I have lived all over the place. I recorded my very first record in Manhattan and then I moved. I was living in London, and then Boston and then upstate New York, and then we moved to Montreal. It’s a great city.
How has your stay been while you’re here in the neighborhood?
It’s been good. It’s a little tricky to find parking, but our friends are always really great at finding things to do. We went to this really amazing Indian buffet in Jackson Heights and then we went to the best tacos they know of in Queens. We’ve been going to parks a lot, too, because they have a three year old as well. We’ve been checking out the family life in Queens, which seems very alive and well.
When did you first get into music?
My family was musical and we always sang around the table. If we went camping we would sing around the tents or whatever. My dad played the cello, my mom was a professional singer and my sister and I played the violin. We had a little string trio in our family. We always just played, constantly.
Whose idea was it to start a family band?
My dad decided when we were born practically, that we would both play violins so we could have a little family string trio.
When did you first start producing your own music?
In college was when I started writing my own music and writing my own songs. I met another woman in college and we started doing covers. Around that time my father died, so it also became a therapy for me and I just started taking it more and more seriously.
We took some time off school and traveled around Europe. We played in the street and in some pubs. We traveled all around Ireland so there’s a lot of Irish influence in my music now and my fiddle playing.
Did you ever try any other genres of music?
In college I tried perusing classical music. My major was early European history and a minor in music. I was very interested in this very early music world.
Your music has a very early 60’s-feel to it. Did you draw any of your influences from that era of folk music?
I’ve been getting that a lot lately, but it’s totally not my influences. I’ve been getting a lot of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, which is such a ridiculous compliment.
Did you ever listen to that when you were younger?
No, so it’s crazy. Later in life I started listening to Joni Mitchell when I was taking music more seriously, but it was not a major influence.
Who are some of your influences?
I listen to a lot of Icelandic music, like Sigur Ros or Jónsi. There’s a whole kind of theme there. They do this whole sort of high-voice thing and it’s a little more ambient than this record. I just love music in general. I listen to a whole variety. I think that the direct influences on my songwriting, for sure Ireland and this early music and choral music.
What did you used to listen to as a kid?
Well, see I had two tracks. With my parents, it was all classical music. My mom was into this type of music called Art Song. It’s kind of this weird cult-y thing (laughs). It’s not really cult-y, but in the music a composer like Schubert would take a poem by Goethe and create music around that poem, and try to describe that poem through the music.
I would go to these Art Song workshops and listen to them debate, like “how do you color this thing?” So, I was very influenced by this idea of poetry and music and the marriage of the two, so that was an influence.
But I also loved pop music. I was into Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson. I also loved the Cure, REM and Depeche Mode. I also like the Rolling Stones, but everyone likes them, let’s be honest.
Where did you record the new EP?
How long did it take?
It didn’t take very long. We had three sessions that were about three days each. The production was probably done in the wintertime. Then there was the mixing and mastering and then all the lead up to try to release the EP. It was just released on Sep. 10.
Now that you just played a show in New York, how is playing in this city different than playing in Canada?
You always have this feeling when you come to New York that anything’s possible. It just feels a little more exciting. When you actually do play in New York, the audiences is well versed on what’s hip and what’s not, so it’s a little more difficult. There’s something exciting about coming here though, the energy is like no other place. I love Montreal, but the energy is just much more low key.
At a concert you mean? Or in general?
I just mean in general. When you arrive in New York City you just feel like, ‘I just want to go for it.’ But, maybe if you’ve lived here you don’t feel that anymore, but I think that’s the same feeling I get whenever I have a gig here. I feel just a little more excited in New York.
How is the new EP going over with your audience?
The EP is going over really well. I’m having definitely the best response to anything I’ve ever recorded. It’s exciting and I’m getting some good media reviews.
What is the next step?
The EP will probably stand on its own, and the full length will be 10 new songs. That’s the idea. At some point, if a big producer wants to come back and pick the best, maybe we’ll do that.
Check out Eliza Moore’s new music video for “Everything to Me” on her website (www.elizamoore.com), and look for her upcoming full length album sometime next year.