Paula & The Pockets stepped on to The Listening Room Phoenix stage and wowed everyone with their performance of “Video 39”. Check out their stellar video and then go on to read our Q+A with lead singer/guitarist Paula Tesoriero below. Please enjoy our final performance of Songs from The Listening Room and make sure to check out the playlist of all who participated to see if any of your favorite (or next favorite) Arizona artists took part in our series.
We sincerely thank Jim and Adam for opening their doors to us, and to Christian and Paul for helping the series be the best that it could be. There’s still the opportunity to catch one final performance at The Listening Room Phoenix when The Good Feelz perform on June 8. Tickets can be purchased here.
So, please tell us a little about the song you chose to perform. When did you write it? Anything prompt its creation?
Paula Tesoriero: I started writing this song when i was about 15 or so. I ended up finishing it a few years later for my final project when I was in a College Planning and Development course at PVCC. It was supposed to be a song about where my mental mindset was at the beginning of the course to the end of it. Over the course of time since then (about 6 years ago), I’ve tweaked the lyrics a bit to mean something less contrived. Now it’s more of just a personal reflection on my own life and the general uncertainty of committing to lyrics, hence the “ah”-and-“ooh”-based chorus. I couldn’t think of anything more significant to sing. It’s a fun tune though!
Do you have a method in your songwriting? If not a formalized process, a habitual approach?
Most of my writing happens all at once. I’ll sit down and something will just fall out and generally I’m OK with it. Once in a while I go back and rework things but not too often. My favorite part about creating music is sharing it with others and seeing what they come up with. I really just provide the skeleton of the song and let those I work with add everything else. I usually don’t write any one else’s part, and I trust those I play with implicitly. They have free creative control.
Do you try to keep to a regular songwriting schedule? Or is it a bit more haphazard? Maybe sitting down when inspiration hits or squeezing in time as you find it?
I tend to gravitate towards songwriting when I’m more emotional, or just don’t really understand how to deal with what I’m feeling. That being said, I’m always humming something and often when I’m doing mindless tasks I’ll create songs, but they usually sound like they’re straight from the 1920’s. Once in a while I utilize melodies from those spur of the moment pieces.
Who are some of the songwriters that inspire you &/or your own work?
For piano based music I’m usually inspired by Ravel, Scott Joplin, The Mamas and the Papas, Molly Drake, and Radiation City. For guitar based music I’m more inspired by Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, Vashti Bunyan, and Angel Olsen.
Any new projects in the works that we should keep watch for?
Currently Paula & The Pockets are working on recording, so keep an eye out for that! There’s really no way to access any of my music currently without seeing us perform live, so it will be nice to have something to share with the fans, of which there are several!