When you’ve crossed state lines on a cross-country road trip, if you turn to a certain radio station you can tell it’s country music. Well I can’t claim to be a country expert when writing for Indierella, but after going to college in the South, I’ve become fascinated with the musical intersections of country, bluegrass, folk, and Americana, especially when they cross over with indie sounds.
Of course, this brings me to Becca Neighbor, whose sound I can’t seem to pin to a single genre. It’s like you mixed California pop with the Nashville folk-rock, and the taste is so deliciously sweet. Get to know her in this interview!
Firstly, I’d love to know more about your experience as a tour manager. What can you say about your experience managing Nikki Lane on the road?
I started working for Nikki as her personal assistant. From the beginning she knew I wanted to pursue music, and she took on the role of a mentor for me very early on. She asked me to be her tour manager in the fall of 2017. With no formal training I was just thrown in, and it was sink or swim. The first run we did was with JD McPherson and then the next month it was Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real. Both of those bands were so sweet to me, and I can’t say enough great things about them! I got so lucky to tour with incredible musicians on my first go at it. I traveled to parts of the country I had never been before, and experienced first hand that the life of a musician isn’t always fun. There is a lot of hard work that the artist has to put into a tour even when they are backed by a record label.
Nikki is very hands on, and honestly can back up a van and trailer better than any guy I’ve ever seen. She doesn’t take any shit from anyone, and is always working 24/7. As a touring artist and business owner she doesn’t get to clock in and out, there is always something that needs to be taken care of. It was my job to try and alleviate some of that stress so she could relax, even if only for a little while. Even though life on the road can be pretty grueling, we managed to have fun along the way stopping at Vintage clothing stores, estate sales, and antique malls to cherry pick goods for her Vintage store in East Nashville, High Class Hillbilly. We also stayed at some of the coolest Airbnbs out there. The people that I met along the way changed my life, and I will always be so grateful she gave me this opportunity.
When did you transition from tour managing musicians to pursuing a career as a musician yourself?
I started tour managing in Fall of 2017 and released my first EP Blue Moon Baby around the same time this year. I learned invaluable lessons while on the road, hopefully ones I can apply when I tour myself!
You’re influenced by surf-rock, beachy pop, and Americana. How did you get started in music and how did these influences come into play?
I started singing in a rock band in high school. I feel like so many of my favorite bands and influences are from 2008 haha. I love Copeland, The Shins, and Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s. More recently I have been inspired by bands like Saintseneca, From Indian Lakes, and Jessica Lea Mayfield. I also love Kitty Wells which is like super old school country, so I’m kind of all over the place. For me the most important part of music is the melody. Thats my favorite part to write hands down.
A fun fact about you is that you study natal charts, which is way cool! How did you get into astrology?
My uncle gave me a natal chart report for my 16th birthday. I’ve always been interested in figuring out why people act the way they do, so it just resonated with me. I remember reading about being an Aries, but often times I felt like parts of it were wrong because so many things didn’t line up. When I discovered my Moon Sign was in the exact opposite sign of Aries in the position that is supposed to rule your emotional responses, it just clicked. Thats why I am constantly torn between pursuing my dreams, and pleasing other people.
There are so many intricate details in a natal chart, that you can’t get from a Cosmo Horoscope. I am very passionate about my passions so when I find something interesting I have to dig deep. I started taking classes on how to interpret natal charts and honestly just fell in love with learning about people. I believe everyone can gain something from it, whether that is a tool for self-awareness or simply entertainment. I am happy to share with others either way!
So then what’s your sign?
I am an Aries with Libra Moon and Taurus Rising. 🙂
How does Blue Moon Baby represent who you are as an artist?
It is so common for me to start projects and never finish them. I have a lot of unharnessed energy, which often leaves me feeling defeated. This project was put in the hands of some of my best friends that happen to be great engineers and a lot better at seeing things through. They understood my vision from the beginning and held me accountable even when I was on the road and had 2 days home, we would make sure to finish tracking vocals or nailing down the guitar parts in order to complete the songs. I see a different part of myself in each one of these songs. I was worried they were all too different to be a cohesive collection, but honestly I learned through this process that I don’t want to make decisions just to fit in with the music industry. I want to create genuine and honest art that I would want to listen to. “I Played Myself” is very different from “Holiday,” but it is still sounds like a “Becca” song. I have an overactive mind, and lots and lots of feelings that in my daily life cause me to overthink and stress out. When I apply it to my music though, it all comes out the right way, and I feel like other people can relate. I like to think of it as self-loathing with a smile. I can call myself out a lot easier through song.