PASTEL: First off, introduce yourself!
RTR: My name is Ruby. I'm from the Georgia coast. I'm an Aries with a moon in Scorpio.
PASTEL: For those who aren't aware, will you talk about where your stage name, Ruby The Rabbitfoot, came from and what it means to you?
RTR: Well, I'm pretty superstitious. Growing up, I learned all the tricks: throw salt over your shoulder if it spills . . . Make an X on the windshield if a black cat crosses . . . My mom would keep a pencil in the car at all times so that if she had to knock on wood, it was readily available. Some of my family likes to gamble . . . We all believe in luck. I figured that the name couldn't hurt, and that maybe it would attract something positive.
PASTEL: How did you first become interested in making music? Do you come from a musically inclined family?
RTR: I was pretty young . . . Maybe eight or nine when I started playing piano. My family didn't have instruments in the house yet, but we would visit my Aunt and Granny on the weekends. They each had a piano. I was playing nonsense then, but I felt like I was good at it . . . or, at least, I wanted to be good at it. My dad eventually bought me a little keyboard and then a guitar. My Granddad was a singer. His stage name was Buddy Davis . . . He had a strong set of pipes.
PASTEL: Where there any artists that you listened to growing up that helped shape or inspire your sound? What about now?
RTR: I grew up with Mariah Carey, Fiona Apple—all the female hit machines. I still listen to pop music for the most part. I joke that I have the musical tastes of a 10-year-old girl . . . But I think they know what's up.
"Sharing the music with people is incredible. It can cure loneliness."
PASTEL: You've been performing and developing an audience for a while now, but can you remember back to your first show and what it was like to perform your songs in front of a crowd for the first time? Has your relationship with audiences changed at all with time?
RTR: You can ask my friend, Chelsie. I was a nervous wreck. I didn't eat for a week leading up to the show, so I looked like Gumby. I chewed a whole pack of trident within 15 minutes in the car after load in. I loved it though . . . There isn't a drug on earth that can compare to the feeling. It was an awesome night.
My relationship with an audience has definitely changed. I actually want to talk to them . . . instead of keeping my eyes closed the whole time.
PASTEL: Now that you've been through the routine of recording two albums, what would you consider your favorite part about the process?
RTR: Recording an album is so magical. I think the best part is that you are still in love with your songs . . . I guess it's like the "honey moon phase". You always love your songs, but it's the same feeling as a new romance. It's exciting and it feels like it could be the one.
PASTEL: Your music has been described by Flagpole magazine as "beautifully acerbic," and I particularly liked their description —"sunnily depressive". How would you describe your music, and how do you think it's evolved since the recording of your first album, No Weight, No Chain ?
RTR: I just try to keep it honest. It's a bit self-obsessed . . . But they [the songs] are all chapters. I think there has definitely been some refining since NWNC, and I want every album to feel more and more like an improvement . . . Like I'm cracking away to find that pearl or something—the truthiest, truest, truth.
PASTEL: Do you have a favorite song off of your newest record, New as Dew , and why?
RTR: That's tough. That's like saying: which child is your favorite? It's f*cked up. However, I feel like "Ring Around" never gets any attention. [She's] the runt of the litter, but she's a jewel. That song is how I want to be . . . I feel like it knows something that I don't (and the tambourine mix ain't shabby).
PASTEL: Are there any themes that you find yourself continually addressing in your songs?
RTR: Love, Bravery, Hope, the Moon . . .
PASTEL: What is the greatest challenge that you face as a musician?
p h o t o b y b e c k e r
PASTEL: And what is the best part about being a musician?
RTR: The music is the best part for sure . . . and writing the songs. Sharing the music with people is incredible. It can cure loneliness.
PASTEL: What are some of your other hobbies outside of music?
RTR: I'm dipping my toe in music video production at the moment.
PASTEL: What was your childhood, dream job? If you could pick any career outside of music, right now, what would it be?
RTR: My childhood dream job was to be a singer. There's never been anything else. I think some people assume that you can't have your childhood dream job otherwise everyone would be an astronaut . . . but screw that . . . There's enough outer space for everybody. If I couldn't play music—like if music didn't exist, and I physically could not do it—I suppose I would be a visual artist.
PASTEL: Are there any local bands that you would recommend to the readers?
RTR: Um, all of them. Seriously. Just graze the Flagpole and visit everyone's Bandcamp. It's crazy how much talent lives in this town. We are sitting on a gold mine. I'm currently obsessed with Grand Vapids. Rock and Roll for days.
PASTEL: Can you talk a bit about your writing process? What environment promotes your best creative workflow?
RTR: I wish I knew what environment evoked songs. Days off help. Traveling is really the best way for me to get something new. It snaps you out of that rut.
PASTEL: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
RTR: That's hard . . . I'd like to work with Frank Ocean, Mariah Carey, or someone from that realm. I'm looking for an RnB aficionado at the moment. I just think something creative might bloom from that collaboration.
PASTEL: Do you travel a lot for your music? What's the most interesting / fun place you've visited, and where do you hope to visit in the future?
get to travel a lot, and I love it. Anytime I'm home, I'm scheming a new trip. I really love the Pacific Northwest and hope to go back. I would love to visit Hawaii and Tokyo. It's a blessing to get to travel. Every place I go is interesting.
PASTEL: I was so excited to see you perform at Athfest this year! How was that experience?
Athfest is always amazing. You can feel everyone beaming. It's a time in Athens when you know that everyone is having a great show. That's beautiful.
PASTEL: What's next for you and your music? Do you have any upcoming plans that you're excited about?
I'm about to go back to LA for a week. This fall we will be looping down to Texas, back up to Chicago, and hopefully to New York in October. I also heard through the grapevine that we might demo some new songs this winter. I'm excited about everything.
PASTEL: What do you want people to take away from your music?
RTR: I listen to music when I'm walking to work or doing things that I don't necessarily want to do. It's helped me through depression and loss. I use it to daydream and get motivated . . . If anyone used my music like that, I would feel accomplished and fulfilled. I want them to find a place in their day for my music.
Here are a couple of Ruby's songs: "Ways", the aforementioned "Ring Around", and one of my personal favorites, "Misery":