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Samantha Crain will be rolling through town this evening to play a show at Mercury Lounge with Bombadil, PLUS she’ll also be making a stop in DC Thursday night for a gig at Sixth & I. (If you’re in either area for either show, DEFINITELY grab tickets.) We caught up over the phone yesterday to talk about her latest record Kid Face, from how the writing and recording process went, to how it felt to create something that was so honest and personal. We also talked about Samantha’s travels, as well as what’s in store for the rest of 2013. Read up on all that below, and be sure to snag a copy of Kid Face right here:

I saw that your guitar was recently stolen in Ohio, which is horrible! Did that get sorted out?

Well, I don’t know if “sorted out” is the right way to put it; I spent a lot of money on a new guitar! [Laughs] But no word on the theft or anything. I don’t know, I just have bad luck with that; I get robbed a lot, and I never hear back about the guitars, either.

That sucks! I’ve had my car broken into before, too, and it’s not an enjoyable experience, so I’m sorry that that happened. BUT, are you still based in Oklahoma when you’re not on tour?

Yeah, I still live in the house that I was born in.

That’s awesome! I know you enjoy being on the road, though, so do you find the down time difficult to sort of sit still? Or is it a nice break after the craziness of touring?

I definitely have a travel bug that never really gets taken care of (I love traveling, it’s kind of why we tour so much), but I think that’s kind of why I’ve stuck around there, is just because when I do have some time off, my family and friends are there. It’s a very comfortable, homey place to be when you get back there for a little bit. I mean, I get to see a the whole world, so why not just come back to Oklahoma when I’m not on the road?

Totally! A happy arrangement, I’d say. Now, it’s also super impressive that you’re starting to get this track record for being able to record things as quickly as you do; is it sort of the same in terms of getting things accomplished quickly and not having too much agony in over-thought when you’re actually writing the songs?

The writing process is a little different for me. Like you said, I like to get recordings done pretty quickly because I think it’s important to capture a specific sound and a specific moment, but with the writing process, I’m not too harsh on myself as far as the time that it takes me. Sometimes a song comes really quickly, and then sometimes it takes a while with bits and pieces of ideas that come about. So I don’t try to be too harsh on myself when it comes to the time I spend writing.

That’s good; it’s a little harder to set those constraints when you’re writing something like a song. And with Kid Face, was it hard for you to keep up with this idea you had to be as honest in exposing yourself as you were? Were there moments where you thought, “This might have been a mistake, let’s go back to the other way.”

[Laughs] No, fortunately it wasn’t. And that was something that I think I was ready to do; I had naturally come to that point, and all of the albums leading up to this one had been headed in that direction. I told myself that if I didn’t think I could write a whole album autobiographically then it was no big deal, and I’d do it with the next one, but when we were done with this one, I said, “I’ve succeeded in what I thought that I could do,” so I just wanted to make it known to people that that was the idea behind the record.

Is it a weird experience for you to perform them live as opposed to having people just listen to them in their own homes or wherever they choose to do that? Or do you get into a zone where you’re comfortable and it’s not a big deal?

Yeah, I think at the beginning when it first came out and we were starting the tour it was a little harder; I was very aware of what the songs were about, and they were still fresh to me in terms of their meaning. Now I think it’s a little easier. There are still a couple of songs that are harder than others to sing live, but for the most part it becomes more and more normal. Whenever you’re playing night after night, things just become the norm.

Right. And in terms of the way people have responded to the record, has there been anything that kind of came out of left field that you weren’t expecting reaction-wise?

I’ve always put a lot of thought into who I get to produce records, and the whole production aspect of it, but most of the time it doesn’t get that much notice; people usually tend to just talk about the songwriting or my voice. This time around, though, people have really been drawn to the production aspects of this album, which I’m very happy about because me and Vanderslice went into this project with a very focused idea of the production, and it’s nice that people are taking notice.

That’s great! And I heard you were considering doing co-writing after getting a nudge from your producer; how do you feel about that opposed to writing by yourself? Do you think you’ll pursue that?

Well, I’m doing it to just push myself out of a very comfortable place, and if I don’t like it then that’s fine and I don’t have to do it again, or I can wait a little while, but I’ve gotten to this point where if something scares me I feel like I should face it head-on. [Laughs] So this is something that is really scary to me, but I know that a lot of people have really positive experiences with it, so I’m going to try it out and see how it goes.

Well good for you! Now, I was also going to ask you a few questions based very loosely on your song titles, the first one being “Never Going Back”; is there a place you’ve toured (or maybe just visited on your own) that you didn’t really vibe with and you’d be happy if someone told you that you never had to go back?

[Laughs] I’m trying to think…I feel like I’ve always found something I like about most of the places that I’ve played. I don’t know! Maybe Houston? No, that’s not true, though! I’ve actually played a show there that was really great! I don’t know, maybe I’ll think of something by the end of this.

Well, not knowing is a fairly diplomatic response; you won’t make any enemies!

No, I’m not even trying to be diplomatic, I just really can’t think of a place! Usually it ends up redeeming itself. [Laughs]

That’s lucky! Now the next one is for “Somewhere All the Time”; despite seeming that you like to move around a lot, if someone told you that you had to be somewhere ALL the time, where would you maybe semi-reluctantly choose?

At this point, I’d probably have to go with Belgium based on where I’ve been so far.

Fancy! I’d support it. And I see that you’re on tour for July, but how about the beyond of August and September? Do you have anything big planned?

Yeah, there’s lots of touring planned for October and November that I don’t think I can announce yet, and we also have special news about some European stuff coming up, but again, I don’t think I can say. I’ve got plenty of stuff, it’s just all got time-sensitive release dates that aren’t out there yet.

Well we’ll keep an eye out for that! And just in terms of this past year…you know how in the Girl Scouts you get merit badges for learning new skills or completing certain tasks? If the universe were giving out merit badges for new skills or accomplishments you’ve had in 2013, what do you think yours would be?

Every day I kind of meditate on how the day went, and I decide what things are going to make me grow as a person, but that’s one thing that I just started doing at New Year’s, as corny as that sounds. [Laughs] I’ve really been taking the time to meditate on the day before I go to bed, and I think about what’s going to make me grow as a person. That’s totally hippy-dippy, but I just started doing that this year, so maybe meditation is my merit badge for this year.

Meditation is great, but don’t meditate TOO hard on snagging those show tickets, ’cause they’ll be gone by showtime! Here’s the link to Mercury Lounge again, and to Sixth & I. In the meantime, follow Samantha on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest updates, and get a copy of Kid Face here.

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