Interview by Corynne and Kayla Fernandez
Emerging artist, Phoebe Green, hailing all the way from Manchester, is currently prepping for her very first show. We had the chance to catch up with Phoebe and talk about what inspired her to be a musician and the ins and outs of the making of her debut album, 02:00 AM.
Lucid Dreams: Hi Phoebe! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Phoebe Green: I’m 19 and I’m from a small seaside town called Lytham, but I live in Manchester at the moment and go to music school there. I have a mum and a dad, two sisters (the younger is 15 and plays synth for me) and my nan lives with me and is my best mate.
LD: When making your debut album, ’02:00 AM,’ what was the process like? Did you have any doubts along the way or did it come naturally?
PG: The process was dead fast but also excruciatingly slow! I write songs in about half an hour; it’s a pretty natural thing to me as my songs are heavily based on experiences and people I know, so I don’t have to spend ages thinking of concepts. The thing that takes time is recording and producing and mastering the songs. I had quite a few doubts to be honest. As soon as I wrote a new song I would hate the previous one, I change my mind so often about things, and I’m so opposed to cheesiness that I always feel that my older songs are cheesy because I wrote them when I was younger (even by a month or something). It took me a while to be completely happy with the album because I kept re-writing lyrics, but at this point I have no doubts.
LD: Being that this is your first album, what made you want to pursue music?
PG: Oh God, the dreaded question. It was actually the Jonas Brothers! When I was little I was obsessed, I read everything about them and when they discussed songwriting I was completely fixated with this idea of putting my thoughts and feelings to music. I was always an attention-seeking kid though, always wanted to be in the spotlight, I’ve wanted to be a performer for as long as I can remember, so a fusion of those two factors is what encouraged me to try writing and performing my own stuff.
LD: Out of all the tracks, what would you say is your favorite and why?
PG: Jesus, what a tough one. Literally the most intense ones: Maniac, Pure Blue, High and A Phonecall. And Nosebleed. And Watercolour Envy…
LD: How did the album artwork and title come about?
PG: The artwork was created by a good friend of mine, Amy. We met in a concert queue and have been friends since then. I named the album ’02:00 AM’ because I always think a lot when I can’t sleep, and so I would always record voice notes on my phone around the 02:00 AM mark and then write them in the morning. I wanted a cover that reflected insomnia and fatigue at the same time, so I sent Amy a picture of me rolling my eyes back, asking for it in watercolour (because of Watercolour Envy) and she created that!
LD: What or who were the inspirations for your album?
PG: People and experiences. I’m not very good at writing about things I can’t completely analyse and go into masses of detail about. I like to create imagery with my lyrics and make people see and feel what I saw and felt in those moments. I really like capturing memories in that way and I guess the album is just a diary of the past couple of years, which have simultaneously been the best and worst of my life. Very dramatic!
LD: Given Manchester’s history and its reputation in the music scene (Producing the likes of The Smiths, Oasis, The Stone Roses etc.), would you say you have been shaped by those acts and aspired similar success?
PG: Oh, definitely! I love good old British indie bands. Manchester is so culturally rich when it comes to music and art, it’s incredible. Yeah, I definitely hope to reach their level of influence on the music industry.
LD: One word to sum up your record?
LD: Your album release show is approaching, have you done any preparation? What are you most looking forward to?
PG: Soooo much preparation, mostly in the last week! I’m mostly excited for all of my friends and family to have a few drinks and celebrate with me, all my mates are home for Christmas and I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of the album in person. I’m so excited.
LD: A personal favorite of ours at Lucid Dreams Magazine is, ‘Isobel’. What was the musical and lyrical process like, and was it a conscious decision put that song as the final track of the album?
PG: My best mate is called Isobel, and she was just having one of those nights, so I wrote her a song. She’s honestly one of the most fascinating, beautiful people I have ever known and we have shaped each other as people so much. It was written before we moved away to uni, and the “don’t forget about me” was because I was terrified that things wouldn’t be the same when we saw each other again. Nothing has changed though, thank god! I put it as the last track because I’ve always thought it sounded like the bittersweet ending of a film. I just think it fits perfectly at the end.
LD: If you had the chance to create your dream festival lineup, who would be your 3 headliners?
PG: Shirley Temple aged 5, Catfish and the Bottlemen and HAIM.
LD: What artist or album changed the way you thought about music and impacted you in an exponential way?
PG: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out by Panic! At the Disco. That is one of the most incredibly written albums I have ever heard in my life; the lyrics are so complex and poetic and subtly vulgar, it’s absolutely mental. Absolutely nothing is sugar-coated and yet it sounds so beautifully poetic. I cannot praise Ryan Ross’ ability to write songs enough. He truly is a genius.
LD: What do you want your fans and new listeners to take away from your album?
PG: I think we need to really engage with people and moments and appreciate people for their intriguing mannerisms and flaws. I don’t know if that’s something that comes across in my songs or not but I’m literally always drawn to weirdos! Appreciate peoples’ differences, people are art! Haha, that’s all.