Interview - IDGY DEAN GOLDEN BOY PRESS Interview #160 / by Sarah A.O. Rosner

[Original article can be found here.]

IDGY DEAN, a one woman band comes to talk to us about her newest ventures in music.  With her most recent release of her music video for the song, “The Indian Squirrel Dance”, she discusses how it was basically the turning point in her life where she found real self discovery in music.  Setting an example for success and being ones true self, is quite apparent in IDGY DEAN, it’s inspiring and her sound is mesmerizing.  With talk of future projects such as,  “Ominous Harminus”, planned for next year, we can’t wait to hear more from this great artist, and hopefully the use of more motivational Star Wars quotes.  

Could you introduce yourself?

My name is Lindsay Sanwald. I write all the music and play all the instruments in a one-woman psychedelic rock band called Idgy Dean. I’ve been based in Brooklyn for the last several years, but I’m originally from New Jersey, went to college in Yonkers, and spent significant time living in San Francisco, Tuscany, and Argentina.

Why music?  What motivated you to start expressing yourself through sound?

It’s honestly like breathing for me. It unconsciously and involuntarily just comes in and out. I swear it must have something to do with a past life, because I’ve never studied or been formally trained. For me, it’s the most efficient, accurate and abstract form of expression—little big bangs of something from nothing. 

Could you name a few people that have inspired you since the beginning of your music career and still do to this day?

My Dad, my big brother, Laurie Anderson, Kate Bush, Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, Bjork, Radiohead, The Pixies, New Order, Maria Negroni, David Byrne, Ziggy Gurnick, Jorge Luis Borges, Walt Whitman, Alan Watts, Joseph Cambell, Santigold, M.I.A., Marina Abramovic, Animal Collective, Grimes, Tame Impala, Poets, Dancers, Farmers, Chefs, Yogis.

What do you strive for in life?  How do you try to apply that passion to your work?

To live the maximum existence—to say yes to almost everything, to balance unabashed hedonism with faithful discipline, to have courage, to believe in magic and supernatural powers, to be kind and champion goodness, to be loyal and loving, and above all, to have INTEGRITY. Idgy Dean is the highest pursuit of my highest self—it’s my raw core cultivated. The more adventurous, present, and honest I am, the better it seems to work. 

What can listeners expect from your new single that released November 11th, “The Indian Squirrel Dance”? 

“The Indian Squirrel Dance” has been many years in the making. I wrote it when I was 19-years-old, in my first year of college (the title came from an eccentric little dance one of my housemates would do while I played the riff in my dorm room). At the time, I was itching to end a long-term relationship and leave the country. I was just starting to discover my real voice, my real self. The song grew up with me, and I was inspired to re-record it after adapting a live version for a show I performed at my alma mater. I tracked the entire single by myself on GarageBand, and the demo-ness of it became so precious and honest and on-point for me, that I decided it was the best possible version to release. 

How do the visuals in the music video correspond with the track?  Would you say it tells a story, or is just pure representation of the music? 

When I finished recording the single, I would listen to it while watching those “Go Forth” Levi’s commercials. The pastoral Americana vibe just seemed to click. Originally, I intended to shoot the video in my New Jersey hometown with director Sam Baumel, but Hurricane Sandy came on through that same weekend, and washed our video out to sea. A long time later, I met Rachel Brennecke, a fashion photographer better known as Bon Jane. I loved her work, her portrayal of American landscapes and bad-ass women, so our collaboration felt imminent. We had lots of meetings, but nothing was getting off the ground until she finally demanded I just figure out a way to come to her house up in Kingston, near Woodstock, New York (this felt like a good omen, since the cover of the single is a picture of my Dad at age 19—who passed away last year—on his way to Woodstock in 1969 on the motorcycle he bought with money earned from his first tour). A few days before our shoot, I met Scott Herriott, who shoots the SNL digital shorts, and invited him and my close friend Yasminca Wilson along for the ride. All we had to do was get there. There was no concept or plan. We weren’t even sure what song we wanted to shoot a video for. All Rachel knew was that she wanted to shoot some slow motion footage on the back of a pick-up truck. After that, it was like, “Oh, let’s go in this cornfield”…“Hey, let’s shoot some stuff in this dirt field”…“You got pretty dirty, let’s wash off in the river”….“It’s cold and dark, let’s build a fire.” We unconsciously shot all the elements, and it all came together so beautifully. It really felt like we were channeling the magic of the super moon that just so happened to be in the sky that night. So if there’s any story, it’s simply one of natural spontaneity, which I feel is the truest representation of me and my music.

How have you grown since your EP, “Heart & Lung”?  Do you believe your growth has majorly impacted the content of your new single?

Looking back, I think my aim with “Heart & Lung” was to put out some solid polished pop songs, but I wasn’t nearly as confident in myself back then. It was the very first thing I allowed other hands to touch, which was a big learning curve for me, since up until then, all of my material had been self-recorded in basements and bedrooms. “The Indian Squirrel Dance” feels much more confident and genuine, because it’s me behind the wheel again, in an effort to preserve the creative quirks of a song—made late at night, alone and sprawling, without a care for what time it is, or how many hours it’s been, or how much money it’s going to cost, or if you’re breaking any sonic rules. 

Could you tell us about your project for next year, entitled, “Ominous Harminus”?  What are you looking forward to the most about the overall project as well as collaborating with some amazing artists?

With the new record, I want the best of both worlds—bedroom and studio—to capture the inspired dirt, and have awesome engineers like Eli Crews, along with Tom Tierney and Alex Mead-Fox at Spacemen Sound, make sure the foundation and finished product are strong and held to the highest standard. I’m mostly looking forward to showcasing songs that aren’t trying to be anything except what they are—lots of long abstract movements, unconventional recording methods, cherished flaws. I want OMINOUS HARMINUS to be a love-child of dirty garage rock and super produced psychedelic dance music. I’m so excited, too, to be collaborating with the A.O. Movement Collective’s ETLE Universe, a multimedia dance epic that will feature a lot of this new music in avant-garde performance pieces. 

Are there any words of advice you’d like to give to people just starting in the music industry today?

Have courage and confidence, seek mentors, and understand that your music is a spiritual practice which inevitably takes a lifetime to develop.

What surrounding gives you the feeling of peace?

The usual suspects—water, mountains, fields, woods. Being alone in my car on the road with many, many hours to go. At the bar of a busy restaurant enjoying a perfect meal. Spooning with my cat, Whoopi Goldberg II. 

Since the music world is typically fast paced, what’s one method of relaxation you try to incorporate into your life?

Yoga-Pranayama-Meditation… every damn day. And frequent trips to the Russian Turkish Bathhouse in the East Village.

Where do you see yourself a year from now?  What goals have you set for yourself?

I really, really want to tour every state and abroad. Would love to support a band or artist I really love. My three immediate goals—release OMINOUS HARMINUS in its truest form, make it my passport to the world, perform on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. 

What makes you happy?

Love, Music, Yoga, Family, Friends, Food

Any closing comments?

May the force be with you.