Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About New Album ‘Surrender’, Recovering From Burnout and Finding Joy in Making Music Again, Joining a Secret Songwriter’s Group During The Pandemic with Feist, Beck, and Mac DeMarco, and More

0
1443
       

Maggie Rogers joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to discuss her forthcoming second album ‘Surrender’ due out this Friday. She tells Apple Music about the origins of the project, recovering from burnout and finding joy in making music again, and balancing the importance of writing alone with the joy of collaborating. She also discusses joining a secret songwriters group during the pandemic with Feist, Beck, and Mac DeMarco, collaborating with Jon Batiste, deciding to attend grad school, listening to her own music, and more.

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About The Themes on Her New Album ‘Surrender’…

There was no public life to write about. It’s about me and my fears and my love life and my friends and my anger and my joy.

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About Recovering From Burnout and Finding Joy in Making Music Again…

I didn’t get to make music for a long time. I did, I was doing other things that I chose and loved, but I was pretty tangled up by the time I’d been on tour for five years straight. By the time the pandemic happened I had chronic fatigue. I couldn’t talk. I hadn’t been to a grocery store in four years. I was ready to bite. And this record is the bite, but then when I listen back there’s so much joy. I think that’s the thing that surprised me more than anything, was that that was the place that I escaped to and it was the thing that became the way that I survived it or the way that I worked through it. This idea of joy as a form of rebellion, as something that can be radical and contagious and connective and angry. I think joy and anger are two sides of the same coin, and the reason I believe the joy in this record when I hear it is because I hear the grit, too. It feels hard won.

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About Listening To Her Own Music…

Once it’s out, it’s not mine anymore. It’s gone. I generally never do, just because … Well, I think before I never did, because I was always worried. I never had a good experience mixing and I was always terrified that I would hear something and it was just emotional. But I got to spend enough time with this record that I’m just like really proud of it and I love every second of it.I got to spend the time I needed to really like know and love it, inside out. And so it’s not stressful for me when I hear it.

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About The Importance of Having Intention…

I think that there’s really nothing more important than intention. Like I want to hear art that feels like somebody cared and that’s what I would like to do. And it’s interacting with the world in a way that is careful, as in with care. And I think that there is nothing more that you can do in your art too, of just like making choices actively and thinking about them.  I think a lot of that comes from having a sense of connection, whether it’s with like the intention with which you move around a room or the way you create or the way you perform or connect, just connect to people you love.

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About The Origins of Her New Album ‘Surrender’…

I mean, generally having a very messy couple years, it leads to a great record. I was living alone in Maine for a long time and really thinking about, just in the pandemic, what I wanted from music and what I wanted to create. And I started this record there and was really drawn to big drums and distorted guitar, because I missed music that made me feel something physically. I missed the physicality of being at a festival, specifically like British and European festivals. There’s something about … It’s some of the best experiences I’ve had as a fan. Something about like it being cold and like beer drunk.

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About The Importance of Making Music Alone and Creating Album Opener “Overdrive”…

It was the first time I like had a studio of my own basically, since high school. So I got to have a real like creative practice again.Like in all the craziness of the world, being able to really like play with something that … It also felt so like physical and somatic, it was as if it could like make my body let go of tension I was feeling. And then I brought that nucleus to Tom, to Real World, in the UK and he heard it and sort of like exactly knew what to do. And the first day, I sat down at a piano, he got on drums, and like within two hours, Overdrive was finished. It was like, “Okay, sick, we’re off. Like that’s the opening track. Let’s go.” I feel like I got to go back to writing songs like I did in high school, like unguarded, no one was looking. I wasn’t making songs thinking about making them a record. Like I didn’t make music the first like four or five months of the pandemic, and when I came back to it, it was like, “Oh, like when I’m bored, I love making beats. Like sick.” It’s like really playful, like this is my favorite way to pass the time.

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About Joining a Secret Songwriting Group During the Pandemic with Her Heroes Like Feist, Damien Rice, Beck, Adam Cohen, Mac DeMarco, and More…

I was in this songwriting group over the pandemic with a bunch of artists. Feist, Damien Rice, Beck, Adam Cohen, Anaïs Mitchell, Mac DeMarco. We would write songs for a week at a time. Adam Cohen invited me, and I mean, there’s this amazing engineer named Phil Weinrobe who ran it. I spoke to all these people before doing the album cycle to be like, “What’s the public vibe on this?”I was invited to join this group. Every five or six weeks, we’d write a song a day. I mean, these are also my heroes. And I was the youngest in the group. And every morning, you’d get a SoundCloud link of everyone’s songs, and I’m hearing unreleased songs from all my favorite artists, and I’d go for a big walk, and then I’d be like, “Okay. Time to show up. What am I going to turn in today?” And if you miss a day, you get kicked out. And some days, it would just be like, “You all, I love you. I can’t do it this week. I can’t touch it.” And everyone would be like, “Cool, love you. See you next time.” It was like sworn to secrecy. I wrote probably a hundred songs. So what? 12 of us, 15 of us wrote. So ‘Different Kind Of World’ and ‘Begging for Rain’ were written in that, so those were submissions for the songwriting group. And then, I was just in really good writing shape. And ‘Anywhere With You’, which is how this conversation started, was the first song I wrote in Maine where I was like, “Oh, this feels like the beginning of something.” And it was the first song where I started to see what it could be, what the record could be. It was the first song I sent a snippet of to my managers and was like, “I’ve got something.”

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About The Joy of Collaborating With Friends While Making ‘Surrender’…

And like so much of this record too, like I have three collaborators, right? It’s like Tom is the main one, and we like really created a band together and like touched every song. But the other, there’s a couple songs written with Del Water Gap, who was my band mate from when we were 18, and a song I wrote with my friend Gabe Goodman. And those songs were written in Maine. Like I had friends come in the summer and after dinner we’d like have a glass of wine and make music. And in that time, I basically made an entire second record that will never come out. I wrote through all this stuff I needed to get out. And then, it was like, “Okay, then what?” And then I made some music with my friends. It was just so nice.

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About Collaborating with John Batiste…

A couple of these songs needed Jon. He’s also added some incredible piano to ‘I’ve Got A Friend’. I mean, we’ve been collaborators for five or six years now and he’s one of my deeply favorite people to be around. He’s the best.

Maggie Rogers Tells Apple Music About Her Decision To Attend Grad School…

I was like, “It’d be really nice to go to grad school. And it’d be really nice to think about, as the world is changing, what do I believe? What does it mean to be an artist? What does that responsibility to an audience? What are the ethics of power to hold that space? How can you use music as a tool for peace? And what part of it do I believe is my job, and what just isn’t?” I feel like I signed up to be a musician. That’s just who I am. And then, there’s all these things that come with it. And there’s a real difference between vocation and profession, and my professional life asks things from me that everyone’s does. No one’s job is perfect. And I think if you can make your vocation your profession, you’re in a really good space. But how do I protect the vocation within it? And that is largely what I thought about there.