Interview with Abbie Painter ’23 from Naked Lake

Jenna Smith, jesmith2@ursinsus.edu

Q: Who are your new band members?

A: My band members are Jordan Hartsfield (they/them) who is guitar, synth, and co-writes some stuff; Arik Dayan (he/him), [on] drums; and Kelvin Ahora (he/him), [who plays] bass. [Our] new members are Grace Eskin (she/they), second guitar, backup vocals; and Rhiannon Newcomer (she/her), [on] keys.

Q: How has the pandemic affected your work as a musician?

A: I made Naked Lake amidst the time of COVD, August 2020, so we have created during [the pandemic]. I honestly am unsure of how it will be when COVID dissolves. It’s hard because we can’t book gigs, which is kinda good because we can perfect songs, which is cool. Thankfully, Jordan’s roommates are cool with me and the band coming to their house to play and create in the basement. We’ve played at Ursinus when [the band was] only together for 3 weeks, and now we’ve been together for almost 8 months and it’s been amazing and I hope we can play at Ursinus again. We’ve played many online shows but it’s not the same. I’ve never played live except [at] Ursinus with a band. I used to do solo performances, but it was just me. But, now that we have boppy music out I’m excited for the crowd to know the lyrics and sing and dance with us. COVID is hard because we want so badly to perform live to be heard and share our hard work, but we just have to have patience and gratefulness that we can still create together. Also COVID brings genuineness to the music, [as] it’s more raw and honest because of how tough these times are. 

Q: What inspired your new EP/ what do you want listeners to know about it?

A: We have a huge project coming out hopefully by November, but we had songs not going into that project that we wanted to be heard….The title “Dreaming Of” is one of the songs, but it has the undertone of, “we are still dreaming, and soon we will wake up and have dreaming be reality.” It is me and Jordan that wrote the songs in the EP (as we are the writers) and all of which were written in the span of a few months during the pandemic, so ~pandemic induced~. There is a lot of talk of gardens, and nature, because nature is what is real right now. Even though we are in a pandemic, we can step outside and what is constant is nature, gardens, sun, etc. as long as that is there, we will be okay.

Q: Who are your musical influences, and what inspires you to write/create music?

A: What inspires me to create is that I have a story to tell and to be honest I really want to be heard and listened to. There’s a difference between hearing and listening, I think when one is listening, they take it all in with an open mind. Hearing is just hearing. With music, you can see how much people actually listen to it. I want people to listen. To be honest, I’m not sure who inspires me. I don’t really look to other bands and want to make music like them because they already made music like themselves so why should I try remaking that! I dunno, I just kind of write what I’m feeling and if I like and feel something with the sound I’m making.

I do love Freddie Mercury though. To be honest it’s my dream to be a sort of trans Freddie Mercury. I know that’s contradictory [to] what I just said, but I am a performer. I like engaging with and to people.

Q: How can listeners and fans support Naked Lake?

A: Listeners and fans can support by streaming our music! Buying cassettes! We have music out as “Naked Lake” and you can find our new EP “Dreaming Of” on any streaming service! Most proceeds go towards my top surgery, so any stream or purchase helps. If you add Naked Lake to your playlists, liked songs, and have them play it helps so much. You can find updates by following our Instagram “Naked.lake,” we have a link tree to buy cassettes and soon T-shirts!! Any listen, share, any purchase, any appreciation we APPRECIATE SO MUCH!!