Musical Rooms

October 17, 2008

Musical Rooms Part 45: Indian Jewelry


“We have had a space of our own for about eleven non-contiguous months over the past four and a half years, so we have learned to work wherever we can. Most recently, however, we were renting a house in Houston where we converted the utility room into a music room. The room was small and the floor was rotting, so we covered the walls in Afghans, Sarapes, and tiger blankets in an ineffective attempt to soundproof the room and recreate a forcefield installation. Because we bought many of these blankets from a nearby thrift store, there is always an off-smell residing with us. We light it with soft-wattage lamps and our strobe lights.

In the room, there are wires, cables and power strips everywhere. There are also amplifiers, drums, guitars and synthesizers (most of them broken). Now the majority of our gear – everything that we don’t pile into the van – is stacked floor to ceiling in the study of Erika’s grandmother’s house.

The most important thing for us to have in that space is time. Since we spent most of last year slaving on the album, we worked on music after hours and at weekends. Isolation is not important to me as I come from a large family and I can work anywhere, but for Erika, it is a different story – she prefers to work alone.

The creative process can start anytime, anywhere: long drives; long walks; sitting still; zoning out during the loudest shows. We are always writing. Erika gets songs in dreams. I get them in bits and pieces. Words are everywhere. Rhythms are everywhere. Music is everywhere. It is only the will to work that is ever in short supply.

For making music, we use anything that is ready to hand and works at least half of the time. Recently we acquired a digital 32-track recorder; before that we used a digital 8-track and before that we used a cassette four-track to make our records.

What we like most about our space is that the world is large and belongs to us.”

This Saturday October 18th, Skinny Wolves launch Indian Jewelry’s Sangles Redux record with a gig upstairs at Whelan’s Dublin. The record features a collection of some of their early recordings – some previously released on vinyl (now out of press) and some never released before. Earlier this year, the band released Free Gold on We Are Free Records (also home to Yeasayer, Pony Tail) and Fake and Cheap on Deleted Art (No Age, Mika Miko, These Are Powers). 20 Jazz Funk Greats says of them: “’Witness the hoes of Babylon destroy it live with the brain-fried intensity of the Velvet Underground off their faces on Peyote soundtracking Lost Highway if it had been directed by Harmony Korine, rattlesnake & shake, pure venom.” For more info, go here or visit

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