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Interview: The Chord and the Fawn

Dani Lewis and Angie Krube, the lovely duo behind Minneapolis band The Chord and the Fawn, are a duo no longer. Dani’s younger brother Cole recently added his percussion to the group and rounded out the local gem into a full-force family trio (Angie is Dani and Cole’s cousin). With Dani’s powerful, classically trained vibrato and Angie’s mastery of an eclectic variety of instruments anchoring the band, The Chord and the Fawn have managed to stand out among a sea of small local groups trying to break through into the scene. Their first full-length album, M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, was self-released in late 2009 and has garnered attention from publications like City Pages and deadjournalist.com among others.

Paper Darts: Can you explain more about your individual musical backgrounds?

Cole Lewis: I was in a rock band in high school and played trumpet in the school band. I have had a few years of guitar lessons, but I am mostly self-taught.

Dani Lewis: I had piano lessons on and off since I was six and went to college for opera, so I had lots of formal training in voice. I never had a ukulele lesson unless you count Alligator Bob’s Ukulele Hut (it’s an online tutor, he is first rate).

Angie Krube: I have to say it all started when I learned to play the piano at age five. From there I played flute in middle school orchestra. The bells and melodica were self-taught.

PD: How did Cole’s addition to the band come about, and how has it affected the dynamic?

DL: We had a recent recording project that Cole played guitar on and it sounded so good that we asked him to join the band.

AK: It’s nice to have more variety. Cole also keeps Dani and me focused on music, because we can get distracted easily.

PD: Dani, you have commented that the popularity of using ukulele as a primary instrument tends to be cyclical. Where do you think it stands in the local music scene right now and what bands/artists are doing it right?

DL: I think the ukulele is making another comeback, locally and nationally. I don’t think you can hear a commercial without a ukulele in it. I really like Bethany DeLine’s music a lot and know there are a ton of great uke players in the Twin Cities.

PD: You recently worked with Rapid Water Media on your debut music video for the song “Our Leader.” Can you talk a little bit about the process and what it was like to perform on such elaborate sets? Who developed the concept for the shoot?

AK: Dani and I built the paper forest scene (it’s a lot harder to hang a ten foot tall paper sky than you think). It was a long process, but the boys that we worked with made it so easy.

CL: The video is so colorful, and every scene was so different. So many elements.

The Chord and the Fawn - Our Leader from Rapid Water Media on Vimeo.

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