Nashville-based folk-pop singer Madi Diaz is on a roll: Her song "Trust Fall" was the recipient of a recent, buzzed-about Jensen Sportag remix, and "Let's Go," a highlight of Diaz's upcoming "Plastic Moon," is a recent iTunes Pick of the Week.
Diaz, who made the album with longtime collaborator Kyle Ryan (the two play at Jammin' Java on Saturday), got on the phone with Click Track to talk about the making of "Plastic Moon" and her time attending Philadelphia's famed School of Rock.
On her new album's long journey to the marketplace:
“We've had this record for two years. We spent about a year shopping it around and trying to figure out what the heck to do with it. The tendency is to get caught up in figuring out how to do it instead of just doing it. After a year we found our partner with [label TinyOGRE] and we thought we were safe, and then we found out Sony had pulled their funding, and we were almost back to square one, at least in our minds. We were an unfortunate casualty of [label politics], but we've been super fortunate in that TinyOGRE has given us our record back [to release]… I don't know what would have happened if we had lost this record. We probably would have started clean again, which might not have been a bad thing, [but] we've all put so much love and work and hope and dreams into this record. It would a damn shame if it didn't come out.
Why Madi Diaz is actually sort of a duo:
“I think that's something that Kyle and I always [think about]. That's probably the only drama of the whole thing, the constant figuring out of that dynamic and what that is. We spent a lot of time figuring out, should we take the leap and figure out a band name?…I think in the end of it Kyle and I are always going to do everything that we can to be with and for each other, but we'd also like to have that freedom to disappear off in our own worlds.
Why the "Trust Fall" remix makes her see her music differently:
“It's so cool — that's a completely different song. It's a shadow of the original song, in such a beautiful way. It's so fun to watch a melody carry itself through, into so many different shapes if you want it to.
On growing up with a dad in a Frank Zappa tribute band:
It was definitely a little bit of a shocker to my mom. He was in a band with…a bunch of former members. I still have a very hard time listening to Frank Zappa without being able to instantly recall everything [from my childhood].
What she remembers about the School of Rock:
It's high school, so it's a high tension, emotional time. Your hormones are crazy, [founder] Paul Green was crazy. But it was an amazing time ... I met a lot of amazing people ... It gave me a thicker skin, which was good to learn early on, learning to express yourself in front of your very judgmental high school peers.
On the drawbacks of the "School of Rock" movie:
It's one thing to go through your high school yearbook, it's another thing to have it be on film for hundreds of thousands of people to point their finger at. It was a very vulnerable thing.