Former Summer Twins band member, Justine Brown, is now working on her solo project called Easy Love and will be releasing her sophomore album, Wander Feeler on June 26, 2020, via Loantaka Records. Summer Twins was her band with sister Chelsea where Justine played drums, while sister Chelsea played guitar.
The Southern California native is a multi-instrumentalist and grew as an artist by playing free all-ages shows at Riverside, CA’s local coffee shop, Back To The Grind, and then traveling and touring with Summer Twins, as well as with a friend’s band called Winter where she was able to travel as far as Brazil.
Wander Feeler was recording during a one week period in January of 2019 at the home studio of Engineer and Mixer Eric Penna, just outside the Boston area. Brown was able to record with some of Penna’s vintage equipment.
Easy Love on songwriting, recording, gear, and advice:
Tell us about the inspiration and songwriting process for this album; did you start with lyrics or the chord progression or both?
I wrote a lot of it while on tour with other bands. I would think of melodies and use voice memos to capture them (sometimes in random bathrooms). Then I would sit in the back with my guitar and use my iRig to record into GarageBand on my iPhone. I loop my guitar progressions and extend, cut, and move them around until I like the length/structure of the song. Then I add vocals and guitar leads. Bass and drums usually come later. Sometimes it’s a burst and I get an almost finished song in one sitting and other times it takes years!
Share with us the recording process, especially Penna’s collection of vintage instruments used on the album.
I played the instruments while Eric engineered. I recorded drums using a vintage Rogers kit in Eric’s living room and did everything else in his studio room. We didn’t use any plugins. I used his’ 64 Gibson ES335 guitar as well as a ‘66 Vox AC30 and Marshall JCM800 amp for a lot of the sounds. We used his Space Echo RE201 for the echo and reverb.
Why the name Easy Love?
My friend Michael thought of it. I liked it and was surprised that no one else had it already! I think I’m still growing into it. It’s a two-word prayer.
Who were the musical influences that inspired you to be the musician you are today?
I’ve played in a lot of other bands. Watching and learning from other band leaders inspired me to start my own. I never would have otherwise! I played drums in Summer Twins, with my sister Chelsea leading. I also played bass in a few of my friends’ bands. For about ten years, I actively played shows and did some tours. I was able to meet other artists who were doing great things. My dad is also a musician and we grew up going to his Bluegrass festivals. My influencers are my friends and family.
Share with us your gear selection and how you use each instrument to create your sound.
I like to have a simple set-up. I use a Gibson Melody Maker and either a Fender Deville or Fender Blues Junior. I love the Blues Junior because it’s so light yet powerful. I rarely use pedals besides a boost, but when I do, it’ll be distortion, chorus, delay, or a looper. When I make demos, I use my acoustic guitar (a beautiful sounding Recording King) or the Melody Maker.
Young women in music today are always looking for inspiration and advice. What would be your advice to aspiring young female musicians today?
Showing vulnerability is a good way to heal and to inspire others. Try to be your absolute self. It can be scary putting personal songs out there. If someone doesn’t like it, it’s their issue! I still need to be reminded constantly to not care what other people think.
And lastly, here is an open-ended question – music to me means . . .
Music is… a healing expression… a purge of emotion… an energizing medicine… a relaxing meditation… a soul connecting art form… a mind-opening moment.
It reminds us that we are all the same. Music is easy. Music is love!