Interview: Hungry Mother

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Nashville is recognized world-wide as “Music City,” so it makes perfect sense that there’d be a thriving local music scene bubbling in the underground that blends all different styles of music together. One of the more buzzworthy groups of that local scene is Hungry Mother; an all lady alternative/punk group comprised of Chelsea Peebles (vocals/guitar), Emily Jared (bass), and Caila Singleton (drums). They’ve recently released their debut album The Big Sad and we had the chance to catch up with the members of Hungry Mother and talk with them about the new album, working with producer Josh Sullivan, why you need to give them a listen, navigating the Nashville music scene, and much more!


Album Review: The Big Sad

1.You recently released your debut album The Big Sad. Tell us a little bit about the album and what people can expect from it?

The album guides the listener through a journey of deep-seated emotion balanced by a touch of playfulness. The Big Sad was written following a relationship gone sour and illustrates the array of emotions felt throughout the experience. We don’t like to take ourselves too seriously, so of course there are elements of satire and provocation strewn throughout to poke at the listener in good fun.

2. You chose Josh Sullivan, who plays in the band Year of October, to produce the album. Why did you choose Josh for this role and what did he bring to the studio that help further define your sound that may not have otherwise been there?

Josh was willing to take our ideas and craft the album exactly as we wanted it to sound. He has an expansive knowledge of guitars and helped mold our tone without compromising our live sound. The album is dynamic, jumping from slow and heavy tracks to quicker punk elements to quirky spoken word. Despite this, he succeeded in designing a consistent sound for the album.

3. Which song on the album is your personal favorite and why?

Emily: “Break Again” – I love the distinct segments of the song and the changing emotions between them. I particularly love the drum beat in this one.

Caila: “Frontman” – This song is haunting and pulls an array of emotions from us that bleeds into the audience upon listening.

Chelsea: “Homecoming Queen”- This song has been a favorite of mine since it was written. It’s unique in the album as it’s the only serious song that’s uplifting and does not exclusively evoke negative emotions. I can honestly say I don’t get tired of listening to this one.

4. There used to be a thing in all the music magazines on the reviews, RIYL (recommended if you like), where they’d list similar bands that were comparable to what they were reviewing. Who would you say those RIYL bands are for Hungry Mother?

Sleater-Kinney, Pixies, and Nirvana

5. For someone just discovering your music, which two songs from the album would you say are the two they should check out first in order to get a full understanding of Hungry Mother’s music?

“Run” and “Plastic Straws”

6. When the record released back in November 2019, you threw a release party at popular Nashville venue The Basement. Let’s talk about that experience a bit. How did playing somewhere like that compare to playing at places like the Springwater Supper Club and the smaller venues that you frequently play?

We wanted to perform somewhere we could be really intimate with our audience and enjoyed playing at a venue with such a great reputation for our release show. However, the venues we typically play are some of our favorites around town!

7. On the subject of live shows – I love it when a band (such as yours) can capture their live show sound on their album; it tells me that no one was playing too much with the buttons and knobs in the studio. With that said, though, what can someone expect from your live show that just listening to the album doesn’t offer?

We currently perform as a trio, so that means we don’t have a second guitar for live shows. However, we have much more in your face energy. We can really get into some of our songs such as “Sights On You”, “Caffeinate The Masses”, and “Frontman”. We can feel the audience feed off what we’re putting out emotionally. We also enjoy engaging with the audience and love to crack jokes or banter with them.

8. Y’all are from right here in our own backyard of Nashville. What’s it been like to be an original rock band navigating a local scene that most people associate with country music and is full of cover bands?

It’s very difficult. The music trends fluctuate in the Nashville scene and rock is not in. There are also so many shows on any given night, so it’s difficult to pull a crowd.

9. There’s no doubt that Nashville is oversaturated with music. But what are the major benefits you’ve had by being part of a scene like that, and also, what downsides have you experienced because of it?

We’ve been lucky to find other bands that have similar attitudes about music and are supporters of one another instead of viewing the scene as purely competition. We have each other’s backs and support one another as much as we can. A major downside that we’ve experienced is that it’s hard to stand out. It’s hard to be heard when everyone is shouting at the same time and there are so many of us.

10. We’re all about helping the next generation at, so we always end all our Q&A’s with this question. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with their first band today? 

Don’t let rejection get you down! Keep doing what you love!


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