Interview Torres: ‘I Wouldn’t Say It’s Been Overnight’

Word-of-mouth has served Mackenzie Scott well, in a year where her name’s been sent skywards.

End of year lists are going to be more divisive than ever this year. One artist that may have fallen off the radar amongst all of the buzz is Mackenzie Scott, aka Torres. The Nashville, Tennessee singer-songwriter unleashed her debut self-titled album in the US way back in January. Unbeknownst to her, the year then decided to completely implode on itself, unravelling into month after month of triumphant comebacks, forward-thinking progressions and rising superstars.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been overnight,” Scott says on her critical acclaim. She’s on the line from her Nashville home, after playing CMJ for the first time just a few days before. “It’s been getting better and better, but I don’t think it was an ‘explosion’ by any means. The fan base has been growing steadily and steadily.”

Scott’s music ‘It’s made me step my game up.’ on record is of a morose nature; it’s a gentle and deeply haunting record that lingers around in the conscience days after its previous play. Having reduced her band to three-piece, Scott now takes on all guitar duties live; something that she says allows her to add a lot more energy to her shows. “It’s become a little more grungy,” she says on the shake-up. “It’s become a little more amplified, and if I’m honest a little more rock’n’roll. It’s grown to be something really fun, exhilarating and draining. Which it always has been for me, but I started playing acoustically so you can imagine that transition into the rock realm with a full band and everything.”

Scott’s adamant that the songs aren’t reinterpreted live, though. In fact, she says her show remains very true to the album. “I’m not changing up the album at all. I’m just putting a lot more of myself into the performances than I used to,” she proclaims. Physical movement is something that she’s become more confident with, and playing with a smaller band is something that has increased her confidence tenfold. “It’s made me step my game up,” she answers. “I jump around and scream a lot more on stage than I used to. But the songs are the same! Fans of the album are hopefully still pleased with the live show.”

Saying that, the grungy influence she talks of isn’t something that’s occurred coincidentally either. Scott is a huge Nirvana fan, and channelling her inner Kurt Cobain is all part of the performance. There are other surprising influences though that all congregate as the Torres performance. “As a performer I don’t really like to channel just one or the other, I try to channel all of my influences,” she explains. “My pop sensibilities – if you can call them that, definitely come from Fleetwood Mac.

“It’s an interesting combination: I love Kurt Cobain, as most people do. But I also love Stevie Nicks, and Johnny Cash! So if you can imagine a part of me being a southern gentleman singing hymns, another part being Kurt Cobain singing grunge and another Stevie Nicks part singing pop melodies… then you’ve got my influences right there.”

Taken from the new, free DIY Weekly, available to read online or to download on iPad now.

Tags: Torres, Features

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