Mo Kenney will be playing in Kelowna on Tuesday, Sept. 25th at Habitat. She is on tour with Joel Plaskett, and I asked her a few questions about her debut album, and writing songs with Joel.
Hi Mo, we are looking forward to hearing you performing in Kelowna at the Habitat on September 25th (the day your self-titled album is released). Have you performed in BC before?
Hi! I’m really looking forward to playing/seeing Kelowna! I have never performed out West or traveled out there, so I’m really looking forward to it!
So how did you end up with Joel Plaskett producing your album?
I met Joel the first time when I was 17. I was doing some demo recordings at a make-shift recording studio in Halifax, along with a few other local bands. Joel ended up coming in to listen to a few of the recordings and my name stuck with him. I got a call on my 20th birthday from his manager inviting me to Gordie Sampson’s songwriting camp in Ingonish, Cape Breton. I found out I got in because Joel had recommended me at the camp. From there Joel and I made a plan to get together and talk recording.
You co-write a few songs on your new album with Joel, how did those songs come together?
The songs that Joel and I wrote together happened in studio. I came in with random bits of songs I had, and without discussing we would naturally finish them together. Co-writing with him wasn’t something that was planned before entering the studio, it just kind of happened, and all the songs fit on the record.
There’s a lot of songs that stick in your head on this album. “Sucker” and “The Happy Song” are two that I’ve been listening to alot. What comes first for you, the music or the lyrics?
90% of the time I will have a guitar part and a melody in mind before writing lyrics to a song. I find having the music in place first really helps the words flow. The only time that hasn’t been the case is with my song Carnivore, which is the last song on the album. I began writing the lyrics first and had them sitting around until a proper guitar part came to me.
You have a cover of David Bowie’s “Five Years” on your album. Why did you choose that song?
I chose to cover David Bowie’s “Five Years” for a few reasons. I think it really fits with the rest of the songs on the record, because of the lyrics. It also has some sentimental value for me, I played that record non-stop in my first apartment. I absolutely love the song and the first time I played it I knew I had to put it on the record.