Convos Q&A with Margo Price

By Kristen Day

Purdue Convocations is elated to kick off our 2019-2020 season with country songstress, Margo Price this Thursday in Loeb Playhouse! By now, you’ve definitely seen the posters, bought your tickets, and read up on the rising star. But if not, what would you want to know? Thankfully, our Marketing Intern, Kristen Day, got the chance to catch up with Margo and ask 11 of our most burning questions. Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Q. (Kristen) What percentage of your songs are autobiographical?

A. (Margo) My debut album “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” is all 100% true. It was actually a concept record about my life leading up to that point. People always say “write what you know” so I figured I knew myself better than anyone else.

My second album embellishes but there are always parts of me that come out in my writing. I like to write from the view of other people sometimes too though. It’s important to be able to see the world through other people eyes or walk a mile in their shoes if you will…In conclusion, I would estimate about 45.8 percent of my songs are autobiographical.

Q. How do you decide if a story would make a good song?

A. If it entertains me, I figure it will entertain others. Sometimes I just start with a line or a phrase that I’ve read or heard from other people in everyday conversation. You never know what a song title or idea will hit you, so I’m always listening.

Q. Do you have any surprising influences?

A. I used to listen to a lot of rap in high school and college. I still know all the words to DRE 2001. I really dig Kendrick Lamar and Missy Elliot.

Q. What does the future of country music look like?

A. I think it’s uncertain. It always has been and it always will be. People think it’s always needing resurrected and saving and such but it’s more popular than ever these days. That’s both bad and good. A lot of people out there are making some great country music, and a lot of people out there are producing shit (pardon my French). I’m not concerned either way but it does seem like everybody is on the quest for authenticity these days and there’s a lot of true false [prophets] out there running around in nudie suits and cowboy hats like they are at a rhinestone fashion show.

Q. What do you wish fans knew about the songwriting/ touring/ creative process?

A. I wish that music fans saw the value in the songwriter enough to buy their albums instead of streaming [services] like Spotify. It’s very hard for musicians to make a living by just writing and recording songs alone. Touring is the only way to make good money these days and it’s hard work. I’m constantly missing birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals because I spend so much time on the road. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it’s hard to maintain that lifestyle as you get older, have children. Anyway, the bottom line is, If we don’t support the songwriter, we won’t have quality songs.

Q. Your music both celebrates and criticizes the current state of our country. How do you balance love for country and political advocacy when it comes to songwriting?

A. Songwriters are also citizens. We have opinions about the government and the world around us whether people like it or not. I have always admired songwriters who were able to poetically put into words the current state of the world. The Bible says the meek shall inherit the earth but for centuries man has been trying to own one another. All the greed and slavery and racist mentalities that the world has been plagued with since the dawn of man. We incarcerate those who are poor or weak or different than us. I view it as the songwriter’s job to champion the underdog. Sometimes music is all they have. If you love your country, you may fight to change it like a true patriot. And so we write the songs of mercy, strength, and freedom and send them off into the abyss like a musical time capsule of injustice.

Great question!

Q. What’s a question you’re tired of being asked? What’s a question you wish people would ask you more?

A. I’m tired of being asked what it’s like to be a “woman in the music business”. I wish more people would ask what it’s like to be a “woman in the music business.” 😉

Q. What do you want to do when you grow up?

A. A published author and actress. Working on both of those things right now. But I hope I never grow up.

Q. What would you be doing if you weren’t a country singer?

A. Working with children. I love teaching both dance and swimming lessons to kids.

Q. Have you ever been to Indiana? Purdue?

A. Yes! My old band Buffalo Clover came repeatedly to play a place called The Black Sparrow Pub in Lafayette. We always had so much fun and the owner would always feed us well…and let us stay upstairs for free. The crowds were great and we always had too much fun partying afterwards.

Q. What do you hope to tell the world through your music?

A. I hope to reach those that are feeling lonely.

What an interview! Thanks again to Margo Price for talking with us. We can’t wait to see the Grammy nominee tomorrow at 7:30p in Loeb Playhouse! Grab your tickets soon, because you do not want to miss out on this performance.