An Interview with Angela Marie Cross
We got to catch up with singer/songwriter Angela Marie Cross, fresh from her two-and-a-half month multi-continent world tour. Here’s what she had to say about traveling the world while playing and recording music.
TG: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy travel and playing schedule to talk to us, Angela.
AC: You're so welcome.
TG: You’re living the musician’s dream: traveling the world and playing music. How did you make that happen?
AC: Besides sheer luck of having a lot of family and friends supporting me, I'd say the biggest keys are traveling light, simple, and cheap—but it has taken conscious effort for a few years now for me to prepare my life in such a way that I don't have a huge overhead pinning me to Los Angeles, and the ability to record and collaborate at full throttle from pretty much anywhere I choose to go.
TG: “Collaborate at Full-Throttle.” WE may steal that for a campaign :) Seriously, though. Tell us about your mobile recording rig. What do you bring with you? How do you pack it?
AC: Haha, thanks. Well, our 10-week trip spanned from the Sahara desert to the Fjords of Norway. I packed three very versatile outfits into the AG-200EQ case. Since most of my work comes as a vocalist, I needed to have a microphone handy. In a Jansport backpack I carried a well-cased MXL condenser mic and cage, Shure single-input-to-USB preamp, a couple heavy metal clamps to improvise a mic stand, an iPad, a Macbook, and some headphones. My boyfriend also carried a camera in a slightly larger backpack. Including the guitar, we had three bags between the two of us.
TG: Tell us about these amazing photos you took.
Eiffel Tower, Paris
Relaxing in the lawns in front of the Eiffel tower, after a strenuous climb up the stairs to the top (because the line for the elevator was crazy long!). Tourists and Parisians alike would stop and listen as I played some of my favorite tunes :)
Top of Arthur's Seat, a dormant volcano in Edinburgh
Little known fact - there's a volcano in the middle of Edinburgh! And Arthur's Seat is part of that (ancient and now-dormant) volcano system. Hiking up provides a stunning and expansive view of the city. Sitting on the cliff's edge brought out my inner devil-may-care, boots-and-beers rebel's spirit. The jet-black TG felt particularly suiting ;)
Look out over Gareingerfjord, Norway
So, apparently fairy tales are real, and they all come from the Norwegian fjords. Sailing through them, you can't help but expect dragons to fly out from around bends, and mermaids to swim up to you. And, of course, the mountain trolls are everywhere! Old folk ditties poured out as the mountains swam by.
Dromedaire (Camels) in Sahara Desert, Morocco (Chegaga Dunes)
Dromedaires (think one-humped camels) are the sweetest, smelliest beasts you'll ever ride. And down in the Sahara desert, they're the most stylish (and most practical) way to get around. They also love to sing along (though their voices make Tom Waits sound like a smooth-toned cherub). Along with other, ahem, bodily noises. A veritable symphony! After trekking through the desert with my Traveler Guitar slung across my back, I relaxed (with my dear dromedaires) at an oasis - and wrote a dromedaire-inspired song!
Hotel bedroom in Riad-style home in Old City Tetouan, Morocco
The Old City in Morocco is drenched in ancient beauty, vibrant color, and spiritual depth. The five-times-a-day calls to prayer are breathtakingly inspiring—at every mosque, at the exact same time, spiritual leaders will sing out a call to prayer from the roof, lasting for a couple minutes. And in Tetouan, there is literally a mosque at almost every street. So five times a day, the whole city is reverberating with a city-wide chorus of spirit. How can one NOT be inspired to let the music of the soul flow through? Also—at the house we were staying lived a local family too, including 3 adorable young girls (aged 2, 6, and 10). They LOVED the Traveler Guitar - both listening to me play, and experimenting on it themselves. Such joy to see the love of music igniting in their eyes :)
TG: How did your AG-200EQ perform during the journey?
The AG-200EQ was my number one ambassador. Whether busking, shooting in random locations, or venturing into a jam session, the Traveler Acoustic got a lot of attention. I think I got "It's so cute!" at least once per day. Wherever I was, it was easy to find a corner and pull out this lightweight, great sounding, and good-looking guitar. I was working on a couple of recording projects while traveling as well, and was always pleasantly surprised how well the AG-200EQ records. On my website, there is a free download with some covers that I put together while traveling with the Traveler Guitar.
TG: What’s next for you?
Well, I have a few auditions coming up later this year and at least two more travel excursions for family events as well as a recording project. I just moved to North Washington State so I get to rebuild my studio ... and my whole life! Amidst all that, I'll be releasing an LP titled "Sunshine & Waxing Moon" later this year, and as always, I will be teaching.
TG: Angela, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. We’ll see you out on the road!