On Sunday evening, indie-pop-rockers She & Him — otherwise known as actress Zooey Deschanel and musician M. Ward — will co-headline Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater with Band of Horses. (Grab today’s GO! Magazine to read a feature story on Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell. Or click here.)
She & Him released their sophomore album, “Volume Two,” on March 23 through Merge Records. Although Ward is a talented singer and songwriter in his own right, She & Him is more about showcasing Deschanel’s talent — other than acting, in this case. She wrote the lyrics and music for “Volume Two,” while Ward produced the record. Via e-mail, Bulletin reporter David Holley asked Ward a few questions about the album and Sunday’s show.
Q: She & Him are often compared to the mellow pop couples of a few decades back: Les Paul and Mary Ford, or Sonny and Cher. Were you and Zooey going for that kind of sound? Why? If not, why do you think it happened?
A: I have no specific devotion to one type or era of sound. I’m only devoted to producing records that sound good to my ears. My biggest inspiration comes from listening to older records, older production styles and older guitar styles, but I can’t tell you why I gravitate towards those sounds because I don’t know why I do. I just do. I know that Zooey is influenced by older singing styles; Zooey and I are both fans of Les Paul and Mary Ford.
Q: For people who don’t know She & Him well, would you recommend they buy “Volume One” or “Volume Two” first?
A: Well, the story begins at “Volume One” … best to start at the beginning and work your way forward.
Q: Why did you decide to release the songs in two separate volumes?
A: Good things take time.
Q: As of January, more people were listening to country music station KSJJ than any other station in Central Oregon. She & Him seems to have a little bit country, a little bit rock and a little bit hipster pop too. Do you think that makes your music more accessible to a wider audience — say, an audience that likes its country?
A: People come to the music for a million different reasons. Zooey and I are both fans of older country music, and certain kinds of rock, mainly older.
Q: I can definitely hear the influence of your music in She & Him. But do you think She & Him influenced “Hold Time,” your most recent solo release? If so, how so?
A: Zooey has an unforgettable voice and I like her approach to singing background vocals. (She) sings on a few songs from “Hold Time.”
Q: With you having made your break in Portland, do you ever make it down to Bend when you’re not playing music, say for some hiking, camping or skiing/snowboarding?
A: I have gone to Mt. Bachelor a few times. Bend is a beautiful place (and) I always love visiting.
Q: Anything else you’d like to say, about playing with Band of Horses or people coming to the show?
A: I am a fan of Band of Horses and we are all looking forward to playing the show.
She & Him, Band of Horses and Dawes; 6 p.m. Sunday, gates open 5 p.m.; $35 in advance, $38 at the gate, plus fees. Advance tickets available at all Ticketmaster outlets, including The Ticket Mill (541-318-5457); Les Schwab Amphitheater, 344 S.W. Shevlin Hixon Dr., Bend; 541-318-5457 or www.bendconcerts.com.