My dear friend, Staci Frenes, is visiting for a few days. We met several years back, through another friend, Jason Gray, and we hit it off. Nate and I are so blessed to meet some pretty awesome people through this music business. Staci has become one of my closest friends.
Staci is a phenomenal singer/songwriter. Her CD, Meteor Shower, is one I recommend to everyone. The songs and Staci’s voice are exceptional. Every song on this CD is great.
We’ve looked for every opportunity to get together and hang out. Over the course of this blog, you will hear (and have already heard) Staci stories. We also have her to thank for putting the idea of a blog in my head. She studied up on it for me, wrote long emails of notes for me to get started and has encouraged me every step of the way.
I thought it would be fun to interview her while she’s here.
Imagine this conversation with a little bit of chocolate and it will be as if you’re in the room.
Lori: What is the first song you remember?
Staci: Hmm, not sure…
Lori: What is the first song that made you cry?
Staci: (laughing) Mandy by Barry Manilow.
Lori: What is the first song that made you rock out?
Staci: Bennie & the Jets by Elton John.
Lori: Favorite song as a teenager?
Staci: I loved Heart! Barracuda and These Dreams. I also loved Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar.
Lori: Did you sing in your wedding?
Staci: No, Abe did. (Her husband)
Staci: He didn’t sing it live, he had it taped.
Lori: What did he sing?
Staci: A song he wrote.
Staci: I walked down the aisle to the song he wrote…the last line was “Staci, won’t you marry me”…
Lori: Awwwwww. Sweet.
Lori: Favorite song now…
Staci: Just impossible to answer.
Lori: What do you repeat over and over on your ipod?
Staci: Adele, Chasing Pavements, for a while…this is a hard one.
Lori: Do you have a favorite song that you’ve written?
Staci: I really think Meteor Shower is my favorite song that I’ve written and I’m not just saying that…
We giggle. We’re glad to see each other, all right?
Lori: What do you like most about singing out?
Staci: Oh wow…I think it’s…in every other setting, I feel guarded, but when I’m singing, I’m saying exactly what I want to say and it feels SO good.
Lori: What do you like least about singing out?
Staci: The logistics. Getting there, setting up, working with the sound…the things that take away from the creative part.
Lori: What do wish for when you get to a venue?
Staci: To really be able to connect with the people that come for the night. It’s not always a guarantee, but it’s always my wish to be open and sincere and for them to be receptive…so there’s that connection.
Lori: What kind of treats do you like to be fed before singing?
Staci: Definitely plenty of water…I tend to want to pig out after. Carbs, maybe pasta. When you’re exhausted, but still on that adrenaline high, you just wanna eat.
Lori: Do you prefer to be left alone or do you like to go out and gab afterward?
Staci: (She laughs) Well, you know how I’m sooo social…It’s so much easier when it’s someone I know or if Abe is with me. He’s so social and great at that and I can just relax and not be so “on”…but I’m trying to get better at this.
So we get off on a conversation about snoring. I won’t tell you how THAT came up, but anyway…
Lori: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Staci: I’m with you, I’m a TJ Maxx girl.
Lori: Describe your perfect outfit.
Staci: Do I own it or dream outfit? Ok, well, jeans that fit well. Actually, make that skinny jeans that fit great because this is a dream outfit. Great pair of boots. Funky long top that has a funky jacket layered on top of it. And some kind of scarf…I’m into scarves lately.
Lori: What is one trait that bugs you about a person?
Staci: You’re gonna get me in trouble. People who are bad listeners. That kinda drives me crazy. People that are too busy waiting for their next comment to stop and listen.
Lori: Like Oprah.
Staci: Yeah, she is like that, isn’t she.
Lori: What do you look for in a friend?
Staci: I really love…equal parts humor and intelligence.
Lori: Nice. ( I make squiggly eyes at her, but she doesn’t bite and say, “Like YOU, Lori Sabin.” Oh well, I tried)
Staci: That doesn’t sound nice, does it…I should have said one of the fruits of the spirit or something…
We laugh. Snoring stops.
Staci: I look for longsuffering.
We laugh harder.
Lori: OK, just a few more. What is your favorite movie?
Staci: Oh, I have so many. I loved Life is Beautiful.
Lori: Oh, me too! Favorite book?
Staci: Oh, wow. You might as well ask my favorite child, Lore. It’s hard…well, I can read To Kill a Mockingbird over and over again.
Lori: I need to read that.
Staci: You’d love the Southern reference. It’s steeped in it…I think of that in your book.
Lori: Anything in particular you want to do while you’re here?
Staci: I want to write some big hits with Nate. I want to enjoy your sweet kids. I love them. And I drove in the snow today for the first time ever. That’s quite an accomplishment for my trip right there.
Lori: Thank you, girlfriend, for answering my questions.
Staci: Thank you for doing this piece.
We beam at each other. She’s good stuff.
Staci will be playing at Dunn Brothers in Excelsior, MN, tonight at 8 PM. Join us there…it will be a slamming good time.