Tiffany Daniels 28/01/2011

You may already be familiar with Tristen. Perhaps it's because I tipped her for success in 2011 over here; maybe you've noticed her occasional collaborations with Caitlin Rose; or maybe you just have a great taste in music. Either way - if you've been paying attention - you'll already know the scope of Tristen Gaspadarek's talents. This February 1st, she's going to make sure everyone understands with her debut Charlatans at the Garden Gate.

Ahead of the big day, Tristen takes some time out to discuss playing under her own name, taking forever and a year to record her debut, getting signed in Europe and touring in the states with God Is in the TV's Tiffany Daniels.

What inspires you to play music?

It's hard to tell. I started singing pretty obsessively from the time I could talk, so I guess after twenty plus years of music being a part of who you are and what you do it just becomes a part of your daily life. Your friends, for better or for worse, are all musicians. Of course, I get very inspired by recording music by myself and listening to other people's music and by playing with other musicians.

You've played alongside other Nashville based musicians in the past, but finding information about it on the web is hard! Can you underline some of the main 'side' projects you've performed in?

I've actually not performed in many side projects. I've had a lot of musicians in Nashville play in my band! I wrote some songs with Caitlin Rose, one of which is on her new album Own Side Now. I've sang backup for Cortney Tidwell at some live shows. I've been pretty fervently performing my own music in Nashville for the last four years.

Several other musicians are in your band. Why do you play under your own name?

Well, I'm a solo artist. I enjoy writing, arranging, and producing my own material and being the band leader. I've spent the last 10 years switching the band line up to suit the needs of the music I was writing and I enjoy that freedom. I still don't have a steady drummer.

I believe the only time this comes into question is when people see the band play before they hear my records. My bass player, Jordan Caress and guitarist Buddy Hughen have been playing with me pretty steadily for the past year and to absolve this confusion you speak of, I've named my backing band 'The Ringers'.

Would you ever use a less personal name to put out your music? What band names have or would you consider?

Well I thought it would be really original and hip to think of an animal I like, and then a descriptor word to go with it, wink wink! [I think she might be alluding to DrunkenWerewolf here, I DON'T KNOW.]

Is your band's line-up fluid? Do you play with who you can, when you can, or do you consider the current members to be permanent?

I don't ever consider current members to be permanent. Perhaps this is why I'm not married! I enjoy the solidarity and challenge of making the decisions that come along with creating my own music. I like the creative control and the freedom of being able to choose what musicians can do what type of song the best. My record features about fifteen different Nashville musicians and that number doesn't include those who tracks didn't make the cut. I am very grateful that I get to choose from such a talented group of musicians, all of whom I really enjoy playing with! And this makes me very

Charlatans at the Garden Gate has been a long time coming. Was there a particular aspect that drew out the process of recording and releasing the record?

As for recording, I made this record with no budget. I relied on musicians volunteering their time and I worked on Jeremy Ferguson's off schedule from his other paying projects. Also it took a good bit of time to negotiate the business end of things as well as giving my team the proper amount of time to do a proper national release.

What does the title mean and how does it relate to your songs?

The title represents a loss of naiveté that you gain as you grow older and people let you down, mislead you, or stab you in the back. It's about the dark side of human relationships. It's longing for the honesty and purity of the garden.

Matchstick Murder from Tristen on Vimeo.

If you had to choose one song that encompasses the entire album, which would that be?

I don't pick favourites among my children. It's not good for their self-esteem.

You're touring the West Coast of the US in February. Do you think you'll make it over to Europe this year?

I'd love to make it to Europe. I'd love to see my record released overseas.

You're also set to play SXSW. Have you ever played before?

No, I'm a SXSW virgin!

Tristen's album Charlatans At The Garden Gate is out February 1st 2011,