Rarely does an opening act so fully win the hearts and minds of its audience like Pearl and the Beard did when opening for Ani DiFranco earlier this month. The united soul of Pearl and the Beard spreads its wings across the three individuals Jocelyn Mackenzie, Emily Hope Price and Jeremy Styles. The harmonies and honest smiles show the skill and enthusiasm that makes Pearl and the Beard such a solidly fun band to watch live. The trio whipped out and rocked everything from cello to kazoo. The members kindly converged to answer a few question before they return to Atlanta on March 18 to play at The Five Spot.
When did you three meet and decide to work as Pearl and the Beard? How did you come up with the band name?
We met at open mic nights in the city [New York City as the band is from Brooklyn]. Pure kismet. The name was handed down from the heavens by the band gods, lost on Earth centuries ago, and then found by the three of us while we were on a journey of self-discovery in the Andes.
What are your individual main instruments and what do you each play?
Jeremy: Vocal and guitar
Emily: Vocal and cello
Jocelyn: Vocal, drums, glockenspiel, melodica and kazoo
Do you think you will ever add another member or remain a threesome?
That’s a good question. We have come together so organically and we love our dynamic. To add a fourth or fifth or entire squadron of people would need to come just as naturally. But I think for now we are very happy with the three of us, and adding players for different shows and recordings.
How did you get an opening spot for Ani Difranco February 2-4 this year?
We were recently signed to Fleming Booking, which also has Ani as one of their artists. We have three more dates coming up with her in April. Huzzah!
How did Emily Hope Price fair on her 365 Day Project and can you describe the creative energy the project generated?
While I can’t speak for Emily, she got very far in the project, and while in the middle was asked to score an entire film called “Unicorn City,” so that pretty much monopolized any creative energy for songs for the 365 in a good way. [Readers can learn more about Price’s project at her blog: http://emilyhopeprice.wordpress.com/about/]
After the seemingly non-stop touring, what plans are in store for Pearl and the Beard this year?
Touring more and to further and new places. Hopefully, land some more awesome opening slots, build our fans, make some videos and write more songs.
Describe your sound as if explaining it to a deaf person.
Insert completely fluent American Sign Language here.