Singer-songwriter Sara B. Bareilles hits Tercentenary Theater to perform at Yardfest on Sunday afternoon. Bareilles, who nabbed two Grammy nominations in 2009 for “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance” and “Song of The Year”, chats with FM about college, love songs, and bird poop.
1. Fifteen Minutes: Rumor has it you’re also performing at MIT’s Spring Concert. Who do you think will have the crazier, wilder crowd? It’s OK, you can be honest.
Sara B. Bareilles: They’re both pretty smart campuses, so I hope they’re smart enough not to be too rowdy. I think you guys are gonna be pretty rowdy in a good way, that’s what I’m expecting. So don’t disappoint me, okay?
2. FM: You’ve done shows with Maroon 5, Mika, and now Ratatat. Can you give us the scoop on any backstage drama?
SBB: I know the boys in Maroon 5 the best, and they’re kind of drama free, which is kind of boring, actually. They’re really good boys and they treat us great. I don’t have any juicy gossip, though.
3. FM: Do you have any performance rituals, before you begin a show?
SBB: We have a little game that we play, the band and I. We stand in a circle and clap and yell out random words that come to our minds. It sounds absolutely ridiculous and makes no sense whatsoever, but it always makes us laugh and loosens us up.
4. FM: Who’s next? Anyone you’d like to work with in the future?
SBB: Lots of people. I’d love to do something with Counting Crows at some point. I’m also a big fan of KT Tunstall. There are so many cool artists out there.
5. FM: If you weren’t obscenely talented (we know you were voted “Most Talented” in high school) and you couldn’t be a singer, what would you be doing?
SBB: I don’t know, I can’t imagine doing anything else. It would probably have something to do with animals or horses. I’m a total animal nut. I would probably find myself at a zoo somewhere.
6. FM: Do you have any hidden talents?
SBB: Gosh, not really, how sad is that? I do ride horses. I can’t like juggle or anything, I wish I could. I’m not that cool. I know a lot about the “Golden Girls,” though, so I’d be really good at “Golden Girls” Trivia.
7. FM: We saw on your Twitter that on Oct. 2, 2008, a bird pooped on your hair, and that on March 14, 2009, a bird pooped in your beer. Some cultures think that bird poop is a sign of good luck. Anything lucky happen recently?
SBB: Ummm...I don’t know if I see any correlation between bird shit and luck. But I feel like a lead a pretty lucky life. I hope I’m not jinxing myself and I don’t get hit by a car right now. [Pause] That was a waste of good beer.
8. FM: In 2002, you graduated from UCLA with a degree in Communications. Have you found any real-world uses for those boring classes you had to sit through?
SBB: I think my time studying communications wasn’t mostly about a trade than it was about experiencing college, which was about self-exploration. I don’t pull out those series and things often, but I had a good time while I was there.
9. FM: In college you won Spring Sing, UCLA’s annual music competition. Twice. You sang in Awaken a Capella, a co-ed a Capella group. How did the music scene at UCLA prepare you for life in the industry?
SBB: It was a good jumping off point. But I don’t know if there’s anything good that can prepare you for this industry, it’s a really bizarre world.
10. FM: In 2004, Awaken a Capella appeared on the “Best of College a Capella” album singing your hit, “Gravity.” What’s it like to have a legacy at UCLA?
SBB: It’s so cool! Its an honor to feel like people in that world kind of respect me and want to sing the music that I write. It’s super cool and flattering.
11. FM: You were nominated twice for Grammy awards in 2009. Where were you when you found out you were nominated, and how did it feel?
SBB: I was at home at my piano, writing. I was avoiding watching the telecast because I didn’t want to care. I really wouldn’t have expected to be nominated. So I was doing my own thing and my manager called me. I screamed, and then I ran around my apartment and called everyone I knew. It was the most amazing honor to be nominated. I was on cloud nine for a really long time.
12. FM: What’s next for you?
SBB: I’ll be working on the next record. I’ll be home over the summer doing some writing. We can expect a new record in the next year.
13. FM: We have to ask: so who was it that you didn’t write a “Love Song” for?
SBB: That was for my record company, out of frustration that I had displeased them somehow.
14. FM: “Love Song” hit the Billboard Pop 100 chart number 1 spot back in 2007. Do you ever get sick of singing it?
SBB: Unfortunately, yes. It comes and goes. It’s one of those songs that I’m eternally grateful for. I never want to complain about it because it’s opened so many doors, but there are days where I don’t want to sing it.
15. FM: Can you write me a love song?
SBB: Absolutely. I will e-mail it to you tomorrow.