Interview – Greta Salpeter

Most know her as the exquisite vocalist from The Hush Sound, but soon everyone will recognize her as a creative and remarkable individual. We got the chance to catch up with the talented songstress and find out more about her upcoming solo album and what future plans she has.

Gold Motel

We heard about your upcoming solo debut. What exactly have you been up to the past while?

Since The Hush Sound declared our hiatus in April of this year, my routine was as follows: writing, recording, throwing it all away, re-writing, re-recording, and finally reaching a sense of excitement with the material. I went to Chicago in September to track the album with my good friend Dan Duzynski (This Is Me Smiling).

Dan and and I built a makeshift studio in the house where I grew up, since it was cleared out and ready to be put on the market for sale. I had always wanted to record drums in the living room because of the high ceilings and record piano on the one I grew up playing.


How was working with Forgive Durden on Razia’s Shadow: A Musical? What do you think of the album and it’s storyline as a whole?

Thomas is a great friend and I was so flattered when he offered me the part of ‘the rebellious princess’, that I agreed to the part without hearing a note of the piece. When I heard the musical, I was impressed with the arrangements and the story. I admire the huge creative undertaking on his part.


Do you think you would ever create your own musical like that in the future? If so, what would it be about and which musicians would you approach to join you?

I’d rather write a short film and compose the film score for it. A musical may happen one day though as it would make my Broadway-enthusiast Dad very happy.


In regards to your upcoming solo record, does it have a title yet?

It doesn’t have a title yet, though I’m tossing around some ideas like, “Meet Me at the Gold Motel” or “Get a Room” or something equally campy. It may end up being self-titled


Why did you choose to go under the name Gold Motel?

Friends and I wrote down adjectives and nouns on slips of paper and drew combinations from a hat. We pulled ‘Gold Motel’ and it sort of chimed when we said it. Also, my middle name is Morgan, so Gold Motel has the same initials as my name, which seemed a good sign.


You’ve said before your solo work sounds a bit upbeat and summery with a 60s’ pop tinge. Is this still true?

Since I moved to California, I’ve been worshiping Brian Wilson, devouring the Beach Boy musical box sets and learning much of the material. Many songwriters agree that we would trade our souls to write a new “God Only Knows”. The other most obvious musical influences are The Kinks, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Motown recordings, T-Rex, and Peter, Paul, and Mary.

In the literary world, I’ve been influenced by “Revolutionary Road” by Richard Yates, the poetry of Frank O’Hara and Ted Hughes, John Cheever and Truman Capote short stories, and the TV show Mad Men.

I’ve also been eating a coconut every day for breakfast. That might be an influence. Thought you should know.


Since you play multiple instruments, did you record each part on the album?

I was trying to get away from piano, since I played it so heavily on The Hush Sound’s records, so I wrote most of these songs on guitar. On the Gold Motel record, I play wurlitzer, organ, toy pianos, old keyboards, and just a tiny bit of plain piano. Dan played drums/guitar, and our friend Matt played bass. On collaborations: Dan and I wrote a duet together which we’re hoping to finish for this album. Other than that, I may have a last minute collaboration with someone. We’ll have to wait and see!


What are the tracks on the solo record about?

Since the last album I made, I’ve had a rollercoaster of highs and lows. I traveled to India, Japan, toured the country a handful of times, was changed forever by new friends, and learned much about songwriting. On a sadder note, I dealt with the deaths of some friends and family and the band’s emotional decision to put things on hold. I tried to capture the adrenaline-rushing moments of new love, the times of overwhelming awe, the disappointment of rejection, the sharp edge of jealousy, the sorrow of loss. Will this all be apparent to listeners? I’ll never really know, but to me it’s a scrapbook of everything I’ve experienced. And I think the album is hopeful overall.


Do you have any plans to tour soon? If so, will you ever make a trip to Toronto to meet your Canadian fans?

I’m focused on finishing the album right now, but will soon be submitting for spring tours. I love Canada and would love to play in Toronto as soon as I can! Party at your house after the show?


Definitely! Maybe you can handle the music? What artists have you really been into lately?

I spend most of my time listening to ‘old fogey music’, but the modern acts I like are Of Montreal, Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend, Air, Broadcast, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, and The Flaming Lips. Also, I’m looking forward to Phrazes For The Young, solo project of Julian Casablancas from The Strokes.


Have you kept in touch with any of the guys of The Hush Sound? Can fans hope for a possible reunion sometime soon?

All my energies are currently focused into launching Gold Motel, but the door is still open to, well, the Hush Sound motel. Bob is also working on solo material ( Like any relationship, we reached a point where we needed to look outside our alliance for some inspiration and creative output.


It takes a lot of passion to step aside from a certain spotlight and do something different when it comes to music. What does music mean to you?

I’m a music lover first and a musician second. Listening to great records is like a religious experience. Basically, music is my Jesus. I’m hoping that if I worship these great songs and albums enough, I’ll write something that’ll last as long, at least to someone.

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