Emi Knight (Strawberry Runners)
SPB: What was the inspiration to start the band?
Knight: The inspiration to start the band really began with living in Bloomington, Indiana, where most of my friends were in bands whose music would keep me up at night thinking of all the possibilities of my life as an artist and would wake me in the morning with this burning desire to go ahead and do whatever it was that I was dreaming about the night before. I've played and written music since I was a kid, but I can be very serious and very critical about my writing, so I didn't always feel confidant to ask other people to play with me.
In Bloomington I was surrounded by people who lived and breathed music and community and I started to put the two together for myself. I learned that music, at its best, will bring people together and lift us up. There is this deep empathy that we feel when we hear a story or a song. That empathy can shift our perspectives and our lives like almost nothing else. There was a point when my understanding of the value of music switched from something personal to something both personal and collective, and this was when I knew I wanted to put something I cared about into the world. So it didn't matter anymore how stupid my song sounded inside my head, or what I wished it could be. What became more important was that I share it with my friends anyway.
It's important to give whatever you can to build up your community, family, and friends. As artists, sometimes all we've got is what we can make out of our experience. Some rad people, who do what they love, helped me to see my experience and what I make from it as valuable, or at least to have the grace and humility not to write it off. What we create always has the potential to be greater than us alone. But if we don't share it, it'll never do anything for us or for anyone. So that's why I started this band.
If you want to hear some of the bands who always remind me of the importance of doing what you love, check out: Mega Gem (Denver), Selfish Whales (Bloomington), Nana Grizol (Athens GA), Busman's Holiday (Bloomington), Defiance, Ohio (Bloomington), Erin Tobey (Bloomington), Lion Eater (Bloomington), Good Luck (Bloomington), Papa Bear (Denver).
And obviously tons more, but check out your own friends too. They're cooler than you even know.