We have big love for Madi Diaz here at Imogene + Willie – and not just because she looks so dang good in a pair of Elizabeths.
Madi’s an am amazing musician; her new album Plastic Moon has been in heavy rotation on our selling floor sound system ever since she hand-delivered a copy to the store last week.
Matt and Carrie were early Madi fans, dating back to their pre-Nashville days, when their dear hometown friend Kyle Arnett turned them onto Madi’s sweet, strong voice and catchy pop songwriting sensibilities.
Since that introduction, things have come full-circle. When I+W began hosting Supper + Song concerts over two years ago, Madi was on an early bill; she played our backyard again last summer, alongside her fellow Nashville chanteuse Jessie Baylin. We consider her family – and in a way, she really is: Imogene + Willie and Madi share a management company, The Artist Organization.
When Madi announced she was leaving Nashville and moving to Los Angeles, we wanted to send her off the form of an Our Voice. She was nothing short of enthusiastic when we floated the idea of a road trip-themed Q&A by her: “Y’all have been great to me and I think we’ve done some pretty fun things together in Nashville while we’ve both been here,” she said. “I know this won’t be the last time …”
We hope not!
So many things! Change. So much change. It flies by you and every once in awhile you stop and get out of your car/van/bus/plane/train and get to experience that change just a little bit. And it changes you!
What’s your route to get to LA?
I haven’t decided quite yet, but I’m pretty sure that it’ll take me by the Grand Canyon. I’ve never been! I want to stretch out on my stomach and look down into it for as long as I can stand.
What car/truck are you driving out there? And are you going to be solo or do you have a road companion, human or animal?
I’m driving my 94 Toyota Camery. It’s a total beater car. Hasn’t failed me yet – * knock, knock on wood * – and I’m driving out by myself! I’m excited. I haven’t ever done a long trip by my lonesome, doing whatever I want, stopping wherever I want, whenever I want … Usually it’s me and from one to either other dudes, which is the best. Now it’s just MY turn.
What is always within grabbing distance in your front seat?
Phone, water, wallet, those tea tree oil toothpicks, Chapstick, a scattered pile of CDs (I’m not incredibly organized and I have no fancy aux line in, sadly) … I’m also bringing a Pimsluer Spanish Two CD booklet, so I hope to be fairly fluent upon arrival in California!
Do you have a lead foot or do you drive the speed limit?
I drive a consistent seven mph above the speed limit. (Shh … don’t tell.) But I figure it keeps me movin’ without offending either side, the tortoises or the hares.
Interstate or dirt roads: Which are your favorite to drive?
Depends. I love knowing back roads like the back of my hand and I love hauling-ass down an interstate not knowing where I’m going.
Is there a natural park or monument you’re planning to stop for?
The Grand Canyon is on my route. And I would like to find a new tumbleweed to mount on the wall in my new place from my journey. If I see one of those, I’m absolutely stopping.
In the South, I’m a pack-a-cooler kinda girl. I love raw, hippy granola bars and kale chip kinda crap and you can’t really find that amongst the southern fare of BBQ and beans. I mean, I love me some beans, but …
What’s on your road trip soundtrack?
In the morning, I tend to go more pensive/epic: Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, Party Griffin, Fleetwood Mac. Afternoon swings a little more: Midlake, Of Montreal, Jayhawks, Interpol, T. Rex. Nighttime is about the push: Genesis (“Invisible Touch”), M83, Nikki Minaj, Katy Perry (“Teenage Dream”). And then, for the final light of the fire, a little Amon Amarth or Lightning Bolt or something rowdy.
What’s the best driving song on your new record?
Prolly “Johnny” (it’s about a racer; be wary of the pedal) or “Down We Go” (it just moves and feels big and drives ya).
What’s your driving wardrobe? Do you go for comfort or cuteness?
I always wear pants. Mostly jeans or jean shorts and a loose T-shirt and a big ol’ scarf or a light jacket. I dress for both, ‘cause I can’t feel one without the other, really.
What are you most excited about in terms of this move? What element of your new life in California are you most jazzed about?
The newness! I need it. I love the road, but I wanted to call a new place home for a while. Who knows, though: I may end up being a Nashville girl at heart – or maybe a Philly girl or a Cali girl. But I do know I’m the kinda one that needs to step away to realize how much I love something. The good thing about Nashville is that it’ll be here when I need to come back around!
What are you going to miss most about living here?
The people. My friend family. My music family.
Will you come back and visit … soon?!
Are you kidding? I’ve already got a trip back here all planned out!