Q&A: Elizabeth and the Catapult

Q&A: Elizabeth and the Catapult

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It’s been a big week for the frontwoman of Elizabeth and the Catapult. Just a day before releasing her third album “Like It Never Happened,” Elizabeth Ziman made her cinematic debut at Sundance in “Song One,” starring her famous fan, Anne Hathaway. We asked Ziman about her big week, her role in last year’s Oscars and her artistic idol (hint: it’s not a musician!).

G: Anne Hathaway used your song “Thank You for Nothing” whilst filming her iconic, Oscar-winning hair-cutting scene in “Les Miserables.” What was your reaction when you first heard about this?
EZ: I thought it was very random! My first thought was, “That’s incredible. How on earth has she heard of my music?” It was definitely a surprise. … [After that,] I was called in for an audition that I didn’t know what it was for [except] that it had something to do with a movie about musicians. I went in and I played a song on my guitar that I had been busking with. And then I realized as the audition progressed that I was auditioning for Anne Hathaway’s husband [producer Adam Shulman]. Anne Hathaway’s starring in a film [called “Song One”] about New York City musicians. … I think that was her way of saying thank you. I had the last scene that they were shooting for the movie. It was in the middle of the night, and she gave me a big hug. It was very sweet.

G: Who are your greatest influences?
EZ: If I’m just going to be completely honest, I have to say [Woody Allen]. It’s funny because I saw him for the first time in person the other day at Carole King’s new musical that she just put out, … and Woody Allen was walking in right before me! … I grew up on Minetta Lane and right around the corner is Cafe Wha? where Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Richard Dryer and Woody Allen all had their start. I was listening to a lot of comedy albums as I was growing up, and I was always really into Woody Allen’s movies and the scores for his films, so he’s number one. … [For musicians,] I’m a really big of Nina Simone; I’ve been listening to her earlier recordings, a lot of her classical improvisations. … Maybe my biggest influence of contemporary musicians would probably Rufus Wainwright or St. Vincent.

G: You have one of the most involved, personal and funniest social media presences out there. How do you think artists should use technology and social media to reach out to fans? How has it helped you as an artist?
EZ: It’s helped me a lot; I think the basis of my audience right now is a product of me sharing a lot on Facebook and on Twitter over the last few years. … I think people just have a really short attention span these days, and it’s really expensive to put records out, so if you can record as much as is humanly possible of things that you’re proud of, and maybe put out singles when you can, between records, and just make as much live content as possible and stay really open with your fans, I think it can only help you. I think it’s the one free way that you can have a leg-up today. Other than touring, you just create, write and share.

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