These days not only is Greg Kurstin one half of band The Bird & The Bee – with Inara George – he’s also an in demand producer, having worked with the likes of Lily Allen, Katy Perry, Beck and, allegedly, Adele. As he introduces an acoustic version of new The Bird & The Bee track Will You Dance? (below), he discusses both with Q.
Hello Greg, how’s it going?
Hi. It’s going very well, thank you.
Below is an acoustic version of new song Will You Dance?, can you introduce the track for us?
Sure. Well this is our first single from our upcoming album. It’s one of the early songs that almost didn’t make the album. In the end it seemed to fit with everything and became a favorite.
You’re both performing/ producing together in the room in the clip, is this a good representation of how you two operate?
I think the video shows what it sounds like when we play or jam ideas in the studio. We sometimes write songs in this same way. There’s a drum machine playing a simple beat and I’ll move around the different keyboards experimenting while Inara sings.
Club/ wedding/ standing in front of the mirror… will you dance, Greg? What’s the signature Kurstin move?
I think my signature dance move might be some sort of 80s new wave pogo which I only break out on very special occasions. It will only last for about three seconds. Then I go back to a very subtle less is more approach.
How does Will You Dance? fit into the new album? What can we expect?
The lyrics throughout Recreational Love have a common theme. I think Will you Dance? fits right in with that. I think it’s also a good preview into what the album’s sound is like.
How much does being a producer inform what you do in the band or vice versa? Do you ever record things for other people and then wish you kept the idea or sound for your own band?
When I’m working with Inara my main focus is production sounds or the arrangements. At the beginning when we’re writing I focus more on the chords and harmony but soon after I’m in production mode. I think when I work with other artists the style is so specific to them that I couldn’t imagine it for the bird and the bee. Sometimes it might inspire an idea that crosses over.
What was it like working with Beck? We recently got to hear Dreams recently, is there more to come?
I used to tour with Beck back around the Sea Change era as well as play on some of his albums. I’ve always been a fan so it was great to work in this capacity as a producer and co-writer. He comes up with such great ideas. We’ve worked on a lot of things so we’ll see!
How much does your continuing success as a ‘super producer’ get in the way of making and touring The Bird & The Bee?
I think Inara and I have a lot more going on in our lives which slows down the process a little and definitely makes it harder to tour but we still make time. We’ve already started plans for the next album.
Finally, because an email Q&A about your new single is the place to do it, tell us all about how the Adele record is going…
I love Adele. I can’t wait to see what she does next!
For more head to Thebirdandthebee.com.