Thao Nguyen is a young singer-songwriter who’s been writing introspective music since the age of 12. While attending William & Mary University, she met Willis Thompson, and soon thereafter, they met Adam Thompson to form what eventually became known as Thao with the Get Down Stay Down. The group signed to Kill Rock Stars and in 2005 released a low-fi folk album under her name, Like the Linen. In early 2008, the music grew fuller with the release of critically lauded We Brave Bee Stings and All.
After I met with Willis earlier in the day following their instore (fantastic) performance at End of an Ear Records in Austin, Texas, an interview was penciled in for 7:30 p.m. later that evening. While a series of miscommunications and bad timing followed, and by 10:30 I was sure my time had passed, Willis found me in the crowd and led me to the merchandise booth, where Thao Nguyen was endearingly selling t-shirts and vinyl copies of the record. After a formal introduction, Thao led me to the artist area above the courtyard, where the faint sound of Horse Feathers’ blend of violin folk escaped when the door to the inside stage would open.
Thao graciously took a few minutes out of the night to answer my questions, where we spoke on topics such as the very first headlining tour (currently ongoing), strange vocal comparisons, what inspires her songwriting, and the music she puts on in the van when she’s driving.
“Beat (Health, Life & Fire)”
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down 2008 Tour Dates:
08/08 – Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Music Hall
08/09 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
08/11 – Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse
08/12 – Cambridge, MA @ T.T. Bear’s Place
08/13 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
08/14 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
08/30 – Seattle, WA @ Bumbershoot
09/29 – Upland, IN @ Taylor University