Broke-Ass Band Interview: Rachel Fannan (Formerly of Sleepy Sun)

Towards the end of 2010, Rachel Fannan stepped out from the shadow of her former band Sleepy Sun and into the light of her own indomitable force as frontwoman. Outspoken, super fun, and filled to the brim with love for life (and love for love), this leading lady is not to be trifled with. With of the most powerful voices I’ve heard in quite a while, her music is not to be missed, especially live shows (scroll down for a video!).

She’ll be opening for J Mascis & The Black Heart Procession tonight (Tuesday, May 3rd) at the Crepe Place in Santa Cruz and on Friday, May 6th at the Echo in Los Angeles. But fear not, she’ll be back up to the Bay to play more shows this summer! Mark your calendar for August 19th at Café Du Nord (with me! Super excited!).

I caught up with Rachel to ask her some about San Francisco, touring, and the trials and tribulations of making money as a musician. Like her music, her answers are direct and to the point. Read on!

Introduce yourself!

Hey I’m Rachel Fannan.

Describe your sound in five words.

Romantic solo trips to 1963.

Favorite thing about San Francisco?

Parking tickets (that’s a joke).

Favorite SF restaurant?

Golden Era.

Favorite SF bar?

Rye.

How do you prepare for a big show? What will you be doing the night before?

I stop talking for a while right before I go on to just sort of collect myself. On a night before though, nothing special.

What can people expect at your shows?

I’m not sure… something sweet to think to.

What do you do during downtime on tour? Any weird hobbies?

During downtime… manicures or I’ll cuddle with my fella. I would consider at least one of those a hobby.

What’s next for the band (i.e. plug your next show!)?

I’ll be opening up for J Mascis & Black Heart Procession in Santa Cruz & Los Angeles.

What movie can you watch over and over and never get sick of?

2001 Space Odyssey.

Favorite season or time of year?

Autumn because it seems even sadder than winter.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty, i.e. money: Have any tips for aspiring musicians trying to make it on their craft?

Oh this is hard. If you’re trying to sustain yourself rethink your relationship with your art form.

Best money saving tip in general?

Learn how to cook.

Where do you live now and what are some good cheap/fun things to do in that area?

In Echo Park you can drink as much coffee and cheap beer as you want and no one will judge you.

What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought and how did that feel?

It was a guitar and it felt great.

What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?

My boyfriend.

What is your favorite free thing to do?

Smoking grass and making love.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?

A theatre or a dance hall.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?

Ha, yeah, I do.

Any last words?

I love you.

*all photos by Alice Rona, via RachelFannan.com

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About the author

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.