Tell us about your tour vehicle. Any notable breakdown stories?
Irakli: It’s a 2002 Honda CRV. 170K miles on it, but it hasn’t seen much touring action lately, sadly, due all that’s been happening with the pandemic. Radiator, power steering, starter had to be replaced…
We had some “fun” in Virginia once, when the starter gave up, but luckily there were kind and skillful strangers at hand who knew how to bang it with a hammer and get the car started again. We didn’t turn off the engine all the way back to Nashville. I would not recommend it. But thank you, kind people of Virgina.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
Anana: We love making sandwiches and taking a cooler with us. House concerts are great usually because you get fed, and some venues offer food as well. That’s always great. Part of the fun is exploring local eateries, wherever we may be, coffee shops, BBQ joints. There’s always a more boring but healthy option of going to a supermarket to stock up in bigger towns.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
Irakli: It seems like it’s always the G string, isn’t it? Why? Maybe someone can enlighten me. Even if you don’t break them, it’s still a good idea to replace them every few weeks or months! Although that’s about one of my least favorite things to do. I tried Elixir strings which last longer but cost more, about 15 bucks for a set. But recently went back to D’Addarios, they sound better to me, although wear out quicker. About 8 bucks for a set I think.
Where do you rehearse?
Irakli: These days it’s our house. There’s a cat and a dog. The cat especially loves ballads, and acoustic guitars. If he starts rolling around on the floor, we feel like we’re doing something right. Of course, there’s a chance we may be gravely mistaken. Never a dull day with cats. The dog is rather indifferent in her old age and wisdom.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
Anana: “In another lonely lifetime when I was fragile as a child
You pointed at the moon and said “I’m gonna make it smile”
Describe your first gig.
Irakli: It was at a rather tiny and nasty place called BMW Bar, in NYC. I don’t think it had anything to do with the car, BMW. I forget what it stood for. But there was always this one guy, I’m not sure what he was on – or what he needed, but he would do a peculiar dance each time, during the 3rd song, no matter what song it was. I took it as a good sign. Foolish move.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
Anana: We fell into making music videos some years back since we needed to make one for one of our songs but couldn’t afford to hire anyone else to do it. We were both big film and photography people and having studied it in the past helped us out along the way. The word spread quickly and fast forward, we now have our own video production company called Duende Vision. We’re very grateful to have an artistic “day job” that we love and for the incredible musicians that we’ve gotten a chance to work with throughout the years.
How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?
Irakli: Well – it went from zero to not being broke, so that’s something to be grateful for – especially taking into account the video work. With no touring, no house concerts, and a lot less session work than before the pandemic, it’s been pretty tough. The good thing about technology is that we can record from home, so it’s nice when people ask us to overdub something on their records, vocals, keys, guitars…
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Irakli: Not to pay attention to all kinds of music business advices and spend a lot more time on actually practicing and playing. Less thinking, the better it is, especially early on.