Tell us about your tour vehicle.
Elizabeth Elkins: Once we bought a used Ford Escape to tour in. It broke down constantly. So it’s mostly rentals now.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
Vanessa Olivarez: It’s impossible, I’ve decided. Is Chick-Fil-A healthy?
Elizabeth: Pack what you can. Though I can’t say I’ve done well with this.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
Elizabeth: I’ve only broken one string on an acoustic guitar. It was in 2016. When I played in a rock band I broke one or more a week. Fortunately, Granville Automatic string costs are low. I hope I didn’t just jinx it.
Where do you rehearse?
Elizabeth: The Atlanta rehearsal space we used some was originally Matchbox Twenty’s. But now when we rehearse we play at one of our houses.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
Vanessa: Eight-year old me (as if I knew about broken hearts) wrote one called “I Still Love You”:
I thought that we’d always be together
I thought that we’d share our laughter forever
But I still love you, though you may not know it
When it comes to my heart, you’ve already broken it
Describe your first gig.
Vanessa: I was 15 and it was at Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta for his famous open mic. I was so nervous… which is something that’s never really left me. Stage fright. Ha! But I always felt thankful for the warm and responsive audience when I started frequenting the place to sing every Monday. Thank you, Eddie Owen!
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
Vanessa: Teaching voice… which I still do for students who I feel are dedicated to their craft in the same way I am. It is also my favorite day job.
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?
Elizabeth: It changes yearly. There have been many, many years of negative income because of recording and touring, and several fortunate years where we’ve been able to write songs for a living. I do not anticipate a change in the unpredictability of it.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Vanessa: That you never really “get there”. That the music industry is a rickety old ladder to the sky for which there is no end. I feel like I’m constantly striving to be more successful. To be greater.