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All Apologies: Eleanor Friedberger

20 August 2016, 09:00

Ahead of her appearance at the End of the Road Festival and an autumn tour, Eleanor Friedberger takes the Best Fit Q&A.

What's your present state of mind and being?

I'm suffering from pre-tour insomnia at the moment; there's too much racing around my brain. I have no trouble falling asleep but I wake up around 3:00 or 4:00 just to toss and turn for a few hours. There's no logic to it. My thoughts veer from the most trivial and mundane (what clothes do I pack?) to the most existential (what am I doing with my life?!)

What's the most overrated virtue?


What one thing have you learnt from your parents?

Practically speaking, my mom taught me to cook and my dad taught me how to ride a bike. I value both equally. Broadly speaking, I don't recognize what I've learned so much as how I am in equal measure, each of them. It's very strange, almost freakish, how I am a perfect by-product of two people

What the most desirable quality you look for in romantic partner?

A good sense of humor and a nice body.

What and where was the greatest meal you ever ate?

I'm spoiled for choices. The first that comes to mind, because it's that time of year, was in Greece, at Sounion where my mother's cousins have a beach house down the road from the Temple of Poseidon, certainly one of the best places to watch the sun set. It was just before my 21st birthday and we celebrated with spaghetti and lobster. Greek lobster isn't the same as regular lobster; it's smaller and the flavor is much stronger and I don't think they have claws. The tomato sauce was fresh and very simple, and it arrived at the table on an enormous platter. I was simultaneously smelling and tasting the sea.

What's your most treasured possession?

Maybe the table I'm sitting at right now. It was my grandmother's dining room table. She painted the legs a light, mustard yellow at some point in the 1960s; the top is a lovely blonde wood. I got it, along with a lot of other furniture after she died in 2007 and I used it as a desk when I was lucky enough to have a large office. It's now in my dining room. Nearly every song I've written in the last 8 years has been sitting as this table, along with countless emails and conversations!

What was the last dream you had about?

Last night I dreamt that someone very close to me shaved off his beard. I've never seen him without a beard so it was quite startling to see his face. Was it him or was it someone else?

What's the biggest lie on your Wikipedia page?

One second, let me have a look--- It's not a great summation of my life, but there are no lies! I would only add under Instruments: drums.

If you could say something to your 15-year-old self, what would it be?

Instead of just pretending to play your mom's old, classical nylon-stringed guitar and sing along to records for hours and hours, why don't you learn to actually play the thing and practice guitar for an hour every night? Or maybe even take a few lessons? If you do, I bet by the time you're 39, you'll be a really good guitar player.

And finally, who would you most like to apologise to and why?

If I'm making apologies, I would probably go the 12 Step route and practice Steps 8 and 9. I'd start big with my parents and brother and just go down the list, ending with the kids I bullied in grammar school, leaving no stone left unturned!

Eleanor Friedberger plays the End of the Road Festival on 2 September and tours the UK from 31 Aug - full dates over on Songkick. The album New View is out now via French Kiss Records.
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