TORRES - "Stairwell Echo"
TORRES [Mackenzie Scott] sat down with us at Dose Coffee & Tea to discuss how she started, the recording process, Johnny Cash, haunted houses and the future for Torres.
Torres knows how to evoke emotions with raw and real clarity vocals throughout her first album, self-titled Torres. The Nashville singer-songwriter was recognized on Pitchfork as “Best New Track,” for her song Honey and rating her album at an 8.1.
Scott goes under the stage name “Torres” which comes from her grandfather’s last name.
“This is the first time I went under the name Torres,” Scott said. “I just took it on as my own.”
Scott attended Belmont University and graduated with a songwriting degree.
“Belmont taught me how to network,” Scott said. “[I also learned while at Belmont how] to never get in a place in the music industry where you are comfortable because that means you stopped doing new things and stopped pushing yourself.”
During her first years of college she found her songwriting comfort zone at 3a.m. in the stairwells of her dormitory.
“The night is where my inspirations come,” Scott said. “So I would just chill in the stairwells of the dorm. The sounds are really cool and echo-y.”
Scott first started to write songs when she bought her first guitar, an acoustic Taylor 414, at the age of 16.
“I taught myself how to play basic chords and finger pick,” Scott said. “But, I started to really write songs throughout college.”
Now, Scott enjoys playing her Gibson semi-hollow body and a red Epiphone SG electric guitar. Scott laughs telling us she bought the Epiphone when she thought she was Joan Jett.
“I would only wear black and leather,” Scott laughed placing her hand over face. “Then I thought ‘Oh, I’m an idiot, I’m not Joan Jett.’ But, I still play the Epiphone.”
According to Scott, Johnny Cash has a big influence on her, from his live performance style to his clothing.
“When I go to a store, I ask myself ‘Would Johnny wear this?’” Scott said laughing. “If he wouldn’t I’m not wearing it.”
Last July, before graduating college, Scott started to record her first album on tape, giving her songs a “human” feeling.
“The songs on this record are super intimate and the emotions are very real,” Scott said. “I wanted the sound quality to match that.”
The recording took place in an old empty house in Franklin, TN. According to Scott the house was haunted and was used as a hospital for wounded Civil War soldiers. Each song of Torres, gives off a haunted isolation vibe.
“We recorded in a huge empty room in the house,” Scott said. “I know I can hear the creaks in the floor and the tape realer going on the album.”
After a week of recording in the haunted house, Scott said she had her first encounter with a ghost while packing up her car to leave.
Scott sat up in her chair, leaned in close and said “I took all my stuff back in my car and when I sat down [in the driver’s seat] I noticed my window was down. So, I rolled it back up and then I noticed in the back, the back windows were rolled down. There is no way someone could have been in my car before. Then I realized ‘holy shit, there was a ghost in my car.’”
The recording process for Torres took six months. When the album was released on Spotify, it was picked up by several blogs around the country. One of the music blogs that picked Torres up was Daytrotter, her live session will air on their website early March. According to Scott she is flattered and still in disbelief from all the attention.
For Torres the future plan is to tour. Scott has a few tour dates lined up including SXSW.
“I want to be on tour for a long time,” Scott said. “I would like some solid tour dates for the next year and just go. Just getting out there and playing live is what I love to do.”
Scott said her favorite comment about her music was the song “Honey” was playing on a radio station in Seattle and a woman responded that she had to pull over on the side of the road at 2 a.m. when she heard the song.
“It makes me feel good that people are connecting with the music,” Scott said. “That’s why I write, is to connect with others.”
Favorite type of coffee?
Three artists or bands you are into lately?
Upcoming tour dates:
Grimey’s New & Preloved Music
Plush – St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
The Empty Bottle
New York, NY
The Paper Box