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Artist Interview

Jocie Adams of ARC IRIS

December 9, 2015

Imagine you are deep in the thicket of an enchanted forest. You happen upon a clearing wherefrom a majestic, golden-winged goddess with the vocal equivalent of windchimes and sunlight appears. Meet Jocie Adams, the frontwoman for Arc Iris, a band that infuses sophisticated orchestral sounds with a raw grit and sweet whimsy. We spent an afternoon with Jocie, Ray, Zach and, yes, a polar bear (one very old, inherited heirloom that deserved a little glory). Experience the magic of Arc Iris tonight, Friday 11th, from 6-8pm, at Ode. Meet Jocie: bear queen and empress of sound.

How was Arc Iris—the name, the band, the sound—born?
Arc Iris means rainbow.  Rainbows are beautiful not only because they are pretty, but because they represent the wiping away of the old and step into the new.  Sometimes the rain needs to fall, the ground needs to get muddy and sticky, and the roads need to turn into swimming pools in order to see what floats. Arc Iris floats.

Where do you feel most at home?
I feel most at home in my house in Providence. I live in a small city, but my house feels more like a cabin.  I get the feeling of quiet and aloneness and the perk of having friends and family around to give me a hug when I need one.

If you owned a bar on mars, where would it be, who would be there, and what musical guest would be performing?
It would be along the Valles Marineris (a huge canyon on mars that is 3000 kilometers long -- http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_83.html).  Who doesn't want a good view.  It's also more likely that water might resurface there, so that's a major plus.  The musical guest would probably have to be a David Bowie / Joni Mitchell duo show where their band would have to include Rick Wakeman on keys, Jon Anderson on background vocals, hand claps and bells, Sister Rosetta Tharpe on background vocals and guitar, a monkey on vibraphone, Steve Gadd on drums, and James Jamerson on bass.

What makes you laugh?
It's pretty easy to make me laugh... so I'd say it depends on the day but it could as simple as a silly face or an incongruity that is not at all funny to anyone else.

Favorite memory of snow?
I think excessive driving in snow has erased every positive memory of snow that I have ever had, though I am sure I loved it when I was little.  I like jumping in puddles when we have summer rains!  I highly suggest it.

Best thing to do in Providence in the morning? Best thing to do at night?
The best thing to do both in the morning and in the night is to EAT! Providence has excellent restaurants.  My old bandmates also spearheaded and nurtured the growth of one of my favorite venues, the Columbus Theatre. A morning walk in the spring around town is also highly recommended.  Providence is magical in the spring.

If you were a piece of clothing, what color/fabric/pattern would it be?
If I were a piece of clothing I would probably be somebodies old favorite t-shirt that they have worn a million times. The one that has holes everywhere but you still wear it even though you can't really justify it.

What's your favorite line from any song?
Whoa that is too difficult. I love lyrics. 
I defer to Zach who answers - Harry Nilsson, I'd Rather Be Dead: "I'd rather be dead than wet my bed".

If you could wake to any sound, what sound would that be?
Stereo cat purr - that's when there is a car on either side of your head and they are both purring.  There have been studies that the sound of a cat purring has many positive impacts on human health.

Pablo Neruda once wrote an ode to socks. To what surprising/unexpected thing would you compose an ode?
I guess I would write an ode to that polar bear rug! I would like imagine what he did in his past life. I would have to at least imagine that it was long, fulfilling and full of great meals.

[Chattman Photography]