Karla Bonoff: ‘My first album has a lot of sentimental value to me’

February 2015

Interview. Famous for her work with Linda Ronstadt, author of the hits « Someone To Lay Down Beside Me », « All My Life » and « Tell Me Why », Karla Bonoff is a major artist of the US folk/rock scene. She has been, kind enough to answer to my questions.

When did you feel that music was your vocation? 

As I recall around the age of 15 it became clear to me that music would be my destiny. I was not very interested in school or continuing on to college out of high school. I had already met many musicians in the local LA music scene.

Which musicians inspired you?

I was inspired by many different types of music starting with what I heard on the radio growing up, R&B the Beatles the Rolling Stones. After that I started listening folk music like Joan Baez, Bon Dylan, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor were big influences on me later on.

Los Angeles was the place to be for a musician in the 60s and 70s. How was life there at the time? Was it as wild and exciting as it is often said?

I guess so, in some ways it was very competitive and very stressful, as we were not making very much money. Everyone was concentrating on trying to get record deals and finding places to play. But yes, I suppose for some it was a wild time.

L.A. in the 70s was a very artistic town. Do you think that L.A. was the heart of an artistic movement? 

Yes, looking back it appears that it was, especially for the young emerging singer-songwriter set.

You formed a band called Bryndle. Could you tell me more about this album you recorded and never released? Will it be released someday?

Bryndle made an album in 1970 for A&M records. It was not released.

We did reform in the 90s and made an album that was quite well received, and did a tour as well. We made the second one in 2005, which is still available.

You recorded four solo studio albums. Which of one do you prefer?

My first album has a lot of sentimental value to me, and it also represented many years of hard work. With that said I do have to say that there are signs on all of the items that I am proud of. The live album recorded in 2007 is special to me because it showcases the band work that I did with Kenny with Kenny Edwards for so many years

Where do you take your inspiration? What are the themes that inspire you the most to write lyrics? 

Inspiration is a mysterious thing and not something that I know when to expect. Song ready for me is just about opening the channels in living things come out. For me the best songs have simply come out of accessing a deeper place in my subconscious, without a lot of judgment and criticism.

Is there a missed opportunity in your career that you deeply regret?

I believe everything happens as it is supposed to. I don’t have any regrets.

You are still touring. Is there a chance to see you live in France in the near future? 

I sure hope so; we need someone to invite us!


See the other English interviews published by Yuzu Melodies.