Photo by Eirinn Lou Riggs

“I like the contrast of making invigorating songs about being tired”: An Interview with Floating Room

“Isn’t it such a good thing that I’m not sad like I used to be?” Tired and True, the forthcoming new EP by Portland-based multidisciplinary Uchinanchu American artist and creative force Maya Stoner aka Floating Room, releases October 30th of this year.

With the ever growing contemplation of being tired and the desire of writing songs that undertake the feeling of alienation and creative control ushers a perspective where it revolutionizes into this expedition of endless independent artistic aims. The songs of Stoner perfectly lay hold of something directly powerful and vividly fills a vital dose of energy that strikes up and opens you with life’s actuality. Overflowing with curiosity, I caught up with the artist via e-mail and talked to them about their upcoming new record Tired and True.

Maya! How was your day?

My day has been good. Lots of coffee and music. Thanks for asking!

You’ve quite got a hefty amount of awesome feedbacks from your recent single releases! How are you feeling about that?

I’m super appreciative of anyone who even takes the time to listen to a track of mine and especially thankful to writers who are down to help share my music! I know that it can be weirdly difficult to motivate myself to listen to new music sometimes when our brains are trained to favor things that are familiar or that we’ve been exposed to a lot. I’m honored when people give my songs a chance. I’m self releasing this album and have put a lot of work into every aspect of the release so the process of sharing it with the world feels even more rewarding.

I’ve noticed there are 2 year intervals from your records (Sunless 2016, False Baptism 2018, Tired and True 2020). What goes on during said intervals? How do you go into a state where, okay, now might be the best time to create music.

Around the same time I started this band I also started college, was making visual art and working multiple jobs. I took a break from music during my last year of school because I wasn’t sure if I’d ever have the opportunity to be in school again and I wanted to fully enjoy it. I was also in art shows I otherwise might not had had time for. Around then I broke up w/ my ex who was in the band at the time and thought it best we part ways musically as well and coincidentally two of my other bandmates who were dating moved away together. It was a convenient time for a break and subsequent fresh start with an all new line up. This is the lineup I recorded with. Since then I’ve graduated and am ready to put all my efforts into music because it’s what I love the most. I’ve already started working on new material and want there to be less time before the next release. I aim to achieve a fruitful creative practice without thinking of songs as capitalistic commodities to pump out like a factory.

Let’s talk about your forthcoming EP, Tired and True. Can you tell us a little about it and what to expect? I’m feeling keen and very much looking forward to it!

I like the contrast of making invigorating songs about being tired and that’s what this EP is. The songs have a general theme of being exhausted and becoming more disillusioned with age but sonically they don’t sound tired. I had no idea everyone would be feeling tired by the time I put this EP out. 2020 has been a trip. I hope others can find relief in my music in the same way I felt relief when I listened to David Berman’s last project, Purple Mountains. His lyrics are sad and tired yet made me feel less alone in a comforting and inspiring way.

In the making of the record, have you encountered anything fun and memorable that you can share us?

I think some people might assume that I commissioned the cover art because it’s a portrait of me but it’s actually an enormous painting my best friend Ona had already made as part of her fine art practice. She also tattoos. It was really exciting to me when she let me use the art as an album cover. I think it adds so much and fits well with the songs. I’m not going to be able to describe the painting as eloquently as she can but she described themes of taking care of oneself to fight dissociation. You can see her tattoos on her instagram and paintings on her website.



You’ve worked with a couple of friends and artists on Tired and True. How’s it like working with them?

I worked with some of the best musicians in town. They each added their own flavor but also wrote their parts in a complimentary way, making sure to pay careful consideration to the vision I had for each song and respecting my writing. It also helped that I genuinely love the music they each make.

Here are some of their current and past projects:

I also highly recommend Mo Troper to any bands seeking a producer. Besides playing bass he coproduced the album and had many great ideas.

Tired and True is out October 30th. Pre-order the album and 7″ vinyl here.