Ames Talks Writing With Kelly Clarkson & Premieres Donnie Darko-Themed 'Picture In My Mind' Watch

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Amy Kuney prefers the unconventional route.

“It’s arduous for me to do something simple,” the singer/songwriter, who performs underneath the moniker Ames, tells Billboard. “I form of all the time want one thing to be a bit f---ed up.”

That perspective is obvious with the rollout of her new single, “Picture In My Mind” (premiering at the moment on Billboard.) Rather than roll out the only with a conventional music video, Kuney opted to debut the monitor with a reside efficiency -- the place she and her bandmates sport the enduring, menacing Frank the Rabbit costume from Donnie Darko. The result's weird, however completely captures Kuney’s twisted humorousness.

Ames talked to Billboard concerning the efficiency clip (which was accredited by Darko director Richard Kelly, by the way in which), writing for Kelly Clarkson and Michelle Branch, and the woes of residing within the age of social media after a break-up: “If they’ve discovered a brand new individual, you see precisely what’s happening, whether or not you need to or not.”

Billboard: What is the inspiration behind “Picture In My Mind”?

Amy Kuney: It’s about how even whenever you break up with any person, you might be nonetheless pummelled repeatedly with pictures of their life. If they’ve discovered a brand new individual, you see precisely what’s happening, whether or not you need to or not. You can go stalk them, however it additionally simply form of reveals up in your face in the event you’re on any form of social media in any way. It’s a type of issues we didn’t must cope with 20 years in the past; perhaps you’d exit to a bar and also you’d see your ex with somebody and also you’d go away. But now, you get to see this horrible factor unfold in entrance of you and it’s fucking terrible. You don’t actually have the luxurious of leaving that to the creativeness anymore.

I’m in a cheerful relationship now, I’m engaged. But I’ve dated quite a bit and my fiance has dated quite a bit, and we've an analogous story of anybody who we broke up with, we needed to see the horrible shit that ensued. It’s simply actually painful. I’m joyful for them, but in addition -- they’re like flaunting these things. I shouldn’t must see that. It’s not pure.

So how did the Donnie Darko rabbit costumes come into play?

When somebody asks me, “are you able to do that, and simply do it straight down the center,” I can. But then I've to make folks a bit bit uncomfortable, I assume? It’s simply my approach.

I do know the director of Donnie Darko and I despatched him an image whereas we have been filming to get his blessing and he was like, “oh my god, that is ridiculous.” It’s Halloween, and I really like that film. It simply appears proper.

It was hella sizzling in these costumes. We needed to flip off the air-con to document the video. We returned a lot of the costumes to Amazon, however one in all them -- my guitar participant sweat so dangerous, in order that they wouldn’t settle for it. So we had to purchase one.

You’ve written for a number of artists, together with Kelly Clarkson. What was that like?

I used to be writing with Molly Kate Kestner and Nick Ruth. We wrote a tune referred to as “Slow Dance” for Molly and it was form of her life expertise courting in a small city in Minnesota. She’s on Atlantic and Kelly is on Atlantic and by some means, accidentally, it received to Kelly’s A&R. Kelly was like, “I really like this, I’d like to have it,” so we have been, in fact, like, “completely, it’s yours!”

She flew us out to Nashville twice and we had a few week of strong writing. There have been like 4 completely different teams of individuals writing in numerous rooms and he or she would are available and hear, and if she appreciated it, she’d reduce it. So we wrote “Move You” and he or she reduce it, I feel that day or the subsequent day.

She was actually constructive. She would are available and take heed to the tune during. If there was a component she was form of iffy about, we'd change it. She’s a very superb individual. She tweaked a pair traces truly on “Move You” and, you recognize, the factor to do -- anybody who messes with the lyrics, they get a proportion -- and he or she mentioned, “I completely don’t desire a proportion,” regardless that she tweaked the final verse fairly a bit. And I simply thought that was actually gracious of her. I heard an interview along with her concerning the songs on the album and he or she was requested if she had something to do the writing on that tune and he or she mentioned, “no, it was all Amy and Molly.” She’s simply actually cool, and he or she will get to know your identify. There was no “diva” in any respect.

How did you get into the world of songwriting?

I’ve been writing so long as I can keep in mind. I feel the primary time I wrote lyrics was once we noticed Sister Act and there’s that tune, “I Will Follow Him.” I re-wrote the lyrics, only for myself, a few “her.” I might sing it to myself -- I used to be most likely about twelve?

But so far as co-writing for different folks, my supervisor on the time was additionally managing Michelle Branch, so she put me in a room along with her and we wrote collectively for nearly three years for her previous album, Hopeless Romantic. That was the most effective expertise as a result of she is an incredible author, however she additionally took me in to the most effective producers. I went out to Nashville and wrote just a few songs along with her and Patrick Carney -- which was one other insane second.

Michelle is such a gem. When “Hold On” got here out -- the final tune I put out -- she simply blasted it out. She has been so good to me. I've her to thank for lots.

So what’s subsequent for you?

I’m going to be placing out an EP in January, I feel. There’s going to be six songs. I put out one single already after which this. And then I've a tune referred to as “Mama It’s Me” that’s popping out round Christmas, I feel. It’s a letter to my mother about how a lot she worries about me -- simply form of setting her thoughts relaxed.