"I play melodic pop-rock music,” says Vista singer/songwriter Wendy Bailey. “Think Foo Fighters with an Annie Lennox-ish type lead voice. I’ve had comparisons like Velocity Girl, Liz Phair, and Jimmy Eat World.”
Originally from Colorado, Bailey was the youngest of three siblings, one of whom inspired her first musical aspirations. “My older sister played piano and violin, so those were the first instruments I learned on, when I was around eight. But I also wanted to sing, so I later picked up the guitar and started learning [to play] when I was in junior high. That seemed like the most efficient way to evolve into a solo singer/songwriter. I got a Fender Telecaster and then a Gibson Les Paul Studio, [and] I got a locally made Taylor that kept sounding better over time, the more I played it.”
Bailey attended Seattle Pacific University in Washington, where she began gigging at area venues, and she spent a short time plying her sonic trade in Nashville before landing in San Diego in 2002. Her self-released five-song EP It Ain’t Rocket Surgery was re-released in 2009 by local Blindspot Records, and her songs have appeared on the past three volumes of Blindspot’s San Diego music compilation series, Staring at the Sun.
In late 2011, Blindspot issued her String Theory CD, produced by Mike Kamoo (the Stereotypes, the Loons) and nominated for Best Pop Album at this year’s San Diego Music Awards (which also gave her Best Pop noms in 2009, 2010, and 2011). Featuring songs penned by Bailey and Bart Mendoza (the Shambles, Manual Scan), as well as lead vocals from both, guest performers on the album include Lee Harding (Echo Revolution) and Ed Kornhauser (Purity of Essence).
Wendy Bailey appears on November 1 at Riviera Supper Club in La Mesa, as well as on November 13 on the House of Blues’ Voodoo Stage.
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
“Honestly, I’m listening to a lot of singles these days, as well as compilations I created from iTunes. They include artists like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Muse, and the Goo Goo Dolls.”
EVER BEEN INJURED ONSTAGE?
“Yes. I was playing with one of my first bands here. We had a show at the San Diego Sports Bar, which is now the Ruby Room. I was trying to move my amp across the stage about three feet or so above the floor, and I missed my step and skinned my shin. I didn’t know until after the show that I was bleeding. I still have a scar from that.”
WHO IN YOUR FAMILY DO YOU TAKE AFTER?
“No one specifically. I’m a healthy balance between the white and black sheep of my family.”
WHAT COSMIC TRIVIA IS STUCK IN YOUR BRAIN?
“How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?”
FAVORITE LOCAL SINGER?
“Marie Haddad’s voice is truly lovely.”
BEST AND WORST BAND NAMES?
“The best would probably be Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The worst? Butt Trumpet.”
“U2, during their Achtung Baby tour in Tacoma, Washington. It was my first time seeing them in concert. That was 1992, and they were so far away from me, but I was in the same room with them, and that’s all that mattered. I cried.”
BIGGEST LIE YOU EVER TOLD?
“In high school, when I said, ‘Yes, I’m in love with him.’”
WHO MAKES OUT IN YOUR WILL?
“No will made yet, but, indeed, I’m not sure who will get my lovely guitars.”
IDEAL VACATION SPOT?
“Vacation? What’s that? Musicians don’t go on vacation...that’s what tours are for.”
EVER BEEN FIRED?
“Yes. A long time ago, I was working for a small studio in Seattle. I wasn’t very good at collecting funds for our invoices, so, alas, no money equals no job.”
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK?
“I’m thankful for every day I wake.”
LAST TIME YOU GOT YELLED AT?
“I think it was by my drummer for canceling a practice.”
FIRST TIME DRUNK?
“I can’t remember. It was that good.”
CRAZIEST MONEY-MAKING SCHEME?
IF YOU COULD CHANGE YOUR NAME?
“Hey, I like my name.”
TELL US SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU.
“Best to keep such things unknown...you can’t handle the truth.” ■