Phoebe Bridgers On the 8 Things That Made Her Career

From booking family reunions to working with Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

by Lauren Tegtmeyer
Originally Published: 

In NYLON'S Top 8 video series, we ask artists to tell us the eight people, places, and things that made their careers — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here, January 2021 cover star Phoebe Bridgers breaks down her Top 8.

1. Family Reunions

"After I graduated high school late 2013 or early 2014, my grandfather paid me to play a family reunion, but not my own. And then Gordon Gano was playing, weirdly. Like a couple of years later, I ended up opening for Violent Femmes."

2. Being Called the "Girl Next Door"

"I think it was 2014, I was being cast in a movie about a fictional girl band, and the male producer told me that I was f*ckable. He told me that I was like girl-next-door-style attractive and that's why I was so castable because anybody could f*ck me, and then I called my mom laughing hysterically and didn't feel bad about ghosting them."

3. Marshall Vore

"Late 2014, I got a message on my music Facebook from a guy called Marshall Vore and my mom was reading my Facebook and responded to him and said that, 'Yes, I would open for his band,' even though I didn't tell her she could do that and now we're best friends and we write all my songs together and play music all day long."

4. Julien Baker

"In 2016, I met Julien Baker who took me on tour. I was going upstairs and she was coming downstairs and we said, 'Dude!' 'Dude!' 'Dude!' 'Dude!' Then we did a whole tour. Then we started a band. We got to play the Ryman in 2018 as our first show as boygenius, our band, with Lucy Dacus. That was fun."

5. Conor Oberst

"In 2016, I got asked to play like a secret show at the Bootleg and I got an email, like a group email, from Conor Oberst about how he didn't wanna check a microphone cause he doesn't believe in microphones. Then we met, became fast friends, and started a band together also, called Better Oblivion Community Center that we toured in 2019."

6. Bon Iver

"In 2018, I finished a really, really grueling tour in the U.S. and went directly to London to open for Bon Iver and when I was sound-checking Sean [Carey] and Justin [Vernon] came on stage and played a bunch of my songs with me that they knew by heart. That was pretty awesome."

7. Getting 'Rock Star Sick'

"In November 2019, I got really sick right before this giant show in London and had to get a steroid shot into my butt cheek. It was like not strep throat, but that's what it felt like and I completely lost my voice. A doctor shot steroids into my butt cheek and then like that night I was like, 'Don't know what the f*ck I was talking about. Like I feel f*cking awesome!' And then I woke up the next day with like my face melting off so it’s like one of those things that really like, you’re like, 'Man I love my job.'"

8. Phoebe Waller-Bridge

"In 2020, Phoebe Waller-Bridge started emailing me because we have the same name and then we were gonna get drinks in London. It was gonna be super fun. Cut to March 2020 and then we decided to make a music video in the middle of nowhere. So I was gonna be like the lead of this lovely music video and then she got me on the phone and was like 'I've replaced you with a leading lady,' and then she had texted me a picture of a long-haired blond Chihuahua, so... She's the funniest person I've ever met by far."

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