Music is My Life: Episode 060

Anna Bulbrook on Toxic Violin, Kanye West Epiphanies, and Girlschool

Anna Bulbrook discusses her life in music in this podcast.

Anna Bulbrook began studying violin at the New England Conservatory at the age of four. She eventually “broke up” with the instrument in what she calls a “Come to Jesus” moment. But then she changed the terms of the relationship after what we call a “Come to Yeezus” moment. She played a gig in Aspen with Kanye West, and realized that violin doesn’t have to be so rigid.

The next week she started the Airborne Toxic Event with Mikel Jollett, who had previously been her editor when she interned at Filter magazine. She played with the band for more than a decade, as well as moonlighting with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and even lent her strings to several tracks on Lemonade, the Beyoncé masterpiece from 2016.

She recently quit the Airborne Toxic Event and began to put her creative energy into founding Girlschool, a Los Angeles-based musical education community, aimed at empowering women-identified artists. Yes, this is the school where the Linda Lindas got their start!

In this interview Anna Bulbrook discusses her several phases of musical development and rebirth, and what people don’t tell you when you begin playing in a band.