Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS BERLiN

November 26, 2009

TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY
TERRi NUNN OF BERLiN
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR NEW LiVE CD ALL THE WAY iN
DOiNG THiRTY YEARS iN ROCK N ROLL
AND THE BAND’S FUTURE PLANS
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In the twenty-seven years since BERLIN released their debut EP ‘PLEASURE VICTIM’, the band’s electro pop sensibility has unintentionally influenced a generation of electro torch bearers such as TAXI DOLL and GOLDFRAPP, but their sultry lead vocalist TERRI NUNN was probably more ahead of her time than the bands sound. In the days before MADONNA, NUNN was the true music video provocateur with that eighties ode to sexual role playing ‘SEX (I’M A…)’ and the BOWIE-esque new wave romp ‘MASQUERADE’. Aside from her pouty red lips, high cheekbones and blue, bedroom eyes, NUNN possessed an equally sexy purr that could growl like PAT BENATAR and croon (rather chillingly) like EURYTHMICS-era ANNIE LENNOX. (READ MORE)

ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS SACRLET SiNS

November 26, 2009

FiRE iNSiDE
SYLVYA NUVYNSKA AND CRiSTiNA BiSHOP
OF SCARLET SiNS
TALK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR SELF-TiTLED DEBUT CD
NOT PLAYiNG THE SEX CARD
AND WORKiNG WiTH RiCHARD CHYCKi
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No one bats an eye these days when you put ‘women’ and ‘rock n roll’ in the same sentence. It doesn’t take an encyclopedic knowledge of music to list off just as many girl’s names as boy’s names in terms of influential rock artists but a band like SCARLET SINS will have folks wondering ‘How much do women rock?’ Traditionally, women who rock find themselves treading the golden path of disco (we don’t need to drop names). After listening to the self-titled debut CD of the Toronto-based SCARLET SINS, even I can’t imagine these dolls hitting the dance floor anytime soon. (READ MORE)

ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS ANA POPOViC

November 26, 2009

CONSiDER THiS
ANA POPOViC TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER LATEST CD BLiND FOR LOVE
A LiFE ON THE ROAD
AND TELLiNG A STORY THROUGH MUSiC
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Some of the best blues music in the world has always been about suffering but more importantly, it has also been about survival. Blues singer-guitarist ANA POPOVIC is something unexpected in a genre known for it’s gritty, down home sensibility. Born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, POPOVIC was raised on the sounds of ALBERT KING and MUDDY WATERS thanks to her father and –in fairly short order – picked up the guitar as he did. It was the blues that gave POPOVIC her first lessons in the English language. Once the language was mastered, the young guitar slinger was at a loss for what to say. All of that changed when the MILOSEVIC regime of her homeland came under fire from around the world leaving the country and it’s citizens marked by the misdeeds of their leader. It was at this time that POPOVIC was a stranger in a strange land – Holland – but it was here where the young Serbian sharpened her musicality and found her voice. The results of her extensive soul search resulted in her 2007 album STILL MAKING HISTORY – a catalog of songs that told the story of her country and it’s people. Now she is back with her latest offering ‘BLIND FOR LOVE’ (ECLECTO GROOVE RECORDS) – a most optimist blues collection that speaks of the good things that people tend to ignore in life. “I had decided to go for something a little more universal for this latest album.” Says POPOVIC “I started to ask myself ‘If I am going to make one more record, what will I want to leave as a message to all of my fans?’ I wanted to make a one-statement album about my life and what is really important in my life and the result was BLIND FOR LOVE. The album is all about love and all kinds positive and negative stories.” (READ MORE)

ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS THE HOOTERS

November 26, 2009

AND THEY DANCED
ERiC BAZiLiAN OF THE HOOTERS
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT THEiR LiVE CD BOTH SiDES LiVE
STEPPiNG BACK iNTO THE LiGHT
AND ELECTRiFYiNG AUDiENCES
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The band of brotherhood that exists amongst the members of THE HOOTERS is something of an anomaly in popular music. This sort of ‘all-for-one-and-one-for-all’ mentality wasn’t likely to make the band a subject for VH-1’s defunct BEHIND THE MUSIC series, but it does ensure one thing – great music. Founded by guitarist ERIC BAZILIAN and keyboardist ROB HYMAN, THE HOOTERS developed a strong following in their hometown of Philadelphia due to their engaging live sets and spirited power pop. It was this notoriety that caught the attention of producer RICK CHERTOFF who needed writers and a backing band for the debut album of his client CYNDI LAUPER. On the coattails of the success of LAUPER’s ‘SHE’S SO UNUSUAL’, THE HOOTERS struck out on their own with their debut album ‘AMORE’ and on to greater fame with their COLUMBIA RECORDS debut ‘NERVOUS NIGHT’, which boasted platinum sales and the top-forty hits ‘AND WE DANCED’ and ‘DAY BY DAY’. A momentous appearance at LIVE AID (They were the band that opened the show in Philadelphia) truly rocketed the band into the pop stratosphere but as the eighties morphed into the nineties the bands profile declined in the U.S. yet grew internationally before that band took a break. “We blinked.” says guitarist ERIC BAZILIAN “We had been continuously playing as THE HOOTERS for fifteen years at that point. I had something I wanted to do and ROB (HYMAN) had something he wanted to do and everybody had something that they wanted to do so we figured that we’d do it. All of a sudden, six years had gone by and PIERRE ROBERT (DJ for WMMR in Philadelphia) asked us to do his twentieth anniversary show and we got together onstage and we were completely overwhelmed.” (READ MORE)

ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS CANDYE KANE

November 26, 2009

TOUGHEN UP!
CANDYE KANE TaLK TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER CD SUPERHERO
BATTLiNG CANCER
AND TAKiNG CHARGE OF HER DESTiNY
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Blues mama CANDYE KANE is no stranger to adversity. When faced with a turbulent home life, music proved to be her salvation. When she became pregnant as a teenager, she knew in her heart of hearts that music was going to be the very thing that she would return to once her own budding family became stable. When she first started penning material for what would be her latest album, KANE was coming out of a ten year relationship and was ready to share her heartbreak with the world until two words changed her life forever – pancreatic cancer. “I pretty much thought that I was going to die.” says KANE “A pancreatic cancer diagnosis is pretty hard core. When they told me that that was what I had, I pretty much thought that that was it. I started making sure that my life insurance policy was intact and thinking about how I was going to leave my house to my kids and trying to get my affairs in order. I had a couple of tours that I ended up having to cancel and I had to figure out when my surgery was going to happen.” (READ MORE)

ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS MEREDiTH MEYER

November 25, 2009

NOVEMBER 25, 2009
A SENSE OF MYSTERY
MEREDiTH MEYER TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER LATEST CD iT’S SPOOKY TO BE YOUNG
WORKiNG WiTH BiLL RACiNE
AND BEiNG ENCAPSULATED iN THE MUSiC
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Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter MEREDITH MEYER’s love for music grew out of a strong dissatisfaction with the Oklahoma suburbs that surrounded her while growing up. Music provided an escape. After settling in the City of Angels, MEYER cut her teeth musically with a number of bands. Anxious to find her own sound, she teamed up with BRIAN KEHEW who produced her 2005 debut album ‘ITEMS YOU WON’T FIND ELSEWHERE’. Now MEYER has released ‘IT’S SPOOKY TO BE YOUNG’ – a plucky little collection of wistfully crafted odes to innocence and finding wonder in the most unexpected places. Working with producer BILL RACINE, MEYER was able to lose her self in the music in a way she hadn’t before. “I was pretty much there and fully encapsulated in recording that album.” says MEYER “That was the first time I had ever done that. It was really great. It was like going into this warehouse of creativity and being able to totally focus on the work. When I listen to it, I feel the feelings that I had when I was recording there.” (READ MORE)

ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS KELLi AND THE SHADOWMEN

November 25, 2009

SECOND CHANCE
KELLi LiDELL OF KELLi AND THE SHADOWMEN
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT RETURNiNG TO MUSiC
TOURiNG THE COUNTRY iN A BiG BLACK BUS
AND HER THOUGHTS ON THE WORD “CAN’T”
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Don’t let the gorgeous eyes, high cheekbones and full lips fool you. KELLI LIDELL is no supermodel and she is not the latest in a line of country divas to come off the Nashville (or is it AMERICAN IDOL these days?) assembly line. Instead, she is a country-blues roadhouse mamma with a sultry purr and a band of ball-to-the wall blues rock slingers. There was never any doubt about LIDELL’s destiny. The daughter of country singer JOHNNY LIDELL ( famed for the hit song PRIMROSE LANE), the young KELLI took to music enthusiastically but there was also a bit of an acting bug that needed to be satisfied (as a child, LIDELL was a regular on the hit TV show THE LIFE OF GRIZZLY ADAMS). For a brief moment, the shot at music stardom was coming true as she was signed to CBS RECORDS but the thrill was short-lived as LIDELL was involved in a serious auto accident. After ten years of grueling rehabilitation LIDELL learned that life was too short to stand still and is hitting the road with her band THE SHADOWMEN with a vengeance. Not forgetting the ten year struggle following her accident, LIDELL founded the SECOND CHANCE FOUNDATION – a non-profit organization geared toward helping individuals faced with adversity to achieve their dreams. (READ MORE)

ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS TRUE NATURE

November 25, 2009

EVERYTHiNG’S iN A NAME
LOU BARLOW (NOT THAT LOU BARLOW)
OF TRUE NATURE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS THRiLLiNG EP FEELS LiKE CENTURiES
STEPPiNG UP WiTH A POSiTiVE MESSAGE
AND STANDiNG APART FROM THAT OTHER GUY
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While he didn’t have the misfortune of being given the surname LUSH, the voice and songwriter behind TRUE NATURE was dealt an equally troublesome fate – being named LOU BARLOW. Being confused for the founder of the late-nineties lo-fi rock band DINOSAUR JR. has been an issue of concern for BARLOW given the disparate sound textures and messages between both men. The moniker TRUE NATURE was established to allow the music to shine through and end such confusion. In listening to TRUE NATURE’s sophomore EP ‘FEEL’S LIKE CENTURIES’ – names become less important and BARLOW’s hope of letting his music’s ENO-esque scope and BONO-esque ideals gleam brightly comes to fruition. With a little help from studio aces TONY LEVIN (JOHN LENNON and KING CRIMSON), AARON COMESS (THE SPIN DOCTORS) and GERRY LEONARD (DAVID BOWIE and RUFUS WAINWRIGHT) FEELS LIKE CENTURIES is a varied set of ambitious rockers (FREEDOM BEHIND THE SUN), smart, contemplative power pop (COLOR OF DAYLIGHT) and plaintive balladry (TRUTH I HAVE TO STEEL). For those who may feel let down by the brevity of ‘…CENTURIES’, they can be comforted by the fact that TRUE NATURE is putting the finishing touches on their as-of-yet-untitled debut LP, due in early 2010. (READ MORE)

ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS BRAY

November 25, 2009

PAiNTED DESERT
BRAY TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST CD @MPHiBiAN
BEiNG iSOLATED iN THE MOJAVE DESERT
AND WORKiNG WiTH PRODUCER GARY ST. CLAiR
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Some people are born to be rock stars. Before he could strum actual strings on an actual guitar (a telecaster by the looks of his CD’s inner sleeve photography), San Francisco-based rocker BRAY (BRAYDEN GURNARI) started out by picking up a “guitar” cut from a cardboard box and would lip synch to some of his favorite songs of the time in front of neighbors. Aware of the performer that was inside of him, the young BRAYDEN learned a thing or two about a real six string, shortened his name to BRAY and got a job. After releasing two albums (excluding a live set recorded in Germany) BRAY took off to the Mojave Desert for some solitude and to work with producer GARY ST. CLAIR for his latest album. The ecstasy and the isolation of those sessions resulted in something powerful within the young singer-songwriter and those results are captured on BRAY’s latest CD @MPHIBIAN. “I wanted to explore subjects that I wouldn’t have explored before because I do want to make sure that I do have a positive message in the work that I do but I did want to embrace some of the darker sides of life on this record so that we could view the positive side in stark contrast.” says BRAY “You can’t see the light without comparing it to the dark – jealousy, insecurity, loss and things like that.” (READ MORE)

Interview With GGM — Part One

July 24, 2009

It’s a rare opportunity indeed to sit down with the members of a busy indie band, much less a far-sighted group like Goodness Gracious Me. To pick the mind of a talented lead vocalist and guitarist such as Jeremy Green, bassist Sean Arrent, and drummer Skyler Henry is a profound honor — and that is exactly what happened on Wednesday the twenty-second day of the Babylonian year of our Lord, two-thousand and nine. It was a chat that this writer would be hard-pressed to deny as one of the most intrinsically amusing interviews in the history of Sacramento indie bands. Full of interesting quips and facetious humor, the trio of musicians had me struggling to keep my feet planted as a journalist. Yet despite the spattering of comical flavor, the group presented many intriguing and relevant observations about the current state of the music industry, and delivered some of the most valid points from an inside perspective.
This is how it went down:

When did you, as a band and individually, decide to devote your lives to music?

Sean: “Last Wednesday”

Jeremy: [concurring, with a malicious grin] “Wednesday”

Sky: “High school.”

Have you experienced any setbacks?

Sean: “Yeah — Goodness Gracious Me”

[Rolling laughter]

Jeremy: “Aside from being broke?”

Sean: “I think all of our projects have been failures before this one”

Jeremy: “Well, minor successes that didn’t lead anywhere”

Sky: “We’re always broke all the time. Sean’s the only one with a real job.”

What music has inspired you in your life, and more recently?

Jeremy: “Barbara Streisand, Cher.

[More laughter]

Jeremy: [With sudden conviction] “Rock ‘n roll!”

Sky: “This band has a bunch of 60’s glam kind of influence.”

Jeremy: “Desert rock — or even stoner rock. A lot of throwback stuff, pretty much across-the-board”

Sean: “It kind of doesn’t matter, because at this point everybody’s listening to a lot of everything.”

Sky: “I actually get a lot of my inspiration, at least for my drum parts, from other local bands. I see Prieta every other week”

Sean: “Yeah, you start to take an analytical view of music in general, especially the musicians around you. You start to wonder, ‘how can I do what he does’ and not just for the pure aesthetic enjoyment of it.”

Jeremy: “A lot of the people we play shows with actually push us to be better.”

Do you find that there’s more of a sense of camaraderie among Sacramento bands, or more competition?

Sky: “There are little crews and cliques, but I would say in general there’s definitely a sense of camaraderie. Everybody’s stoked for everybody.”

Jeremy: “We all go to each other’s shows. There’s a lot of support.”

Sean: “I can’t even think of one person I don’t like here.”

Have Ipods killed the mixed tape?

Sky: “Ipods kind of are a huge mixed tape.”

Jeremy: “I’m out of the loop, because I’m probably the last person on the planet who doesn’t own an Ipod.”

Sean: “More than the mixed tape, it’s killed the whole album format!”

Have you thought of putting out a concept album?

Sky: “That’s the thing, with everybody downloading singles, what’s the point?”

Jeremy: “The internet has changed everything.”

Sean: “That’s a tough nut to crack. Just putting together this album [slated for late Fall] is difficult enough, let alone coming out with a concept album.”

Jeremy: “But it is important for whatever you release to have some sort of general feel, you know.”

Sean: “Yeah, like right now it’s more of a stylistic mold we’re trying to match — nothing intellectual — but the songs do flow into each other aesthetically.”

Is it possible for a band to reach a level of financial success, yet still retain a genuine underground sound?

Sean: “Good Lord if I know!”

Jeremy: “Maybe not the point where you’re buying your own jets, and gold toilets, but at least to the point where you get to go on tour — and maybe see some money in the end– yeah. Independent music is a lot stronger than it was ten years ago. There’s a lot more of a need for it”

Sean: “If there’s any revenue stream that’s going to corrupt us, I think it’s the other way around. We don’t have enough money to make our sound exactly what we want, and we keep dumping everything we have into it. We need to be able to portray the music the best that we can.”

If you had ten-grand to invest in the band, how would you spend it? Recording equipment, Sound reinforcement, cross-platform marketing?

Sky: “Recording equipment, and a large chunk would have to go into touring.”

Jeremy: “Recording. That’s the way you can reach as many people as possible, because not everyone’s going to have a chance to come and see us live.”

Are you planning a 2010 tour?

Sean: “We’re hoping to start before then.”

Sky: “As soon as we’re done with this album — late fall.”

With the sun dipping behind the rooftops of the Sacramento skyline, the interview drew to an appropriate close. It was time to let the band members begin doing what they do best — play music — and to let the information they divulged find its way into the minds of astute readers. The views they presented, embedded in a sense of camaraderie and the good-natured need for entertainment, would certainly last for interminable lengths of time, as a kind of manifesto for the underground life of *not just* aspiring musicians, but those who have been down that sterling silver path of self-fulfillment, and who have waltzed headstrong into the full knowledge of what they are really doing. Thank you Goodness Gracious Me for being you, and showing us what it is like to be tried-and-true.