Today’s Feature – December 19-20, 2008: Stampead

December 25, 2008 at 1:36 am (Today's Feature)

It’s been an abundant amount of hard work and perseverance that has lead to the LA-based quartet Stampead’s four albums, from their self-titled release to the new record, “Oh Boy.” The latter was a self-financed effort, and it’s worth your attention – a bold series of realizations of stories that reflect a band that has found its niche – a group that has found its identity.

You see, no Stampead album sounds that similar to another. These guys work hard to keep their fans surprised and guessing; coming back for more. Lead singer Judd David says “I think each release has its own vibe, and we are constantly changing the way we do things in the studio and on stage. What makes it exciting for me is to know that we have the ability to do more than one thing and do it well.” You’ll probably notice a re-focused purpose behind the lyrics of “Oh Boy.” They don’t dwindle in one specific subject matter for too long, and they certainly don’t ask for your permission either.

I guess that’s what defines Stampead today – the fact they know what they can do now – and they’re going to do what they want. It’s pretty clear during the live show. Judd describes their new live attitude; “You know, when you first start out everything has to be so perfect. Now we just have a few drinks and have a good time and I know it sounds better… The only way to connect with the crowd is to have fun up there and not be afraid to fuck up.” When you’re looking up the band’s schedule for their tour this spring, check out their video for “The Dog Song.” Hilarious. Get into the XXQ’s for a whole lot more.

XXQs: Stampead

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Tell us how Stampead first came together. Was it an instant connection the first day you practiced together?

JUDD DAVID: I don’t know if that ever happens… When I first moved out to LA., I moved in with my brother Eric, and the writing came easy. But getting a band together that really felt good was pretty fucking tiring. Maybe because we knew exactly what we were looking for, it took longer.

PEV: Now calling Los Angeles, California home now, what kind of music were you listening to growing up? Do all the members tend to like the same kind of music?

JD:I listened to a lot of old folk music like Leonard Cohen, Dylan, Paul Simon—mostly just going through my Dad’s old records and realizing that everything I’d find was better than the CDs I had at the time.

I think everyone in the band has different tastes—you can hear it in our parts and tones— and it’s helped us create our own sound.

PEV: What was it like for the band when you were first breaking into the music business? Before you were getting press, and regular gigs?

JD: It was fucking hell. It still is sometimes, but it’s worth it.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Stampead show?

JD: We have four albums now so our shows get more and more eclectic. We’re doing acoustic sets to promote this album so you’ll hear a lot of harmonies, mandolins, harmonica, and acoustic guitars. But sometimes we play all the same songs electric or with someone on the organ or cello. I guess you can expect us to play our songs a little different every time.

PEV: How have your shows evolved from when you first started out?

JD: You know, when you first start out everything has to be so perfect. The sound, the tones, tempos— everything was so fucking important. Now we just have a few drinks and have a good time and I know it sounds better. We’ve played these songs thousands of times, we know how it goes. The only way to connect with the crowd is to have fun up there and not be afraid to fuck up. Sometimes I rip at the guitar and I almost want to break a string.

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist out today, who would it be and why?

JD: On our new record we had Jon Graboff from The Cardinals jam on a few of the tracks and Leslie Stevens sang on “You Can Use Me.” I don’t think there’s anyone else I would have rather had on this album. But I would love to get in the studio with T-bone Burnett; I’m really loving all the new stuff he’s putting out.

PEV: As well, is there an up and coming artist right now that you think we should all be looking out for?

JD: Jason Webley. He puts on an amazing live show and it’s different then anything else I’ve ever heard.

PEV: Currently on tour in support of your self-financed, and fourth album “Oh Boy” tell us, what can fans expect from this release?

JD:I hope we’ve surprised them again. I think each release has its own vibe, and we are constantly changing the way we do things in the studio and on stage. What makes it exciting for me is to know that we have the ability to do more than one thing and do it well. Yes, I hope our fans come along with us, but it’s not going to change what we do now or what we do next.

The first thing some people said to me when they heard this album was that it sounds a little country on a few songs. I said no it’s not, you don’t know what you’re talking about. But when I think about it, maybe it does, and who the fuck cares? I think it’s the best thing we’ve done yet.

Look out for a few new videos in the next month and one is out already for “The Dog Song.” It’s definitely our funniest video yet—you should get a few laughs out of it.

PEV: How is “Oh Boy” different from other music out today?

JD:I think the lyrics are different. I work hard on that, I can’t stand to say things I’ve heard over and over again. This album has songs about dating a widow who lost her lover in the war, a humorous mission for animal rights, and RFK’s funeral train. The songs about love aren’t always that lovely… and the song that truly gives you an idea of myself is called “A Clown Too Fat to Walk Across a Wire.”

PEV: When you sit down to write an album what kind of environment do you surround yourselves in?

JD: It’s really just an ongoing process—the writing never stops. If we’re on tour we write in hotel rooms or the van, if we’re in LA we’re in the rehearsal studio all the time working on new songs. We have enough material to record another album tomorrow, but this one was just released so I have to wait.

PEV: If it wasn’t for music, what would each of the Stampead members be doing for career?

JD:I don’t want to think about it… it hurts. I’ve spent too many years rolling burritos already.

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to all your success? What is it like to go home and play in front of your hometown?

JD: It’s really amazing the support our friends and family have given us over the years. Playing in cities where they’re around is always a good time.

PEV: If we were to walk into your practice studio right now, what’s one thing we’d most likely find?

JD: Cockroaches – it’s LA.

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Good parts? Bad parts?… the hilarious parts!?!

JD:I can’t wait to be on the road again, I’ve been restless these past few months. I’d say for all of us to be crammed in a van sleeping on top of each other for that long, we get on alright. Shit happens— we’ve had our gear stolen and been screwed over and everything else—but really I only remember the good parts.

PEV: In your opinion, is there a certain city (US or International) that you find to be the best city for music?

JD: I’ve always liked playing Chicago— we’ve have some of our best shows there. Also Athens is a great city for live music.

PEV: As well, where’s one place you haven’t played, you would like to? Why?

JD: I saw Bright Eyes a year ago at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic. Having the whole orchestra behind us at the Bowl would be cooler than Woodstock. Also touring Europe is something we will be doing very soon. Haven’t been there yet.

PEV: Where do you feel Stampead will be ten years from now?

JD: I hope to be releasing our 12th album. And also to have a full circus behind us on stage. Elephants and everything else.

PEV: So, what’s next for Stampead?

JD: We’re getting ready to tour this spring, we also have plans to record an EP real soon and do a soundtrack. There’s plenty to keep us busy.

For more information, check out: www.myspace.com/stampead

Permalink Leave a Comment

Today’s Feature – December 23-24, 2008: Ilene Spiewak

December 25, 2008 at 1:00 am (Today's Feature)

ilenefeat

For a student who received nothing but “C’s” in elementary and Jr. High school art class (I didn’t know it was possible!), Ilene Spiewak has certainly overachieved. Indeed, if only those art teachers could see her now – they would witness a pure artist who has studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, not to mention the University of the Arts. And while those lessons learned were truly significant, her base as an expressionist painter was developed at The Pennsylvania State University where she says she learned to “take risks and let my work grow big, bold, and expansive. I couldn’t comply with the edges of the paper or the confines of a canvas.” And this is still abundantly clear – being known best for her oil and acrylic paintings; “based on building layers of paint to create a fully realized work.”

Spiewak talks about her pieces – “Fans can expect many layers of colors and strong compositions that are just slightly off center; my intention is to create just enough tension and energy for the viewer… My ideas are usually greater than the constructs of the canvas.” She is inspired by everything around her, the very essence of nature in her environment. While it’s not always the theme of her work, she says “I’m astounded by the beautiful layers of sky and water and everything in between.”

You can find some of her paintings in private collections in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and California, and soon you can catch her latest pieces up north near her home in Massachusetts. She’ll be building a new studio there shortly – so if you find yourself in need of some serious art lessons – look her up. Get into the XXQ’s for a lot more.

XXQs: Ilene Spiewack

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Was there a certain point in your life when you
realized the art was going to be career for you?

Ilene Spiewak (IS): I always loved to draw and color – used to make my own coloring books – I
took an oil painting class with 2 other friends when I was about 11 yrs. old
and absolutely loved it.  Set myself up in the basement of our row home in
Phila. to continue painting after the class ended and my friends lost
interest.  I also wanted to be a veterinarian which seemed more realistic
and practical.  But when I was 15, my dream was to be an Art Therapist…I
could help others find their voice.

PEV: You lived in Manhattan for a period of time, did New York’s vast art
scene play a big role in your desire to further your career?

IS: We were all visual artists, musicians and poets in the West Village in the early to mid 70′s and we talked a lot about creativity and the creative process.  We were a small, very cool group of people ( we all had dogs) who gathered several times a week, like a “salon” in France.  By the way, our friend Betsy was masterful at the Etch-a-Sketch.

Then I was too busy raising my sons to participate in the Manhattan art scene, though we did get to the museums  and I always kept an easel set up in the bedroom.  Met an artist who was my teacher at the 92nd St. Y and worked on some projects with him.

PEV: Growing up what kind of art were you originally attracted to? Do you
remember the first concert art gallery you attended?

IS: VanGogh was my favorite painter and the Philadelphia Museum of Art had a
full retrospective show of his work that I went to when I was a high school
student.  That was my first gallery experience. Magical!!!

PEV: You studied art at The Pennsylvania State University. What were your
first art classes like there? Did you share the same philosophies on art and
painting as the other students?

IS: The studios were very exciting – quite big and bright.  One felt like
serious work and learning=2 0happened there all day and evening.  I had some
very inspiring professors there; Mr. Worth McCoy was the most encouraging
for me. We were all working to develop our own styles/voices.  I learned to
take risks and let my work grow big, bold, and expansive.  I couldn’t comply
with the edges of the paper or the confines of a canvas.  Oh – and I dated
one of the models in a life-drawing class, which felt really bold at the time!

PEV: What can fans expect from an Ilene Spiewak piece?

IS: Fans can expect many layers of colors and strong compositions that are just slightly off center; my intention is to create just enough tension and energy for the viewer.  I love painting bottles, cups, and flowers.  My ideas are usually greater than the constructs of the canvas.  Also, I want to paint only the essential elements/objects and eliminate what isn’t necessary to the success of the piece.

PEV: PensEyeView.com deals a lot with musicians. What kind of music do you listen to and do you listen to music while you paint?

IS: I like various kinds of music and I do listen while I’m painting, but there is a silence that I need to get started in the process that is very important to me.

PEV: What it is like for an artist to get their work out to the masses? What are the trials and tribulations you’ve encountered?

IS: I became part of a group in Philadelphia that we called the Northwest
Artists Collective.  We met monthly, and in addition, I hired a model to
come to my house for the afternoon one Sunday each month so that we could
share good energy while we studied, drew, and painted the figure together.
It felt like a french Salon!  We had much good exposure through small group
shows throughout the city.  I showed work at the Pennsylvania Academy of
Fine Arts and the Fleisher Art Memorial where I took classes. I participated
in the Philadelphia Open Studio Tour and welcomed people into my home studio
once a year.  Although exciting, it put me out of my comfort zone to promote
my own work.  I’m not sure that my work appeals to the masses… A potential
buyer told me once that his wife loved and wanted a particular painting, but
he thought that my signature was too big!  I didn’t sell the work to them.

PEV: If you could sit down to dinner with one artist out today, who would it be and why?

IS: I couldn’t pick just one because I just am so attracted to and inspired by the work of 3 artists right now.  I’d want the benefit of discussion/language with all 3 – Marsden Hartley, Emily Carr, and Henri Matisse.  They were painters who were in the cultural avant-garde of their time and their artistic styles really resonate for me.  Just look at their use of color and composition!  That’s a feast!

PEV: As well, is there an up and coming artist right now that you think we should all be looking out for?

IS: As an art teacher in an alternative high school, I saw much promise and creativity in many students there.  I recently saw a projection and sound installation by Anne Wilson, titled “Errant Behaviors” at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine which is close to where I am living now.  It was a powerful exhibition.

PEV: If we were to walk into your Mt. Airy studio right now, what would we most likely find?

IS: My Mt. Airy studio probably has a billiard table in it now.  The current owners are not artists…but it was a great space in a 110 yr. old carriage house that we renovated.  I paint in my kitchen now or plain-air depending on the weather.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your work? Did you find yourself going back to one feeling or emotion more than others?

IS: My underlying source of inspiration I think, is the energy and beauty of
the elements in nature and our natural surroundings which change from moment to moment.  I’m astounded by the beautiful layers of sky and water and everything in between even though I’ve said that I like painting still-life best.  There is a connection…

PEV: When you sit down to paint what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

IS: I like lots of art books around.  Of course lots of canvas, paints, brushes, good light, cats, music.  This is my company as I work alone.  I like a feeling of quiet solitude and warmth.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Ilene Spiewak?

IS: I’m pretty shy and I got “C’s” in art in elementary and jr. high school.

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to your career?

IS: I feel more supported in my adult life and especially encouraged by my wife and partner Brenda.  My sons Jason and David are also big fans and ardent supporters.

PEV: When you are not painting, what can we find you doing in your spare time?

IS: Pondering what my next painting might be and how I might use color
differently.  Recording colors or combinations of colors that I’ve seen, in
my memory for future use in a painting.  The most pleasurable day includes a
great meal  ( I’m a real supporter of farm-to-table) with fabulous wine
after a visit to a museum.

PEV: Tell us about your average day from waking up to going to be, as an
artist.

IS: No day is average if it includes painting or seeing the work of an artist
who can teach me something new.

PEV: Is there one place that every artist must go that you haven’t had a
chance to yet but you would like to? Why?

IS: I’m not sure because I’ve not seen everything.  What I know is that Maine
is a magical place with stunning beauty and i know I’ll return some day to
paint again.

PEV: Ten years from now, where do you see your career?

IS: I’d like to teach and inspire others to express themselves creatively.  I want to continue to grow, use my artists’ eye to evolve with my work.  To continue make a living as a painter and teacher.

PEV: So, what’s next for Ilene Spiewak?

IS: What’s next is building a studio on our 3 acre property in West Stockbridge, MA.  I want to teach and paint as much as possible.  I want to challenge what I already know and be open to learning and experimenting further in my medium.  I’m combining oil paints with acrylics on the same canvas and also thinking about when to add collage elements to my work. Hopefully, I won’t think too much…I feel ready!

For more information, check out: www.ilenespiewak.com

Permalink Leave a Comment

Today’s Feature – December 21-22: The Wailing Wall (Jesse Rifkin)

December 25, 2008 at 12:58 am (Today's Feature)

Jesse Rifkin, the pure free agent of the music world, is ready and willing to go anywhere with anyone in order to make his music. The story behind The Wailing Wall is that it initially started out as a solo project for Rifkin, writing and preparing music to be played with a smorgasbord of musicians. While a regular band now follows Jesse often, it’s still amazing to see such agility in an artist as he adapts to so many different styles in order to create effective tunes.

After several different releases, Jesse and The Wailing Wall finally put out their first full-length album this past March, a collection called “Hospital Blossoms.” Not only does the record come in an environmentally-friendly, 100% recycled cardboard arigato pack, but Rifkin says “It is different from the other records in that a lot of the musicians on it are different. I guess the older stuff was also more lo-fi, and mostly me just playing all of the instruments. ‘Hospital Blossoms’ has a full band on it, the production is better, the songs were more deliberately ‘arranged.’ We took a long time with this record, and I am very proud of it!”

You can find even more Wailing Wall music for free online – both the self-titled debut EP and the “Hospital Blossoms” EP are available for download. As you might expect, a Wailing Wall show is always different – anything from a solo acoustic performance to a 10-piece band blowing out your eardrums. Rifkin feels that “it’s more interesting for both the performer and the audience when you never really know how or where things are going to go.” Check out a show, and check out the music! Get into the XXQ’s for a whole lot more.

XXQs: The Wailing Wall

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Tell us how you first got involved with music and becoming The Wailing Wall?

WW: Well, I took some guitar lessons as a kid, I think the first thing I ever learned was “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore,” which my mom taught me. When I was in high school I started getting serious about playing guitar – lots of downloading guitar tabs, reading Guitar World magazine, that kind of thing – and just assumed that if you played guitar, you were supposed to also sing and write songs, so I did. I was always too shy to play them in public though, probably because I knew that they weren’t very good. Very typical “why don’t girls like me?” or “why aren’t I popular?” kinds of high school lyrics. Once I got to college, I started writing better songs, and feeling more confident about my singing, and started playing shows and recording more things, and it just went from there.

As for the name, I always liked people like Smog, The Microphones, Silver Jews, Songs: Ohia – bands that were really just one songwriter plus whoever else was around. I also felt like many people (myself included) tend to ignore songwriters who play under their own name because that meant they were “confessional” and probably really bland. I chose the name as a joke, because I am Jewish and grew up Jewish and went to a Jewish high school. But it just kind of stuck.

PEV: Now calling New York home, but raised in Annapolis, Maryland, what kind of music were you listening to growing up?

WW: The first tape I ever owned was “Sgt. Pepper” by the Beatles, which I got when I was four. That was the only thing I really listened to until I was about ten or so, when I got really into the Grateful Dead. Around age 13 I got really into The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Talking Heads, Nirvana. My older brother turned me onto a lot of classic 70′s and 80′s punk. I would say that where I lived has never really had much of an impact on what I listened to – then or now – except for this one thing: being so close to Washington, DC I think had a big part in why Fugazi blew my mind as much as they did. And they still totally blow my mind.

PEV: Do you find now that you’ve called onto different artist’s styles for influence? Any in particular?

WW: I am constantly being influenced by things I am listening to, and constantly seeking out new things to be influenced by. I guess the mainstays have been Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Will Oldham, Bill Callahan (Smog), The Microphones/Mount Eerie, Bjork, The Mountain Goats, and Neutral Milk Hotel. I never really get sick of any of their records. Lately, the big influences have been Talk Talk, particularly their album “Spirit of Eden,” and this guy Krishna Das, who made a record of Hindu chanting called “Breath of the Heart” that totally kills me – and Rick Rubin produced it!

PEV: Tell us about your first live performance on stage? What was going through your head?

WW: My first live performance ever was playing “Ball and Chain” by Social Distortion at my high school talent show. I was thinking that I was going to pee my pants.
My first ever performance as The Wailing Wall was in October 2005, when I was a sophomore in college. I set up a show on campus for this band called A Hawk and a Hacksaw, which is the current project of ex-Neutral Milk Hotel drummer Jeremy Barnes. Jeremy is one of my absolute favorite musicians alive. In an uncharacteristically ballsy moment, I decided I was going to open. I got a five-piece band together for the occasion, and burned some CDs to sell, which ended up becoming my first EP. We played five songs. I was thinking that I was going to pee my pants.

PEV: What was it like for you breaking into the music business? Tell us about the trials and tribulations of an artist.

WW: I wouldn’t say I have “broken into” anything yet. I still book my own shows and assemble all of my releases by hand! I suppose its hard sometimes – it never feels good to have people talk through/walk out of my shows, or to play to a very small handful of people, both of which happen sometimes – but mostly it just an incredible honor to be able to perform my music for lots of different people. I try not to take any of it for granted.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Wailing Wall show?

WW: I know it’s a cliché to say “the unexpected,” but, yeah, the unexpected. It’s been everything from a loud four-piece rock band to acoustic solo sets to a 10-piece band with accordion, banjo, viola, trumpet, etc. There have been some set lineups that have lasted for a few months here and there, but I like to keep things changing. I always find it boring when bands play their songs the same way every time and are really “tight.” I think its more interesting for both the performer and the audience when you never really know how or where things are going to go.

PEV: For those that don’t already know, tell us the significance with using the name The Wailing Wall as a performer?

WW: The Wailing Wall is the holiest site in Judaism – the only remaining wall of the temple in Jerusalem. Most Jews actually call it the “Western Wall.” I grew up Jewish, and I liked the musicality and alliteration of “Wailing Wall.” But that’s all there is to it. I wouldn’t call myself a “Jewish musician.” And it is certainly not a political thing! Also, there is a Cure song called “Wailing Wall.” It is one of my favorites of theirs, off of their album called “The Top.”

PEV: Any embarrassing or crazy live show stories? There has to be tons, I’m sure…

WW: Yes, there are tons. Most recently: I received a myspace message asking me to come play an outdoor festival in Peace Dale, RI. The girl who invited me was a fan, and there was some good money involved, so I said yes, and I brought along my friends Jordaan Mason and Andre Theriault, who were on tour at the time, to play as well. As I was driving into the town, I got a call from Jordaan telling me he was there, and that things looked “kind of fucked.” Sure enough – it was a community street fair, with face painting, storytelling, childrens’ arts and crafts, balloon animals, that kind of thing. We were supposed to go on after a local band called something like “Cantina Blues,” who were composed of pot-bellied, ponytailed local dads with Stevie Ray Vaughn t-shirts.

Now, most of my songs are about death, religion, sex, and depression – not exactly family fare – and Jordaan and Andre were in the same boat. Though the girl who set it up insisted that she thought we’d go over really well if we played for all the local families, we decided not to risk offending anybody, and instead played across the street in an empty parking lot for six local teenage girls (one of whom seriously said “legal” when Andre asked how old they all were). It ended up actually being kind of fun, but yeah…really, really weird.

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist out today, who would it be and why?
WW: Bjork. She’s kind of the best one out there in terms of collaborations – she always manages to capture the essence of what her collaborator does while still definitely making it her own thing. Anyway, it wouldn’t have to be much. I’d shake a tambourine, clap my hands, whatever. Just being in the same room would be an honor.

PEV: As well, is there an up and coming artist right now that you think we should all be looking out for?

WW: I have a lot of friends who I think are incredible. It would take me a long time to tell you about all of them, but: Chris Roush, who has played drums in WW and recorded many of the songs on our last album, has his own project called Soul Saint Marie, and he’s about to put out the second album in a trilogy he’s making called “Suns.” Also, Trevor Wilson, he’s a piano player and songwriter who lives in Bennington, VT, he put out a record called “Plants and Bodies” last year that just blows my mind. I seriously believe he is one of the greatest, most original songwriters alive today. Jason Anderson, he is on K Records, he’s been around for a while and has put out a ton of records, both under his own name and as “Wolf Colonel.” His live shows are some of the most astounding, life-affirming experiences I have ever had. There are a lot of other people too, far too many to list here, but they all are amazing, risk-taking artists who I am honored to know.

PEV: Tell us, what can fans expect from your March 2008, full-length debut album, “Hospital Blossoms”. How is this different from other music you’ve worked with?

WW: It is different from the other records in that a lot of the musicians on it are different. I guess the older stuff was also more lo-fi, and mostly me just playing all of the instruments. “Hospital Blossoms” has a full band on it, the production is better, the songs were more deliberately “arranged.” We took a long time with this record, and I am very proud of it!

PEV: How is “Hospital Blossoms” different from other music out today?

WW: I don’t know if I can answer that question. There’s a lot of music out today! With that much information available, everything is bound to be like something else that already exists. I am not going to tell you that my music is absolutely unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. But, it is my own particular take on things, and I’ve worked very hard to try and make it the best record I could possibly put out.

PEV: When you sit down to write a song what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

WW: Honestly, there’s no one way I’ve done it. Usually lyrics gather in bits and pieces in my notebook, and chord progressions form as I am absent-mindedly playing my instrument. At some point, something clicks and I realize how things could fit together. But any time I sit down and decide to “write a song,” the results are unfailingly horrible. I often have to remind myself that its best to just let the songs put themselves together on their own schedule.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about The Wailing Wall?
WW: I honestly love that song “Long December” by the Counting Crows. I think it is a masterpiece. I don’t know, is that surprising enough?

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to your career? What is it like for you when you get to go home?

WW: Totally supportive. My parents are always playing my songs for their friends and stuff, and they come to shows when they are able to. My dad checks my myspace page every day and calls me every time I add a new show or anything. My girlfriend, who I live with, she’s also totally behind me. Its wonderful to have so much support!

PEV: When you are not touring and performing, what can we find you doing in your spare time?

WW: I recently became unemployed, so mostly you can find me in my apartment, not spending money, and looking for a job. Anybody in New York need an employee?

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Good parts? Bad parts? Any fun stories?

WW: Being on the road is my favorite thing in the world. Of course, there are bad nights here and there, and when you’re traveling with someone, you are bound to get into disagreements here and there and/or wish for privacy. Sometimes, it really is hard. It can be rough to go somewhere where you don’t know anybody, play for a small group of people who aren’t really listening, not sell any records, and then sleep on a floor, but while that happens here and there, the good nights really make everything else totally worthwhile.

My favorite story that I can think of at the moment is that this past July, my friend Trevor Wilson and I were on tour together, and we were lined up to play at this art space called the Tinder Box in Brattleboro, VT. When we arrived at the Tinder Box, nobody there remembered that there was supposed to be a show, and in fact most of them were involved in another performance happening across town. Luckily, at the last minute, one of the guys there named Scott decided to stick around and let the show go on. He went out and bought a bunch of pasta, sauce, and bread with is food stamps (!!!!!!!) and made a big dinner, not just for us, but for anybody that wanted any! He set up a table outside the Tinder Box with a sign that said “free food” and offered it to everyone that walked by, regardless of whether they looked homeless or wealthy. The show ended up being awesome, and the crowd was small but very, very appreciative, and the whole experience sticks out in my mind as such an incredible example of human generosity and kindness. I am tearing up just thinking about it!

PEV:  In your opinion, is there a certain city (US or International) that you find to be the best city for music?

WW: Internet City.

PEV: As well, where’s one place (city and/or venue) you haven’t played, you would like to? Why?

WW: I would really like to get out to the West Coast soon, and to Canada. I would like to play all over the world! In my ultimate fantasies – I guess it would be pretty insane if the Wailing Wall could some day play a show at the actual Wailing Wall. That would be pretty far out.

PEV: So, what’s next for The Wailing Wall?

WW: I am not actually at liberty to say quite yet, but some really awesome, exciting things are starting to come together. I think it is going to be a very good year!

For more information, check out:  http://www.myspace.com/jesserifkin

Permalink 1 Comment

Today’s Feature – December 17-18: Beth Rowley

December 19, 2008 at 1:37 am (Today's Feature)

bethfeat1

Beth Rowley is good. Scary good. So good that the little song bird from Great Britain once caused a fan to take a straight noise dive into the floor as she belted the lyric, “Lightning strikes me down” from the tune “Only One Cloud.” A beautiful voice is one thing, but the power to sweep the feet from under another through song – that’s a higher level.

In all seriousness, Beth Rowley is a remarkable talent, complete with the look and ability to do whatever she wants in this music industry. She’s come a long way since her days in a high school band and nights with a buffet of guest musicians at open mics around Bristol. She’s played with all kinds of artists; always finding a way to make it work. Today, she has a group of musicians behind her like never before, and you can hear the wonderful melodies they conjure on Beth’s debut album, “Little Dreamer.” Building on the “Violets” EP, the new collection debuted at #6 on the UK charts upon its release – already nearing Gold status. Pretty impressive, eh?
Rowley talks about the record herself, “The sound is quite glossy and clean… There is a mix of gospel, blues, country and pop too. Which is exactly what I wanted…I didn’t want to have to choose one or two of them so I didn’t.” Swing by the myspace page and sample for yourself – I guarantee you’ll be falling all over yourself to learn more. If you can’t catch Beth’s live show, buy the record! But keep an eye out for upcoming shows before they get back into the studio to record the second album. Dive into the XXQ’s for a whole lot more.

XXQs: Beth Rowley

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Tell us why Beth Rowley is going to make a huge impact on today’s music scene.

Beth Rowley (BR): I’m completely different to everyone else in many ways. But I’m not going to give away anything. All will be revealed!

PEV: Hailing from Great Britain, what kind of music were you listening to growing up?

BR: At home I listened to a lot of blues like Leadbelly and the Inkspots,Woody Guthrie, old gospel like Clara Ward and Mahalia Jackson, country like Hank Williams loads of Johnny Cash and also listened to lots of the Beatles. With my friends we were listening to old school hip hop, soul and lots of Motown.

PEV: What was it like very first time YOU turned your radio and heard one of your songs?

BR: It was amazing. Though by that point I was quite used to listening to the album because there was a long time between completing it and it’s release. It was very satisfying though hearing it played on loads of radio stations after all the hard work and knowing that so many people were hearing it.

PEV: What was it like for you when you were first breaking into the music business? Before you were getting press, regular gigs and touring around the country? The struggles, the lessons learned, etc.?

BR: It was a case of perseverance.  Since I was small I’d always wanted to sing, I never wanted to do anything else, so I had the belief that I was going to do it. There wasn’t ever doubt in my mind because I enjoyed the whole thing so much. I wont lie and say that there aren’t tough times when things don’t go the way you want them to, but I believe everything happens for a reason so I try not to worry too much.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Beth Rowley show?

BR: All the guys in the band have a unique style so I feel very lucky to have found them. The album was very polished but live the sound is lot rawer – a lot more what I’m about. The live performances are special for me because that’s where I started when I was sixteen and its got lots of passion and energy.

PEV: How have your shows evolved from when you first started out?

BR: I started singing in a band when I was sixteen with fives guys from school. We had a real mix of musical influences from classical piano to acid jazz and hip-hop. We did a few gigs and then drifted apart when people went to uni.  I then went on to sing at open mic nights around Bristol where I would go on my own and ask some one if they could play piano or guitar for me. I would sing old jazz standards lots of Carol King and Motown numbers. Over the next five years I met a whole load of other talented musicians from Bristol and we formed a musical family who played for each other a lot.
I’ve gone through various band line ups whilst experimenting with different sounds which can be tricky some times when you’re good mates with people but it’s definitely an essential part of the creative process. Today I’ve found a group of like minded people who all love music and are passionate about making the live experience as good as possible. We have loads of fun on the road together and I’m really excited with the sound which we’ve arrived at.

PEV: Any embarrassing or crazy live show stories? There has to be tons, I’m sure…

BR: One embarrassing one was when I did a whole gig with my skirt stuck in my pants. I felt like a laughing stock. There was another time when I was doing a gig in an old church in Cardiff, I was singing a line ‘lightning strikes me down’ (from ‘Only one Cloud’) and a man collapsed right in front of me and hit his head on the stage. I carried on singing because people at the back were oblivious but the band thought I was a cold hearted Annie for not stopping and checking he wasn’t dead. I was fine needless to say, I spoke to him afterwards and he was fine. Maybe it was an act of God? I’m not sure.

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist out today, who would it be and why?

BR: I reckon The Black Keys would be amazing to work with. I’m a big fan of theirs.  I love their raw sound which really lets loose like a crazy dog off its leash. I just love it I’ve got their album ‘Rubber Factory’ on vinyl which I can’t stop listening to. I’d love to work with them for sure.

PEV: Tell us, what can fans expect from your debut album Little Dreamer. How is this different from other music you’ve worked with?

BR: Little Dreamer is my first album after doing 2 EP’s I self released. Ben Castle/ Mark Edwards produced it both whom I’ve known for years so it was easy and fun working them. This album was totally new experience as I was working with new producers I didn’t already know. It was a steep learning curve. Knowing when to say what I wanted and when to leave it to them was hard to balance. In hindsight there are lots of things I would do very differently now but I’m really proud of all the hard work that went into it. The sound is quite glossy and clean and I want to take the next album in a different direction. There is a mix of gospel, blues, country and pop too. Which is exactly what I wanted…I didn’t want to have to choose one or two of them so I didn’t. All eyes are on the next album!

PEV: How is Little Dreamer different from other music out today?

BR: I think the mixture of influences will make it stand out. I’m at the beginning of my recording career and I’m still experimenting, which I think will never stop. I’ve not pitched my tent in any particular camp yet because I love so many types of music. There’s still so much I want to do.

PEV: Out since May, Little Dreamer debuted at #6 on the U.K. charts the week of its release and is fast approaching Gold status. What was it like to see the album do so well, right out the gate?

BR: Of course it’s good! A very nice feeling when so many people like what you’ve been working on. The label was right behind me and did a really good job on their side. You never count your chickens because you never know what’s gonna happen but by any standards having an album go into the top 10 is pretty cool.

PEV: When you sit down to write, what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

BR: Normally when a lot is going on around me. I write poetry a lot then songs come from that…on the tube or during rehearsals. I take stories from the papers and make them into poems etc. I like to hear the music too when I’m thinking of the lyrics so jamming with the band is a good way.

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to all your success? What is it like for you when you get to go home?

BR: My Grandmother, Ivy May, who I’m very close to, was most excited. She’s 93 and my dad took her on a tour of all the billboards in the local area. I couldn’t go though which I was sad about! It’s always nice to go back to Bristol from London we’re a real close family, which is good because they have been there for me all along. I don’t think my feet will be getting too far off the ground that often!
PEV: When you are not touring and performing, what can we find you doing in your spare time?

BR: I love films. Foreign films, films by the Coen Brothers, Dogma films, Old black and white films, girly chickflick films too.  I love camping too, me and my brother go camping in Wales it’s nice to go into the hills and get away from the city.

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Good parts? Bad parts? Any fun stories? Or favorite hang outs along the way?

BR: I love touring. It’s like going into a time warp. Ireland is great for touring. The people are such huge music fans and travel for miles to see you and really get into it. I like it when people bring presents too…flowers are nice, chocolates etc…but I especially love charity shop trinket things that I can add to my collection of ornaments I have on stage with me.

PEV:  In your opinion, is there a certain city (US or International) that you find to be the best city for music?

BR: We did a gig in Berlin recently and the audience were amazing. They really don’t care how they look, no ones thinking about themselves they just get right into it. Which for us is what its all about. There was a guy dancing near the front pulling some unusual moves…I was very impressed I couldn’t stop watching him.

PEV: Saturday Night Live calls and asks you to be their musical guest, who would be your dream host for the show?

BR: I’ve only ever seen a couple of episodes because it’s not on tv here…so I don’t really know, but someone like Andy Kauffman would have been good. He started off on Saturday night live didn’t he?

PEV: So, what’s next for Beth Rowley?

BR: I’m writing for the new album! I’m planning for it to be out mid next year time 2009. I’ve been working on tunes with some amazing people who I’m big fans of so expect something different from Little Dreamer…. more raw and a lot more loud!

For more information on Beth, check out: www.BethRowley.com

Permalink Leave a Comment

Today’s Feature – December 15-16: Thriving Ivory

December 17, 2008 at 1:49 pm (Today's Feature)

ivoryfeat

So many of the write-ups about Thriving Ivory (and even their own bio) focus on the fact these guys; Clayton, Scott, Drew, Bret and Paul are creating a sound that is both captivating and mysterious – something that is truthfully hard to describe. I probably can’t do it any justice, but a lot of this talk comes from the vocals of front man, Clayton Stroope. The tones he can produce are more than just distinctive – it’s a voice capable of taking your mind hostage at least for a few moments, pulling you into songs that can connect on a deeper level – a blend of ghostly melodies that tug on the doors of your conscience.

You can attribute some of their musical influence to U2, but even then, what Thriving Ivory is doing is strikingly different. Their self-titled debut record brings together years of work together on the San Francisco scene – no room for filler. You’ve probably already heard “Angels on the Moon,” but Clayton says about the record, “I think these songs have the ability to touch listeners and allow them to really connect with the band. I think a lot of music doesn’t pay enough attention to that.” He’s right – the collection, from top to bottom will do something for you – whether you need something to pick you up or simply comfort you.

While the music on the self-titled release sounds like it may be difficult to duplicate on stage, Clayton says fans need not worry – “Fans can expect a live show that meets or beats their expectation after listening to the record… We try to bring that along with an energetic performance every night to drive the songs home for people.” The band will be back on the road after the start of the new year, so keep an eye out. They’ll backing up this record as it grows bigger and bigger. Get into the XXQ’s for a whole lot more.

XXQs: Thriving Ivory (All responses Clayton)

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Tell us how Thriving Ivory first came together. Was it an instant connection the first day you practiced together?

Clayton: We all met while going to school in Santa Barbara, California. There were about 20,000 students living in the area and it was a great place to be in a band. It was mostly just for fun at first but after our first couple shows we really started to vibe together both on and offstage. I think we all knew at that point that it was what we wanted to do.

PEV: Calling San Francisco home, what kind of music were you listening to growing up? Does the band all have the same tastes?

Clayton: We all have a wide variety of influences and musical tastes. I was raised on mostly classic rock type stuff. I heard a lot of the great rock vocalists growing up, so that had always been my idea of how a front man should sing.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Thriving Ivory show?

Clayton: Fans can expect a live show that meets or beats there expectation after listening to the record. Our live sound has always been very important to us. We try to bring that along with an energetic performance every night to drive the songs home for people.

PEV: How have your shows evolved from when you first started out?

Clayton: Shows seem to be getting bigger and better most of the time. Over the past year we’ve had a chance to travel all over the country playing shows in places most of us have never been. It’s been exciting to play for fans that have been waiting a long time for us to play a show in the town.

PEV: Any embarrassing or crazy live show stories? There has to be tons, I’m sure…

Clayton: …I have a bad habit of unplugging Scott’s piano with my mic stand. It happened once during a breast cancer benefit show during the middle of the song and it was pretty awkward. No one has stumbled off the front of the stage drunk yet, and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist out today, who would it be and why?

Clayton: U2…we love them and they’ve always been a huge influence on us.

PEV: Currently on tour in support of your self-titled debut release “Thriving Ivory”, tell us, what can fans expect from this release?

Clayton: Great songs front to back. There are no filler tracks on the record. We compiled 12 of the songs that we felt best represented us. I also hope people will make a personal connection with the lyrics. That’s always been the mark of a good song to me and a goal we strive for when recording a song.

PEV: How is this album different from other music out today?

Clayton: I think these songs have the ability to touch listeners and allow them to really connect with the band. I think a lot of music doesn’t pay enough attention to that.

PEV: When you sit down to write an album like this what kind of environment do you surround yourselves in?

Clayton: We really didn’t have a choice in our environment. We had a limited budget and had to record most of the record in our guitar player’s basement. It was definitely a bit ‘ghetto’ but we got the vibe and performances we were going for.

PEV: Your hit single “Angels on the Moon” is in the Top 40 at both Pop and Hot AC radio. Describe to us the feeling of hearing your song on the radio for the first time and getting to watch it climb up the charts?

Clayton: Hearing your song on the radio is definitely a bit surreal. It’s been a very gradual rise for us and we’ve really had time to soak it all in at each new step. We feel really good about the growth of the song so far and are looking forward to next year.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Thriving Ivory?

Clayton: At one point we all worked together at a telemarketing company.

PEV: If we were to walk into your practice studio right now, what’s one thing we’d most likely find?

Clayton: Garbage.

PEV:  In your opinion, is there a certain city (US or International) that you find to be the best city for music?
Clayton: I think every major city has something cool and unique to offer. A couple of our favorites have been Nashville, Austin, New York, Kansas City and Salt Lake City.

PEV: As well, where’s one place you haven’t played, you would like to? Why?

Clayton: Never been to Hawaii!!

PEV: Where will Thriving Ivory be ten years from now?

Clayton: Hopefully still recording and touring.

PEV: So, what’s next for Thriving Ivory?

Clayton: We have some time off over Christmas and January but then we’re getting back out on the road. You can probably expect to see us playing shows non stop next year and hopefully releasing another single.

For more information on Thriving Ivory, check out: www.thrivingivory.com

Permalink 2 Comments

Today’s Feature – December 13-14: Corey Crowder

December 15, 2008 at 1:39 am (Today's Feature)

coreyfeat
For those of you out there that are like me – in agreement that the sound of bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Eagles never went out of style – you’re going to love Corey Crowder. He describes his sound as folk rock, but as you listen to this strummer play his acoustic driven tunes, you can feel that blend of great classic rock mixed with a touch of country. The combination produces the kind of melodies that countless fans of those bands mentioned above can appreciate

The new album, “Gold and The Sand” reflects this style, with a modern twist. Crowder says it’s an accurate reflection of his personal development as both a person and a musician and “a step in a much more folky direction… I feel like some will perceive it as a more country sound than my past material. I feel like the record represents me as a person better than anything I’ve done up to this point.” Crowder has accurately captured and produced something all his own, but once in a while you’ll notice some influence from the past on the record – and it feels so right.

While he may not have the reputation that CCR and the Eagles garnered in their day for a live show (not yet anyway), Crowder has learned more and more about how to perform for his fans. He says “I feel like I plan things out less than I did in the beginning and just like to let things happen spur of the moment.” Sounds good. He’ll be out promoting “Gold and The Sand,” so keep an eye out for a local show. Jump into the XXQ’s for a whole lot more.

XXQs: Corey Crowder

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Tell us about your first live performance, ever. What was going through your head?

Corey Crowder (CC): It was at an open mic night in Milledgeville, GA. I was extremely nervous and probably butchered every song that I played.

PEV: Hailing from right outside Atlanta, Georgia, what kind of music where you listening to growing up? What was the first concert you attended?

CC: I grew up listening to bands like The Allman Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Eagles. My first concert was an Eagles concert when I was very young.

PEV: Tell us about your creative process… What kind of environment do you have to be in to make music?

CC: I need to be alone with no distractions. I am easily pulled off track. I typically knock songs out very quickly and hate spending too much time on one song because it tends to become forced.
PEV: Do you have any pre-show rituals you do or do you just hop on the stage?

CC: I like to have a glass of scotch before I play. I usually don’t like to sit around and think about the performance too much because it ruins the adrenaline of performing.

PEV: Going back to your first show ever, how have you changed since that first show to where you are now?

CC: I feel like my confidence has grown over the years, which has led to a much more put together performance. I feel like I plan things out less than I did in the beginning and just like to let things happen spur of the moment.

PEV: What can fans expect from your new album “Gold and The Sand”?

CC: You can expect a much more thought out record that I feel reflects the personal and musical growth I have experienced over the past few years.

PEV: How is “Gold and The Sand” different from other albums out right now? As well, now is it different from past work you’ve been a part of?

CC: Gold And The Sand is a step in a much more folky direction. I feel like some will perceive it as a more country sound than my past material. I feel like the record represents me as a person better than anything I’ve done up to this point.

PEV: How would you describe your sound? And what do you think it is about your style that has made you so successful?

CC: I usually classify my sound as folk rock. I think the fact that I write songs about real life experiences and topics makes the music very easy to relate to for everyone.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Corey Crowder?

CC: I am a huge fan of cartoons. My wife gives me a hard time about it because I am always watching Spongebob or something on TV.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

CC: I don’t think I’ve ever put the pressure on myself for music to be my career. I like to roll with the punches and take things as they come. As long as people keep buying my records, I’ll keep making them.

PEV: What one word best describes Corey Crowder?
CC: Laid-back (I cheated and used two words. But, hyphenated it just to make it fit.)

PEV: As musicians, you live a lot of your life on the road. How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts? Any fun stories?

CC: I have a love/hate relationship with touring. I love being in different places and playing for different people. However, I tend to get homesick very quickly when apart from my wife and dogs for too long. It also gets old living out of a bag and eventually it’s hard to distinguish which clothes are clean and which are dirty.

PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or International)?

CC: My favorite city to play is always my home town, Atlanta, GA. I end up knowing most of the people in the crowd and it is like a big reunion every time we are there.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success? What’s it like when you get a chance to come home from being on the road?

CC: They are all very supportive and happy for me. Everyone is always giving me a hard time about my career, but it’s all in good fun.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

CC: I love fishing and hiking. I have 2 dogs (beagles named Shiloh and Daisy) and I love spending time with them.

PEV: Having played with many great acts in music is there still one artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

CC: I would love to have the chance to collaborate with Norah Jones. I think her voice is one of the best of our time.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

CC: I’m pretty sure he is more than up-and-coming but there is a guy that I started listening to while out in Seattle named Rocky Votolato. He is an amazing singer/songwriter that you should definitely check out.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music, what would you most likely be doing for a career?

CC: I’d love to work on a farm or a ranch somewhere. I think being outdoors all the time would be such a rewarding job.

PEV: Tell us what an average day is like for you – waking up to going to sleep?
CC: I would say there is no typical day for me. Some days are very busy and I may spend all day writing/recording or working on promotion for upcoming shows. Some days are spent folding and tagging shirts at a local apparel company in town. Some days are spent working the grill at the rec league baseball fields in town.

PEV: So, what is next for Corey Crowder?

CC: I’m just focused on getting the new record heard by as many people as possible. I will be spending time playing shows in the Southeast over the course of the next year trying to build my home base up. At some point I will finish writing for a new record and start it all over again.

For more information on Corey Crowder, check out: www.coreycrowder.net

Permalink Leave a Comment

Today’s Feature – December 11-12: Lauren Hildebrandt

December 12, 2008 at 3:47 pm (Today's Feature)

hilldfeat-copy

It seems the nation’s pop audience is always looking for the next big fashion/song craze – from “The Thong Song” to “Air Force Ones,” style and melody seem to mix seamlessly on the US popular music charts. So what’s next? Our latest feature, Lauren Hildebrandt has quite the offering… and I guarantee it’s better than Sisqo’s hit. It’s called “Boyshorts,” a clever pop mix of body moving rhythm and lyrics that will jam into your head. I can’t speak for every man in America… but seriously, does it get much better than a female who knows how to wear the boyshort? No, it doesn’t.

Hildebrandt says the song is “unlike my dance music and its total pop.  Any girl can feel sexy dancing to it.  It’s playful and flirty.” This isn’t the blond beauty’s only talent; she can dance and act as well. In fact, in the past, she has toured Europe as part of the cast of the musical, Grease. And you may have heard some of her dance mixes as well – her hit “Burnin’ Out” peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot Club charts in 2005.

Lauren Hildebrandt is the type of artist just ready to burst on every stage of American entertainment. So keep a close eye out for her – it may all break out next month when she releases her debut album, “Not Really a Waitress.” It promises to pack the kind of stuff “Boyshorts” is already bringing to the table. Learn much more below in the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Lauren Hildebrandt

PensEyeView.com (PEV): A triple threat of singer/dancer/actress you burst on the dance music scene in 2005 with, “Burnin Out”. It spent 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot Club charts, peaking at #5. What was it like when you first heard it on the radio? When you dreamed of a music career growing up, was this something you envisioned, right off the start?

Lauren Hildebrandt (LH): I think friends heard it on Sirius or XM radio before I did.  Even though my first single hit #5 on Billboard club chart, I would love to hear my songs on terrestrial radio.

PEV: Now calling Los Angeles home, what kind of music were you listening to growing up?

LH: I actually loved musicals and listened over and over to soundtracks like “Bye Bye Birdie and “Chicago”.  Then I was all over the board listening to everything from like Green Day to Britney to P Diddy (Puff Daddy back then).  And from my parents, I always loved Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Linda Ronstadt… Pretty diverse.

PEV: Having performed on stage, all over the world, do you find there to be a difference in the crowd reaction from the
US fans to the oversea fans?

LH: I’ve only performed overseas in the cast of “Grease”, the musical.  Musical theatre performers are like rock stars in Europe, unlike here.  It was cool to have screaming fans after singing, “We Go Together”.

PEV: What was it like for you when you were first breaking into the music business? Before you were getting press, regular gigs and touring around the country?

LH: I feel that I’m still breaking into the music business and it’s overwhelming.  It’s a constant struggle and I get nervous every time I release a single.  You can be hot one minute and if the next single doesn’t connect, you can fall off the map.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Lauren Hildebrandt show?

LH: Lots of dancing and high-energy.

PEV: How have your shows evolved from when you first started out?

LH: I am more comfortable being myself.  Every show I strive to put on a better show and connect more with the fans.  I can’t wait for the day when I can put on a huge production.

PEV: Any embarrassing or crazy live show stories? There has to be tons, I’m sure…

LH: I’m always nervous about forgetting lyrics.  Sometimes my mind will go blank and I’ll just sing something that doesn’t make sense, but I hope the audience doesn’t know!

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist out today, who would it be and why?

LH: Madonna because she’s someone I look up to and I would love a long career like hers.  She’s the master at reinventing herself.

PEV: As well, is there an up and coming artist right now that you think we should all be looking out for?

LH: Other than me?  Ha, ha.  I really like Jupiter Rising.

PEV: Tell us, what can fans expect from your latest release, “Boy Shorts”? How is this different from other music you’ve worked with?

LH: It’s unlike my dance music and it’s total pop.  Any girl can feel sexy dancing to it.  It’s playful and flirty.  I’m getting ready to shoot the music video this weekend.
PEV: How is “Boy Shorts” different from other music out today?

LH: I don’t think I sound like any other artist and even the music doesn’t sound like anyone else’s.

PEV: From August 2006 through May 2007, you toured in the European production of the long-running, hit musical, Grease. Tell us about your time on stage – what were your days like? Is acting something you see yourself doing more of in the future?

LH: We were free to explore during the days, which was amazing since I got to see historic places in Europe.  The cast was so much fun.  Even though we did the show for nine months, we were excited the second the music started and the curtain rose.  I hope to continue acting and make it to  Broadway someday.  But right now my focus is my upcoming pop album.

PEV: When you sit down to write a song what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

LH: For this album, we brainstormed in the studio listening to the music track over and over just bouncing ideas off each other.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Lauren Hildebrandt?

LH: I’m doing my first mini triathlon on Thanksgiving Day (2008).

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to all your success? What is it like for you when you get to go home?

LH: Everyone is supportive and happy that I’m pursing my dreams.  Nothing changes when I go home which is what I like about my family and friends.  It’s just the way I left it.

PEV: When you are not touring and performing, what can we find you doing in your spare time?

LH: Hiking Runyon Canyon in Hollywood, running on the boardwalk in Manhattan Beach, go out to dinner with my boyfriend and friends.

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Good parts? Bad parts? Any fun stories?

LH: I’m not touring right now since I’m recording my debut album.  But the good parts are meeting fans.  It’s the best feeling when someone comes up to me and says they love my music.  The downside of touring is not having my regular food.  I’m a creature of habit and look forward to having my low-carb Monster with my egg-white omelet with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes!  I know that’s weird, but my day doesn’t feel right without that.

PEV:  In your opinion, is there a certain city (US or International) that you find to be the best city for music?

LH: Los Angeles or New York.  They are where most of the musicians, producers and engineers live.

PEV: As well, where’s one place (city and/or venue) you haven’t played, you would like to? Why?

LH: Madison Square Garden.  If I’m ever there, then I’ve really made it.

PEV: So, what’s next for Lauren Hildebrandt?

LH: Promoting my debut album, “Not Really a Waitress”, that drops in January.

For more information on Lauren, check out: www.laurenhildebrandt.com

Permalink Leave a Comment

Today’s Feature – December 9-10: Lauren Ianuzzi

December 11, 2008 at 1:44 am (Today's Feature)

izfeat

Talk about spunk for the business – Lauren Ianuzzi is a lot more than you might see on her web site or myspace page. This girl has life! And optimism! The kind of lady who could bring you up any time you’re feeling down. The Jersey girl packs a lot of punch in her little person – using a booming and commanding voice to exercise her musical craft – the kind of power comparable to artists like Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey.

While the upbeat pop star may have an amazing voice, she’s also a classically trained pianist and saxophonist – so she knows the melodies need more than an angelic voice. She says that music “requires a pretty advanced knowledge of theory and harmony — plus a great ear, of course.  For that, I’m glad I was classically trained, so I really got to understand the mechanics of chord progressions.” If you’re looking for a shining example of Ianuzzi in action, pick up her latest release, “A Funk I Won’t Forget.” She says “It’s got some James Brown in there, a twisted take on swing, some almost psychedelic funky rock. It’s hooky, it’s ballsy, it’s sexy, and it’s smart!” I like it!

Some readers out there may be thinking that Lauren Ianuzzi is simply stepping into the do-wop sound that made such a comeback not too long ago… but it’s more than that. The best place to see for yourself is at the live show. Ianuzzi allows for experimentation up on stage, bringing a different perspective every time. She isn’t shy about experimenting with her outfits either. So check out a show for sure – she’ll be at The Annex on December 10th. The EP will be out next year, so check that out too and get into the XXQ’s below for more.

XXQs: Lauren Ianuzzi

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Tell us why Lauren Ianuzzi is going to make a huge impact on today’s music scene.

Lauren Ianuzzi (LI): Because I’m nothing like anyone else!  I’ve got a soul/R&B voice, but my lyrical style is more in the Billy Joel vein.  I throw in the funk, but there’s also rock, blues, and jazz.  Take that, put it all under a Pop umbrella (ella, ella), add a dash of musical theatre, and you’ve got a brand-new treat for your ears!  Plus, I’m really committed to killing it at my live shows; so many artists try to come out guns blazing with a hot studio album, and then cannot deliver when they get up on stage without the AutoTune and the vocal stacking.  I’m not like that; live shows are my meat and potatoes.

PEV: A proud Jersey girl, what kind of music were you listening to growing up?

LI: I had a really great mix!  My dad loves rock and Sinatra, and my mom loves soul and 60s/70s folk, so I had every side of the spectrum covered.   As I got older, I went through a pop diva phase (Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey) and a hard rock phase (Korn, Foo Fighters, Incubus).  Right before I started writing songs, I got really into Ben Folds Five and Prince.

PEV: You’ve said, “I was a band nerd and I was in all the choirs. I was in every single music thing I could possibly be in and more.” With that, was there a certain point when you realized that music was going to be career for you?

LI: I spent all this time and effort getting into a really tough college, and during my first week there I wrote my first bunch of songs; I knew I was on to something.  That same week, there was a Freshman Orientation open mic, and I decided to sing a song from RENT.  I was definitely green at that time, but I still really impressed all the kids (including upperclassmen!) there.  I was immediately known on the very small campus as “that tiny girl with the really big voice.”  I realized that this was my calling:  to perform and write songs.  I felt bad, because even though I was happy to be at school, I really wanted to just hit the streets of NYC and start working on it ASAP!

PEV: A classically trained pianist and saxophonist, you definitely bring a different style to the scene. How has the background influenced your sound?

LI: Some people think pop music is brainless, but in the cases of the great pop songwriters (Carole King, Elton John, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Prince), it requires a pretty advanced knowledge of theory and harmony — plus a great ear, of course.  For that, I’m glad I was classically trained, so I really got to understand the mechanics of chord progressions.  I’m also glad I stayed in college, because I was really put through the wringer in hard music theory courses.  I got horrible grades (and music was my major!) because I was always distracted by my own material and barely did homework, but I really did learn a lot, and theory almost always informs my songwriting.

PEV: What was it like for you when you were first breaking into the music business? Before you were getting press, regular gigs and touring around the country? The struggles, the lessons learned, etc.?

LI: It’s always a struggle.  There’s always a new challenge and a new obstacle.  I almost feel like it was easier before the gigs, press, etc, because there were no expectations!  Now I’m always getting hungrier, wanting to play more and more, wanting to reach bigger and bigger audiences.  It’s just a matter of keeping one’s head up and realizing that making it in music takes time and an unbelievably huge amount of effort.  But I’m in it to win it!

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Lauren Ianuzzi show?

LI: It’s different every time.  I love to mess around with different cover songs, see how I can engage people with new arrangements and surprises.  I also really like to feature my band, because they’re so talented and really instinctive with their choices.  I bring them a song, and I just say “Okay, here are the charts, now just put your flavor into the song.”  In the show you can really feel each of them bringing an individuality to it.  Visually, my show is fun because I’m always wearing something really over-the-top:  sparkly leggings, glitter, teased hair and huge heels.  At the last show I wore this ridiculous velvet bustier.  It’s the only time I can get away with stuff like that!

PEV: How have your shows evolved from when you first started out?

LI: Musically and vocally, we are all WAY tighter.  I’m so much more comfortable in my own skin, and I’ve really found my voice (figuratively) as a frontwoman: sassy, free-spirited, and a little naughty!  And now I add fun breakdowns and audience participation into the set, and it feels really natural to me.  I’m also way more confident behind the keyboard.  In terms of arrangements, I’ve varied the songs a lot more.  I gave a reggae feel to the song “Man-Boy” where it used to be just a plain jazzy pop song.  Crowds have especially responded to that change.

PEV: Any embarrassing or crazy live show stories? There has to be tons, I’m sure…

LI: At the last show, there was a guy there that I met on an Internet dating site.  I know, cheesy — that kind of thing isn’t for me, I don’t think.  Anyway, he seemed really cool when we talked on the phone.  I invited him to the show, and when we met, for some reason I just wasn’t feeling it.  Usually the band and I go out after our shows, so I just ditched him and we went to dinner; the guys were ripping on me for it!  The dude called me a few days later and I never responded.  I hope he isn’t reading this…

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist out today, who would it be and why?

LI: Hard question!  I could answer it like a fantasy question, and then I’d probably say Prince or Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters.  But if I answered it like “Who is your more established indie counterpart?” I’d say the funk band Lettuce.  They’ve never had a chick singer — I’ve seen them enough times to know I can handle it!  Lettuce, if you’re out there — give me a chance, boys!  Or just let me open for you!

PEV: As well, is there an up and coming artist right now that you think we should all be looking out for?

LI: There’s this guy Sam Sparro – he’s from Australia -, and he does this awesome variation on funky dance/pop.  Listening to his album is like doing 3 Kamikaze shots, eating a slice of pizza, and then meeting Morris Day and the Time in an American Apparel store.  Does that make sense? Anyway, he’s got a really warm soulful voice, and his song “Clingwrap” is absolute pop genius.  I ordered his CD from the UK because it isn’t out in stores yet!

PEV: Tell us, what can fans expect from your latest release, “A Funk I Won’t Forget”? How is this different from other music you’ve worked with?

LI: I’ve finally found my sound. Some of my older demos are more pop or more urban or more generic.  This is completely me; I’ve been on top of the production, helping make changes and make creative choices.

PEV: How is “A Funk I Won’t Forget” different from other music out today?

LI: It’s “old soul” without being retro.  I admire and respect all the girls coming out with the 60s-inspired doo-wop girl-group material, but my EP isn’t that same kind of thing.  It’s got some James Brown in there, a twisted take on swing, some almost psychedelic funky rock.  It’s hooky, it’s ballsy, it’s sexy, and it’s smart!

PEV: When you sit down to write, what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

LI: Depends on the song.  Sometimes I write an entire song in the shower and then figure out the chords later.  Other times I’m in front of my computer, actually typing and singing.  Then, there are the times when I’m just playing around on the piano and I find a good feel.  Next I want to try writing something with my band!

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Lauren Ianuzzi?

LI: Onstage I look very confident and sultry, and around my best friends I’m really out there, but in many ways I’m still that shy band-geek book nerd.

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to all your success? What is it like for you when you get to go home?

LI: I live at home!  They’re used to me.  I’m just Lauren who hustles with a bunch of day jobs and happens to do music too.  But everyone believes in me; I feel really lucky to have a great support system around me.  I’ll never grow a big head as long as I’ve got my closest friends and my fam by my side.

PEV: When you are not touring and performing, what can we find you doing in your spare time?

LI: Babysitting; cleaning up messy babies.  Working at a restaurant.  College essay consulting.  Whatever I can get, really!  I’m also looking to become a published songwriter and write for commercials and for other artists.

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Good parts? Bad parts? Any fun stories? Or favorite hang outs along the way?

LI: I’ve really been mostly performing in NYC.  When we did a show in Connecticut this year, though, that was pretty crazy/fun.  I had to pick everyone up — in Queens, in the Bronx, just all over the place.  My car was filled to the top with gear because the place had no backline; I couldn’t see out the back at all while I drove.  My band spent the entire ride talking about government conspiracies, ha ha!  We got there like 5 or 6 hours early so we just walked around the town looking for food — the entire time, I was in full costume with heavy eye makeup, skin-tight leggings, and heels!  We hung out and hung out all night until midnight, when we finally went on.  I drove everyone home to my house at 2am.  We sat outside in my backyard for 2 hours and then my band slept in the basement.  They ate all of my secret candy stash, and in the morning we all ate bagels and drank coffee, courtesy of Mama Ianuzzi.   It was great bonding!  Definitely not a badass rawk story, but I’m sure we’ll have one of those eventually.

PEV:  In your opinion, is there a certain city (US or International) that you find to be the best city for music?

LI: Well, I’ve always loved Philly soul.  I’ve never played there, but I know we were meant for each other and someday I’ll get there.

PEV: Saturday Night Live calls and asks you to be their musical guest, who would be your dream host for the show?

LI: Wow!  Great question. Well, if I can’t do both, I’d have to say Jason Segel.  Hilarious; great writer; great comic timing.  He wrote a puppet musical when he was 22 and is now single-handedly bringing back The Muppets.  Plus he’s dreamy.  Need I say more?

PEV: So, what’s next for Lauren Ianuzzi?

LI: More of the same — playing out, my December 10 show at The Annex (www.theannexnyc.com), releasing my EP in 2009 (looking like Spring or Summer), updating my blog (http://laurenianuzzi.blogspot.com), and going wherever the industry takes me!  I’m also going to be on late-night network TV in December — Fearless Music TV on FOX.  Be sure to check out my sites for info on that, because if people vote for me and the band, they will air a second clip of us playing one of my original songs!

For more information on Laura, check out: www.laurenianuzzi.com and www.myspace.com/laurenianuzzi for updates.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Today’s Feature – December 7-8: Slightly Stoopid

December 8, 2008 at 10:41 pm (Today's Feature)

stoopidfeat

Bands like Slightly Stoopid are the shit. Period. They go along with their business, never once thinking about selling out to anyone for years and years, and eventually flourish the only way they know how – their own way. If you haven’t heard of Slightly Stoopid, these guys have been together for over a decade, perfected what they call “the art of the stealth groove, that knack for quietly—almost innocently—sliding into a song and utterly lassoing anyone within earshot by mid-song.” It’s the kind of sound you’ll find yourself enjoying even if you forget to notice right away. It just sits true in the mind, completely.

Their latest record, the sixth offering titled “Chronchitis,” is “another collection of hypnotizers built on a bedrock of nasty, oceanic slabs of dubby bass and meditative vocals.” These guys are now big and strong enough to release the collection on their own Stoopid Records/Controlled Substance Sound Labs label, and it’s a clear reflection of what Slightly Stoopid represents. They play music every day without fail, constantly finding new ways to evolve an inimitable craft. Drummer RyMo puts it best, “Every album is unique…an album just captures the ‘now’ of the moment, and with us that is constantly changing… We are just being ourselves. We enjoy making music together and we will continue staying on tour and recording consistently.”

Check out “Chronchitis,” especially if you miss the summer as much as I do. It’s a beach soundtrack if I’ve ever heard one. You can also get out to a show – the band plays over 150 gigs a year. No doubt they’ll continue to play and record, so expect a seventh album in the very near future. Learn more below in the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Slightly Stoopid

PensEyeView.com (PEV): With more than a decade of making music together, tell us about how you first jumped into becoming Slightly Stoopid? Was it an instant connection for the band?

Ryan Moran aka Rymo (Drummer): Miles and Kyle grew up together and picked up instruments at a young age. The band has grown and evolved and gone through many changes. The chemistry is strong and has stood the test of time…

PEV: What kind of music where each of the members listening to growing up?

Rymo: Lots of punk, rock, ska, reggae, hip-hop and more…

PEV: Do you guys argue on different kinds of music?

Rymo: Everyone has their favorite styles of music but we respect each other’s approach to composition.

PEV: What was the first concert you attended?

Rymo: The Who, 25th anniversary reunion tour in 1988 or 1989. Awesome.

PEV: Tell us about your creative process… What kind of environment do you have to be in to write music?

Rymo: A smoky one!

PEV: Having performed together for quite some time, what can fans expect from a live show?

Rymo: Lots of energy, lots of chaos, lots of fun.

PEV: What can fans expect from your sixth album, “Chronchitis”? What was the collaborative process for this album?

Rymo: All of our songs take on a life of their own. We write and record together all the time, and our individual tastes shine through. Some songs are pre-composed and presented to the group, others are written on the fly.

PEV: How is “Chronchitis” different from others out right now? As well, how is it different from your past albums?

Rymo: Every album is unique…an album just captures the ‘now’ of the moment, and with us that is constantly changing. We had a chance to work with some world class producers while working on Chron and it has a distinct flavor when compared to earlier albums. Producers put their stamp on our ideas and help shape the overall sound of things.

PEV: How would you describe the sound of Slightly Stoopid? How do you plan to stand out above the other musicians in your genre?

Rymo: Reggaefunkyrockbluesygroovybeachmusic… We are just being ourselves. We enjoy making music together and we will continue staying on tour and recording consistently.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of the band?

Rymo: We are sober.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

Rymo: I was about 13 years old and getting really into music. It felt like the right thing to pursue. I was fortunate to have good teachers and peers around me that would inspire me to go for it.

PEV: What one word best describes Slightly Stoopid?

Rymo: Fun

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts? Any fun stories?

Rymo: Life on the road is constant flux. Every single day you are in a different city, climate, time zone etc. it takes patience to adapt to constant change.

PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or International)?

Rymo: I have a ton of both. I love going to any city where people are cool and the food is good. Some places are more fun than others. I’m a coastal person and enjoy anywhere with an ocean nearby. Amsterdam was great. Byron bay Australia is amazing. I’d love to go back to either at some point.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success?

Rymo: They are proud because they know how long I have worked at this. It hasn’t been some overnight success story. The hard work has finally started to pay off. They are most proud of my perseverance.

PEV: What can we find the members of the band doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

Rymo: Surf, hang out with friends and family, travel, have a few beers etc.

PEV: Which artist would be your dream collaboration? Why?

Rymo: This is a tough question to answer. I have people I’d love to play with. But to choose one…?

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

Rymo: Watch anyone that is touring and making good music for the right reasons. There is so much crap out there that sucks. Don’t be fooled by the American idol mind frame. If you want to this, it will take sacrifice and hard work, and a lot of road time.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music, what would the members of the band most likely be doing for a career?

Rymo: Working at 7-11.

PEV: If we were to walk into your practice studio right now what would find?

Rymo: Drums, books, keyboards, iPods, ear protection, cymbals, art on the wall, empty beer cans.

PEV: So, what is next for Slightly Stoopid?

Rymo: Time will tell. The road. The studio… More of both.

For more information on Slightly Stoopid, check out: www.slightlystoopid.com

Permalink Leave a Comment

Today’s Feature – December 5-6: Anarbor

December 7, 2008 at 1:31 pm (Today's Feature)

anarborfeat

It was just recently that I started getting familiar with the very young Anarbor out of Phoenix, Arizona – but man… I do like what they’re all about. Whether it’s how they write their songs or how they treat their fans – they seem to have it all together. When asked about their creative process, the band responded “We all play guitar and we all write music so we like to sit in a circle and just bounce guitar riffs off of each other than we like to write lyrics to a good progression that we all agree on.” I don’t know if it’s just my thinking, but that’s the kind of band that stays together.

The boys of Anarbor also realize just how important their fans are to them. They say “We really make a connection with our fans too. We have more friends than fans I think. And we like it that way. And we appreciate every single one of them!” Again, this is my thinking, but that’s the kind of band that succeeds too. It also helps that they’re producing great music, which you can sample on their 4-track release, “The Natural Way.” These fast-paced tunes do indeed have an organic sound, avoiding any extra programming. If they can’t do it live, they don’t want to do it at all. The guys say “We play real music. I think we really took a chance and wrote something that really smacks people in the face. We surprised people, but in a good way.”When you hear this kind of passion from a band, you know they can bring it on stage. And lucky for you out there on the west coast, the band is touring right around there throughout December. After they record a new EP, they’ll be on the road again, so keep your eyes open. Want to learn more? Get into the XXQ’s.
XXQs: Anarbor
PensEyeView.com (PEV): Having been together as Anarbor for quite some time, was it an instant connection for the band when you first came together? Do you remember the first time you met to practice?
It was an instant connection almost; we were all friends for a really long time before we started the band. We all grew up going to the same shows and listening to the same bands, we knew where we wanted to take our sound. The first time we practiced was in my (Greg) garage. Mike, Slade, and Adam had little 1×12 speaker amps, and I had a shitty kit that I got offline for less than 100 bucks. It was a Friday after middle school and we they all had their parents drop them off and we just fucked around for an hour. Looking back on it, it was really funny.
PEV: Phoenix, Arizona, what kind of music where each of the members listening to growing up?  Do you guys argue on different kinds of music? What was the first concert you attended?
We listened to pop-punk. We listened to the Starting Line, The Early November, Blink 182, All American Rejects, Senses Fail, Homegrown, Allister. We don’t really argue on music, we respect each others opinions and we can all take something from a song, whether we enjoy it or not. The first concert we all went to as a band was warped tour in like 2001 or something. We all watched hidden in plain view, and Slade actually got to sing with them, we were so stoked for the next month on that.
PEV: Tell us about your creative process… What kind of environment do you have to be in to make music?
We don’t need much to get creative. We all play guitar and we all write music so we like to sit in a circle and just bounce guitar riff’s off of each other than we like to write lyrics to a good progression that we all agree on. It’s a very collaborative process and we all contribute something, whether it’s a lyric, a guitar part, or a melody, it’s something the 4 of us all created and it’s special to us.
PEV: Known for fantastic live performances, what can fans expect from a live Anarbor show?
We bring a lot of energy onto the stage with us, and we always love to have the crowd participating. Just expect to have a good time and be yourself.
PEV: Tell us about your first live performance as a band. How have you changed since that first show to where you are now?
Oh god. The first time we played a gig was our 7th grade year. We played at Skate Land and we got paid twenty dollars and we went and bought a pizza after the show with our money. We were shitting our pants because of how nervous we were. But we got through the show and kept going from there. We’ve changed so much since then. Not only have our songs gotten better but our stage presence has and we feel a lot more comfortable. I think that 6 years of being on stage really help you cope with playing live shows, and we’ve had a lot of time to perfect our show.
PEV: What can fans expect from your latest release, “The Natural Way”?
Four straight forward rock n’ roll songs that are in your face and energetic.
PEV: How is “The Natural Way” different from other albums out right now? As well, now is it different from your past albums?
We really believe in having a “natural” or organic sound. We don’t use any programming, or anything that we can’t pull off live. Bands these days have tracks playing over their songs and we don’t think that’s what music is about. We play real music and we love what we do, hopefully people catch onto that. Our past albums were a little more laid back and not as hard. I think we really took a chance and wrote something that really smacks people in the face. We surprised people, but in a good way.

PEV: How would you describe the sound of Anarbor? And what do you think it is about the band that has made you so successful?

Real Rock n’ Roll music. We try to go for something different on every song, none of our songs sound the same like many records that come out now-of-days. We really make a connection with our fans too. We have more friends than fans I think. And  we like it that way. We have fans that love good music and want to have a good time at our shows. And we appreciate every single one of them!

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of the band?

Most people don’t know that we’ve been friends for seven years. We consider that an accomplishment and our strong relationship really makes us that much better of a band and song writers.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?
We knew that we had a chance our senior year of high school when we started getting a lot of industry attention. I think when we signed our contract with Hopeless/Subcity Records was when we knew that we had a career in music. We love our label and we couldn’t have asked for a better family behind us.
PEV: What one word best describes Anarbor?
Family.
PEV: As musicians, you live a lot of your life on the road. How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts? Any fun stories?
Life on the road for us is so spontaneous and crazy. On our last tour I think just about everything that could possibly go wrong did: 2 car accidents, 2 tires blew out, our van died about 50 times, got a bomb-threat on our van (it’s a long story), and our van broke down in the middle of New York City.
It was definitely a learning experience and we wouldn’t take back any of it. But we are most successful as song writers when we are touring. Long drives we sit I the back of the van and jam the whole way. That’s how a lot of our new songs were written and we think they are some of the best we’ve ever created.
PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or International)?
We love every city, but if we had to pick one we’d have to say Los Angeles, California. It’s like our second home.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success?
They’re all very supportive in anything we do. They’re always checking in with us while we’re on the road. We love our friends and family, we couldn’t ask for more.

PEV: What can we find the members of the band doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

While we’re at home, we see each other everyday and are constantly hanging out with each other. We’re always jamming together when we’re hanging out, so music basically takes up our whole life at home as well. It’s a lot of fun.

PEV: Having played with many great acts in music is there still one artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

I’m sure a lot of bands have said The Beatles. I know that’s who we would pick too. Dude, they’re The Beatles.

PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

Our friends from back home who just started a band, Western Medicine. They’ve got great songs and are all awesome dudes.
PEV: If you weren’t playing music, what would the members of the band most likely be doing for a career?
We would all be going to college working on a degree, like most kids our age. We’re all enrolled in online college courses too.
PEV: Tell us what an average day is like for the members of Anarbor?
At home, wake up, go to practice for basically the whole day, then we usually all go hang out with our friends, and do the same thing the next day. On tour, wake up, drive all day, play a show, go to bed, do it all again the next day. We also have to balance online college between these things.
PEV: So, what is next for Anarbor?
We’ll be doing a west coast tour in December, and then we’ll hit the studio that same month to record a new EP, then touring our asses off after that. Look out for us in a city near you!
For more information on Anarbor, check out: www.myspace.com/anarbor

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.