Today’s Feature – April 19-20: Haale

April 20, 2008 at 1:36 pm (Today's Feature)

The Bronx-born Haale finds more than success through her music – she finds an escape, a relief, the guitar fitting flawlessly in her hands and around her body. Her songs can do the same for you – a calm, enchanting mix of classic psychedelic sounds with the melodious feel of Persian mystical that was first heard on her two EP’s, “Morning” and “Paratrooper.”

Of Iranian descent, Haale at first ignored the idea of including her Middle Eastern influences in her music. However, she found a connection in exploring that part of her life and has since seen most of the country as well as Europe, playing huge shows at the Bonnaroo Festival, SXSW, and the Mimi Festival in France. Through time, she has been able to adjust her seamless blend, learning from every artist she has the opportunity to collaborate with, including the talented Sean Lennon.

Her new album, “No Ceiling” is a collection that reflects a journey for Haale, becoming clearer and clearer as you listen on. The record comes out on her own label, Channel A Music, and “explores themes of transformation and evolution, singing in English and Persian through a riveting soundscape of percussion, psychedelic guitars, and soaring strings.” It also includes a sixteen page booklet with ink-drawn illustrations, live photos, lyrics and translations.

Haale is always touring, truly enjoying what she calls “a beautiful life.” The album has only been available for about a month, so expect a show near you soon. Get into the XXQ’s to learn more.

XXQs: Haale

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Hey Haale, great to talk with you. Where’d I catch you?

Haale: We are Pittsburgh on our way to Cleveland and then onto Chicago.

PEV: How’s touring been for you?

Haale: Awesome. Touring has been great. We’re having a really, really good time.

PEV: What’s the best part about road life?

Haale: Just being able to play all over the place. It’s been great.

PEV: What’s the worst part about it? Is there a downside?

Haale: I don’t really feel the downside. I really really love it. I don’t like to be in one place. Even if it’s like a twelve hour drive to do a show that night. We’ve had one of them on the tour. But otherwise, it’s a beautiful life, I love it.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Haale performance?

Haale: They can expect to rock hard (laughs).

PEV: Has there ever been any embarrassing live performances or any that you wished you didn’t remember?

Haale: Um, I think that if there is one, I don’t remember (laughs)… I probably blocked it out.

PEV: Growing up, what kind of music where you listening to?

Haale: Well, I heard a lot of things growing up, in the house. Classical music, Persian traditional music as well. Other great, great, great Persian musicians too. There was also Beatles, Tracy Chapman, Bob Dylan. I had a pretty diverse experience when I was growing up.

PEV: Was there a certain point when you decided that music was going to be more than just a hobby?

Haale: I think I always knew that. I think ever since I was nine years old, was the first time I ever sang on the stage and knew that was what I wanted to do. But it wasn’t encouraged. I went on a detour for a while. I majored in Biology. Then a friend gave me a guitar and I started writing songs, then that was it.

PEV: Where’d you go to school?

Haale: Stanford, California.

PEV: You said you took a detour but got back into it. What where those earlier days like?

Haale: Well, I was pretty anxiety ridden then (laughs). I had so many things going on, which I guess was a positive. Once I got that guitar in my hand, I felt ready. I started to sing open mics and then developing from there. It was really a relief to start playing.

PEV: Tell us about the open mics.

Haale: It was very special. The people where very unique. Most people had other jobs but there was always this real pure love for songwriting that you could experience there. Beautiful, very tender.

PEV: How has your sound changed since then?

Haale: Well, I’ve been writing and working my music for a while now. You know, you get better the more time you sing and collaborate with other musicians. Plus when I first started, I was writing music in just English. Later I thought, “Wait I have this Persian culture that I have ignored for so many years”. I’ve been surrounded by so much Persian influence. I always wanted to do a song another way and rearrange them. I started working with Persian poems and just exploring that side of me.

PEV: What was your earlier life like in the business, when you were first starting out?

Haale: It was a lot of hustle. I mean I was hustling to get gigs, sending music out. Sometimes you’ve spend hours a day on the computer mailing things. It was difficult and took so much time away from writing. I was doing this all myself. I wasn’t even touring yet, it was just in New York. Then there was also the wonderful part in it of meeting other musicians and growing with them. It was a lot of multitasking.

PEV: Congratulations on the new album “No Ceiling” (now available). What can fans take away from this?

Haale: I think people can relate to it in many, many ways. I mean there is a really strong rhythmic connection in the album. Lyrical the message runs through the album. I think it’s beautiful. As far as the lyrics go, there is an image of journey in it.

PEV: How is “No Ceiling” different than other music out today?

Haale: Oh, I don’t know. I think you can tell me that.

PEV: When you sat down to write “No Ceiling”, what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

Haale: There’s no one specific environment for me. I wrote it in different processes. Some with other people, just sitting down in the studio on the lower east side. Then sometimes, I’d take the lyrics and work on them by myself at my house. It varies.

PEV: What’s your favorite part about living in New York City?

Haale: That you can see anything at any time.

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

Haale: Playing music (laughs).

PEV: Well Haale, thanks for taking the time with us. I appreciate it and best of luck with the tour.

Haale: Hey no problem, thanks.

For more information on Haale, check out www.Haale.com

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