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Monthly Archives: April 2007

Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz
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Interview With Heidi Schwartz By Chris 28/1/07

Heidi Schwartz is a great singer songwriter from America.

Thanks to the Internet, I discovered this very talented artist.

I really dug her tunes and know she gonna go far.

So naturally an interview was a must.

Heidi Website

1. How did you get into music?

I have always wanted to be a singer ever since I can remember. I was just drawn to music.

2. Who were your idols growing up?

Well when I was 5 I remember that I started listening to tapes my parents had like Amy Grant and Billy Ocean (random I know). I remember having the chicken pox and asking my mom for an Amy Grant Album when she went to the store. I think I sat on the couch and listen to it with my headphones reading the lyrics for hours on end. I also liked a lot of girl singers, as I got a little older I remember being floored by Mariah Carey and her vocal range.

3. Who were your influences?

Pop music period. In particular big voiced singers like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. But I didn’t grew up in this big musical family so I was basically glued to my radio. In junior high I started to taking classical voice lessons (opera) and continued to do so to college. I went through lots of musical phases like a country kick for a while, gospel music, hairband rock, whatever. I remember as a teenager loving this singer/songwriter named Nicole Nordeman . She was so honest poetic about questioning God, I remember thinking “that’s exactly how I feel” and having wished I could have said those things the way she did.

4. Are you happy with the responses from the new album?

Yes. I have had some really amazing responses to the record. Which is really fantastic when you have worked so hard on something. It’s great thing when people can appreciate what you do. Although some people have very different takes on songs, which is always fascination to me. Art is very subjective, like people.

5. What have responses been like to your music on the web?

Really positive. I have a song that I wrote for my dad and I get a lot of people writing me thanking me for writing that song… that blows me away.

6. Has the Internet helped with your music?

Absolutely!!!!! That’s mainly how my music gets heard

7. Do you think tools like MySpace are useful?

Yes, it’s huge for an indy artist like myself. The big trick is to not to get lost in all the noise. There is sooo much music on there.

8. Who you would most like to tour with?

Hmmm I would have to say Damien Rice. I get lost listening to him. … But it would also be cool to tour with a monster band like U2. I have a ton of respect for them. Now that I think of it it’s kinda interesting that both of those artists are from Ireland. Maybe that little island has got something in the water.

9. If you could work with any one who would it be?

That’s a hard one. I really love Daniel Lanios’s work. (U2’s producer) He did an album with Emmylou Harris called Wrecking Ball that is just achingly beautiful. But I would also love to work with the the producers named Track and Field. They did Nelly Furtado’s first 2 albums and I just think they were so freaking creative with those projects. I would love to work with people that were so open to imagination.

10. Is it hard to get radio to play your music?

Next to impossible! I’m not on a major label and I’m not a millionaire thus I’m pretty much screwed when it comes to that. … ha ha

11. Have you had much response from radio?

Little splashes here and there, but like I said it’s a hard beast to break into.

12. Was the recording process different to the earlier releases?

Well this is my first major recording project. I have recorded several demos but this was my first record.

13. What’s it like being a country singer/songwriter in America?

Well I live in Nashville, but I’m not a country singer. I often get confused with one just because of where I live. To many peoples surprised there is quite a growing rock scene here. But actually grew up in Ohio I down to Nashville to go to a music school.

14. Have you had much response from record labels?

We haven’t shopped to labels. It has been taken to a few people in the industry and they have had positive feedback but no action, just talk.

15. What is on your stereo at the moment?

Robert Downey Jr’s album “The Futurist”. It’s quite honest and gritty, I was pleasantly surprised. It really grabbed me quick on first listen.

16. What are some of your favorite musical artists/bands?

Ahhhh that’s an overwhelming question. But I’ll try to tactical it. Well I love emotional wordsmith singer/songwriters like Bright Eyes, Ani Difranco, Richard Ashcroft, Tori Amos, Damien Rice, Patty Griffin (she’s a great singer too), Over the Rhine(great singer as well).
I love pop rock bands like U2, Pearl Jam, NIN, Jump, The Ours, Nirvana, I fell in love with The Fray’s album that broke out this year. I love Sting, Eastern music, most melancholy music, 80’s pop music, anything I can daydream to, heck I love good pop melodies…. so for that I can take a little cheese. And of course I’ll listen to singer singers like Mariah Carey only now I can add Jeff Buckley to that list.

17. Any plans to tour the country?

I have been touring a bit on and off. But we are working on a spring tour at the moment.

18. Who have you has helped you out the most?

Wow that’s a really really difficult question because there are sooo many. In order to do this thing and make it really go it takes a village. So many. I almost don’t want to name anyone because there are so so many.

19. What inspires you when writing music?

My depression. … ha ha well that’s true but also it’s this strong need to get something out, a point across, to vent, to express an idea. To be heard and known, to connect. And usually it’s something I want to say cause it’s what I’m emotionally dealing with at the moment. It’s a good thing when you want to get something out that is sometimes too intense for real life to put it in a song.

20. How did the recording process go for the new album?

Good. There were challenges, like explaining what I heard in my head to other people. A lot of it is just feeling you can’t explain things, it’s intuitive for me. I don’t read a lick of music so I use like of abstract words to try to describe what I mean like “may it sound more like rain forest” … yeah sometimes they looked at me like I had two heads. Ha ha.

Thanks for asking me to do this interview!!! I hope to come down to the land down under soon!


Picture copyright respected holders.

Interview With Sam From Montana By Chris 25/4/07

Montana are an awesome band from America .

After accidently discovering their site,I listened to a few tunes and was hooked.

Expect to hear heaps more from this band and plus a review of their album when it’s ready.

Montana Website

1. How did you get into music?

I always had a janky old classical guitar in my room. It wasn’t until I was 13 that I picked it up. I had it there, I guess, in anticipation of the day I’d choose to learn. I think a lot of my friends who play in bands have similar introductions to their instruments. It wasn’t until those sort of formulative teen years that we started thinking about music as an outlet.

2. Who were your idols growing up?

I can’t really recall. I was definitely into my Mum’s record collection as a kid. She was a big Bob Dylan fan, so that stuck with me.

3. Who were your influences?

Well, for Montana, I’d have to say nearly anything on 4ad. The 1st pedal I ever bought was this great Boss delay pedal. It was always the sound I gravitated toward. Of course as a result, I get a few comparisons to the Edge, he basically owns that sound. I think we took a lot of influence from bands like Ride, Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine, we definitely lean toward that glacial and somewhat heavy sound. The Post Punk bands really appealed to me also: The Chameleons, Joy Division and The Cure.
As a kiwi, a lot of the Flying Nun stuff has been prevalent throughout. I love the Bats and Straightjacket fits, The Chills are another one.

4. Are you happy with the responses with the music on your website?

Yeah I am. Though it’s even better to meet those people at the shows. There’s some really wonderful people we’ve meet through this.

5. What has been your favorite gig to date?

I don’t know if I have a favourite gig. There’s one place, the Stork club in Oakland CA, that we’ve played more than anywhere else. It’s our 2nd rehearsal space basically, so it always feels like we’re coming home when we play there. Though I really love those anomaly gigs. Whether it’s an outdoor street show in Mid Summer, or a friend’s party. Actually, we have an annual BBQ we call “incest fest”. We all play in several bands, so our collective projects get together at our rehearsal space and play all night.

6. Have you had much response from labels?

We’ve had some label interest. We haven’t really pursued anything yet. We’re waiting on the album before we focus on extending ourselves further.

7. Has the band had much response from radio?

We’ve also had some college radio play. Again it’s the same thing with the labels, where we haven’t submitted a whole lot just yet, as were still working on the album. Once it’s out though.

8. Do you feel the Internet has helped bands get noticed by labels and
Industry people?

Overall it’s obviously effective but…No, I don’t think so. Well, not for us anyway. It’s essential for contacting bookers, the public and radio. But there’s such an abundance of bands with a web presence that I think labels find acts via a different forum, whether that’s Showcases, networking or word of mouth. Having said that I realize that a web presence is an obligatory and invaluable resource for any band.

9. Any plans to tour overseas or move overseas for the band?

Yes, we’re talking about touring New Zealand. I’m from Christchurch originally. That’ll hopefully happen in 2008

10. What is on your stereo at the moment?

The Silver EP by JESU is Justin Broadrick’s new project. It sounds unbelievable. Dense, thick and gorgeous.

11. What are some of your favorite musical artists/bands?

I’ll give you a short version to this question…Morphine has to be the band that I hold most dear. “The Night” is a beautiful album.
Otherwise…Mogwai, the Chameleons, Sciflyer, The Bats, The Beatles, Mister Vague, Luna, Galaxie 500, My Morning Jacket, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, Hendrix, The National, Cowboy Junkies, Doves, Low, Jesu, Tom Waits, The Catherine Wheel, The Cure, Jeff Buckley, The Cocteau Twins and on and on and on

12. Are you happy how the band has gone so far?

We started in one place and now I see us in another. That’s very satisfying to me. Also I play music with two of my best friends. It’s filled a huge cavity in all our lives and we’ve grown as a result.

13. Any releases in the pipeline?

Yes, we’ve got our debut album coming out in the next couple of months. We haven’t got a title yet. The album’s very close.

14. What inspires the band when writing music?

It varies; some songs kick around for as long as a year or two before I hash them out. Others come out like a purge, a compulsive need to write, communicate or whatever you like to call it. Some songs have started as instrumentals, others with a melody, a line, or a vague concept. Typically they’ve been about a personal reaction to something or someone.
I was an English Major, so a lot of American authors have inspired me. It was one of the things that drew me here actually. Sam Shepard’s plays depicted this grandiose and monumental picture of the American landscape. Filmmakers, Terrence Mallick and Wim Wenders have both made films that provided this romantic and panoramic backdrop of the American west that I relished.
As a band, we’re very democratic once I’ve brought a song or idea in. If we have a potential song we feel is valid and evocative we’ll talk about what we need to do as a trio to make it effective. Sometimes we’ll just stumble on an idea that’ll grab us; we’ll usually agree to carry it through until we feel it’s done. I think those are the moments that I really feel inspired: writing with the band and coming across something purely by accident.

15. What has been the highlight so far?

Probably the bonds and friends we’ve made and the times we’ve spent together. The shows with our friends, I’m always very fond of. Recording the album has been a great time also.

16. What is next for the band?

Putting the album out. Then we’re talking about a tour along the West Coast (U.S.A) as well as this venture to New Zealand.