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Interview With Claire Clarke By Chris 28/2/08
Claire Clarke is an artist I discovered two years ago, did an interview with her then reviewed her ep and have been supporting her ever since, She is an extremely talented artist and also is one of the most professional and give her fans the time of day and is very busy but managed to find the time to answer my questions and also sent a copy of her album to review, take note people and also a classic example of you don’t need a major label now to become successful. She has recieved so much publicity and a lot of support from radio. She gonna be huge and still be very professional. She got my support all the way so read on.
1. Are you surprised at how well things are going?
I always wanted this to happen, and have worked really hard to make it a reality… I believe anything is possible so I’m really excited that I can see everything starting to explode!
2. What was the inspiration behind the album?
My emotions at the time were running wild and I had been through some pretty intense times in the year of writing it, so each of the songs captured one of those feelings. I seem to find inspiration not necessarily in the bigger things that happen, but rather the little moments… they hold a lot more meaning to me.
3. How did the recording process go for the album?
It was pretty intense! I really enjoyed working with Bluestone Records throughout the whole process to getting it exactly where we wanted. It was really exciting when we sent it off to be mastered by Leon Zervos (Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette) in New York and listening to the finished product!
4. Would you ever think you would get so much publicity from radio and magazines?
I really hoped so!! I’m so happy that everyone has been so supportive and people have been sitting up and listening! When I see a review or a feature article or see that it’s been added to another radio station that puts a big smile on my face! It’s such an amazing opportunity as an independent artist and it really proves that being an independent is now a viable and tangible path.
5. What inspires you when writing songs?
Life! I find my afterthoughts of an experience always make me want to say something. Observations on the world and looking at things from a different angle really open my mind up and that’s what makes me inspired to write something that’s fresh and unique. Just meeting someone new, a phone call, a kiss… anything that ignites emotion and sparks my imagination!
6. Do you think the Internet has played a big part of getting recognized by people and mainstream media like Nova and Dolly?
Definitely! These days I believe having a presence online is a huge factor in creating general awareness for my music. It’s a great way for me to communicate with my fans and also get the message out there and help spread the word. I think more and more the bigger media outlets are looking online to find the ‘next big thing’.
7. How has Nova helped with getting your music out there?
They’ve always welcomed me and my music into their station and I’m so grateful for that! They are a great supporter and I think it’s wonderful that as an Australian artist I’m being recognised by Australian radio! There are a lot of imports out there, and I believe that there is so much talent to be nurtured in our own backyard that stations like Nova are really taking the initiative and lead the way for the public to be introduced to new and exciting music.
8. How did you get involved with Bluestone Records in the first place?
Chris the A&R Director of Bluestone Records saw me performing at a school event and started developing me from there! It’s been an amazing journey so far and I really can’t wait to buckle in and see it through for a long time to come!
9. Has their been much buzz before the album comes out?
Yeah it’s been really cool to hear a lot of people talking about it and all the great reviews! I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s received and most of all just getting it out there!! I’ve heard it a million times now haha.
10. Were you listening to any music which inspired the album?
Since my teens I really got into John Mayer and Diana Krall, which is completely different to my music, but I love how they hold such honesty in their voices and tell a story.
11. How has the new song Rush been received by the public and the radio?
It’s had an overwhelming response! It’s already been added on national radio networks including Metro and Regional and the response from the industry is fabulous! Every day I get heaps of comments on MySpace from new and existing fans saying how much they love it and that’s so fantastic.. I love reading people’s feedback!
12. Were you happy with feedback and response to the EP?
Most definitely. For my first release it really caught people’s attention and we got it on Novas indie initiative and the Austereo Network’s Australian first programme, plus a big regional support list. I learnt a lot with that first EP and its cool to look back now and see how far I’ve come in the space of two years… WOW!
13. Will you eventually move overseas or will stay here?
I really hope to travel overseas with my music. I doubt I would ever move permanently, cos I just love Australia, it’s my home. But who knows, one day I would love to own a holiday house somewhere in France!
14. Have you had any reviews yet for the album?
Yes, it’s even been reviewed in Rolling Stone already! It just got chosen as Album of the Week in MX Magazine (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane) and has been getting a lot of attention from both street press and glossy mags.. so look out world! Here comes Unhinged!!
I’ve got a really exciting year ahead! I’m currently collaborating with national and international songwriters and working with esteemed rock/punk producer Lindsay Gravina (Thirsty Merc, Living End, Jet, Magic Dirt). Can’t wait for all that’s to come, and thank you so much for your ongoing support.
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Interview With Tess Henderson By Chris 21/2/08
Tess Henderson, I discovered after reading a review and the reviewer was right, what a fantastic artist she is and she from Melbourne is even better and deserves the praise she is getting.
1. How did you get into music?
In primary school I learned the violin and sang in choir, I was always involved in the school musical and one year I was Alice in Wonderland, I was handpicked for lessons with a classical teacher but ditched him for a young jazz singer who was part of an originals band and sang around Fitzroy area, I thought she was great and she let me perform my originals at our recitals and bring in friends from other schools to do backing vocals while I plucked away on the guitar.
2. Who were you idols growing up?
I guess growing up I idolised people who inspired me and introduced me to new things. I wasn’t heavily into pop culture. We were allowed to watch tv as kids but we didn’t have nintendos and other fashionable gadgets, on the weekends our parents would take us out sailing and for long walks along the coast. We were a bit different that way and so I didn’t really have mass media idols if you know what I mean…
3. Who were your influences?
On a musical level my parents used to play old Jean Michel Jarre and Eagles records which I eventually new all the words to and sang my own harmonies, my sister introduced me to Mazzy Star, the lead singer Hope Sandoval has one of my favourite voices of all time, and a friend at school who I used to record with introduced me to Chan Marshall (Cat Power) and was pretty into free jazz..
These days my influences are predominantly the musicians and producers I have worked with or know. Some really inspirational artists/bands/producers for me in Melbourne at the moment include Nick Huggins, Kid Sam, Eva Popov, Husky Gawenda and Simon Moro (Divine Blue).
4. Are you happy with the responses from the album?
Yes I am thrilled. I love that my songs are travelling with people in their cars and being played in their homes and to their friends. Unless people tell you thier thoughts you almost forget that it exists.
5. How was the recording process for the album?
6. Has the internet helped with your music?
Sure. The internet is just a useful tool in general really. You know you can do your supermarket shopping on the internet?
7. Do you think tools like myspace are useful?
Yeah myspace is useful.
8. Is it hard to get radio to play your music?
As far as I know my album has had a good play on Home and Hosed (JJJ), RRR, PBS, 2SER, FBi…
9. Have your had much response from radio?
A few kids have contacted me having heard songs on the radio, and people often tell me they got a shock listening to PBS one day and thinking “I know this voice”.
I’ve done a couple of radio interviews which lead to some cd sales I guess..
10. Are you happy with the way Handmade By Thread has turned out?
In general yes. I think it’s natural to have things you would do differently if you did it again.
11. How did you get involved with Creative Vibes?
Management. They seemed like really nice people and now that I’ve worked with them I can tell you they’re great!
12. What is one thing you don’t like about the music industry?
Ask me in a few years when I’ve had more time to roll around in it.
13. What is it like being an independent artist?
Independent? I’m not sure. It’s great? I have nothing to compare it to…but Creative Vibes are bloody brilliant and I’m not sure I would be able to go it alone i.e. organizing my own promo/reviews etc they were so incredible in getting the album together and into stores/on the radio..
14. What is your favourite venue to play at?
I’ve played at Manchester Lane in Melbourne three times and I had my album launch there in September 2007.
The staff treat me like royalty. Perhaps they treat everyone so well but it feels like it’s just me. The PA is tops, the room is a nice shape and it is always just so easy to play there and lots of people always come along.
I must say that I still love quiet gigs at say Wesley Anne or The Empress in Melbourne. I have played many gigs to say… 10 people and there is something special about that too… I like dark rooms and red lighting.
15. Who would you most like to record a song with and play with?
Sarah Blasko, or Emiliana Torrini, or Massive Attack, or Jean Michel Jarre, or Kings of Convenience…Daft Punk.
16. What is on your stereo at the moment?
I mix cd made by Alistair Ball. It is the best mix tape I have ever heard and I would say I’ve played it now about 223 times. It opens with Okervil River, has a bit of The Concretes, Magnetic Fields, Johnny Cash, an amazing song by Postal Service, much much more and closes with Tunng.
17. What are some of your favourite musical artists/bands?
I’m really inspired by the music coming out of old Melbourne town at the moment i.e. Whitley and FGHR. Sufjan Stevens just toured in Melbourne and a friend recently gave me an Iron and Wine album which I thought was just incredible. He is another one of those Gotye-type artists in the sense that he has created pretty much every aspect of his album.
18. What has been the highlight so far?
Some really exciting reviews and radio play has been great. My album launch was the best though. There was a magic vibe in the room and I cried.
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Interview With Steve Bertrand By Chris 2/2/08
Steve Bertrand is a really good singer songwriter with some fantastic tunes, I was really really hooked and knew he need to be interviewed, so read on to find out more
1. How did you get into music?
My Dad took me to a Beach Boys concert when I was around 10 years old in Daytona Beach,FL. I fell in love with music then and knew that I needed to be a musician. That was a defining moment in my life.
2. Who were your idols growing up?
Jesus, My Mom and Dad, The Beatles, Cheap Trick, The Cars, U2.
3. Who were your influences?
My Mom and Dad, The Beatles, Cheap Trick, The Cars, U2
4. How did you get signed to Icon Music Entertainment Services?
The head of Icon was a part of the Sony system prior to them merging with BMG. He was familiar with my music and signed me to the new label .
5. Are you happy with the responses to the album?
Yes. I do wish more people could be exposed to it though.
6. How was the recording process for your latest release go?
I wrote all of the songs here at home this time. I also recorded much of the record at home. It was a very relaxed and fun experience working with some of the great musicians on this album.
7. Has the internet helped with your music?
Yes and No. Yes…because it has exposed more people to my music and No because people now expect music for free and aren’t buying music anymore.
8. Do you think tools like MySpace are useful?
Myspace is probably the best marketing tool for any band right now.
9. Has radio been good to you and playing your music?
Radio has been good to me but much like the music biz in general it’s changed a lot of the past few years. It’s very corporate. You hear the same 20 songs over and over making it hard for a new artist to break in.
10. Have you had much response from overseas labels?
Not much. The Tories released one album in Japan and the U.K. I’m in negotiations right now to release this new solo album in Germany,Aus, Switzerland but America has been the primary focus of my music thus far.
11. Is playing solo different to playing in the bands you have played in before?
Yes…there’s much less drama! 🙂
12. Do you still get people who want to talk about the previous bands you have been in?
Yes…and I’m always happy to do so. The past is part of who I am and I’m proud of both the Tories and Avion.
13. Who would you most like to record a song with and play with?
Bono…and U2. He’s pretty much my biggest influence.
14. Who have you enjoyed playing with the most?
15. What is it like being an independent artist?
Being an independent artist is like going to a party with 300 people who all know each other but you don’t know anyone…yet, you’re the best dressed!
16. What don’t you like about the music industry?
The business side of it. I love music…but the music business is terrible.
17. What has been the highlight so far?
Hearing 25,000 people sing the lyrics to my song back to me on stage…it doesn’t get much better than that!
18. What one piece of advice you can get to people who want to make a career in music?
Go to college and don’t get into the music business….just kidding. Follow your dreams…if it’s music, do it with all of your heart,soul and passion. Don’t have a “plan B” for your life if you really want to succeed in music. Having nothing else to fall back on will force you to push harder when things get tough. Be honest and kind to everyone. Life will give you back exactly what you put into it.