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Interview With The Bends By Chris 13/3/08
I discovered The Bends online doing stuff for my label and liked what I heard from this band from Canada, they are doing some cool and original and knew a interview and review was on the cards. So Read on and check out there music and expect big things.They are my new favorite band
Heather Konkin – Keyboards and Vocals
Eugene Burton – Bass
Brian Holt – Vocals and Guitar
Andrew Gillott – Drums
Heather interview is conducted by the band, she wasn’t available, so they did it in her place.
1. How did you get into music?
EB: I’ve always loved singing, but I’ve never been terribly good at it, so when I was 16, my dad bought me a guitar in the hopes I might stop singing and make more harmonious music.
BH: A lot of my family is musical so I’ve been around music my entire life. I guess i started playing guitar when i was 13 because my dad did it and i thought it was cool.
HK: My parents forced me to start playing piano at the age of 4. I worked hard and eventually they let me practice without chains or the threat of being sent to my room without dessert. I overcame this initial fascistic music education to become a freeform techno enthusiast.
2. Who were your idols growing up?
EB: Growing up, I looked up to Bill Nye the Science Guy. I didn’t really have any musical idols until I started playing music myself. I was never aware of the whole music scene until I started my journey as a musical naif.
BH: I can’t say that i’ve ever really had any idols. I knew what i didn’t want to be like, so i sorta avoided that. I always wanted to be a good songer writer, and good at a lot of instruments rather than a guitar hero or something to that extent.
HK: I really liked the movie Titanic. The music in that film inspires me to this day. My other influences were my mom, my dad, and Slavic pagan gods such as Morana.
3. Who were your influences?
EB: Musically, I have been influenced by Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Wes Montgomery, The Damned, and Frank Zappa. I also draw a lot of more general inspiration from Douglas Adams.
BH: My influences have changed a lot from when i started. I was really into hard rock and metal at that age and learned a lot of system of a down and metallica, but now I like a lot of music and I’m influenced by all of it. That doesn’t mean I make music that sounds like the band, but I listen to so much I sorta absorb what I like.
HK: Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. Are you happy with the responses from the ep?
EB: Of course: listeners are honest if they like it or not, and that makes me happy – and leads to self-improvement!
BH: yeah we sold our first batch and gotta good response from it.
HK: No. We aren’t famous yet! I can’t wait to drop out of school and lower my risk for aneurysms.
5. How did the recording process for it go?
EB: Smoothly. Brian put in an admirable about of time and effort into the recording. You might say it is a reflection of his dedication to music! We were really just along for the ride mostly.
BH: It went well. I finished up recording school last fall then bought some equipment and microphones so we could record. Andrew and I recorded the drum tracks with a guitar scratch track to follow and then one by one everyone came in for their parts and we pieced it together. I did the mixing over a few months and had some audio engineer friends come and take a listen to the mix and offer their criticism and once it was good I had it mastered by a local guy.
HK: Good. I couldn’t stop laughing sometimes because of stupid Eugene looking at me when I was singing. I did enjoy making cat noises though..
6. Has the Internet helped with your music?
EB: Definitely. We promote our band on myspace and facebook.
BH: For sure, how we wouldn’t be in this interview without the Internet.
HK: Yeah, totally, I think.
7. Do you think tools like MySpace are useful?
HK: Yeah, I can tell my friends to look at my ‘page’ and they always say “omigawd leik awesum.”
8. What inspired the band style of music?
EB: Well, Brian had a vision of what he wanted, and we all just brought our influences to the table. I have an affinity for older rock, blues, jazz, etc, but it all gets mixed in cooking pot that is our music.
BH: I was trying to decide where this style of music came from, because there aren’t a lot of bands that I’m aware of that sound like us. Well, in the last year or so there are more UK bands that fit into the same style like arctic monkeys, libertines, fratellis.. but I didn’t know those bands when I wrote most of the songs. I think a lot of them came from older bands like the doors and beatles and i say that cause when i was little my dad used to play those kind of songs with a jam band and I sorta grew up on it. The songs I’ve made with the Bends were the first songs I had written, so it seems to make sense that my first songs would be influenced by the first songs I remember hearing.
HK: Brian being a dictator of music. I wanted to play coldplay instrumentals and radiohead-techno-freeform- fusion-jazz.
9. How do you go about writing a song?
EB: I always start with a drum beat or a guitar melody/chord progression. I find it easiest to record music first, then think of how I can convey the ideas in words.
BH: All the Bends songs were written on an acoustic guitar first, so I started with the guitar chord progression. The songs I write now and based mostly on vocal melody with instrumentation filling in the gap.
HK: I just approach it like a house of cards. You have to lay the foundation of a chord progression or else the singing and the stage show just falls down.. tumble tumble.. swoosh… like cards.
10. How did the band form?
EB: Brian and Heather went to school together. Brian met Andrew at a coffee shop. I’ve known Andrew for several years from acting in theater productions together. We just all got together one day for a jam: “I know this person who knows this person”.
BH: I phoned Heather the fall after we had graduated and had asked her if she wanted to try working on a song together. At the time I didn’t know how to play piano and she was the best pianist I knew. She said sure and a few jams turned into a few songs and then turned into a band. I booked a show for us that summer and called Andrew to fill in for drums and he called up Eugene. Our practices went really well and we got really tight quick so we decided to stay together.
HK: I don’t really know. Anthropologists will mull over this for decades. Biologists might posit a new theory of abandogenesis to explain the seemingly spontaneous self-creation of band from nothing.
11. What your favorite venue to play at?
EB: Small venues like bars, coffee shops, where I can feel closer to the audience.
BH: I would love to play a huge stadium haha.. haven’t had the chance yet. I like playing in halls where there’s no other distractions and all the attention is at the stage. I always end up performing a lot better when I know people are paying attention.
HK: We played at the Media Club twice, that was cool. I generally just like playing music anywhere – it’s such a welcome change from the slave labour I “enjoy” at school.
12. Who would you most like to record a song with and play with?
BH: Tom Waits! or Trent Reznor.
HK: Tom Waits. [Heather actually hates Tom Waits]
13. What is on your stereo at the moment?
EB: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
BH: This moment it’s Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero. But in about 10 minutes it will be something else.
HK: Always Radiohead.
14. What are some of your favorite musical artists/bands?
EB: See influences. Also, Hendrix, Pat Metheny, Cat Stevens, and Van Halen.
BH: Tom Waits is my favourite musician. My other favorites are Arcade Fire, Beatles, Bloc Party, Gorillaz, Iron and Wine, José Gonzales, Massive Attack, Modest Mouse, Nine Inch Nails, Portishead, She Wants Revenge, Sonic Youth, Strokes, Velvet Underground, White Stripes, Feist, Radiohead.. umm.. I better stop now.
HK: Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay
15. What has been the highlight so far?
EB: Making the record was the best part for me – it’s nice to have an artifact that attests to all the work you’ve put in!
BH: Yeah I think the recording was the highlight for me as well.
HK: This interview of course!
16. Have you had much response from labels?
EB: Not really. 🙁
BH: Nah, I think we need to build a bigger buzz around us first.
HK: Well.. my dad’s friend said we sounded terrible..
17. What has been the major highlight so far?
18. What is next for the band?
EB: We have a show on Friday [March 14:2008]. More practices after that!
BH: Practicing. We’re all really busy with our own schedules so it’s hard to find a lot of time for that. Eugene and I are also working on other musical endeavors as well. I’ve written a lot of songs so I’m performing those now as Sound and Silence and I’m getting some interest around here which is very nice. I play a lot of different instruments now so I think that also adds to the buzz. I don’t know anybody else who can play the sitar so when I pull that out at a show there’s an ‘ooh ahh’ from the audience. It’s like a sit-com haha. I’m recording these songs at the moment in order to release the Sound and Silence debut cd, and that should be ready late spring/early summer. I did a radio interview the other week and posted it at http://www.myspace.com/skyystudios so you can listen to what a sitar sounds like if you’re interested. Eugene’s page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Yevgeny-Bertin/8830852204
HK: Thursday practice.
19. What is the music scene like where you live?
EB: Awful. Christian music, metal, and pop punk.
BH: Yeah.. that pretty much sums it up.
HK: Really bad. We are the best band in the lower mainland by far, except a couple others who I don’t want to name… because we’re jealous of them.. stupid bands.
20. How have people responded to your music?
EB: They don’t throw it into bonfires yet, so that’s cool.
BH: People seem to like it. I think it would be better received in England.
HK: Generally? With anger.
21. What one thing you don’t like about the music industry?
EB: Pop music.
BH: An 8 second sample of “Tainted Love” looped over and over with the flavour of the month singing somebody else’s lyrics.
HK: That we aren’t famous yet!
Australian Footbag Nationals
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Interview with my good mate Daniel Boyle about the Australian Footbag Nationals By Chris 16/3/08
Canberra having the Footbag Nationals soon and my good mate Daniel Boyle is organizing it this year and yeah I have seen play, he good, so naturally I wanted to help him out, so read the interview to find out more and his views on the beloved Canberra Raiders for this season
1. Why start the Footbag nationals?
We have Nationals for Footbag each year, and each year someone from the Australian Footbag scene organises it, so I thought it was my turn to try my hand at it. I also have a degree in Sports Management, so I guess it’s good to use that!
2. Are you happy how the media and people are responding to the idea?
Footbag is a really small sport, so we don’t get much media coverage, however I got a really good article in the Canberra Times around Christmas and we had a training camp down in Narooma on the South Coast and the local paper wrote an article about that. I’m in the process of starting a cut and paste Footbag zine. If the mainstream media doesn’t want to know about it, then I’ll make my own media!
3. Have you had much support in regards to sponsors and stuff?
We don’t have heaps of sponsors but Lotus from Elemental Footbags (www.elementalfootbags.com) has been great to us and given us a bunch of footbags as prizes. We’ve also got a prize of a Freestyle Footbag Kit from the World Footbag Association (www.worldfootbag.com) so things are going alright.
4. Will you be playing?
Yeah I’ve been working hard on my game lately and I’m pretty excited about competing. Nationals is the only major competition in the Australian schedule, so I’m siked.
5. Who have you got for nationals?
We’ve got most of Australia’s top players travelling to Canberra from all around the country. The favourite would be Dan Ednie, he went to the World Championships last year in Florida and was the first Australian to reach the finals. There’s also guys like Ian Pritchard from Sydney, Jeremy O’Wheel from Hobart and Hagesy from Queensland, he’s a champ. Here in Canberra we have a developing scene, with me, Caroline Birch and Nathan Cope having just moved here, we play most days of the week, it’s awesome to be having nationals here.
6. How will the winner be chosen?
So there’s three different events, and they’re all judged.
Routines- You do a two minute routine to music and then you get a technical and artistic score. You’re technical is about how well you perform the tricks and how hard they are, the artistic score is based on your creativity and choreography. That one is probably my favourite event.
Sick 3- In this event you have to hit a combination of three tricks, you get 7 attempts to do the best combo. Each combination is given a score out of 6 by the judges, the top score wins.
Shred 30- In this event you have 30 seconds to score as many points as possible. Each individual trick has it’s own points value and then there is a formula to calculate the total score.
7. How can people enter the competition or are people chosen?
People can really just rock up. You can find info on the comp at www.footbag.org or www.ausfootbag.org The Footbag community in Australia is very tight-knit so I already know most of the people who will be coming to compete.
8. Where is it going to be held?
The comp is going to be on Saturday March 22 in Union Court at the Australian National University. It will start around 1 and go until 4 in the afternoon. Players will be in Canberra for the whole of the Easter weekend.
9. What do you hope to achieve from it?
Tournament wise I am hoping for at least 10 people to be competing, and to attract the best players in Australia to come to Canberra. I also want to show people that Canberra isn’t as bland as it has a reputation for. On a personal level, this year I would really like to place in the top 3 in at least one event. Last year in Hobart I came 4th in Sick 3, so I’d like to step it up another level. My game has stepped forward a lot in the last year and I would like that to be reflected in the results.
10. What will ensure that you win?
Haha I probably won’t win, but the person that does win needs to be really focussed and train hard, not get injured as well. I had a bit of pain in my ankle yesterday so I’ll be resting up a fair bit in the next week.
11. How do you think the Raiders will do?
Ah, now that’s an important question. At the moment they’re the big favourites for the wooden spoon, but I don’t think that will happen. I’m hoping they can make the top 8 this year, they have some really good young players like Todd Carney and William Zillman and I think Joel Monaghan will be a really good addition. I’m going to start writing match reviews of the games I go to in the Rock’n’Raider zine, everbody should read it.
12. Anything else?
Cheers for the interview man, Footbag is a great game, everyone should play. I just put out a new zine called Capital Eyes, it’s sick, everyone should read it. I’m predicting now that Canberra will become the new hub of Footbag.
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Interview With Meng Lau By Chris 4/3/08
Meng Lau is a model,designer and also a nursing student who is extremely gorgeous, so I wanted to know more and what I got was a good interview, so enjoy
1. Did you ever think you would be a model?
1.No, I never thought that I could be a model. I grew up in a predominately white community in Iowa, and I never really fit in. I was the awkward one when I was younger. Beanpole looking with perm hair that my mother insisted on torturing with.
2. What has been the highlight of being a model so far?
2.The highlight of being a model so far is reaching out to minorities who are also trying to break into the entertainment business. I have so many supporters and it has been amazing.
3. How did you get involved with Maxim & Stuff Magazine?
3.My ex-boyfriend sent in my picture and I got called to do the shoot for Maxim. Stuff Magazine saw my shoot in Maxim and asked me to do their magazine.
4. Has that helped your modeling career?
4.Yes and No. Yes, it helped my modeling career by promoting my face in a national magazine. Unfortunately, sometimes all of the offers I get for modeling are just for lingerie or bikini. It gets kind of boring sometimes doing the same thing.
5. Do you have plans to do more with them?
5.I am open to do anything with the magazines. All they have to do is just give me a call.
6. How did you get involved in designing stuff?
6.I could never find clothing that fit me correctly that I liked, so I decided to make my own dresses and people loved it. They wanted me to make dresses for them. I guess that is kind of how I came to designing.
7. Have you had any bad feedback rude comments so far?
7.Being a model is harsh. You receive so many criticisms. You just have to be strong and deal with it. I get people criticizing me just by my appearance, especially when I appeared in Maxim. I had no say in the photos that the magazine picked, and I don’t think that they are the best photos of me, but I got such hard reviews by readers of the magazine. Gees, I never knew people had so much time on their hands to comment about me. But I guess that’s how it will always be when you are in the public eye. I’m flattered that they care about me so much that they have to comment about it. It’s all superficial comments, so it really doesn’t bother me.
8. What do you do stay in shape?
8.Honestly, I don’t do much to stay in shape. I am lucky to have genes that allow me to stay thin so I can eat whatever I want.
9. Has the Internet helped you get modeling jobs?
9.Yes, it has helped me get jobs.
10. Do you think it is a good tool?
10.I think the Internet is an amazing tool to get your face out there.
11. Why did you chose what you are studying?
11.I started out going to college after high school set on becoming a doctor. Circumstances did not let me finish. I guess I have to explore life before I made any final decisions, and I did. The creation of life and the process of birth is awesome and what better way to help people and enjoy what I do then to become an Obstetric nurse.
12. Which Magazine would you most like to be on the cover for?
12.I would love to be on the cover of W. I kind of doubt I would ever get on it. You don’t see many Asians on the cover of any magazines.
13. What kinda shoot would most not do?
13.I would not do anything pornographic.
14. What do you to keep yourself fit?
15. What is on your stereo at the moment?
15.IZ… an Hawaiian singer.
16. What are some of your favorite musical artists/bands?
16.White Strips, Louis Armstrong, Beethoven, and so much more…
17. What movies you have seen lately you have really enjoyed?
17.No Country for Old Men, I am Legend (love zombie movies)
18. What are your favorite movies?
18.Zombie Movies, Period pieces
19. What is next for you?
19.I’m up for anything.
20. Who would you most like to work with?
20.I wouldn’t mind doing a sexy shoot with Angelina Jolie
21. How hard is the degree you are doing?
21.Fucking hard as hell, especially when applying for nursing program.
22. Who have you enjoyed working with the most?
22.I have no one in specific; I really enjoy working with a lot of different people.
23. Are you recognized a lot from what you do?
23.No, you probably won’t recognize me. I’m pretty studious looking. Not many people even glance twice at me. It’s kind of nice.
24. What has been your favorite shoot so far?
24. My favorite shoot was probably for a line of men’s underwear. I posed with a lot of gorgeous guys.