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Interview With Laura Stevenson By Chris 14/11/08
Laura Stevenson is a great singer songwriter from America who writes and plays some solid tunes.
She is signed to Quote Unquote Records where you can download her album 4 free as the label is a donation based album. So go donate if you like her tunes.
Believe me the album is very much worth your time and so worth a listen
She has a lot of talent and her music shows it
1. Are you happy how the album turned out?
-Sure, all the friends that played on it sounded absolutely great. On the other hand, I have been kicking myself for playing something wrong or singing something weird… but I guess that’s how it goes…
2. What was the inspiration for the album?
-Well, this record is kind of a “best of”… rounding up all of the songs I’m most proud of and actually making good recordings of them for once. I had a lot of new things that I tried to tack on as well but we ended up cutting them because I wasn’t sure where they were going and how they would fit in with the other songs. I think I just needed to clear my head of a lot of chatter so I can write new songs… songs that I actually like because I think the chatter was making me write a lot of garbage.
3. What inspires you when writing music?
-All the songs come from lots of really different places. Lets see- Landslide Song/The Dig is about kids dying, Baby Bones is about kids dying, The Pretty One is about looooove, and Nervous Rex is about kids dying/love. I’m not like, a prolific songwriter- not even close; I probably write a song that I like every couple of months so I can’t really pinpoint what exactly inspires me.
4. How did you get involved with quote unquote records?
-I’m one of the many rotating members of Bomb the Music Industry and Jeff who runs Quote Unquote is one of the only non-rotating members so- one time when we were simultaneously in rotation- we were talking about me actually making a record and… he was like “Let’s put it on Quote Unquote” and I was like, “cool.”
5. Were you surprised when their website got shut down for copyright reasons?
-Yeah, that was weird. And Jeff was on NPR. That was also weird.
6. How did the recording of the album go?
-Smooth as eggs.
7. Are you excited about The Fest?
-Yeah, I’m really excited. I’ve never been to Gainesville during the Fest so I don’t really know what to expect. I’m playing a show at 2pm on Saturday so I’m kind of expecting a crowd of very sad, hung over friends. So I guess I’ll have to soothe their aching heads with my sweet shit.
8. How did you get on board that?
-I’m not really sure actually. It could be my involvement and friendship with a lot of the bands that are playing. Or, I’d like to think it’s because someone thought that I was just great. But I think it was the friend’s one.
9. What do you hope the album will do for your music career?
-Um… I definitely hope people like it. I hope my mom likes it. I hope she puts it up on the fridge.
10. What has been the response like to your music?
-So far so good. I had a bad review once… the guy said that I sounded like a baby. But it’s totally possible that he could have meant an adorable baby. In which case, I have never had a bad review.
11. Who have your enjoyed playing with the most?
-I enjoy playing with my friends’ bands the most- it feels way more comfortable that way. But a lot of my friends are in rock bands so when I play with them it’s always a really strange mix.
12. How did you get into music?
-My grandparents were professional musicians and… I don’t know, I was forced to play piano when I was a kid- which led me to get good and then angrily quit piano and never be able to play well again. Then I started going to a lot of shows in middle school and high school… then I dropped off the planet, learned how to play the guitar and started writing songs about how miserable I was. Which was really, really miserable. Just kidding. Seriously.
13. What don’t you like about the music industry?
I don’t like that Chinese Democracy is still not out.
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Interview With Amanda Kallisto By Chris 9/11/08
Amanda Kallisto is an activist who really knows her stuff
She has her own not profit organisation protecting the wolves
She is also a model and known for that as well
She gaves some solid answers and you will be seeing a lot of her now and very soon
1. Why did you become an activist?
All through history, positive changes wouldn’t have been made if that one person wouldn’t have stood up (or in Rosa Parks’ case, sat down) for what they believe.
2. What have you learned from being one?
Well, it has definitely taught me a great deal of patience and unconditional love. It doesn’t matter if the people on the other side of the fence are protesting against you, at least they are standing up for what they think is right. People often tell me to ignore the other side, but fighting hatred and ignorance with resentment and bitterness isn’t getting anyone anywhere. When I volunteer at Planned Parenthood, I hug the sidewalk protesters. Do I agree with them? No, I think they are extremist, closed minded, and want the rest of the world to be as miserable as they are. I have seen first hand that they spread lies like venom. But they are still people, and I still send them my positive thoughts and energy. They call me a nazi, a baby killer, racist, and a Jesus hater. People often ask if it ever bothers me, and I always reply that if I let those people get under my skin, I probably would have slit my wrists years ago. Besides, they are the ones being hypocritical of their own beliefs, and spreading lies (even when proof of the truth is presented), so I can’t take anything they say seriously. But when I reply with kindness and hugs, it almost always shocks them. I’ve also learned to stand up for what I believe to be right and true, even if I’m standing alone.
3. Why do you think that California voted on Prop 8?
First off, let me begin by saying that I think this was one of the most disappointing moments of my adult life. I think the more appropriate question is why they voted yes on Prop 8, and it pains me to say that the deceit, lies, and money involved in the Yes campaign went a long way. It’s sad when society can be controlled by fear, intolerance, and false claims. These people, I think, see the serious flaws in their own marriages, and fear that the gays as a whole just might outshine them in the end. They hide behind religious dogma, while they ignore other important parts of the same scriptures. You don’t see them out there protesting divorce and adultry, or complaining about the drive thru chapels in Las Vegas. It has nothing to do with “traditional” marriage, which for the record I find hard to define, since true tradition was arranged marriages benefiting the families more than the couple. The sanctity of marriage went of the window when Britney Spears decided to have a just for fun 55 hour one. I stood in the freezing pouring rain for 3.5 hours to protest this discriminational proposition the day before elections. Though the religious extremists may have won this battle, the war for rights and equality is far from over! We didn’t win rights for African Americans or women right away either.
4. What do you hope to achieve from doing all this apart from the reason you are protesting?
All you can really hope for is to have your voice heard and just cross your fingers that these people can one day look past the ends of their noses to understand that every person that has come into this world deserves a chance to be happy and live the life they were born into to the very fullest. If nothing else, just educate people with the truth and hope that it sinks in.
5. Why did you start the non profit organization to protect wolves?
I get this question a lot actually. Wolves have always been very close to my heart. I believe in higher energies, and I believe one of those to be spirit guides. I discovered one of mine to be a wolf at a very young age. When I learned how our country was treating these majestic creatures, and all of the lies that have poisoned our lore (Little Red Riding Hood for example), I knew I had to stand up for them like I feel my spirit always did for me. I took a different approach with campaigns like Models for Wolves, hoping to reach out to a different group of people that never even knew these serious issues exist. Wolves are much more important than people realize to our ecosystem and our history. I wrote an article about that for my website (link is at the bottom.)
6. How is that going?
I’m not going to lie, with the falling economy, and us being a donation based organization right now, it has been very difficult to keep afloat lately.
7. How did you get into modeling?
Another question I get a lot. I actually had a talent scout find me at a concert when I was 16. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure it was a scam, but it sure did give me the self esteem boost I needed. I took a few years off when my dad fell ill and I had too many other priorities to contend with. After he passed, my mother and I moved back east. A photographer had found me through MySpace (sadly), and that was the beginning of my networking. It just sort of expanded from there.
8. How is that coming along?
I never really expected that I’d be partying VIP with celebrities, hosting events, and going to live it up at the Playboy mansion. While I have hit a rough patch with that too (believe it or not, the economy affects everything!), I believe things have moved forward drastically in the past few years. In the meantime, I’ve been focusing more on political themed shoots (watch out for my pro choice and pro pit bull concepts). Though it often pains me to know my parents aren’t here to cheer me on, I know they would be proud, as they were always supportive of my dreams in whatever way they could be, Playboy included.
9. What has been the highlight of both?
The wolf organization and modeling? Well, I think my craziest moment as far as modeling goes was ending up at Bam Margera’s house in Pennsylvania after I helped host a party for him in NYC. The Playboy shoot was without question my proudest moment. People can try to slime me for my decision to pose nude, but I’m proud of who I am, and I think women need to be empowered. While I respect anyone who chooses to move forward with an actual adult career, don’t expect to see me in Hustler or Penthouse. As for HOWL, I think seeing the results of our first Models for Wolves shoot was the most exciting thing for me. It’s what brought my dream to life, and made me realize that it was real, and I was really doing this. The whole team just really did a fantastic job, it was so well executed and the quality was breathtaking. But I think the most precious moment was my first kiss from a wolf. It humbled me so much and reminded me just why I have to keep up this fight. If you ever want to be reminded of who you truly are and where you came from, look into the eyes of a wolf.
10. What do you think Obama will do for your country and the causes you believe in?
I think most importantly, he promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which will essentially undo every single fetus fanatic law in place. While I think it does need to be altered to keep SOME restrictions in place, I will be thrilled to see the parental consent crap go right out the window. A teen can choose to have sex (whether you like it or not), and the mature decision of what is best for them needs to be left to them as individuals. Although he doesn’t support gay marriage, his views are a lot less extreme on that matter then the McCain party. As for environmental issues, including wolves, I am just happy to see Cruella DePalin far far away from the White House. Last I checked, Obama doesn’t drape his neck or couch in dead animals. I think Obama is wise in the need to protect our wildlife and nature.
11. What do you to keep yourself fit?
Being a vegetarian keeps me healthy and helps me stay in shape. Other then that, I’m training to be a Yoga instructor, I think that does a lot of good physically and emotionally. Most people don’t realize that any emotional issues you may have can start to work their way to the outside in one way or another.
12. What is on your stereo at the moment?
Coalmine by Armchair Cynics
13. What are some of your favorite musical artists/bands?
Oh Goddess, people make fun of me SO much because my IPod will jump from Papa Roach to Toby Keith to Disney to Marilyn Manson to 60’s music. It’s funny, cause most of my favorite songs are the only one by the artist I like (Stand by Rascal Flatts has gotten me through a lot.) But I guess the artists that I typically like are Britney Spears, Linkin Park, Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Conway Twitty, Green Day, Hit the Lights.
14. What movies you have seen lately you have really enjoyed?
Movies have kinda went to Hades lately, and it’s hard for me to find enjoyment in them. As far as newer movies though(in the past couple of years), I most liked The DaVinci Code, Spiderman 3, and of course Harry Potter. I know it’s not a movie, but I went and bought the DVD set for the series The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. I was going to marry Bruce Campbell when I was in third grade. I’d even written him and gotten a postcard back! I was probably the happiest little girl ever. But I sat recently and watched all 27 episodes like a giddy kid in a toy store. It still rocks!
15. What are your favorite movies?
Big Daddy, Ever After, First Knight, The DaVinci Code, Pirates of the Caribbean, any of the Harry Potters, The Ten Commandments (the Charlton Heston version), Dogma, Aladdin (the Disney one.)
16. What is next for you?
World domination! MUAHAHA! Well, alright, maybe nothing that huge, it sounds like too much work. While you haven’t seen the last of my face in print and I can promise you will still be able to find me on the frontlines of protests and educational causes for gay rights, womens rights, and the wolves, I’m taking on several new projects. I am writing a pro choice book that will be packed with facts and arguments, as well as a novel. It’s a little dark, but deals with homosexuality and choices teenage girls are faced with. Hopefully I will be able to pursue fashion design school soon, although it’s pretty tricky when you have limited funds 🙁 Then, as I mentioned, I will be a certified Yoga instructor by next Spring.
17. Who would you most like to work with?
On the modeling side, I’ve always hoped to do a shoot with Paris Hilton. People can hate her all they want, but she’s laughing all the way to the bank. For the wolves, I would like to one day do a project with Terri Irwin (the widow of the legendary “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin.) For women’s rights and gay rights, there are many leaders I hope to one day have the pleasure of shaking hands (and fists) with. Nancy Keenan, the President of NARAL pro choice is on the top of my list.
Thanks for your time any last words.
Before you listen to those that fight your beliefs, listen to your heart. And in the words of my amazing daddy, never give up hope, because you never know what will happen tomorrow. Believe me, I’ve been at rock bottom time and time again, but I still manage to find a way to start the climb again.
Thank you so much to everyone that has supported my dreams and my causes, and everyone who will do so in the future. To keep up with my modeling and my activism work, check out my MySpace: www.myspace.com/pinksmoochies and to keep up with HOWL (my wolf organization) or to help out go to www.helpthewolves.org or www.myspace.com/helpthewolves
“Still I cannot see, if the savage one is me. How can there be so much that you don’t know? You think you own whatever land you land on. The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim. But I know every rock and tree and creature has a life, has a spirit, has a name. You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.”