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Interview With Bess Rogers By Chris 17/9/09
Bess Rogers is one of those artists that just makes you stand up and go wow. Just because they can write a bloody good tune with out doing too much. Her music is seriously infectious, a little poppy, a little folky and a little jazz and it’s seriously so much fun to listen to. It just makes you feel like a little kid again.
1. Are you happy how things are gone for you so far with the music?
I am happy how thing have gone so far. My path has been unique in that it I’ve gotten to learn a lot from behind the scenes with other artists. It’s given me a perspective for my own career that I don’t think I would otherwise have. So I’m thankful for that. But I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied or content to be where I am. As an artist I need to keep growing and changing and expanding my career every day.
2. Where has been your favorite place to play so far?
My favorite small venue is Rockwood Music Hall in NYC. My favorite larger venue to play would be the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.
3. what inspires you when writing music?
Anything can inspire me. Sometimes it’s discovering a new artist and learning something from them, then applying it to my own music. Sometimes its something personal that I’m going through. Sometimes its a scenario with characters that I’ve made up in my head. I just try to write as much as possible from any inspiration I have.
4. how was the recording process like for the EP?
I recorded my new EP mostly at my producer’s home studio in Brooklyn. It’s very much a home studio.. I did vocals in his closet (literally) and the rest of the recording in his basement. We had a lot of fun making it and involved many of our musician friends. We had played through the songs with my band before we recorded them, so when the time came to do tracking, we had much of it figured out. Things went pretty smoothly and quickly. Towards the end we sort of ran out of time because I was leaving for tour. But we scrambled to mix and master it in time, and after many sleepless nights we finished it!
5. What do you think of major record labels and the new 360 deals?
I’ve seen people have great success without the help of major labels and I truly don’t believe they are a necessity for a successful career anymore. Most people don’t need a large budget to make a record. With websites like kickstarter.com, people can fund their records with donations from their fans. It’s as if the record labels are a bank, who instead of just lending you money, they actually control your artistic vision too. And with 360 deals they’ll want to brand you and market you in ways you have no control of so they can make more of a profit. That doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.
6. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’ve always been interested in writing songs for other artists and singers. It allows you to write outside of your style and comfort zone. I don’t know who in particular that would be though…
7. Are you happy how people have responded to your music?
I’ve gotten a bunch of emails from people saying that my music has helped them get through a hard time in their life. There’s really nothing that makes me happier than that. To know that my music has helped and touched somebody else is incredible and makes me want to keep going!
8. Had much response from people overseas about your music?
I’ve gotten some love from people in the UK and Australia. I don’t think it’s reached many other countries at this point.
9. how has the internet helped with your music?
The internet is how I stay connected with fans and let people know what I’m doing. I use tumblr, twitter, facebook, etc to keep fans engaged. I really rely on it.. and aside from touring, I believe it’s the best way to build a fan base.
10. Do you think things like Twitter help with getting your music out their?
Yes. Twitter is incredibly helpful. People can know what’s going on with me all the time and suggest their friends to follow me.
11. Who will be putting out the new album?
I’m not sure exactly what my next release will be, or who will be putting it out. All of my releases have been independent up until now and maybe the next one will bet too. Who knows?
12. What advice can you give to people who wanna make a career in music?
Get as much experience as you can. Start touring, talk to every musician you meet, ask people for advice, and even volunteer to help in any way. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to navigate your own career. And musically, don’t be afraid to take risks!
Thanks for your time any last words
Thanks for the interview. Hopefully someday I’ll make it over to Australia!!