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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Gemma Kaye Interview 

Gemma Kaye one of my favorite aussie actors, I’ve interviewed her a number of times here on Parx-e. Like what she does an actor and always think she worth giving publicity for. She’s got some good work to watch out for this year so read on.

http://www.gemmakaye.com/

Why go to LA?
I think this is a personal choice and actors will have different reasons – all of them valid. Some people are excited by the idea of Hollywood and stardom and want to throw themselves in and give it a whirl! Some are business-minded and see more opportunities there. Some are attracted to the challenge. Some have heard so much about it they want to see it for themselves. Some are drawn there, like a calling. As for me… its probably a bit of all of those things… with a lot of the latter. I feel called there. I’m not sure why, other than obvious ongoing career development. But it lives inside me as a calling.

What do you hope that will do for your career?
I wouldn’t use the word "hope" because I believe in causing results through my own hard work and action. With every decision that I make as a business woman and as an artist my intention is to serve my highest purpose for being here. I want to contribute through stories that move, provoke, entertain and make a difference. So going to LA would be part of that for me as well.

What have you been working on recently?
A number of TV commercials and re-writing the next draft of a script I have co-written with a writer/director friend.

What factors make you say yes to a movie role?
Does the film make a difference? Does it contribute to society in some way? Is it fresh? Authentic? Is the role a challenge for me? Would I go and see this movie myself? Do I like the people making it? ie. the director and producers and other actors. Do I think I’d work well with them? Do they have the expertise and experience to pull it off? Can I see a market for the film?

How did you get involved with the films "The 34th Battalion" and "Scab Girl Asylum"?
I’m attached to these projects in supporting roles and I’m very passionate about the stories they tell. When I heard about them I pitched myself for them, directly to the director and/or producer.

What was it like working with Richard Roxburgh on the tv show "Rake"?
Wonderful. He just oozes charisma and is a lot of fun on set. I learned a lot from working with him. He’s a class act.

What kind of role wouldn’t you want to play?
Anything gratuitously violent or unnecessarily or inappropriately sexual or exploitative.

Do you think social networking tools are a blessing or an evil in your line of work?
A blessing.

What’s in your stereo at the moment?
I don’t have a stereo anymore! But on my iPhone my favourite playlist is the one I go running to every morning. My facebook friends helped me out by telling me their favourite songs to go running to and I selected my list from that. These songs help me get out the door and push through the burn – I highly recommend getting your own running track going, it makes all the difference! Mine goes like this:

Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas
Fighter – Christina
Let’s Get Loud – Jennifer Lopez
Don’t Let Me Get Me – Pink
Simply the Best – Tina Turner
The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
The World’s Greatest – R. Kelly

Other than that I have another playlist I love with an eclectic mix of top forty with a few rock and alternative songs thrown in. And a playlist of my favourite Aussie singer/songwriters. I also listen to salsa music regularly when driving. I don’t get out to salsa much these days, but the music makes me feel great!

What do you hope 2011 will bring for your career?
The opportunity to play roles that are authentically in alignment with who I am as an artist and to be paid well for them. A "tipping point" where projects I’ve been working on for a while get up, get made, and break out. Personal fulfillment and the opportunity to contribute to causes I’m passionate about.


Any last words?
A lot of actors wonder what the secret to success is. I’ve spent countless hours and thousands and thousands of dollars finding it myself so I want to share what I’ve learned. My answer is – there is no right answer, we are all different! My personal answer – Learn something. Implement it. Celebrate growth. Be grateful for everything. Then – "rinse and repeat"! Be patient and trust this cycle. It takes about 10 years to achieve mastery (see the book "Outliers" for more on this). But if you really commit to your own growth, and focus on learning something and implementing it, over and over again… results are inevitable.

With love to all parx-e readers.

xx

Plain Jane Automobile

 Plain Jane Automobile are a fantastic rock band from America, I discovered them on great website alternativeaddiction.com. I loved what I heard and knew these guys need to be interviewed on here.  Their new album Your Tomorrow is something to have your cd collection. So Duke from the band answers my questions so read on.

http://www.plainjaneautomobile.com/

1. Are you happy how things are gone for you so far with the music?

Yes and no. I like where we are right now, but we missed a lot of opportunities a few years ago. We get a lot of comments from new fans wondering why Plain Jane Automobile isn’t a world wide name. It’s flattering and frustrating at the same time, because we do have such passionate fans, and we just haven’t had the exposure we needed before now.

2. How have things changed for you as a band in the years of making music? 

We are definitely more grateful than ever. I think as songwriters and performers we are infinitely better. Touring, recording, and learning how to be around each other for months at a time has tightened us up personally and musically.


3. What inspires you now as an band?

Everything. The world is changing every second and it inspires on every level. Most of the content on the new album was inspired by the past catching up with the future. Seeing a band that you admire can set you afire creatively.

4. Are u happy how the new album Your Tomorrow has turned out? 

Very!

5. What was it like working with Rick Beato?
It was great. I speak to Rick quite a bit and we are constantly trying to work out times to get back in the studio and record more songs. He has a very rich musical pedigree and he really helped us shape the sounds of the album, specifically Yesterday’s Pain. We tried to record that song twice over the last 3 years and kept starting over. We talked about what it should sound like and mentioned we wanted strings and Rick took it to a new level and wrote a string arrangement in hours! It has a great 60’s chamber Pop sound that totally works.


6. Who has been the biggest help with your career?

 Everyone at our new management company, Tipping Point Entertainment. It’s like a family and we really thrive in that environment. Its important to us that the people around us stay with us for our entire career. Jimmy Gnecco from Ours has also been a big help to us. He took us on the road for half a year when everyone kept passing on us for openers. He was able to hear that we had something to offer and has been a great friend to us ever since.


7. How is the new album different to the previous ones EG what have you done differently in the recording process?

First of all the process was totally different. The last album we recorded a few days here a few days there, as you do when you are broke and working with 4 peoples schedules. This time, thanks to our fans, we raised the money to record on Kickstarter.com and then spent 5 weeks holed up in Ricks studio in Atlanta. We approached the recording with a more intense schedule and really worked ourselves hard. The songs were bare bones when we walked in and they took shape quickly because we actually had time to spend.

8. Has the Internet & Social Networking sites played a huge part in your career?

Absolutely. Being connected to our fans is the most important thing. Most of our international fans would have never found us if not for social networking sites. Nokia put a few of our songs into about half a million of their phones and the response and been overwhelming. You couldn’t do that past. I love that I can email a fan directly and thank them for being supportive. That sort of correspondence  would have blown my mind if my favorite artist would have taken the time to do that. Obviously its not possible to maintain that personal connection with every fan, but its important that people know that because of them we have a job.


9. What advice can you give to somebody who wants to make a career in music?

Its a tough business and its getting harder everyday. If you love music and you aren’t content with playing in your garage then be prepared to work extremely hard for many years. Sacrifice is the name of the game. You have to give up a personal life, relationships, time with family. It can be incredibly rewarding and it can be incredibly unforgiving.

10. Who have u enjoyed playing with recently?

We always love to play with Jimmy and Ours. We did get a chance to play with your countrymen JET. That was a fantastic show. Very very nice chaps and they had very nice things to say about our music. They put on a great live show. SXSW was a great time also.


11. Any plans to play Australia?

It depends on how many people read this and download our album:) We would love love love to come there and tour. I have fantasized about visiting there since I was 16. Hopefully we will be there very soon!

Apollo Pathway – Never Ending Story (Self Released)

 

Apollo Pathway is a pretty good modern rock. Punky power poppy band and this is their latest song Never Ending Story which is a catchy rocking slice of good Aussie music which happens to be produced by Tom Larkin which only adds to the track, The song is well written and played, vocals and productions values are excellent. It’s a great track I could see being played on radio. This song shows the band got a future in music. If they keep putting out winning tracks like this, they are going to go far, Top Stuff.

Katie Costello Chat


 http://www.katiecostellomusic.com/

I chatted with the amazing Katie Costello today about her music and the album you should all have Lamplight. 

 Katie Costello is one of the new breed of singer songwriters
doing it her way. Her debut album Lamplight is winning fans all over. She
talked about the recording of her album was a real easy experience to do and
how her producer made her feel at ease when recording the album. She told me
her tour with Toad And The Wet Sprocket was really good and how lovely the
audiences were to her music.  How she
lucky is to have a great community of musician friends who are all supportive
of each other music and how they help each other, she feels that they have been
some of the greatest support she has to her music. She keeps her ideas for
songs down in her diary.

She has been blessed with the radio support she has been
given so far and how she had people come to her shows because of it.  She thinks the internet and social media has
been a great support to her music and how it keeps her closer to her fans.  She thinks the Internet has been fantastic, as
she gets to know straight away what people think of her and she loves that
aspect and loves getting the great response from bloggers and music websites.
She believes major labels will always be there as but she prefers to be
independent so she can do the music her way.

Katie was really surprised when I told her how I discovered
her music through the website alternative addiction and how I told a friend and
she went and bought all her releases on ITunes.  She currently touring and hopes to record
again real soon.

 

 

Lotek 

 

Lotek is one of the hottest oz hip hop artist in Australia at the moment who mixes hip hop with reggae influenced grime and UK dancehall.  Winning a Mercury Award and soon to be playing Glastonbury Music Festival. Lotek is a name to watch out for. So read on.

http://www.lotek.cc/ 

1. Are you happy with the response to the new album so far?

Everybody seems to like it a lot. It’s only been released in Australia so far, the UK release is in June.
I’m really looking forward to taking it back to UK with me and to see what the people who bought my previous records think of it.

2. How did it feel to win the mercury award?

It was obviously a great feeling to have produced the winning album, I’d worked on Roots Manuva’s "Run Come Save Me" album that was nominated for the award back in 2002.
We didn’t win then despite being the favorites and this time we were the underdogs and took the prize so it was a surprise but good to have your work recognized in such a major award.

3. What has been the inspiration for the album?

There is a strong reggae influence throughout most of my music past and present, and on this album I really let it shine through.
I wanted this album to reflect both my Jamaican and my English roots but also have that hip hop flavour I grew up on.

4. Where has been your favorite place to play?

I really enjoyed playing at Island Vibes on Stradbroke Island in QLD…really the location doesn’t matter its all about the audience, if the audience are into it then its a joy to perform.

5. What inspires you when writing your songs?

Everything, every waking moment (and some dreamy ones) has some effect on what eventually comes out of my head and into my music.

6. How the internet & social media played a part in getting your music out there?

It’s essential in this day and age, in many ways the internet plays the role that radio did for me as a kid. We’d record songs off the radio and edit them into mixtapes and pass them around.
That’s not greatly different from p2p file sharing these days, it just happens a lot faster now!

7.How does it feel to play Glastonbury Music Festival?

At this years festival I will helping raise awareness and funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. I’ll be helping run a Jamaican style record shack and recording studio where festival goers can have special song recorded for them.
(This is known in reggae culture as a dubplate) We’ll then be compiling a chart of the best songs.

Glastonbury is a hugely popular festival so to be appearing there in any way is awesome but to be doing something so worthwhile while I’m there is even better!

8. What do you hope the album will do for your music career?

I feel blessed to be able to make music for a living, I just hope I can continue doing that, so I have to keep producing and releasing good music.
Hopefully this albums lets people know I am an artist in my own right and not just a producer for other people.

9. What advice can you give to somebody wanting to make a music career?

Get a real job! 
Seriously though a career in music not for the weak hearted or lazy. It’s not just about writing music then having a party on tour.
Even the most successful artists will have to endure periods of struggle, for a few people the eventual payoff is so great that it is worth it.
Don’t get into music cos the idea of being a musician is cool, it should be something you are very passionate about, its the only thing that will get you through the tougher times!

10. Who has been your greatest help with your music so far?

My girlfriend Florelie is extremely supportive, she also pushes me to broaden my musical horizons and try new things.

11. What is next for Lotek?

The next year or so is going to be very busy, I have the UK/European release of the album along with a tour over there. Then back to Melbourne for summer.
There will probably be another Lotek album or at least EP before the end of the year, I already have 8 tracks for it.
I’m also producing a lot of music for other people over the next coming year, I’m working on some new tracks with Roots Manuva and Chali 2na as well as some great local bands.

Laura Stevenson & The Cans 

 

Laura Stevenson & The Cans I first interviewed her a few years back and really dug her tunes.  Her new album Sit Resist is a must have and one of the albums of the year so far.  So I wanted to interview her again about the new album and so on.

 http://laurastevenson.tumblr.com/  The Website.

1. Are you happy with the response to the new album so far?
We are really excited about the response. It’s validating to us because we’ve been sitting on our hands for months waiting for Sit Resist to come out and wondering if people will like it… hoping people will. So far so good!

2. How were things different recording wise compared to the last album?
Well, this time we worked in a nice recording studio instead of in our friend’s apartment. When we were making A Record our buddy, Bryce (the engineer) had this roommate that was a carpenter so we would have to time our takes in between the roaring buzz of a table-saw. That was pretty fun though.

3. What has been the inspiration for the new album?
All the songs were written in this weird transitional period… I was going to school and we were stuck in NY unable to do extensive touring. Then school was over and we started running ourselves ragged, touring in hyper-speed to catch up… and that took a lot out of us. It was a stressful time, things were really hard and we had to keep telling ourselves it would get better. Throw in some sad family stuff and some sadder love songs and… that’s our new record!

4. How did you get signed to Don Giovanni Records?
Joe from Don Giovanni was a long-time friend of both Alex and Peter so we stayed with him one night when we played in Syracuse. He came to the show and got really psyched about the band and we kept in touch throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall about putting out a new record. He kept getting more and more psyched about it and so did we, so it worked out great for everybody. He rules.

5. What inspires you when writing your songs?
It really depends… usually I write when I’m feeling out of control… it helps me sort through all the bad stuff. It doesn’t necessarily pull me out of anything but it helps me get my feelings in order I guess.

6. How has the internet & social media played a part in getting your music out there?
Well, we put the first installment of our first record out on Quote Unquote Records which is a digital, donation-based label that my friend Jeff Rosenstock runs. That was so awesome for us because we could just put it out there for people to share with their friends and to just enjoy because that was exactly what we wanted to do with that record. It worked out great!

7. What do you hope the new album will do for your music career?
I think Sit Resist is an exciting turn for us in terms of the songwriting and production… so it’ll attract a broader audience this time around. Who knows what’ll happen… my mom thinks it’s a hit.


8. What advice can you give to somebody wanting to make a music career?
The most important thing is to be patient and keep doing what you’re doing… don’t rely on being fueled by results because those come after all the hard stuff is over.

9. Who has been your greatest help with your music so far?
My dad has been my biggest support. He comes to all our shows.

10. What is next for Laura Stevenson & The Cans?
I have no idea, but I guess that’s the exciting part.

Rosaline Yuen – Tiny Goddess (ThirtySixBird/Green)

Now to be a good reviewer I need to disclose that yes I have done shows with Rosaline in the way of booking her on a few line ups I have done in the last three years with that in mind. Here is the review. Firstly the album is a lot different from the ep, the guitars get used more and have a real vocal point in the music, they add a lot more to the music. The music itself has more of rocky upbeat edge, the jazz elements using the pianos are still there but a lots of the songs like Open Beast show off how the guitar has a major say in the music. The opening track Everyone is a nice little catchy indie pop ditty that shows off her songwriting which mixes all the elements to make a nice catchy tune that is the one track off the album that is radio hit material. Songs like After The Show, Dangerous Straight still keep the jazz elements and also add a little blues influences, the song feels like in your some seedy little blues dive and you’re hearing the song for the first time and it sucks you in with its energy and you’re drinking top self scotch. Songs like Perfect is another example of indie pop tune which shows off some of her influences and it’s a lovely sweet tune. The end track Honey Bee is quite a catchy track, very poppy and has the heart and soul with the hand clapping and ukulele and is a lot different to all the other tracks on the album. I was really surprised with this album, She always been a great performer and this album is so well written and performed and her band featuring the likes of Ian Kitney have done a marvelous job of performing her tracks and adding their magical touches to the tunes. Her songwriting is really good, she sings really well on this. This is a really classy soulful poppy album that deserves to be your cd collection and I can see why her music was used on Underbelly. Classy Stuff.

Brooke Annibale 

 Brooke music’s I discovered a few years back and thought it was real good but her new album Silence Worth Breaking is a must have. One of the best albums of the year so far. A songwriter who can write such good songs with ease. She got the talent to go very far and doing amazing stuff.

 Visit her website here http://www.brookeannibale.com and go buy her album.

1. Are you happy with the response to the new album so far?
Yes! I’ve gotten a lot of messages from people who have listened
to the new album and they’ve all been so overwhelmingly positive and
supportive. I think it’s a good start!


2. How were things different recording wise compared to the last two albums?

Well, the biggest difference was the time frame the record was
completed it. This album took 3 weeks to record. My first album took a
couple of months, my second album took longer than a year. That was
mostly because I was busy doing other things, like school. This time, I
had no distractions. And that’s the way the producer (Paul Moak) works.
He schedules a set amount of time to work on the record, we work on it
and we finish it within that time. It really helps make it feel like a
cohesive artwork instead of a bunch of songs done at different times
with different vibes. Paul’s studio "The Smoakstack" in Nashville is
beautiful and a dream for any musician to work in.


3. What has been the inspiration for the new album?

Oh my, lots of things. I’ve written this album over a long time
span. The oldest song being almost 3 years old and the newest song being
barely 4-5 months. But in general, my inspiration tends to be the
struggles and the joys of life, the things  I learn along the way and
the things I’m still working through and trying to learn.


4. How does religion play a part in your songwriting & lyrics?

I don’t like the word "religion" for the negative aspects it
sometimes/often encompasses, however, faith in God is a part of my life.
My faith often pops up in my writing, because I write about my
experiences and usually faith plays a role in those experiences.


5. What inspires you when writing your songs?

Life, experiences, struggles, etc… music i’m listening to can
also often spark inspiration. I’m just looking for something beautiful
that hits me in the heart. I hope it will do the same for others.


6. How the internet & social media played a part in getting your music out there?

It’s played a huge part. The internet is the reason why completely
independent musicians like myself can even have a career in the first
place. In an instant your music can be available internationally. It’s
an amazing tool.


7. What was it like playing in england?

It was great. I just love London and so getting a chance to play in that city was just awesome.


8. What do you hope the new album will do for your music career?

Well as always, I hope it will move it towards success… towards
reaching more people, towards connecting with more people on a deeper
level and towards doing this for my living for life.


9. What advice can you give to somebody wanting to make a music career?

You have to been entirely devoted to it and you can’t do it for
money. You’ve got to really LOVE performing and writing as well as
booking and promoting, etc. It can be really frustrating, but that’s why
you’ve got to love it or else it won’t feel worth it. To me, music is
always worth the frustration that sometimes comes along with it, because
I can’t see myself being happy doing anything else.


10. Do you think sites like kickstarter help get your music out there and help get you closer to your fans?

Yes, definitely! I loved running the kickstarter campaign because
people seemed to genuinely be excited about getting involved in my new
project. Now I can give those folks special updates and inside info on
the record and my music before anyone else because they took a chance
and supported me.


11. Who has been your greatest help with your music so far?

Well, my newest record was produced by Paul Moak and he really
just clicked with my music. He really understood and connected with each
song and helped me map out my vision for each one.


12. What is next for Brooke Annibale?

Promoting the new record, and booking shows everywhere I can!