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Interview done on the site

Nate Hertweck

This is my buddy Nate Hertweck song The Producers and it’s a great well written song. Good vocals and production. It’s a winner for me. Was a pleasure to finally meet Nate in January. Super nice guy, total gentleman. With his new song out had to interview him for the site. So please read on.

1. What inspired the song The Producers?
There’s a saying: No one wants to hear about your dreams, unless they’re in them. That said, “The Producers” came from a dream and is about dreams, both the ones you have when you’re asleep and the ones you have when you’re awake. In my sleeping dream, I was having coffee at a diner with God. She was a writer with no pen, and she was about to write out my life. It was one of those typically cryptic dream scenarios that make sense at the time but never add up in the morning. That’s where the song’s concept originated.

Our waking dreams often suffer a similar fate. I feel like we want to be excellent at something in the limited time we have here while also meeting all of life’s demands, challenges and obligations. I suppose the song was inspired by the realization it’s not ever going to be enough, accepting this as fact and wondering if being destined for mediocrity is such a bad thing after all. I wasn’t too particular about the lyrics because the whole concept went in a surreal direction. While it’s not my most eloquent or articulate song, I’m happy with the sort of collage of consciousness it became.

2. Were you happy how it has been received?
Absolutely. I’m lucky to have a small but supportive community of songwriters in my life who have all been extremely encouraging. That said, I really believe in making art totally detached from what anyone thinks about it, which is easier said than done these days with all of the ways we receive feedback online.

3. How does a song start for you?
Lots of times it’s a lyric then a melody, then I’ll add chords later. At the time I wrote “The Producers,” I was really into this Soul Asylum song called “To My Own Devices.” I really liked where the chords changed and how the number of bars was a little uneven, so I ran with that idea.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?
For musical concepts, I feed off other artists, mostly songwriters, but also authors and visual artists. For lyrics, I try to observe life and how I feel about it with a sense of wonder and channel pain, joy, confusion, and passion into something worth saying and worth hearing.

5. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?
Definitely. The older I get the more I try to get out of my own way when writing and let the ideas come through wherever and whenever they come. Learning how to do this well is a lifelong pursuit.

6. What has been the best piece of advice you have given about your music career?
A long time ago I interviewed the drummer of a band I love, The Holy Cows. I was never able to publish the interview, but he said something that stuck with me: Art is forever. That nailed me to the wall, and I stopped worrying so much about promoting what I do and focused on creating better music without any expectation of how or even if it would be heard. You don’t leave behind what people thought of your art, because they’ll die, too. All you leave behind is the art, and it can go anywhere. Anything is possible.

7. Was the recording process different to earlier material?
“The Producers” was recorded at Lost Ark Studio in San Diego – an incredible facility with killer gear and a great sound. My friend Mike Butler produced the track, which was a lifelong dream for me to work with him. We cut it all in one day. I redid the vocal, because I wasn’t thrilled with it, but Mike mixed the song. I wish I could record like that all the time. He’s a real creative musical talent, and there’s no accounting for those traits.

8. Did you go into the studio prepared or did you go with the flow?
I was prepared, but I wanted the other musicians to use their instincts. There’s a ton of feeling and improvisation on “The Producers” from the players, which was the point. It was also a real treat to hear them do their thing, especially my longtime friend Christopher Allis, who is one of the most feel-oriented drummers I’ve ever heard.

9. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?
No matter what style of music I’m playing or writing, I try to invoke the irreverence of punk and the sincerity of soul. Even if the sound of the song has nothing to do with those two musical genres, they are solid spirit signposts to follow.

10. Do like to write without inspiration or distractions or do you need a bit of both?
Song ideas usually arrive at the most inconvenient times. That’s how the creative muse works, I guess. Because I don’t have a lot of say in when the ideas come, it’s usually at a distracted time. But when you get in the writing zone, everything else seems to push off to the side. It’s rare, but it’s magic.

11. How important is having a plan in place for your music?
I’ve gotten very into planning for things to change. I do a lot of improvising when recording and I try to honor my initial instincts whenever possible, but ultimately there are many inspired musical moments lurking out there, waiting to be stumbled into if you’re open enough when writing, playing or recording.

12. What does 2019 have in store for you?
Lots! My band Dawn Fades is releasing our self-titled debut album on February 8 on Metal Assault Records. I’m working on a couple different solo EPs. I’m playing with my band Dinosaur Tooth every Wednesday night at the Cock N Bull in Santa Monica. I’ll also be doing more solo shows, so it’ll be busy. Writing-wise, I’m always working on new tunes, trying to improve and say something meaningful.

LINKS
My website:
www.natehertweck.com
My music:
www.natehertweck.bandcamp.com
Pre-order the new Dawn Fades album:
www.metalassault.com/shop

 

 

 

 

Kara Connolly

 

Photos by Betsy Newman

 

The minute I came across Kara Connolly I was hooked. Their was something about her music that appealed to me.  I bought her music off my favorite digital retailer straight away and will be buying a t-shirt as well. She has something special going on and was totally appreciated the opportunity for an interview and dug my site. Not only that she has given some of the best answers for an interview this year.  She is something that is worth checking out. I was so stoked when she said yes to an interview.  She is one of my top 5 favorite discoveries of 2018 and I know her up coming debut album will be one of the best of 2019.  I have no doubt she is one of the artists to watch out for in 2019.  Read on and find out why I am hooked. She is just so super lovely and anybody who takes the time to appreciate the support they are getting from a small time site like myself deserves all my support. So enjoy.

https://www.karaconnolly.com/

1. How did you get into music?
 
From a very young age, I loved dancing, singing, and performing. My parents say they have a video of me jumping on the bed naked and singing Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” at age 3. In second grade, my friend Kelsey and I called ourselves “The Sugar Girls,” and we would wear matching Limited Too outfits and sing cover songs at the local park.

Kelsey recently reminded me that at around that same time I would write little songs and sing them for her… some of which she still remembers. So I guess you could say that was the first hint at my love for songwriting. Then, I performed “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” at a summer cruise ship talent show as a young woman… of 6. I remember having my hair up in a French twist, ripping the clip out of my hair, and shaking it out for dramatic effect.

All of these experiences led to me writing fully formed relationship songs back when the only man in my life was a stuffed animal named “Doodle Bear.” I was in the second grade and writing a song about some guy playing with my heart and cheating on me… I’ve still never been cheated on (knock on wood), but it all felt very important at the time!

Since then, I’ve continued to write relationship songs with a twist, though in high school I began to draw from my own life. I started dating my first boyfriend – you know, lots of emotions – and I would sit in math class and write lyrics into my notebook to make it look like I was taking intensive notes. That must be why I am now very very bad at math. Or perhaps my being innately very very bad at math caused me to tune it all out and just write songs instead. Maybe a bit of both.

Despite music being my first love, I eventually became more focused on acting, booking and shooting a couple of indie films, attending Acting for the Camera summer camps at UCLA throughout high school, and graduating from USC with an emphasis in Acting from the School of Dramatic Arts. To be honest, I picked up the guitar quite late, my senior year of college, and began writing a bunch of songs on the instrument. I quickly realized that I could hear the chords that went under the lyrics and melodies I had been creating in my head.

I used songwriting as a form of therapy when so much felt out of my control at that point in my life. I was stoked to graduate and be done with school, but so many other difficult changes fell within the same few months. As I said earlier, I moved out to Los Angeles as an actress and wrote plenty of songs while waiting for auditions that never came. I loved that with music I could create my own world and wasn’t told who to be or what to say. It sort of just happened.

People started asking me to record and co-write with them, acquaintances approached me about playing shows, opportunities opened up — I love that I didn’t have to force it in a way I felt I had to force other things in my life. There are, of course, still challenges and I’ve had to work very hard to get past those, but I really started to feel as though there was no other option but to walk down this path and see it through.

My friend Jon works over at Conway Recording Studios, this magical recording studio in Los Angeles in which we went in the middle of the night (the only time the rooms were available) to quickly record some basic guitar/vocal demos of my songs. There are a lot more steps to the story, but eventually, the producer of my current project heard those basic demos, we met up and decided to work on an album together.

My recent (and first) releases (Life in Rear View, Nice Guy, Abuser and Swing, Swing) all come from this project. A lot of it has just been putting myself out there time and time again, thinking outside the box, taking this dream one day at a time and slowly inching forward. The best things happen when you least expect it, but also because you’re doing the work and working towards a goal.

2. What inspired the song Nice Guy?

 
I wrote Nice Guy as an acknowledgment of self-worth. As a reminder to myself and to my friends to never settle for less than the love and respect we deserve. I wrote it at a time when a lot of my friends were waiting around for guys who never called or who left things open-ended, wondering what they did wrong and thinking things would be different the next time he reached out (like clockwork). Repeat the cycle. Then there were the songs on the radio. Girls singing things like, “It’s fine if you don’t call me tomorrow, just tell me you will tonight,” and me thinking, “If you tell me you’re going to call me tomorrow, you better freaking call me tomorrow!” The song was born out of these experiences, and others, compounded.
 

My goal was to create something fun and honest that you could sing to, with hopes that after a second listen you may realize you’re singing something empowering.

Or maybe you never realize it. Maybe it’s just a song to sing along to in the car with your best friends. And that’s great too. But my hope is that the message subconsciously seeps in one way or another. That it can encourage men to embrace their true selves in a society that rewards hyper-masculinity and, for everyone, when faced with the choice, to pick a partner who shows them unconditional love and respect.

3. Were you happy with how it has been received?

 
I’m very happy with how it’s been received. Nice Guy is the first song of mine to ever play on the radio. I did this social media campaign on my Instagram stories called “Nice Guy of the Day” in which friends, family members, and fans could nominate a “nice guy” for the title. The idea was to highlight and celebrate deserving men in order to spread the positivity and encourage kindness as being what’s truly sexy. This radio station in Los Angeles got wind of it and wanted to interview me on-the-air about the selection process and also asked me to perform the song live. 
 
The lyric video for that song was premiered by Parade Magazine, which was exciting considering it was my first lyric video ever.
 
All that said, I’m also just happy when fans send me videos jamming out to the song in their cars or messages from nice guys that they finally felt seen and cool for once. It’s one of my favorite songs on the upcoming record so I’m stoked that people have been excited about it.
 
Of course, I hope that it transcends further, but if that’s all that happens with this track then I feel I’ve done my job. 

4. How does a song start for you?
 
Songs start in many different ways, which is what keeps songwriting so exciting. What I will say is that, for me, it usually starts with lyric and melody at the same time. I’ll either be driving in the car or playing some chords on the guitar and I’ll have an idea pop into my head. Something about movement, whether being in a moving car or my hand strumming along, helps me get the creative juices flowing. When an idea comes out, I usually know if it’s a verse or a chorus right away just from its feel and then I’ll strategically build around that. That’s when changes come in or things get a bit more technical. The first impetus typically just comes from a lyric and melody popping into my head simultaneously though.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
 
I definitely get inspiration from my life. When I write on my own (as opposed to co-writes) it’s almost always related to whatever is going on for me at the moment. I’ve also drawn inspiration from what’s going on in the world at large, with my friends, or with family members. For instance, I wrote a song called Marry Me that’s on my upcoming record for my cousin’s wedding. When I write with a group (most of this album was written solo), I’m more open to writing about whatever and just  imagining the circumstances. Whatever connects with the collective. It’s a fun switch up to write in this way and it gives me some liberty to stray from the facts. Sometimes we end up writing a song that I personally connect with and the sentiment feels true to life, even if the specifics aren’t. 

6. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?
 
A lot of it has changed as I’ve studied music and structure further, and much of it has stayed the same. I’m much more open to co-writing than I was before. I think at the beginning and with this project, I just really wanted to get my vision out and my songs out there as a solid foundation of who I am as a person and an artist. I had this sense that I didn’t want my vibe to be warped with by those around me because I was afraid of being a shell of somebody else as opposed an authentic version of myself. Now that that’s really happening and this record is coming out, I’m excited to explore, try new things, and work with different people. I think in order to branch out you need a firm foundation and to truly know who you are, which is why I think writing much of these first releases on my own has been invaluable. 
 
When I write a song by myself, most of it has remained the same. I tend to sit alone, with my guitar, and record my ideas out into ten billion voice notes. I then collect a ton of these voice note songs over time, narrow down my favorites and start the process of producing around them and making that idea into a reality. That’s really how this project came into fruition.

7. What has been the best piece of advice you have been given about your music
career?
 
My parents both remind me to enjoy the ride and not take things so seriously. It’s not worth it if you aren’t happy. I think this is great advice for not only a career in music, but just life in general. It’s really easy to miss the moments of your life when you’re always thinking one step ahead and trying to control the situation. 
 
I can definitely be guilty of this, but I’m trying to step into this mindset that what’s meant for me will come and that it’s okay to step back, let things happen and to experience them as opposed to trying to force everything to be the way in which I want it.
 
That said, I think a vision is crucial. But I’m learning that, for me, that vision comes from trusting who I am as a person and that letting go of the how, where, and when is essential. 

8. How did your album Life in Rear View come about?
 
I explained a bit of the logistics above in talking about my journey to music, but the truth is that I always wanted to make an album. Some people were trying to convince me that I needed to play x amount of shows first or that I should only record a single, but I wrote tons of songs leading up to this record that I felt were starting to pile up on a hard-drive somewhere. I didn’t feel good about moving forward with writing more music until at least a few of these songs were out into the world. My early 20s was a really transformative time for me and I knew that I wanted that story told before moving onto the next phase of my life. There was a little part of me that needed to prove to myself that this music would, in fact, be heard in order to trust myself to continue writing more songs (that then hopefully also could be heard). 
 

The album is essentially a journey from breakdown to breakthrough, made possible by taking strides in discovering my self-worth along the way and letting go of what no longer served me.I would love to encourage others to jump in the driver’s seat of their own lives, let go of what no longer serves them, embrace vulnerability, self-worth, friendship, and to never settle for less than the love and respect that they deserve. It’s a process. I’m still learning how to let go and leave the past behind me, in the rearview mirror, to occasionally glance back on (or write a song about).

9. What was the songwriting process like for it?

 
I wrote most of these songs in my bedroom, on the guitar, initially recording into my iPhone voice notes app. The earliest song that I included on this album was written in early 2015 (Life in Rear View) and the last song I wrote that was included was written in 2017 (Other People). So the other tracks were selected from songs I wrote in between that time frame. They’re all inspired by real experiences that have happened to either myself, my friends, or my family members. 

10. Was the recording process different to earlier material?
 
This is my debut project and my first releases as an artist.
 
There were a lot of songs written in that period I spoke of above that were in various phases of the recording process that I thought would be released, but then weren’t as I continued to change and write more material that I felt more connected with at that time of my life. For instance, I went through a phase in 2014 and 2015 in which I wrote a lot of super cute, quirky love songs. I was incredibly inspired by new love and first dates and telling those stories. My friends David Yuvienco and Jonathan Sher and I would stay up super late and record demos of those songs in their home studios. I wish some of those songs got out into the world, but by the time I was recording this project I was in a different place in my personal life. Those first dates and relationship songs didn’t feel as meaningful as some of the topics I started to write about that blended that vibe, but with a larger message. I think that’s just a part of it. I’ve written a lot of new material since recording this project and I’m expecting that 99% of it won’t see the light of day as I continue to write until I’m ready to get in the studio again.

11. Did you go into the studio prepared or did you go with the flow?
 
It was a bit of both. Bill Lefler produced my album at his studio called “Death Star Studios” in Los Angeles. Basically, I had written roughly 80 songs prior to the recording of this album. I sent Bill 38 of those and he narrowed it down to 15 or so of his favorites. There were 5 or 6 that were definite, but the rest were mostly just selected depending upon what I was leaning towards each day in the studio. We recorded the album over the course of 2 months (apart from one or two tracks that we were testing and working on prior to starting a project together).

I had sent Bill a list of tracks that I wanted my record to be “in the style of.” I can’t say that we totally stuck to that. That said, my record is very percussive and most of the tracks I sent over had an upbeat, highly percussive element. A lot of the tracks I sent as examples were blends of organic instruments with electronic elements. It was really just approaching each track as an individual and looking at what it uniquely needed. Bill would usually start adding things pretty immediately and then, as the process continued, I would either take elements out or add an instrumental hook idea or layers that I felt would make the song more dynamic.

About halfway through, I started to realize that there was a bit of a theme and story-line in the tracks we were picking (loosely, but still there) and so it informed some of my later selections for songs to include.

12. Do you have a set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and
change?

 
What great questions! I guess I sort of started to organically answer that in the last question.
 
I noticed there was a bit of a theme, but only after I wrote a bunch of songs and started to sense what that was. With this project, I noticed there was a theme of letting go of what no longer serves you and acknowledging your self-worth that was coming through many of the tracks selected. People started to point out that there was a strong female protagonist in the songs that was learning her value throughout the course of the record. I definitely resonated with that and it felt true to my experience. That said, I write whatever I’m feeling so I’ve written about many different topics and I’m sure that will change as I continue to write and release music.

13. Do like to write without inspiration or distractions or do you need a
bit of both? 
 
I love to write from a space of inspiration. I tend to write when I give myself time to process what I’m experiencing and not  write so much when I’m going, going, going. I’m learning to write even when I’m not in that inspired space. 

14. How important is having a plan in place for your music?
 
I think having a plan and, more specifically, a vision is very important. It inspires my decision making and encourages me to move onto the next step. That said, you need a plan so you can then say, “Fuck the plan!” Nothing ever goes according to plan.

15. What inspired doing the cover of The All-American Rejects song Swing, Swing?
 
I’ve always loved The All-American Rejects. Their music got me going to live shows…SwingSwing was one of my favorite songs growing up. It has a special place in my memory.
 
I wanted to take a song that wasn’t an obvious choice, but did have it’s time in the spotlight, and unexpectedly spin it on its head.
 
The band’s version is pretty angsty, triumphant and anthemic, but listening to the lyrics over and over again as I have throughout the years made me realize that the song’s sentiment is actually quite melancholic. I love the heart-on-your-sleeve vibe of that entire record so I wanted to put my own spin on it and honor a band I’ve always admired. Recording this cover made me really emotional. I found that I could now connect in a way that I hadn’t as a kid. It brought me back to this incredibly desperate place in which you just want anyone to help you through the deep sadness and loss of (in my case) a first love.

16. How important are video clips for you?
 
Video clips have been very important for me. My first music video is what has gotten me in some cool rooms and was shared across Facebook. I’m realizing how much people are engaging with the video content and it’s encouraging me to make more. Video is a lot of work, but worth it if that’s what my fans are responding to.
 
17. What do you love about Social Media and connecting with your fans?
 
I love how creative and personal you can be. I spoke about my “Nice Guy of the Day”campaign above…that was incredibly fun for me to social media stalk fans and friends and write a funny little caption highlighting how awesome they are. It’s awesome to get fans and friends engaged. I got them to send in items to be burned for my Life in Rear Viewmusic video and often play guessing games, make polls, and quizzes, etc. on my Instagram.
 
It’s really exciting to be able to do what you want, when you want, and how you want to do it. Social media allows for that and I’m really excited by the people finding and connecting with me on there. 

18. How important is your brand Kara Connolly?
 
What an interesting question! I love it!
 
What I will say is that my “brand” comes out of who I truly am as a person and a writer and I hope that it always stays that way. In my opinion, branding in any other way is just backwards. To create art off of a brand is, of course, done and is sometimes done well, but for myself, I had to write tons of songs and get clear on who I am as a person and what it is that I’m trying to say before I could then come up with a photoshoot idea, album concept, marketing plan, etc. 
 
I’m happy with things that way. It’s fun and exciting for me and I think is ultimately more sustainable because it is me. Or at least a side of me…and a prominent one at that. To answer your question, I’m very involved with every decision I make from what the cover looks like to what I’m wearing to how the music sounds to what I’m saying so I guess in that sense of the word “brand” it’s definitely important to me. But that’s only because I want to make sure I remain true to myself and not get lost in the “This is what everyone else is doing” shuffle. 

19. What does 2019 have in store for you?
 
Expect more singles, the release of my album, another music video, ways to get fans involved, live shows (maybe even a tour), and the writing and recording of my next project! I’m excited to see where it all goes!

Jogee With a G

Jogee With a G is a talented artist who I came across and totally dug with this artist was doing and had to interview him

https://www.facebook.com/jogeewithag

1. How did you get into music?

I downloaded FL Studio when I was 13 and ever since I never stopped writing

2. What inspired the album ‘Greenery’?

Greenery is mainly inspired by events that happened in my life. I’ve been moving a lot and that allowed me to grow. The album is all about growth and self development

3. Were you happy how it has been received?

So far I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. The tracks that I thought would be the hardest for people to appreciate were the ones that people liked the most and that was a very interesting experience.

4. How does song writing start for you?

I’m never really not writing. I’m always thinking of concepts as I go about my day to day life and when I feel like I have something worth sharing I put it down on pen and paper

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Mostly my contemporaries. I feel like with music people tend to idolize people that were making music a few decades ago, but there’s some really good fresh stuff out there. The classic do deserve some respect and recognition but there are artists working night and day in the scene today who are limitlessly talented.

6. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?

I learnt a lot more about music theory so my songs got a little more technical, and it’s only getting better from now.

7. What has been the best piece of advice you have given about your music career?

Never give up. It’s plain and simple

8. How did the song ‘Salmon’ come about?

Salmon is about a good old friend of mine who turned out to not be so good. We were very tight so cutting each other out of our lives felt very weird, it was almost like a breakup hahah!

But really Salmon is just me processing this whole situation out and saying the things I couldn’t say to his face.

9. What do you love about your local scene?

It’s so diverse and that’s the best part about it. I moved to Toronto not too long ago and I’m honestly overwhelmed with the amount of creativity going around. People are making music in all sorts of ways, anything from noise scapes to sad boy rock bands and it’s all very high quality.

10. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?

Usually I work with a theme but it tends to deviate a little here and there but in the end I always try to tie it all up together if the songs are all part of the same project.

11. Do like to write with out inspiration or distractions or do you need a bit of both?

I need a bit of both, I feel like distractions helps me tap into my subconscious a little bit while being in my quiet space helps put things down in the most clear way possible.

12. How important is having a plan in place for your music?

Since my musical background stems from music theory and not playing physical instruments planning and mapping what the song is going to sound like is the only way I make music. I envy people that can just spontaneously pick up the keyboard and start playing it without thinking, but I’ve learnt to love my method

13. How important is your brand Jogee With a G?

Branding is not as important to me as it should be. At the end of the day I just want to make music and I want it to be heard. Even if I’m writing for other people I’m just glad that someone’s listening to something I worked hard on. Having a brand surely aids with that but I’m still trying to feel like a business man rather than a hopeless romantic.

So I went to America and did a whole bunch of interviews and they are now up for your viewing pleasure. So I went to Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Nashville and New York. All those cities except Chicago I did interviews in. Plus I went looking for As Seen On TV Products plus I talk about some awesome places I ate at and an awesome video game shop in New York plus I give some travel tips. Hope you dig the interviews. Let me know what you all think

Legs Electric

Legs Electric are a great Aussie band with a new EP out called Two Sides. This what Elana Haynes guitarist from the band had to say about it all so read on.

1. For someone unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe Legs Electric?

There’s a lot of conviction in our playing and delivery. We’ve got strong solid vocals, guitar and rhythm section. So yeh, I guess don’t expect anything airy or reserved. We’re loud however there are moments in the songs where we carve out some space. We’re all about giving the song what it needs. Not just leaving it on one setting. Legs are just full of power and vibe wrapped in a tight little package.

2. Tell us a little bit about the inner workings of your writing process.

Sometimes we just get in a room and jam over some random chord progression, other times we come in prepared with something specific we want to play, whether it be a melody/riff/chord progression.

3. What’s one of your favourite live moments that comes to mind?

We had a gig down at Settlers Margaret River that was just really fun. We didn’t necessarily have a massive crowd or anything, but it was one of those fun out of town gigs. Maybe more relaxing being out of the city, i don’t know? But the vibe was there. On stage with us as a band, we were connecting. I think the best live moments is anytime I’ve got good sound to be honest. That sounds so boring, but it’s true!

4. How important is social media to you in regards to engaging with an audience?

I think in this day and age it’s a necessity. That’s pretty much the only place you can see who’s playing where at what time. I don’t think there’s any gig guides anymore? Even though I much preferred the paper copy personally. Easier to read it all in one spot, and not have to filter through everything else to see whats happening. On social media you can follow a band more closely, if they’re in the studio or on the road, however I hope people don’t substitute that for actually rocking up to a gig and experiencing all the action live!

5. What inspired you to take music more seriously?

I’m not good at anything else haha No other options?

6. What’s spinning on your playlist atm? Any guilty pleasures?

Muse at the moment, I currently have them on repeat! Songs like ‘MK Ultra, Panic Station, Madness, Knights of Cydonia …and I always have a bit of TLE going.

Oh I heard a song by Kasey Chambers on the radio and it made me cry, ‘if we had a child’. Gosh I love it. So that has made it to my playlist mix.

7. Are you a fan of keeping the album format alive or do you think there’s more benefit to release singles or EPs with the influence of streaming platforms arguably shortening attention spans?

If you’ve got a song, that just stands on it’s own and wasn’t a part of a longer story. Go for it. I think there is still a place for albums though. If you really love an artist, you want to listen to what they’re saying. Not just cut them off once you’re done with track 2. I think some albums are written with that in mind, where it was planned out that way during the writing process. Whereas other albums are a bunch of great songs in one place, but don’t really flow like it was thought out the same way.

8. When not consumed with all things musical, what do you do to tune out or reset?

I jump to something else creative. Like designing or photo editing. I can’t escape it! Actually possibly gardening. I love gardening and always have. Away from the noise, people, phone/computer. If it’s summer i’ll be in the water down at Scarborough resetting.

9. Your EP ‘Two Sides’ has just been released, what does the immediate future hold?

Well now that it’s done and dusted we are playing a whole bunch of show with all the new tracks here in Perth and also heading over East for Byron Bay guitar festival. We’re in the process of recording a SINGLE at the moment. An album is definitely on the cards, however the single definitely stands alone from our other songs we have in the works.

10. Lastly, Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin?

ohhh Zeppelin baby!

Legs Electric ‘Two Sides’ EP out noew via Firestarter Distribution

https://www.facebook.com/legselectric

Charm of Finches

One of the most exciting acts of out of Australia are Charm of Finches. I knew I had to interview them. With a new song out. This is what they had to say.

https://charmoffinchesband.com

 

1. How did you get into music?

We have been around music all our lives. Our mum taught choirs and dad was obsessed with Bob Dylan. Plus, we went to Steiner school, where you sing every day. We started busking, singing three part harmonies outside the local veggie shop. We were keen to save enough cash to fly to Ireland We were 11 and 8 then, and our friend Bel sang with us. We called ourselves The Highway Sisters! Ha ha!

2. What inspired the new song The Bridge?

We were on our road trip just before Christmas to go play at Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland. We were walking across a bridge and came upon a group of young people who were obviously grieving. It turned out their friend had jumped off that bridge during  party and passed away. We felt pretty moved by that experience and it stayed with us. We knew what it felt like to lose a friend at that age. It’s very intense and confusing. We wrote “The Bridge ” that evening.

3. Were you happy how it has been received?

We always just really want to connect with people with our music. A lot of people have been contacting us saying they find the song beautiful and moving and haunting. All those things are good! Music is all about connection.

4. How does a song start for you?

So many different ways. Sometimes it comes out as lyrics, then guitar riffs, chords and a sung melody line. Sometime it’s the guitar or banjo riff or a chord progression first. We collaborate a whole lot now, so we are constantly running in and out of each other’s bedrooms with new ideas and melody lines. (we live together – very handy for a band!)

 5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration comes from our own experiences- about being a teenager , about seeing what our friends are going through. Being in nature inspired us a lot, and often we are info;uenced by the books we are reading. WE have a song , In The Gloaming”, which was inspired by our own experience of grief but also we were inspired by the novel “Kitchen” by Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto.

 6. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?

At first Mabel wrote the songs, and Ivy added the harmonies. Now were are co-writing and the songs seem to be formed differently. That’ a hard question, because every new song comes out as a little surprise and feels entirely fresh and new.

7. What has been the best piece of advice you have given about your music career?

George Jackson from One Up Two Down, one of the best bluegrass bands you are likely to come across in our humble opinion, told us to do music for the love of it! Don’t do it for fame, do it for the pure love of music.

8. How did your album Staring at the Starry Ceiling come about?

We had been playing at a lot of folk festivals 2015 – 2016 and had a whole bunch of songs we had been playing live a lot. We contacted Nick Huggins and asked if he would produce the album with us. He was the perfect collaborator, as it turned out,. He is so open creatively. He has no preconceptions, and also listened very carefully to our ideas. We also had a ridiculous amount of fun with him! Many laughs.

9. What was the recording process like was it different to the new song?

Recording the EP “Home” was virtually a live recording all done in a day and a half with minimal extra parts added (cello and some extra vocal harmonies). Staring at the Starry Ceiling was the opposite. A real studio album, with heaps of spontaneous arrangement decisions and on the spot melody compositions. We also recorded a fair bit of the strings at home. We wanted to play all the instruments ourselves, though we did get help with flute, percussion and a hammered dulcimer. Recording this single ” The Bridge” was similar to that, though we recorded everything at Nick’s studio and played everything ourselves.

10. What do you love about your local scene?

We have a lot of favourite musicians who live in Melbourne. Dan Parsons, The Maes, Domini Forster, Anna Cordell. WE have been so lucky to meet such lovely musicians on our travels around the folk festivals. Melbourne has so much music- we’re very spoilt. We do tend to see most of the bands at the festivals and gigs  we play at, though we do go to gigs a fair bit too, when we haven’t got too much homework!

11. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?

The themes seem to be pretty consistent at the moment. WE tend to be contemplating fate, mortality, grief, solitude and there is always a backdrop in nature. Emotions and the elements comes up a lot. Our new music video for The Bridge really is a perfect example of our inspirations and mood. There is a mythical quality to the story, and the natural world around us, the lakes and fields and rocks all play a role in our journey in life. Being young, you feel a lot! So having songwriting, and filmmaking (ie making music videos) is a perfect way to channel and transform the intense feelings into art.

12. Do like to write with out inspiration or distractions or do you need a bit of both?

We live in a tiny house with five people and a mastiff! So yeah, sometimes distractions are unavoidable. we did once go to a friend’s holiday house to finish a whole bunch of songs in peace and quiet. Maybe it was too quiet, cause we didn’t finish one! But we did write a new song.

13. How important is having a plan in place for your music?

We have clear ideas about what we want to do. We want to tour, and we are already planning our 2020 UK/Canada tour. We know what kind of settings we like to play our music in, and we know who we love working with. We also have some crazy wish list items which we hope may actually happen! We would love to record with Sufjan Stevens for example!

14. How important is your brand Charm of Finches?

We don’t think of Charm of Finches as a brand. We think of Charm of Finches as our creative project. We’re very attached to it because we have poured a lot of love and creative energy into it. A lot of joy and beautiful collaborations too! Nick Huggins, Adalita, Emma McEvoy: lots of people who we love and admire have been involved with the finches and also mentored and inspired us. We’re pretty proud of what we have created so far. Having Charm of Finches is itself inspiration to keep creating and coming up with new music, new ideas and new goals. Charm of Finches is kind of a creative being of its own.

 

Cking

CKing is a Brisbane based rapper with a new song out. I dug it and this is what he had to say.

https://www.facebook.com/ckingtherapper/

1. How did you get into music?

When I was quite young I was introduced to the band Linkin Park, after learning their first two albums back to front I was introduced to Rappers like Tupac, Eminem and Biggie which was where I really started to gain interest. I started to rewrite their songs as my own, learning how to structure and how flows worked to each beat.

2. How did the inspiration for the song come about?

This song was inspired from a past relationship, giving her my everything, a situation happened where she no longer trusted me due to me having a lot of female attention at the time. She couldn’t handle it even though I made sure I let it be known that I was down for her and her only. She tries apologising after realising what she’s lost and I’ve heard it all before so I throw it all away.

3. How does a song start for you?

A song, especially like this starts with a story, a situation and how I’m really feeling about everything at the time reflects everything in the song.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Emotions, I’m an emotional writer. Most of my music will come from a place within.

5. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?

Absolutely, like a lot of my clients that I record will often start off writing bars as if they were sentences or paragraphs in the least.

I now have a process where I’ll write what I want the song to be about, write the hook as it’s the main part of it all then structure a story timeline within the first/second and or third verse.

6. What has been the best piece of advice you have given about your music career?

If you don’t invest in yourself, nobody else will.

7. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?

I’ll often set a theme before I write but it really depends on the mood and type of track it is.

8. Do like to write with out inspiration or distractions or do you need a bit of both?

Inspiration tracks usually turn out the best, distractions are something I’m still learning to deal with. Social media is a HUGE distraction that’ll constantly take my attention away from what I was doing.

9. How important is having a plan in place for your music?

I feel having a plan will make or break the song. Well thought out and planned projects to me seem more worth it in the long run.

10. How important is your brand Cking?

I’ve been known as Cking since I ever started to say I wanted to be a Rapper/Singer from a very young age. It just stuck.

Royal East

So these guys contacted me and I like what I heard and figure I would interview them for the site and this is what they had to say. With a new song out called Gin, this band is getting out there

https://www.facebook.com/royaleast/

1. How did you get into music?

As a band, music has always been an important part of our lives. Four-year-old Pat for example, used to walk around with a little battery powered tape deck listening to Pachelbel’s Canon on repeat (before music streaming was invented playing a song on repeat required significant commitment. Especially for a four-year-old). His first instrument was the violin at age 4, and took up drumming and singing a few years later.

2. How did the inspiration for the song come about?

Pat wrote “Gin” because he wanted a person to know how he was feeling about them at the time. It’s a collection of things that were important to him, and combines memories, experiences and emotions. This “Gin”, is brimming with nostalgia and hope.

3. How does a song start for you?

Song-writing is about sharing something. It starts with an idea of the sentiment that we want to share with whoever’s listening. We search for the elements that reflect that sentiment so that, when the listener turns on the track, they can hear that essential message.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

We’re inspired by a beat that forces you to move, a lyrics that makes you dream, or a melody that makes you smile. Also we’re constantly inspired by good musical performance, we go on band gigs and afterwards are raring to get back in the studio.

5. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?

Our songwriting has changed a lot since we started out. Initially, the writing was based around a riff, and the idea grew organically in rehearsals – but it took too long and was time-intensive. Now we write full demos each and bring it to the band. We choose the best ones and jam them out until we’re happy with it.

6. What has been the best piece of advice you have been given about your music career?

Simply, to work hard. If we are serious about it we must put the time in to create a band that people want to listen to and support. This includes the musical elements of songwriting and live shows, but also building a strong brand and media presence.

7. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?

We have a theme for our music, but it leaves plenty of room for creativity and for our musical imagination to run wild. We aim to capture the vibe of an intimate yet outlandish house party with all of our best mates. We want our audience to be grooving and having a good time when they’re listening to our music.

8. Do like to write without inspiration or distractions or do you need a bit of both?

This is a mix throughout our songs and band members. Nick (drummer) likes to write the basis of a song without inspiration, but then uses a reference track when forming the production tones. Fraser (guitarist) likes to go into a track without any reference to bring his own style. This seems to be a strength so a song doesn’t take too many elements from one particular place.

9. How important is having a plan in place for your music?

Pretty important when you want to bridge the gap between friends and real fans. We’ve spent a while trying to find and refine our sound as a collective. We all have different influences and tastes that presents a challenge sometimes, but mostly it is our asset! We recently realised we’re an indie/pop band and the relief and freedom (paradoxically) that came with finding that was unreal.

10. How important is your brand Royal East?

We spend a huge amount of our time planning and managing the endless list of activities that accompany the writing, including the marketing so that people discover our music, managing our branding, and planning the direction we want to take our music. It’s such a massive part of music these days – to have the brand AND the music – so we do our best to do it well but also fun.

Jordan F

Photograph by Mark Owen

I flat out love Jordan F, his awesome sound is amazing. I finally saw him play last Saturday and he was on fire with a new album called Oblivion out now. I had to find out what he had to say so read on.

https://www.facebook.com/jordanfmusic/

1. What was the inspiration behind the new album?

1. I began writing ‘Oblivion’ in the wake of 2017. It is the summation of the progress over the past 8 years, which incorporates sounds from some of my earliest release to the present. It began with the track ‘Labyrinth’, which is a ten minute lovecraftian horror synth epic. The song opened up the sounds and tone for the world of ‘Oblivion’. Once I had established the sound pallet and texture, the writing process was quick but natural.

2. Are you happy how it’s been received?

2. Mostly yes, although it’s a lot harder these days for releases to stand out. I think most listeners of the genre still like to play it safe with cheesy melodies and lyrics, or electro thrash style music. Regardless, I’m personally proud of the release and that’s all I can ask of myself.

3. How was the recording process different to the last album?

3. There was nothing unique about the recording process compared to previous albums. All of the production and recording is done in Ableton with a handful of go-to plug-ins that I know very well. The only difference would be in the mixing stage where I buss all my audio tracks into groups, such as drums, bass, chords and melodies to glue the mix. I tried to take a step back from hyper analysing production and mixes.

4. Was the songwriting and style of music slightly different to your last album?

4. I wanted to write more interesting chord progressions, playing with a range of types as opposed to sticking with major and minor triads. It really strengthened the song writing of the album and helped convey a more compelling story.

5. How did you get involved with Vast Hill with doing an EP?

5. We discovered each other’s music on Triple J Unearthed and caught up to talk about music. They’re excellent musicians and understand theory really well and so we decided to combine our strengths to create a collaboration EP called ‘The Win’.

6. Was the recording process different to earlier material?

6. Yeah it was very different. Usually I just write by myself and send tracks off to vocalists for a top line, whereas this collaboration made me feel like I was in a synth pop band. We met up on weekends and just jammed out with ideas, where it be a melody, chord progression or a drum loop I had started. It felt really organic and there were no preconceived ideas of what we wanted to make. It was a process that I enjoyed a lot.

7. How does a song start for you?

7. I’ll start with a 16 bar loop and just start playing a chord progression. Drums are critical for the writing process as it establishes the wall of sound which everything needs to sit above. For example if you’re using a drum kick that lacks sub then you don’t want a bass sound that is going to squash the kick – it all needs to be complementary and relative to the frequency of each element. That’s why I think establishing the right drums is a critical from the outset.

8. Were you happy how your last album was received?

8. I’m always searching for ways to evolve my sound that maintains elements that have made me known, but also bring something new. Right now I’m working with a range of vocalists and just writing things that can make me dance. My previous music has been very soundtrack and concept driven so writing more pop and dance friendly songs is exciting for me!

9. Do you think sites like newretrowave help you as a musician?

9. Absolutely. NewRetroWave has given many artists so much exposure to audiences across the globe and I’ve been very fortunate to release an album with them.

10. What do you hope the rest of 2018 will have instore for your music?

10. Writing more music! Maybe a few shows! But I’m working towards a studio album that will feature lots of vocalists that I’ve met personally. Although in the early stages, I want this album to break away from the conceptual stuff I’ve done in the past.

11.  What is next for yourself?

11. Continuing the journey and just keeping inspired!

Reel Tapes

Reel Tapes are a good Aussie band and this is what they had to say about it all.

https://www.facebook.com/ReelTapes/

1. How did you get into music?
We began as mates at high school and had been playing together in the schools orchestras and ensembles for some time. As well as playing our guitars, some of us also dabbled with the cello, clarinet, saxophone and orchestral percussion. It would be pretty special if one day we got to play a concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. I’m sure our guitarist would be more than happy to have all of his solos played on the oboe.

2. How did the inspiration for the song come about?
The overall theme of the song centres around ideas of having desires and expectations and not having them met; whether they’re realistic or not. This leant itself to drawing on some pretty diverse sources of inspiration, including Pink Floyd, Norse mythology and my own life experiences.

3. How does a song start for you?
I just sort of feel it. I’ll just be jamming and something I play will sound really cool. I then play this riff about 500 times in different rooms of the house over a 3 week period. Then all of a sudden it’s finished! We then work on it as a band and lyrics are added.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I don’t think we could pinpoint that precisely. The whole band listens to a lot of different styles and we often don’t like music that other band members are listening to. But this is great for creativity! Everyone brings their own vibe and style and I think you can hear this across our tracks. Deep Space is an indie rock track, but there are some twangy guitar leads and groovy funk keys. Each of our songs is unique, but we do have a sound that is Reel Tapes. This sonic is a kind of British rock inspired thing.

5. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?
Nah, I’m never entirely sure how the songs come about… they just do!

6. What has been the best piece of advice you have been given about your music career?
You must enjoy it! If you aren’t having fun then what is the point? It’s expensive to play in a band and not much money is made, so it’s important that you do it because you love it.

7. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?
We play two types of songs:
1) Banger party tracks about going to parties and partying
2) Deeper tracks with plenty of groove and feel
So I guess the answers is whatever we feel like!

8. Do you like to write with out inspiration or distractions or do you need a bit of both?
Our band is a bit of a circus at times, but that’s just who we are. A bit weird. We try to harness this, but sometimes we just need to sit down and seriously work out what we are doing and how we can improve it.

9. How important is having a plan in place for your music?
Plans are everything! We need to plan our set list, how we will get to the gig, how we will get home again after drinking all of the rider beers. We also want to make sure that everyone has a chance to hear our music, so planning how to get it into everyone’s ears is also key.

10. How important is your brand?
It’s important for us to present who we really are. We are fun band with up-tempo songs that are enjoyable. We want you to know that we are fun and cool people. I know that sounds super lame – but trust me we are.