Artist Interview – JOANovARC

JOANovARC is an all female rock band from the UK whose exposure and success has steadily grown since their first interview on Song Revelation almost 2 and half years ago. In early 2013 they signed for Holier Than Thou Records, released a live album and started to work with the famous music producer Stuart Epps. We were really happy when Sam Walker (Lead Vocals/Bass/Rhythm Guitar), Shelley Walker – (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), Laura Ozholl (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar/Bass) and Debbie Wildish (Drums) got in touch with Song Revelation again to give everyone an update and share some new material. Read on for the entire in-depth interview below:

 

JOANovARC

JOANovARC

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Sexy, energetic, powerful

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you? 

Very exciting! We recorded with legendary producer Stuart Epps, performed in Israel and filmed our new music video for single ‘Stars’. We have performed at many festivals this year and even supported Slade!! At another performance following this, Don Powell (Slade’s drummer) got up on stage with us and jammed!

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Queen, The Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

The Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Brian May, Joan Jett, Dave Grohl

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

New Daft Punk album and latest Biffy Clyro and Foo Fighters albums.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

We start with a small idea, a riff or a lyric and just jam it in the studio until we get a verse, then a chorus and before we know it we have a song. We always record live before taking it to the studio.

 

JOANovARC

JOANovARC

JOANovARC

JOANovARC

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

They are both as important as each other

 

Q: Where are you based?

Hertfordshire and London

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Great! In the country enough if you need peace and quiet, and near enough the city for the buzz!

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

A brand new album and new single for 2014

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Working with legendary producer Stuart Epps. He has produced Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Elton John and many more! We were honored to work with him and this really lifted the bands career.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

To tour the world and break through the UK music industry with a great album.

 

JOANovARC

JOANovARC

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

We are playing at a few Germany army bases before Christmas. Next year is very exciting!!  Already we have booked tours for Israel, Holland, throughout Europe and the Far East! You can check out our events page on www.joanovarc.co.uk

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Keeping fit – tennis, kickboxing, snowboarding, working out…

 

Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?

New York the city – the city that never sleeps! … or Las Vegas (24 hrs. of party!

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Be yourself and never try to change to please the music industry. Your followers are No. 1 and they buy your records. Be true to yourself and you will shine.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

You can download JOANovARC singles and EPs on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/joanovarc/id438197656

 

Editor’s Note: Since their first Song Revelation interview JOANovARC have continued to enjoy a great deal of success, giving everyone a blueprint of what an energetic and talented British Rock Band should be like. One of Song Revelation’s Bands of 2013. 

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with JOANovARC just follow the links below:

Website: www.joanovarc.co.uk

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/joanovarc

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/joanovarc

Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/JOANovARC/10249741221

Twitter: @Joanovarc

Myspace: www.myspace.com/joanovarc

Artist Interview – Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair is an upbeat rock band from Montreal, Canada, consisting of Elyse (Lead Vocals) Karine Tremblay (Guitar), Sebastien Savoie (Guitar) and Sergio Caluori (Drums). Elyse has been actively performing since her first album release in 2006 and we were delighted, despite busily putting the finishing touches to their latest EP, they agreed to be interviewed by Song Revelation. Read on to discover what they’ve been working on for the last 12 months, which musicians they would love to collaborate live and what it’s like being a musician in Montreal.

 

Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

It’s the rawness, the guitar riffs and the voice you’ve been waiting for since Nirvana and The Cranberries.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

Passionate singer-songwriter and musician, Elyse Robineault has released an album of twelve original songs (Sortilège 2006), performed hundreds of shows and appearances. Among those she counts Star Académie Show Tour (2003), Le Studio Théâtre de la Place des Arts, Les FrancoFolies, Le Gesu and two musical tours for the Canadian Forces. She also produced and recorded an EP of five original titles, an independent and daring production under the pseudonym Liz Robin (The open book 2008).

After years of exploration and musical projects, Elyse is back with new rock alternative oriented material, supported by musicians each with over twenty years of rich musical journeys: Karine Tremblay and Sebastien Savoie (guitars), as well as Sergio Caluori (drums). After over forty shows across the province of Quebec and two years of collaboration in The Berry Shandy, tribute to the Cranberries, the band members join forces to create original music. Dom Fortin (bass) joins the team in 2013, endowed with undeniable experience in rock.

Hundreds of on stage performances and thousands of hours in studio are paying off today: Elyse and The Affair immerses us in a unique alternative sound, immediately recognizable upon first listen.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

We took advantage of performing live every chance we got, we continued to fine tune our existing repertoire and we wrote some new material.  We booked some studio time to record 6 of them.  After a few months, this resulted in the making of our first and new EP that we launched in Montreal June 14th.  We are also very proud of our “To the Start” music video that highlights our strong stage presence and passion.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

We are punctuated by a wide range of influences, but what mostly drives us is the rawness and good old grunge stuff such as The Cranberries, Nirvana, Hole, Foo Fighters and PJ Harvey.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

We admire Metric and Arcade Fire for their artistic direction, integrity and the path that lead them to success.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

A touring band that is looking for an opening act, like Sam Robert’s or The Barenaked Ladies… That would be awesome!

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

It typically comes in layers.  Elyse and/or Karine start with a simple riff and a song structure.  Elyse then composes the lyrics and the melody.  The next step is working it out with the band.  Each one adds his own spirit to it, making the piece whole and alive.

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Although lyrics are important, the very start for us is the melody, the groove and the guitar riffs.

 

Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair

 

 

Q: Where are you based?

Montreal.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

While the Montreal Scene is known to be artistically wide open, it can be difficult to promote English rock alternative material in a francophone driven environment.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Find a booker, open for a band based in Toronto, bring our music to the masses are definitely 3 items on our hot plate at the moment.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

Get a record deal with a well established, well-reputed record label and hit the road with a show tour in Western Canada.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

Check out our website for updates!

 

Editor’s Note: Elyse and the Affair has a great, upbeat commercial vibe. We’re looking forward to how their career develops as they release more material over the coming months and years.

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Elyse and the Affair just follow the links below:

Website: www.elyseandtheaffair.com

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/elyseandtheaffair

Facebook: www.facebook.com/elyseandtheaffair

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ElyseandTheAffair

 

Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair

Elyse and the Affair

 

Artist Interview – Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight are a rock band from Cincinnati, OH consisting of Chris Vondrell, Chris Tillery, Eric Darling and Travis Wells. Satellite Flight are starting to make waves around the Ohio area so we were delighted when they agreed to be interviewed by Song Revelation. Read the entire interview below where the guys discuss, amongst other things, who they would like to collaborate with given a chance, their creative process for creating a track and what it’s like living in Cincinnati!

 

Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

High-powered rock and roll with pop influences.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

This is what separates Satellite Flight from other bands.  Most bands are a group of musicians who love the same music.  Each member of SF comes from a different musical background ranging from pop to metal to classics to alternative.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

Amazing!  We’ve been the supporting act from artists ranging from 80’s legends such as Sebastian Bach to modern acts such Hinder and Buckcherry to name just a few.  We’ve also performed on the Jagermeister Tour and at the Gorilla Musicfest along with recording our debut EP “Red Carpet”.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Life.  We truly write from our hearts.  Personal experiences influence every lyric that you hear in our music.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Foo Fighters, Paramore, Hinder, Asking Alexandria, Rise Against.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

We would love to either collaborate with a legend such as Steven Tyler or Dave Grohl, or with an artist from another genre such as a female soul artist or classical performer to show that rock has no boundaries.

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

That’s a tough one considering we love so many.  Rock is making a big comeback statistically over the past 2 years and we’re just happy to be part of it alongside so many great bands.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

Someone usually brings a concept to the table whether it be lyrics, a melody, a riff, or a beat.  Then we lock ourselves in the studio and hammer it out.

 

Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Every moving piece is important but the melody is what makes a song.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Cincinnati, OH

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

It’s tough because our scene here is outdated.  We’re a very modern band and we like to cross barriers with our style, stage show, and sound, which catch some people off guard.  It has however built us a fanbase of younger people who are reaching for something new and exciting.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

A follow up single to our EP “Red Carpet” along with a few music videos.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

That’s tough because each member has their own, and we’re just getting started!

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

World Domination!!  Haha.  This band is all about momentum.  From the beginning we always said, “let’s never settle and always keep the momentum going”.  What we’ve accomplished in less then 18 months is “mind-blowing” according to a local radio DJ.  So what the next 12 months has in store for us can only be imagined.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Listen to music and joke around, we’re probably the funniest band you’ll meet.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

We love Chicago and LA.  Europe is awesome too; rock and roll is by far the most dominant genre over there so it would be a cool experience as a band.

 

Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight

Satellite Flight

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Never give up.  People will tell you too.  Society will tell you too.  Never do.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

Pay attention, we have some huge things coming up.

 

Editor’s Note: Satellite Flight are high-energy band with a deep sense of musicality. Make sure you check out their latest EP, “Red Carpet”, you’ll be impressed!

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Satellite Flight just follow the links below:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SatelliteFlight

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SatelliteFlight

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SatelliteFlightBand

Website: http://www.satelliteflight.com/home

Artist Interview – Instant Empire

Instant Empire is a 6-piece indie rock band consisting of Scotty (Lyrics & Vocals), Doug (Keyboard and Percussion), Sean (Lyrics & Guitar), Aaron (Bass & Vox), Lou (Guitars & Vox) and Matt (Drums) from Denver Colorado. We really loved their music and vibe after checking out some of their latest material and we were delighted, despite their increasingly hectic schedule, when they agreed to be interviewed by Song Revelation. Read on and enjoy one of our most detailed and in-depth interviews to date!

 

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Aggressive indie rock – with an emphasis on lyrics, dynamics and melody

 

Q: What is your musical background?

We are a six piece, so our musical backgrounds are a bit all over the place.  Sean, Lou, Aaron and Doug went to school for music in some form or another and all members of the band (other than Scotty) have been playing music for the majority of their lives.  Scotty didn’t start playing/writing music until he was 27 and is self taught (or maybe just not taught at all – he wings it).

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

The last 12 months have been fun, manic, debaucherous … and surprisingly productive. A year ago we had written a few songs that all fit together well from a musical and lyrical standpoint.  So we decided to put out a three-song EP with those songs (the EP was called Keep Up!).  This was the third EP we put out in as many years.  We recorded, mixed and produced Keep Up! in the fall of 2012 and released it in January of 2013.  We also bought a van and started hitting the road.  Our van is named Ishneeda.  She’s seen most of North and South America (she apparently has made multiple excursions to Venezuela … we assume for drug runs or at least cocaine-induced benders of some sort).  Ishneeda has over 333,333 miles.  Yeah – she rides like a dream.  We’ve been touring throughout a number of Midwest states (Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and New Mexico).

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

All of our individual influences are really divergent and as a band we really don’t have one universal inspiration, you know?  The only way to really answer this question is by the individual – so for the sake of brevity we’ll try to keep this as short as possible:

Scotty: Conor Oberst, Will Sheff, Isaac Brock

Doug: All things Robert Pollard

Sean: The National, Spoon, Dan Boeckner

Aaron: The Dear Hunter, Porcupine Tree, Steely Dan

Lou:  Wolf Parade, mewithoutYou, White Rabbits

Matt: Led Zeppelin, Kurt Vile, Pavement

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

In no particular order: Desaparecidos, The National, Modest Mouse, Wolf Parade, The Dear Hunter, Portugal. The Man., Cursive, Rilo Kiley (RIP), Les Savy Fav, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Okkervil River, Radiohead, Guided by Voices, Bon Iver, etc.

 

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

 

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Well, if we’re going to dream here – then we’d pretty much kill to collaborate with any of the following: Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, Robert Pollard, basically any of the members of The National, Casey Crescenzo, Jenny Lewis (seriously … let’s make this happen), Will Sheff, Karen O, what the hell – a super group with us, Justin Vernon, Prince, and David Bowie!  We are in the process of collaborating with our favorite Colorado band – El Toro De La Muerte.  Those dudes rock and we are going to be putting out a split single on vinyl with them.  Rad.

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

Dear Lord – this won’t be easy. We’ll give this a shot:

-        Graceless, The National

-        You Should’ve Seen The Other Guy, Nathaniel Rateliff

-        Raging in the Plague Age, Les Savy Fav

-        Sunday Morning Coming Down, Johnny Cash

-        Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure, The Weakerthans

-        Anything You Want, Spoon

-        Filth and Squalor, The Dear Hunter

-        Breezy, Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band

-        Song for Zula, Phosphorescent

-        Glad Girls, Guided by Voices

-        A Suit in Space, El Toro de la Muerte

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

These days when we write, we typically start jamming on a riff or part that someone has come up with.  If we like the part/riff, we start writing the foundation of the song all together in the practice studio.

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Ha – in this band it’s got to be lyrics.  Scotty and Sean are lyric-obsessed.  I mean, melody is obviously essential, but lyrics are a defining characteristic of this band.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Denver, CO

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Denver (and Colorado in general) is awesome.  Surrounded by mountains and what feels like an exploding music scene these days. It’s a youthful, active city and we are proud to represent the 303.

 

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

 

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

We are in the process of writing our first full-length album.  We’ve released three EP’s over the last three years and now’s the time to put out our first LP.  We are stoked about the new songs we are writing and hope to be going into the studio in the fall at some point.  I think this band finally knows what sound we are going for (raw – loud – aggressive indie rock) and the writing so far is going really well.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

We’ve been lucky to have opportunities to play with bands like Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers, and The Parlotones, but the highlight so far is definitely the touring we’ve been doing over the last year.  Being in the van, on the road, playing in new towns – it’s simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating.  I think every time we finish writing a song it feels like the new best highlight, you know?

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

We want to record our first full-length album and then see where that takes us.  Hopefully play as many shows as possible after the new record is out.  If everything goes perfectly, we’ll end up playing Letterman or something.  If the new album sucks, we’ll likely find ourselves drunk in a dark, dank bar on the wrong side of town with our heads on a swivel … just waiting for the inevitable knife fight to begin.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

Yup.  We’ve got the following shows on the books:

-        September 6, The Riot Room (Kansas City, MO)

-        September 7, O’Leavers Pub (Omaha, NE)

-        September 13, Illegal Pete’s (Denver, CO) with Fierce Bad Rabbit

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Strangely, belligerently yelling at one another seems to calm us all down.  At any given time, you can likely hear one member of this band affectionately yell at another member of this band to “Shut the fuck up!”.  We aren’t sure why … but it’s become a term of endearment.  Other than that, we do exactly what you would think guys in a Denver band would do – we snowboard, ski, climb mountains and stumble from bar to bar on Colfax.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

If you are talking about our ideal band tour – up and down the west coast is the dream, right?  If you are just talking about a random vacation, I don’t know, maybe a beach somewhere with very few people, perfect water and magic coconuts that arrive in your hand filled with well whiskey.  That sounds pretty ideal.  We don’t have a beach anywhere close to here – so we’d go all in on the beach thing.

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Well, the first thing would be to tell them to write as much as possible and to play live as much as possible.  Other than that – we’d tell them not to ignore the importance of marketing (or knowing the right people).  If you know the right people, marketing can probably be ignored.  We definitely do not know the right people, so smart and fun marketing of your band is important.  People have never had more options for entertainment and if they don’t know that your band exists – you’ll never build a fanbase.  We’ve probably done everything wrong from a marketing perspective, so really our advice would be proven things NOT to do.

 

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

Instant Empire

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

We’ve told you all this stuff about us – we’d really love to hear from your readers.  Send us a message on Facebook or email us at instantempireband@gmail.com.

 

Editor’s Note: From a great deal of musicianship, energy and some catchy songs Instant Empire have the whole package. We’re looking forward to listening to their latest album and watching as their success and fanbase grows.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Instant Empire, just follow the links below:

 

Website: www.instantempireband.com

Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/instantempire/sets/keep-up

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/instantempire

Bandcamp: instantempire.bandcamp.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/instantempire

Twitter: https://twitter.com/instantempire

 

Artist Interview – Reasons Be

Reasons Be are a Pop-Rock band from Los Angeles consisting of Scotty Dickert (Singer), R.E.L (Guitar). At Song Revelation we we’re really impressed with Reasons Be latest music video, Say Goodnight and were therefore delighted, despite their increasingly hectic schedule when they agreed to be interviewed by Song Revelation. Read the entire in-depth feature below where Scotty and R.E.L. discuss their musical backgrounds, what they’re currently working on and where their ideal holiday destination would be.

 

Reasons Be

Reasons Be

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Pop-Rock with funk, soul, and rock influences, presented in a driving, grooving live performance creating an extremely memorable experience. (That’s 20, sorry)

Q: What is your musical background?

Scotty: I started writing when I was about fourteen. It was a hobby that turned into an obsession. I didn’t start seriously performing until college. When I started getting positive feedback and actually placing some music on TV, I realized the dream could be a reality. Life falls into place.  There’s also an extensive musical history in my family.  My great uncle played piano with Lawrence Welk while another great uncle was admitted to a mental institution because all he would do is play piano; he wouldn’t eat or do anything else.  I’m proud to say I’m related to him… I mean that’s a love story!  My mom was a pageant girl and an incredible singer, performing in competitions like the Miss America pageant.  So music is in my blood.

R.E.L: I was a kid doing classical music on – ahem – recorder before switching over to guitar in high school. I never really got serious until my early twenties when I started studying hardcore, moved to Hollywood to attend Musicians Institute and began immersing myself in the industry. When I was in high school, I thought I would study computer engineering or some other hi-tech something. I still look back and am amazed that not that long ago, if someone had told me I would become a professional musician, I would probably laugh in their face.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

The last year’s been awesome.  Our band has grown so much and we’ve been fortunate to get some great exposure.  To name a few accomplishments, we were chosen as one of the Top 100 Unsigned Artists by Music Connection Magazine, we started touring at colleges on the West Coast, we became the face of an organization called A Case for the Cure (breast cancer awareness), and we’ve expanded our library of songs tremendously.  We also had a song placed on CMT and spent a lot of time in the studio working to bring more music to the world.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Scotty:  I’m inspired by Bob Marley, Dave Matthews, Marc Cohn, FUN, and countless other musicians.  Anyone who has the perseverance and heart to get their music to that stage is okay in my book; especially those who do it for the music and not for other reasons.  I’m inspired by street performers, too.  Music is inspiration and so are the artists who create it.

R.E.L:   I got my top three: Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz and John Mayer. While I draw inspiration and ideas from other artists and their particular songs, these three have really shaped who I am as a musician today- in all aspects – guitar playing, vocal control, lyrics, melodies, etc.  On the top of my wish list is to open up for any of these cats.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

R.E.L:  Well my top three influences happen to still be under the category of modern day so I’ll simply wait for the next question…

Scotty:  I look up to Dave Matthews because he’s just incredible and the longevity of his career is astounding.  He’s also a humble and cool dude.  I also look up to bands like FUN because they stuck with it for over a decade before they started seeing truly viable results… and that takes some serious will power.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Scotty:  I’d love to collaborate with Bruno Mars and Maroon 5.  I’d like to gig with either of those artists or a band like DMB, The Lumineers, or MUSE.

R.E.L: Well again I’ll go back to my big three.  It would be a dream come true to open for any of those acts, however in terms of a collaborative effort, I think I would revert to Jason Mraz the most.

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

Scotty:  I listen to 98.7 a lot, iHeartRadio, artists I grew up on and tons more.  I try to hit the pop stations a lot to stay current with my writing and to fuse aspects of different genres together to make a unique sound.  So right now some of my favorite songs are ‘Some Nights’ by FUN, Capital Cities’ ‘Safe and Sound,’ and the not-so-new ‘I Will Follow You into the Dark’ by Death Cab for Cutie.  That’s tough… I have so many favs!

R.E.L: Hmmm… Recently I have been in the mood for some funk! I turn Pandora on and let the grooves begin from more popular stuff like Michael Jackson to crazy instrumental vibes from Lettuce. But to throw a wrench in there, I just got back from my cousin’s wedding and I performed for him and his bride another recent favorite of mine – “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. (Scotty couldn’t go cause the wedding was across the globe.)

Scotty:  I wasn’t even invited…

 

Reasons Be

Reasons Be

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track? 

R.E.L:  Scotty is real quick with ideas. His mind is ever flowing with them. Most times he’ll pitch something to me and we might delve into it. Other times I come up with something and see where we take it. The really cool thing about it all is that from that one original idea others are triggered in our minds and it kinda sets off a snowball effect. We may start one place but then wind up going in a completely new direction – whatever sounds best!

Scotty:  Yeah that’s how we typically write.  I focus on lyrics and melody of the vocals and R.E.L creates the musical blueprints, which he’s crazy good at.  Then we bring our material into the studio and work with our producer.  We leave egos at the door and are open for ideas.  Sometimes some minor things will be changed, but Lee Miles always puts his brilliant touch on our tracks and makes them come alive from a production standpoint.

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Scotty:  Aw c’mon! They’re both important; but if I’m being forced to choose, I’d have to say melody.  Most people hear the melody before they ever decide to take the time to dissect the lyrics.  When a song gets stuck in your head after you first heard it, it’s the melody that keeps repeating, not the words.  The lyrics, though, give the song longevity and relatability.

R.E.L: Scotty I am impressed, I could’ve sworn you’d say lyrics… My work is now complete.

 

Q: Where are you based? 

Los Angeles, CA.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

 Scotty:  LA’s great.  It’s one of the few hot spots in the country for music and entertainment, so that’s the reason R.E.L and I moved there.  Aside from that, the weather is amazing and there’s always a spot on the beach waiting for us!  There’s a ton of fun stuff to do in California in general and a great place for music connections and opportunities.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

We spent the last few months in the studio with our producer, Lee Miles (Puddle of Mudd, Rise Against, Shinedown, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, etc).  We’re dropping a few new songs starting with the June 11th release of our new single, ‘Say Goodnight.’  In addition to that, we’re shooting a music video in early June for that track and we’re also getting ready to play a lot of shows in the LA and the West Coast area.  We’re prepping for a crazy awesome summer!

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

We’ve been fortunate to have had some really cool things happen for Reasons Be thus far.  Being named in the Top 100 Unsigned Artists by Music Connection Magazine is definitely a highlight, but on a personal note we’d have to say that the most rewarding thing is the response from fans.  Getting a random e-mail or viral message saying that our music helped them through a really tough time, or that a particular song moved them in an unexpected way, or requesting we play an all original set at their wedding is a constant reminder that our music is getting heard and we’re making a difference.  We have a serious respect and appreciation for our fans.

 

Reasons Be

Reasons Be

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?

Over the next year we’d like to secure more placements in the TV, film, and commercial industry.  We’d also like to expand our fan base with our upcoming music video and by playing a surplus of shows in areas of the country we haven’t been able to get to yet.  We’ve had interest from labels, but we haven’t found the right fit; and that is something we’re always interested in finding.  Yes, being heard and growing the popularity of Reasons Be is a huge goal, and expanding our team to make that happen is a top priority.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Scotty:  I hang out with friends, go to the beach, play golf, go out and socialize, go to shows, watch Green Bay Packer football (though that’s not relaxing), and take occasional trips home for a long weekend to get back to my roots.

R.E.L: I go all nerd and play silly games on my iPad.  Actually I am really into nature and outdoors and watching live sports, primarily NFL. Social drinking works great too.

 

 

Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?

R.E.L: I still have a goal to see all the wonders of the world – ancient, modern and natural. Next on my list would be Egypt and its pyramids or the Northern Lights way, way North.

Scotty:  Living in LA, the best vacation is going back home to see my family and friends; but I would like to go to Bethlehem and oh snap… Bora Bora or Dubai.  See, I’m not good at choosing one place or thing.

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Build a team around you.  Don’t feel like you need to do everything from writing to producing to marketing to booking to managing yourself.  Find people who believe in you so that you can focus on what you’re good at and they can assist in getting you to where you want to go in your career.  Also, stick with it; she ain’t gon’ happen over night.

 

Editor’s Note: Reasons Be have that popular rock sound down to a tee and are a great benchmark to how indie musicians can start to carve a career for themselves in the music industry. One of Song Revelation’s Ones to Watch.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Reasons Be just follow the links below:

 

Website:  www.ReasonsBe.com

Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/reasonsbe

Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/Reasonsbe

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/reasonsbe

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/Reasonsbe

Twitter:  @ReasonsBe

Artist Interview – MOTU

MOTU is a Blues guitarist from NYC and is our latest Sonicbids feature interview competition winner. Many indie artists ask us at Song Revelation how to increase their online presence, getting their name and music out there! Over the last 12 months MOTU’s Youtube channel has enjoyed over 3 million views. We were therefore really keen to learn about MOTU’s experiences, highlights and what he’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months. Read the full in-depth interview below.

 

MOTU

MOTU

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

MOTU is a 2 Time Billboard Award Winner Acoustic & Electric /Blues-Roots international recording artist and social activist performer.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

Studied violin in my youth and became hooked on all string instruments; mandolin, guitar, banjo, etc.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

The last 12 months have been eventful. I released my 13th official CD in April 2013, my indie CD sales exceeded 200,000 sales, and my YouTube Video of an original song off my Time Runs Faster 2011 album (Drowning In Whiskey) went viral with over a MILLION VIEWS driving my entire YouTube Live Performance Channel OVER 3 MILLION VIEWS!! Also, my 2012 Barrier Beach Blues Album won “Best Album of the Year for 2012″ by the LIBS (selection for competition awarded in Memphis as part of the IBC).

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Muddy Waters had a major influence on me growing up. It is probably the main reason I started playing Dobro Slide Guitar. I also had an opportunity to play live on stage as part of the back up band of the late Bo Diddley during two live shows. This got under my skin and gave me the bug to write, record, and perform.

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Not too many current day performers. I love Pat Metheny and dig the stuff the Allman Brothers are still doing.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

I do already collaborate with a lot of great artists like Frank Latorre (plays with Johnny Winter), Tommy Keys (has played with Watermelon Slim and others), etc.

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

Steely Dan Babylon Sisters.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

Depends on if it is live or in the studio. Live is influenced by the ‘moment’ with improvisation and the mood of the band whereas Studio is layered and with each layer can take on a different feel and direction as it grows into a final production.

 

MOTU

MOTU

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

I’ve always been a lyric guy influenced by literature and the social condition. Many of my songs are about current events, politics, or other issues of the day. For example, my song Death Comes To Louisiana (about the BP Oil Spill when it happened) ended up on major world news programs and web sites worldwide and was picked up by the Associated Press.

 

Q: Where are you based?

New York Metro / Long Island

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Although I was born in Manhattan I have lived in, or traveled to, almost every corner of the earth. Except for both the North & South poles of our Earth, I have been pretty much everywhere else. So my perspective on life is a Global one and not a local one.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Album Number 14

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

I don’t know. That’s a tough one. I received so much press, and have played all over the world with many great memories and events that will stick with me always.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

I have been on a kick of helping point out in my writing that although the recession is over that many families are still homeless or struggling while economists are only focusing on statistics relevant to bankers. It is a message I have been pushing for some time as our middle class no longer exists and it is a strong middle class that makes a nation strong.

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

Just finished up a tour in support of the 2013 CD so we are taking a break over the Summer to start working on album # 14

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

I go fishing.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

I spend any free time I have at the shore. The waves relax me and help me to meditate.

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Always be sincere and do what you enjoy. Be driven by creativity and do it because you love it and not for any material reasons. Listen and learn from constructive criticism but don’t let others manipulate your art. If you stay true to your soul your audience will feel the power of your spirit and sincerity.

 

MOTU Miles Away CD Front Cover

MOTU Miles Away CD Front Cover

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

The MOTU-Miles Away CD that I just released (album # 13) is a concept album; one story. It is my best work to date. It has already been called, “One of the most important albums of this decade.” So if you haven’t heard it you should check it out (on iTunes, Rhapsody, MOTURecords.COM, and other quality music stores world wide).

 

Editor’s Note: MOTU is an accomplished and technically gifted musician with a vibe that many try to emulate and few achieve. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s Ones to Watch.

 

If you’d like to check out more of Motu’s tracks or get in touch, just follow the links below:

Website: http://www.motu.net

YouTube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/user/MotuBlues/videos?view=0&flow=grid&sort=p

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MOTU/174927236435

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/motublues

Any Other Links: http://www.moturecords.com/

Artist Interview – Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids is a great live band consisting of Kjartan Ericsson (Guitar, Vocal, Keys), Kjell Arne Kjærgård (Lead Vocal), Endre Åsebø (Bass, Vocals), Roger Berland (Lap Steel. Guitar, Vocals), Kristian Lindseth (Keys, Guitar, Vocals) and Thomas Lønnheim  (Drums, Percussion). Although they’re all currently working incredibly hard getting their recently released album heard and have just returned from an international gig in Ireland, we were delighted when they took the time to complete an interview with Song Revelation. Read on where Father Of A Thousand Kids discuss how they initially became interested in music, their inspirations and what they’re hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.

 

Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

Kjartan: Rock n roll with a touch of nativism…

Kjell Arne:   Showgaze.  We are peeling our eyes into our audience to create maximum energy.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

Kjartan: Learned guitar by playing to tunes without knowing any theory or the names of the chords for that matter. Has always been jamming with people and created music without knowing too much about how it looks on paper…

Kjell Arne:  Played drums since I was 16, (The danny cannon show since2002) started singing Lead vocal when we formed this band in 2008.

I remember when as a kid I got embarrassed every time my father played me Dire Straits, money for nothing on the stereo, cause I liked it so much!

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

Kjartan: I have toured a lot and working with different creative projects. The Father of a thousand kid’s record is finally finished. That is absolutely a highlight.

Kjell Arne:  Been working hard to finish Our Record “Showgaze”, sending it to vinyl printing in Germany.

 

Father Of A Thousand Kids - Showgaze

Father Of A Thousand Kids – Showgaze

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Kjartan: The guys that I play with and other bands that I have toured with. Some people are constantly creating stuff, that really inspires me to be better at the things I do,

Kjell Arne:  Im listening a lot to music, and get inspired almost everyday by all that funky shit that’s floating around in this cosmic world(!)

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

Kjartan: I think Frank Ocean is an exciting modern artist.

Kjell Arne: Edward Sharpe and the magnetic zeroes is a fresh hippie breath of air in an music business filled to the brim with crappy synthetic artists. And of course QOTSA, Mark lanegan , Nick cave ,and the dark side.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Kjartan: I haven’t thought about it yet.

Kjell Arne: I have already sung a duet with Eroz Ramazotti in a pub in Firenze, so I cant think of anyone really. Well actually I would like to sing a duet with Christina Aguilera on “Beautiful”.

 

Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

Kjartan: The Oblivion soundtrack by M83 and Endre (bass) presented the new Steve Earl record for me, it sounds really good.

Kjell Arne: Fyia wata , E.Sharpe and the magnetic Zeroes.  Bombino , Imuhar   -Anna Calvi, Love wont be leaving- Nick cave and the bad seeds, Jubilee street.

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

Kjartan: There is so many ways. Sometimes alone in the studio with one microphone and sometimes with all the guys in the band and just a bottle with some dark liquor and some salty crisps.

Kjell Arne: Can’t disagree with Kjartan there. Especially the crisps.  I also like to switch on all my fx pedals to see what vibe I can get out of it, and then create music from there, constructing chaos.  It works as my meditation to bring out all evil through my moogerfoogers.

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Kjartan: Equal

Kjell Arne: Same here.  Melody comes first but if you aint got nothing to say it really gets to transparent.

 

Q: Where are you based?

Bergen, Norway.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

Kjartan: Small city with a good environment for making music. It rains a lot thou.

Kjell Arne: We have mountains all around so its easy to run off  into the mountains. It’s a really nice view when you can see..  Lovely people most of the time. Lots of musiscians playing in each other bands.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

Kjartan: Making a record with my other band Ribozyme and planning to tour and record new material with Father of a Thousand Kids.

Kjell Arne: Releasing our debut album in early june “Showgaze”. Recording new material in our studio to our next Father of a Thousand Kids record.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Kjartan: Doing support for And you will know us by the trail of dead and Opeth with my other band Ribozyme.

Maybe the last Lost weekend festival(Bergen) where Father of a thousand kids had the the last slot, and I got carried by the audience while singing cause I got 130 volts in my mouth when my bare feet touched the grass as my lips kissed the mic.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

Kjartan:  Just to continue to make music and to travel around the world and perform.

Kjell Arne: Trying to get our record out to as many as possible,generate gigs in Norway and in Europa.

 

Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids

Father Of A Thousand Kids

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Kjartan: You don’t wanna know..

Kjell Arne: Read,  use a flashlight at my cat, listen to good music, eat popcorn and watch people on the street through my brand new binoculars.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

Kjartan: On the road I think, with no plan. Travel ligh witht one good friend.

Kjell Arne: The transsiberian railroad. I LOVE trains.

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

Kjartan: Work hard and don’t look back.

Kjell Arne:  Believe in what you are doing. Don’t stop playing music cause you’ve passed 30 and never had a “breakthrough”  You don’t tend to get signed these days. It’s a DIY world and you can come a long way by being your own manager.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

Kjartan: Check out Father and a thousand kids…. And live life well……

Kjell Arne: And be nice to your parents. They love you.

 

Editor’s Note: Father Of A Thousand Kids have a great vibrant, dynamic sound that gives any live event and evening an incredible amount of energy. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s bands to watch over the coming months and years.

 

If you’d ike to learn more about or get in touch with Father Of A Thousand Kids just follow the links below:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/fatherofathousandkids

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Father-Of-a-Thousand-Kids/300804756603398

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/fatherofathousandkids

 

 

Artist Interview – Sébastien Parentin

Sébastien Parentin is a musician who is currently living in Strasbourg, France. At Song Revelation we look to give you an insight into the lives of young, upcoming, creative musicians around the world. Although Sébastien is a native French speaker we were delighted when he agreed to complete an in depth feature interview in English. Read on to find out, amongst other things, how Sébastien would describe his music, who he would like to collaborate with given a chance and what it’s like working in Strasbourg.

 

Sébastien Parentin

Sébastien Parentin

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

I am probably not the best placed to answer the question. One day, Sera Roadnight, manager at MT Press, who I had pleasure to work with, wrote: “Sébastien makes use of captivating swells and navigates through many layers of melody and harmony to communicate with his listeners.” That’s beautifully said. I can’t say whether people actually feel that or not, but that’s definitely what I try to convey.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

I entered a classical music school at the age of 7 at the instigation of my father. I had indeed any kind of ambition or motivation at this time. There, I learnt music theory for ten years and chose the piano as my study instrument. Retrospectively, I think I did well. The piano offers me now so many possibilities in terms of sound shaping, virtual instruments controlling, that I just can’t imagine myself playing another instrument!

Later, I broadened my horizons to jazz, and rock. During my college years (I actually studied for an engineering degree), I and a few other mad school friends created a rock band. This was actually my first songwriting experience, and it sounded like a revelation to me. Although I never believed in my songwriting abilities, I even so realized that writing songs was for me like a second nature, and best of all, that my songs were surprisingly inspiring other musicians. There was a kind of emulation in the band that helped me to believe in myself. This was truly rewarding. Then, enriched by this experience, I felt the need to write my own self-inspired songs, in a totally different way.

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

I’ve been working on promoting my first songs throughout France over the last 12 months. I’ve also already been placed in a few international songwriting contests. That’s an encouraging beginning, but I need more now!

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

My main influences come from British music. A few years ago, I could not stop listening to Coldplay’s first albums (“Parachutes” and “A Rush of Blood to the Head”) at the time when I wrote my first songs. I felt very close to their so characteristic dreamy and cathartic atmospheres with mostly piano based arrangements. Then, I realized more than ever that my instrument, the piano, was even sometimes more than others, a good mean to serve beautiful and touching alternative pop/rock melodies. Of course, other artists come in mind; I think about Muse, Keane, Radiohead, Sigur Rós… mainly for the same reasons.

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

There are so many people I would like to work with. The list would be too long. I think about a good producer, talented and inspired, who will respect my choices and my vision throughout the process of writing and mixing. I like to work alone and the freedom that comes with, but I’m also aware that I need people (producers, singers, songwriters) to stimulate and inspire me, bring new ideas and new relationships. A good question would perhaps be to ask, “Is there anyone who would like to collaborate with me?”

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

At the moment, the artist I’m probably listening to the most is “Florence and the

Machine. I really like “Ceremonials” album, which I discovered quite lately, about one month ago. Florence is a very talented singer. The arrangements are so well inspired, exotic and exhilarating. The structure of every song is brilliantly written. I also appreciate the big work on vocals (including background), which gives to most songs a feeling of power. I love it.

 

Sébastien Parentin

Sébastien Parentin

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

I usually do not already have a concept in mind. It is often the notes I play on my piano that help me to build the concept alongside the songwriting process. Then, comes the time to choose the rhythmic part that best matches the mood of the harmony. It is a very decisive step for me, since it conditions the arrangement and the specific character of my song. Sometimes, when playing with some beat pattern designers, I enjoy creating some quite interesting gimmicks that can lead to a true new interesting song, but it is not my usual way to proceed.

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

Melody definitely. I know that French people usually think the contrary; we attach a lot of importance to lyrics in my country to the detriment of music (I mean for French songs… for English ones people don’t care). I think that good music simply makes good songs. The best proof is that most of beautiful songs often became huge worldwide success, including in non-English speaking country. If lyrics were so important, this would not happen as often in many countries where people absolutely do not understand any word of what it is said. Music is what makes people move, feel, think, dream, remember good times… Of course, lyrics have a role, but I consider them more as the icing on the cake; if song is great, beautiful lyrics make it unforgettable.

 

Q: Where are you based?

I’m based in Strasbourg, in the very East of France. It’s a frontier city with Germany.

 

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

I really like Strasbourg! That’s a beautiful city, very lively and cosmopolitan. French people have the reputation of being cold, stressed, and not very welcoming. That is quite true… for Paris (I admit it), but Strasbourg is hopefully saved from the world famous French gloominess… I just regret that indie music scene is not so well developed here; city is maybe not big enough for that. Sometimes, I think that I should try my luck in Paris, but for the reason I evoked previously, I prefer to stay here!

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

I just released the song “Tears in the Sea”. For this song, I tried to create a more intimate ambiance than I used to do, with an acoustic and very light arrangement (piano/voice). The song was also the opportunity for my cousin Marianne to do her first steps as a singer, since she kindly accepted to lead me her lovely voice for background vocals. As of this moment, I’m working on my E.P. last song, still untitled. The sound should be, this time, very electronic and a kind of powerful pop/rock, Muse inspired maybe (all things being relative).

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

I’d like to finish my E.P this year.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

Watching horror dripping hemoglobin movies can work sometimes, but doing sport is more effective. I like jogging, rollerblading, cycling, everything that makes me discover (or re-discover) some green landscapes, and breath fresh air. This said, I think that probably the best way to feel lastingly relaxed is to be at peace with yourself.

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

There is beauty everywhere. I can’t say really what would be my favorite place. Maybe that my little preference even so goes to Ireland for its landscape and people, who I feel very close with, for many reasons.

 

Sébastien Parentin

Sébastien Parentin

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

I would say, “Believe in yourself”. Try to find musician buddies, who have the same interests as you. It’s always easier to crack the music market together.

Also, nowadays, it’s easy to achieve a quite professional sound with very powerful, easy to-use, and affordable software (DAW + some plugins), and a few mixing skills. Then, get a keyboard and a microphone, a basic USB sound card to plug them… and you’re ready! Finally all you need is some inspiration to make the difference.

 

 

Editor’s Note: Sébastien Parentin has a great degree of musicianship that he brings to the fore in each of his inventive songs. At Song Revelation we’re looking forward to how Sébastien’s sound and signature sound develops over the coming months.

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Sébastien Parentin just follow the links below:

Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/sebastienparentin

Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/sebastienparentin

Bandcamp: http://sebastienparentin.bandcamp.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sebastien-Parentin/167448216644263

Artist Interview – Lijie

Lijie is an upcoming singer-songwriter who is currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Despite Lijie’s increasingly hectic schedule we managed to get in touch and were really happy when she completed an interview with Song Revelation. Read the entire interview below where Lijie discusses her musical background, which current artists she is inspired by and what she does to relax when not working.

 

Lijie

Lijie

Lijie

Lijie

 

 

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

In a perfect world, Fiona Apple meets John Mayer.  A blend of soul, blues and pop.

 

Q: What is your musical background?

I did not grow up in an artistic family; neither of my parents play an instrument (which is so funny that they put me in piano lessons later on, maybe it’s an Asian thing). When we first moved to the U.S., I would watch The Sound of Music. I loved the story and the songs, and must have watched it at least a hundred times over the course of a summer, which also helped me learn English. It was the best babysitter. Around age eight, I started piano lessons. Dad would make me practice piano and I hated it. But then I started writing songs on piano, and also really bad poetry. It wasn’t until college that I began fumbling around with a guitar, because a roommate brought a guitar into our room and never played it. I wrote a song on that guitar using two or three strings but didn’t think much of it. Writing songs was just something I did as a hobby, and now it’s an obsession. I went to music school for a few semesters, and a guitar teacher there got me into electric guitar. It’s an intimidating instrument, because once you pick up an electric guitar, there is this expectation that you have to rock out or play fast. I hope this answer makes sense. Did I answer the question?

 

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?

The last 12 months have been really good. I feel a little braver, and more comfortable being uncomfortable. A year ago in May, I was living in Seattle with my family and playing gigs and spending most of my downtime with family.  It was a comfortable life. Then one of my best friends from music school got an internship in New York for the summer, and she invited me to visit her in NYC. During that visit, I knew I had to stay in New York but I was scared. The night before I was supposed to fly back to Seattle, I slept on a couch and cried, because I knew I wouldn’t see my family for a while. And now it’s almost a year later, and I’m living in Brooklyn and I love it. The last 12 months have been an adventure, to say the least.

 

Q: Who inspires you musically?

The list is long…I’ll just name a few. I love how Fiona Apple writes, lyrically and melodically.  Her songs have so much depth, and yet I never feel like she writes over people’s heads.  Ok, maybe sometimes she does, but her songs are still marvelous. She has angst to her, which I love. The Beatles – timeless songs and lots of harmonies.  The songs sound simple, and some are, but many songs are actually very intricate – they just did a great job making it SOUND simple.  Amazing.  John Mayer and Jimi Hendrix, they both rock so hard on guitar it makes me want to laugh and vomit at the same time because I can’t believe what they do is possible!  And lately I’ve been listening to more classical music, like the Debussy Pandora station and Mozart.  It makes me feel smart (key word here is feel).

 

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

In no particular order: Fiona Apple, Coldplay, John Mayer, Barcelona (from Seattle), Kelly Clarkson, Rachael Yamagata, and AJ Rafael :)

 

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

How much time do we have? Everyone listed above and so many others!  I can’t list all of the artists I would love to collaborate/gig with because what if I leave someone out?  I’ve always had a wish to score a film :)

 

Lijie

Lijie

Lijie

Lijie

 

 

Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?

1) Rush of Blood to the Head – live in Sydney

2) Moses – live in Sydney

3) The One I Love – live in Sydney

4) Beautiful Escape – AJ Rafael

5) Video Games – Lana Del Rey

6) Slipping Away – Barcelona

 

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

I’m assuming this refers to a recorded track. You would think I have a methodical process, but I don’t.  Not an insightful answer I’m afraid, but I usually write the song first and then build the instruments around the song.  The approach for each song varies.  For some songs, all you need is one instrument (like piano or guitar) and vocals.  For other songs, the production is an integral part of the overall sound, so you have to do quite a bit of experimenting and layering.

 

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

What’s more important, legs or arms?

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

I’m always writing. For any writer, even when you’re not writing, the ideas are incubating. And I’ve been rehearsing with a band, which I haven’t done in awhile. In a way it’s like dating. If you’re used to being single, you have to get used to being in a relationship. I think I drive the guys crazy sometimes, but they’re teaching me to trust the creative process when we’re rehearsing.

 

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

The first thing that comes to mind was the moment my Kickstarter project was funded. I think for any artist that’s done Kickstarter, the moment you realize your project has been funded is an amazing feeling.  And it’s not about the money.  Just knowing that there are people who believe in you and who are willing to help you make more art, more music, that is wild. I remember yelling up and down my parent’s house, you would’ve thought that I discovered a new planet or something.

 

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?

For this question, I will plead the fifth. Some things are sacred, and if I revealed some of my hopes and dreams, people would look at me like I am crazy (which I am. Who isn’t?).

 

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?  

My band and I will be performing every second Friday at the Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn (390 McGuiness). Come join us! It’s this cool artistic venue in Brooklyn with local art on the walls and an upstairs bar. There’s even a family of dogs, they’re beautiful and white (maybe a husky/wolf mix, I can’t remember exactly), and the Gallery just embodies exactly what I’ve always imagined a Brooklyn art gallery to be like.

 

Q: What do you do to relax?

The most indulgent thing…I love watching movies. And sometimes I play a pop-the-bubble game on my cellphone, it helps me zone out.  Now that the weather is finally getting better, I’m looking forward to riding my bike more often and actually seeing the city from above ground.  It’s funny when you walk by a landmark that you only know from below ground as a subway stop, and you think to yourself “Ooooh, so that’s what the museum looks like!”

 

Lijie

Lijie

Lijie

Lijie

 

 

Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?

My parents have never been to Europe, and Dad really enjoys wine.  So I would have to say Italy.  I would love to go to Italy with family and eat el dente pasta, drink Italian wine, and just enjoy the city.  Doesn’t that sound amazing?!

 

Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?

This is definitely the toughest question, because so many answers and inspirational quotes pop into mind (I have a thing for inspirational quotes). I’ve been given some great advice, and I’ve always loved this one: Do it for the love of it. If you can’t imagine life without making music, then make music until your very last breath. And make the best music you can squeeze out of yourself. When you write, pour yourself, your truth, into the song. People cannot help but be drawn to truth. Write about everything, write bad songs, write great songs. Listen to your favorite artists until they’re so overplayed you can’t listen anymore. If you do it for the love of it, then there’s no other motive but to make great music. And that’s what will ring true to others.

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

This is not related to music, but if you haven’t seen Shawshank Redemption, well, you simply must. It is a beautiful film and one of the best ways to spend two hours.

 

Editor’s Note: Lijie has a unique vocal that is both soulful and memorable. We’re looking forward to new material with anticipation at Song Revelation.  

 

If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Lijie just follow the links below:

 

Website: www.iamLijie.com

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lijie

Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/lijie

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/lijie

Bandcamp: http://lijie.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: facebook.com/iamLijie

Twitter: @iamLijie

Myspace: https://new.myspace.com/iamlijie

 

 

Any Other Links:

I think that’s enough links for now :)  * If you would like FREE SONGS,

send an email to music@iamLijie.com with TITLE: “Would love free tracks! *

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