ANNA P.S.

houseshow_jameskornphotographyWhen did you get the music bug ?  I don’t know if it started as a bug.  My parents made my siblings and I all take piano lessons and we had to play a band instrument as well.  I think I started piano when I was around 7 years old, and I started playing flute when I was in 5th grade.  I don’t remember not being able to read sheet music, that’s how ingrained it feels in my life.  I went through certain ages where I was mad at my parents for making me take lessons and making me practice, but I’m grateful that I’ve always had music to fall back on when I’ve had nothing else, or no one else.

When I was in college, I found myself pretty miserable when I didn’t have time for music, so I figured out how to make time for it.  I was probably better at it then than I am now.  I took a few classical guitar lessons when I was in college.  It’s something that I have always wanted to play, but always thought would be too challenging.  It still is challenging, but that’s probably good for me.

Who are your ‘core’ favorite artists ? Maybe it’s just because I feel like I need role models, or I’m trying to emulate them, but I really love women who are singer-songwriters.  Corrine Bailey Rae, Eva Cassidey, Lisa Hannigan, Abigail Washburn, Tracy Chapman.  I also love folk and bluegrass, which I never thought would happen, but when I started to run sound for folk bands, the musicianship blew me away and I was hooked.

These probably don’t influence me as far as writing goes, but I really like Ratatat, Beats Antique, Sufjan Stevens and Noah Gunderson, to name a few. I grew up in a pretty conservative home and we weren’t really allowed to listen to music (kind of ironic, I know).  I grew up listening to the Nutcracker and Psalty the Singing Songbook.  I’m still discovering music that my peers listened to years ago.

What was your first concert and what strikes you about it now?  I’m not sure if you want me to tell you about all of the band concerts my siblings played in.  I was pretty young and I fell asleep a lot, ha.  I often was more interested in playing then I was in listening.  The first show that I went to as an adult was to see the Flaming Lips in the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.  Marnie Stern opened for them, another great role model.  What comes to mind is that it was like magic, and I don’t know how else to describe it.  I think that’s what it is, when it comes down to it.  We go to musical shows because we want to feel the magic that is part of this world; we lose a hold of that sometimes when we’re distracted with living our everyday lives, at least I know that I do.

What was your first public performance and how did it go?  As an adult, my first public performance was as a senior in college.  You could put on an event called an Hour After.  It was a sit down affair; students would dress up, drink coffee and eat dessert.  It was a really amazing experience because I had never collaborated with that many people before, or led something like that.  I think I got together 10-12 people, some of who were good friends, and some of who I barely knew.  I didn’t know anything about putting together a show, orchestrating music, or asking people what to do musically.  It was a blast.  I think people enjoyed it, but I don’t really remember now.  I wish I kept better track of those things, because it feels important now.

Anna 2What perspective does being a pro sound man (woman) and working with so many acts live contribute to your feelings or /philosophy about ‘the stage’ as an artist in your own right?  The biggest impact it’s had on my mentality is to always be kind to your sound people/stage hands.  They are usually trying their hardest; the ones that aren’t won’t be working for long anyway.  I try to be kind to people anyway, but I have run into many musicians who are downright rude, and don’t treat you like a person.  If you treat me like that, I am not going to help you sound good.  That said, the majority of musicians I’ve had the chance to work with have been really gracious and appreciative of the work that happens behind the scenes for their show to go smoothly.  In short, kindness will always get you further than a bad attitude, or bossing people around to try and get their respect. Also, I would much rather be backstage than onstage.

Side note:  I refer to myself as the ‘sound guy’, because that’s who people are always asking for.  I was called ‘the sound lady’, affectionately, while I was running sound for the metal/hardcore scene in Goshen.

How do songs ‘happen’ for you as a songwriter?  The best songwriting has worked for me is when I’m doing it everyday.  I write a lot of crap songs, but I believe that quantity leads to quality.  Always, if inspiration doesn’t find me working, then I’m not going to get a good song out of it.  That said, I should practice what I preach.  The hardest part for me is finishing songs.  I get a lot of ideas and have many more finished songs than I do finished ones.  I used to journal a lot and I’m trying to get back into it.  A lot of the time, I jot down thoughts, or feelings that I’m struggling with, and sometimes they later develop into lives of their own with songs of their own.

What’s up with your band Shiny Shiny Black these days?  I played with Shiny Shiny Black for about three years.  We dubbed it ‘coffeehouse rock and roll’, mostly because we play electric guitars, but quiet enough to play in a coffee shop.  SSB has definitely been a big part of my musical experience.  It got me on the stage, even when I didn’t want to, got me playing my electric guitar, when I wasn’t sure that’s the guitar or kind of music I wanted to play, and gave me an amazing group of people to collaborate and create with.  I didn’t do any writing for SSB, that was all Nate Butler.  I refer to it as ‘Nate’s band’, because it is.  It’s his vision, his dream and his songs.  I feel as though there is little better than helping other actualize their dreams.

I toured with Nate and Amber, and their toddler to Nashville, St. Louis and back again.  They took a break to add another little when, and when they returned, it made sense for them and for me to not continue being part of SSB at this time.  It’s a little sad when I hear songs play on the radio, or that I don’t get to hang out with Nate and Amber every week, but it’s giving me the time to work on my own projects, both musical and visual art, as well as giving more time to developing as an audio engineer.

How is the approach different writing for sway them versus your own ‘voice’?  I’m honestly afraid to collaboratively write.  Maybe it’s just because I haven’t really tried it.  I’m a very private person, which I find slightly ironic.  It’s hard for me to get up on stage and share because it’s not an act for me, it’s just who I am.  Therefore, what I write is really personal.  It’s taken me awhile to become comfortable with sharing my music, but they few people I have shared it with have asked me to, so I’m trying to do that to a wider audience.  I think I’m afraid that someone will hear one of my songs sometime and realize it’s about them.

houseshow_posterpossibilitySo many artists pigeon-hole themselves by clinging to tightly to an indie image / vibe to appear sufficiently counter-culture enough to be have credibility with hipsters but are you comfortable with being a huge, national pop star?  If there was an image I wanted to uphold, it would be authenticity.  For me, playing music isn’t really about how many people come out to hear me play, where I get the opportunity to play, or who I’m getting to play with.  The reason that I started writing music is because I felt alone, and unseen.  That’s not really something I struggle with right now, but there are a lot of very human things I struggle with constantly.  What I want when people listen to my music and hear me play, is I want them to feel that they are seen, that they are not alone in their struggles, that there is hope in this often dark world.  Maybe that sounds idealistic, but I’m pretty sure that’s the point of art.  I never thought about being a huge, national, pop star because I think that people don’t want that much honesty in popular music, in a popular stage presence.  I want to be who I am on stage and I want to invite everyone who listens to be who they are, fully, and accept that.

You are offered one wish from a legit Genie with actual powers but it must involve your music career: You consider carefully and offer her the following humble request:  I want my music to have meaning.  I want it to speak to people.  I want it to invite people to dig a little deeper, to have hope, to pursue dreams.   ~ Anna P.S

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ALYSHA BRILLA

 

IMG_7620 (1)What is your favorite personal single recording (or song) and what about it makes you happiest?  My favourite single is “Womyn”. I love it because it is an empowering song for anyone, especially women; musically, it draws from some 70’s African Jazz, which I am crazy about.

Do you still believe in the concept of an album over the single?  I believe in albums, yeah. The reason being that they are pretty acurate portraits of an artist and sort of logs their growth chronologically. I love making records. I don’t care what the internet says.

Do you have a philosophy when it comes to recording?  My philosophy when it comes to recording is; to capture a good vibe. A good vibe from myself, from the musicians and the engineer. I am super aware of the energy of spaces and so I have to feel the studio vibe is right; you can have a studio with $100,000,000 in gear and unless the energy is right, you won’t get a good recording.  

How does the songwriting process work for you?  Are there any triggers in your life that cause you to sit down and write something, or does it just happen?  (The) Songwriting process for me is all about inspiration. You couldn’t pay me to sit down and write a song under pressure. Literally- my old label tried to do that with me in LA and it doesn’t work. I am so inspired by this amazing and flawed world. I tend to get song ideas when a) I am emotional b) I am walking/biking/on a bus c) I am travelling.        Right now I am in India and am sooo inspired. Writing everyday!

0What was the first real concert you ever attended and what impression did it have on you?The first real concert I attended was…Christina Aguilera/Justin Timberlake. Yeah, I know. Stripped  was such a good album for 11 year old me. So empowering thematically.

What is your approach to playing live and what is your mindset pre-show?  My approach to live performance is pretty dedicated. I take it seriously; in that…I am so serious about letting go and establishing a sense of release for myself and the audience. I am very playful and jokey on stage. I think that helps. My mind set pre-show is excitement and a bit of healthy nervousness. Mostly excitement.

If you could tour with any artist next year who would it be and why?  If I could tour with any artist next year it would be…Sam Smith. I think we would blend well. I am in love with him and his music.

What are your favorite 3 albums of all-time?  My three favourite albums of all time are:

  1. Back to Black– Amy Winehouse
  2. Blue– Joni Mitchell
  3. Everything Bob Marley has ever released

Earth is to be destroyed by an asteroid — you been instructed to put one song (any song ever recorded by anyone) in a time capsule to represent mother earth, what might it be?   The song I’d put in the time capsule as a gift to our cosmic neighbors would be… “Svefn-G-Englar” by Sigur Ros

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SARAH FIMM

1.0 – What’s the best thing about BARN SESSIONS

Perhaps that it’s real, it’s live, and you can see a mouse suddenly appear behind John’s lovely head in the “Hiding”‘ video.  That’s just my personal opinion.

2.0 – Did you have a sound in mind when you starting recording it or did it evolve?

It was more of a feeling I wanted people to remember.  The entire landscape of music has gone through drastic changes.  I wanted to do a live experiment with talented people to see how the variables would change the result.  It evolved as things do, once my team of amazing artist friends helped it become what it is.  The sum of their talent and personality, combined with other elements, created the sound.

3.0 – Do you consider branding & image as part of the artistic process? 

When I found a wooden hard drive to go with the Barn Sessions package I was pretty pleased.  There is an overall aesthetic that is particular to each project.  I liked the wood because what people receive is the same material that shaped the acoustic environment where the music was created.   I am a creature who tries to be consistent.

4.0 – When did you start writing songs (originally) and what was your first?

This is a good question.  I would have to say if I really go back in time, I was writing in my head constantly, and piano melodies near my mother’s lap at 3 or 4 years old.  I remember listening to her voice when she would talk to people.  I remember thinking that her kindness created music in people.  I would play things that fit the scene of the room.  I would play to the moods of the people inhabiting the room.  I became aware of the power of simple observation, and began to understand how music was a doorway to change people’s emotional states.

5.0 – Do you have a philosophy when it comes to writing? 

Stop thinking so much. :)

6.0 – And what about the stage and playing live?

There’s nothing like it at its best and its worst.

7.0 – How did you catch the folk bug originally? 

I didn’t know I had it!  I came from rock. (Older brother-you know:)

8.0 – Did you have to work at it or does it come naturally, or both?

-I work all the time at all aspects of everything I do. My friends tell me I really need to get out quite often luckily.  Playing music, and trying to survive as a musician, are two different things.  They both take extraordinary amounts of discipline and work.

9.0 – What’s your favorite record of all-time? 

That’s the hardest question.  If I had to choose, Brian Eno and Harold Budd. It brings me to a state of absolute serenity.

10.0 – What was the first concert you attended and how did it impact your life? 

I think the first time I was truly impacted was either Tool, NIN, or Tori Amos.  It was all within the same week.  It really changed up the playing field.

NATALIE GELMAN

1.0 – Are you happy with how the new EP, Streetlamp Musician, has turned out?

I am! The songs are great to start with and the production and players performing on it are top notch. It has a diverse range of songs and I think I’ll be performing all of them for a long, long time.

2.0 – What are your plans if any for the release?

I’m taking it slow to make sure I’m doing everything right. It will be a soft release  and I’m going to start touring it towards the end of this year and more next year. I am hoping my friends and fans love it enough to share with their circles of friends so it finds a home in a lot of peoples music collection.

 3.0 – Which song on it do you have the strongest emotional relationship with, or are they all dear?

It changes over time. They all have been close to me at one point or another. The most emotional song for me is “One More Thing” but the one I have strong love and respect for is “Most The While”.

 4.0 – Do you have a formula when it comes to writing or is it more free-form? 

A melody and some lyrics will come to me at first and then its my job to uncover what the song is about and focus it moving forward. I also try not to give up on the song or judge it prematurely. I don’t have a formula exactly but I do try to capture everything I think is interesting and inspiring in notebooks and in files on my iPhone. I’ll refer back to those often when I’m looking to write and when I’m looking for a spin on a song I’m already writing. I work really hard on my lyrics to try to be as clear as I can in saying exactly what I mean to and honoring the message of the song. That process is tedious and involves a lot of revision most of the time.

 5.0 – What were the songs that you recall impacting you as a kid? 

I don’t have too many songs that impacted me as a kid because I grew up studying classical violin and piano and my mom played classical music at home. I did eventually get a Lisa Minnelli CD and Madonnas Like a Virgin album and listen to those repeatedly. I also started listening to the hit radio station in NYC and liked musical theater like Gilbert and Sullivan and Disney songs that I was studying musically when I started singing.

 6.0 – What was the first song you learned to sing and play on guitar at the same time, by who?

I was already writing songs when I decided to learn Jewel’s “You Were Meant For Me”. I had only been playing for a few months at that time and I learned the plucking, the harmonics and everything. I still cover that song at shows.

 7.0 – Is there an influencing artist that you consider your ultimate muse?

For a long time early Jewel was my primary muse. I’m now really inspired by Patty Griffin. I think she writes stunningly beautiful songs and stories and sings them amazingly. She’s an underappreciated gift.

 8.0 – Why led to your leaving NYC for California? 

I left for a variety of reasons, a lot of them too personal to mention in this interview but definitely available in the songs on my record. NYC, and the people surrounding me there kind-of broke my heart. I also had an opportunity to record out here with a great team and it just made sense to get out to Los Angeles and dive into it. I came out thinking I might be back by the Fall but the record took longer then expected and then one thing lead to another and now I live here and love it. I still get back to NYC a lot and miss it so much sometimes. It will always be my home and I love the energy of the city. I’m so proud to have grown up there.

 9.0 – You recently performed in the subway in New York; has that experience changed at all from when you started out busking in the West Village or is that what Streetlamp Musician is all about anyway? 

I didn’t start busking in the West Village. I actually started in Times Square and tried to avoid ever playing too close to home. I didn’t really want to run into people I knew though I always do when I play – usually quite a few folks actually.

Anyways, it has changed because it’s become more crowded. And, as I get older and as the economy has changed people are less likely to tip artists down there now. I still think it’s the best way to hone your chops and start to build your fan base as a young artist. I’m lucky to have made it into the MUNY program that’s run by a part of the MTA who manages the subways. They give you permits for bet spots and times as well as the right to amplify your music. It’s a great community to be a part of and it feels more like a legitimate thing that we’re doing together to make the subways more interesting and special. The buskers and street artists are so vital to the city and it’s spirit.

Streetlamp Musician is about the West Village changing in the past few years as much as it’s about me wishing more people would listen to me when I’m laying my heart out on the line. The city has to change but I wish the West Village was more of the neighborhood I grew up in with artists and bohemians. It’s way too expensive for interesting characters to live there anymore and all the mom and pop shops that had been there for generations were pushed out because rent got too high. My godmother blames the Village getting too popular on Sex and the City and I think she’s right.

10.0 – What’s the worst gig situation you have ever found yourself in? 

The worse ever was at a place called The Guitar Bar in Savannah, GA. I set up a show there for their opening night while on my first tour. Everything sounded good from the owner in follow up and checking in a week before the show right up until I got to the venue the night of the show and the owner told me that they weren’t going to be opening that night. My drummer was from Savannah and we were expecting a lot of people so we rescheduled for the next night and now were co-billing the show. We called 30 people to tell them about the switch and ended up playing a house concert that night instead.

The next day we went to the venue and they were complaining that they still didn’t have their liquor license and hustling to finish painting, put things away etc. I saw painters tape all over the floor moldings that needed to be removed so I started helping with that and got to the moldings in the bathroom when I realized they had no toilet paper. I asked the owner if they did and he was overwhelmed and said no so I offered to get some thinking he would pay me back. I went across the street (aka highway) in the dark to get some at a deli and loaded it into the bathroom.

The place opened that night and a ton of our friends came out. The show was amazing right up until I went to go take care of being paid before leaving. We had worked out a 50/50 split of the door deal and I had brought out 30 people at $10 a person. So the band should have made $150.

He handed me maybe $20 or $40 and said he was sorry, they didn’t have their liquor license blah, blah, blah. I quickly found out that he needed all the money from the people I brought in to pay the other act who was a friend of his who has flown in from CA when he paid the other guy $250 right in front of me. The other act hadn’t brought out anyone. I told him that wasn’t okay, we had still driven for hours to be there, had helped them out so much and brought in a lot of people and had a fair contract, yes, the payment details were in writing and it was signed. After a ton of arguing I ended up just leaving and just was so mad that he was making this my issue and just left.

I just looked them up and that place is finally closed. I can’t believe they actually stayed open for 4 years or so. What a nightmare.

VON CLOEDT

1.0 – What 3 albums would you say had the biggest impact on you as a kid – are they still essential to you?

Wow, I had to think really hard on this one.

I’m not so sure that I can narrow it down to 3 albums, as much as 3 songs. When I was a kid, around 9 or 10, listening to the radio wherever I was, I wasn’t so much interested in what album these songs were on, but rather what the SONG was, and maybe who sang it. I had an uncle who was in country music cover bands for a long time in my life, and he could do a killer Johnny Cash voice. But, at the time of being so young, and not caring about who Johnny Cash was, the lyrics of “Folsom Prison Blues” can stand out if you’re paying attention to them, and I remember thinking “dang, that’s messed up”. And only thinking back on that do I realize that that was when I started to actually care about music and see how cool and different it can be, because… well… they weren’t going to be playing that song on “The Muppet Show” anytime soon.

The second would be the first time I heard Nirvana, which was their MTV Unplugged session. They did this song called “The Man Who Sold The World” by this guy I didn’t know about named David Bowie. That was a two-for-one. Just like every kid in the mid 90’s wanting to be a musician, Kurt was that motivation, and it made me want to find out who the hell this David Bowie was. So, I started looking into more of the historical aspect of music/musicians.

And the third one, the one band that made me hunt for meaning BEHIND the lyrics is Pink Floyd. Besides the Johnny Cash tune and the fact that I heard a lot of country tunes from my Uncle’s cover band, The Silverwings Band, Americana wasn’t really apart of my early musical development, it was classic rock.

Are they still essential to me today? Absolutely, you can’t deny the classics.

2.0 – How does being a musician yourself impact your opinion on a disc received for consideration if at all?

I think the fact that I’m a musicians affects a lot of how I listen to an album. I listen for musicianship, lyrical quality, and mixing. If an artist/band is willing to record and send out this album, they better make sure that it’s the best that it can be, not just because they want to have something out there for someone to listen to. I don’t want to hear your basement tapes with the neighbors dog barking in the background.

3.0 – You recently celebrated a milestone with your 100th AmericanaRockMix.com podcast, what inspired you to start doing them in the first place and have you been surprised by its acceptance and growth online?

Being from St. Louis, I grew listening to mainstream radio and not knowing anything besides what the radio tells me to listen to. Then as I got older, I started finding other bands that I really liked, but weren’t getting any radio play. I come from the land of Wilco and Son Volt. They sell out shows in St. Louis, but do they get played on the radio on  a regular basis? No, because they don’t fit the popular radio format. And so, I started to question “if these bands are so good, why have I never heard them anywhere besides my friends’ CD players”. So I started doing this tiny little, extremely unprofessional, make-shift, blah blah blah, show to put on the internet in hopes that someone, somewhere would find it, and love these bands as much as I do. Without trying to sound like a martyr for the music, I really did start it for the love of the music.

The acceptance and growth aspect blow me away. I think I’m a little detached from the extent of how far around the world this show goes. I get e-mails from all around the world and it never ceases to amaze me. Is the show popular? I don’t know. I know that bands like the show, but do the individual music listeners? Once again, I don’t know. And I’m ok with that. I know how many downloads and listens each show gets per month, and it’s exciting to see the numbers go up each month. But then again, they’re just numbers. And I’m not completely sure how relevant that should be to me. Not to say that I don’t appreciate those who listen to the show, because I absolutely do. If it wasn’t for e-mails and facebook messages that I get from people telling me about how they have a new favorite band or just bought a new album online because of two songs that I played on the show, I probably would have gotten bored a long time ago. It just feels good to get some verification that I’m not doing this for no reason.

4.0 – Genre tags like ‘Americana’ can help an artist reach their audience but can also have a negative effect in the sense that they may limit an artists appeal, is the term Americana Rock intended to expand that scope? 

The tag “Americana” can really detract the casual listener from checking out a new band. There are stereotypes and stigmas that go along with the term which have gained attention due to the “redneck” movement in country music. But because of those limitations that can be applied to “Americana”, I needed to bypass that with something that people can relate to more, such as the hugely ambiguous term of “rock”. Plus it brings a format to the show. I don’t want to do a show of ballads, that’s going to put people to sleep. A lot of people listen to the show at work, or in the car, or while exercising. They need something that will catch their attention. But, yes it’s meant to expand the scope of the show without sounding overbearing. If I really wanted to expand the scope of the show, I could have named it The Americana Bluegrass Folk Alt. Country Cowpunk Rockabilly Extravaganza Rock Mix.

5.0 – One of the attractions to the home-spun podcast format must be being able to promote the artists you dig with no constraints, would you ever relinquish that to an extent for a larger audience on radio or Sirius? 

The fact that it’s a home-spun podcast with no limitations for the artists or myself is a strong fixture in the format of the show. If I gave up any of that for any reason, it would no longer be “The Americana Rock Mix”. It would just be another generic radio show. Not to say that I wouldn’t gladly do a SiriusXM or terrestrial radio show. But it wouldn’t be The Americana Rock Mix as it stands now. Maybe a variation of that.

6.0 – As with any media outlet, quality control is your calling card; what is your criteria for featuring an artist on ARM?

I really try to emphasize to people the “ROCK” aspect of the show. If it’s not up tempo or there’s no driving force in the song, it doesn’t stand a strong chance to making it onto the show. But not every song can be a rocker. It’s also got to be a song that will get caught in people’s heads. People like songs that have a catchy hooks. And, like I mentioned earlier, good audio quality is a must.

7.0 – You recently relocated to the Gulf Coast of Florida, were you burned out on the St. Louis scene and what have you learned about the Fla. scene so far?

I grew up on the St. Louis music scene. And it was tough. There’s not a whole lot of support from people up there. And then when I moved down here to Florida, I realized how crappy the scene up in St. Louis really was. I just thought it was tough up there, I didn’t know it just flat-out sucked. The scene down here in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area is so supportive of their bands. And the support works both ways. The bands love to help out those who are will to help them out as well. There are organizations down here to help out the bands with shows and tours. I just wish there was someone, with enough heart, back in St. Louis to help them with that. They don’t know what their missing.

8.0 – Is there such a thing as ‘Midwesticana’?

I know that Uncle Tupelo kind of started the whole Alt. Country music scene back int the 90’s. And there have been a few bands to spawn from that, like The Bottle Rockets, Son Volt, etc. But if there is such a thing as “Midwesticana” then it starts and stops there with those bands.

9.0 – Any independent 2011 releases that you feel should be ‘must listens’ for major labels?

I don’t think that the major label is the way to go anymore. There are a few artists that have released some amazing records this year. And I wish them huge success, but I don’t know if I wish the for them to get affiliated with a major label. The major labels aren’t making the money anymore. It’s the DIY artists/bands. The ones that are really trying to get out there to get noticed and doing their own merchandizing are the ones who are going to be more successful, and won’t be trapped by the contracts of limitations of major labels. It used to be that the people within the major label organizations had the connections to people with more connections. But in the age of the internet, everyone knows everyone. The major label is an overrated middle man now.

10.0 – Are you at all surprised by the extent to which Americana music/artists are are featured in advertising today as a sort of ‘seal of brand sincerity’ and yet remains ignored by mainstream radio?

Yeah, I am surprised. And it makes me happy. It just shows that some advertisers out there have their finger on the pulse of what is good in music nowadays. Hopefully it’s not just some trend that will fade. We’ll just have to wait and see…

SUEDE STOUT

1.0  –  What records were you listening to in 8th grade? Lynyrd Skynyrd, Styx, Bad Co..

2.0 – Was there an artist you wanted to be as a kid? a hero figure? Peter Criss, Billy Powell.

3.0 – When did you realize you could do music for a living?  1985.

4.0 – Is Darwin Records looking for new artists? Always.

5.0 – Is the Chicago music scene a focus for you? Absolutely.

6.0 – Turnstyles; Live In The Studio is a cool concept, were you happy with how it turned out?  Very, have gone through 4 pressings!!!  yay!

7.0 – Are you working on any new material right now?  Finishing new Turnstyles CD called Youthful Wisdom features nearly every great Chicago musician I’ve known –Matt Walker, Scott Bennett, Steve Gerlach, Tom Gerlach, Warren Beck, Chris Tomek, Dan Ponosky, John Schulte, Paul Mertens, Todd Sucherman, Clark Sommers and about 20 more! As the title suggests, maybe in some ways we’re smarter when we’re young and our priorities are more than money and world domination.

8.0 – What advice would you give to a young artist entering the studio for the first time?  Work out everything you want to do beforehand, practice with a metronome, but be flexible to the creative nature of recording so you can morph and grow with the process.

9.0 – How long do you think it will be before everything we do is broadcast 24/7 as standard artist branding?  Less than 10 years, maybe 5?

10.0 – You bump into Paul McCartney at The Lantern and he’s up for a late night jam, what Beatles song do you guys play together? “Blackbird”, “One After 909”, “Silly Love Songs” (but I get to play Bass  :-) )