Life As A Rock Star with Clint Hell
Interviews with Jen IMISound Klemen Globočnik Rock ‘n’ Roll wordist
22nd Century Amanda Nagurney Sexstone Moonshine Crows Matt Stevens
Independent and Unsigned music & the Creative Arts
Am vullaore dit Octueros Somojo Magazine Welcome to the sixth issue of Somojo Magazine. It’s been a while since the last issue and I’ll try and keep them more regular in future, but it’s becoming a full-time job organising everything for Somojo Magazine and I don’t have full-time hours to put into it at the moment. This issue is mostly music, but I have loads of great interviews and content lined up for the future. We’ve added http://somojo.shoutem.com to the Somojo web site, come and say hello. We’d love to know what you think about what we’re doing and hear your ideas and suggestions for the future.
Contents issue 6 • Amie Penwell
page - 9
• 22nd Century
page - 16
• Amanda Nagurney
page - 24
• Matt Stevens
page - 30
• Interviews with Jen - Sexstone
page - 34
• Life As A Rock Star
• London to Paris
page - 39
• Moonshine Crows
page - 40
page - 45
• Klemen Globočnik - Heretic
page - 46
Until the next time. Take care Kevin
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org ‘Interviews with Jen’ email@example.com web site - www.somojomagazine.com
Websites for this edition http://www.amiepenwell.net http://www.amandanagurney,com http:// www.22ndcenturyofficial.com http://www.klemenglobochnik.com http://www.mattstevensguitar.com http://www.moonshinecrows.com Photography Credits Clint Hell by Nick Cee
All content copyright © Somojo Magazine 2010 and the respective authors. No part of this publication can be used or reproduced in any format without the written consent of the copyright owners. If you are a solo artist, in a band, a photographer, film maker, writer or artist and would like to be interviewed or have your work featured in the magazine, we would love to hear from you.
Amie Penwell by Rob Hosmer Jr, Cover shot by Eliot Hotzman Amanda Nagurney by Jaime Gard & Dave Miller
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Mass Assembly’s self-titled EP (February 27, 2010) is a five song indie/garage/pop punk rockin’ roll call to wake up and accept reality. Each song is a testament to life laid out on the most accessible, tantalizing ear candy tray. Countless influences weave in and out of each craftily written song (i.e. Stones, Bowie, Voidoids, Nirvana and everything in between, before and after, etc…). However, Mass Assembly sounds like no other band before. The very first verse to opening track “Tranquilizer” sells the show: “I know you’ve heard this shit before/but I don’t give a shit no more/I’m tired of keeping it locked up inside me!” Well, right now Mass Assembly is definitely meant to be! “People turn me on”, about a dangerous, reclusive stalker you might unknowingly pass on the street while your iPod shuffles you along, is, simply put, a modern day Rock‘n’Roll anthem. To the maniacally fulfilling hopelessness of Junkie Luv and the beautifully wanting despair of “Down and Away” ending with the epic psychological transformation in “Reincarnation”, the adventure delivers. Sounds dark? Try the complete opposite. A hyper-charged yet spacious and colourful sound should secure Mass Assembly a special place in many listeners’ hearts. Let this be an introduction to a musical world of life, hope and salvation. Enjoy…
Help Create Amie Penwell’s New CD I invite you to become a part of music history. Become a patron of the Arts. Help an artist get heard. Help me make my new CD. For more info go to http://www.amiepenwell.net A few incentives... $10.00- $25.00 gets you a big thank you, and the satisfaction that you have been of great service to someone who needs your help. $30.00-$50.00 get’s you a free signed copy of Amie’s critically acclaimed 2008 release “King In a Temple”. $75.00-$100.00 get’s you a pre-released (before the masses) signed copy of the new CD. $500.00-$1000.00 gerts you an Executive Production credit on the CD! $3000.00-$5000.00 gets Amie to your house for your very own private house concert !!!! Thank you. Amie P. 4 | Somojo Magazine Issue 6
TERRY EMM’s debut album ‘WHITE BUTTERFLIES’ (LONGMANCD051) produced by Richard Durrant (Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Don Partridge), received rave reviews when it was released in February this year: ‘Stunning...Faultless...this is the best singer-songwriter debut I have heard in a long while...5/5’-MAVERICK MOJO 4/5- ‘This is no routine singer-songwriter offering, but something totally engaging in melody and lyric’... Airplay includes: Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music. Performing with a bass player Kevin-Reginald Cooke (Terrapin Train-station, Hidden Image) on most shows on this tour. Other special guests to be confirmed. Recent admirers include Robert Kirby, Chesney Hawkes, Stephen J Kalinich and Eliza Carthy. http://www.terryemm.co.uk The much acclaimed: JINDER has released albums on SONY / BMG, One Little Indian (BJORK, SNEAKER PIMPS) and boutique label FOLKWIT RECORDS. He has achieved airplay on many National and Regional stations including BBC RADIO 2. His touring has brought him into contact with the likes of BRIAN WILSON, Keane, JACKIE LEVEN, Townes Van Zandt and many more. His latest album ‘9 Cents from Benelux’ on his own label is currently receiving great reviews from the press....: **** MAVERICK, *** ROCK ‘N’ REEL, ‘Poignant agony and ecstasy’- ACOUSTIC. http://www.myspace.com/jinder ALEX HALL- is a young upcoming singer-songwriter from Bournemouth, who has currently been supporting the likes of: Colvin Quarmby and folk legend- Christine Collister. ‘A Fully Formed Artist’- BBC Southern Counties. http://www.myspace.com/alexhallmusic ***DATES TO FOLLOW SHORTLY, MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED*** - 16TH MARCH- THE BEDFORD, BALHAM- LONDON - 29TH MARCH- THE NAGS HEAD, HIGH WYCOMBE - 01ST APRIL- LIVE ON SUE MARCHANT- BBC CAMBRIDGESHIRE 95.7FM - 03RD APRIL- THE FROG AND FIDDLE- CHELTENHAM - 08TH APRIL- THE FOLK CLUB- BOURNEMOUTH - 10TH APRIL- THE CARDIFF ARMS, HIRWAUN- WALES - 14TH APRIL- LATEST MUSIC BAR- BRIGHTON - 15TH APRIL- ANNIE’S BAR, KENTISH TOWN- LONDON - 16TH APRIL- THE STABLES, WAVENDON- MILTON KEYNES - 20TH APRIL- THE ROADHOUSE, MANCHESTER - 21ST APRIL- THE WARDROBE, LEEDS- TBC - 22ND APRIL- THE BOOTLEGGERS, KENDAL - 27TH APRIL- THE BRIDGE INN- NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE - 28TH APRIL- THE GRAPEVINE, BEDFORDS- NORWICH - 01ST MAY- KONTRA ROOTS CLUB, NORTHAMPTON ***( SCOTLAND, ISPWICH, NOTTINGHAM, AND MORE HOPEFULLY TBC)***
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Competition time on Somojo
Starting from May 1st, there will be an ongoing monthly competition over on www.somojo.net Each month we will be giving away cds, t-shirts or whatever else we have in the goody bag, to the member who has made the most ‘comments’. Only registered members are eligible, but it’s free to join and only takes a few minutes. Good luck and happy commenting!
Somojo Magazine is looking for regular contributors.
Do you have an interest in any of the creative arts? Do you make music, take photographs, make films or videos and would like to share you’re experiences, tips and techniques with our readers? If you think our readers would be interested in your experiences and opinions, we would love to hear from you. In the first instance please contact - firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE ALBUM DOWNLOADS FROM ALICE SWEET ALICE!
Yes, that’s right, free full album downloads and fully legal! Just pop along to www.alicesweetalice.org and you can get both of the excellent albums from Alice Sweet Alice, ‘First Light’ and ‘Moloko & Ultraviolence’ for free!
Owing to popular demand the ‘Kats Kradle’ rock channel will soon be launched on www.somojo.net. ‘Kats Kradle’ which currently has a daily show on Somojo and features music that includes rock, metal, industrial, gothic and punk will be live 24/7 non-stop advertisement free music to rock your world. Artists are currently being added to the play lists and all artists have the opportunity to send in a short recorded message that will be played amongst the tracks, enabling them to promote their music, gigs and websites for free. For more details - http://katskradle.somojo.net Got any news? Do you have a new album to promote, new music video, new independent film being released, new book about to be published? Want to get your news in front of the global audience that reads Somojo Magazine? Send us your press releases and news bulletins and we’ll put them in Somojo Magazine or on the front page of our website. Send info to - email@example.com 6 | Somojo Magazine Issue 6
Amie Penwell www.amiepenwell.net I’m great. It’s finally calmed down after the Holiday insanity. Being in public has been like entering a Roller Derby. How are you doing ? Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. I appreciate the opportunity. Did you always want to be in a musician/songwriter? Obsession with music has always been with me, but I had no discipline to learn an instrument until I was in my twenties. I remember first wanting to be a Solid Gold Dancer, or Coco on Fame, until I was introduced to Prince and the Revolution and decided I wanted to be like Wendy and Lisa. I plastered my hair to one side, where it stayed like that for the better part of my 4th grade year. I still want to be like them. Do you perform as a solo artist or with a band? Most of my time on stage has been solo, though I prefer to be accompanied by my musical partner Ben Leinbach. He plays percussion, guitar, sings some back up. Having a band can be really expensive. We independents have to stretch what we have to work with. I have learned to do a lot with, piano, voice, and percussion. Do you work with the same musicians live as you do when recording? It’s usually Ben, though I have had Margot Holtzman (viola), my husband Matthew on bass on a few occasions. He’ll be joining me for a some of the recording process this time around, as will Andy Korn, who was Ronnie Specktor’s drummer for a long time. I’m not sure who else is coming on board. I’ll see as I go.
You’ve just started working on a new album, when do you expect that to be finished? Ben and I began a few weeks ago. If I had all the cash to record, get new photos, print up the cd’s, re-do my website and promote it, I would do it all over the next few months and release it in the spring. The reality is I am funding it as I go. The songs are there, i’ll be working with Zoltron for the look of the CD, and I know which photographer I want. I’m just acting as if I have all the money. I show up a day at a time and do the work that is in front of me and hope to have something new to offer the world in the summer of 2010. For your latest project you have asked your fans for donations to help with the production costs of the album. How has is this going so far? Asking for help is a weird thing to do. Especially when it comes to asking for financial help, but I need it, so I’ve asked. So far I have raised enough to complete the first song. That is amazing. I will have a few fund raising concerts over the winter and use every spare dime I have. Did you consider ‘Sellaband’ and if you did, why did you choose not to use them No, but I’ll check them out. The idea came from my friend Drew Pearce, who suggested I take Jill Sobule’s lead and put it out there that I needed support. What music did you listen to while growing up? U2, Prince, The Police, Sheila E, Sinead O’Connor, Kate Bush, Rush, Van Halen, Peter Gabriel, Journey (a child of the early eighties in Massachusetts) Fleetwood Mac, Kenny Rogers, REM.
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Hi Amie, how are you?
Your first album ‘King In A Temple’ had some great reviews. Do you find that having such a good reaction to the first album puts more pressure on you for your second album? Or would that pressure be there from yourself anyway, regardless of how well your first album had been received? Yes there is pressure, but not about publicly releasing my second record. I don’t believe in the sophmore curse stuff. It doesn’t matter if your indie anyways. No one is making money off of Amie Penwell yet. The pressure is more around getting better at my art, making music from my core, that I’m passionate enough about to spend all this energy on, to actually add something authentic and hopefully healing to the world. There is already enough droll out there. As an artist you hope to cut through the droll and be of some musical/spiritual/emotional use to people. Other wise I don’t see the point. How long have you played your instrument? There was a baby grand in my house growing up, though I used it more for a fort than an instrument. I began singing at the Walnut Hill School of the Arts out side of Boston Massachusetts, where I transferred my junior year of high school so I wouldn’t have to serve any more detention for skipping class in my previous place of education. I hung out in practice rooms, at the beautiful brand new Yamaha Baby Grand pianos and played the few progressions I had swirling around, but mostly I smoked cigarettes and drank Southern Comfort while skipping Spanish. I got serious about playing and singing about 10 years ago. What was your first instrument? Piano. I found out I had a voice at Walnut Hill, but kept it closeted until I was in my mid twenties. I was not ready to be a singer. Having your instrument live inside you can be uncomfortable as you are discovering it. It’s a powerful instrument the voice. It makes you feel stuff. I wasn’t ready for what I needed to feel until….I was. Are you self taught or did you have lessons? I have a very reliable ear. I am mostly self taught. I can’t read music. 10 | Somojo Magazine Issue 6
What is your current equipment? I have a Roland Digital Fp-3. My husband Matt got me for my last birthday off of Craigslist. Something I can lift on my own. I also have a General Music Real Digital Piano, but the thing is a tank. I have a Yorksville Mixer Amp, and a standard Shure Beta 58A Mic. (also gifts from my man over the years). If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list? I haven’t really allowed myself to become a gear junkie, though give me some cash and the space for it and I could easily succumb. Give me a great piano, a warm sounding mic, and a comfortable seat to sit on, in a room with great acoustics and I’m thrilled, but I’d happily promote a new Roland, or Korg any day. Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio? I have used many a baby, and grand pianos for recording, though right now I’m happy on Ben’s Yamaha P-80, and Korg M1. I usually have my Roland in tow unless I’m lucky enough to play a venue with a piano. Do you record at a purpose built studio or do you record at home with portable digital equipment or pc/mac with audio software? ‘King in a Temple’ was recorded all over the place. Mostly a dance studio, some at Prairie Sun Studios where Tom Waits recorded ‘Bone Machine’, my living room, Chris Haugen’s (guitar player) living room and at Ben’s studio. All on one Mac or another. This time around I suspect I will do the lions share at Ben’s studio. Which recording/audio software do you use? Digital Performer and Pro-Tools . Would you sign with a major record company? Yeah, I would. My fantasy label is ATO. Dave Matthews founded it and I long to be in business with a record company who still loves music. What a concept!
I love recording. I feel most in my element in the studio. Though you wouldn’t know it if you were witness to the process. I have the mouth of a truck driver. Thank God Ben is not easily offended. We are both from the East Coast of the United States and are a bit more…….crass with our speech at times. I was thinking of putting a reel together of all the outtakes. Place it just after a ballad. Oh there’s the real Penwell. Can’t help it. I curse when I create. Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans? I think there should be both. It’s important to catch live moments, but I think that would be boring to listen to an entire record of piano and voice. Much of ‘King In a Temple’ is live because I was on a small credit card budget. I got as much as I could out of the days I had access to the rooms, and engineers. If you can get your brain to stop thinking for a moment and just be in the song it’s….spiritual. I wanted to capture that, but I am also in love with good production. A thoughtful arrangement, whether it be sparse, or layered in complexity is a high art, but it’s much more time consuming and that means more money. A perfect example of those who do both beautifully are Radiohead. Oh how I love Radiohead. (big shock, another musician who loves Radiohead). Do you any favourite tracks from your work? Show Me To The River Ending or Beginning Old Widow Maker Do you have a method for writing songs? (lyrics first, music first, etc) A song will tap on my shoulder and begin to aggravate me. I’ll get uncomfortable, itchy. A chorus will come and I’ll resist it. ‘Show Me To the River’ ‘What Would Love Do’, and ‘Mercy’ were like that. I never had any intention of writing Gospel, R&B songs, but U2’s second record ‘October’ and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” off of ‘The
Joshua Tree’ indirectly gave me permission to write those songs. They don’t leave me alone. When you ask to do this you just have to learn to accept and respect the creativity that comes, and give it everything you have. My voice as it turns out lends itself to that style well, though I don’t feel like I live exclusively in those genres. Do you write songs only about personal experiences? Not always. I observe a lot. I imagine myself in other people’s shoes. At times I’m compelled to tell someone’s story as was the case with JB Blunk in ‘Worth My Mind’ and ‘So Many Ways’. Sometimes it comes like a jigsaw puzzle. But I have, like most people, a complicated history to draw upon. No shortage of demons, or relational entanglements to dive into when I need them for material. I wasn’t given this voice without the trials. It’s been weathered. My voice has some rust on it. Do you find song writing easy or difficult? The essence of a song can be hard to feel, let alone expand upon, but it’s one of the most rewarding feelings in the world after you’ve built a relationship with it. It’s hard at times, but for me there is nothing else I would rather be doing. Technically I don’t really follow the rules of song writing. I prefer intuition, and good editing which can make the process a little more difficult. I know I need verses, chorus, and bridge, but I’m not always clear what is what. I have written many bridges that I was told were the chorus. I’m really just winging it. Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing? Edge from U2, any one from Radiohead, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, Chris Martin, Brian Eno, Ben Harper, Neil Young, Daniel Lanois. Who are your favourite song writers? All of the above, Neko Case, Kate Bush. Which countries have you gigged in? Northern California is all so far.
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Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
www.somojo.net/Amie_Penwell Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour? Ireland, UK, France, Italy. Who would you like to tour with? I think Glen Hansard, or David Gray and I would make a nice evening. How do you promote your music and get your music to new fans? I did a college radio send out, got some airplay across America. I had Eugene Foley do a Licensing/ Publishing campaign with all the major entertainment companies in America, but they seem to want young sugar pop, or glossy fake pop/punk crap that all sounds the same. Got any other suggestions? Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’?
else to do this music business thing. I need the same promotional help that every other musician needs. Do you think the internet overall is a good or bad thing for new artists? I hate to say both again, but it is. I feel no clear line to follow, and truth be told I wish there were. It’s a free for all. Last year it was all about MySpace and how many hits you got to prove your success. It makes you feel like you have to advertise, write letters to your “friends” begging them to listen to your stuff. It’s crap. I have to say that Facebook has been the most effective way of getting my information out there to people. With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit the lesser known artists?
No, but I’ll check them out.
Easier access to larger and more thorough promotional opportunities.
Do you think such sites are good for independent and unsigned artists?
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
If they are like Somojo, than yes, but I have to admit I feel swamped in a sea of independent artists trying to be heard, and I don’t know how 12 | Somojo Magazine Issue 6
Alternative- Soulful -Adult Contemporary alla Annie Lennox/David Gray/Cowboy Junkies. What do you think?
Who do you listen to or do when chilling out? David Darling ‘Eight String Religion” and ‘Tao of Cello’
Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along? I hope to do a lot of soundtrack work in my career.
Peter Gabriel -Passion Enya ‘Watermark’
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Digable Planets ‘Blowout Comb’
Yeah, I have recently signed a major licensing contract with SBMP Publishing to have 15 of my songs playing all over Asia and Australia. I have also signed with to NoteBorn Music, and have been added to LaLa Music’s library.
The Soundtrack to ‘Kama Sutra’ by Mychal Danna U2 -The Joshua Tree Radiohead -Kid A Have you ever entered any ‘battle of the bands’ competitions? No, I’m too competitive. I hate getting worked up like that. What’s your best/worst experience at a gig? Best gig was my last show at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. My worst was a songwriter in the round type of gig at a place with some prestige called The Sweetwater. I was horribly intimidated by who I was on stage with. I had to sit there just totally fucking uncomfortable for like 3 hours. The pressure was too much for where I was at as a songwriter. I was in over my head. It sucked….but I learned a lot.
Thanks for making the charts on your site. It was my first opportunity to see that people were actually listening to my songs. It was a first for me. I would also like give a public thanks to music. With out it I would be lost. If anyone wants to help me make my record go to: http://www.amiepenwell.net Thanks Somojo!!!!!!!
Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down?
Yes I get nervous. I quit smoking and drinking 10 years ago, so I kind of just have to deal with the nerves until I start singing. Usually takes a song or two before my hands stop being numb and I don’t want to vomit. What is your day job if you have one? I work with my husband Matt taking care of kids for an after school program. Has your music been used on any film soundtracks? It will be in an upcoming documentary called “The Eyes of Thailand” www.eyesofthailand.com Somojo Magazine Issue 6 | 13
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But he’s still a superhero? Tim: exactly. Like Nirvana, we could delve into the normal grunge/emo/punk themes in our songs but we tend to look for the white space where other artists haven’t gone yet. Duane: I don’t think people can really put a label on us and our style is just a straight up, honest rock play. No gimmicks or tricks. What you see is what you get. People just have to listen and decide for themselves what it means. We’re still trying to figure that out ourselves.
Would you mind introducing yourselves and telling us what instruments you play? Duane: Sure. We are 22nd Century, a 3 piece rock band from Vancouver, Canada strongly infuenced by Foo Fighters, Green Day and Nirvana. I am Duane Chaos, I play bass. Tim: Tim Plommer, Guitars & vocals. Duane and I switch up guitar and bass for a couple of songs in our sets. Zippy Pinhead certainly needs no introduction ondrums but for anyone who doesn’t know him, Zippy drummed for many famous bands such as the Mutants, The Dils, DOA and Art Bergman etc.
OK, So how long has the current band line up been together? Duane: The current line up is less than one year. Our original drummer Glen got carpal tunnel syndrome really bad and had to stop drumming. Glen a friend so it kind of sucked. Zippy: But I thanked him for the gig. How did you meet each other?
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
Tim: Who are these guys? <laughs> Duane: We have actually known each other for a long time. Zippy and I recently reconnected at a bus stop by total fluke. Tim and I have been friends for over a decade. Tim, Glen and I have formed the band and Zippy took a listen and stepped up. Zippy: As he says, when I got the CD I pretty much was hooked. I ran the CD by a few friends and got some really good feedback so I was thinking “Pinhead! You have to get into this band”. I left “The Fiends” to join the band.
Tim: Imagine Foo Fighters/Green Day with a lot of Ramones influence. Most of our music mixes rock with some tragically comedic stories like Apartment 509, about a superhero who sits and drinks and smokes all day.
How did you come up with your name for the band? Tim: The name 22nd century is actually a line in the song “Life in Space” off our debut EP.
Zippy: You have just experienced Zippy Pinhead. Duane: quick, RUN! <laughs>
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www.somojo.net/22ndcentury Somojo Magazine Issue 6 | 17
It was a song about some 22nd century, 2 bit thug who got sentenced to drive a spaceship for his crimes. Duane: We also want to get to the top of the iTunes playlist. By default, non letters used to come above A-Z so we tried to trick the system. It backfired though. <laughs> It now sorts band names in reverse so we are at the bottom of everyone’s playlist. D’oh!!! Tim: At the end of the day, we’re basically lazy and just agreed with the idea. By the time we started to think about it seriously, we had too much traction with the name so it stays. We may not get famous this century but in the last few years of the 2000’s some people might look at our shit. <laughs> Discography. Tim: We only have one CD to date and are in the studio working on our second CD as we do this interview. It should be released in Spring 2010. Before this I have released 5 CD’s; Area 51 in 1995, I played bass and did background vocals on the John Norman Nelson Trio self titled CD in 1996, two CD’s with Anthill and a self titled CD “Little Green Planet” in 2006. Zippy: My list is long. It includes 2 CD’s with Andy (referring to DOA co-founder Randy Rampage by his nickname Andy), Did some tracks on No Alternative’s “Johnny got his gun”, the Dils, War and Peace (DOA) and some other shit I can’t remember righty now. What music did you listen to while growing up? Duane: Mostly heavy metal and punk but I was into classical and blues too. My favorite bands were Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Angel City, the Ramones and Sex Pistols. Oh – and I hate Tia Tequila! <laughs>
Ah – OK. Let;s shift topics. What is your current equipment? Duane: Zippy uses a Tama drums set. I recently switched to the Ashdown BM 500 RC EVO III Head and the ABM 8 X 10 Cabinet which has a killer sound. Tim drives a Marshall JCM 900 with 4 X 10 cab and a Fender Twin Reverb Amp in combo with minimal effects. Main axes for me are Fender Pre basses and Tim uses a Gibson SG. Tim: In the studio I recently used an Orange head as well as my acoustic on the last CD. Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio? Tim: Strangely enough, yes and no. Zippy’s drums sound awesome so he stuck with that. I used an Orange head as well as the Fender and the Marshall. Duane used a Musicman Bass head and direct input in the studio as well as two different basses. I used my Gibson SG in the studio and did overdubs with a Les Paul. Duane also uses a Hamer Flying V in the studio to record guitar lead. Duane: I also tend to play the bass with picks in the studio but play with fingers live. Zippy: I just hit things. <laughs> Which recording/audio software do you use? Tim: Our producer John Webster has a virtual plethora of toys. We recorded at Mushroom Studios in Vancouver and at one point we counted 29 mics just on the drums alone. John is a great producer (has credits with Aerosmith, The Cult, Cher etc) so you’d really have to ask him. Duane: I think he uses Digital Performer but like Tim says, he has a big toolbox of toys. John’s a great producer. Zippy: agree. We’re really lucky to be able to work with an A list producer.
Zippy: same here except more rock. I also hate Tia.
Would you sign with a major record company?
Tim: just rock for me. Who’s Tia?
Tim: We’d be open but it really depends on the label and dealer. I’d prefer to see us get a distribution deal in various countries. Duane: It really depends. We recently signed with RNR out of Arizona on a nonexclusive deal. Distribution deals like that are good but I am not sure if it is even reality anyone gets signed any more like ten years back. Zippy: Show me the money!
Duane: Exactly - Fuck Tia! She treats people like scum. We actually “unfriended” her on myspace after accidentally seeing her on TV once. What a waste of fucking space. Can someone tear her down and erect a human being instead?
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Duane: I still like the vintage hard rock and raw sound of Nightmare but most people tell us they like Let Me Be. Tim: Agree with Let Me Be. That song received an honorable mention from Billboard as well as has over 2 million downloads from Adobe TV. Zippy: I like our newer stuff. Tim: Concur â€“ the next CD is going to kick the first one into the last decade.
Do you write songs only about personal experiences? Tim: sometimes. On the first CD Let Me Be and Apartment 509 are based on my experiences. Life in Space is obviously pure fantasy/dark humor as none of us have ever been in outer space. Sawgrass Hill is a bit of an anomaly but the upcoming CD will have songs on it like California which is based on a recent road trip to LA where we headlined to 4000 people.
Who are the main song writers for the band?
Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
Tim: Duane and I do most of the lyrics but all of us contribute to the process.
Duane: Not really. We have way too many ideas to bring them all forward as songs. What is becoming a trend is to write songs as a 3 piece vs. a 4 piece.
Do you have a method for writing songs? (lyrics first, music first, etc)
On our first CD, we wrote a lot of stuff assuming we would have another guitarist to play live. After a brief stint with a 4th member, we downsized the group to 3. On the next CD we;ll still place songs that are written with 4 parts but will work more with dynamics of performing as a 3 piece. Tim;s also stepped up to really write some more lead guitar parts. He;s sort of good at it. John (producer John Webster) said one of the best problems we could have is playing live in front of several thousand people and get complaints that we didn;t sounds as good as the CD they paid money for. Since no one pays for music any more, we don;t have to be honest in the studio. If people pay for music, then they have the right to bitch. <laughs>
Duane: It usually starts off with Tim or I coming in with a riff on guitar and we just jam it out. The structure gets worked out with Zippy drumming then we pretty much start to add some working lyrics. In some cases, these become the real lyrics â€“ case in point, Nightmare of 6th Avenue from our first CD. The lyrics were written in less than 10 minutes. Zippy: sometimes the 4th member of our band influences our writing. 4th member? Zippy: Mr Jack Daniels! <laughs> Duane: What about uncle Herb? <laughs>
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Do you any favourite tracks from your album?
What do you think of the music industry? Zippy: what music industry? Duane: <laughs> It’s like a cement mixer being flushed backwards into a clogged toilet bowel while drunken lemurs cheer from the seat. Zippy: Oh, I hate it when that happens! Tim It;s just a catastrophic train wreck that really needs a new model for artist revenue. There’s tons of good artists out these days but none of them are making much money. You then get new middlemen like Sonicbids.com that come in an take more money away from the artist. Can you imagine paying money in your day job just to find out if you can work or not? This is pitiful and a stain to the arts. Something has to change.
Tim: This is an interesting point. Society as a whole has to understand that the arts need to be supported and not raped for money. Artists are typically not rich so asking them to pay for the right to have people hear their music is just wrong. At the end of the day, if society doesn’t support the art, we collectively lose a piece of humanity. Everyone loses. So what;s next for 22nd Century Tim: Well, we;re in the studio working on the second CD and also gearing up to play the east coast in the spring. We also plan to make a couple of videos and continue to play as often as possible. Duane: I’m hoping to continue to write better music.
On that topic, do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’?
Tim: yes. We used musicsubmit.com and jango. Both worked fairly well. On jango alone we’re getting well over 5000 paid plays per month and collecting fans. We also use MySpace and Reverbnation but haven’t really been promoting via the latter two. There’s a balancing act where your web presence gets too diluted and its hard to find the right mix. Duane: Agree. We recently consolidated all our web presence to 22ndcenturyofficial.com and then point to radio stations and press like Somojo, IndieZine etc.
It was a pleasure to meet you.
Zippy: I think it’s fair to say that we really just concentrate on the music and let what comes come. The music speaks for itself and the rest is just happening. Duane: yep. pretty much focus on the playing. Do you think such sites are good for independent and unsigned artists? Duane: If they;re not acting like leaches or taking money from the artists, then yes. The ones that want artists to pay money to be heard of play suck. Why the fuck should we pay so that others can hear our music? This is our work. It cost a lot of money to make a CD and everyone wants the artists to pay more money to list it on CD Baby, iTunes etc. Zippy: exactly. I don;t pay money to play. If I had to I’d quit. Fuck it!!
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Guys, thanks! Best of luck in 2010 and keep it cranked!
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www.somojo.net/amandanagurney www.amandanagurney.com What have you been up to recently? I have been working on moving to Nashville, TN and saving money. I have also been performing 2-4 times a weekend around the Western New York area as well as going on several tour dates. What made you decide to be a solo artist and not want to be in a band? It is a lot easier to depend on myself then to depend on a few other band members. I am in a local band but currently tour by myself. Many performances I do, may not pay as much as the band would like in order for them to travel so I go myself, or some shows may strictly be charities where I am not getting paid. I will eventually get a band together when I move to Nashville, TN.
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Did you always want to be in a musician/singer when younger? I have been singing ever since I was about 5 years old. I have always dreamed of being a famous Country Music Singer! What music did you listen to while growing up? I listened to a lot of Shania Twain, Alan Jackson and even some Pink Floyd. My parents influenced what I listened to most of the time! How long have you played your instrument? I have been singing for 13 years and have been playing the guitar for about 4 years.
The first music making experience as far as writing music was when I was 17 years old. I wrote “Gettin Out of This Town”; the first song I ever wrote. It was a song about my life and following my dream in moving to Nashville. What is your current equipment? A Shure Wireless Microphone, Takamine Guitar, Speakers, Monitor, Microphone Stand, Guitar Stand, two LED lights, a Wireless Guitar System, etc. Are you self taught or did you have lessons? I took vocal lessons for 12 years and guitar lessons for 1 year. The rest of my guitar lessons were self-taught. If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list? A brand new Shure Microphone, new speakers, a spotlight, and would love a decent sized fold up stage. Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio? No, I use whatever the studio offers as far as equipment, they have some of the best equipment out there, especially Soundshop Studios, Quad Studios in Nashville! Do you record at a purpose built studio or do you record at home with portable digital equipment or pc/mac with audio software? I record at a few different locations. I record at home with digital equipment for demo purposes so when I go into the real studios, the musicians can hear the exact way the song should sound. I have recorded at many studios but my favorites being Soundshop Studios (Nashville), Quad Studios (Nashville), Outer Limit Recording Studio (Buffalo), and EMI Publishing (Nashville).
Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration? I never really have a set routine but for the most part I always start with an idea and lyrics when it comes to writing a song. Everything else seems to fall in place afterwards. Recording is always the same for the most part. I go into the studio and the musicians lay down the track while I sing a long for them to follow. This happens on the first day of recording. The next day is laying down the vocals and back-up harmonies. The last day is mixing and mastering. You have just released your album, ‘So Full Of Country’, What has the reaction to that been so far? The reaction to “So Full of Country” has been awesome. In the first week CD Baby sold out of my Cd’s and I had to automatically send more because people were requesting to buy more. I have also received a lot of great reviews from radio stations, etc. who really enjoy the CD. The CD’s at my shows are selling so well and I am so proud of the outcome! How did you find the experience of recording a whole album compared to recording a couple of tracks for your ep? A whole album was so much fun to record. I was able to record at a few different studios and use a couple great producers on the album as well. It is a great mix of songs and I was able to just have fun with the CD! There is a lot more song choices for people on a full album. This was a full experience and was not cut in half! How much involvement did you have with the arranging and production of the songs? I had a lot of say in the arranging and production. For the most part I could have also been considered a producer/arranger. It was great because I had amazing Nashville Studio Musicians and they took in my suggestions and used them in the songs. It was great because they all thought that I had some great ideas!
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What was your first music making experience?
Is the production side of things something you’d like to get involved more in the future, working with other artists? I would have to say no. I love the production end when it comes to my music, but the production end never interested me as a profession. Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do? I love to record and wish I could record every day. It is the best experience and where most of the magic happens. I can be myself and experiment when I am in the studio. When the song first starts off compared to when I finish it, there is such a huge difference. I always love the outcome of my recordings! The more I record, the easier it gets and I always learn new tricks and way to make it easier. Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans? I think that I sound exactly like I do live as when I record an album. I feel that the fans should experience the way I truly sound instead of putting all of the effects on my voice making it not sound like me.
Do you find song writing easy or difficult? At times writing can be very difficult and I can get stumped in certain areas; at times I will have to put a song on hold and come back to it. But other times a song can come to me so fast and comes out so simple. Those seem to be the best songs on my album, the ones that just felt natural. For example, “Just Me & the Road”, “Gone Fishin”, “Don’t Leave Me Tonight” and “White Dress”. Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing? I would love to collaborate and perform with Miranda Lambert someday. She just seems like such a nice person and her performing and songwriting skills are out of this world! Who are your favourite song writers? David Lee from Nashville & Miranda Lambert. Which countries have you gigged in? United States & Canada. Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour? The United Kingdom & Germany
Do you have any favourite tracks on your album?
How do you promote your music and get your music to new fans?
My favourite track on the album is “Just Me & the Road”. This is the single I am releasing to the radio. It is just an all around amazing song, starting very soft and getting stronger musically at the end. The actual meaning of the song is also what makes me love the song so much. It is a culmination of my drive for my career and firsthand experience with life’s complex choices.
I promote my music on my website, CD Baby, itunes, and many music websites. I also have fans that will help me promote my music. Another way of promoting my music is to perform live shows and playing my originals.
Do you write songs/tracks only about personal experiences? I write songs more so about what people and myself can relate to. I write about what is popular in life at the time as well as what makes an impact on people. I want people to be able to relate to me as well as just enjoying my songs.
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Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’?
Do you get nervous before a gig- how do you calm down?
Yes I use both!
I used to get so nervous before gigs but now it comes naturally to me. I used to keep to myself which did not help, so now I talk with people and
These sites are awesome and whatever you can get yourself involved with (as long as you can keep updating the sites) then they are very essential Do you think the internet overall is a good or bad thing for new artists? The internet is the best thing going for musicians at the time. Everyone uses the internet and it is such a great way to meet fans and other musicians. Having my website, Myspace, and Facebook available online has made a huge difference in my success. So many people follow me on those which has made me gain fans as well as get many shows! You can learn so much through the internet. With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit unknown artists?
get my mind off of it! It is exciting more than anything! What else do you do apart from being a singer/ songwriter? I also teach vocal and piano lessons to younger kids. It just brings in the extra money and is very rewarding watching your student grow! Surprisingly, I have learned so much about my singing through them!
Would you like to be a full time working musician or are you happy with things as they are? I pretty much am a full time working musician. A lot of my work currently is doing interviews, writing people online keeping my connections, working on my website, updating my information on Bios and Photos as well as performing, radio interviews and doing small tours!
I think a website
Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
How do you relax?
No, but will eventually work on it.
I watch a movie. That is always the best way for me to relax! What’s your best/worst experience at a gig? The best experience at a gig was in New York City at Kenny’s Castaways. I absolutely loved to perform there because people really respected listening to original music. They sat down, listened to everything I was singing and really enjoyed and respected it! It was such a great feeling because being from Buffalo, everyone wants the same old cover tunes which can get very unsatisfying. It is the same way in Nashville as it is in New York City. People really love it when you perform your originals which is why I cannot to move there!
Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along? If the opportunity came along I think it would be an awesome opportunity! Is there anything you’d like to add? Just want to thank all of my fans for their support as well as all of the radio stations who have played my music and supported me!
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Do you think such sites are good for independent and unsigned artists?
Matt Stevens www.mattstevensguitar.com Discography. Parks EP 2007 Echo (album) 2009
Live At The VSV Festival EP 2009 And a new album out this year.
Hi Matt, how are you? Well, physically a bit rubbish I’ve messed my back up, slipped disc and all. Hopefully I will be up and about soon, I’ve got a lot planned for this year. What have you been up to recently? Well for the last year I’ve been recording a new album and playing gigs. My first album called Echo came out last year and has been well supported by the lovely people of the internet, the podcasters and the bloggers so that’s great. Its been a real word of mouth thing which is lovely really. Since I had my back injury I’ve had the time to sort my archive of live stuff, remixes, spoken word and collaborations. I’m using this to give away one track a week on a podcast feed called the Sunday Free Noodle, its an ongoing project and in between that I will release my second proper album and play at some of the festivals this summer.
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What made you decide to be a solo artist and not want to be in a band? I was in a band for years but we split up and I was left in London not really knowing anyone so I just used the tools I had, an acoustic guitar and some pedals. I have a band project on the go at the moment, all improvised stuff called The Fierce And The Dead – we have a 19 minute long single out later in the year!!! Did you always want to be in a musician/singer when younger? When I was a kid I wanted to be Slash from Guns N Roses – didn’t quite work out. Then I wanted to be Tom G Warrior, Nick Drake, East Bay Ray, John Lennon, John Barry, John McLaughlin, Johnny Marr and Robert Fripp. Lots of men called John. Now I just want to be me.
Metal stuff then my guitar teacher got me into Jazz/Rock stuff like the Mahavishnu Orchestra, then US Hardcore, indie stuff, Radiohead, The Smiths and the Beatles and Power Pop stuff, a lot of the post rock stuff, John Barry, Burt Bacharach and Django Reinhardt. All sorts. How long have you played your instruments? I’ve been playing guitar for the best part of 20 years, Keys for 15 years, bass for 10 years and drums very badly for a few years. I’m a guitar player really. What was your first music making experience? Hitting a guitar trying desperately to play Black Sabbath riffs on my 20 quid Argos guitar. I was rubbish, I had to put in lots of practise to get anywhere but I wanted to be able to play so much I put in 8 hours a day. What is your current equipment? An old Ibanez acoustic guitar that’s broken with a hole in it connected to a Line 6 DL4 looper pedal, Filter Modeller, Volume Pedal and a Whammy Pedal(for bass lines). Just all the rubbish I have collected over the years really. Are you self taught or did you have lessons? I had Jazz lessons for about 10 years, which I highly recommend. I was taught by a guy called Richard Beaumont who is amazing. I think the more you know about harmony and music in general the more options you have. If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list? Ooh – now your talking. I’d like a Telecaster with humbuckers and a Line 6 M9 – one of the top end loopers. Ahh one day. Really I’d like more money to spend on studio time with an orchestra, I don’t think that’s likely though.
Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio? In the studio I treat it a bit differently – it’s a different thing. . Live it’s just me and the looper and a volume pedal and a few other bits. On the first album Echo we tried to get all the sounds just hitting, strumming and banging an acoustic guitar so its pretty much live. The second album that I’m doing at the moment features lots of layered instruments – bass, drums, a few synths, glockenspiel but the focus is still the guitar instrumentals. I’d like to get into Ableton Live and vocal samples in the future as well. Do you record at a purpose built studio or do you record at home with portable digital equipment or pc/mac with audio software? I demo at home then go to see my friend Kev at Pinna Studios, I think recording acoustic guitars is an art and its so useful to have someone else there to say - “that’s crap” or tell you when you’ve got something really good. Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration? Each track is different really but I don’t like to layer too many instruments, I like to keep the instrumentation fairly minimal to focus on the harmony parts. Which software do you use? I am just learning about Ableton Live at the moment and I demo stuff on Garageband. In the studio Kev uses Pro Tools. Any new recordings planned? Oh yes, - 52 songs from the archive free on the podcast feed this year and the second album proper will be out this summer, probably. Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do? I love putting on the icing once the basic tracks are down but I find the recording process incredibly worrying and stressful. That’s why its so important to have a producer you trust and I’m really lucky with that. Somojo Magazine Issue 6 | 31
What music did you listen to while growing up?
Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans? Well the first album is pretty much as live give or take a few things and album 2 is more layered so I think both approaches have there merits. Really my current thinking is they are two different things and should be treated as such. Live I will sometimes do long improvisations that I wouldn’t get away with on record where I like to keep arrangements short and to the point. Do you have any favourite tracks on your albums? It varies from time to time. Burning Bandstands has been fantastic in that it has opened so many doors for me because people really like it and its always fun to play live. I really like the feel of Snow off of the first album, that kind of icy ambient Floydy thing and I like Dolls House for the way it builds. From the new album I really like the song Moondial because of the glockenspiel and live drum action. Do you write songs/tracks only about personal experiences? The whole of the first album is basically the soundtrack of my life in Rushden, Northamptonshire. Spencer Park is a real place, as is Jubilee Park. Burning Bandstands is about Hall Park. West Green is more of a London song. Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
Who are your favourite song writers? Thom Yorke, Lennon/McCartney, Bill Steer, Bob Mould, Robert Fripp, Burt Bacharach and John McLaughlin. Which countries have you gigged in? Just the UK – I’ve had some amazing offers from all over the world but nothing that makes sense yet. I would love to play in the US. Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour? America, Germany, Italy and I have some great supporters in South America so there as well. I’m going to start using Eventful to work out where the people who want to see me are. How do you promote your music and get your music to new fans? I talk to people on the internet – that’s it really. I send podcasters and bloggers I like, my music and they write about it and I talk to people on Facebook and Twitter. I’m doing a few things as well at the moment, The Sunday Free Noodle music give away, offering the stems of my songs so people can use them and do remixes and my music is in a computer game called Jam Base – you can play that online on my website. I also give loads of free music away in exchange for email addresses. I am really interested in building a cool and interesting online community really. Generally the people who like my music tend to be really interesting people.
It depends on the individual song really some take 5 minutes, some 10 years. Crazy – I wish it could just happen the same way each time.
Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’?
Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing?
I have a Soundclick page but I don’t really remember getting much out of it but I’ve not really made much of an effort with it. Reverbnation is awesome for all the free widgets you can use and their online distribution to itunes, emusic etc rocks.
Portishead, Phil Wain, Kevin Feazey, Neil Alexander, Thom Yorke, Bob Mould, Steve Lawson, Robert Fripp, Lee Dorian, Derek Cotter, Catstalker, Russ Russell, Justin Hemmington, John Marchant, Dan Wilson and Stuart Marshall.
Do you think such sites are good for independent and unsigned artists? Someone very wise said those terms are kind of out dated now we are living in a post major label era. We’re all just Musicians now.
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Yeah – social networks are a great place to meet people and start conversations. Its all about the word of mouth really and being in places where people hang out and people just happen to currently hang out in social networks. I think Facebook is well on its way to being the next Google, a hub for all your online activity. Not that Facebook works very well. Do you think the internet overall is a good or bad thing for new artists? It’s a double edged sword – people can hear your music but it’s all largely free. But I’d rather be heard than obscure, so I’m not complaining.
Do you get nervous before a gig- how do you calm down? I used to have a couple of pints of Guinness but as I’ve stopped drinking now I have no idea, I like to listen to Miles Davis or something inspiring improvisation wise. What else do you do apart from being a musician? I have a job I enjoy that keeps me busy. Would you like to be a full time working musician or are you happy with things as they are?
With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit unknown artists?
Just take one step at a time, we shall have to see.
Aside from a workable funding model, not really.
Yes – the award winning short film Daddy’s Little Helper which was great fun to do.
You recently have been involved with doing ‘live’ gigs/shows on Ustream. How did you find this experience?
Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along?
Amazing really – because what I do is fairly unusual and esoteric it’s wonderful the way the Ustream gigs unite people from all over the world. It’s great when everyone is talking in the chat room, it’s a really great community.
Yes I would love to depending on what comes along. I am so inspired my soundtrack stuff would be great to do more of it.
Is it something you plan on doing more of in the future?
See you at www.mattstevensguitar.com – come and have a chat, always nice to meet people.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Oh yes! As soon as my back is sorted I’m going to do loads more.
How do you relax? I do music and talk to people on the internet and spend time with my wonderful wife. What’s your best/worst experience at a gig? The best was Spratton Folk Festival last year – amazing audience and atmosphere, I’m amazed as I don’t really do folky stuff. Brilliant. The worst one was a pub in east London where the “PA” was a broken guitar amp jammed on distort I played 3 songs, broke a string and walked off. Horrible. Somojo Magazine Issue 6 | 33
Interviews with Jen Sexstone
Jen: Let’s start by introducing your band members, and where are your from? Steven Bauer (Steve-O) - Vocals Steve Wheeler - Guitar Trent Riley - Bass Bryan Thomas - Drums Trent: We are based out of Madisonville, a small town in Western KY.
One afternoon we received a reply from Steve Bauer, “I may not be female, but I write and sing”. Attached was a rough home recording of “Falling Away” with an acoustic guitar. We just loved the song and the music, so we asked him to come in and audition. He’s just an amazing vocalist and writer, and that was deciding factor in reforming Sexstone.
Jen: How did Sexstone come about?
Jen: Do any of you have a musical history?
Trent: Sexstone started with a different lineup in ‘04 and disbanded in ‘06. In the Fall of ‘07, Wheeler and I decided to start a new rock/country crossover project doing some 80’s covers with a female vocalist. We held auditions and sent out ads, but just couldn’t find the right fit...so we started sending random e-mails through MySpace just trying to find that right vocalist.
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Steve-O: I was in band in elementary school and sang all through middle and high school. Didn’t start writing music until college and the heartbreaks began! Wheeler: I have been in many cover bands and played guitar in the live production of Little Shop of Horrors @ Madisonville Community College.
Trent: I’ve played in a few local original and cover bands in our area. Bryan: Ive been playing drums since i was 9, so for allmost 27 years now! Have played with many bands around the area doing everything from blues and bluegrass, to country and metal. Jen: Who are your musical heroes? Steve-O: Third Eye Blind and Matchbox Twenty Wheeler: Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ace Frehley, and Prince Trent: Slash, Duff, Robert Trujillo, DD Verni Bryan: Animal! LOL Tommy Lee, Neil Peart, Chris Layton, Jeff Porcaro, are among the many I consider heroes of drumming. Jen: How do you promote your music besides the internet. Trent: We use every possible resource from flyers to radio...sometimes Wheeler even uses bathroom walls... Jen: What websites can your music be found on? The songs can be purchased at iTunes and CD Baby www.somojo.net/sexstone www.sexstoneband.com www.myspace.com/sexstonerocks www.reverbnation.com/sexstone (Free Download Here) Just search Sexstone on FaceBook for our Fan Page Jen: Tell us about the causes you play for and how thats helped your growing success.
Jen: Who writes the songs in your group? Trent: Steve-O is the main writer of the group. Jen: What would you like to tell your fans and new found fans? Trent: We’ve recently spent some time recording in Missouri with producer Brandon Mashburn...so be on the lookout for new songs very soon. Also come out and see us live, because that’s where the magic happens! Bryan: Stick around, good things are coming and we want you all to be there with us when they do. With out you guys, none of the things we do would be possible! If you can’t feel the music, then it’s not worth listening to...Sexstone
Trent: We do several benefit shows throughout the year. We’ve played shows for Relay for Life, CJ’s Bus, World Diabetes Day, as well as for local friends in need. We thoroughly enjoy being a part of such a great cause and helping them achieve their outcomes. Jen: Is any of your songs from personal experiences? Steve-O: All of them...music is my diary Trent: I think that everyone can find a piece of their own life in each of our songs, and that’s what really makes people connect with the music. Somojo Magazine Issue 6 | 35
Life as a Rock Star
Tales from the real world with Bodies frontman
I thought I’d let you in a little on the secret creative rituals in a band when creating songs. How does one exactly go about it? Well, there are a few different ways of doing it. And, really, anything goes. We usually work slightly backwards. I usually write the lyrics and mail them to either Nick or John L. Sometimes they get inspired by the words they read, and get to work on composing. Other times, they have a few chords ‘waiting in the wings’, as it were. And then they come down to our rehearsal room and present the song, saying something like “I thought the melody line for the words would be something like this… But you go ahead and do what you always do – shred it to bits and sing it the way you want to.”. And I do. Then there are times, like last night, when we gather in the rehearsal room and Nick and John L. have some new ideas and present them to me. Usually, I start by flipping through the stashed lyrics to see if any of them fit the vibe of the music. Sometimes we want it to align – actually most of the time – and sometimes to contradict. Most of the time there’s something to find in that pile. Maybe that specific piece needs some smaller adjustments to fit in, but we’re really talking small adjustments – no rewriting. Sometimes there is a need for new words, so I get to it right then and there. I never really put more time into writing a piece of lyrics than 15 minutes. If it doesn’t work out properly, I simply write an all-new piece. (Yeah, well… What can I say? Patience is obviously not one of my virtues. ;-) There are rare occasions when we create both words and music more or less simultaneously, but one or the other is usually more ‘finished’ than the other. You have to remember we all work full time and have kids, so there’s really not much time to hang out and create. We’ve had to find efficient and timesaving ways of creating our songs. Now, this is not the ‘completed’ song, but more a rough. Then everybody puts in their bits and pieces. And then the rehearsing starts. As we rehearse, the song develops and we find the little fills and pronunciations that will eventually be the finished tune. This fine-tuning and development can be an ongoing process that may take years… We still have songs from pretty early on in the band’s history that we notice evolve. But they have been performed live and perhaps also recorded. This is how the creative process works for us. No real secrets I’m afraid. And as I said in the beginning – anything really works. But we usually work slightly backwards compared to many of our mates’ bands. I don’t know what works for you and your band, but this works really well for us. Now. Keep churning them tunes out! We will. ;-)
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The new web series featuring Kelly - Alice Cutler Mike - Vincent Giovanni Paul - Jacob Lane Suzie - Mallory McGill Tina - Ashley Palmer Chucho - Alex Ruiz
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Would you mind introducing yourselves and telling us what instruments you play?
How did you come up with your name for the band?
On the current CD Cakeisdone the lineup is:
It is a combination of Crow, which is a powerful Native American symbol, and Moonshine which I liked for the home made booze aspect, but which others liked for the stellar aspect.
Kent Mitchell- Vocals, Guitars, Kazoo and songwriter Gareth Winstone- Drums, Background Vocals, Kazoo Tracey Beardmore- Bass, Background Vocals Discography. Current CD is Cakeisdone which was first released by us, but is coming out on Leaping Cat Records soon. How long has the current band line up been together? This line-up was together for almost 3 years. How did you meet each other? I put an ad up in a local music shop and Gareth called me, we met and held auditions for a bass player. Enter Tracey
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Did you always want to be in a band? Yes……… ‘nuff said. I prefer band over solo. I enjoy the interaction between players. What music did you listen to while growing up? I enjoy most types of music, and growing up in the 70’s there was a wide variety of stuff to enjoy. I hope that this comes through in the music. How long have you played your instruments? I have been playing guitar since I was 14, so that’s quite a long time……. Gareth has been drumming for over a decade, toured with Riverdance for 5 years. Tracey played guitar for a few years, but had just picked up the bass when we recruited her.
What was your first instruments?
Which software do you use?
My first instrument was the Viola, then the Recorder and Coronet. Happily switched to Guitar as soon as the parents weren’t looking….. Currently I play Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Zils, Arabic, Irish and African hand drums and am learning the Portuguese Guitar.
I prefer Avid for digital.
What is your current equipment?
Do you have any new recordings planned?
I have a guitar I made which is based on the Doug Irwin guitars that he made for Jerry Garcia. I run it through multiple stomp boxes into a small Fender and Marshall amp.
I am writing at the moment and with luck will be in the studio next year some time. With the changes of locations (I am moving to the US in January, and Gareth will follow in the spring), the creative ness will be in full swing over the summer.
Tracey uses a Peavy Bass. Are you self taught or did you have lessons? For me it was both, I am dyslexic so lessons are difficult, but every so often I reach a ceiling and need a bit of help to get through it to the next level. If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list? Alembic and Resurrection guitars, rack mounted fender and marshall heads with rack mount EQ. A home studio…. And a really bitchin’ tour bus… Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio? Yes, I am a firm believer that if you cannot play it live then you should not do it in the studio, so my studio rig is my stage rig. Do you record at a purpose built studio or do you record at home with portable digital equipment or pc/mac with audio software? I usually run demo’s at home, then take the finished and road tested song into the studio. I feel that a song needs to be played in front of people a few times to settle it in and knock the rough edges off it. Songs that I write very often change when toured, getting stronger and tighter. Also makes recording much easier since everyone knows the song.
Yes, depending on the deal and if Simon Cowel was not involved….
Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do? I have always hated the studio process; it is about as much fun as a trip to the dentist. However, I know how important it is so I try very hard to struggle through. In the past I have gotten bored very quickly and tended to cut corners thus making a bad record. This one I worked very hard on keeping my interest level up and doing what it takes. Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans? Hell yeah, I feel that a studio recording should sound as ‘live’ as a canned environment can make it. However, songs in the studio should be shorter and tighter than live, but then that is not hard for me as I very much enjoy extending songs live and stringing them together in new and interesting (I hope) ways. Plus live they never sound the same way twice. I feel that is vital for the fans that come to see you, if you keep a set list (of which I never do) in stone and play them the same way over and over, not only do you get bored out of your skull, but so do the fans. Do you any favourite tracks from your album? Sure. Terrorist has been a favourite of mine for a long time, same with Dreams of Reality. New favs are Dark Cloud Rising and Werewolves Local 649, and Meadows of Light. That one changes nicely in a live setting…. Somojo Magazine Issue 6 | 41
Gareth uses DW Drums.
Would you sign with a major record company?
Who are the main song writers for the band?
Who would you like to tour with?
Would love to go out with the other big Crow bands, Counting Crows and Black Crows, that would be a hoot.
Do you have a method for writing songs? (lyrics first, music first, etc) Each song comes out differently, I prefer to write the music first then fit words, but have several that are the other way around, and a few that just burst out together, like Zombie Love and Leave my Monkey Alone. Do you write songs only about personal experiences? No, I do a lot of political stuff and a few silly things. Of course there are always going to be personal ones too, like Zombie Love, that one is a real story……… really…. Do you find song writing easy or difficult? Overall it is not the easiest thing to do, but enjoyable when it works out. Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing? Sure, the list is almost endless……. Who are your favourite song writers? Bruce Cockburn and Warren Zevon are probably the main two for me, with Frank Zappa and Robert Hunter/ Jerry Garcia coming in 4th. Which countries have you gigged in? I’ve Gigged in the US and UK, Gareth with Riverdance has gigged in most of them. Tracey is getting over to Europe with her new band quite a lot. Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour? US, Canada, Australia and most of the EU.
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How do you promote your music and get your music to new fans? We use all of the normal online sites, plus our own web site. We have also done some adds in Mojo and other Mags, as well as really hip on-line mags like Somojo……. ;> Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’? Yup…… Do you think such sites are good for independent and unsigned artists? I don’t know, while it is a great way of getting your name out, there are so many thousands of bands on these sites that you get lost in the muck very easily. Do you think the internet overall is a good or bad thing for new artists? Ooooooooooo controversial question… I do feel that in the ‘old’ days when a record company was required, bands got a lot more attention and money for their work, but the downside is that there were very few bands. With the internet, everyone has a chance to get their music out there, but it is very hard to make a living at it as the net is clogged with so much stuff. To truly make it still requires a major label’s help in some way. With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit the lesser known artists? Viewers. Most of the main sites, myspace and the like, only really give the promo space to the bands on major labels who are poised to ‘make it’ Kasabian for example. Not a bad band, but if it was not for the major label, myspace and the like would not be running full banners for them. It would be nice for the big sites to mix things up a bit more.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you? Proper Rock and Roll, more old school 70’s vibe. Who do you listen to or do when chilling out? Zappa, Grateful Dead, Zevon, Cockburn, Arrogant Worms, Neil Young and stuff like that. Basically my iPod is always on shuffle so I get a wide mix, might be a Fado tune or Caribbean rap followed by some jazz then Metallica flowing into the Grateful Dead. Have you ever entered any ‘battle of the bands’ competitions?
Is there anything you’d like to add? Just like to add that we are looking forward to relocating to the US, the rock and roll scene there is very strong. We have a good fan base in the New England (Boston) area and Chicago. So anyone who reads this and is in the Boston Area (where we will be setting up shop), keep an eye out for the Crows!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Kent.
No, I don’t feel they are a good way to get your music across since it is usually who looks the best, not sounds the best. Waste of time. What’s your best/worst experience at a gig? Woof, so many of both, too many Spinal Tap moments in the past to count. My faves are the ones with the raging crowds that won’t let you stop and love everything your do. I prefer the latter…. Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down? Sometimes I do, but not so much as I used too. I do breathing exercises to calm down, and have a beer. In the old days calming down was much more chemically orientated…. What are your day jobs if you have one?
I work as an area sales rep for a supplement company since I am also a Naturopathic physician. Gareth teaches drums. Not sure what Tracey does. Has your music been used on any film soundtracks? Not knowingly! Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along? Absolutely.
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music from the heart of the mediterranean
www.imisound.com ALBUM REVIEW ALBUM: “Emak” (2009) BAND: “Mario Chianello”
He who nurtures no passion for research, experimentation and the convergence of differing languages will have considerable difficulty appreciating the music of Mario Chianello. He who, on the other hand, is used to studying, analysing and looking at what lies behind things, will find himself on the same wavelength as this musician who shows himself to have reached, especially in his second solo album “Emak”, an enviable maturity. Without doubt his classical studies at the “G.B. Martini” conservatory in Bologna, his experience as a music arranger at the Chorus recording studio in Bologna, his presence in singer Didi Balboni’s band in the ‘60s, and his experience in the Genesis cover band “Domino+”, have served their purpose. All these elements mix and meld to perfection in this album which, far more than the previous album “Proxima”, proves to be homogeneous and, so to speak, liquid. The album moves smoothly from Pietro Malaguti’s bagpipes on “My Faraway Land” (a track containing a keyboard passage in perfect Tony Banks of Genesis style whose dynamic rhythm and ecstatic “earthy” atmosphere, together with the tracks “Earth Dance” and “Sahara River” would have Peter Gabriel of Womad and Real World jumping up and down on his chair), to “Satie” style compositions like “Sweet Piano”, to atmospheric tracks like “Whispers of Time” which presents a surprise theme at the end with a vaguely gypsy-like accordion and a passage of baroque church organ chords. Moving on we find perfect 16th century style canons in the track “JSB”, pure new age in “Dolce Vita”, light dance references mixed with elements of classical and blues in Cryptex, and the well-calibrated atmospheres in the arrangements of “Two Lights”, “Emak” and “At The End”. Call it new age for adults, call it refined world music, call it contemporary progressive ambient, or be content just to listen and abandon yourself to this fresh, free music: intellectual but not excessively so, shaped and smoothed, yet fluid as a river that gathers, conserves and carries in its flow all that if finds on its way. Gianmaria Consiglio (translation by Tony Lawson) ARTIST LINK: http://imisound.ning.com/profile/mariochianello ALBUM LINK: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/emak/id314391415
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Hello, R ‘n’ R lovers! Before we start... don’t be mislead by the salute too much... I don’t want to disappoint you in anyway right in the beginning, but it’s a fact... this is not about music! Although with deep respect and lifetime devotion I had come to this point I call r ‘n’ r addiction. There is a statue for every tune that I cherish with love and glorify with adoration. There is a church for every self-proclaimed god that ever walked through the doorstep of a surrealistic creation called music. And there is a mystique... I don’t know what that is. But I know one thing. These three elements of music shaped my spirit as well my soul into rock ‘n’ roll. I just needed to grab a pen and roam on an infinite poetical highway. Since then I voluntarily caged myself into something I call rock ‘n’ roll in words. The title of my work that I’m going to first present you monthly in Somojo Magazine is dREamALITY. It combines two opposite realities. Left extreme (Day time realities), have more stress on rhyme verses, the rhythm is settled. Poems have determined shape. DR usually express the lack of will and optimism, image of story’s protagonist is pessimistic but sometimes dares to step over the limitation that he/she is locked in. Right extremes (Night time realities) are presented in shorter lines, thoughts are separated with tree comas, which is a metaphor for infinite dimensions of imagination. The form of NR verses is usually optimistic and idealistic about goals in life. In the end both extreme realities join together in an element. The summary of seven elements create a dream. Orthodox is the second poem and the first Night time reality. It tells the same story as a previous poem Heretic, just uses the different approach. It’s a mood swing in a positive way and an obvious affirmation. It could be an encouragement to think more optimistic about yourself and the world in general. The poem image has an unbreakable “war” character. It’s like going to individual battle where ell enemies are in the different war, so there is no common victories. There is also no doubt and no second thoughts that would finish the behaviour of the main character with question mark. Poem and introduction written by Klemen Globochnik email - firstname.lastname@example.org Graphics by Barbara Fojkar email - email@example.com
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www.somojo.net Bringing you some of the best independent and unsigned music live 24/7
Please check our website www.somojo.net for the latest show schedule. If you would like your music played on Somojo radio, just go to www.somojo.net, create an artists account and you can upload mp3s, videos, images, sell gig tickets and add your listed gigs to www.gigmemories.com. Coming soon to Somojo, the â€˜Kats Kradleâ€™ rock channel http://katskradle.somojo.net 54 | Somojo Magazine Issue 6