An Interview with Writer Ralph Greco Jr.

Ralph (2)

Ralph Greco Jr.  is the editor and chief of vongutenberg.com and the east coast correspondent for the website vintagerock.com; here is a link to his website:

http://vongutenberg.com/

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a journalist?

A: I never actually thought about being a ‘journalist’ per say; in fact I don’t feel I even am one. I am a writer and I tend to write for a wide variety of publications, websites and in many genres. Writing music reviews and interviews or being the editor-in-chief at Von Gutenberg are simply writing gigs I love.

Q: What made you want to write about rock music?

A: Again, just my love of writing, I guess maybe wanting my opinion to be heard and having the opportunity to see lots of the classic bands come through the NYC area makes it just perfect for me to get out to smaller shows and see these artists I have always adored…and write about them.

Q: What separates a good critic from a bad critic?

A: I don’t think of myself as a critic; I am a reviewer. I don’t want to be a critic in any way, shape or form because I honestly don’t think there are very many who do it well, or from an informed perspective. In my experience there tends to be too many failed musicians, writers, what have you who become critics to be able to get their griping in at targets that often times they do not even know about….’the bad critic’ in my opinion. A good critic is someone who knows what they are talking about and has knowledge of the history of the subject on their side…but those men and women are few and far between.

Q: What new band are you most excited about and why?

A: Next question please. There aren’t any I am excited about…see there I am not-so-subtly griping!)

Q: What trends in music annoy you?

A: I’d rather see musicians who can play their instruments, performers who understand stagecraft, singers who can go a show without Auto-tune and songs that stand the test of time…so I’d say the current ‘trend’ annoys me.

Q: What inspired you to start Von Gutenberg?

A: I am only the editor-in-chief there. But I have been friends with the CEO of the magazine and website for a half decade now and slowly slipped from sending him stories, to helping out with revisions to now being editor-in-chief…and head luber.

Q: Why do you think fashion is such a popular topic for bloggers?

A: It does tend to change rather quickly and is now more than ever associated with mainstream celebrity culture and blogs speak to this better than most writing currently does.

Q: You say latex is coming into fashion, I have a feeling no one wants to see me in latex. Don’t you have to have a very specific type of body to carry this off.

A: I have seen all body types ‘carry-off’ latex, but yes we do look tend to look for a certain physical aesthetic to the models who appear in the magazine.

Q: What is the most esoteric thing you have ever written about and what kind of research did you do for the article?

A: Probably whether or not dogs can sense bad weather coming. I knew nothing about the subject so had to manage quite the spin around the internet and talk to my dog owner friends. This was a piece I wrote for Caesar ‘Dog Whisperer’ Milan’s website, not for Von Gutenberg or Vintage Rock, of course.

Q: If you could go to a rock concert with H.L.Mencken  or Helen Gurley Brown, who would you pick?

A: It’s less who’d I go with as much as what band could you take either to? I think they’d both be fun though, but I don’t ‘party’ so I fear neither would find me fun, cause God knows Mencken and Brown were stone cold stoners and meth heads, no?

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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An Interview With Blogger Lisa Hackett

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Lisa Hackett runs the blog Where’s my Xanax; here is a link to the website:

https://wheresmyxanax.wordpress.com/

 

 

Q:  What made you interested in writing?

A: Writing has always been a way for me to get out certain emotions, whether its something heartfelt and serious, to something snarky and witty. It’s my voice. I can write things that sometimes you can’t say sometimes.

Q:  What is the overall theme of  Where’s my Xanax?

A: My “Where’s My Xanax” blog is a little mix of everything. Sometimes serious but usually silly and outrageous. Stupid things I’ve done and experienced and I like to talk about topics that people want to talk about but are afraid too.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?

A: I worked for Lancome cosmetics. So it really hasn’t influenced my writing much. I do wonder why I dont write on beauty topics or makeup application, but I suppose when you work with make up last thing you wanna do is write about it. I call being a mom my primary job in life and it influences many things I have written about, because being a mom, there are always things to make fun of.

Q:  What are “The Fulls”?

A: The Fulls are a set of characters designed by Cheri Silard for ages 3-8 and their parents, they offer optimism and positive quotes, photos, articles and other. They are designed to inspire and entertain and self discovery. They pride themselves in teaching kids, honesty, responsibility, community, confidence, respect. consideration and other good values.

Q:  Who is Delightful?

A: DelightFull is an inspiring little character who posts kids food crafts and recipes with optimistic energy, all things sweet. She tries to teach young kids good values like sharing.

Q:  Who are some of your favorite bloggers?

A: I love Fits of Wit, she is down right awesome, it is witty and always leaves me in tears from laughing. Nanny Goats in Panties always has something interest to say. All Fooked up, she writes about offensive silly things, even warns you that she may offend you and to start drinking before entering her blog.

Q:  Why do you think sex is such a popular subject for bloggers to write about?

A: Well for me and what I write. I think its the fact that people do think, talk about sex but many are afraid too with society today, because they are afraid of judgement. I think sex has always been popular. Now is the time with all the Sex and the city and 50 shades type of books and movies. I think sex is easier for some to discuss openly without judgement, in blog especially.

Q:  What trends in blogging annoy you?

A: I have issues with all the fashion blogs or curator type blogs, the ones where they take everyone’s stuff and just repost it with an opinion. I would much rather read stuff from the heart, mind, other. Even if it offends me, I’d rather it be real.

Q:  What other kinds of writing do you do?

A: I write a little bit of everything, from deep dark from the heart to silly poems and witty outrageous stories. I am working on a book, which will be a cross between Erma Bombeck and Chelsea Handler.

Q:  What have you done to promote your blog?

A: Well I just got a new blog and host. I will slowly build my blog through social networking and just hopefully people will love what I read. With Where’s My Xanax, primarily through blogs and follwers and facebook sharing. Twitter is a must have for bloggers, great way to get your blogs seen and isn’t that what we want, people to read what we have to say?

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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An Interview With Author Paul MacDonald

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Paul MacDonald  is the author of Smile Now, Cry Later; here is a link to his website:

https://paulmacdonaldla.wordpress.com/

 


Q:
 What is Smile Now, Cry Later about?

A: It’s the first book in a new mystery series that follows a sardonic HR exec who moonlights as a private detective. It’s a fresh take on the classic genre. This first installment has the hero, Chuck Restic, venturing outside the confines of his corporate skyscraper in search of a missing colleague. The trail leads him to the Armenian mob and billionaire land developers. It’s very much an LA story.

Q:  What inspired you to write it?

A: I have worked in Corporate America for over 20 years and the series is a way for me to channel the frustrations of someone that comes out of that. Like Chuck, I had a need for finding a purpose.

Q:  What makes  Chuck Restic different than other detectives?

A: He’s not your typical detective as his is more a passive-aggressive approach over the old-fashioned fisticuffs kind! But HR translates nicely into the detective world — interviewing skills, investigations into foul play, etc.

Q: What make makes Los Angeles a good place for a murder mystery?

A: Many would argue but to me, Los Angeles is the ideal setting for murder mysteries. Clearly, others believe that when you look at how many books are set in LA. There is something loathsome but also special about this town. The seediness is the same as any other big city, it’s just this one is set in perpetually 75 and sunny days. That contrast is what makes it work.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your writing?

A:  I am very much like the character in the series — a 9-5 guy at a corporate office. I work in HR and channel all of the inanity and pointlessness of that role into the series.

Q:  What are the elements of a good mystery?

A: Unexpected but logical. If you can accomplish that with each plot twist leading up to the reveal of the killer, you are in for a good story. If you can’t, then everyone feels cheated.

Q:  Who are some of your writing influences?

A:  I tend to stick with the classics of the LA detective genre — Ross MacDonald and Raymond Chandler. Some lesser known guys are Raoul Whitfield and Paul Cain. I also like Ken Bruen, who is very much NOT from LA.

Q: What trends in fiction annoy you?

A: There’s a cliche in current detective fiction that drives me nuts. It’s usually the guy with the beat up (but cool) convertible whose ex-wife and kids still adore him despite his being a horrible husband and father, who feels the need to describe what he’s wearing because he thinks the jeans and faded t-shirt sounds cool, whose charm disarms every female TV reporter, assistant DA, museum curator, andclothing store owner they come across. Guys, stop writing about the guy you wish you were!

Q: What can we expect from the rest of the series?

A: I have the second book coming out in a month and then hope to have one book a year from then on. We’ll see if I can keep that pace going!

Q:  If a famous detective could make a guest appearance in one of your novels, who would it be and why?

A: I guess it would be Lew Archer. I just love his relentless pursuit of justice (truth?) but done in a way that’s sort of quiet but determined. He just seemed very “real” and someone I would want on my side.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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An Interview WIth Singer/Songwriter Samantha Novelle

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Samantha Novelle is a singer and songwriter who has just released the album 419; here is a link to her website:

http://www.samanthanovelle.com/music.html

 

 

Q:  What made you decide to pursue a career in music?

A: Deciding to pursue music was a natural progression, it wasn’t my first passion, I think we all share many in life. In fact I started my whole journey in LA wanting to pursue acting, the music came like a shadow that trailed my career path, I was always a writer and visionary. I was very expressive with words and ideas that would naturally come to me and I’d immediately write them down or record them on a recording device. Ultimately I was driven by that desire, so I took those words and choreographed them to music, suddenly music and myself coexisted, and I began working with many styles and producers over the years finding my sound along the way. Their is no certain formula when you find your calling in life, what inspires me each and every day about the music I create and the reason I’ve chosen to dedicate my life to it’s pursuit is the unpredictability when you sit down to write a song. In the studio I become open to what the music allows me to feel and the organic experience brings a new divine purpose to creating a emotion all it’s own. Creating a musical experience in raw format thrills me, it’s about going with your first instinct and allowing whatever comes to mind correlate. I tend to find I come across more real this way, because nothing is over rehearsed. As far as the production, nothing is too perfect, those tiny cracks and breaks in the vocals make the delivery come to life and where reverb doesn’t rule the track.

Q: What is the overall theme of your album?

A: The album 419 is a complex stranger. It’s my stranger, because each track presented me with something knew that I hadn’t explored. The overall theme is best described as dark and layered with theatrical and musical elements that carry the album through a sequence of different identities. It is a pronounced and deeply personal album that represents my true feelings, desires and experiences. 419 challenged me and allowed me to experiment as a vocalist and writer. I felt like this body of work was designed not only to share with my fans, but heal me from hurdles I had overcome as an independent artist. Music has always been a very personal, almost private part of my expression and allowing my audience to become apart of that wasn’t easy to showcase at times, but I knew this was about breaking down barriers. I also have to acknowledge that none of this would have been possible without the amazing and brilliant talent of my partner Charlie Rivero, who offered his time producing and making my vision a reality. Charlie Rivero is a very talented producer, musician and artist himself. We took a full year developing 419 and worked diligently. The first time I realized it was complete was one of the most fulfilling and greatest accomplishment’s of my life, there are no words to express it further.

Q:   Who is your biggest musical influence?

This question always seems to stop me in my tracks, because of course their are so many talented artist out there. I have to say I could name countless musical inspirations, but I’ll describe what moves me the most. It’s the artist that conveys vulnerability to their music, and shows conviction to their performance. I enjoy listening to unique artist’s, those select few that steer away from the mainstream and connect more with their own identity and sound. In the world today, I feel we are over saturated with too many trying to produce and create the same collection of material. I find it very refreshing to listen to new and innovative bands and artist’s who come out of nowhere and whose music radiates authenticity. When an artist can separate themselves from social media and play for the music and play for the love of just performing you are entirely on another level I feel. Sometimes I’ll admit I’ve become m.i.a from online networking sites, because I don’t want to stray too far from why I started music and get carried away with playing cat and mouse with online merry go rounds. The fame, the money is a wild beast out there, you have to keep away with playing cat and mouse with online merry go rounds. The fame, the money is a wild beast out there, you have to keep grounded. My influences steam from music makers who develop new playgrounds to be explored.

 Q:  You are engaged to another musician; do you have any professional rivalry?

A: (Laughing) I love this question! I would be lying if I didn’t say there was never a time I had professional rivalry, and I’d say of course, because its natural and it makes you want to become that much better. It’s a compliment to the person who inspires you I think. A good dose of healthy competition sets the stage for success and growth. Charlie and I often bump heads in the studio, we are very ill tempered and have strong personalities, so if you can picture two artist, with the same bit of passion there is sure to spark a fire. A fire that is explosive and another fire that creates good energy and stamina to keep us on our toes and trying to better the other person. I’ve always said to him, we are two unique individuals and we have to think that although we are on the same path, we cannot predict our future, so therefore we just do what we love and put it out there. We are always each others number one fan, so we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We also realize we have different innate qualities that separate our talents and we respect each other personally and professionally.

Q:  What inspired you to write “Set of Emotions?”

A: I was inspired by the track in many ways, because the music gave me an emotional backdrop to write to. I often try to veer from writing songs that spell it out for the listener. My focus is to create a poetic journey through my writing that conveys both sides of the story, if you look at it one way it could mean this, and on the flip side a dark more morbid undertone presents itself. I didn’t always write this way, but I find it more exciting and enjoyable to listen though songs that keep you guessing. Don’t let this song fool you, most people will think it’s the typical song of lust and love, but when you really listen and especially with the music video debut, you’ll notice the twist that transpires throughout its haunting triangle. When I choose music Im similar to Willy Wonka when choosing good eggs from poor eggs, I sort through songs in that stature and am quick to press on if it doesn’t speak to me.

Q:  What is the strangest thing you have ever done to promote yourself?

A: Strangest thing to promote myself…I’m not sure this was strange, but Charlie and I made up a bunch of 5×7 photo cards from Walgreens that we created to debut our albums. We took them to a large festival in Las Vegas and started going around placing them on cars. It was horrifying to watch, as most people didn’t even look at them, in fact, we saw many people take them off of their cars and throw them on the street, talk about a punch to the gut! I can’t express this enough, but being indie artist’s, with little financing options to fund our careers is a struggle in itself and seeing our hard work wasted, really wasn’t the best boost of encouragement. We were trying anything we could and we learned a great deal of what works and doesn’t work along the way.. We can laugh about it now.

Q:  How did you go about getting your videos produced?

A: Well we have both learned to produce, write, perform and conduct our own works. We were limited with funds, so we’d get by the old school way, creating all our projects in our home studio and making things happen on our dime and with the time we had getting creative. I’m all for follow through and our experience has been that working sometimes with others can create draw back, drama and unnecessary hiccups. Charlie and I are very hard working artist, we create everything you see and listen to from scratch. I have produced a lot of my own music videos off my laptop. I don’t see the excuse in waiting for right moments, time is scratch. I have produced a lot of my own music videos off my laptop. I don’t see the excuse in waiting for right moments, time is always ticking, you have to develop your own skills to make it things work and come together, and that’s what we do. We are a one stop shop for ourselves. You can’t depend on others to get the job done!

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your songwriting?

A:  I feel truly blessed that I am able to have a job where I influence the lives of others. I am a activities instructor for seniors at an independent/assisted living community where I help inspire, engage and motivate people on a daily basis. They influence me in itself, because each day I remember how precious life truly is and what’s to be valued. My songwriting is fueled by their experiences and their stories, and it’s my nature to want to share these honest and amazing moments they’ve shared with me. I also cannot imagine a better place to perform my music, their support is beyond words and I know they appreciate what I do and in return I feel Im giving back.

Q:  You have a paranormal show on YouTube; what made you interested in the subject?

A: I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, but it wasn’t till I met Charlie who really opened me up to the supernatural. He has been studying Parapsychology for years and has been apart of many investigations around the United States. We sometimes feel like two goofs on a journey of curiosity with this topic, but we feel it is important to showcase our findings and educate the public. We’ve both been in some really uncomfortable situations together and I’ve learned a lot as his mentor. I believe in the paranormal extremities, and after witnessing countless occurrences we found it apparent to create this show for YouTube. This show doesn’t carry a typical approach to ghost hunting, we have some tricks up our sleeves and different methods to wrestle with the spirits. You can check out our website at: http://www.paranormalfact.com for more up to date news and info!

Q:  You can make a video with the ghost of any rock star! Who do you pick for your video and why?

A: Wow, this is a tough question. I have three, and all for different reasons; John Lennon, Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson. Each of these stars would bring out a different element of me. John Lennon’s songwriting skills and talent is a force to be reckoned with. Johnny Cash’s emotional commitment to a musical piece, the honesty and deliverance is unparalleled. Lastly, Michael Jackson, because he had a way of transforming not only himself through the music, but transforming his fans. It would be a truly unbelievable experience to create a music video with any of these gifted souls.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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An Interview With Director Alexander Baack

Alexander Baack

Alexander Baack

Alexander Baack is the writer and director of Hollywood Musical: Here is a link to his website:

http://www.forcestudios.com/

Q:  What is “Hollywood Musical” about?
A: It’s about a group of artists in Hollywood struggling with their personal and professional lives. There’s a director, a screenwriter, an actress, a singer and a producer, among many others we meet along the way. They also occasionally burst into song.

Q:  What inspired you to make the movie?
A: Total depression. I’d been at this for over 20 years, trying to start a career first as an actor, then as a writer and director, but about 5 years ago I was finally ready to give up. It was the first time I’d really felt that way, as bad as it’s been in the past. This was the first time I’d faced the mortal abyss of actually surrendering to total defeat. And I really wanted to. I wanted to call Dr. Kevorkian and pull the plug. But I just couldn’t walk away after all that time and work without proving to myself one last time that I could make a movie that I was really happy with, regardless of the budget. Around this time my good friend and genius composer, D.D. Jackson came to L.A. to play the Jazz festival at the Hollywood Bowl (with Bill Cosby’s band!) and he suggested I just pick up a camera and shoot something (again). That night I was watching the Tony awards and I thought, “Well, nobody’s done a no-budget musical. Not really.” I called up D.D. and blamed him and sent him a script the following week.

Q:  How autobiographical is it?
A: It’s so autobiographical I had to split myself into two characters. The director (who I play) is my more benevolent side. The positive, patient one who just appreciates the love of his family and keeps putting one foot in front of the other. The screenwriter (beautifully played by my good friend, Stefan Lingenfelter) is my cynical, bitter side. The one who’s had it with mediocrity, ignorance and a seemingly Jobian fate in an art form he still loves with all his heart. It’s also autobiographical in that all the other characters are a mix of so many friends of mine, men and women, most over 40, who have been pounding their heads against a wall for decades, cannot catch a break but still find a way to keep going, and without losing their passion for what they do. It’s something I find quite beautiful.

Q:  How did you get funding for the film?
A: I didn’t. I just scraped a little together and shot it in 8 days. I still owe money to my mom’s friend Abigail.

Q:  How did you get Sally Struthers to be in your movie?
A: She’s an old friend of Angela Pupello, who plays Diva the singer. Sally was so great. Supportive, funny as hell and game for anything. She didn’t care what she got out of it. She was just happy to help out some kids with a dream.

Q:   How will you get it distributed?
A: It didn’t get into a single festival anywhere after three years of trying and no distributor would touch it. But a nice guy named Glen Reynolds at Circus Road Films got it to a small digital distributor called Indie Rights and they agreed to put it out so it’s now available on iTunes, Amazon, Xbox and Vudu. We also put out the soundtrack on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Q:  What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a green screen?
A: I imagine the advantage is that you can have people in spaceships. But I haven’t used one yet.

Q:  What are your real feelings about the film “Crash”?
A: Ha! You’re referring to Stefan’s explosive lament against that movie. Well I don’t like to trash other artists’ work. I’d rather hide behind fictional characters and let them do it for me

Q: Do you think that aspiring actors, writers and directors are more inspired by a need to create or a need for validation?

A: Man, I don’t know. There’s too many people out there with all kinds of motivations. But I’d guess there are many who start with a need to create and end up with a need for validation.

Q:  If you could turn any book into a movie what book would you pick and why?
A: Hm, there’s a few. I’ve adapted one but I don’t think I’d better mention it here for legal and karmic reasons. But there are a few that come to mind. I would love to do Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck but I’m sure someone’s already on that. There’s a Fitzgerald short story called The Glass Bowl I’ve always wanted to adapt. I really want to do a movie from John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction but what that would be like is beyond me right now. Just about anything by Michael Chabon, though his writing is so great it should probably be left alone. Great movies rarely come from great prose because it’s a totally different form of expression. It’s the lesser novels with great plots that translate better into great cinema. Think of The Godfather, The Graduate, M.A.S.H., Jaws, Raging Bull or Schindler’s List. Nobody, in my opinion, has ever been able to make a great movie from The Great Gatsby or Lolita.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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An Interview With Actor/Singer Frank L. Humphrey III

Frankie

Frank L. Humphrey III is an actor and singer; here is a link to his website:

http://frankthe3rd.com/

 

Q:  What made you interested in becoming a performer?

 

A:  What made me interested in becoming a performer was when I first sang in my home church St. Matthew Baptist Church of Jacksonville in Florida. At the age of 7 I sang, I Shall Wear a Crown and after I finished singing the selection the congregation began to clap and holler out like we were at a Football game or something. I knew then, that God gave me something special and it would behoove me that I use it before I loose it.

Q:  How did you come to perform for Michelle Obama?

A:  I came to perform for Michelle Obama through an organization that I became an ambassador for by the name of The Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation in Orlando, Florida after I won the male division of their competition. After winning the competition, I was asked to sing in the World Primer Gala in Orlando, Florida at the Loews Portifino Hotel and Resort. Unknown to me,  Patricia Mica the wife of Congressman John Mica attended the event  to hear me debut as a young classical singer and after hearing my performance told first lady Michelle Obama about me and the next I knew I was in Washington D.C. performing at the  First Lady’s Luncheon and  co-headlining the show with Gloria Estefan. Mind you, this was all going on in my senior year of high school!

Q: What kind of training have you had?

A:  I’ve been trained in Classical Piano, Drums, Conducting, Dance(Jazz). I’m also a Classically trained singer studying at The Manhattan School of Music and trained actor studying at The Alan Gordon Studio.

Q: You went to a performing arts school; what is your opinion of Fame?

A:  I went to a performing arts high school by the name of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida for my high school tenure. My opinion on Fame (the show/movie)  is this; It was a television show that was very dramatized for an effect, but the overall lesson of hard work and perseverance while striving for your goal is one that all people should look at as something to aspire to. But I’d also like to comment on the condition of fame. I believe that fame is something that is garnered when one has worked incredibly hard and people around you notice the hard work and tenacity you dedicate to your discipline of study. Fame equals thousands of hours of hard work, tenacity, discipline, humbleness, and an overall strong foundation.

Q: What is the overall theme of your album?

A:  The overall theme of my album is about my New York City experiences.  These include the nightlife scene, relationships, and embracing my pathway to success. I’d like to leave it up for interpretation, my music will tell it all.

Q: Do you think someone can be taught to sing or is it a natural talent?

 

A:  I think one must have the natural ability to sing and further expand on that natural talent with a voice teacher or mentor to bring the best out of the individual.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: My musical influences are Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Toni Braxton, Dirty Loops, Prince, Sandi Patty, Lecresia Campbell and Michael Jackson.

Q: What are some of the things you have done to promote your album?

A:  To promote my album I have hired a publicist (Kayo Anderson of Kayo Anderson Media) to take my brand to the next level and give more awareness to who I am. I’ve also secured the producer who worked on my first single “Late Night Memory” to produce my six song EP!

Q: What was your most nerve wracking on stage experience?

A:  The most nerve wracking experience I had on stage was during a performance of opera scenes of an Italian opera entitled La Rondine by Puccini. I forgot a couple of words and I made up my own Italian that I don’t even think existed!!!!!  It was the most hilarious thing, but I still gave it my all.

 

Q: What Broadway role could you nail and why?

A:  The Broadway role I could nail is the role of Pippin because we have a similar backstory. We both have tried many different things, and were put through many trials, but I knew deep down inside I wouldn’t be fulfilled if I weren’t doing something that made me happy. So, I trusted God with the entertainment business, and it hasn’t failed me!

 

Q: What is your opinion of Contests such as The Voice?

A:  My opinion of shows such as The Voice is that it’s great and clean entertainment, but it’s a quick way to stardom and everyone knows if it’s quick it’s not worth it!

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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An Interview With Folk Duo March to May

march

Beth Wesche and Darren Guyaz are the members of the duo March to May; here is a link to the website:

http://www.marchtomay.com/

 

 

Q:  Where does the name March to May come from?

A: “March to May” is a nod to our formative period, back in 2013. We wrote our first song together in March (shortly after meeting) and decided to move forward together as a professional duo in May. It was a magical time for us, full of new beginnings, possibilities, and tremendous growth – we wanted to capture some of that feeling in our name. Coincidentally, it’s also a reference to our birthday months – Darren was born in March and Beth was born in May.

Q:  What is the overall theme of The Water’s Edge?

A: Much like our name, The Water’s Edge captures the idea of new beginnings – which is appropriate, since it’s our first release. That said, the stories and experiences we sing about hit on some pretty quintessential human experiences – love, loss, happy relationships, unhappy relationships, your relationship with yourself, how you deal with solitude. We wanted this album to feel very personal, very human, so we focused telling stories that hit on these universal themes.

Q:  What inspired you to write the song Embers?

A: Embers was loosely inspired by the aftermath of Beth’s grandfather’s death, and watching members of Beth’s family move through their grief, pick up the pieces of their lives, and learn to be happy again. We wanted to touch upon the idea that nothing you love that deeply can ever truly be lost – it stays with you in memory, in the way that you lead your life and view the world. That love is a gift, and memory is its own kind of immortality.

Q:  Who are some of your musical influences?

A: As a duo, we’re hugely inspired by the Civil Wars, the Swell Season, and Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan. Unfortunately, none of them are playing together anymore! But they certainly set the stage for music like ours. We’re also huge fans of artists that don’t necessarily fit our mold – everything from Tori Amos to Made in Heights to Macklemore.

Q:  What is your oddest backstage story?

A: Hmm, that’s a tough one. One of our strangest show experiences happened last year. The morning of the day we were supposed to play the show, Darren woke up sick. As the day went on, he got worse and worse, and by the time we got to the venue he had lost his voice entirely. Given that we both sing lead vocals, and we base our writing on strong vocal harmonies, this was a serious problem! Beth ended up singing lead vocals for the entire set – including vocal parts she had never sung before going on stage that night. We’re still not sure how we pulled it off! It really reaffirmed our partnership, and trust in one another, musically – we couldn’t have managed it without an incredible amount of in-the-moment support, on both ends.

Q:  What is your process for writing a song?

A: Usually, one of us will come up with an instrumental part we like, then start building melodies, then harmonies, then lyrics. We co-write all of our songs, which is actually a really interesting experience. We have to be in the right mental space for it. But luckily we’ve had a pretty great track record so far – we’ve finished over 25 songs together in the past two years, and have over 60 more in various stages of completion. It’s exciting!

Q:  Do you ever argue about your songs?

A: Not usually. Occasional creative differences definitely come with the territory, but we usually move through them in a good way. We really do view our music as a collaboration.

Q:  What do you like about the Seattle music scene?

A: Seattle has a really vibrant music community! There are so many different kinds of music being produced here – it’s really inspiring to be a part of. Another thing that’s great about Seattle’s community in general is that people have a really strong appreciation for live music. They actually go to shows, and listen broadly, and generally support the art that’s being made here. It’s nice to see. You can go out on a random Tuesday and find venues packed with people out to see a band no one’s ever heard of. It feels like people are listening to your music for its own sake, not just because of what other people have said about your music.

Q:  What would you change about it?

A: It would be nice to have a stronger industry presence out here. It’s not that that presence doesn’t exist – it’s just that it’s a little smaller, and a little more underground, than in some other cities. But then again, maybe that’s what gives Seattle’s music scene its character.

Q:  What folk song is the theme song of your life?

A: Dust to Dust, by The Civil Wars.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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