Tag: new music

An Interview with Jordan Casty of Eleven Dollar Bills

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Jordan Casty is the lead singer for the band Eleven Dollar Bills; here is a link to the band’s first album:

All Our People

 

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

 

A: I’ve been singing and messing around on instruments for as long as I can remember but something strange happened when I was sixteen and I found out just the slightest bit of music theory.  I felt like I was stepping into a different world and speaking the same, mysterious language all my musical heroes were speaking.  I felt like I had joined a new club and I never wanted to leave.

 

 

Q: What is your creative process?

 

A: My creative process starts with drinking a whole bunch of coffee and messing around with my guitar or piano.  I feel around in the dark, humming melodies and fiddling on the guitar until something sounds like the beginning of a real idea.  Some melody that feels sturdy enough to build on or some group of words that sparks a song idea.  It’s just a construction job from there.  That’s how our new single ‘Waves’ came about.  Some mumble sounded like the key to a joyful idea about serious fun.  A couple hours later we’d fashioned up a whole new chapter of our musical lives.

 

Q: What is the overall theme of your album, All Our People?

 

A: The All Our People EP is about bringing people together through celebration of life.  It’s about amplifying experience across the entire spectrum of emotion so that life becomes a deeper and more exciting ride.

 

Q: Did Bob Dylan inspire your name or is there another meaning behind it?

 

A: Bob Dylan has been my favorite songwriter since I started diving deeply into his work during my college years.  I felt like if I named my band after one of his lyrics, I might be able to direct a bit of whatever spirit has been speaking through him to come through me for a while.

 

Q:  How did you and the other band members get together in the first place?

 

A: This incarnation of the band came together in Los Angeles and we all met through playing music in the bars out here.  There are so many places to see killer live music in LA and when I got out here, I just started talking with everybody I thought was great after they got off stage.  We’d jam and play some trial-shows together and then it congealed into the lineup you see today.

 

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

 

A: I drive a bit of Uber when the music money is slow.  I like to talk with my passengers if it feels like they’re open to it.  I feel like it helps in my songwriting to get so many different people’s stories.  The more varied your perspective, the more powerfully you can write.

 

Q: Your recording is very professional sounding! How did you get the album financed?

 

A: Thank you for the kind words!  Our producer Jim Huff is indeed a master craftsman.  And a master with the budget!  He called in a lot of favors to get this record made and we had a bit of family funding for whatever we weren’t able to cover ourselves.

 

 

Q: What would you change about the music industry?

 

A: If I could change one thing about the music industry, it’d be updating the royalty rates for songwriters.  Songwriters are really getting shafted lately and it’d be nice to see the money split up more fairly.

 

Q: What is your weirdest LA story?

 

A: One of my weirdest LA stories came while driving Uber.  I picked up this guy who told me to “just drive”.  I said okay and when I looked over, he was ‘making it rain’ on Tinder.  That’s when you rapidly and indiscriminately swipe right to rack up a swath of matches.  He kept it up and I kept driving through Los Angeles until he’d found a match that met his criteria.  He must’ve been a pro sweet talker because he had her address in minutes and we headed that way.  I pulled up and he went in.  But not before asking if I’d like to join.  I told him I’d have to take a rain check.

 

Q: At which club do you most look forward to having a concert?

 

A: Since I grew up in Chicago, playing the main stage at Lollapalooza will be a pretty serious thrill.  But the Hollywood Bowl might be even more fun.

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 Musician Nounverber

Nounverber Logo

Nounverber is a New Orleans based musician; here is a link to his website:

http://www.nounverber.com/

Q: What made you interested in music?

A: Growing up in a musical family, being twelve years old and hearing an interesting guitar solo on the radio, then wanting to make people feel how that made me feel. Young angst and the prospect of creating works of art out of thin air. Maybe girls and money as well. Yes, all of those things in unspecified amounts. Over time, I learned to respect and appreciate the art of composing and it became its own reward.

Q: What kind of training have you had?

A: Formally, I was trained in the art of tenor saxophone in school. As I picked up on music theory, white and black piano keys made sense to me. That translated into harmony and tension and all of the other things that make music interesting. The neck of my guitar went from a puzzle to a map. It’s best to know what you’re doing on some level, but maybe not too much. Too much technique kills the soul.

Q: What is unique about your sound?

A: Just subtle structural things that I don’t realize that I’m doing. I’m too close to it to see it, but if I tried my hand at a waltz there would be something in it that people would recognize as one of my fingerprints. That’s what I’m told, but I don’t hear it. It’s like trying to analyze your own handwriting, I think.

Q: What kinds of things inspire you to write music?

A: The human condition, black and white films and mathematics and being someplace where there’s too much silence. In a crowded room, I’ll map out a busy horn section in my head and try to duplicate that level of dissonance. It’s a way of painting the world as you see it in a different dimension.

Q:  What has been the most effective thing you have done to promote yourself?

A: I took the final version of my Midnight Animal EP and dropped it in the lap of Shelby Cinca, the head of Swedish Columbia records. I hope every other artist on the label recognizes how hard he works to make us look good. Shelby is a wizard at promotion. It’s fun to see him come up with an idea and get so excited about it that you can’t follow his train of thought. Brilliant guy. Every artist needs a Shelby.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: Early electronic pioneers like Raymond Scott amaze me. Dave Brubeck was a master of time manipulation and Paul Desmond’s saxophone haunts my soul. Bowie was my musical father figure and I’m still in mourning. Pink Floyd, all day long. I bought the entire Tortoise catalog this year because I think their music is a necessity. The Misfits are always a part of what I do, in attitude if not in style. Every sound in Mr. Bungle’s album Disco Volante is programmed into my brain. John Frusciante’s solo guitar music inspires me. Flying Lotus is doing electronic jazz way better than I ever imagined it could be.

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it effect your ability to make music?

A: I have worked in the collision repair industry ever since I graduated high school. This was going to pay my bills until I became self-sufficient by writing music, but it seems to be taking a few decades longer than I anticipated. I keep a small keyboard in my office that I use to record melodies as they creep into my head. I also license out music to film, commercials, video games, and TV shows on the side. It’s strictly supplemental at this point, though…I’m not moving to Beverly Hills quite yet.

Q: How did you come up with the name?

A: When I was looking for an alias in 2005, everyone was coming up with these “noun plus a verb with ‘-er’ at the end” band names. Monkeythrower, Facemelter, Brainbuster, etc. I used their formula but found purpose in leaving the spaces blank. There’s no specific thing and no specific action being taken. It is a name in structure alone, and I think that lends itself to the androgynous nature of my music.

Q: What do you like about New Orleans?

A: I get a thrill from the polite madness and potential danger of fellow strangers. Find the weirdest looking person on the block and ask them for directions. You’ll never forget it. The whole city supports a certain kind of insanity that I feel very comfortable being around. It’s endearing to my eccentric nature.

Q: What would you change about it?

A: There are truths that people ignore while promoting false ideals as solutions to problems that are self-perpetuating. Elevation above sea level would be nice also. If someone could fix those things, that would be great.

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

An Interview With Musician And Director Mikhail Tank

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Mikhail Tank is the founder of Darksoul Theater, a musician and a film director; here is a link to his website:

 

http://www.mikhail-tank.com/home.html

 

Q: What is Darksoul Theater?

 

A:  Darksoul Theatre is a trademarked entity of original psychological multi-media art, which I have been in the process of developing since age 12. This has included multiple written, recorded, and audio-visual works (some of which you can find on Amazon, iTunes and other quality internet sources). I have presented live shows in Japan, Canada, California, also the first virtual show via the Edinburgh Fringe (garnering BBC coverage). Additional notable moments include a Guinness Record, and a heartfelt approach which spans art and psychology as a form of creative inspiration and as a form of subjective spiritual healing.

Q: What kind of educational background do you have?

 

A:  I have a strong multi-level background in performance art, having started my education at a young age with personal coaches, later a Bachelor’s degree in the field, followed by schools, seminars and training with the likes of the Stella Adler Academy and the wonderful teacher/author, Gerry Cousins. I have also studied Jungian psychology extensively and presented (in part to Jung’s family) at the Art and Psyche conference, in Sicily (in 2015).

Q: What is a common misconception Americans have about Russia?

 

A: As an artist, I prefer not to discuss politics, misconceptions are generalizations and I specialize in a personalized ‘Soul approach’ rather than assuming what one culture sees and thinks about another. I can attest to the supposed fact that both cultures are absolutely brilliant in their own right.

Q: How would you describe your music?

 

A: The music is a Soulful spoken word, with an electronic backbeat, a form of positive possession in the key of Soul. My most recent work is distributed by The Orchard Music Group (parent company, Sony). I am interested in working with record labels to further my upcoming audio projects. An upcoming Halloween album, a collaboration with the multi-talented Brett Bibles, is currently in the works (see working cover art image).

Q: Who are some of your artistic influences?

 

A: My music tastes range, however some of my favorite music artists are: Irina Allegrova, the Empress of Russian Dramatic Pop, the late and truly great David Bowie, his Russian counter-part Valeri Leontiev, and the original music performance artists, Laurie Anderson and Grace Jones.
Q: What was Soul Photography about?

 

A: Soul Photography is an original concept which I presented in Tokyo, and later though Scotland (see:http://www.scotsman.com/news/a-virtual-first-for-the-fringe-1-1210205), it deals with storing positive memory energy within — through a distinct process (available on iTunes and Amazon, circa 2009). This is art which can inspire the depth of the Soul and has helped me during difficult times.

Q:
How does one set a “Restore point” for one’s soul?

 

A: Check out the Darksoul Theatre musical art album, Soul Photography for the artistic concepts placed therein. The secret is located in the art: http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Photography-2009-Mikhail-Tank/dp/B005VU6P1C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463645070&sr=8-1&keywords=mikhail+tank+soul+photography


Q:
What is the “Dollar Baby Film Festival”?

 

A: Dollar Baby Film Festivals are worldwide events which are the sole screening mechanisms for Stephen King dollar baby films. It is a way to unite fans and create beautiful old-fashioned honeycombs of non-internet film enjoyment.

Q: How did you become involved with it?

 

A: I am grateful to have directed three official Dollar Baby films, based on stories written by the great Stephen King (whom I consider the Shakespeare of our time). The first two films have screened in multiple countries, appeared in a book about the subject, along with the first being nominated for a German Independence Award. You can find further information about these projects via the following links:
http://www.mikhail-tank.com/king.html
http://mikhailtank.com/dollar_baby_films
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1026237/awards?ref_=nm_awd

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

 

A:  I’m a student in the field of Jungian psychology, along with being an author, radio host, and creative consultant/director.
 

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

An Interview With Singer and Model Tonary Modal

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Tonary Modal is a dancer, singer and model; here is a link to her Instagram page:

 

 

https://www.instagram.com/tonaryofficialpage/

 
Q: What made you interested in music?

 

A: I love dancing and love songs so I make a creative blend of music with dance , pop , with an r&b twist.

 

Q: Your bio says you have opened for Bruno Mars at the V20 night Club, how did you get the gig?

 

A: Correction: I opened for B.O.B, He was a rapper who collaborated with Bruno Mars in a song that became a hit during the time called , ‘Nothing On You.’ B.O.B. performed at this huge nightclub and I knew a club promoter who hooked me up to perform there because I told him I was interested in performing there one day. And he said , “Hey do you want to open for B.O.B ? It’s a good opportunity for you.” And I accepted the gig.

 

Q:  What inspired the song, Check Me Out?

 

A: I had a goal in my modeling and entertainment career for people to check me out, check my works out, So I thought of an idea what better way than to make a catchy attention grabbing song called Check Me Out.

 

Q:  What kind of musical training have you had?

 

A: I started playing the flute and sung at the age of 9 at soprano level . I had very little training. I learned how to create my own music by listening to beats of the music and blindly write as I hear the tunes of the instruments.

 

Q:  What kind of day job or income source do you have and how does it affect your ability to pursue modeling and music?

 

A: I work in accounting and auditing  . I have a regular day and night job. Most of my modeling and music gig isn’t last minute or an on-call basis so that’s a good thing , it is pre-arranged ahead of time .Nobody will give the time to anyone who don’t have the time for them or make you drop your job unless they have a good offer in exchange. But when my big break opportunity comes I will definitely drop everything for modeling and entertainment career.

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Q:  What is your strangest show biz story?

 

A: That’s a good question , now this is just the start of my show biz I haven’t been in one strange one yet & would hope it to be as good as it gets lol.

 

Q:  What are some things you have done to promote yourself?

 

A: I network a lot , go to events, you will see me on Instagram@TONARYOFFICIALPAGE for more details.

 

Q;  What do you like about Los Angeles?

 

A: I love shopping , plenty of work , plenty of cultures, plenty of places to go out . Bars, dining, clubs, red carpet events, the glamorous life.

 

Q:   What would you change about it?

 

A: Nothing in mind at the moment 🙂

 

Q:  What is the secret to an attention getting Instagram photo?

 

A: A classy, unique, bright close up selfie summarize it all .

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

 

An Interview With Singer and Songwriter Lenny Gerard

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Lenny Gerard is a singer and songwriter; here is a link to his website:

http://www.lennygerard.com/

 

 

 

Q:  What made you interested in music?

 

A: I became interested in music when my brother and I started taking guitar lessons together after school. I was young (like around five/six-ish years old?). It was when my hands couldn’t fit around the neck of our beloved and shared guitar that I gave up the guitar and decided to learn the piano instead. My brother was happy to have the guitar all to himself and I was content playing the piano and humming tunes along with it. Songwriting came later when I got emotional as most kids do in their teens (lol). It was certainly a great release J

 

It was when I got a generous scholarship from The New School University in NYC at 18 Years old that I started to take myself seriously as a singer/songwriter. I performed at open mics almost every week and snagged and performed my own gigs about once a month throughout Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan.

Music is therapeutic not only for myself but for the people that enjoy it as well. Music is a bonding experience. When I’m singing while playing the piano (especially if it’s a tune I wrote) and I really “get into the groove,” It’s like the best high in the world. It feeds my soul in every way and for that reason I will forever be interested in music and art.

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?.

 

A: When I was younger, I learned to read and write music on a staff, transpose, and arrange it. Going to college for contemporary music definitely reinforced these skills in me. I double majored in school with a B.A. in Contemporary Music and a B.F.A. in Photography. In college, a big part of my music major focused primarily on recording techniques and music production. We learned various software like ProTools and Logic. I also had the pleasure of taking numerous songwriting classes in college. I absolutely LOVED the experience and performing with classmates. Getting these degrees have broadened my skill set and have transformed me into a musical jack-of-all-trades.

I have recently taken up the ukulele and have been having way too much fun playing and songwriting with it! I’d never played a ukulele until some weeks ago but picked it up almost instantly because of my musical background (I am forever grateful for this, thanks Mom!)

 

 

Q: You started working as a photographer before you graduated from Parsons. How did you get your work in front of the right people?

 

A: It all began when I started taking senior portraits for the graduating seniors in high school out of my garage. I saved up from working at a local frozen-yogurt shop and bought strobe/flood lights, a fancy camera, and seamless backdrops and set up a studio. I kindly asked my parents to move their cars out of the garage so I could utilize the space in its entirety during my many photo-shoots. I gained local recognition as a photographer and was doing business as a 13-year-old from my own home. My mom enrolled me in a class at UCSD based on photography. I was definitely the youngest one in the class – at the tender age of 15.

 

Later in life when I moved to NYC for college, I started freelancing as a photographer for record labels, publications, and magazines. I believe it was my extensive portfolio and experience shooting back home in San Diego that landed me the gigs I got in NYC. I sought out specific people at record labels/ magazines and emailed them. Persistence, and an enthusiastic demeanor was the key to my success. Word of mouth helped a lot too. I got my work in front of the right people through networking via cold-call emails and social media and through the help of the many mentors that I acquired over the years. A lot of the professors at my school were extremely successful outside of class and willing to connect their students to opportunities. The professors also mentored some students on a long-term basis and I found this very rewarding.

 

Q: What is your most memorable celebrity encounter?

 

A: I have two:

 

  1. When I met Ludacris in the living room offices of Island Def Jam in New York City. He was not only one of the nicest and warmest people that I’ve ever met, but he had perfect skin. It was so smooth and porcelain-like! We had fun taking pictures together.
  2. I was taking behind-the-scenes photographs for Bon Jovi’s new video at the time “Because We Can” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXJFjrl-Q4) and Jon asked me for some water. I took a bottle out of the nearest cooler and water dripped on his (I’m guessing expensive) pants as I handed it to him. He looked down at the drip stain on his pants and back up at me. I smiled and scurried away.

 

 

 

 

Q: What inspired you to write, Old Enough For Love?

 

A: Old enough for love was inspired by the thought of romance blossoming over the phone. The words “I only know you over the phone” are meant to describe a sexual relationship based on the phone, as many relationships are today. I felt compelled to write about cyber and cellular relationships because there are now new non-traditional ways to meet people, and they often do not involve face-to-face interaction.

 

Q: Your bio says you are an LGBT activist. What are some of the things you have done for the cause?

 

A: Being an LGBT activist, I have performed at LGBT charity events and have always been a huge supporter of the LGBTQ rights movement. My fondest memories as an activist were in San Diego, California when I was still in high school. It was when proposition-eight (a ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment) was a big focal point in the news/ media. The proposition was to ban gay-marriage in the state of California (2008). I was the president of the G.S.A. (Gay Straight Alliance) in my high school and rounded up all of my club members, friends, and fellow allies to protest with signs that we made during our lunch breaks at school. We marched throughout downtown with these signs every weekend and finished every protest in front of the city courthouse. We made it on the news a few times!

Recently, I put out a music video that was featured on Huffington Post along with an interview about it: (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lenny-gerard-feel-me-now_us_56bce834e4b0c3c550508246). The mission of the music video “Feel Me Now” is to show that domestic and sexual violence is prevalent in the gay community just as much as with our straight allies. Men are battered too and there needs to be more resources for men to turn to and be taken seriously. Next month (March 2016), we will be conducting a social media campaign with the hashtag #MenRVictims2 to raise awareness on the issue.

 

 

Q: What do you like about the music industry?

 

A: What I like about the music industry is how it is dynamic and always changing. I like how the music industry is based on collaboration amongst all sorts of artistic mediums. At the end of the day, the music industry depends on artists albeit: film, sound design, fashion, production, camera operation, etc.

The music industry allows me to be creative and express myself in ways I never thought possible. I am so glad to have found a career in the music industry as it enables me to bring my visually creative side into my musical projects. My music videos are the ultimate medium in which I express myself – as they are the melding of both my sonic-artistry and my visual-aesthetic.

 

 

Q:      What would you change about it?

 

A: The music industry has always seen change and will always see change, which is one of the many reasons why I love it. I recently founded an entertainment company (http://www.OinkEntertainment.com) whose mission is to represent under represented talent and artists. That’s what I want to see change in the music industry; I want to see more minorities taking on big musical rolls and more TV appearances.

 

Q:  Who are some of your musical influences?

 

A: Lady Gaga, Elton John, Rufus Wainwright, Amy Winehouse, Le1f, Bruno Mars, Kat Dahlia, Sam Sparro, Adele, Beyonce, Lorde, Michael Jackson, Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Justin Bieber, Queen, Animal Collective, Nicki Minaj, Jason Derulo, James Blake, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Adam Lambert, Tune-Yards, Regina Spektor, George Ezra, and Missy Elliot… (Just to name a few).

 

Q: Do you think looks or talent are more important in music today?

 

A: Talent. If you have enough talent, no matter how funky your look or lifestyle is, you’ll be recognized and valuable to the masses for being authentic. I do however feel it is the artist’s responsibility to maintain an image that serves their artistry and products.

 

 

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

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:)

An Interview With Songwriter Justin Carbonari

justin

Justin Carbonari is an aspiring songwriter, here is a link to his Soundcloud page:

https://soundcloud.com/therothrocks

Q: When did you know you wanted to write music?

A: Well it’s just something you have to know and accept for yourself. I would always have a song stuck in my head, I loved singing and making up my own words and melodies for songs I’d hear. Since I can remember. I’ve always assumed it’s what I was supposed to do. Now I’m learning how.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: I try to rip off people who move me. Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, and Johnny Cash started me out. Ray Charles especially; “Night Time is the Right Time,” That’s rocknroll. Their voices, the instruments, they all fit the feeling so well. That’s what I’m looking for. Of course, ze Beatles. I could talk for days about them. A few years ago I took two days and listened to every album starting with Please Please Me, and I began my junkie-like journey into their world. The Stones and The Animals definitely feed the raw and heavier sensibilities. I think the stones were the best live band. And I love Motown and Stevie Wonder and James Brown. Both just brought so much rhythm and soul to the each instrument. I’m influenced by those who paint a landscape using each part to fill out the space in the best way. I’m inspired by these fleeting perfect moments that these amazing people somehow came up with. Pink Floyd was really good with that, ELO as well! I love tracing the influences through the decades. I should have just made a list.

Q:  What inspired you to write the song Miss Behave?

A: Originally I was trying to write a few songs like Stevie Wonder. I was living in San Francisco and I was getting off a bus to wait for another  and the call and response melody came into my head, “Oh baby I’m tired,” I thought it could go so many places from there.

Vocally I was really into Queen and Freddy  M. at the moment, so it stared out very grand. Eventually it morphed into it’s own groove, but it’s still a work in progress, you know. They all are.

Q:  What kinds of themes do you write about?

A: I try to relay some sort of truth, or some honest feeling. Otherwise what’s the point? I’m fascinated with our brains and how we interpret the thoughts of those around us. It’s all in our head and we can get mixed up.

So I try to write thoughts that we all feel sometimes but can’t talk about. I think if art is to redeem man then artists must be an honest reflection of the human condition. But ultimately it’s about me. So I try to translate a real feeling that I connect to whether it’s about a girl or about our place in the universe. It’s all related anyway.

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

A: Well I’ve mostly worked in restaurants to pay the bills but for the past few months I’ve been acting and organizing rock shows for a venue down in Orange. I’m hoping to use work I can get acting to support myself. The industry has a bit more structure than with music.

Q:  what have you done to pursue your acting career?

A: Well I’m starting out. At this point I’m taking whatever I can get my hands on and working hard once I’m on set. I understand its a business so I have to find my form, how to market myself at first. I love improv and comedy so I’m trying to push towards that. I’m starting to meet with some agents. Little by little. You just gotta show people you can do the job. I’m also writing a script like the old spaghetti-westerns which I’d really like to get made. I think it could be great So I’ll be pursuing that as well as other writings.

Q:  What kinds of things have you done to promote your music?

A: I wanted to focus on writing it rather than promoting. For a few years now I’ve developed that part of me, knowing it’s all that really mattered. To write great songs, instant classics. That’s the goal.  Slowly getting there, but I’m still learning.

I’ve put some songs up on websites, soundcloud and bandcamp, but I feel now that I’ve recorded a few decent demos I can start to peddle them around town and show everyone who I am and what I can do. In many ways I feel like I’m just now starting.

Q:  What do you like about the music industry?

A: For a long time I was very against record labels and the industry at large. But for distribution and marketing purposes it’s still hard to beat. The internet and the technological advances it has brought will continue to change the landscape and maybe soon eliminate the need for middle men between artists and fans.

But If you want to reach a great deal of people now you must make your work great and easily available. I believe people don’t have the time for anything that isn’t great. I want to be great. If it’s good enough people with want to spread the word. So I’m just starting to spread the word.

Q:  What about it would you change?

A: It’s hard to be definitive because as of yet I’ve had very little experience with the “machine.” But I suppose my main issue is that they’re not cutting edge anymore and music and the industry used to be sought out by the best and brightest. It’s always been about money, and that’s fine. But Napster and the 21st century scared the labels and it became about making safe bets. So the rich and diverse culture of music went underground to find those who understand. We’re all just looking to connect with someone who understands. Thus the industry further shriveled trying to live in the past where they could charge $20 for a CD and sell two million.

But a change is go’n come.

  1. What is your theme song?

So hard. My gut instinct was, Good Vibrations or, Tomorrow Never Knows.. But, Like a Rolling Stone also shines through..reminds me of my journey and how hard it is to get along in this world. Ol’ Rob Zimmerman. You should listen to all of them.

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