10 Questions with Blind Walker G

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1. How would you characterize your music?

W: Oldtime Schizophrenia, one leg in cool played harmonies like J.J.Cale, the other leg into Tom Waits eruptions.

2: What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?

W: When I was 16 back in the very early 70’s, I met a bunch of freaks ten years older than me, listening all day and night Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart. I mean, really all the time, maybe one or two Velvet Underground records in between, that’s it. Been hangin’ around with them for seven years, still today I can remember every single note of every Zappa record.

So that time deeply destroyed my ability to listen to charts music.

3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?

W: There is no real process. When I grab a guitar, there is a new song. I’m very bad at playing covers and mostly don’t remember my own songs from the past, so the only chance is to play something new.

The real process is to fight my lazyness and write down some lyrics and run a proper recording, before I forget everything. In this case I like the idea and do it the same way like John Lennon. Never record a song at the same day you had the idea. If you can’t remember next day, the idea wasn’t strong enough.

4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?

W: Apart from Soundcloud I’m also on the “follow me-follow you-but nobody’s listening” site called Reverbnation, for the big commercial success (I’ve sold one album-download in four years) I’m on Bandcamp.

5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?

W: The War On Drugs, Spoon, Eleanor Friedberger, Todd Snider, from Soundcloud artists as far as I know My Hot Air Balloon and Swamp Lightning.

6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?

W: Music?? music-free home

7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?

W: I’m absolutely not interested in style. Of course to build up an artificial personality like Tom Waits did, makes sense. But I’m not that type of person, more that “just play my guitar and sing” down to earth musician.

8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?

W:  “Going To Hell” from the London based band “Tiger Lillies”. Been tour manager and part-time guitarist of them back in the 90’s and still dig their music.

9. Why music and why do you make it?

W: There are so many things you can’t find the right words for, but I can play my feelings. So this is just like using another language with different possibilities.

The second thing is, if you play with a band with a working chemistry and you have this magical moment in music, when angels and demons start to cry together hand in hand —-YES, I’m alive.

10. If I should listen to one undiscovered musician//song today who//what should I check out?

W: www.youtube.com/watch?v=reBMRc2p4ZU



Visit Blind Walker G at:

https://soundcloud.com/blindwalkerg

http://walkerg.bandcamp.com/


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10 Questions with Idris Davies

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1. How would you characterize your music?

I: Work in progress. What it comes from is american roots music mainly but my dream is to be able to blend it with contemporary rhythms and beats. Need a drummer. Don’t we all?

2. What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?

I: I could go on here at length. My first experience was at age 8 hearing Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds blasting from my mates mum’s car. I don’t know if it was the volume but that song got inside me whilst me and Martin waited in the supermarket car park we had that song repeating full blast and were dancing on the roof! Twenty years after it had been recorded Beatlemania was still alive.

Aged 20 I was taken ill and moved in with my parents to recover – it was here I found one of my Dad’s old music books – a Leadbelly guitar book – and learnt the song Goodmorning Blues with the walking bass. I was pretty taken at this, with the Blues and all it’s possibilities! I howled that song all night long – I mean into the morning! Goodmorning Blues.

3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?

I: Firstly it helps to be hungover. Generally I’ll sit down with a guitar and note book. But it varies you know – sometimes the song will rise up out of the blue and it just comes; sometimes I get an idea for a song and it wont be until months or even years later that I can get it written. Sometimes a song takes work – editing and such – and sometimes it doesn’t.

4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?

I: I’ve littered my music in the usual places – Youtube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Reverbnation and I share it to Facebook and Twitter.

I’m shy and getting too old to play the silly i-wanna-be-famous game so I do the least I can to share my music – I don’t play live any more and I don’t like having to sell myself.

5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?

I: Oh man, well I struggle here because I don’t listen to modern music. I’d recommend you listen to Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers. I’ve been enjoying their noise most recently. These guys, and the early Jazz that they were playing, were simply fun! No connotations, no second agenda, no trying to be Keith-Richards-Cool just good youthful fun! The bands seem to have an arrangement but they generally play what they want! There’s mistakes (and that’s fine!) and there’s laughter and chatter and messing around and you can imagine dancing too! This was an age where Music was unemployed – free of the financial responsibilities it’s tied up in today. Free and irresponsible – that’s my kind of music!

6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?

I: Active like a Bio-yogurt. My Dad plays most instruments from Tin Whistle to the Uelliann Pipes and all inbetween. He used to play sax in a Punk Band deep in the Shropshire Valleys and guitar in a Christian folk group. We had all kinds of instruments to play with and it was early that I picked up a guitar and my Dad taught me my first songs from The Cowboy Songbook. There were bands coming around the house to play and there were records for when there weren’t bands. We played the records loud and would all dance about in the living room. Even the dog joined in. My life didn’t ever never have music going – even in the car we had our bag of car tapes – Van-the-man Morrison, Dylan, Paul Simon, Eurithmics, Talking Heads etc etc etc. I remember Dad pulling the car over in town just so we could listen fully and completely to Dylan’s Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie. I didn’t listen – I was too young if you like – but I’ll never forget how it effected my parent’s and that interested me. Now of course I love that mountain of a track! God if I could only write one thing like that.

7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?

I: Yes, I reluctantly think so. I dress like my hero’s I suppose. I study Dylan album covers to try and locate the exact jacket or wear my shirt the way he does. Fail on all accounts of course! In my music I see many genres – currently I generally fit the folksy singer-songwriter category and dress accordingly; but in my mind there’s a rock band in there – I’d dress differently for this – sharper. In a band it’s important to dress smart I think because once you’re in a band it’s a job – you have coworkers and you give presentations. Dress smart for work and all that. I had this idea of forming a band that play dirty blues-rock. With all the band members literally howling through every show like animals. But all dressed super smart like Muddy Waters!

Aka The Man.

8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?

I: Well that’s currently going to Jelly Roll Morton. There’s two – Oh Didn’t He Ramble is a good’un with the intro, slow and morose, leading to the introductory words “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust … if the women don’t getcha the liquor must!”. Then ensue wailing, laughter and a nice lively rag with everyone playing their own thing as only Morton’s boys can!

9. Why music and why do you make it?

I: Because I can! I recognize I’m not the best guitarist in the world, I’m not the best singer in the world and I’m not the best songwriter in the world. But I figure I can do all 3 alright so that’s ok right? These are skills I have and I see it as my duty to use them. I say my duty because I believe God gave me these skills. And what better way to thank Him than to use them and make music. So because I can but also because I want to – I wish beyond so much that I could produce a living from my music. Music is in my heart it represents my youth, as outlined above, and it coincides with just about every memory I have. Music is like the notepad on which my life is written; it occupies my mind like air does my lungs. How can I stop feeding off and making music?! No I have no choice but to continue day in day out. I can and I will.

10. If I should listen to one undiscovered musician//song today who//what should I check out?

I: My mate Anju. She has the best voice. I could (and do far too often) compare her to any of the great jazz vocalists but in truth no-one sounds like Anju. I was hit with a good wave of originality blended with strong talent when first I heard her breezing on the ‘cloud. She’s a good writer and her guitar parts are always interesting too! Her songs have a lovely super-dry whit which is always a pleasure to hear.

If I can share her link I’d like to – https://soundcloud.com/anj-7 – and pair it with a recommendation to buy her new album where she’s accompanied by some top top Italian Jazzers and they all have a ball!


Visit Idris at:

http://idrisdavies.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/idrisdavies

https://www.facebook.com/idrisedavies


10 Questions with The Weighty Tree (Mark C Todd)

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1. How would you characterize your music?

W: A primarily guitar based mix of different styles which I seem to classify from psychedelic groove, ethereal fuzz outs, bluesy funk, laid back acoustic, indie melancholy and somewhere in between. I love to improvise as much, if not more than produce music as fully crafted tracks. The Weighty Tree is the vehicle for my own personal musical emotional expression. It allows me full control over the process and content of the music that I can’t achieve in the same detail when playing in a band, although that has it’s own magic completely, but this way there are no compromises necessary. I play true to me and maybe someone will enjoy that in a different way, in the same way I enjoy others’ musical adventures!

2. What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?

W: The first ‘toy’ my parents gave me which I would not leave alone was a radio cassette player. I had it in my playpen as a small child. Apparently I was completely hooked on it and never let anyone take it away without all mayhem! They quickly gave in and let me keep it! I’d never go to sleep unless it was on – a comfort blanket I suppose! I learned sound could be a toy I suppose.

3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?

W: Pretty basic really, just playing around with various chords, progressions riffs I like and then I hit record. Overlay by jamming on top in various ways with different instruments, delete most of it until I have something that captures my attention and then move on to something new. I’ll go back later with fresh ears and either junk it or develop something further. Occasionally, I’ll figure out exactly what I want before I begin and work out full arrangements before I start.

4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?

W: I never really pushed my music seriously because I’m not a singer/song writer as such, but when I discovered soundcloud and the fact that people might actually listen to my music and enjoy it I decided what the hell and uploaded some tracks. Then I got some really inspiring feedback which reinvigorated my creative juices, so I thought I’d work on a few more with a view to finishing some of them (the hard part!), which is where I am now…

5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?

W: I like all music from jazz, blues, RnR, rockabilly, folk, 60s beat garage psych, soul and funk, 70s prog, krautrock & afrobeat, 80s indie, 90s/00s psych/shoegaze, stoner rock, americana & folk etc etc. and along the way alot of hip hop, drum’n’bass and rap too.

There are so many arresting artists, especially on soundcloud. Those I have collabed with all excite me, but I can’t choose one of them, so I’ll have to say 60s legends The Pretty Things – I saw them recently in Southsea (UK), and they blew me away, albeit with a young outstanding rhythm section!

6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?

W: My dad always played jazz of the big band swing and bebop variety, country and western, blues and sixties RnB. My mum was into 60s/70s soul and classical music. I guess that’s why I like most styles of music so much, veering from one to another and why I love jamming. My older sister got me into indie music. I have been addicted to the search for new and old sounds ever since.

7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?

W: I think image doesn’t have anything to do with music but everything to do with the visual art, and of course it is fun to mix them together. I think truth is coolest, but a good old yarn is also hard to beat. I’ll go with the late, great Bo Diddley.

8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?

W: Bo Diddley – Bad Trip

9. Why music and why do you make it?

W: Cartharsis and fun. There is no why for me, only why not more! Job security kills my time but I guess that’s pretty important, damn it!

10. If I should listen to one undiscovered musician//song today who//what should I check out?

W: Charlotte Gordon soundcloud.com/charlottegordon


Visit Mark at:

https://soundcloud.com/theweightytree

http://theweightytree.bandcamp.com/


10 Questions with Chris Picciuolo of The Uncle Steves

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1: How would you characterize your music?

C: I would say my music is quite simply a bunch of sounds and melodies patched together during desperate times.

2: What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?

C: My first music experience was when I would play these weird little tunes at on the piano at my Grandparent’s house. I was a sensitive kid, probably 6 years old. I remember my Grandpa sitting in his chair just listening, and when I was done, he told me that I sounded alright but I could use some lessons. For some reason, that always struck a chord with me, and he very well could have meant it in a positive way. But I took it hard. I don’t think I played piano again for a long time. I got my first snare drum, rented from the Catholic School I was attending. I had a couple of lessons in the convent basement, but I did poorly and remember feeling like I wish I could take off the sound pad on top of the snare. I wanted to really hit that thing. The nuns didn’t like that. I think what helped shape my music is that need to do the opposite of what people always told me to do. I never got piano or drum lessons, and I took each instrument up by ear over the years, starting in my mid-teens. I know that sounds stubborn and it probably is. But that stubbornness really is the main driving force behind the music I make.

3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?

C: It can vary on the day, really. It all depends on if I have the will to record at any given moment. The only time I plan to record is during short spurts of house-sitting for a friend, in his basement. Other than that, I will usually just have to want to make time to set up the microphone on my computer and pull out an acoustic guitar and whatever random percussion I have sitting around.

4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?

C: I have my music available to purchase on theunclesteves.bandcamp.com

I’ve made a handful of music videos that I directed that are up on Youtube. I think the name is, “TheUncleSteves” on there. So, youtube.com/TheUncleSteves
I’ve tried selling my albums online but after the first album or two, I declined in the amount of people buying. It started to only be acquaintances, close friends, or family who would buy.

5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?

C: Well, they’re not recent-recent. But I am pretty excited about Dr. Dog and Hacienda. Those are some talented fellows.

6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?

C: Not very many instruments until I got my first drum set at 15. It was a Royce kit, pretty cheap. But there was always a cassette in the house playing The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Peter Paul and Mary, etc. A bunch of different artists from that era.

7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?

C: I think an honest style and image is important. If wearing traffic cones on your head works for you, do it. As long as you carry it well. I consider bands like Little Dragon and Black Moth Super Rainbow to be pretty damn cool, especially when it comes to style and image, from album covers to live performances to press photos. I really connect to their imagery.

8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?

C: I’ve never really thought about this one. I’m not sure of an exact song, maybe the whole White Album or a collection of old blues tunes from the 1920’s. Maybe some Spice Girls. I want to make it a weird one.

9. Why music and why do you make it?

C: Music is the one thing that has consistently kept me looking forward to life over the years. I make it because I have to. If I’m not making music, I feel like that’s one less collection of sounds I can throw out into the universe and I want to do as much music as possible before I die.

10. If I should listen to one undiscovered musician//song today who//what should I check out?

C: Possessed by Paul James is up there, although he has had some mild success lately. It helps to be backed by a label, as small as the label might be. Pocket Vinyl is another one that comes to mind, Husband and wife duo. He plays keys and sings while she paints lovely pieces on stage. Check out their record, “Death Anxiety” Great stuff.

Visit The Uncle Steves at:

New Page: Playlist

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Spin this playlist to hear songs by the awesome people who have participated in our 10 Questions interview series!

Feat. Clara Engel, Verena von Horsten, Shoot The Wendy Bird,, Dana Dau & Ang Kerfoot, Sofia Deville etc. etc.

Also, FIND US on soundcloud and share the playlist!

Together we can sound louder.

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10 Questions with Clara Engel

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1. How would you characterize your music?

C: I might call it aquamarine, formally-ambivalent, feeling music.

2. What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?

C: When I was a teenager and I first heard CAN, Jacques Brel, and Patti Smith, (all around the same time), it collapsed the divides between poet/musician/artist. I realized I could embrace all of those ways of making work at once.

3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?

C: It mostly begins with words. I write fragments and phrases in notebooks — often phrases I overhear or that pop out at me from something I’m reading, and then songs kind of sprout from them over time, over the course of many re-writes. It’s a fairly rigorous but also unselfconscious process so I can’t dissect it — or maybe I’m afraid to.

4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?

C: The best place to find my music is on Bandcamp, if you want to get it directly from me. In terms of physical albums: I have a vinyl release with Vox Humana Records (UK), and another one with Backwards Records (IT). Unperceived Records (DE) will be releasing a new EP of mine on CD in 2015. Wyrd Distro still has a few cassette tapes left from a release I did this past year with TO label, Arachnidiscs Recordings. I have done quite a few small-run releases with boutique labels.

5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?

C: I just discovered the music of Tara Jane O’Neil — she’s been making work for a long time, but it’s new to me. I’m listening to “After A Dark Seven” right now. Her guitar playing is wonderful.

6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?

C: When I was really young my dad would play the guitar and sing with me, and I preferred the long and (in my mind) more serious folk songs. There was a lot of classical piano music in the background too for most of my childhood. I was never drawn to the piano. I tried to sneakily borrow cassette tapes from my older sister, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” in sixth grade is the one I remember most vividly.

7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?

C: The conflation of image and music (or of artist and persona) frustrates me. I think the work needs to come first for me to be interested in what someone is doing. We’re being manipulated pretty heavily when we start basing our opinions of art and music on how “cool” someone appears or how compelling or valuable their personality is made out to be via publicity. Also, high school sucked way too much for me to seek out that social dynamic ever again in my lifetime. Not that I don’t appreciate an original look or a sharp outfit, but costume and compelling-personality-narrative just doesn’t make the music itself more interesting to me. I kind of envy authors a bit because they don’t seem to be expected to perform a persona as much as musicians are… its seems like it’s more optional for them.

8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?

C: Funerals are more for the benefit of the people who love you who are left living — so they can pick.

9. Why music and why do you make it?

C: I don’t know why I need to do it, but I do, or I am a wreck. I think I am a person who needs a practice of some sort to make life seem less formless and chaotic. I’ve never had a religion, so I don’t know what that’s like — but creating songs is the closest thing I have to a spiritual practice; it transcends the pettier aspects of my life and my character, and it’s also how I make sense of the world. It’s been a way of salvaging something from painful experiences.

10. If I should listen to one undiscovered musician//song today who//what should I check out?

C: Check out Tsinder Ash. He has a fantastically singular approach to songwriting and singing… very earthy and otherworldly at the same time. He has one album up on Bandcamp, and has a new release coming out in 2015.


Visit Clara Engel at:

http://claraengel.net/

http://claraengel.bandcamp.com/


10 Questions with Joanna Sternberg

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1. How would you characterize your music?

J: I would characterize my music as Folk with the occasional splash of Country.

2. What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?

J: Every time I listen to the music of Scott Joplin I realize new things about music and what I want to do with my music. He can say the most beautiful thing in the simplest way, and it makes you realize that there is no such thing as “simple” in music.

3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?

J: It usually comes to me with a couple of words or a melody, sometimes the melody and words come together. I construct the rest of the song around that theme (of the melody and words) usually there is an emotion I want to address in the song. If the song is about someone I am in love with, it usually tends to write itself.

4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?

J: Right now it is just on my website and sound cloud (www.joannasternbergmusic.com orwww.soundcloud.com/joannasternberg) but I am recording a solo album in January that I am very excited about.

5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?

J: I love the Icelandic singer songwriter Soley. I think she is amazing. I should check out more new artists I find myself too absorbed in American folk songs of the 1700’s to the early 1900’s.

6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?

J: It was focused around The Beatles with Rhythm & Blues and Rock and Roll and Blues. There was the occasional jazz or classical music being played too. My family comes from a line of Jewish Singers (Yiddish Theater) so there was some of that too, which I really love.

7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?

J: I don’t think of style and image, but I always think artists are cool when they seem like nice people I would want to hang out with. (not divas or full of themselves) Having said that I obsessively accumulate clothes from cheap thrift shops.

8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?

J: Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings (first movement)It is a gorgeous piece and I think it will manipulate everyone to cry. ha!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsGRglp6tvs

9. Why music and why do you make it?

J: I make music that is designed to make people feel like they are not alone.

10. If I should listen to one unknown musician//song today who//what should I check out?

J: I am not sure how unknown this musician or song is but “Last Kind Words Blues” by Geeshie Wiley always gives me the chills no matter how many times I press play.


Visit

www.joannasternbergmusic.com

www.soundcloud.com/joannasternberg