Friday, November 21, 2008

Otto's Daughter offers erotic musical escape

What do you get when you mix the sound of Depeche Mode with Nine Inch Nails, the strong presence of Shirley Manson of Garbage, a sense or eroticism and alot of the color pink? Well, my friends, you have a group that is starting to make a roar all across the US right now.
They are called Otto's Daughter and they have been around for about ten years now in different variations. The one consistent factor after all of this time is the visually and vocally captivating Jacqueline Van Bierk.
Jacqueline, or JVB for short, was born in Germany and experienced a life unlike what we Americans grew up with. "I grew up under communism and we were not allowed to do alot of things. I met a friend who loved New York and we took a trip there. I could not believe all of the colors that I saw. I grew up in a world of black and white. There were so few options and choices there. When I walked into a store in New York and saw how many colors of nail polish there were, I was totally blown away. Back home, I may have had one or two and that was it. I knew then that I wanted and needed something bigger in my life," said Jacqueline.

I asked JVB how , when growing up in such a controlling environment, did she decide that she wanted to go into music? " I was an only child and I was always wanting to be the center of attention. I loved to dance and perform and entertain anyone so that I could have some attention. My dad was in a band and played drums and the sax and he played alot of festivals. I always went went him and watched. Everyone would always say 'There goes Otto's daughter', which is kinda how we got our name. I just knew that I wanted to perform for people. I came to America and started looking for a band. I found several, but they wanted me to look a certain way and sound a certain way and I wanted to be me."

This brings us to an interesting point in the career of Otto's Daughter. It seems as if there has been a revolving door for musicians since the bands inception. Each of their Cd's contain different musicians and it seems as if this band is JVB's baby. "Well, band members have come and gone for different reasons. Some guys couldn't commit to touring because of another job, some had egos and wanted to do things their way, some just didn't have the passion that I have. The lineup that we have now is pretty tight and we seem to be on the same page."
The early stage show of the band has certainly come along way. Early on, it more prop oriented and about shocking the crowd. "I did want to shock early on. I had baby dolls that I brought out on stage and impaled and I used to pour blood all over me. I didn't want to be sexy at all. After a while, I felt pressured to do those things and it felt like they were taking center stage. So, I stopped doing them. I know that we lost a few fans who were mad and wanted me to keep on doing it, but you have to evolve and I felt stuck."

You definitely can hear different influences in their music and see it visually. I wanted to know who her musical inspirations were. "I have so many different types of music that I love. I love Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode. I also love Korn, early Marilyn Manson, Tori Amos and Alannis Morrisette. It really depends on my mood as to what I listen to. When I am pissed, I love to listen to Pantera. They have so much aggression and energy in their music and lyrics."

The state of today's music industry seems to be in turmoil with Cd sales declining rapidly. JVB told me that she felt the industry needs to adapt and adjust to it." As musicians, it will force us to make better Cd's so that people will want to own the entire project and not just a single or two."

Anyone who gets to talk to her will see that she is a bundle of energy and always working on something. What does she do when she's not out on the road? "Well, I am always working ti seems like. I am a vocal coach when I'm off the road and I am producing other artists. I am so high strung that I am constantly having to work on several projects at once. I unwind by watching movies. I love watching movies every chance that I get. I love Oceans 11-12-13 and The Usual Suspects. I also love the old Pink Panther movies too."

I ended my interview with my traditional question of if you were trapped on a deserted island and had to have one store bought Cd, what would it be? "Wow, that's a tough question. I am not sure, I would want something that would inspire me to be a better person and artist and I wouldn't want to lose faith either. I can't think of just one Cd that would provide all of that for me." Oh well, maybe it will come to her later. That was the first time I had ever stumped someone on that question.

I had the opportunity to see the band live in October at the Somewhere Else Tavern in Greensboro,NC. I knew nothing about the band, but was told by the members of another band performing that night, A Light Divided, to make sure and get there early to catch them perform. I was told that I would not be disappointed. Well, I wasn't, I was blown away. The band seems a little confined to a small stage like the one that night. JVB is a very powerful presence on the stage. She is a beautiful woman and that gets your attention immediately. When she gets it, she then proceeds to unleash her arsenal of energy and eroticism on you. The music is a cross of rock/rave/techno and it is a high energy show. The other guys in the band consist of Jim Robbins on guitar, whose face you rarely see during the show thanks to his "Slash" style hair that covers his face, "G" Gilbert Hererra on drums and "Ro" Roman Campbell on bass, who is from North Carolina. They provide a strong musical accompaniment to JVB's vocal presence.

I loved the show and got to met the band afterwards and talk to them. They are looking to come back out on the road in March of 2009. You can catch their dates on their MySpace. I encourage everyone to go there and check out their music. They have alot to offer fans of different genres of music and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed in them. Thanks again to Jacqueline for the interview and I can't wait to see you guys on the road in 2009.

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