Monday, February 23, 2009
How about a game of word association? Let me throw a few words at you and you say the first thing that comes to mind. Singer. Powerful voice. Very compelling, dynamic and personal lyrics throughout her songs. Maximum security prison. CD cover that has a person dressed in black. Now, at this point I am sure that just about everyone has yelled out Johnny Cash, but I want to let you in on a secret. The artist in question, who does share alot in common with Mr. Cash is a newcomer to the music scene by the name of Kerri Edelman.
Kerri is not exactly your typical singer-songwriter. You see, Kerri graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology as well as a Masters and Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology. She is currently employed as a Director and Clinical Psychologist in a maximum security prison. So, did your jaw just drop? Now, when you hear all of this, you may envision Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. Then, you look at this very petite and beautiful woman and you really are confused.
I was intrigued and actually had a chance to talk to Kerri in order to settle my own curiosity on a few things. "I guess you could always say that I've been different. I was somewhat of a tomboy when I was growing up. When I was 11, I started surfing competitively. I was the only girl out there and of course I got resistance from some of the guys. Eventually, my persistence and hard work payed off; earning their respect. I am approaching my venture into music in a similar way," said Kerri.
Proving people wrong seems to be a reoccurring element in her story. "It seems like everything that I do, especially getting involved in music, has been done on my own with very little assistance, support and encouragement. Not alot of people think that I can do this and I guess that I am just going to have to demonstrate as I have in the past that with persistence and hard work what is perceived as impossible can be accomplished," Kerri said. A quick footnote to reference would be the track on her CD entitled "Vanilla Skies" which really captures the whole "I will prove you all wrong" spirit that she has.
So, how does one make the change from being a clinical psychologist by day to alternative rocker by night? "Well, it was about six or seven years ago that I began writing. I've tried putting a band together on dozens of occasions and it eventually fell apart for a variety of reasons. I have a very strong work ethic and I am a real go-getter. It's hard sometimes to find other musicians who share the same goals and aspirations that I do. It hasn't always worked out. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Chris Matty on this project. We have created some pretty amazing songs and I am very proud of what we have accomplished together," Kerri says.
I have to admit that I did expect her lyrics to be alot darker and disturbing than what I initially heard on the album, given her background. "I think some of my lyrics may be a little negative. I have had people tell me that they were shocked by some of the things I was singing about. I write about difficulties that I have been through and past relationships. People seem to be surprised that I have this darker side to me. I mean, I love horror movies and I love trying to figure out why people do the things that they do. It's kind of like Hannibal in Silence Of The Lambs. Stuff like that really intrigues me," said Kerri.
I do admit that the judging a book by its cover reference is going to pop up many times in her career. Kerri is definitely a walking contradiction in the visual sense. She stands, I'm guessing , not much over five feet tall. She has flowing, wavy auburn locks of hair. She seems like her voice would squeak like a tiny church mouse, but then you hear her sing. WOW! The power and emotion that comes out of her tiny frame is mind blowing.
Her CD entitled "Leave It All Behind' showcases Kerri's amazing voice and writing ability. She draws from her musical influences that include 3 Doors Down, Evanescence, Incubus and Staind as well as heavier bands such as In This Moment, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin and Finger 11. Her songs do not contain the darkest lyrical content that I have ever heard, but song such as "Overcast" are somewhat personal. "This song was not written about one person in general, but deals with many people in my past as well as the present. The concept of this song is that every time you work hard and things begin to go in a positive direction, there is someone there that has something negative to say about your efforts and attempts to succeed," said Kerri.
Other songs seem to be bonded by the theme of relationships. "The song 'Goodbye' could be applied to getting involved in any type of a relationship where you really care about someone (boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, etc.) but you are then led astray. The intentions that you thought the person had was ultimately wrong. Another track, 'Sinking In', was written about a person who puts on a facade and acts like he or she has your best interests in mind and at heart, but then you realize the person was being manipulative and deceitful," said Kerri.
I personally think that her CD is really good. It does have elements that are familiar to today's sound. Fans of Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin or Staind are invited to give this talented young woman a listen. Her CD can be purchased at CD Baby, i-Tunes, Amazon Music and other digital distribution mediums as well as on her website www.kerriedelman.com. To learn more about Kerri, you can visit her website and My Space page at www.myspace.com/kerriedelman. I encourage people to give her a listen and really pay attention to her powerful yet thought provoking lyrics. You can relate to the things she sings about and it really helps to make a personal connection between the artist and the listener.
The music industry needs a good dose of artists like Kerri. Even though she is a total package artist, she is more substance over style. An amazing voice and deep, meaningful lyrics show that she is talented enough to be around for the long haul. They say that dynamite comes in small packages and Kerri sure does make that statement true with a capital TNT.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Once in a while an artist comes along out of nowhere that touches you. Whether it is with their look, their sound, their voice or their songwriting. They seem to fill a void in the industry. It is a welcomed embrace, kind of like the feeling you get when you put on your favorite sweatshirt or climb underneath a warm blanket on a cold, rainy day. Johnette Napolitano is one of those artists.
Johnette was the voice of the alternative band Concrete Blonde. They attacked the music scene in 1986 with their self titled debut and won over fans across the world. The three member band, which consisted of Johnette on bass and lead vocals, Jim Mankey on guitar and Harry Rushakoff on drums, offered a fresh sound that was unlike any around at that time. They combined elements of pop, rock and punk to merge a sound that complimented Johnette powerful lyrics. The band toured and released other cds through the late eighties and early nineties. They hit their "commercial" peak in 1990 when their single "Joey" hit the Top 40 off of their biggest selling album "Bloodletting". Just a footnote, that release featured the drumming expertise of the great Paul Thompson of Roxy Music.
The band broke up in 1993, but reformed in 2001. They released two new studio albums and one live album before retiring in 2006. I recently caught up with Johnette to talk about her solo career and life beyond Concrete Blonde.
Well, first off I do want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions that I have. Being a huge fan myself, when can we expect something new from you? "I'm in the last stage of a 3rd edition of a series I do called 'Sketchbooks', which is basically cleaning out hard rives once in a while with ideas or demos, things that don't really fit anywhere, not done but probably never will be and too good to toss. I do 1000 and sign them and www.cdbaby.com sells them and the fans seem to like it. This one will be enhanced," said Johnette. Her first two releases, "Sketchbook" and "Sketchbooks 2" sold out very quickly and I personally have had a hard time finding a copy. Every now and then, one surfaces on E-bay for a hefty price.
What was the one defining moment when you knew that you wanted to go into music? "I've been playing music since I was eight, it's just really what I was born to do. Being from LA, I've been around studios and music people all my life and I'm talking about people like Gordon Jenkins, who was Frank Sinatra's arranger. I went to elementary school with Steve Porcaro, whose family is pretty legendary in the music business. Dave Gold, owner of long gone Gold Star Studios, who created and developed Phil Spector's echo chambers. I worked for Leon Russell, who influenced me tremendously. He lived in such a creative and eccentric environment, I knew I wanted to live life that way as well."
Johnette has worked on several film scores since being with the band. How did this opportunity present itself? "In the early days of the band, the films came to the label for music, there are fans who are directors and writers and alot of the time they come to me. I think I'll be working on a short film soon, the writer contacted me, so I've been lucky like that. Most of the recent film work that I've done with Danny Lohner, formerly of Nine Inch Nails, who happens to be one of my best friends and probably the most talented guy I know. He upped my game considerably", she said.
Can you tell me about your art and how that is going? "It's going pretty well. I'm working on the art for 'Sketchbook 3' and getting back into drawing and painting, in the last few years I've been really into wood and metal, tin, reclaimed materials....I still am. I just finished a portrait of Julia Butterfly-Hill for an auction for her new Love Wins organization. I used 100% reclaimed/second wood and paint. I'm starting up some clay work again. I try to take a break to work on something everyday, I realize how important it is."
Johnette has always been praised for her songwriting ability. Her lyrics are very introspective and full of powerful emotions. How much of that is autobiographical? "In the early days, alot of it was, but as you get older, ideally, you become less self-centered and start to see the world and the people in it in a different way. Also, I moved out to Joshua Tree seven years ago and was in a more introspective phase of my life. I'm just now spending time in Hollywood again, which is my hometown and revisiting some of the old lyrics and the stories behind them. It's been a trip! I'm subletting my tour manager's place for a while and splitting my time....it's turning into much more than I thought it would be. I'm also working with David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets) on a record of old standards from the 30s. We toured a bit together and I'm loving that because I don't have to write. All I have to do is enjoy being a singer and use my voice in ways I can't do in rock, and as I told David 'wear a nice dress'."
So, what was a highlight and low light of the years with Concrete Blonde? "Well, the fun, and I would say this to any band, is when you're getting there. When you're broke and you all have the same goal, nothing to lose, and the first time you hear yourself on the radio, see yourself on MTV or whatever. When it gets to the point you're making money everybody turns into assholes. Everybody wants something, you get sued, people spin out of, it gets weird and it's really hard to stay in touch with the source."
The band did disband in 1993 and regrouped briefly in 2001. What made you reform and then stop again? "I needed to make a record, I needed to do it fast, I was having some emotional instability and it just seemed like the thing to do. I hadn't been aware that the guys had been going through the same sort of problems, so we made the record a few months before 911. It was weird. Some of the lyrics on that record 'Group Therapy' are very eerie in hindsight. Then Harry blew it and split again, but I sort of anticipated that may happen and pulled in Gabriel Ramirez from the Roc en Espanol group Maria Fatal, who I play with to this day and we went to Brazil for the first time and Peru, which was great. We made 'Mojave' out there in the desert, which was great and I just felt like we had done all we could do as a band. I was tired of being in a band, writing for a band, touring with a band, I really needed to stretch out."
A friend of mine saw you in New York a few years ago opening for Paul Weller. Any chance of hitting the road again any time soon? "Not soon, that's for sure. I burned out touring a couple of years ago, but I probably need to get to Europe later in this year and Australia. David and I want to do the standards show, we're probably going to do a couple shows in Hollywood, but we're just trying to work out details of all that now."
My last question was, of course, my stranded on a desert island with only one cd, what would it be question? "I would probably answer that question differently if I were asked weekly, but Gershwin's 'Rhapsody In Blue' or 'Slaughter On Tenth Avenue' or Robbie Robertson's 'Native American' records." Technically, that's three, but who am I to argue with a woman whom I idolize?
What an amazing interview this was for me! I was so excited for this opportunity. I got to see Concrete Blonde on their "Bloodletting" tour back in the day. Johnette is such an amazing woman. The talent that comes out of her is almost speechless. Whether it is her artwork or her music, she is inspiring to all lovers of music. Her two "Sketchbook" releases are next to impossible to find, but you can still find her other solo cd entitled "Scarred" which is also unbelievable. It's been over 20 years since I was managing an independent record store called Sounds and Stuff in my hometown of Martinsville, VA. It was there that I discovered the talented Johnette Napolitano. She had a voice like none other and lyrics that I had never even imagined in my life. An artist like this is a rarity and is sorely missing in our music scene today.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Many kids want to follow in their parents footsteps, especially if they were successful. You have second generation actors and actresses, sports figures and musicians. Some even try to ride the coat tails of their famous parents expecting the doors to be easier to open for them. This is not true for young upstart Lucy Walsh.
You see, Lucy is the daughter of the legendary Joe Walsh of the Eagles. Now, Lucy and her dad had an agreement from early on. Joe told his little girl that if she wanted to pursue music, that he was not going to help her. She had to do it on her own. That's exactly what this strong willed young lady wanted to do. "I am very proud of my dad and I don't want to shun him away or the fact that he is my dad. At the same time, I don't expect him to help me or have people do favors for me because I'm his little girl. I'm not going to change my last name or anything to avoid it because it all comes down to talent. Without the talent to back it up, you're not crap," said Lucy.
Lucy definitely has a style all her own but you can see elements of her influences mixed all throughout her personality and music. "I have loved Cyndi Lauper from an early age and I do get alot of comparisons to her. Musically, I love Mozart, he is my ultimate idol. I also love Nickel Creek, the Beatles and of course the Eagles. I think that the Eagles gave me my great sense of harmonies."
Lucy got a great deal of exposure by being a part of MTVs Rock The Cradle in April of 2008. It was a show where the off springs of famous musicians compete to win the top honors. I asked her about that experience. "It was actually a very painful experience. It was very scary to go on live TV, there was alot of stress. I mean, you get to perform and I love doing that but what the people at home do not see is all the people running around and the crew and the cameras. The music part was fun, but being picked apart by the judges just to create drama, that was painful."
Even though it was painful, it was a good experience. What else has Lucy been doing since the show aired? "Well, I took most of 2008 to focus on writing. I want it to be right because the music is the most important thing. I have over 100 songs down on paper. I will be going to Nashville and hopefully the cd will be out before the end of the year."
So, how does Lucy approach songwriting? "I think it was Billy Joel who once said that you have to go to the piano each and every day, no matter what comes out. You have to do it. I write in so many ways. I keep a journal next to my bed so that if I wake up and think of something that came to me in my dreams , then I can just jot it down real quick. I just recorded a song with Rooney that came to me in a dream."
Lucy has several tracks posted on her MySpace page. She seems to be at her element sitting behind the piano singing. Songs such as the amazing ballad "Lullaby" and another ballad called "I Miss You" showcase the passion in her voice that comes through in her music.
Lucy is very proud of her heritage but is dead set on proving everyone that she can do this on her own. She is right, the name Walsh can only get her so far. She most certainly has a voice that is very strong and pure. Her songwriting skills have already penned several tracks that show she has got a gift for telling a three and a half minute story. She is a true talent that hopefully will not get lost in the onslaught of today's "here today gone today" mentality of music. This young woman has got what it takes to be entertaining us for "The Long Run."
Monday, February 16, 2009
Los Angeles and Orange County, California. What comes to mind? Sunshine, bikinis, beaches? For the band Chapel Of Thieves, it means dark, brooding lyrics that are written best when raining. "Ryan, our bass player, and I write most of our material when it's dark or raining. We can't write when it's sunny outside. I vacationed in Cabo last summer and I took a journal and thought that I was going to get some writing done. It was over 100 degrees everyday and I couldn't write," said lead singer Elysia.
The band released their cd "Haunted Hearts" in 2007 and their sound at times is very dark and melodic with lyrics that may have you doing a double take. Songs such as "Swamp" and "Haunted Hearts" are dark and sometimes creepy but at the same time very gripping. "It's hard to pinpoint our sound. We don't want to sound exactly like anyone and I don't think that we do. I can hear a little Siousxsie and the Banshees in us. Lyrically, we are inspired by artists such as the Smith and Morrisey, the Cure, Joy Division and alot of stuff that was coming out of Manchester during that era. Ryan and I are huge AFI fans and also Interpool. I think because of that, our earlier writings had more of a punk edge and feel to them," said Elysia.
My first listen to the brought to mind several things. Their drummer Woody provides an amazing back beat that is evident throughout every song. He is ferocious! Elysia's vocals are eerily similar to Kate Pierson of the B-52s, almost to the point that I had to ask her is they were related! She told me that her vocals have also been compared to Dolores from the Cranberries. She also provides the keyboards for the group which at times sounds like an eerie organ from a horror movie, but it works with their sound.
So, why the dark lyrics? "Well, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I just like dark stuff. I love vampires and, I know this will sound weird, but I love stuff about serial killers. I have this strange fascination with all of that. So does Ryan, we have very similar interests," said Elysia.
What does the future hold on store for this young band? "We are in the beginning stages of writing and getting ready for our new cd. I'm going to say maybe in April or May is should be ready. We want to do it ourselves. We have had some interests from some labels, but we want to do this on our own. We want to incorporate more vocal patterns and harmonies into this new cd. We're all really into Tom Waits and we want to add more influences like that to our style," said Elysia.
The band plans on hitting the road and venturing out to the East coast to support their new cd. "It's really the best way to expose people to our music. Nothing beats performing live in front of people and making new fans," said Elysia.
Well, I for one hope that they do make it to the East coast, since I am a residence of Virginia. They are a unique group that stands out in this complacent music industry that has turned into a cash cow and doesn't really look ahead towards the future. The band shows a lot of promise and their determination will set them apart from the rest.
Strong, assertive women have found their way into the pages or music royalty. Throughout the years we have had such icons as Billie Holliday, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Pat Benatar, Madonna and so many more that I cannot list them all. All of these women had several things in common, but they all had a strong work ethics and the drive to succeed. I recently met a woman who wants to follow in their footsteps. Her name is Christy Johnson and she fronts the band Dreamkiller.
Christy's resume reads like an entry into Who's who! She graduated from UNCG with both an MA and BA. She was Miss Jr. Greensboro in 2003. She has several big screen credits including Tobe Hooper's Mortuary and Leatherheads, among others. Her small screen credits include MTV's Road To The VMAs and MTV Making The Video Madina Lake and more. She is definitely a versatile woman who is very headstrong about being a success in the music industry. I had a chance to talk to her after a recent show in Greensboro,NC at the Greene Street Club.
"It seems like I have always been performing. My mom put me in all types of pageants at an early age. I remember trying out for my first play in the sixth grade. I actually got the lead part in it and it was Heidi. We had a band before this called the Arrival and it was more punk influenced. We actually released one cd. I then reformed the band under our new name Dreamkiller and I would say that our sound is more alternative/rock now," said Christy.
Finding the right pieces to the puzzle can be hard when forming a band. Finding the right chemistry and individuals with the same dedication can be hard, but it looks like things are falling into place. The band played its' first show since 2006 and its first with the new lineup at the Greene Street club in Greensboro, NC in late January. The band, consisting of David Lanning on drums, Erny Galvan on bass and Tian Garcia on guitar, performed a very tight set that night. It was really hard to tell that it was there first show live together.
Christy is every bit the flamboyant front person with her flashing and sexy outfits, but don't judge the book by its cover. This girl has some serious chops and has a vision in mind for this band. "Dreamkiller actually has a concept line with characters and a storyline. Kind of a throw back to rock opera. We have alot of ideas in store and hopefully it would all come to light on our new cd which we hope will be this year. We have one song already recorded called "RAGNAROK" which was used for the Superpower documentary."
I had a chance to catch both the show at the Greene Street Club and their headlining spot at the 2009 Winterfest on 02-14 at the Somewhere Else Tavern in Greensboro. The band is a very tight and cohesive unit. Tian is a beast on lead guitar and his harmonizing abilities bring a great element to the band. Although Tian appears to be a little subdued on stage, his guitar work screams volumes. Erny seems to like to cut up with the crowd more and his pounding bass lines combined with David's bashing of the skins seems to have molded into a powerful unit.
The band plans plenty of live shows planned for the future around North Carolina and into Virginia. It may take a little time for the average fan to pick up on the concept line of story and its main characters, but if you just want to rock out to some great rock/alternative music Dreamkiller is well worth the ticket price. I enjoyed the show so much that I actually felt undercharged. Check them out, you won't be disappointed.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Kelsey and The Chaos. Never has a name been more appropriate than with this young, upstart group. Chaos is definitely an accurate word to describe the last year for this four member band originating from the New York/Tri-state area. More has happened to them in a little over a year than happens to most new bands in their entire careers.
Lead singer Kelsey Merritt spoke to me recently to fill me in on all that has happened. "Well, the band was created by myself and our drummer, Nick Rotunno. We met at the Berklee College of Music. Brian Pascoe and Justin Stabler entered the picture a short time later and we had found all our parts. That was in January of 08 and we played our first gig in March of 08."
The band has definitely had its share of exposure also. They were part of MTV2s Battle of The Bands. "We saw it on a website called Addicted To Noise, which is an interactive site. We entered the contest which was to see who would be crowned the top band in New York City. It was judged by Chris Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional and Brendon Urie and Ryan Ross from Panic At The Disco. We did really good and placed in the top 5 and got some amazing works of praise from the judges."
That wasn't the only national exposure obtained by the group. They performed several dates on last year's Vans Warped Tour and were picked to open for Bret Michaels on his Rock Of Love Tour. "Opening for Bret and being in front of that big of a crowd, that was the point that I knew in my mind that this was what I really wanted to do with my life. I've been singing since I was 12 and I always knew I wanted to be a performer, but that was the moment that solidified it for me," said Kelsey.
The band released it's EP, "Against The Wall", in late 2008 and it was picked up by Hot Topic for distribution. The group's inspirations range from Pat Benatar and Joan Jett to more modern artists as No Doubt. One obvious comparison, given the sound and having such a visually captivating female front person, is Paramore. Kelsey commented," Wow! The comparison is very flattering, I'm honored by it, but we do want to stand out. Yeah, there are some similarities but we are also alot different too."
The band is currently on the road touring and will be on this years Vans Warped Tour. So, what does Kelsey see as the best and worst parts of touring? "The best would be , of course, doing what we love to do and that's play our music in front of people. Also, meeting our fans is really cool. Worst part? It would have to be having no actual home. It is kinda hard to take care of yourself when you don't have a stable environment."
Kelsey was then subjected to my question about being stuck on a desert island with only one cd, what would her cd of choice be? "I have to pick two. One would be the Kaiser Chiefs "Off With Their Heads" and the other would be Michael Buble "Time". Two different styles but I love them both."
I encourage people to pick up their EP at Hot Topic or on their page on MySpace. It contains only six songs, but it gives you a small taste of what the band is capable of. Songs such as the "You Can't Stop" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" are stand out tracks that really showcase how amazingly tight the band sounds to be so early in their career. Kelsey is an amazing front person. Visually, yes she is stunning, but this young lady has some serious chops. She's not just another "gimmick" in this cash cow industry more concerned about cashing in on your talent today and not producing an artist with staying power. This band will be around for many more Warped Tours and their own headlining tour is not too far off in the horizon.
Monday, February 2, 2009
The 80s. It was a decade of excess. Most people tend to dwell upon the bad elements that were left behind by the 80s. True, we had our fair share of bad fashion and bad music, but what decade hasn't? My memories of the 80s are very fond and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. Such is the case for a woman whose voice has been somewhat of a mystery for over 20 years.
I am talking about Adriana Smith, a/k/a the Rocket Queen. Adriana is the front person for a new band called Adriana and Ghost In The Graveyard. They are a four member band that hails from California that is dead set on putting the swagger back in rock and roll. I guess I should go ahead and tell you readers the story behind the moniker Rocket Queen that she has. I spoke with Adriana and she explained the story to me.
Well, Adriana was very fortunate to be in LA for the early part of the eighties where the metal scene was unbelievable. There were many upstart bands trying to get their big break and she soon found herself smack dab in the middle of what was soon to become one of the most influential juggernauts of that scene. " I remember walking down Sunset Strip with my friend Adriana Barbour and I would help her look for Duff McKagan who was in Guns and Roses because she had a really big crush on him. I never didn't purposely find my way into all of that. It seemed like everyone we knew back then had a band. I just knew that we were part of something special. I ended up dating Steven Adler who was the drummer of Guns and Roses, " said Adriana.
After an intense night of mixing their historical debut "Appetite For Destruction" and some legendary partying, Axel Rose had the idea to record someone having sex and put it in to the song "Rocket Queen." Well, one thing led to another and Adriana and Axel did the deed. The next morning, when the fine line between reality and a hangover started to settle in, she realized what she had done. She felt awful about what had happened and did not want Steven to find out about it and asked that it be left out of the song, but it was too late. The guys did lower it in the recording but left it a mystery as to who it was for over twenty years.
So, how did the secret see the light of day finally? "Mark Canter got in touch with me and told me he was working on this new book called "Reckless Road: Guns 'N Roses and The Making Of Appetite For Destruction." he was looking for a friend named Pamela who used to dance. Actually, we both used to dance for the band. He suggested that I tell my story and finally gain some closure to it. I was ashamed for what I had done and to this day, I still felt really guilty about it. So, I decided to come clean."
So, Adriana has a new band that she fronts called Adriana and Ghost in The Graveyard, which was named by her daughter. So, what made her venture into music after being around it for all that time? "I actually moved to LA to be a songwriter. I was actually working as a telemarketer a few years ago when I just decided one day that I had had enough. I'm done with this and I want to pursue my dream. It's something that I had always wanted to do, but I got steered in the wrong direction along the way. Doug Tilley, who is our bass player, I met him in a treatment center and he was in this band that played country cover songs. Well, I became the singer of that band and we got paid to do covers but it really wasn't what we wanted to do. Enter a old friend by the name of Dave Wagner and he was our missing link. He played guitar and had his own studio and things just clicked between us. Dave's son Zack is actually our drummer."
So, the band ventured into the studios and recording their first cd entitled "Wars In The Graveyard" which definitely encompasses that edge that seems to be missing in rock today, or as Adriana calls it "It's swagger". One can hear so many influences both lyrically and musically on the cd. who does she site as her musical inspirations? "Well of course Axel has been a major songwriting influence. He is so misunderstood at times. The stuff that he puts to pen and paper is amazing. I listen to so much different stuff that it's hard to name all of my influences. My mom was a dancer and I have been dancing since I was 3, so I have been around so many types of music. There are metal influences such as Guns and Roses and Judas Priest and Zepplin. I listened to alot of goth and draw from Bauhaus and the Cure and Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Cramps and the Cocteau Twins. I also love oldies like Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins. I love Debbie Harry and , oh my god, there's Elton John. I could go on and on."
You cannot help but to be drawn to Adriana's personality. She is very outspoken and she just has this quality that exudes from her. She is a delight and just radiates such a good feeling. True, she has been through alot in her lifetime, but as she says she fell on her face and pulled herself up and decided to get it right. One of the main turning points would have to be the birth of her daughter. "Oh definitely, it just solidified my purpose her on earth. everything with me revolves around her. I feel she came into my life to show me a different path to take. I wouldn't be who I am at this point in my life if it wasn't for her. She believes in me and she supports me."
I ended this amazing talk with Adriana by asking her what cd would she want with her if she was trapped on a desert island. Now, with vast taste in music I thought this may be a tough one for her to pick out, but I was wrong. "Without a doubt, "Houses Of The holy" by Led Zepplin. It just covers all the bases, it's spiritual, it has great harmonies, it has blues, it just has it all."
Our interview had come to an end and I have to admit I was somewhat sad. Adriana has this spirit about her that just rubs off on you when you talk to her. It was so much fun talking to her and she is such an amazing woman. I encourage you to go their MySpace, www.myspace.com/adrianaandghostinthegraveyard, or to the band's website which is www.therocketqueen.com and check out their music. It a brash mix of old school punk and metal with a twist of personality.
Enigma. Webster defines it as an inscrutable or mysterious person, something hard to understand or explain. Such is the case with an artist known as M LaZar. She is a multi-faceted person. She has been modeling professionally since the age of 16. She has done major ads for Draven Shoes, Manic Panic makeup, Samson Audio, Loaded and Sourpuss Clothing and much more. One look at her ads and you cannot help but to be captivated by her stunning beauty. She is delicate, yet still displays a composed attitude throughout her work.
She also is a writer and interviewer. She has her own column in the music industry magazine MUEN as well as columns for Medazzarock.ch and BITPOM.com. She is a music correspondent for Gorilla Wire TV and she has her own show which is entitled Things That Rock. She definitely has gotten her fingers wet in many aspects of the entertainment business.
Then there is the M Lazar that fronts the band September Mourning. There is a beast unleashed on stage. M combines a blinding fury of industrial sound along with sexuality and sometimes growling vocal stylings to presents a barrage to the senses. She and her band present them in a way that is fresh in this somewhat stagnant industry. I spoke with M recently about everything going on in her hectic life.
"Well, the band has just posted a new song on MySpace called "The Bleed" and we are about to go out on the road with Hansel Und Gretyl. Our sound could probably best be described as industrial but with great pop hooks. I like blending sounds together to produce something new. I was always that kid in art class that had to blend all the charcoals together to see what I could form new. I approach music making the same way," said M.
So, with all the modeling going on and the band, what is her main focus right now? "Well, I love modeling and I am at a point in my modeling career where I can actually handpick who I model for. It has to be someone whose causes I support or whose product I use or wear. Right now, everything is about the music. That's my main objective. Modeling is good PR for the band and I will use it to help promote them. My goal is to get our EP out and to bring our music out on the road," said M.
Musically, she draws her inspiration from fellow artists who seem to share her flair for creating very lyrically rich and profound songs. "I'm very influenced by In This Moment, Nine Inch Nails and Glassjaw. I love Killswitch Engage also, they have amazing song hooks. Lyrically, a good song is a good song, but the context needs to be personal. You need to have felt those emotions before you can help the listener truly buy into it."
So, with her foot firmly planted in the modeling industry along with her take no prisoners approach to her band September Mourning, where exactly does she see her endeavors heading? "This is definitely the last time that I am changing bands, I do know that. There is so much potential here and I am working with alot of amazing people both in front and behind he scenes. There are alot of great people who are behind us including a great management team. I'm really excited about what the future holds for us," said M.
I closed the interview by asking m what cd would she want by her side if she was stranded on a desert island? "Wow, I can't pick just one. I can narrow it to two though. It would have to be Jimmy Eats World "Clarity" and Glassjaw's "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence". Both of those are amazing!"
I have to admit that M is a very intelligent young woman is is very headstrong and knows what she wants. Her aggressive nature comes across in her work and her music. Check out her band September Mourning and be on the lookout for their EP which is due out shortly. Check them out and prepare to have your senses stimulated.