My goal is to introduce you to music that doesn’t fit in your “I only like pop/country/rock etc genre”. There are so many songs & artists to explore that are waiting for you to discover them. I am here to help. Let me be “Your Music Stylist”
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Stay tuned for artist interviews… and catch me on my Instagram @music_stylist for more updates on new music.
Q: Thanks for speaking with me today.. quick bio: You’re 17 yrs old, stage name Izora, and born & raised in India… Where did the name Izora originate from? Were your parents influential in getting you interested in music?
A: Hey! Glad to be here. So basically I was thinking about what I wanted my stage name to be and the name Izora very randomly popped in my head and I instantly thought it was perfect and for those of you that don’t know; my real name is Shreya Jaswal. My parents played a massive role not only in influencing my taste in music but also in encouraging me to pursue my passion (music). I’ve listened to almost all of my Dad’s song collection which starts from the 70’s music and my mom encouraged me to take guitar lessons in 5th grade which basically was the beginning of my musical journey.
Q: Who are some artists that you consider your influences? I had my 11 yr old nephew listen to your music and he says Billie Eilish & I say, Lana Del Ray with a hint of Lorde.
A: Haha..that a very good guess. Presently my biggest influences are Lana Del Ray, Lorde, Daughter, Billie Eilish of course and Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.)
Q: You had 2 singles released in 2019, Feel Better & Midnight…Give me a quick run down of what these songs are about.
A: Feel Better is a song about how we all go through these tough times and society in a way has made expressing sadness a sign of weakness so everyone is just told to smile and get over it when you really are trying to process your emotions. I wrote Midnight after watching Stranger Things lol. But it turned out to be about this “dark side” almost all of us have inside us and sometimes it takes control of our emotions. I’m on the outside looking in and trying to connect to that side and eventually am able to come back to my senses. Then again music is all about perspective, different people can have different takes on the same song.
Q: Let’s talk about Grey, your latest single. This song was produced by Jessy Covets.. Tell me what it was like working with her and what did you learn from her while making the song?
A: It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with a producer. I’m all about supporting the women in music so I DM’ed her on Instagram and she almost instantly understood exactly what I was going for, she is one of the best producers out there and is also super sweet and easy to work with. I really look forward to working with her again and would recommend her to everyone. She is madly talented.
Q: Grey is about your mental health issues…have your fans reached out to you about dealing with their own issues and see this as being therapeutic for them? It really is such a beautiful haunting song..
A: Thank you so much! When I get a text from someone that goes something along the lines of my music helping them overcome a mental health issue or how they were feeling down all day and started to feel great after listening to my tracks, I instantly feel wholesome and a little emotional. It feels like a giant warm hug…. Music heals….and I’m glad something I created in my little bedroom helps someone halfway across the world. I’m super grateful.
Q: Quick hits: only 1 answer…. a) Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat b) Rap, Alternative or EDM c) Science, Math or Economics d) Football, Kabaddi or Squash e) Mango Bite, Pulse or Toffee f) Justin Timberlake, Drake or Harry Styles
A: a) Instagram b) Alternative c) Economics d) Football e) I don’t like candy (please don’t kill me) f) Harry Styles
Q: Any live-streams in the near future?
A: Yes. I usually do live streams at around 11:30am PST
Q: Where can people listen to Izora and stream your music?
This ad kept popping up on my IG account about some band called The Sulls so I decided to find more about them myself. So here is the interview with the band..
Q: So the band is headed by brothers, Brendan and Kyle Sullivan… when did you guys start playing music together… early on growing up?
A: Yes! We started playing music in our basement when we were just starting middle school. It was very loud. Looking back, I can’t believe our neighbors were cool with it.
Q: You guys play a lot of events especially weddings… whose idea was it that it was a good idea to start playing weddings?
A: We definitely pride ourselves on having been successful across the wedding, corporate, private and college event spaces. Each market has its own unique aspects that make them enjoyable. We pursue everything as a team and both decided that weddings would be a market we could offer something unique in.
Q: The band was voted Best Rock Band in 2019… that’s pretty cool..you guys must be pretty proud of that…
A: 2019 no doubt was an awesome year. We did a lot of acoustic gigs which made it funny to us that we get voted best rock band during a year we played mostly acoustic gigs haha!
Q: Now in 2020, everything is kind of at a stand still in the music industry. … as a band, primarily that plays weddings, how had the coronavirus affected you?
A: Covid-19 has really taken its toll on the live event industry. It’s caused a lot of uncertainty towards our couples. We try to be as flexible as possible with not only our wedding couples but anyone who booked us to for an event. Although Covid-19 has caused a lot of things to be rescheduled, we’re looking forward to getting out there and providing some awesome entertainment for people when this is over.
Q: What had you been doing during the stay at home orders? Music or non music related?
A: Music-wise we have been learning some new songs to add to the set list. We’ve also been working on a new lighting design which is going to be awesome to see live. Non music-related, we’ve been getting really good at Call of Duty.
Q: Any live-streams happening?
A: We’ve done 4 so far and a studio session. We’re tossing around some ideas to keep things interesting. Keep an eye out!
Q: So the coronavirus restrictions have really hit the music industry hard and for many artists like yourself, this can be hard financially…What have you been doing during these “stay at home” orders? And where can people go to buy your merchandise?
A: It has been difficult and really the big unknown of how long until we can gather in big numbers is the real concern. We’ve been doing a virtual tip jar on the livestream and ask folks to play our music as much as possible or consider purchasing merch.
Vaughan Supple is an 18 yr old musician from Massachusetts and a very talented musician. This was my actual first telephone interview as I usually get the Q&A from email or Instagram. So let me introduce you to Vaughan..
Me: When did you start singing? Is your family musical at all?
Vaughan: I started about two years ago.. My family is musical in the sense that my mom would always be playing music and dad was really into classic rock and he inspired me to play guitar… we made this deal that we would start practicing and doing lessons together.. So I think I started in first or second grade & we both picked up the guitar at the exact same time and started doing lessons. It was a hobby we both picked up and then I didn’t start actually writing music until about two years ago.
Me: After listening to all your music on Spotify, I was curious if you play all the instruments on the albums or do you use a mixer/preloaded synth?
Vaughan: It differs because I have collaborated with a few people but for the most part pretty much 90-95% of the songs are me playing everything but the drums are electronically programmed and I’ll do the guitar, vocals and bass..and synth piano..I can’t play the piano but can write in the MIDI..
Me: So what editing programs are you using to mix it all together?
Vaughan: I’m using Pro Tools but I’m thinking about switching to Ableton Live just to try it out because I’ve heard there are good sounds to choose from but yeah now I’m just using Pro Tools.
Me: Let’s go back to the guitar, you said you took lessons with your dad but the other instruments, self taught?
Vaughan: Guitar is the only one that I know how to play fluently..but bass I kind of learned as a result of guitar because they’re similar and piano I can’t play but I write electronically the melodies and as far as singing I just kept practicing for a few years.
Me: I was listening to some of your songs so I’m just going to talk about what sounded familiar to me. So I listened to the Nocturnes EP and right away Valentines to me sounded like the intro to Comfortably Numb, very Pink Floyd-esque..I don’t know if that was your intention or not but very cool.. then the Lonely Great EP..the track Trace of You reminded me of Radiohead a little..
Vaughan: Oh really? Radiohead is honestly one of my biggest influences and I feel like I draw from them a lot..
Me: The track Anemic was a little Nirvana-ish and We Drown, which is probably my favorite track. I don’t know but there was something I couldn’t pinpoint the band but it sort of sounded like Tame Impala to me just a little bit. So just give me a quick rundown of what some of these songs are about?
Vaughan: Trace of You is kind of pretty conventional it’s like a love song or for just a kind of typical song about a girl and so that was drawing from personal experience and I feel like a lot of my earlier songs are kind of more conventional love songs and my more recent ones are kind of abstract I suppose. So that first album was a lot of love songs and kind of personal songs and the Nocturnes EP was inspired by dreams and abstract thoughts. I draw from dreams and old childhood memories, places in my mind that were kind of foggy enough that I filled them with creative motifs while still drawing from my own experience I guess.
Me: So your latest release, Backbone Elegy, that is really good too. For Old Times Sake, the background vocals with Jenny P sounds real nice.. And the Bubblegum song, it’s like that catchy tune and the background vocals reminiscent of the intro to Mr Sandman yet slowed down with a different tempo but you sound so much like Ezra Koenig, lead singer of Vampire Weekend.
Vaughan: That’s actually very funny that you say that because not only are they a huge influence to me but I just spoke to someone a couple of days ago and we were doing an interview and they said, Bubblegum, really reminded them of Vampire Weekend. I don’t know, I really didn’t think about that at all while making it, usually I’m very aware of my influences but that one must of slipped by me.
Me: Take me through your song writing process.. you mentioned your first EP was about love songs, the next one was about dreams.. what is your new album about?
Vaughan: The songwriting process was important to me especially on this one because I love 50’s music.. I’ve been listening to a lot of it and wanting to make my own version of it and I noticed that the fifties were a time of conformity and the pop culture was like every fifties song was a love song like, ‘You and me darling or sweetheart’ and I love the melodies of fifties songs and wanted to hear some songs of that style but where the lyrics are kind of like, ‘I hate you’.. you know what I mean and so that’s what I tried to do with this EP… I was channeling my most pessimistic songwriting for this because I was trying to compliment, especially on a track like Bubblegum because it’s so poppy and upbeat but the lyrics are so downbeat is a good word I guess. So I drew from personal experience of societal conformity and whenever those kinds of things would pop up in my life.
Me: Did I read somewhere you’re a fan of Neutral Milk Hotel? You also seem to have a wide range of musical tastes…so how would you describe your sound & who are some of your musical influences?
Vaughan: Their second record is probably my favorite record ever. As far as my sound, that’s a hard one to pin down because especially with the stuff I’m working on right now that I haven’t released yet, I’m just going in different directions. So for this most recent one, I listened to a lot of Buddy Holly and The Chordettes. But for my first record I was listening to a lot of Radiohead, Wilco and Neutral Milk Hotel. And with this most recent stuff I’m working on I’m actually going in a r&b/jazz to hip hop style and I’ve started trying to rap. And I have been super inspired by Vampire Weekend.
Me: Who is your favorite rapper?
Vaughan: I was really in love with Tyler The Creator’s newest album when that came out about a year ago..because it was totally being like neo soul but it still had that hip hop flavor to it. I listen to a lot of hip hop because it saturates today’s music a lot so I can’t really get away from it…. I really like what Billie Eilish has been doing recently.. This girl is talented and I really like her production and the stuff that she makes with her brother is really awesome and obviously she’s very mainstream right now and everyone is in love with her.. so I was skeptical at first as well but I think her sonic landscapes are just awesome.
Me: So now that most people have been at home due to the coronavirus, what have you been doing to pass the time and what kind of things not music related do you like to do?
Vaughan: I’ve been certainly doing a lot of music in my free time and I’m also pretty occupied with school because I am doing online classes. As far as non music, I’m kind of into like a lot of different art forms. I really love film, filmmaking and film watching. I’m taking a course right now that has a lot to do with post war Japanese film, which is one of my favorite eras of film.. I’m really into a lot of different directors and actually my next album I’m going to release in July is dedicated to Ingmar Bergman because he really inspired my song writing practice on this next one so that’s for him because I’m a huge fan of his work. I’ve been trying to watch a lot of movies and also TV shows…I just started watching The Sopranos for the first time so I’m getting really into that. Trying to read more so that’s keeping me busy. I haven’t been able to go outside and hang with my friends and do my usual way of life since it’s somewhat compromised.
Me: You’re 18? You’re in college? Are you studying music?
Vaughan: I’m actually not taking any music courses, I feel like I have enough music in my life..so I didn’t want to make that a part of my academic curriculum. I’m taking a range of things: French..I want to be fluent in French… Economics…I took it because i wanted to try it out…and my Philosophy course I’m taking is specifically about poverty so it goes hand in hand with my economics course.
Me: Where do you see yourself in about 5 years in your music career?
Vaughan: I have been able to make a lot of connections using the internet which I feel is such a really great tool for musicians right now. So music has always been just a hobby for me and I didn’t even really start considering the whole audience piece of it until more recently so I kind of made music for myself..just for fun..but now I kind of think of it more like making it for an audience and trying to get my music heard. There’s a lot more to come, I’m sitting on a lot of material right now.
Me: Where can people go to find your music?
Vaughan: I’m on pretty much all streaming services but the main one I like to advertise on Spotify just because that one has the most listeners but I’m on SoundCloud, BandCamp and Apple Music.. the whole nine yards..
Stay tuned for more interviews with Will Evans, The Sulls Band, APRE, CJ Tate..
I really love this band from my neighboring state of Massachusetts and I finally got to interview one of my top music discoveries within the past year, Planet Mercury Band.
Q: Before COVID-19, turned the music world upside down, what was the band working on? Tours? New music?
A: Before COVID hit, we were working on a lot of new music. We were in the beginning stages of booking a tour for the late summer/early fall and we were also going into the studio to record some new material before everything changed.
Q: So you guys are from MA, what are some of the best venues around the Boston area that you like to play?
A: There are a lot of really awesome local venues in the Boston area. In Boston, a couple of our favorite venues include Thunder Road and Midway Cafe. In the surrounding area, Alchemy and Fete Music Hall are awesome venues in Providence, RI and The Raven in Worcester, MA has also been great to us.
Q: You guys fall in the pink rock/pop genre, who are some of your favorite bands that inspire your sound?
A: We have a lot of mutual influences as well as some that are particular to each member. We all really love pop/punk music from the early 2000’s including bands like Green Day, Sum 41, Blink 182 and New Found Glory. That being said, we also all have many other bands we love such as Oasis, The Story So Far, Against Me!, The Beatles, Royal Blood, Trophy Eyes and many more. The grunge movement in the 90’s and the resurgence of garage rock in the 2000’s definitely has influenced our sound.
Q: You released a single this year, Death Wish for Living, an EP None in A Million and 2 singles. Any plans for a full length album?
A: Yes! We were ready to start tracking for our new album before COVID-19 hit the US. We have a good bunch of songs that work well together thematically, so we thought it was about time to have a crack at recording our first album.
Q: Now back to present time, the Stay At Home order for MA is in effect till May 18th, what are some of the things the band has been doing to pass the time?
A: It’s admittedly been tough to stay active with everything going on. We’ve talked on Zoom about how we can keep the wheels rolling and we’ve been working on some stuff from our homes. We’re finishing up the lyrics for our album and we’ve talked about recording a cover song or two from home. We’re hoping things get back to normal soon so we can get some new tunes soon.
Q: What are some tv shows that you guys have been watching?
A: Definitely Tiger King when all this started, haha. Jerry is a big horror buff so he’s been watching all kinds of horror movies on Netflix and Hulu. Michaela has been watching copious amounts of HGTV and Pat has been watching shows like Pawn Stars and Working Moms. Chris also recommended Death and Robots and we’ve heard really good things about Outer Banks, so we’ll have to check that one out too!
Q: Best take out restaurants during the stay at home order?
A: Shoutout to Serio’s and Uncle Ronnie’s in Burrilville, RI..Also, Antonio’s in Worcester.
Q: And where can fans buy merch and find your music?
A: We sell and ship merch ourselves so if there’s something that interests you, feel free to shoot us a DM and we’ll figure something out!! We ship pretty much anywhere so don’t hesitate to ask us about something! As for our music, it can be found on most major streaming services, as well as YouTube for those who prefer that platform.
I really encourage people to listen to this band if they haven’t already.. you can also find them on Instagram Planet Mercury Band
If you or your band has a new song/album soon to be released or if you are interested in your band to be featured, please send me a message on IG at music_stylist. Stay tuned for interviews with Vaughan Supple, Will Evans, APRE, CJ Tate, The Sulls and many more.
Until next time, I am Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias
Q: COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the music industry.. how are you guys coping with not being able to be out on the road?
A: It’s been a struggle for sure, this is the longest stretch we’ve been home in years! It’s hard to focus on the positives when the rug has been pulled out from under you in a situation like this, but it really helps to try to. This whole situation has created an opportunity to focus on songwriting and practicing our craft.
Q: I see that your 2020 Spring tour has been pushed back to Fall/Winter…with the restrictions in place probably for the foreseeable future, the venues will have to sell less tix but it might make it a more of an intimate experience for the fan, which is something I prefer.. what’s your view on that?
A: One of our favorite parts of this job is connecting with the audience, so playing more intimate shows are usually fun for us. I’m curious how the industry will compensate the lack of tickets sold to keep growing bands running.
Q: During the stay at home order, lots of people have been binge watching Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime… I saw that you were a bit obsessed with the Tiger King… what other shows did you discover or would recommend to your fans?
A: Oh man, that damn show. Tiger King provided a window into a world that seemed as upside down and bizarre as the one we entered back in March, so it had some entertainment value. For recommendations, however, Middleditch and Schwartz is really hard to beat if you want a laugh. Also, What We Do in The Shadows ( or anything Tajiks Waititi is involved with) is great.
Q: You’ve been doing a lot of live streaming for your fans…what’s your favorite part of the streams so far?
A: Though we don’t always have the best of luck technologically, the streams have been a lot of fun. It gives our fans a chance to see us in our literal home environment and gives us a chance to check in with folks and let them know we’re thinking of them. Our fans are incredible and they’ve given us such support we can’t thank them enough.
Q: So Maine has some great breweries…what beers would you recommend to me as I am a huge craft beer fan.
A: BEER. That is a tough question.. Not so much as to figure out what to recommend, but to figure out where to begin! Let’s start you out with some Maine Beer Company, Lone Pine, Oxbow Beer and Funky Bow and take it from there.
A: Thanks! That’s another tough one, but when we last left off, I think some of our favorites to play together live were Little Bird, Chrysalides and a couple songs off our upcoming album. We’ll let you guess what they are when you hear it!
Q: Where is the best place for fans to support the band? Buy merch, make a donation??
A: Head on over to The Ghost of Paul Revere and it will have all the info you need. Thanks so much for talking with us. Hope you’re hanging in there! – Sean
Not only can you find the band at their website above but you can also stream their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music platforms or anywhere music is streamed. To help support the band, you can also catch their series “Ghost Notes” by clicking on the link above to hear previously unreleased tracks and never before seen content.. each track is set up on a donation basis… for more details go to: https://www.ghostofpaulrevere.com/home-2
I have some interviews coming up with Planet Mercury Band, Vaughan Supple, The Sulls, APRE, CJ Tate and many more… until then I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias.
A couple of months ago, I spoke with Jason Singer of the band Michigander before COVID-19 started really wreaking havoc across the country.. I asked him some questions about the band.. here’s what he had to say…
Q: Tell me about your song writing process?
A: I usually start with a chord progression or beat and write over the top of that. Locking down a solid melody is first priority.
Q: You performed at Paste Studios in NYC in 2019.. what was that experience like?
A: I was horribly sick and it was hard to park our van in the city, and we were almost late. But it was a very cool experience when all was said and done.
Q: What has been some of the best experiences that Michigander has had on the road?
A: Recently, I played in Minneapolis in the small room at First Ave and there was a line out in front of the venue for the show and it was very surreal.
Q: Are you a more processed beats type or an acoustic guitar type when it comes to creating music? Or is it whatever creative mood you happen to be in at the time?
A: It changes per song. I try to make sure the songs can be stripped back and just played on the acoustic though.
Q: What artists are you into right now?And who do you see as the next “breakthrough artist” or next big thing?
A: Really loving these new singles from The 1975 and The Strokes. Would love to see more guitar bands like that become more relevant again soon. Not sure who is next.
Q: Let’s talk about your music… I, personally love the song Misery. It sounds so familiar yet it’s like I’m hearing it for the first time. Love song?
A: I’m actually not sure what that song is about. It kind of all just came to me all fleshed out and I was just lucky enough to write it down.
Q: Is there any song you’ve recorded that you consider “this is the best song I’ve ever written”? And why does it mean so much to you?
A: I feel that way about East Chicago, but I think some of these new tunes that I’m working on are by far my best work and I’m excited to play them live.
Q: You are hitting the festival circuit soon starting in May… maybe one of the biggest is the Firefly Festival on 6/18 in Dover, DE. Headliners include Rage Against The Machine, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Khalid etc… This gives the band tons of exposure to thousands of fans.. What does playing at such a large event mean to you? ***
A: It’s pretty wild. Been working towards these stages my whole life and now it’s finally happening, it doesn’t seem real.
Q: Can we count on a full album from Michigander in 2020? What can we expect?
A: There will be new music.. Not sure when or what it will look like, but it’s been worked on and it’s coming.
*** Since this interview, the world has been hit with the Coronavirus pandemic all over the world and pretty much every major music festival & concert has been canceled or postponed till next year.
You can find Michigander on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Audiomack, Souncloud, Pandora etc.. Go to Jason’s Linktree site.
As you know, musicians have been hit hard financially during this time… please consider making a donation to many of the musicians relief funds including Music Cares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Stay tuned for more interviews… if you are interested in having your band promote new music, send me a DM on my Instagram. Until then, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias
Funny story on how this interview came about.. I was reading about this Simon Finn above in an article on musicians who don’t tour much anymore and then I researched (not very well obviously) and asked another person, named Simon Finn, these questions & it was the wrong person. Shame on me! Thankfully, I found the correct email and here’s how the interview went..
Q: You’ve been performing for over 50 years in the music industry..That’s quite a career. At what age did you know that this was what you wanted to do.
A: Toe knottingly anxious, I played the first song I’d written, “Good Morning To You”, to people when I was 12, a couple laughed, but many were encouraging. Oddly enough, many years later, that song almost became a single. The lyrics are delightfully literal, there really was a blackbird upon my windowsill. I’ve been waiting for a call from Kelloggs. I tank by the time I was 13 or 14 I was pretty wrapped up in writing and playing. Like many activities, if you’re lucky enough to find one that clicks it helps indulge, or at any rate distract from life’s joyous aspects.
Q: You were just a teenager when you opened up for Al Stewart at The Marquee Club. What was that experience like?
A: Yeah it was in 1967, I was 16, I’d moved to London 3 months earlier and was living on the streets at the time, so I was enormously amazed and excited, and very, very terrified. Wednesday night at the Marquee Club used to be “folk night”. I’d played for a man named Roy Guest bunch of songs I had at that time, they were more in the vein of Patrice and little in common with most of Pass The Distance. I used to play a lot of love songs because I was fortunate enough to to be in love at the time. The show went well, the crowd seemed to like it and Roy booked me for the rest of June, always opening for Al Stewart. I still have my ‘67 diary and it says I got paid £1. Not quite as bad as it sounds as it bought me four restaurant meals back then, so I guess it would be around £30 in today’s money. Al was far kinder than he needed to be, my problem was, that living on the street, all I had was an old and very cheap, soft stringed guitar. He let me use his electric guitar and I somehow always got it out of tune before he went on which drove him a bit wiggy. Tuning guitars back then was not the exact science it is now, without a piano around, E became a very flexible note. There were tuning forks, but I never saw anyone use one on stage, you did it by ear, and a very nervous 16 yr old, who never played an electric guitar before, was not the best ear to rely on. Al cursed and begged me not to touch the knobs, but he continued to let me use it, which was very generous.
Q: What was the best song you’ve ever written? And do you have any songs you regret making it maybe are not happy with?
A: Songs & writing are a kind of therapy, or have been for me, so even if I no longer relate to a song in the same way, it is still a kind of window into what one was feeling at the time. Best song really means favorite song, and that changes constantly! Some I don’t think of for years and then suddenly, they pop back into my head. And often one relooks at a song again if others seem to like it. An editor at Vanity Fair, Alex Shoumatoff, really liked Friendship from Accidental Life, if he hadn’t mentioned it as his favorite, it might not have ended up on the album. I still play songs from Pass The Distance because I know that that is what many in the audience world would like to hear. Which I understand completely, if I go to a Neil a Young concert I would like to hear Cinnamon Girl.
Q: You’ve pretty much have toured all over the world.. what is your favorite place to perform?
A: In truth, I’ve loved them all, I’ve been lucky and had few bad experiences. I was nervous about some countries, but I needn’t have been. Some shows are better organized than others, but like life, the ones you worry about often work out fine, and the ones you pictured going smoothly the sound system explodes or something.
Q: Pass The Distance album was released in 1969 (the year I was born) and had become a rare gem but since the it has been remastered & re-released. Is it the pinnacle album of your career?
A: You were released a year before! Pass The Distance was released in ‘70 but recorded in ‘69. Depends which pinnacle one’s thinking I guess; for sure it’s the biggest seller in most countries, Accidental Life is the most popular in Denmark and I think France. I suppose Accidental Life was the pinnacle from a musician’s perspective. It was made in a very luxurious London studio with a great team of people, including my old producer and lead guitarist from 1969, Vic Keary & David Toop. It had Joolie Wood, who has played on most albums since and many other lovely people. Put another way, it was a fun experience, which is unusual for me because, although I like writing, and I find performing cathartic, I don’t actually like recording. I’m bad at it! I can only do one or two takes, repetition kills the emotion for me. If they have flaws, they have flaws. My favorite albums are usually ones with flaws; early Neil Young, Velvet Underground etc. But it’s not every producer’s dream to work with! But it came out just at the moment that the CD was disappearing & Pass The Distance had a 40 year head start on it, PTD also had had the advantage of being in mainstream stores, HMV, Virgin etc before they downsized or collapsed.
Q: What artists do you think are really talented? Is there anyone in the UK that you think, Hey, this guy/gal is going to be the next Ed Sheeran?
A: Haha…I’m no promoter and have no idea who will “make it” or not. The people I a. Most fond of tend not to. My record label, 10 to 1 Records, is releasing a new album by a group called, Doomed Bird of Providence, if a group with a name can’t make it, I don’t know what will!
Q: COVID-19 has stopped everything in its tracks.. the world is at a stand still…when everything finally gets back to some normalcy, how do you think this will affect the way music is performed in terms of concerts, festivals, live performances? Any changes or things will go back to thousands of fans bottlenecked next to each other? Scary times.
A: I like to think they will go back to some vague semblance or normal, though travel will, I think, be less fluid and more expensive for some time to come. Airlines will go bankrupt, the banks will take back the planes, then they will sell them at a bargain price to whatever the new budget plane company is called. But it will all take a while and the while in question will be marching into an unknown period of economic mess. We’ll know when it’s over because you’ll invite me to play in Newport!
Q: What does Simon Finn like to do in his spare time?
A: Fortunately, in these present times, I have a lot of old hobbies. I collect and repair old Victorian sewing machines for one, also old watches and fountain pens, in fact, I like to repair almost anything! Old A1181 Macs, bicycles, mandolins.. I find myself repairing things soothing somehow. Other than that, I’m lucky enough to have a small garden to play in. I’ve always enjoyed growing things, used to have an organic farm in the 70’s, naturally at a time one couldn’t make any money from it.
Thanks to Simon for answering all of these questions and yes I hope we do meet up one day.. Stay tuned for more interviews from Will Evans and hopefully others that I will bug to send me back their questions.. until then, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias.
Q: Talk a little bit about growing up in Hong Kong and how music played a role for you there?
A: I was born in Taipei and then grew up in Hong Kong. I go to school in New England now. Since I moved around so much, music really helped me ground myself and connect with people. I did my best to become a part of each of these three communities and they were drastically different from one another. I like to think living in these places and having these experiences reflects in my music.
Q: At what age did you realize, Hey I want to be a songwriter!
A: I was 15 and it was April of 2015. I had just played an original song in front of a large crowd for the first time and decided right there that playing my own songs was a lot more fun than the covers I had been doing.
Q: What was the first song you wrote and what was it about?
A: I think it was a very angsty song when I was 12 called something painfully vague. I can’t exactly remember the title but it was something along the lines of ‘Land of Dreams’.
Q: Several articles have referred to you as the “second coming of Paul Simon”, what do you think when people compare you to such a huge singing songwriting legend?
A: It’s a honor! I find comparisons to Paul Simon come up mostly about my song, How Can I. I was listening to a lot of Graceland during the week I wrote that tune, so it makes a lot of sense, actually.
Q: Now you are attending Brown University in Providence, RI, were you playing a lot of shows in the Providence/Boston area? What were some of your favorite venues?
A: I was playing a fair amount both on campus as well as in Providence. I loved playing Fete Music Hall’s Lounge and also had such a great time playing an album release at Askew. I actually played another release show in a dining hall on campus and that was an unforgettable experience to say the least.
Q: What are you working on now in terms of music? Songs? Albums?
A: I’m working on writing lots of new songs and I’m also recording some new tunes I didn’t have to work on earlier this year.
Q: Are we going to see any live streams from you soon?
A: Absolutely. Stay tuned for one n the next couple of weeks on my Instagram Chance.S.Emerson
Q: COVID-19 has derailed so many upcoming scheduled shows…what are your plans for your singing career when the world goes back to some sort of order?
A: I can’t wait to start playing again. As soon as things are back to normal, I’m looking to get down to New York and Philly and up to a Portsmouth and Portland. I was looking forward to playing shows in Providence this April at AS220 and The Met but those were cancelled and I’m definitely hoping to reschedule.
You can hear Chance’s music on Spotify where you can find his latest album release, The Raspberry Man, and his info on Linktree.
Stay tuned for an interview with London folk musician Simon Finn.. Until then, I am Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias
Q: Do you come from a musical family? Was music a big part of your life growing up?
A: None of my family are musical really, except my auntie, which is where I had some guitar lessons early on. Music was really an escape from daily life when I was growing up.
Q: When did you start to get interested in writing songs?
A: When I first got into the Beatles albums and discovering their story, I decided to have guitar lessons with the aim of writing songs from the start, it wasn’t ever really to be in a band or to do covers. I was about 15 about the time.
Q: Take me through your song process..do you just wake up and start writing?
A: I usually sit down with my electric guitar and just start playing chord sequences, then start singing melodies/words to them, after that I keep adding to it and start to refine a couple of lyrics once I start to understand what the songs about or could be about. There’s usually a couple of different ideas in there to make it a little abstract. The songs come out quite naturally and thoughts and feelings at the back of my mind end up in the song. I could never force them out. I have had one song that I dreamt, which I might be recording soon, but it’s quite a rarity.
Q: Who do you consider your biggest musical influence and why?
A: Probably the combination of The Beatles and Syd Barrett’s solo work. I guess the biggest influence I can take from the Beatles is that they broke the mold by writing the songs themeselves, which I really admire, particularly in a world of multiple co-writers.. Their ability to write melody is another strong one and their artistic integrity towards the music they were making. With Syd Barrett, you also have that artistic integrity and credibility there but also the types of weird chords and types of song is something I really feel close to and can identify with very much. The fact that he created some of his own artwork and was an artist in his own right is something I really admire.
Q: You have a new song coming out on April 10 called Everybody Hates a Genius.. lyric “50 million streams means nothing to me” talk about your new song and your music coming up in 2020.
A: That’s right.. I’ve got a new single coming out on the 10th of April, Everybody Hates a Genius; it’s really a collection of ideas and thoughts put together lyrically, there are a few cheeky lines in there and tongue and cheek satire (similar to Morrissey or Noel Coward) but nothing too on the nose. The general theme of the song is about the underdogs of music I suppose, that line, “50 million streams, means nothing to me” goes back to the idea that the quality of music is what I focus on and get gratification from rather than appearing to be popular of course, I’d like people to hear my work, but if it’s only a smaller audience that get it, then its all good to me. continued below
I recorded this single in the first session that I’m doing towards my first album, which hopefully will be out early next year, I have the new single recorded, which will be on the album. I will be focusing on a number of sessions to get the album recorded and releasing singles throughout the year as well as making music videos for them. Currently, I have a music video finished for the new single which is inspired by 20th Century Surrealist art films.
You can find Lovepet Horror’s music on Spotify.. the new single, Everybody Hates a Genius is out April 10..
Coming up, I have an interview with indie folk singer Chance Emerson.. Until next time, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias