Sunday, 6. June 2010

NEW BLOG

If you're not being redirected automatically, please click on the following link: http://musicisokay.com/

See you there!
28619 read

Monday, 24. May 2010

Have no fear, just listen.

EATF01

Emanuel And The Fear were touring Europe for the first time in April. So I took the chance and visited them backstage for a little chat. And they told me about different audiences, dead rock star dreams and of course, a lot about their music.

MUSIC IS OKAY: HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING IN EUROPE FOR THE FIRST TIME?
We heard rumors that people listen to you, when you come to Europe and they don't talk when you play. And it's true. They have always been really quiet and into the music. We usually feel uncomfortable playing the slow songs, and we quite have a few, but we rarely play them in New York. But here, we've been playing acoustic and soft songs and people sit and listen. It is a different crowd, it really is. And I think it's a different culture, when people turn up, they wanna hear what you do. We all felt very welcome and definitely wanna come back to Europe as soon as possible.

MUSIC IS OKAY: TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE BEGINNINGS OF THE BAND. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER?
After some band experiences and working for a film composer, it sort of moulded that I wanted to do the writing and scoring, but not dealing with all the drama and different personalities you have in band. So I approached musicians with that in mind and organized that eleven person thing after I had made a four track demo. Then we started gigging and everyone got in the studio and we did the EP and the LP.

EATF03

MUSIC IS OKAY: SO YOU'RE THE BANDLEADER?
Yes, it's my little brainchild. I wanted to do something different and unique, like a spectacle. And also with that many people, if everyone was writing it would take ten times longer and we probably hate one another and things would be really complicated. At the end of the day, it's my name on it, so it's sort of my responsibility, I guess.

MUSIC IS OKAY: ARE YOU A BAND OR ARE YOU A PROJECT?
The people that were coming on, have become solid members. It started as a project, but we're definitely a band now. It's evolving.
As a musician you only invest time and energy in something you really believe in. So you wanna be a part of it and you automatically become a band.
We're working together, I mean they all know their instruments better than I do.

MUSIC IS OKAY: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS SPECIAL ABOUT YOUR LIVE PERFORMANCES?
We are all formal trained and professional musicians and because of the skill level there's a lot of room to do something really different. And it's a theme, that I want to be in our music. I mean sometimes we change complete songs on the fly while playing a gig. Or we even work new ideas out when we walk into a venue. People love that about us and our music. Playing your songs like on the record is like killing an animal and stuffing it. Like 'here, that's what it looked like, when it was alive'. And it's great if people come up after a gig telling you 'I liked you so much better than on the record.' I mean the other way round is really upsetting isn't it? I think that's a great problem to have.

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MUSIC IS OKAY: YOU JUST RELEASED YOUR DEBUT ALBUM, DOES IT MEAN YOU'RE NOT HAPPY WITH IT?
I'm absolutely happy with what we came out, but I'm happier with our music being played live. And it's so much fun playing songs live and with that many people, there are things happening between us on stage, you can barely catch it on a record. But it's my goal for the next recordings. People shall hear that it's not just a studio thing, but we're real musicians.

MUSIC IS OKAY: YOUR MUSIC RANGES BETWEEN A LOT OF GENRES, IS THERE ANY WAY YOU WOULD DESCRIBE IT?
It's very visual music, so I'm fine when people say it sounds like a movie score. I definitely see things when I'm playing or writing music. But if people don't understand what we're doing, it's fine. I don't understand it either. The thing is, if you are into heavy guitar rock, you will be disappointed with 70% of the album. If someone is into quiet piano ballads, they will be disappointed with 70% of the album. But if you're a fan of all kinds of music, you will love 100% of the album.

The sound of what we're doing is definitely too difficult to categorize. I wrote this music and I don't want it to be in a certain genre. It should sound like a cool person you wanna talk to. And the sort of cool person I'm talking about would not delimit oneself to behave in a certain way. I wouldn't wanna hang out with a robot all the time. So many people just follow the rules. And I don't like the rules.

MUSIC IS OKAY: NOT FOLLOWING THE RULES OFTEN MEANS EARNING LESS MONEY.
If you're playing music, it's because you like it. The rock star dream is dead. I mean people who don't accept that, are deluding themselves. You play music, because you have to. That makes you happy. I may starve the rest of my life, but I have to play music, because I would be miserable if I didn't. And if you're thinking in terms of becoming a rock star and get rich and famous, then you're probably in the wrong business.

http://www.emanuelandthefear.com/

There's nothing left for me to add. Emanuel And The Fear are planning to come back to Europe in October. Don't miss them and their mazing show. And don't forget to buy the debut album LISTEN.
Check out the album review on Emerging Fervour:
http://www.emergingfervour.com/music/have-no-fear-just-listen/
3082 read

Tuesday, 18. May 2010

Junkboy - Koyo

junkboy

If you're still searching for the summer, you shall stop watching the weather report. Just buy a copy of JUNKBOY'S fourth album KOYO. From the very beginning this album is just as beautiful as a perfect summer day can be. Fortunately you don't have to wait until the 31st of may when KOYO will be released, Emerging Fervour exclusively presents the song PIECES IN THE SKY from the album to download for free. On top of this, Rich and Mik Hanscomb took the time to answer a few questions and played a little game called "Guess that tune" with me...

MUSIC IS OKAY: Before we start to talk about your music, I think we need a short round of introductions for our readers. So, who is Junkboy?

Hello, I’m Rich Hanscomb. My brother, Mik, and I formed Junkboy many years ago when we were in our teens. Junkboy is basically the soundtrack of our lives. We’ve had various people come in and out of the fold but we’re the core. We’ve been joined for the past couple of years by the lovely Ryan Oliver. He can’t be here right now as he has a busy job in website optimization. Very Brighton. You understand.

MUSIC IS OKAY: Describing your music people obviously get the urge of talking about nature. Reviews are filled with words like winter and summer, breezy ambiances or cosmic folk tunes. Are you happy with this connection? And do you think your new album KOYO fits in there as well?

RICH: We’re always happy when people associate the pastoral with our music. Mik and I are in awe of nature’s mercurial beauty and Koyo fits in with that.
MIK: Koyo is an organic sounding album so the title and the music fit together.

MUSIC IS OKAY: What I really love is this special Lo-Fi sound on all of your records. It gives off a cosy and homelike feeling and when I listen to KOYO I feel in an unusual way very close to the music. So, tell me a bit about your way to cut a record. How does it take place?

RICH: The entire recorded output of Junkboy in terms of our albums have been a monumental struggle with harnessing our home studio! On the first three albums we really had no clue how to record. No idea what so fucking ever. Recording at home is important to us though. It’s something we hold dear to our DIY ideology.
MIK: We used work backwards - devising lush chord structures and then adding rhythms and overdubs to refine the track. With the Koyo album much of the songwriting and overdubbing was planned out before we committed it to the studio allowing for more sophisticated and better arranged pieces of music, without losing the coziness.

MUSIC IS OKAY: Before (or whilst?) making your fourth album KOYO you moved to Brighton and Hove. Why was that?

RICH: Before and ostensibly so that Mik could study music at university. We wanted out of the suburbs.

MUSIC IS OKAY: Would you say this change of location had an impact on KOYO or your sound in general?

RICH: The beaches, the Downs, the Georgian, tatty bohemian splendor of it all impacted profoundly upon us. Mik and I are sensitive to our environment and that translates in the music we make together.
MIK: Indeed it has had an impact on us not just for the new surroundings but for the amount of talented people we have had the pleasure of knowing and working with on this record.

MUSIC IS OKAY: Various artists of the Brighton based WILLKOMMEN COLLECTIVE and other musicians could be found on your new album. Do you have a special relationship to the Willkommen Collective?

RICH: I’m president of the Sons of Noel and Adrian fanclub. I oversea the production of the official merchandise like guitar tablature books, beer mats, Toby jugs and neckerchiefs. You should definitely check out The Climbers and Laish on Willkommen who both have sublime records coming out this year.

MUSIC IS OKAY: From folk to chamber pop to Krautrock, your musical range on KOYO is quite diverse. What are your musical influences and are there other artists you admire?

RICH: I really love 60s L.A. producers like Gary Usher, Tandyn Almer, Curt Boecther, Jack Nitzsche ... second wave British Folk revival, all of that 90s Chicago post-rock scene… There’s so much music that I’m always discovering both old and new. Judee Sill, Laura Nyro, Shirley Collins, Lal Waterson, everything on Finders Keepers, Make Mine Music and The Great Pop Supplement. Moving down to Brighton and meeting other musicians has kicked us up the arse to really push ourselves creatively. Junkboy are into the concept of a life time in music not a career in music - we admire artists who are motivated by the sheer joy of creating music.
MIK: Moby Grape, Mamas and Papas, Brian Wilson, L.A. Psych, British and Brazilian folk have been a big influence on me during the making of Koyo. There are so many other diverse artists I love listening to such as Pullman, Elliott Smith, Lymbyc Systym, Author Verocai, Ryuichi Sakamoto, The Temptations, The Delphonics, to name a few. Everything we love listening to is an influence and an inspiration.

MUSIC IS OKAY: Your album will be released on the 31st of May. What are your plans for the forthcoming months? Is there a chance to see you live? Are you playing festivals this summer?

RICH: We’re just finishing recording an exclusive track for a brilliant label called Second Language Music which will be out later on this year and we’re currently rehearsing for shows. Hopefully we’ll be ready for the stage come high summer time.

koyo

GUESS THAT TUNE: I gave Junkboy six tracks without title or artist. And guess what, they did very well and the songs brought back some old memories.

Steely Dan - Through with Buzz

This is Steely Dan, ‘Through With Buzz’. When Mik and I were younger, our Dad was always playing Steely Dan. I couldn’t stand them. That album, Count Down To Ecstasy, always used to make me feel uncomfortable. I kind of appreciate their sass and cynicism now I’m older. They hated L.A. but were fascinated with it at the same time. Classic Southern Californian psychosis. Slick production, ‘wry’ lyrics, fantastic string flourishes. Wankers.

Gil Scott Heron - The revolution will not be televised

‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ by Gil Scott Heron. Great flutes, great lyrics. When we made the first Junkboy album, a guy called Bryan Styles was recording and writing with us. I really loved that guy, he was really important to me as a 20 year old as he got me into so much music – Funkadelic, Parliament, Sly, Marvin, jazz, soul, funk…he always used to play this in between us working out how to use Cubase.

Violent Femmes - Kiss off

The Violent Femmes isn’t it? I don’t know the track. I remember trying to listen to them as a teenager because Juliana Hatfield (who I really dug when I was 13 years old) name checked them on her song, ‘My Sister’. I didn’t like them. Do I loose cool points? Well, I wasn’t born into a Wire magazine subscription.

Talk Talk - Life's what you make it

Talk Talk and ‘Life’s What You Make It’. What a pop song: mercilessly efficient, it just pummels your cranium and heart with yearning. They’re a big influence on Junkboy and they’re Essex boys too. It’s all about those North Essex Medieval Villages. There is beauty in my home county, I’m convinced. Mark Hollis’s solo album – check it out. Amazing.

Nico - Heroes

No idea of who this is covering ‘Heroes’ by Bowie. I’ve never got on with Bowie and I suspect I never will.

NEU! - Hallogallo

Neu! ‘Hallogallo’. Don’t let Kasabian put you off, kids, this is awesome. Autobahn assured poise and glide. Neu! posses what their hordes of imitators don’t: class. Never have a band been so justifiably overrated. We got into this after hearing ‘Millions Now Living Will Never Die’ by Tortoise. That was an amazing gateway album for Mik and I to get into Krautrock, electronica, jazz... It showed us you don’t have to use a vocalist to communicate emotion in music. That’s a cool thing to learn when you’re 17 and still reading the NME.


Junkboy on myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/junkboymusic

Download PIECES IN THE SKY for free exclusively on Emerging Fervour:
http://www.emergingfervour.com/interviews/junkboy-koyo/attachment/5-pieces-in-the-sky/
7464 read

Monday, 10. May 2010

Jamie Lidell

09.05.2010 @Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin

Jamie01

Isn't it good that there are some things in this world you can always rely on? Like your mum's roast pork or the fact that the next James Cameron film will be the most expensive one ever made. Going to a Jamie Lidell concert is something like it. Whatever it is that will happen there, it will be something amazing.

His new album COMPASS is funky, sexy and damn hot and a pretty successful fusion of what he has done so far.
From uplifting soul songs like on JIM and tough funk-beats like on MULTIPLY, it somehow seems to me that he has found his sound, COMPASS is an awesome grown-up record.

When he entered the stage and after playing two chords, the scales fell from my eyes: he is the lost child of Sheila E. and Prince. There is no doubt about it. He is an onstage-tornado rotating between drums, microphone, guitar and his electronic gadgets, I don't know how he survives an entire tour. I was sweating like a pig from simply standing and watching the show, he was all smiles like there's nothing more relaxing than whirling across the stage. He's a maniac...

Jamie02

With his three piece band he performed a lot of new material including THE RING, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, SHE NEEDS ME and of course the title track COMPASS. As usual the crowd went crazy when he played MULTIPLY and ANOTHER DAY, I personally loved the Beatbox version of A LITTLE BIT OF FEEL GOOD and the "if MacGyver had a Laptop and a mic"-version of YOU GOT ME UP.

So, all that's left to say is: if Jamie Lidell is coming to your hometown, buy a ticket and go. If he's not coming to your hometown, travel to another city, another country or another continent and buy a ticket in advance. Your reward shall be a long life full of happiness and satisfaction. And funk.

http://www.jamielidell.com/

Jamie03
4038 read

Wednesday, 28. April 2010

Olafur Arnalds - A Fresh Breeze From Iceland

OlafurPress

What do you think of when I say Iceland? Probably an ash cloud. But this should change soon and you will think of music. Especially the music of Olafur Arnalds. The Icelandic musician is a busy guy. He has just finished his first tour in China, will be touring Europe in may and releases his new album ...and they have escaped the weight of darkness on the 17th of may. Apart from that he is one half of the Techno project Kiasmos and composes music for other artists like the German heavy metal band Heaven Shall Burn. Lucky me, he was in London and willing to spend a few minutes with to talk.

music is okay: The range of your musical activities is quite diverse. You're releasing your new album in may, are part of the techno project Kiasmos, you're composing music for other bands as well and you also did the music for the Wayne McGregor ballet Dyad 1909. On a musical map, do you have something like a hometown?

Olafur Arnalds: No, I wouldn't say that, not at all. I just want to be good at myself and I like different things. It's really that simple. I'd like to try everything, music is just music. So, I don't look at music in genres, for me it's all in the same pool. I want to study some some really far away music, I did some stuff with a Klezmer band some time ago. Doing more like this and trying to incorporate it with Western music, these are things I'm always working on.

music is okay: I find it really hard to describe your music. It's not only contemporary classic, it's not pop, it's not chamber pop. But, what is it? How would you describe your own sound?

Olafur Arnalds: Well, I say it doesn't really matter. For me these things are actually so stupid. It doesn't matter to anyone whether I'm turning pop into classical music or classical music into pop. I'm somewhere in between and I don't care how people want to phrase it. I they call it neo-classical, or post-classical or modern-classical, in the end it's all the same thing: it's just music.

music is okay: Your new album is coming out soon. What can we expect?

Olafur Arnalds: I wanted to make the music on the new album more accessible. It's incorporating more pop elements then I did on the previous albums. And it's not only piano and strings, I'm working with more instruments. I've also spent a long time arranging the songs in the studio, recording layer after layer and all sorts of synthesizers. I'd say it sounds crispier then my previous recordings. I don't want to repeat myself musically and this time I decided to do something heavily produced.


Ólafur Arnalds – Hægt, kemur ljósið (Official Video Trailer) from Erased Tapes on Vimeo.


music is okay: Let's talk about the contemporary classical music scene. There are many things going on at the moment with musicians like Nils Frahm or Greg Haines or yourself. What do you think about this developments?

Olafur Arnalds: I think it's great, a few years ago I was one of like three musicians and many people did music behind closed doors. But now they're releasing albums and touring, it's great. And if I am a part of helping to open up this world to the audience and get people more interested, I can be very proud and happy. Anyway, I wouldn't call myself a neo-classical composer, I don't associate much with that term.

music is okay: You have just finished your tour in China and it was a great success. You did a lot of interviews, some of your shows were sold out. How come that people are so excited about your music in China?

Olafur Arnalds: I think Chinese people have a lot of respect for classical music in general. And there are more younger people interested in classical music then in Europe. I think the people are more craving for something new then they do over here.

music is okay: Tell us a bit about the Icelandic music scene.

Olafur Arnalds: The Icelandic music scene is very varied. There are a lot of different things happening, maybe more than in other countries. But that's what often happens on islands and small countries, for example the Faroe Islands. There are a lot of really great bands coming from there. And the other thing is that people have to work together and support each other, because as an island you're more cut. The musical scene is often your audience, when you're playing a gig in Iceland, it's all very close. And if you try to do things on your own, you will end up alone.

music is okay: Last year you did something which really impressed me, because I thought the idea was fantastic. For seven days you released a song a day via twitter for free. Afterwards these seven songs were released as a "proper" record (Found Songs) and the booklet was made out of pictures your fans could upload via flickr. Where did this idea come from?

Olafur Arnalds: I had some ideas for songs and I knew they wouldn't end up on my new album. But I wanted to finish those ideas, to get them out of my head and I wanted to give them away for free. There was no real reason for this, maybe I thought people didn't want to pay for them. So I decided to take one week to get these songs "out of my way" for a fresh start. And after the first day I had the idea to give people an opportunity to upload photos and stuff on flickr. There was no plan to release the Found songs as an album, but when we decided to do so, I wanted to use all these photos people had sent me as artwork for the booklet.

music is okay: How does it feel for you to see that your work inspires other people and they're sending photos and videos they've made? For instance the beautiful video for Ljosio from the Argentinian artist Esteban Diacono.

Olafur Arnalds: That's what keeps me going. I wouldn't do music if I couldn't inspire people. It's the main purpose for me.


OlafurCover


Pre-order ...and they have escaped the weight of darkness and get a free mp3:
http://www.erasedtapes.co.uk/

Olafur Arnalds on myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/olafurarnalds

See Olafur Arnalds live:

07.05.2010 Leipzig, PopUp Festival
08.05.2010 Berlin, Friction Festival
09.05.2010 Stuttgart, Rosenau
10.05.2010 Munich, Café Muffathalle
11.05.2010 Bern, ISC
12.05.2010 Brussels, Ancienne Belgique
13.05.2010 Antwerp, Arenbergschouwburg
15.05.2010 Utrecht, Tivoli
16.05.2010 Ottersum, Roepaen
01.07.2010 Manchester, The Bridgewater Hall

links for tickets:
Leipzig http://www.leipzig-popup.de/
Berlin http://www.frictionfest.com/
Stuttgart http://www.rosenau-stuttgart.de/
Munich http://www.muffathalle.de/
Bern http://www.isc-bern.ch/
Brussels http://www.abconcerts.be/nl/
Antwerp http://www.provant.be/
Utrecht http://www.tivoli.nl/
Ottersum http://www.cultureelpodium.nl/
Manchester http://www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk/
4323 read

Tuesday, 20. April 2010

Keep The Faith - Daylight Music

17.04.10 @Union Chapel, London

Daylight Music is a regular event presented by ARCTIC CIRCLE and the UNION CHAPEL, where you can listen to ridiculous talented artists for free, in this ridiculous beautiful Victorian church. Sounds good, doesn't it? Yes, it does. And you can have it every saturday from midday to 2pm at the Union Chapel in Islington.

Check out the upcoming events here:
http://www.unionchapel.org.uk/
http://jointhecircle.net/

cortinadeluxx

Listening to the first act CORTINA DELUXX almost brought me to tears. And I mean it. JoJo Thomas' brilliant and clear voice, her piano playing, Danny Norbury and Jon Thorne on Cello and Double Bass, was... wow. Without any exaggeration this performance was stunning, mind-blowing and overwhelming at the same time. I didn't even dare to breathe and I'm pretty sure the audience felt the same. There was not a single noise and I could actually see some real tears. Her last song was a version of the rather cheesy "Till there was you", but she turned it into something completely different.

Buy their EP CORTINA DELUXX on Humble Soul, listen and enjoy.

http://www.myspace.com/cortinadeluxx

http://www.humblesoul.net





The second act was the Manchester based JO ROSE. I'd say he takes you on a "folk-with-a-touch-of-anti" journey from Tennessee via California to Manchester. And listening to someone who's obviously made for what he's doing, gave me a wonderful fuzzy feeling. I absolutely loved his powerful and throaty but sort of fragile voice that perfectly merged with his guitar and piano playing. He reminded me a bit of Townes Van Zandt without depression and drugs.

JO ROSE is unsigned and hasn't released anything yet. That's a real shame and I hope it'll change very soon. But thanks to the world wide web, you find him and his music on myspace, facebook, twitter and his blog.

http://www.myspace.com/thisisjorose

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jo-Rose/96089102082?ref=search&sid=685662395.834536886..1

http://joroseblog.blogspot.com/


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The third act playing was THE MISERABLE RICH. Their new album OF FLIGHT AND FURY is already released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and will be released in the UK on 31st of may. They're touring Europe at the moment, so seize this opportunity and see them live. Otherwise you will miss a) this enchanting and wonderful music called chamber pop, b) truly funny and well written lyrics, c) five absolutely likable "anti-postar" guys and d) some sort curious glockenspiel instrument, I have never seen before.

20.04. Hamburg, 21.04. Berlin, 22.04. Dresden, 23.04. Halle/Saale, 24.04. Hannover, 25.04. Köln, 27.04. Würzburg, 28.04. Nürnberg, 29.04. München, 30.04. Salzburg, 01.05. Steyr, 02.05. Wien, 03.05. Graz, 05.05. Vevey, 06.05. Zürich, 07.05. Stuttgart, 08.05. Frankfurt, 09.05. Schaffhausen, 12.05. Paris

Check out the exact venues and the music on myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/themiserablerich

Buy the new album on iTunes:
http://itunes.apple.com/de/album/of-flight-fury-bonus-edition/id362289070


2202 read

Monday, 19. April 2010

Into the wild - an interview with Gabby Young

Gabby Young and her eight piece band Other Animals are ranging from gypsy folk, pop, rock, jazz to cabaret and swing music. Their shows are something between a circus, a burlesque cabaret and a ballroom event. They recently released their debut album "We are all in this together" on their own label Gift of the gab records and will be touring Europe and Australia this year. So, time to ask Gabby a few questions about her music, her fashion and of course, her upcoming plans.

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MUSIC IS OKAY: Your style is unique and quite flamboyant, your music is a mix of swing, folk, jazz and pop, you entitled it "Circus Swing". It's obvious that you're here to entertain and your intention is to bring a happening to your audience, not only a gig. But who is this Gabby Young? Are these your true colors onstage or are you any different backstage?

GABBY YOUNG: I have never sat down and planned a persona for the stage Gabby Young, I just try and be myself. I definitely get possessed by confidence when I step out on stage and the audience seems excited to see what I’m about to do. It’s a powerful feeling and one that makes me feel like I can do anything. When I am home or walking the dog I don’t have the energy of the audience to keep me as confident but I am always as positive as I can be and try and spread happiness! It is important for me to put on a show and keep the people that came to see me as interested and involved as possible- that’s why I put on events- not just gigs- so they can join in and become part of the show. I think I have always done this throughout all parts of my life though –collaborated with other people to create wonderful, exciting things!

gy03

MUSIC IS OKAY: Dare I say you're an authentic person, you don't seem to be phoney or fake.
How hard is it to remain true to yourself even if people sometimes don't appreciate what you're doing?

GABBY YOUNG: Thankyou! I am predominantly a musician and a hard worker - I never try to pretend to be anything else. I am a firm believer that we are all equals- I have never understood a ‘diva’ sensibility – ‘We Are All In This Together’ after all- cheesy I know but I mean it most sincerely. If people don’t ‘get’ what I’m doing I try not to let it get to me- I am lucky enough to have a lot of amazing people who differ to them and I am so thankful for there support- it allows me to just do what I do and not let anything change that.

MUSIC IS OKAY: And tell us a bit about you and your band. You're called Gabby Young and other animals. So, are you the leader or is every member equal?

GABBY YOUNG: Oh everyone is equal but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I am the captain of this ship! I’m no good at discipline issues though and I adore every animal- they are family to me! We are a very lucky band- all are positive, supportive, loving and incredibly generous to each other- we also LOVE playing music together- so that’s lucky!

MUSIC IS OKAY: Take this as compliment: you're music's very special, nothing I would describe as mainstream. So how difficult was it to get your debut album done and released? And was the foundation of your own label "Gift of the gab" records something inevitable or a chance you wanted to take anyway?

GABBY YOUNG: I have always been the one to back my own horse and throw everything into something I want to do- this has been my lifetime ambition, no this has been my life. From 11years old I was going to be a singer – I went through many phases from Opera to Jazz and swiftly past the musical theatre and heavy rock stage but when I started writing songs at 17 I haven’t looked back. I am also not one to sit and wait to be picked up and ‘allowed’ to do things like record an album, put on shows in dream venues and tour relentlessly – I decided to do that all by myself. My label was the next stage and the easiest decision. I am incredibly fortuitous to have my parents running the label with me and now we have a great team helping me make it all happen. It is a risk but I wouldn’t be content not being in control and involved with all aspects of my career.

gy021

MUSIC IS OKAY: Let's stick to the life within the music business. Looking to the British music scene it's mostly male dominated and you see female artists like Pixie Lott or Sheryl Cole and not to be forgotten shows like the X-Factor. Is there actually any room for self-confident and musical opinionated artists like you?

GABBY YOUNG: Well I actually think we are in a female dominated time – there is a lot of girls out there and I am impressed by a lot of them- bringing out a fresh sound into the charts. I try and not take life too seriously and that includes the music business… I am fully aware it is a fickle, scary scene right now and I don’t let it affect what I do. I’m a fan of the X-Factor- makes great TV viewing! There is always room for everyone- I don’t strive to be mainstream or huge so I’m sure there’s some space for little ole me to be appreciated!

MUSIC IS OKAY: And how do you seize the general role of women in music nowadays? Do you think it's an equal business or is it harder for women becoming successful?

GABBY YOUNG: I guess I just answered that… 2010 is a powerful year for women getting together and creating amazing things especially art, crafts, fashion- I’m sure it will be the same for music!

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MUSIC IS OKAY: I have to say I really like your idea of fan involvement. On your website you're offering your fans the chance to become a part of Gabby Young and the other animals by becoming an animal themselves. Depending how much a fan likes to spend, he gets an album and a free gig ticket, up to a backstage visit, attending a band rehearsal or suggest song topics. How did you hit on that and why?

GABBY YOUNG: We were invited to come out and play at SXSW, Austin, Texas which is the biggest and possibly most important music festival for the industry but we couldn’t afford to get out there for it so that was the catalyst- we needed funding to do things that normally a big label would pay for –recording, making videos and travel to name a few. That’s when I started plotting ideas to get the fans involved and that sort of took over it no longer became about money- it was more about giving them more for there money and learning about our fans –so that when we are planning shows we can include them, chose the city by how many ‘animals’ we have there or give them bonuses for helping us out. I have got so much from fan input and I wanted to be able to carry this on and give something back.

MUSIC IS OKAY: I reckon people who sort of "invest" in an artist happen to appreciate the artist's work a lot more. Would you say your fans stand out due to something? Would you say they're maybe more engaged or loyal?

GABBY YOUNG: I have a wonderfully loyal and supportive fan base- I am so thankful for that – I think they are a special bunch of people and everyone I meet is always doing something amazing with their life – they are all open to ideas and willing to help us with ours- I think that’s pretty unique and I hope as our fan base grows that stays the same. I hope that they feel part of what we do because they are.

MUSIC IS OKAY: What is the nicest thing a fan ever said or did for you?

GABBY YOUNG: One fan made me 8 BENCHES! Yes wooden benches- with my name all over it… he delivered them to me at a series of gigs I did one summer but I never had room to take them home so they are still now dotted around the country!! I think the best things fans to say to me is ‘I love what you do and would love to work with you’ –that happens a lot with fashion designers and crafty types and I am more than happy to oblige as much as possible.

MUSIC IS OKAY: I've heard you're going to play at the New York Fashion week? Off the record: dog's bollocks, I'd say! What are your plans this year what can we expect?

GABBY YOUNG: I have quite a year coming up- I can hardly believe it! The next show is 8th May at The Jazz Café, which is definitely crossing a venue off my wish list! This summer is full of festivals with Glastonbury, Womad, Green Man and Standon Calling to name a few. I’m off to tour Australia in October (we got signed by a Aus label earlier this year) also there are talks of a European and Irish tour… but yes NYC Fashion week – SO EXCITING! I am launching my own collaborative clothing label with Miss Kiki Salon- Salon Gabrielle there so it can’t get much better than that!!

MUSIC IS OKAY: If you could make a wish, what would be THE one thing you want to do as a musician?

GABBY YOUNG: To work with an orchestra and a choir is my ultimate dream – I WILL make that happen!

MUSIC IS OKAY: And lastly: What's the one song you wish you would've written?

GABBY YOUNG: This is a seriously tricky question – many songs are going through my head… but my decision for now is Jeff Buckley’s ‘Lover You Should’ve Come Over’ .To me it is perfect- lyrically and musically.

Where to see Gabby Young and the other animals live:

05.06.10 Sunrise Festival
12.06.10 Wiltshire Jazz Festival
25.06.10 Glastonbury
09.07.10 Marlborough International Jazz Festival
10.07.10 Nozstock Festival
23.07.10 Womad
07.08.10 Standon Calling Festival

On the 8th of may they're playing at the Jazz Café in London, get tickets right here:

http://www.jazzcafelive.com/newsandevents/templates/bookings.aspx?articleid=1019&zoneid=1

Check Out their websites page for updates:
http://www.gabbyyoungandotheranimals.com/
http://www.myspace.com/gabbyyoung

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