Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing…
- Posted on Feb 25th 2010 12:00PM by Sydnie Taylor
Describe your sound in your own words.
One part Rolling Stones, two parts Janis Joplin, with a dash of Stevie Nicks and a twist of Bob Dylan.
Would you that agree your cover of 'Dimestore Halo,' while certainly rock 'n roll, also has a country flavor to it?
Oh yes, but I would not call it a Nashville country sound. It is more of what I call a California country twist.
How did your band form?
Being a solo artist, I have been blessed to meet and work with many talented musicians over the years. Anders Mouridsen is my lead guitar player but he is so much more than that--he is lead guitar player, backing vocalist, utility player galore, all rolled into one. When I met him he told me, "If it has strings or keys, I play it," and boy, he wasn't kidding. Matt Baumann is my drummer and we met in 2009 when I was touring acoustically in the Midwest and wanted to pick up local bass and drums for some of the shows. He actually lives in Chicago, which is where I first played with him and we clicked instantly. He just "got" my music. On bass, is Dylan Wilson who I also met in 2009. Underneath those boyishly good looks and easy going demeanor, Dylan is a total pro and a really solid bass player. The icing on my cake, so to speak, is rhythm guitar player/backing vocalist Stefan Di Maria Poole. Stef is a friend who started off sitting in on a song here or there in my local shows and once I got a taste of his sweet harmonies and solid rhythm, I had to have more of it. I've never been happier than I am now with my current players.
What are your musical influences?
I grew up listening to my Dad's music, which ranged from Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles to Bob Seger, Janis Joplin and the Rolling Stones, to name a few. Mix that with my own discoveries over the years of Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac and Lucinda Williams to more recently Beth Hart, Tracy Bonham and Brandi Carlile and there you have my influences.
What is your musical guilty pleasure?
Lady Gaga. Finally, I've said it out loud. She makes me smile and I work out really well when I am listening to her music. Lady Gaga and I can run for miles together.
What is your biggest vice?
Red wine. I love red wine, and living in L.A. I am able to visit the wine country and enjoy touring the various California vineyards.
What is in your festival survival kit?
Well, this is my first festival so I don't really have one yet. I have toured in Europe a lot though so I will be bringing that survival kit along. It includes patience, my Martin, and food, a lot of food. I have heard wonderful things about the culture of Austin, and SXSW from other artists. I am really looking forward to being there and I'm sure my survival kit will evolve at, and from the experience.
What is your favorite comfort food on the road?
Carbohydrates. Any carbs will do, but especially bagels, chocolate and pizza.
Beatles or Stones?
Stones! My dad was a huge Rolling Stones fan. He would get front row tickets every time they came to town and he listened to them daily. It is as if I know each member of the group through him. My Dad gave me the sense that I have a personal connection of sorts to the band in a six degrees of separation kind of way that puts me one degree away from meeting them all face to face.
If you did find yourself face to face with the Rolling Stones, what is the first thing you would ask them?
"How in the hell have you made it doing what you do, for as long as you have?" I want to be performing for a stadium full of fans in 40 years like they have, so I would just have to ask that question.
Janice Joplin is another of your influences, what would five minutes with her be like?
Oh wow, I would be speechless, totally speechless. Once someone picked me up off the floor I would ask her if she would sing a song with me real quick. I would be afraid it was just a dream and when I woke up, she would be gone again and the chance to sing with her would be lost forever.
What do you miss most about home when touring, and most about touring when home?
When I am at home I miss "the experience" of the road. On the road with the band I'm one of the guys, and there is a freedom that inspires my music that comes from it. It is hard to explain but it is a release of inner-self that is passionate, that is hungry, and that needs to be fed. The freedom lets me live and feel the emotions of each day in a heightened sense. That in turn fills and inspires me emotionally and creatively.
When I'm away from home I miss my animals, my dog and cat. I have a nine-month-old puppy named Walter that is just adorable. They are hard to be away from.
What is the craziest thing you have seen or experienced while performing?
Well I'm not sure it is the craziest but it is the wildest. While touring recently in the Netherlands with Beth Hart, she asked me if she could sing my song, 'Spare Change' at one of her shows. To have the chance to meet and work with someone you admire in this business, and who has also had an influence on your music is incredible. But to have that same person be inspired by and want to perform your music, that is an encounter that cannot be expressed with mere words.
Will you be performing any new, original, never-heard-before music for the fans at SXSW?
Yes! I will be introducing my new song 'As Long As You Stay' in my first performance with my band. I've gotten positive feedback about the song, so I am excited to introduce it at SXSW.
Is there anything you would like to share with Spinner.com? What do you want our readers and your fans to know about you or your music that never gets asked of you?
I want people to know my music and songs come from a very deep and personal place that at the same time is universal. More than once I have sat down and knocked out a song in an hour because it comes from my gut through something I've lived. Once it starts flowing I cannot stop until it is finished. When I write from that place, I am craving the emotion I am expressing at the time. It is exposing my inner-self through my music that I hope reaches others. I want people who hear my songs to suddenly recognize that they have been there too. They have lived the experience, they have reached out and touched it again along with me, and they have walk away from it saying, "Yes! That is my song."
Sydnie Taylor is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.