Peter Broderick

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Peter Broderick

Genuine. Sincere.Kind.

The more I read of Peter Broderick’s; lyrics, stories behind his songs at itstartshear.com, interactions with fans and interview, the more these words keep re-appearing in my head. The world of music needs more of these 3 words. Actually, all of us could benefit from having more of those in our lives.  The same is true for his sister Heather Woods Broderick, who I hope to interview in the future. I also hear the same things about Sharon Van Etten, who Heather tours with and whose interview I’ll share with you on Friday. I’ve been fascinated by itstartshear.com for a while.  It’s the site that Peter put up for his album It Starts Hear.  Peter posted the lyrics, a back story to each song, the song and an area for fans to comment on each song. He takes the time to read and comment back. He’s a true storyteller whether talking about a life he stole or letters to an ex-lover. Spend some time listening to his songs and on the sites listed below.

Peter Broderick
Home town:
Portland, OR
Record Labels: Bella Union, Erased Tapes, Hush Records, Team Love
Most Recent Releases: 
Broderick & Broderick (self titled collaboration with my father, Team Love 2013)

These Walls Of Mine (experimental solo album, Erased Tapes 2012)

Band affiliation: Efterklang (touring musician 2007-2013)

Brief intro/bio:
Peter Broderick (1987) is an American born musician who grew up studying the violin from age 7. In his teenage years he began to collect any and all musical instruments he could get his hands on, and developed his own self-taught methods with all of those new instrument friends. He then lived in Portland, Oregon for a few years, where he quickly started playing and recording with a variety of bands and singer-songwriters (Horse Feathers, M Ward, Loch Lomond, Laura Gibson, etc.), and in late 2007 he moved to Copenhagen to start touring with Danish band Efterklang, and  to explore a path as a solo artist. He spent nearly six years touring the globe, sharing music by himself and with groups, scoring a number of independent film and dance productions, widening his vision and refining his craft. The last three years have seen Peter living in Berlin, collaborating with many of the wonderful musicians in that vastly creative town (Nils Frahm, Greg Haines, Martyn Heyne, etc.), and 2013 sees Peter returning to his homeland, where he plans to slow down a bit with his musical output, to soak up all the love that a motherland has to offer after having been away for so long, and to share his musical experiences from the Old Land with his fellow Americans.

OSW; What is your songwriting/composing process?
Peter Broderick; I tend to be a little all over the place . . . sometimes I start with an instrumental line on guitar or banjo or violin (whatever instruments are around), and then I’ll add words and a vocal melody at the end. Other times I start with a poem or an a cappella vocal melody, and then later set that to music.

OSW; What are you most proud of?Peter Broderick; To this day, the musical project I am most proud of is one that I’ve never dared to share with anyone beyond a few close friends . . . perhaps that’s why I’m so attached to it. It involved a series of very intense, vivid dreams, which I wrote down upon waking, and later set to music and a very loose and improvisatory manner… I think I am proud of it because it really felt like I was doing it purely for the sake of creation, with 100% love, without any kind of commercial aspirations or dreams of success. That was really rewarding.

OSW; What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
Peter Broderick; That’s tough! Bill Callahan says a lot of intriguing, memorable things . . . Arthur Russell has also caught my ear a lot with his more ethereal statements, sung with great passion. And I have to think of John Cage . . . some his vocal works are so clever yet very simple! There are plenty of others, but those are a few that come to mind right away.

OSW; You have a very musical family. You and Heather have played together in Efterklang and some other settings. Did you both develop interest in music at the same time or did one of you influence and/or lead the other into music?
Peter Broderick; Well, everyone in my family plays music . . . it’s almost like it wasn’t an option to not play music. But it also wasn’t forced. I think music is just such an important part of my parents’ lives, they imparted that upon us kids. As I’m the youngest of three children, I was naturally the last one to start playing. But I think we all started playing as soon as we could get our little fingers on the instruments.

OSW; As a followup. I love that you took your Dad’s Guitar part and built, with Heather, “Let Me Love You”. How did your Dad react to that creation?
Peter Broderick; He loves it. He really does. And it’s amazing because he’s so humble that he never dares to say he likes something that he took part in creating . . . but he told me he doesn’t listen to his part . . . he just hears the things Heather and I did, and in the back of his mind he knows it all started with his own guitar part, and he loves it. Awesome!

OSW; What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Peter Broderick; I think the most important thing is to follow your heart. Don’t be afraid to take chances, and also don’t be afraid to be cliché. And be sure to love everything you do . . . not in an egotistical way, but in an unconditional, general way. The more you love the songs, the more they love you!

OSW; You sincerely engage your fans by including back-stories on your lyrics (which lead me to do the same on my site) and recording audio answers to their questions. How did this all develop?
Peter Broderick;

I’m not sure if I can pinpoint how all that developed . . . the questions/answers thing on my website simply came one day when I couldn’t decide how to write a biography of myself for the site. I wondered, what to people actually want to know? So then I just decided to form some kind of weird biography based on questions that came from the people who actually came there to find out information about me. I think behind it all, there is this underlying idea that without the audience, the artist is nothing. I try to demonstrate as much as possible, that the audience is a huge and essential part of what I’m doing. We are doing it together.OSW; What’s the best. or most interesting, fan submitted question you’ve been asked?

Peter Broderick; One person asked me about my best and worst childhood memories . . . that was quite a fun question to answer. I also love when people ask really specific questions about particular songs or moments in a song. That always makes me aware that people are really paying attention.

OSW; If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?

Peter Broderick; It would be Arthur Russell. He remains such a mystery to me . . . I’ve seen the film about him several times, I’ve read the book about him, I’ve listened to his records countless times, and still he’s a total mystery. I’d love to get the chance to pick is brain.

Peter Broderick on the web

Website
http://www.itstartshear.com/

Bonus Materials

To view Peter Broderick’s selected playlist and other bonus items, please go to; http://www.ourscattereddreams.com/songwriting-blog.html

All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.

Please follow the Facebook Page for more updates and songwriting posts. Send us a message on Twitter and tell your friends, neighbors and relatives about us, if you like.

Please stop back on Friday for the interview with Sharon Van Etten.

Thanks for coming by and reading to the end… roll credits…..

 

 

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Advice for young songwriters

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Songwriting

Yeah, that’s me on my first instrument many years ago.  We all start somewhere and we all, hopefully, keep learning and growing.  I like finding the right questions for each person I interview here. I research them and read other interviews. But, I also like to ask some of the same questions of everyone so we can compare the results and learn from how differently each person thinks and approaches things.

Today, I’d like to share all of the answers so far to the question;

What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?

Hope you enjoy these….

Andrew Belle; Find the first song that ever made you feel an emotion; the songs that led you to fall in love with music in the first place. Study it until you understand what it was that resonated with you; then chase that feeling in your own music, and don’t settle for anything less.

Ernie Halter; write every day. don’t worry about it being perfect. writing is a process. it deserves attention and practice. first work on writing songs consistently. the art of writing good songs comes later.

Small Houses; Just write.

Christine Hoberg; Believe in yourself. Have patience. Seek out and listen to critiques and dually take them all with a grain of salt. Realize that there is no limit to talent, so keep seeking to create better music, say more honest things, and try to continually improve the quality of everything you do. Try all kinds of genres and don’t pigeonhole yourself. Oh! And never let someone buy you out of your rights! Get a music law book and a lawyer!

Adam Levy; Write a lot of songs! Write and write and write. And read a lot—fiction, non-fiction, poetry, whatever. The big idea is to go as deep as you can into the world of words.

Aves; Be true to yourself and bring out your heart. Don’t aspire on following others too much. That’s all I can say, as I feel I’m still pretty rookie myself as well.

Golden Youth; Be inspired. Don’t replicate.

Music is inspiring. There is no doubt about it. I can’t help but want to song write after listening to Simon and Garfunkel. There maybe a hint of inspiration from them, but it doesn’t mean I am trying to create songs that could have been theirs. Let other artists write their music and you write yours.

If it’s honest, people will be on board.

Katelyn Convery; It is SO much harder than it looks! Keep working! Like all careers, you can only be a pro by working hard at it. Start early before all the responsibilities of adult life creep in. As you get older it becomes very hard to justify buying that loop pedal when you don’t even have a couch in the living room yet… Oh how I wish I had known I wanted to do this earlier! But for those who only figure it out a little later, still don’t give up, play with others, watch and learn from others, find out what you’re good at and run with it.

Sigrid Zeiner; I haven’t been asked to give advice before! I still feel like there are so many more things for me to learn first. But, I think a great way to start at least for singers is to become as independent in the process as possible. The more you can do on your own the easier it will be to have creative freedom and continuously write. I really wish I could play piano and guitar better so I guess I’d encourage that for others as well. My focus has been getting on developing my production and technology skills instead. Although, I’m far from good enough yet. Another thing I would say is to write as much as possible. The more times you try to do something the more you will be inclined to think of new ways to do it. This improves your process and helps you become more creative.

Adam Daniel; Here’s a good rule of thumb: You’ll know you’ve written a standout when it sounds great sang in any style: metal, disco, reggae, jazz, polka, whatever. The best songs hold up no matter the production. Try it in your head with one of your favorite hits. Fun at parties.

Bodebrixen; Try don’t to think about whether what you have written sounds stupid or silly – and don’t think about what others will think about it while you write. Don’t work against your songs; If its a pop song it’s a pop song – don’t try to make it something it’s not. Write a lot of songs. Songwriting takes time and like everything else it takes practice. If you’re in a real hurry, try a different career. Maybe things will go your way – and when it does things start happening very rapidly indeed – but never count on it, that will only make you depressed!

Toy Soldiers; Don’t think to much, or at all. You can’t sit down with the intention of writing the greatest song in the world. Just write songs, lots of them, about nonsense if you have nothing else to say and eventually great things will start to happen. Keep it simple, no one cares about technical for the sake of being technical. Have fun, love it, live it, be honest, don’t force it and be your damn self.

Kristin Center; Play your heart out, be as honest as possible, and remember to look at yourself from your audience’s perspective. Would you pay money for your show?

John Lefler; I am not a legendary songwriter, so I feel a bit silly giving advice. However, if I had to, I would tell them that songwriting is a craft. It’s a skill that is acquired and, hopefully, kept sharp. I would advise against being one of those musicians that says, “I don’t want to learn the rules because it will stifle me as an artist.” The groundwork of this profession (or hobby) has been laid by men and women that are much more talented than we are. Learn from them. Don’t just learn ten chords and feel like you’ve, “got it.” Also, technology is a tool. It can’t write a song for you. 99% percent of all great songs ever written can be performed with just a voice and guitar, or piano.

Levi Weaver; The best advice I ever got about songwriting didn’t come from another songwriter, it came from a comedian (I wish I could remember who), who said (I’m paraphrasing), “it takes ten years to find your voice. You’ll struggle, and you’ll accidentally copy other people, and you’ll be really awful at first, and then somewhere around ten years, you’ll discover your voice, and by then – if you’ve been plugging away, and practicing, you’ll be ready.”

I don’t think it necessarily takes that long with songwriters, but it does take a long time. You really are going to be pretty awful for awhile, even if you have a great voice and even if you’re a good writer, unless you’re some kind of savant. Don’t get discouraged by that. I’ve never understood how in every other profession, you go to school and then do an internship, and then after years and years, you become an expert, but in the arts, people act like they should be Paul McCartney by the time they’re twenty. It’s a skill, just like anything else, albeit one that is intensely personal and vulnerable.

All (ALL. I am not exaggerating about this) all of my favorite singer-songwriters that I’ve ever talked to are absolutely riddled with self-doubt. Embrace that early. If you know ahead of time that you’re not going to be good and you have no choice but to play and write and sing anyway, in spite of the nerves, in spite of the discomfort and embarrassment and social anxiety, just because it’s just in you and HAS to get out, then you’re in the right game. Knowing it ahead of time sorta braces you against crushing disappointment right out of the gates, too.

Shane Alexander; Don’t suck and don’t quit! If being a songwriter is what you truly want to do, then do it.  Write honest music. Write constantly. You will NEVER have as much free time as you have in your teens and early 20′s, so don’t squander it.  Be prepared to hear the word NO a lot, but never accept it.  Be known for being badass, professional and likable.  Believe in your own abilities, because if you don’t, you will never convince anyone else to.  Work on your voice, your rhythm, your lyrics and your playing DAILY because it isn’t possible to be too good.  Seek out things that make you happy.

Dan Haerle; Write a lot of music but have a big wastebasket! Every note you write is not going to be sacred! Also, if you are not sure about what to do with a work in progress, put it aside and return to it days, weeks, months, even years later!

Camille Cortinas: Everyone is different…so why you write may be also. That being said.. If you’re looking for honesty and authenticity, try to maintain a writing style that is true to your character, something you would really say. I have old journals when I started out that I’d be mortified to read now… SO many terrible odes to lost loves, and ugh … those shakespearean tragedies. i was 16. …I was a punk. i’m not discrediting my personal experience i just wished i’d narrated from my own perspective and didn’t try so hard. I was looking for an outlet to express what I was feeling and I suppose it’s trial and error…but the worse thing was to go above and beyond to explain something ..Making it flowery as possible. Maybe all it needed was a simple explanation… in my simple words, truth from my lips. it’s my own thought process and explanation, that’s as real as you get.
I really think over thinking is overrated.

Salim Nourallah; Figure out what you want to say or what emotion you’d like to evoke before you start writing a song. That’s really important in my opinion. Also, figure out what makes songs with your favorite lyrics work and why. Then try and use elements they use in your own songs.

That’s everyone so far.  Hope you enjoyed these as much as I did.  I wish I had all of this insight available when I was starting out.  If you want to review the past interviews the easiest way to access everything is HERE

Thanks for stopping by and please come back tomorrow for the interview with Peter Broderick.  You may not have heard of him, but he’s a great writer/singer and it’s a really interesting interview.

Thanks

Andrew Belle

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Andrew Belle

It’s amazing to see musicians come together to support each other and create something. I’m so impressed with the people that developed and continued to support both The Hotel Cafe Tour and Ten Out Of Tenn.  They’ve both developed into recognizable brands that; bring people to shows, help to sell the artists music and merchandise, guarantee high quality and have inspired people to make films;

Map The Music
Sing
Any Day Now

My son and I saw Andrew Belle in the Fall of 2009 on one of his early shows with Ten Out Of Tenn. I know a lot of the musicians who were on the tour and we even hung out with KS Rhoads and Butterfly Boucher before the show. I knew Andrew was the new guy but had heard great things.  We were both blown away by Andrew’s voice and songs.  I’m thrilled to see the success he’s had since then and really look forward to his upcoming album. So, I’m happy to share this songwriting discussion with Andrew Belle.

ANDREW BELLE
Home Town/Current City: 
Chicago, IL/Nashville, TN
Record Label: 1L Music / Elm City Music
Recent Release: ‘Black Bear’ (August 20, 2013)

OSW; What is your songwriting/composing process?
Andrew Belle; My approach is a little different than most songwriters, I think. I don’t write very often. So far there have been 2-3 major seasons where I get really inspired, write 10-12 songs, and then exhaust myself so much in the process of making them meaningful and unique, that I don’t make another attempt for a year or two. It’s sort of sporadic and bizarre, so that’s typically why I am so bent on making the most of every syllable I write down. My process for this last record was: sit down at the keyboard, find some fun sounds on logic pro, play around until I have a cool chord progression, and then crank up the reverb on my mic and start mumbling crazy melodies until something sticks. I usually find my melodies in falsetto (because it’s easier for me to explore up there) and then I end up having to work them back down to my normal singing range. Although sometimes I leave them up there or find way to re-incorporate them in order to keep things interesting.

OSW; What are you most proud of?
Andrew Belle; I’m asked this now and again and I usually sit and try to think of all of the opportunities I’ve been blessed with over the past few years and really I’m just proud that I’m able to make music that I enjoy and support my family out of that. But even that I can’t take full credit for – any talent, opportunities, or even passion to create that I have, exists because God has allowed it to be set into motion.

OSW; Ten out of Tenn has developed into such a great musical movement. Such great musicians and the people I know personally are just wonderful. How did that develop and who started it?
Andrew Belle; TOT was started by Trent Dabbs and his wife Kristen some years back, as a way to showcase the young, up & coming talent that was being made in Nashville. I saw them on a whim in Chicago when they came through on their first big tour in 2008 and was totally blown away. I left the venue that night thinking that I would give anything to be a part of such a stellar lineup. The following year, I moved to Nashville to make my record ‘The Ladder’, and was soon after asked to be a part of a new TOT lineup that was being organized for a tour later that fall. We ended up doing two tours that year and a 3rd in 2011. It’s been such a privilege and an honor to be a part of such an accomplished and talented group of people.

OSW; What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
Andrew Belle; I don’t know if I have a favorite – but this was one of the first lyrics that ever meant anything to me:

The smell of hospitals in winter

And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls

All at once you look across a crowded room

To see the way that light attaches to a girl

“A Long December” – Counting Crows

OSW; What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Andrew Belle; Find the first song that ever made you feel an emotion; the songs that led you to fall in love with music in the first place. Study it until you understand what it was that resonated with you; then chase that feeling in your own music, and don’t settle for anything less.

OSW; If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
Andrew Belle; Jesse Lacey. His approach to lyrics and melodies were what drove me to songwriting for myself.

OSW; Do you have anything new releasing soon?
Andrew Belle; My new album, Black Bear, releases on August 20th, 2013.

Andrew Belle On The Web
Website
Facebook
YouTube
Twitter

Bonus Materials

To view Andrew Belle’s selected playlist and other bonus items, please go to; http://www.ourscattereddreams.com/songwriting-blog.html

All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.

Please follow the Facebook Page for more updates and songwriting posts. Send us a message on Twitter and tell your friends, neighbors and relatives about us, if you like.

Come back on Wednesday for an interview with Peter Broderick and on Friday when we share the interview with Sharon Van Etten.  Thanks for reading to the end!! You rock.

Ernie Halter

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Ernie Halter (photo by Erin Yaeger)

In the earlyish days of social media I was part of a music website/blog/MySpace page called The Hub (or The Music Hub). Each week we would interview and feature a different artist. Most of my musical connections come from there or a songwriting group I organized at that same time. Even my connection to my favorite venue in town, Opening Bell Coffee, came because I was helping musicians from The Hub book shows. So, without a music blog out of LA I may not have met John Lefler or Camille Cortinas who are both here in Dallas.  Weird how this music world works. But, the best thing about music is the people you meet through it.  The connections from The Hub are still some of the closest friends I have. The Hub developed such a following that we decided to organize something special. The Three Hour Tour was a series of concerts on a Yacht out of Newport beach.  I went on the first one.  It was an magical afternoon.  Performers included; Rob Giles, Tony Lucca, Jay Nash, Jessie Baylin, Laura Jansen, Joey Ryan and a singer I’d never heard of before named Katy Perry.  Also on this performance was………

Ernie Halter
Current City: Nashville, TN, Hometown: Tustin, CA
Record Label: Grateful King Music (Ernie’s own label)
Most recent release: Just released a single “I’m Getting Ready”. Last full length release was ‘Franklin & Vermont’ (Rockridge Music LLC

BRIEF INTRO (condensed, read the full thing here )
(Official)
“Influenced by some of the legendary names of pop and soul, such as the Beatles, Elton John, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder, Californian Ernie Halter first began to make waves for himself with the release of his 2005 collection, Lo-Fidelity. The singer and songwriter got his start playing a small — mostly covers — coffeehouse gig in 1992, and was able to maintain the difficult position of being a working musician (and closet songwriter) by simply paying his dues, working on songs in his spare time, and playing in coffeehouses and smaller gigs to keep active on the scene and to sharpen his skills. Eventually, word of mouth and the Internet community on websites such as MySpace and YouTube worked in Halter’s favor, and by 2007 — and his next release, Congress Hotel (on Rock Ridge Music) — he had built up quite a buzz, and the staunchly indie Halter could be seen touring throughout much of the United States.” (Chris True All Music Guide)

(Unnoficial- Ernie’s words- “My official bio tells you what I’ve done but not who I am, so..”)
My mom had an upright piano in the house, and I was messing around with it ever since I could reach the keys. When I was 8, she found me a teacher. I preferred Beatles to Bach and after 5 years convinced my parents to let me quit piano lessons. I taught myself to read chord charts out of pop song books and I was hooked again. I learned to play guitar and sing at 15 and was writing songs shortly after. I’ve pretty much been obsessed with music ever since.

Other passions of mine include aviation (I take flying lessons when I have the time and money), audiobooks, learning new things, and I have a long standing love affair with technology. I’d rather leave the house without pants than without my iPhone. (Though where would I put my phone?)

I’m also the father of an amazing 5 year old boy who lights up my world. My wife Kristen and I also have identical twin 2 year old girls. We call them The Twinjas.

What is your songwriting/composing process? What are you most proud of?
The writing process is different every time. I do quite a bit of co-writing, so it depends on who I’m writing with. Typically I write down titles and save them up. When I sit down to write, I write to the title. Trying to get a lyrical shape first before coming up with music.

Most proud of my latest project. The 52 Songs Club. I’m writing a song a week for a year. The project raised $35,000 via Kickstarter from fan support. Currently on week #37.

What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
of mine? “I wanna be your black dress, hold you like a silhouette”

of someone elses: “work all day till the sun don’t shine – struggle like a catfish on the line – they let me off about suppertime, and I’m swimming through the tail lights” – sean mcconnell

What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
write every day. don’t worry about it being perfect. writing is a process. it deserves attention and practice. first work on writing songs consistently. the art of writing good songs comes later.

You’ve done some collaborative writing. Do you enjoy writing with others?
i do. i find that i accomplish more when co-writing. its also social, and good to get to know people via writing together.

If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
paul mccartney, because i’ve been such a big fan of his work. same with james taylor.

When’s the new record coming out?
Aiming for a September release. First record I’ll have where I’m playing most all the parts, producing and mixing on my own. So far its been a lot of fun. Can’t wait for people to hear it.

Ernie Halter on the web
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Bonus Materials

To view Ernie’s selected playlist and other bonus items, please go to; http://www.ourscattereddreams.com/songwriting-blog.html

All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing with your friends.  We always appreciate your comments and thoughts on the blog. Please stop by our Facebook page and let us know who you’d like to see interviewed.

Small Houses

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Small Houses (Jeremy Quentin) Photo by: Jarred Gastreich

Small Houses is a Philadelphia(ish see below) based indie/folk project featuring the songs and poems of Flint, MI native Jeremy Quentin. Artfully crafted finger-style guitar playing, and softly sung melodies describing the people, love, and homes of Quentin’s life. I was introduced to Jeremy by a friend who is involved with Sofar Sounds and Communion Music, so without even hearing him I knew he had to be great, and he is.

Small Houses (Jeremy Quentin)
Hometown- Flint, MI
Current City-   My car, USA
Most Recent Release- ‘Exactly Where You Wanted to Be’
Band Affiliation- Small Houses, I’ll also be backing a fella named Jared Bartman this fall.

Brief Intro/Bio:
Eclectic music enthusiast, 35mm photographer, and writer, inspired by midwestern poets, professional football, daytime comedies, and coming of age novelists

What is your songwriting process?
In the mornings, I listen to my favorite new songs on my headphones while walking around whichever town I’m in that day, followed by an hour or two of reading from a book. Next, I sit down and write short vague phrases about my life or one of a friends, and wait for something to capture my attention. Afterwards, I think about those new titles while strumming the guitar, learning one of my favorite songs or attempting to think of a new one. When some things start to stick together, I spend the rest of the day filling in the gaps with bridges between the words I’ve written and the chords I’ve conjured. Hopefully, something will be worth pursuing, and if not, I start the day over again.

What are you most proud of?
My willingness to assimilate and my stubbornness to change.

Your album was partially fan-funded. What do you think about the whole fan-funding movement that has developed in the past 5 years?
I had a album funded by fans about 2 or 3 years ago. I wish I had a grander opinion on the idea, but I don’t. I too put money towards Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects, but with ulterior motives, I enjoy the odd and unique incentives for donating, especially those that include demo recordings of the songs I’ll later learn to love from the album. I guess I don’t have a livid vision of a regional sense of community in the arts scene, in case that was the answer you were looking for, I just like the friendship and the ethereal products consumed.

What is your favorite song lyric?
Of my own? I don’t have one. Of someone else? I don’t have an all time favorite, as I’m usually excited something new every week. Frontier Ruckus has the bulk of my attention for right now.

“Funeral Family Flowers”

The trees of memories don’t shift
Though their shadows deep and dark orbit
Around the years
Here
Where careers
Are shaped like houses

The stars are dead
But their tombstones love me
Their funeral family flowers flicker and shine
So bright above me

-Frontier Ruckus

What advice would you give to young songwriters?
Just write.

If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?

For right now, probably Christopher Porterfield from a band called Field Report. I think he is writing some of the most interesting songs today, totally uninhibited by anything besides a love for Northern Wisconsin and his own naiveté. Either him or Jay-Z, for sake of meter.

If you’re in Philadelphia or South Jersey you can see Jeremy on August 30th at The Fire with The Commonwealth Choir https://www.facebook.com/events/612481215452821/ . But, because we have far more readers from Finland than Philly, here’s the details on his Fall Finland Tour also;http://www.onechord.net/2013/07/21/small-houses-finland-tour-coming-up-in-september/

Small Houses on the Web
Website
Bandcamp
Twitter
Instagram
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Bonus Materials
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Aves

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Aves- “SUN SKY A FLOATING”

Brian Wilson is a musical genius.  Anyone who thinks of the Beach Boys as mindless, simple, surf music has not really listened to Brian Wilson’s work.  I’m fascinated by the “Smile Sessions – Box Set” and listening to all of the bits of pieces of “Good Vibrations” and learning how that all came together. (I have that playing in the background as I type this) What even makes me happier is seeing so many younger bands coming up who are influenced by Brian Wilson. This is by far our longest interview and a great discussion of music, songwriting, Aves, Brian Wilson, Smile and more. Enjoy!

Aves (Eino Anttila)
Hometown- 
Helsinki, Finland
Record Label- Stereotype Helsinki
Band Affiliation- Koria Kitten Riot, Pooma, Scaramangas

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Brief introduction To Aves
Birds (class Aves) are feathered, winged, bipedal, warm-blooded, egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Aves uses tropical tones to paint reveries, moments of astonishment, and the mercurial border that separates dream from reality. The sparkling textures, compassionate melodies, and vibrant visions twine together into an elevated state of mystical presence.

Eino, what is your songwriting/composing process?
I write a lot on the piano by just coming up with chord progressions and melodies. Then, also Antti has come up with some vocal melodies as a sort of addition to my chords, like Shoreline’s and Sarah Sunk’s verses. We also jam a lot with Antti – me usually on Roland Juno-60 and mic and Antti on drums, which is a way we’ve come up with a lot of the ideas and grooves originally.

Sun Sky and You, Lucid I wrote entirely on piano and Rhodes originally by just singing and playing scruffy recordings on my phone, and then progressing by me and Antti jamming on the songs, so the chords and melodies became more of a cohesive thing. Sarah Sunk has a bass riff from Joonas, our bass player, that me and Antti kind of just took from one of Joonas’ old demos and started making a song around to. Time passed and we completed Sarah Sunk, and Joonas was interested in joining us for making music and touring and it just felt like the most natural thing, since we hadn’t yet made any gigs nor even released Sarah Sunk yet at that point. Joonas also comes up with a lot of bright ideas, Sun Sky’s C-part after the two choruses is one of them, it’s his bass chord progressions and piano melodies that we made together with Joonas.

You, Lucid we demoed by recording me an Antti playing the entire song from start to finish on the same room, with a pair of mics pointing to the PAs soaking in an old scruffy Vestafire reverb that I was a huge fan of around that time. We built the whole song around that demo, by playing a bunch of Rhodes keyboards through a Vibrolux amp and a bunch of Juno-60 tracks through a series of guitar pedals, such as the Holy Grail reverb as well as a Black Finger tube compressor which I was also a huge fan of around that time. Everything about the original demo simply got left intact to the finished track.

On Sun Sky I knew I wanted to flirt with jazz elements and sort of mix together everything about the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s AND the 90s that I love. So I sampled a huge bunch of 50s jazz recordings cause I’m a huge fan of the 50s jazz sound, and took all the good parts between the chords to make harmonies behind and between the Sun Sky’s chords.

The 60s part is the whole Wall of Sound thing, to create distinctive harmonies from so many different things that it’s impossible to hear each sound unrelated to others. That’s the fascination to me about the whole Brian Wilson sound. Creating cohesive soundscapes from different sounds in a way that the sum is a wall of sound that just washes over you and hopefully at best makes you feel kind of overwhelmed.

The 70s thing was to me making big chords with wurlitzers along with big song progressions but mixing the 80s with big drums and Korg’s Polysix pads. A huge influencer to the beat on Sun Sky and the rest of the album and the snare sound specifically has been my favorite Michael Jackson album, “Dangerous” from 1991 along with the whole Ghost movie, and I specifically wanted to use some 90s style Lexicon plate reverbs as a sort of homage to the hifi-fied sound of the 90s splashy snare drum.

Then there’s the Sun Child Suite which is a big thing on the album’s themes, which are a lot about childhood. My father passed away a couple years ago, which has affected a lot of the album creation. My father used to always play me all kinds of songs from Beatles to Beach Boys and his vinyl shelf had all kinds of treasures from Moody Blues “Days of Future Passed” to these Synthesizer Greatests collections packed with all the 70s synth pioneers. There’s a lot of paying homage to my childhood favorites, some 50s jazz, 90s New Age and R&B stuff and 70s synth pioneers as well as the affection to the tiny, unfinished songs that make a beautiful cohesive whole that Brian Wilson came up with SMiLE.

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Have you become comfortable with writing on the road, or is that something you still do at home?
I’m still mostly writing at home or at the studio. Elise was pretty much completely written and recorded at our cabin though, where we’ve recorded almost all the drums, synths and keyboards on the record as well as the vocals.

What are you most proud of?
I’m happy about the vastness of the album and at the moment I’m most proud of the ambient soundscapes I did at later stages to the album that for me sort of made it all come together in a more meaningful way.

Let’s talk Beach Boys, more specifically Brian Wilson. I love that younger groups like you, and Young Dreams, are bringing back that “Brian Wilson sound”. What lead you to, as I read, “paint in tropical tones about reveries, baffled moments and the mercurial line between dreaming and reality with bubbly textures, hazy motion and fresh pop-hooks.”?
I can only speak for myself, but Aves for me is simply music that I want to make, listen to and perform. It’s music that I channel and music that just happens when I get in front of a piano, a synth or a computer. It’s music that happens when we three guys get together to jam and to write songs and a lot of it in the end is the sum of all our aspirations and our own personal jams.

I’m a huge Beach Boys, Brian Wilson and Dennis Wilson fan and what I love about the Wall of Sound of which Phil Spector originated and which Brian Wilson was a huge fan of himself and was channeling in his music, is how the sound sort of takes your breath away, washes over you and makes it impossible to separate the tracks from each other. I’m still finding so many things from so many Beach Boys tracks after years and hundreds of listens. A year ago I remember hearing a harp playing on a Pet Sounds track for the very first time, and I had listened to the album years already. I remember thinking like, “Wow, that’s what I wanna make. I wanna make timeless music filled with so many details I won’t get bored of it even after years of listening”. Talk about aspirations and reaching high but well, one can try right, heh. I always have these few starting points on making music. If I’ve gotten truly bored of the track already when I’ve been mixing it for a while, it’s going nowhere. And if I don’t dance or listen to the track with my eyes closed while I’m making it AND still after countless listens, it’s, again, going nowhere.

5 Favorite Beach Boys/Brian Wilson tunes?
I found it impossible to rank five of them, so I’m just going to throw some real favorites with saying SMiLE with all it’s million bootlegs and Pet Sounds are obviously the biggest favorite Beach Boys albums but I’m gonna leave them out and mention some other awesome ones.

Til I Die (Alternative Mix)

Love Surrounds Me

Cool, Cool Water

All I Wanna Do

Our Sweet Love

Little Pad

Cuddle Up

Be With Me

Make It Good

Midnight’s Another Day

Their Hearts Were Full of Spring

You’re Welcome

Can’t Wait Too Long

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Do lyrics come quickly or do you revise them over a period of time?
Lyrics are something that take ages for me to come up with and that’s one of the reasons why the album took so long to make. I wrote a big chunk of the lyrics in Berlin where I stayed for a month last summer, and if I hadn’t done that I don’t know if the album would be ready still at this point. Maybe, but just very different. For me, lyrically there has to be something to be written about for the words to come to me  and to actually mean anything.

What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
I find it extremely difficult to pin point just one Beach Boys lyric but my favorite one  all around is definitely Van Dyke Park’s amazing work on SMiLE. Those words amaze me again and again. They’re just breathtakingly beautiful, clever & imaginative.

Other lyricists that I’ve really aspired to are Conor Obrest (of Bright Eyes) and the late Richey James Edwards of Manic Street Preachers as well as Conrad Keely of …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead.

“Sun Sky a Floating”, where did that come from?
One of the big themes on the album is outer forces and the Sun Sky versus the Sun Child is kind of a metaphor for that. Sun Sky is safe haven, a contradictional heaven of sorts, or specifically a drug, medicine, coffee fix, faith or a difficult relationship. All these things that do us so good, but that we know do us harm or hardships at the same time. Sun Child is one’s self, me you and everyone else.

“Sun Sky a Floating” is sort of the nickname for this higher safe haven of sorts, as within the album I’ve been trying to sonically describe the time and place as much as possible.

Other one of the big themes is the contradiction between the body and the mind. Sun Sky is the mind and Sun Child is the body, and the album is a lot about the difficult relationship between those two, and about ways of being merciful to both of them.

On the album I’ve been also writing a lot to my late father and trying to create a beautiful place for me to picture him living in, so “Sun Sky a Floating” is also the calm place I’d like to think my father is living in these days.

What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Be true to yourself and bring out your heart. Don’t aspire on following others too much. That’s all I can say, as I feel I’m still pretty rookie myself as well.

If you could go back and be part of any album session what would it be?
SMiLE by the Beach Boys most definitely. To me the whole album and the story behind the making along with all the making of snippets there are, is simply the most fascinating tale of creative genius at it’s peak.

If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, Michael Jackson and Vangelis. All have created highly influential soundscapes to me and all would probably have a lot to teach about songwriting if it were.

AVES on the Web
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Bonus Materials
To view Eino’s selected playlist and other bonus items, please go to;
http://www.ourscattereddreams.com/songwriting-blog.html
All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.

 

Christine Hoberg

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Christine Hoberg

Connections.  If you stopped by the Facebook page today, you saw my post on connecting.  Music is connections. Telling stories that connect emotionally with your listeners.  Finding band members that connect on a direction for the sound of the songs. Connecting as friends with other musicians and music supporters. If you connect with people that like you, then the music part of the equation becomes easy.  You’ll see this come up a lot here because I believe that connecting, in all forms, is more important than music.

I know Christine because of a series of connections that started in London and Brooklyn, but also leads through Michigan, Boston, Houston and Paris.  There’s too many wonderful things that have come of this series of connections to list, but I’m thrilled that it’s lead me to introducing you to Christine.

Christine Hoberg
Current City/Home Town- Brooklyn, NY via Superior, Wisconsin
Most recent release- ‘You Can’t See Me’, a collaboration by myself and a group from Milwaukee called Kiings
Band Affiliation- Flight Facilities (collaboration) and Kiings (collaboration)

What is your songwriting/composing process?
It’s varied. I think often times it comes from a small idea. I lay that down and then more pieces come afterwards. I like to layer and layer and mess with effects while I’m writing to get the whole mood and soundscape. And then, some warbled words I initially said, I listen to over and over again to kind of see what words they could be and if I like the way the sound of the warbling is I substitute a real word and re-listen to what I have at that point to find out what I’m subconsciously writing about. Sometimes, it’s about a very specific thing and comes from one definite thought and often times it’s improvising and letting myself just say things as they arise and then piecing it together like a collage.

What are you most proud of?
I think I’m really proud that a song I wrote, ‘Clair de Lune’ in collaboration with Flight Facilities, went Gold in Australia and has seemingly been so loved. The rewards from that song like being on Grey’s Anatomy and Alicia Keys tweeting about it are really special. But, I think, the main thing at the root of all is that it seems to have really connected with people. That is amazing. To connect with another human being and to communicate something very dear and honest to me and have another person feel that and perhaps be comforted or find happiness in that is the most important thing for me.

What are you working on right now?
I have a new album coming out this Fall.  I’m doing a Kickstarter to help raise funds to release it. (OSW NOTE- Christine had no idea when she sent this interview what would happen.  She reached her Kickstarter goal in 32 hours!! She has set a revised goal and added more rewards.  Check it out and help if you can at; http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1746597757/christine-hoberg-bring-my-album-to-print)

What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
Hmmm that’s so hard. I really love so many artists lyrics, Bjork, Tom Waits, too many good people to have a favorite!

If you could sit down and talk songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
I would say I’d love to talk to Danger Mouse, I think he’s an incredible producer, I continually admire his projects. I’d love to just listen to Philip Glass for hours. I’d also love to work with Jack White and Jon Brion.

What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
Believe in yourself. Have patience. Seek out and listen to critiques and dually take them all with a grain of salt. Realize that there is no limit to talent, so keep seeking to create better music, say more honest things, and try to continually improve the quality of everything you do. Try all kinds of genres and don’t pigeonhole yourself. Oh! And never let someone buy you out of your rights! Get a music law book and a lawyer!

CHRISTINE ON THE WEB
Website
Facebook
Soundcloud
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Christine sent 2 great photos.  So as a starting bonus here’s the other picture

Christinehoberg2

Bonus Materials
To view Christine’s selected playlist and other bonus items, please go to;

http://www.ourscattereddreams.com/songwriting-blog.html

All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.