You’ve seen Sunny Gu’s amazing fashion illustrations in VOGUE, Bloomingdale’s, In House Versace & beyond. Illuminating the likes of Brian Atwood, Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, DIOR, Erdem, CHANEL, Marc Jacobs, Prabal Gurung & on & on ..the list is honestly too long to mention. Gu’s artistry is a thing of AHA! moments & sunshine thoughts. Beautiful illustrations filled with a joyful energy that is best not described, but rather viewed..again & again. I was stoked to spend a few moments with Sunny as she agreed to my interview amid her tirelessly ambitious schedule. Learn more about the lovely lady behind the gorgeous Fashion Inspired Art of a modernly hip 2014 culture.
1. Quick 5 Stats with Fashion Illustrator Sunny Gu: Art Lover, Watercolor Enthusiast, Nature Admirer, Passionate about fashion, All about details.
2. West Coast sand in toes or East Coast Concrete Dreamin’? West Coast sand in toes
3. Disco on the dance floor or make mine the Tango? Disco on the dance floor
4. Greatest fashion inspired song of all time? Fashion by Lady Gaga
5. If I wasn’t a fashion illustrator I would surely be….. Psychologist
Your illustrations have been described as breathtakingly stunning, SUNSHINE..happy feelings & extraordinarily detail oriented (just to name a few). Where do you seek inspiration for the creation of such beautiful images?
I find inspirations everywhere, favorite people, strangers, sunshine, smiles, exotic animals, latest fashion shows, etc. I wish to find a way to capture and preserve the beauties that I see, the kindness that I feel, and recreate them in someway. I’m so happy that I finally figured out a way to record, translate and share all the beautiful things I saw and precious feeling I felt with others.
You have been featured by Dolce & Gabbana, Prabal Gurung, Gucci, Nicole Richie News & more..which of your fabulous fashion illlustrations best mirror your own personal style?
I find the most beautiful things from nature, I’m so obsessed with all the lovely flowers and their symbolic meanings. So that explains why I LOVE foral prints so much, I wear them all the time, I painted so many illustrations that has girls wearing their favorite floral outfits!
What are your favorite Fall 2013 Looks & Inspirations?
I love the pastel trends from the Fall 2013 collections, the looks that created appear to be very feminine, soft, comfortable, warm and huggable. Brands like Céline, Rochas, Victoria Beckham, Carven, Louis Vuitton and Valentin Yudashkin all embrace this trend.
Commissioning artwork for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana & Gucci, you are one of the most sought after artists in your field. Did you ever imagine this level of success when you were a small girl growing up in China?
No, it was a dream that i wasn’t dare to dream when I was little. I got easily satisfied to be able to spend an uninterrupted afternoon playing with my colorful crayons. I have to thank so many people in my life for giving me help, encouragements, guidance, challenges and opportunities when I needed. It is all because of these lovely people, I am who I am now, I do the things that I’m doing now, I have the courage to keep chasing my dreams and even dreaming bigger. It is because kind people like you, who support me, encourage me, help me share my art; that I gained faith in myself and believe in the possibility of making my dreams into realities!
Where can we see & BE more Sunny Gu this Fall/Winter 2014!!? The most recent news will be updated on my social media sites:
Costume Designer Justine Seymour at The Sessions premier.
Moulin Rouge, Star Wars, The Sessions, Mission Impossible II.. all blockbuster movies with creative elements from the fascinating mind of designer Justine Seymour. Justine is a Critic’s Circle award winning international costume designer. Her original creations have been seen on Helen Hunt, John Hawks, William H. Macy, Michelle Monaghan, Adam Arkin & more. Her recent movie, Dear Eleanor (produced by Leo DiCaprio & directed by Kevin Connolly) is a flashback to 1962 starring Luke Wilson, Jessica Alba, Isabelle Fuhrman, Joel Courtney & Liana Liberato. I was honored to catch up with Justine during her busy shooting schedule to learn more about her creative process & the FUN that keeps her one of the most sought after costume designers in the industry.
5 Quick Stats with Costume Designer Justine Seymour
1. Australians do __FUN_____ better!
2. If I had not become a Costume Designer I would surely have been Production Designer, Interior Designer, just some sort of design.
3. Wallflower on the dance floor or TURN IT UP LOUD I wanna boogie!! I wanna Boogie!!
4. The one person I have yet to costume, but would LOVE to is Meryl Streep
5. You are stranded on a desert island..you can only have three items in your Costume Kit. What are they??! Sewing machine, scissors and thread.
Justine on Set..
You have accomplished so many amazing things in your career! Designing originals for Major Motion Pictures, Short Films as well as Television Series. Which projects do you enjoy working on the most?
Feature films but really they are all fun as it is all story telling through character and that is my passion.
I am beyond excited to see the wardrobe you are creating for DEAR ELEANOR. I am a huge fan of fashion in the 1960’s. Where are you seeking your inspiration for the film ?
I have looked at iconic 1960’s fashion especially Natalie Wood and Audrey Hepburn but as we are shooting country town USA, I am looking at Sears catalogs, Simplicity patterns and newspapers from that time and a little before to late 50’s. There is only one character that is up to date with her fashion and that is the Jessica Alba character; Daisy.
Isabelle Fuhrman & Joel Courtney from Dear Eleanor (photo from Just Jared)
How much of the costuming actually derives from an actor’s personality? Or is it 100% character driven? The Characters come from the script, I bring them into the physical world through my designs and then present my ideas to the Director and then finally to the actor and if I have done my job well, they usually find the character easily, there is always a little tweaking and I love to include actors ideas and wishes. I try and have a chat with the cast well before I start sourcing my wardrobe and drawing my designs.
Do you have a favorite costume from cinema ( past or present) & who are your personal fashion icons?
I do not have a favorite outfit but my two favorite costume designers are Eiko Ishioka and Colleen Atwood.
Design is a fluid and organic process that captures moods, emotions and personalities on a subliminal level. I find it fascinating and stimulating.
Thank YOU lovely Justine. Carry on the fabulosity!
Claudia Camila Lopez is a woman with a mission. Strike that..many missions. The first Colombian woman to summit in the Himalayas, Claudia is a force of strength as well as beauty. Known for her photos of world class climbers around the globe, she is also an accomplished editorial & advertising photographer. She is a tireless philanthropist who uses her talents behind & in front of the camera to encourage injured climbers to get back on the ice. Never one to shy away from adversity nor adventure, Claudia is currently involved, as a still photographer, in a new project film entitled Afghan Cycles, directed by Sarah Menzies. A film documenting the Women’s National Cycling Team of Afghanistan. Her work is monumental within Mountain 2 Mountain. A non-profit organization which invests in women & girls on the fringe. Their very mission statement is inspiring: "we believe women and girls are changemakers and catalysts for peace and global prosperity"
Read on to learn more about Claudia.
Claudia Camila Lopez photo by Shannon Galpin
5 Quick Stats with Photographer Claudia Camila Lopez
1. Colombians do Dance better 2. If I was not a photographer I would surely be a cinematographer or graphic designer. 3. Wallflower on the dance floor or "HELLO SPOTLIGHT! Wallflower, always observing with an infatuation for lighting, human faces and behaviour 4. The one person/place or thing I’ve YET to photograph but WILL! Tilda Swinton 5. The one thing I miss MOST about the comfort of home… Clean sleeping socks
Claudia Camila Lopez photo by Whitney Conner Clapper
You are currently in Kabul Afghanistan shooting amazing images in a war zone area. Did you ever imagine yourself there? In this place?
In a way yes, I imagine myself here as in many other comparable places, and always working on making it happen. I have a penchant for conflict zones, displaced cultures and for the quotidian of the people that survive against all odds. My compass is always aiming on these directions. After all I am from Colombia and, to a point, these places feel like home and there is a great deal of familiarity with the people that inhabit them.
Photo by Claudia Camila Lopez
What do you & your team hope to achieve through your photography?
Our main goal is to document, stills and film, the Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team, and to show through their eyes the new breed of Afghan women blazing trails for change by daring to ride bikes. 12 Young women that believe in possibilities despite the status quo, controversy and taboos.
Photo by Claudia Camila Lopez
I know you have traveled the world & captured so much LIFE through the eye of your lens. What have been the most rewarding experiences?
Hands down the engagement with the people I photograph; the closeness and collaboration. My photographs are the result of our interactions, a visual journal of moments of trust and acknowledgment of one another.
Photo by Claudia Camila Lopez
What is the most valuable piece of advice you would share with other budding photographers & artists out there alike?
For documentary and portrait photographers… Nurture your vision, respect the people in front of the lens and don’t ever forget that the camera is a double-edged sword.
Photo by Claudia Camila Lopez
Thank you for your work Claudia. You are indeed an inspiration to all.
Geoffrey Mac is an award winning fashion designer with an eye toward the future & a passion for the past. His phenomenal creations have garnered appearances in such publications as Rolling Stone, V, WWD, Billboard.com & US Magazine, Glamour, NYLON & more. You’ve seen his artistry on the likes of Lady Gaga, Kesha, Britney Spears, BLONDIE, Sharon Needles & Nicki Minaj. He is the personification of cutting edge & he’s got the 2013 Spring/Summer Collection to prove it. I was absolutely honored to steal a few moments away from his pressing schedule to ask him a few fun questions about the new collection & his very fashion forward outlook on life.
Kesha in Geoffrey Mac!
QUICK 5 Stats with Geoffrey Mac
1. Chicagoans do House Music better, while New Yorkers do Fashion better.
2. 70’s HUSTLE on the dance floor or shoulder shrug slide & point Beiber style? Neither really. Bigger fan of some 80’s dance moves like the Cabbage Patch or the Smurf. (Ok, I LOVE this)
3. If I wasn’t a famous fashion designer, I surely would have become a sculptor or performance artist.
4. GREATEST song I’ve ever heard on a runway was Cajmere’s “Lets Dance” a classic beat anyone can get into regardless of age. All heads were bobbing!
5. The best part about my occupation is being able to obsessively create. There is no greater feeling than developing your ideas, thoughts and visions from paper to product.
Geoffrey Mac Elytra Dress with Cayda Pants. Tantalum Mag
Yemaja Caftan by Geoffrey Mac for Tantalum Mag
Debbie Harry in Geoffrey Mac
What words are best used to describe your Spring/ Summer 2013 collection?
Sleek, cold, linear and of the body (both insect and human). The collection was originally based on the style lines of insects and began to take on human form.
Any favorite “go-to” pieces you would like to elaborate on?
My favorite go-to pieces would have to be the Beetle dress and the Tarsus pant for their throw on comfort and simplicity. There is nothing better than a piece that can go from day to evening and at theend of the night you still don’t want to take it off!
Your collections are known for bridging ancient cultures straight into
our future! Where do you find inspiration for such phenomenal artform…Or does the inspiration find you?
I pull inspiration from ancient symbols and architecture. I am not big on following trends closely as this just sets the garment up for ashort run. The goal is to make pieces that would have been loved inthe past, and can hang in your closet being loved for many years tocome.
Neon Hitch in Geoffrey Mac for INKED Magazine
Having dressed such modern fashion icons as Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears & Debbie Harry…who were your style icons growing up?
Jane Child, Cyndi Lauper, Grace Jones and Billy Idol. They all had aspecific look with a touch of polished punk. I lived for what they were wearing and couldn’t wait to see what they did next.
Geoffrey Mac with Neon Hitch in Vintage Geoffrey Mac Dress. Photo by Aaron Cobbett THANK YOU Geoffrey Mac. You are indeed a gracious artist.
Dolphus Ramseur is the record exec. you oughtta know. His steady, tried & true commitment to musical acts in the Americana/ Roots genre is gaining much deserved attention across the globe. With the colossal success of such acts as The Avett Brothers, Dolphus Ramseur is a man on a steady mission. I’m not sure WHEN or IF the following Ramseur words have ever been spoken by ANY other Record Exec in the past 25 years, “We are looking to help build 30 year careers, not just a couple of years success”WOW!!! Read on & find out why a balloon ride might actually carry you further than the rocket kind….
Quick 5 Stats with Owner of Ramseur Records: Dolphus Ramseur
1. Tennis with Novak Djokovic or Back up singing with Sha Na Na?
Djokovic on center court at Roland Garros though I did see Sam and Dave and Sha Na Na in 1979 at the Charlotte Coliseum and it was rockin’!
2. Break it down under the disco ball or painted flower on the wall?
I am going with the disco ball. Especially at Terminal 5 in New York City during the last instrumental section of Laundry Room by the Avett Brothers.
3. Sunshine on your shoulder or rainy afternoons?
Rainy afternoon listening to John Martyn’s “Bless The Weather.”
4. North Carolinans do __________ better. Entertainment
5. Describe The Avett Brothers in one word: _______ Passion
Your career in music began as a Tennis Management major in Michigan. How does one go from Tennis Pro to Successful Record Label Exec? In regards to music I went to the school of hard knocks. I read and studied everything I could get my hands on about the music business. At heart though I am just a music fan.
In a world where big record labels don’t seem to get it & flash in the pan acts come & go faster than fried chicken at an after church social…how have you managed to stay the course & achieve the kind of mega success that surrounds The Avett Brothers? To be honest I really don’t see myself in the music business. I am just in the business of each band I work with. For the most part we operate on a different wave length than the big machine. Never underestimate the power of the small.
We operate on the philosophy of winning over one fan at a time. This is a balloon ride and not a rocket ship. We are looking to help build 30 year careers….not just a couple of years success. Art cannot be rushed or sacrificed. You have to treat it with respect and honor it or you will find yourself making big mistakes that can hurt your career. I hope that we are also pretty good at treating fans the way we would want to be treated.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in this business?
I think the biggest lesson has been carried over from the tennis career. If you see a young kid with loads of potential you work with him on ways to improve and fine tune him or herself to make that potential shine. When I work with bands I do the same. I never sign them thinking that right then and there they are at their zenith. You have to cultivate it, work hard, learn from mistakes, etc….
Tell us a bit about the current Ramseur Records roster & where can we continue to surround ourselves with Ramseur Record Goodness in the upcoming months??
In 2012 Langhorne Slim will be putting out a new release in early June. It is very special and I think the best work of his career. I really believe in it. Samantha Crain goes back into the studio with John Vanderslice. They are making her next full length release. The Avett Brothers have a new one that is being produced by Rick Rubin that we are hoping to have out in late Summer or early Fall. The Carolina Chocolate Drops just released a new one that was produced by Buddy Miller. It is doing very well. So we are very busy which is a good thing. As always I look at Ramseur Records as just my little mix tape that I make for the world. Hopefully some like it.
Your first introduction to the smooth sounds of Justin Hopkins was more than likely during his competitive rounds on NBC’s THE VOICE, but rest assured, it will NOT be the last. I caught up with the multi-talented performer whose baby face & velvet pipes won the hearts of America. Spoiler Alert: he has no interest in borrowing Christina Aguilera’s Disco Style Fascinator Hat…
5 Quick Stats With Justin Hopkins: 1. Oregon does _____ better. BEER! 2. Footwork on the dance floor or forget it & pass me the mic? I only dance at weddings. Pass the mic! 3. One word answer: The VOICE is _____? SHINY 4. If I wasn’t a performer I would surely be?? Single 5. If you had to take fashion advice from ONE celebrity judge from The Voice… who would it be?? I can tell you who it wouldn’t be? Xtina. Every time I see what she’s wearing I cringe just a little. Most of the world met you on this season’s hit show THE VOICE, but you’ve been rockin’ away in the music industry for many years. How would you describe your original music & how did you get started in the biz?
When i first started playing out in Oregon, I originally classified my style of music as “barefoot Soul” but I think I’ve stepped away from the blue eyed soul the last several years and really made my focus less about style and more strength of song. I get a lot of folks saying I sit somewhere between David Gray and Ryan Adams- I got started on the business end on a whim, an indefinite trip to Los Angeles that ended with me being here for almost 10 years now.
You’ve stated that being on The Voice was a way for you to become “more well rounded as an artist”. What did the show teach you that you plan to carry on throughout your career? Sure, I stated that. But let’s be honest-To become more well rounded it takes days and months of practice to become more well-rounded, not a few hours with a celebrity coach. What’s going to help me throughout my career is that constant reminder there’s so much talent around us, and usually the hardest worker wins over luck any time-The musicians (The Voice Band) and staff (Production) working on this show are so next level. Professionalism is so important. This show is a great reminder of that.
What’s the toughest part about singing to the back of chairs? And we all want to know if Cee Lo Green is really as cool as he seems?
The hardest part is not knowing if one will turn, and the fact they can’t see how you are performing. I could literally be sitting on a toilet singing the shit out of a song (no pun intended) and they could turn, but sometimes dancing around, performing for an audience you’re not always spot on. I’d heard from some folks that hadn’t got chairs to turn and I was blown away that they hadn’t made it- There’s a moment in the blind audition you can see my face just sink-I thought it was over- In regards to CeeLo Green, there is noone cooler-He’s very stoic for a little round dude, but he’s been amazing to me, and I’ve got nothing but respect for him and his music.
Justin Hopkins with his GORGEOUS Family on NBC’s THE VOICE
Tell us about the NEW SINGLE!!! Where can we catch up with Justin Hopkins this spring & summer??
Hells yes, there is a new single! "Love on the Radio"which was basically a song I wrote with my production team (Chuy Flores and Scott Fisher) right when I returned from battle rounds-Our goal was to really let the light in, provide something people could sing and dance and clap to. I didn’t want an ounce of heavy in it. I’m in the process of setting up a lot of shows in the south, mideast, east coast area because I’ve neglected those folks for awhile-It’s an exciting time for me and my band. I’ve been off the road for over two years, so looking forward to meeting all the new fans that come with being on a show like this.
Thank you for your time Justin. I wish you all the success in the world. You’re so Rad Birdee! Anytime, Be in touch!
She is instantly recognized as the woman who keeps the laughter flowin’ during the 4th hour of NBC’s The TODAY SHOW with Hoda & Kathie Lee (klgandhoda.com). Sara Haines is a contributing correspondent for NBC News Today & a small town Iowa girl who went for her dreams in a BIG way. As a HUGE fan of the 4th hour quirky, mimosa & headlines inspired show, I’ve always enjoyed the hudspah & humor of Miss Haines. I was ecstatic when she agreed to do an interview! Keep reading to learn more about this refreshingly candid Smith College Graduate who loves Taco Johns & Dairy Queens & who may just occupy the best seat in morning tv.
Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford & Sara Haines
Five Quick Stats with Sara Haines of NBC’s The Today Show:
1. QUICK Fashion Emergency! It’s 10pm..who will you call? Kathie Lee or Hoda?
I am more like Hoda in my approach to clothes; They are for function, not fashion. Hoda is a great dresser, but she doesn’t spend much time thinking about what to wear. So, if it was a question about what I should wear to something, I would probably ask Kathie because both Hoda and I would end up saying…"sure, that goes together" because we want to get the dressing part over.
2. Sunshine on your shoulder or Rainy Afternoons?
I will make the most of either, but I love the sun. I am seasonally affected, so natural light instantly puts me in a good place.
3. Plaid or Argyle?
Argyle because it is easier to wear. It will be a sweater or socks and there you go. When you venture into “plaids,” you are picking between shirt, pants, socks, head bands, etc. and the odds are that I will try to many at once ha ha.
4. The Tango or The Hustle?
The tango…because I can’t get a visual on the Hustle.
5. Iowans do _______________ better!
"boredom" - I always say that people who grow up in active and stimulating places can get bored more easily. You take someone that has been in a place where “nothing happens,” and they will find a way to make the most out of a situation that may be “boring” to someone else.
You are the most fun & talented sidekick on morning television! Tell us about your transition from behind the scenes production coordinator to On The Air beautiful starlet..
Wow, that question is so flattering! My answer is bound to disappoint after that flattery (thank you!) I joined the show in 2002 as the production coordinator. I had originally come to NYC to try my hand at comedic acting. Working behind-the-scenes in television was, not only paying the rent and for my acting classes, but I considered it doing my “homework” on the business. When our website launched and the show was pushing for more digital content, I started a celebrity vlog called “Backstage Pass” where I interviewed musical guests while they were at the show. As indicated by the name, I was trying to give someone sitting in Iowa an idea of what it is like behind the cameras.
Manhattan is a LONG way from Iowa. What are a few things you miss from home & what Manhattan fabulosities could you now NEVER see yourself living without?
I miss the sweet corn, driving past the corn fields between towns, driving a car, Dairy Queen, and Taco Johns. I miss the safety/security of a small town. Sometimes, I even miss the much slower pace. My dad says that what I miss is a “time” and not a “place.” I think he is right in that assessment. In the years that I have been in NYC, I have come to realize that it hasn’t only been NYC changing me, but some of the qualities that I already had, finding their match in the city.
Although you shine in front of the camera, you are still producing several of The TODAY Show’s morning segments. Tell us about a typical work day balancing act!
I have producers for most of what I do on camera, and thank goodness for that. I learned early on that there are so many moving parts, so without the producer checking on everything, I stand to make more mistakes or miss something. I spend my morning at the studio for the show. If I have a shoot, then I head out into the field and usually that takes the better part of the day. If I don’t have a shoot, I head back to my desk and do everything from search/pitch ideas, work out logistics for an upcoming shoot, brainstorm a script with a producer, interact with our 4th hour fans on Facebook and twitter, track audio for a story that we have already shot, general email correspondence, expenses, etc. I would say that the show is only a small part of a day. It may be the most fun, but there is always so much more to do.
What are your hobbies when you’re not bringing fun, useful & insightful news to the morning viewer world?
I play on a co-ed volleyball team. I played in college, so finding teams to play on over the years has been such an outlet for me. I also LOVE reading. Every night, I try to reserve 30 minutes to an hour to check out in a good book (usually fiction.) I have 2 chihuahuas, Peter and Trixie, so spending time with them (at dog run, taking a walk, or just snuggling) is always a treat.
What can we expect for the remainder of 2012 at The Today Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda? AND where can we find more Sara Haines!?
We will have more "did she just say that?" moments and "are they REALLY drinking those?" We love shaking things up and hitting the road, so get ready for more location shows. More than anything, the fun and crazy will continue. Kathie Lee and Hoda are two of the most fun-loving, smart, and energized people that I know. I have the best seat in the house.
Thank You Sara!! Carry on the Fun & The Crazy! GOGOGO
Professional Fashion Illustrator Jennifer Lilya at home in her gorgeous NYC art studio.
You’ve seen her fabulous illustrations in Elle Magazine, WWD, Edelman/T.J. Maxx/Marshalls, for Katy Perry, Dolce & Gabbana, STILA Cosmetics & More! Find out how this beautiful blonde dancing Queen is kickin butt in the fashion industry & sketchin’ names…
Five Quick Stats with FABU Fashion Illustrator Jennifer Lilya:
1. Vintage Halston or Bob Mackie circa 1978??Halston all the way!
2. The Hustle or The Tango? The Hustle- I’m a dancing queen.
3. Sunshine on your shoulder or Rainy afternoons? Sunshine all day, every day!
4. Best Make Out Song ever Written? ‘Do Me Baby’ by Prince. A little more than making out, but it’s Prince!
5. Chihuahuas make life?? Zany & Adorable!
With clients including Elle, WWD, Dolce & Gabbana & Katy Perry (just to name a few)..you have reached a level of success that most illustrators only dream about!! Was this journey always your lifelong dream? Did you always imagine such mega success?
It’s totally cheeseball, but ever since I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was draw pretty pictures. I always had a fantasy of mega-success, but achieving it is another story. I’ve worked my butt off & I’ve been lucky so far, but there’s still a ton of work I want to do!
I love the femininity of your illustrations & the happiness they exude. They are all at once modern & fresh as well as vintage & classic !! I read that you are a huge Audrey Hepburn fan (a fact we both share!) Do you often find yourself seeking inspiration from days gone by & the more ladylike times of the 50’s?
Thanks! I adore Audrey- she’s such the style icon. I love the silhouettes (and illustrations) of the 50s & 60s- classic & girly. Also the great lines & fun looks of the 60s. While my work is current with each season, I definitely draw most of my inspiration from the past. I’m insanely inspired by 1980s looks, music & art.
The FUN you experience while creating is clearly evident within your beautiful creations!! After all these years, is it still a means of escape for you? And what are some of your hobbies when you’re away from the Art Studio??
It’s all about fun & fitting in my clients’ needs within that. It’s what I do almost every day, so it’s not so much escaping, but just living life pretty awesomely through art. If I wasn’t having fun doing it, my art wouldn’t look the way it does.
Hobbies? A huge hobby of mine is collage- that’s actually a means of escape because it’s so different from illustration. Taking tiny pieces of color & texture & type, then turning that into a final beautiful product that tells little funny stories- I can get lost in it for hours and days. Outside of my studio I love going to rock shows, gallery shows/museums, going to the beach all summer long, camping, having game nights with friends, spending time with my husband, as well as visiting family & friends in CT.
Speaking of art studio…your space looks FABULOUS!!! Tell us a bit about your new diggs!!! And I read that you are the proud owner of a “lovingly mean” chihuahua. What’s his name & Is he your studio buddy??
Thanks! We had to move unexpectedly in February since our landlord was awful & rain was literally leaking into my studio ceiling. This is the first place we saw & fell in love with it. My studio is filled with sunshine & plenty of space to work & store all of my supplies. It’s still a work in progress, but give it a year from now & the walls will be filled with more art & notes & random bits of inspiration.
Tweak is my 12 year old Chihuahua. He loves me, a few friends & pretty much hates anything else that gets in his way. It’s pretty hysterical since he’s so tiny & cute. He was an abused rescue, so he’s had trust issues since we adopted him at 8 months, but he’s my pal. He follows me everywhere, hangs out under my drawing table or sunbathes in the middle of my studio every afternoon. I also spoil him beyond belief.
Where can we find more Jennifer Lilya magnificence for Spring/Summer 2012? We don’t want to miss a thing…
I’m currently working with a few interesting clients on their logos & blog art. I was just asked to do more live sketching events for Stila Cosmetics across the US. I’ll be posting those dates as everything is finalized. I’m also part of a big fashion illustration exhibit this fall- details on that to follow shortly!
thank you Jennifer! YOU are so inspiring & motivating! Check out Jennifer’s beautiful website here! Jennifer Lilya GOGOGO!! xo Birdee
Genius is a term losing merit in the music industry..it’s overuse has become as generic as the word denim when explaining a pair of blue jeans. However, every now & again it firmly nails itself into a description with dead on accuracy. Such is the case of accolades written time & time again about guitarist, performing artist, producer & songwriter Yogi Lonich. Lead guitarist & backing vocalist for Chris Cornell since 2006, Yogi is no stranger to sharing the stage with musical legends. His stage CV includes names such as Prince, Kid Rock, Melissa Etheridge, Natasha Bedingfield, Bonnie Raitt, Axl Rose & Slash. He’s also known for a little show at the Rock’N Roll Hall of Fame with Jimi Hendrix band members Mitch Mitchell & Billy Cox for the 2008 Hendrix Exhibit. Yeh, it’s just how Yogi rolls.Oh, did I mention he’s also a former member of The Wallflowers, Buckcherry & Fuel? I was honored to steal some time away from his own legendary schedule. Read on for some Q&A with the rock’n roll music man who’s also quite fond of silence.. Watch Vid of My favorite Yogi TuneInside You
Quick 5 Stats With Yogi Lonich 1. Native Californians do hippie shit better. 2. Plaid or Argyle? Argyle 3. Best way to Break The Silence? A jam session with Toss Panos and Tim LeFebvre 4. Best Makeout Song Ever Written? Kid A (the song) 5. If I wasn’t a musician I would surely be a carny.
A very spiritual being, you’ve been known to spend days on end in silent meditation. In fact, I read that Chris Cornell had to wait to get your response to his tour offer until you had broken the silence from a meditative retreat. I would assume that kind of centering is a welcomed escape in the tumultuous world of touring. Do you feel your spirituality is imperative to your success? Does it help to deliver the musical muse when called upon? My spiritual path is nothing more than a practice to bring equanimity to my life. The practice of yoga and silent retreats will also help me to reach the final goal of full liberation. When one is in communion with dhamma (natural law), it’s rather easy to attain mundane and material goals. Inspiration is derived from “in spirit”, so yes, my inner growth directly correlates with an abundance of musical ideas.
Long Time Coming from your latest solo album Hesitant Poet is such a beautiful & thought provoking song. What is the story behind the song & where is it that Yogi is truly at “home”? Watch the Video HERE This song relates to a moment where I found love. It’s not a place or anything literal, just a state of mind where I feel comfortable in my own skin and where I can fully share my life with my partner.
When can we expect more music from your band Run Through The Desert? WATCH VIDEO for "BREAK THE SILENCE" I’ve recently spoken with drummer, Jason Sutter, and we hope to be playing some shows in the near future. As far as new material goes, I have put together a couple of new projects that are dominating my musical energy, so there are no RTTD recordings on the horizon.
Having spent your summer touring with Melissa Etheridge, what does your fall look like? & Most importantly, where can we hear, see & be more Yogi?? I’m producing a new band called Mindplow which will keep me busy for the next couple months. Also have a new trio of my own which will bring new “Yogimusic”. Headed out with Melissa Etheridge at the end of the month for some shows. Looking forward to that.
Thank you for truth & sincerity in music & for writing stellar songs Yogi. All the best to you:) Peace and Blessings ~ Yogi CheckOut http://www.yogimusic.com
Matt Bissonette is a name synonymous with TOP SESSION PLAYER followed quickly by the term: DYNAMIC TALENT. Matt’s list of album credits include names like The Kingston Trio, Ringo Starr, Don Henley, Joe Satriani, Rick Springfield, Brian Wilson, ELO, Steve Perry, Peter Frampton, Lita Ford & David Lee Roth among many others. Recording artist, writer, producer & consummate entertainer, Matt Bissonette is a musician known as much for his stellar sense of humor as his impeccable bass style. Always in command on stage, he’s the guy with the unstoppable energy & the infectious SMILE. Currently on a crazy busy summer tour with Rick Springfield & Co., I was stoked to steal a few minutes with Matt this week ..
5 Quick Stats with MATT BISSONETTE
1. Wallflower on the dance floor or break it down to the beats down low?? Definitely a wallflower,can’t teach dancing to a guy with three feet,wish I could dance,my wife would love me more. 2. Best makeout song ever written? "IF" by Bread an oldie but a….. 3. ___________ is better in Michigan The Coney Islands and White Castle’s
4. If I hadn’t become a musician I would surely have been _____________ Dead. Music kept me out of a lot of trouble,and still does. 5. Plaid or Argyle? Gargoyle. A plaid one
You are widely known as one of the most gifted bass players in the biz with a phenomenal talent for fretless bass solos. When did you decide bass was your instrument of choice? Well thanks, that’s awful nice of you to say. I know I could have been a lot better if I practiced more and dedicated myself to the bass more,somewhere along the line I decided I didn’t care about becoming the “best” bass player in the world. I just wanted to jam with my friends and have fun,somehow I stumbled into a career and have been very thankful that it worked out. I know God always had a plan for me. I actually sit in my studio and look around and say to my wife,”Do you believe how blessed we are to do what we love?” I guess in a way if you like what you do you are successful. I decided to play bass when I was 13. Two weeks after I got my first bass I was playing weddings and parties with my dad’s band in Detroit,he was a really great drummer. So I’ve really never known anything else but playing gigs and being a working stiff.
You have toured the world many times over & recorded with some of the most talented & influential artists of ALL time. As a Freshman studying at North Texas State, did you ever envision this level of success or the fact that you might one day tour with a BEATLE?
I drove by Denton Texas last week while out on the road, where North Texas is.. We stopped the band bus at a starbucks and I looked around the school and thought, “I don’t really remember anything!” It was so fast and the learning curve so high that it just blew by. The school was great but the best thing was the people. We would have "sessions" where you would go to friends houses and play real book jazz and rock songs, just jam for 3 or 4 hours, pack up and go to the next one. Sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. You played till your fingers fell off. There were so many great players that it was always humbling, there was always somebody way better than you. I never thought I would ever play with a Beatle, but I know all the years of gigs and going to school for music helped me prepare for it,is there really a way to prepare to play with a Beatle?
I’ve caught many of your sold-out shows with Rick Springfield & band. You guys seem to have an absolute blast EVERY time. How do you keep touring FUN after all these years together?
After all these years I’ve realized the best trait you can have is just to try and be a good guy. When you’re out on the road it can be melodramatic, everything gets bigger than it really is. It’s a show, I’m glad to be part of all the bands I’ve played in, but I realized early that it’s all a facade. I love it but can’t take any of it too seriously. One day you’re cool,the next day you’re stool…it’s the way the world is. I’m just really blessed to have played with some great players and really cool people. And,after all, we’re traveling around playing music, how can it not be fun, like playing in a sandbox.
Tell us about your studio & upcoming shows, projects & releases! Where can we get MORE MATT this year?
Can you ever get enough Matt?? I mean,C’mon!? I have a studio in our house in Orange County. I think I’ve recorded over 12 albums there so far. The newest one is called "Disposable Planet". I try and write one every year ,mostly pop music where I’m singing and playing. I’ve been writing for tv and movies etc. If I’m not writing and doing stuff I go a little crazy so I spend a lot of time in there. The best thing is recording all day at home where I can go in my son’s room and goof off with him and with my wife and be around them, then go back in and do more writing. If it wasn’t for writing and producing I don’t know what I would do. THANK YOU for your time Matt. I know you’re one busy guy. Well thank you Birdee. Thanks for having me, God bless ya and keep up the fine work..
Interview with Multi-Platinum Producer & Writer Jean Baptiste
He’s the producer of infectious melodies like "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas & the writer of songs that hook your cerebellum so hard you can’t get’em outta your head no matter how hard you try. Ever hear "Get your hands up" by The Dutchess herself first thing in the morning & then finally stop humming it sometime around 8pm? Ok Yeh, only Ten Million Times. Worldwide multi platinum & Gold status, Jean Baptiste is the mastermind behind the artists who SELL & sell out ARENAS . From JLO, WILL I AM, FERGIE, THE ROOTS, PINK, GOOD CHARLOTTE, NICOLE SCHERZINGER, RIHANNA to CHERYL COLE & CHRIS BROWN, they all come calling on Jean Baptiste & The Baptiste delivers. Read on to learn more about the man, the mind, his MODESTY & the music.
Quick 5 stats with Jean Baptiste
1. Best piece of advice ever given to you?
Best advice was prob “stay humbled, gracious and hungry. Don’t believe your hype”
2. Best make-out song ever written?
Best make out song ever made was Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s get it one” but I prefer Old Dirty Bastard’s “Brooklyn Zoo!!” :)
3. Fashionably late or snooze you lose?
Snooze you loose until you can be fashionably late
4. Plaid or Argyle?
Of course Argyle
5. Wallflower on the dance floor or spotlight collector?
Always a wallflower. Prob because I’m watching people’s reactions to my songs. The spotlight is for the song
This week your artists received numerous nominations for the upcoming BET Awards & tell us about the success of your latest “Look At Me Now" with Chris Brown.
I stay out of that, Really honored though.. Those moments are for the artists to shine. Thx again to BET. Look at me now” was another blessing. Shouts to Chris Brown and Busta and Wayne as well as Diplo and Afrojack and my partner Dj Replay
You are the writer of What is Love? from the new Jennifer Lopez album LOVE? What was it like to work with J Lo & when writing for a particular artist does it help to know them on a personal level? Or is it strictly business in most circumstances?
J lo is awesome!!! It’s always personal and then slightly biz. I never hung out with her like I do with Black Eyed Peas, Chris Brown or others, but She’s a loving family woman. And an icon
Tell us a bit about your beginnings with the Infectious Organisms & did you ever imagine the A LIST of artists you would one day have on your resume?
Infectious is my history. Super proud of where I came from.
What fabulosity will be filling up your summertime & what NEW producer/ writing credits can we expect to see blowing up the charts from you in the rest of 2011 into 2012?
There are a lot of amazing things we are working on. The Free School album is paramount!!! Love always Lord Pharoah JB
I am absolutely positive that all things you’re currently working on are INDEED amazing. Thx JB & Continued Success Always
Interview with MAROON 5 Video Director & Phenom Filmmaker Travis Schneider
If you happened to catch a glimpse of filmmaker Travis Schneider from across a packed Hollywood venue, your initial thought process would probably go something like "James Dean incarnate, actor, model, beautiful face in the sea of angels" In which case you might be more than just a little surprised to learn that Travis Schneider spends more of his time behind a camera than in front of one. Check out my Q & A with the extremely sought after film director whose cutting edge style & uncommon eye for story telling has him not only directing the latest Maroon 5 music videos but also thoroughly rooted in the coveted Hollywood’s Most Wanted listings.
Quick 5 Stats With Travis Schneider 1. Golf with Brian Setzer or Air Hockey with James Dean? - This is actually a tough one.. While I’ve met Brian Setzer and would love to meet him again, I’m not much of a golfer and would probably make a complete fool of myself. I had an air hockey table growing up so I’m fairly convinced I could crush anyone that I play, but then do I really want to make a fool of James Dean?? My guess is that Setzer would smack me for NOT saying James Dean, so I’ll go with James Dean. I’ll let him win a couple rounds… 2. Plaid or Argyle? - I’d say plaid. Although I do feel like a stud when I wear argyle socks, most of my shirts are plaid and I don’t know what I’d do without them. 3. Best Make Out song Ever written? - The first thing that pops into my mind is “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” by The Righteous Brothers… Or anything Diane Warren has ever written.. The couples that got to make out during prom while “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith was playing are probably married now.. She also wrote a great song for The Cult called “Painted On My Heart” that hits me hard every time I hear it… HOWEVER, with all of that said, I think my real answer is Harry Nilsson’s “Save The Last Dance For Me”. 4. Jean-Luc Godard or George Stevens? - They are both so great on so many levels, but I’ve seen more Godard films, so I’d go with him. As a young director, I’ve always felt more inspired by his style to go out and make my own things. A lot of that “grab & go” kind of film making just made making movies seem a little more attainable and made me believe it was something I could do too. 5. When I’m not behind the camera or the microphone you can find me ____________. - Eating… It’s probably the only thing I actually spend money on.
Maroon 5 Photo by TRAVIS SCHNEIDER
DYING to hear all about your latest video with MAROON 5 & Lady Antebellum "OUT OF GOODBYES" starring Dwight Yoakam. Tell us a bit about the shoot & why it’s our new favorite vid.
- I was equal parts excited and equal parts nervous for this video to come out. It’s such a departure from anything Maroon 5 has ever done, I knew there would be a majority of their fans that would tear it apart solely for the fact that Adam was not in it, but I also knew that the video might reach a whole new group of fans that may or may not have ever given the band a chance, and THAT is who I made the video for. Maroon 5 putting a country song on their album was a bold thing to do, so I wanted to make an equally bold decision with the video. Also, Sergio Leone is one of my biggest inspirations, so it was a chance to make some sort of attempt at creating a western and tipping my hat to his style. It really felt like it on the set too. We were on a ranch in the middle of nowhere and even though you can’t see most of it, the entire room was covered with things (furs, guns, traps, etc.) that really put us right there. Dwight Yoakam is the man, and he sang along loud to every word. Hearing his voice boom in that cabin gave me chills, and also made me wish they’d re-record the song with him. WATCH IT & fall in love with it NOW!
You are not only a phenomenally creative film maker but also a very cutting edge photographer of the famous & beyond. Who are your greatest inspirations & where did your love for all things cinematic begin? - I’ve been surrounded by extremely talented artists my whole life, so growing up it always seemed like something I wanted to step into as well. My dad is an amazing film editor and I remember seeing him cut film on a flatbed in our house. So early on, it already seemed like an exciting and appealing thing to do. I tell him that he taught me everything I know but he hasn’t taught me everything HE knows. Every time I’m cutting I’m thinking “what would Dad do?”.My brother Chapman Baehler is an incredible photographer and got his start taking pictures of surfers, but it wasn’t til he started showing me photos he was taking of my favorite bands that I knew I wanted to do something similar. I would visit him and he would show me photos of Sonic Youth and Pearl Jam that he took after sneaking his camera into the venue and it seemed like the coolest job anyone could ever have. He would tell me stories about working with Frank Black and Porno For Pyros, and my 7th grade mind was thinking “why would anyone want to do anything else??”
Tell us about touring with Maroon 5 & documenting so many amazing shows & studio moments around the world… - I have such an enormous amount of respect for those guys. After seeing how hard they work inside the studio and on tour, it gave me so much inspiration for my own walk into the music world. They are such incredible musicians, and you might not know it for sure until you see them live. Being in that environment day after day is continuously motivating. They’re all very creative and very smart, so I constantly feel like I’m learning when I’m around them. One of the main reasons I started shooting was to be closer to the music and to get the best seat in the house night after night. I’m still not sick of seeing those guys play.
Two of my favorite Travis Schneider films are "Uncharted" by Sara Bareilles & I absolutely LOVE Frankie B Tears & Feet LOOKBook with Taryn Manning. You are a film maker with a signature high style but the FUN in everything you do really shines through. What has been the most entertaining shoot for you thus far in your career? I’m so happy to hear you like those. They were both really fun to put together, but I’d have to say the most fun but also the most stressful shoot I’ve ever done was for the music video "Temple Pressure" by Alvin Band. It was pretty much my first video and was also an incredibly ambitious treatment with not a lot of money to pull it off, but we wrangled a tight little crew of friends and family to work for free, pulled a lot of favors and barely pulled it all off. It was a fantastic learning experience and I still get people coming up to me talking about it. Sometimes it’s your limitations on a shoot that create the biggest creative possibilities.
THE DAMNSONS !! Where can we see you rock the stage with your band soon? And where do we get our life size Travis Schneider posters? -The Damn Sons are trying to plan a little studio time so we can track all of the new stuff we’ve been working on! We desperately want to get out of L.A. and hit the road so we can play more in other cities, but we want to have something people can take home if they like what they hear. Check our Facebook page for dates, as we will post the announcements there. As for life size posters, those will have to wait til U2 takes us on tour…
Photo Travis Schneider with The Damnsons by David Schless
Interview with Lucy Danziger, co-author of The Nine Rooms of Happiness and editor-in-chief of SELF magazine
Lucy Danziger SELF Magazine Red Carpet
Author, motivational speaker, SELF Magazine Editor-in-Chief; Lucy Danziger may not wear a red cape or leap across tall buildings, but she is every bit a Super Woman Hero whose SELF awareness for All magnetic mantra is as contagious as her positive energy. I was beyond honored to share some Q & A time with the beautiful upbeat blonde who might have ended up a ski bum, if it weren’t for that whole Harvard education thing ….
Quick Five Stats with Lucy Danziger
1. Wallflower on the dancefloor or Drop It Like It’s Hot? If Im in the mood, dance, for sure. Especially if I like the tunes…
2. Kindle or Pages between your fingers?
LOVE The New Yorker on my iPad, The Help was my first Kindle book. I like not having to carry stacks of reading when walking through an airport. So I travel with the iPad. But at home? Paper, for sure.
3. Best workout song ever written? Kanye’s STRONGER
4. SELF magazine readers Challenge themselves to do Better!!
5. If I wasn’t an editor-in-chief I would surely be a ski bum, or a novelist, or a real estate broker. I love looking at houses, love being outdoors on a weekday (or any chance I get) and love writing.
Lucy Danziger of SELF Magazine
You are editor-in-chief of one of the most popular American magazines of all time with an audience of over 5 Million readers. Where did your journey begin & were you a FAN of the mag before you were the Chief? Of course. I’ve read SELF my whole life. It was the first magazine that spoke to me as someone who was more than just the woman the world sees, but understood that I have aspirations of who I want to become, from the inside out. I do want to be fit, healthy, pretty and successful, but I want to be an individual. Self celebrates the uniqueness in each woman and helps her become her all around best self, however SHE chooses to define that. SELF is the most amazing message: be you, authentically and happily, and SELF is here to help.
Gwyneth Paltrow SELF Magazine Cover May 2011
SELF Challenge is an award winning program which allows readers to record their nutrition & track their health goal process on-line. How did you conceptualize this groundbreaking community & what is your favorite personal SELF Challenge success story? Women literally write in and tell us how we have helped them change their lives, and one woman who we recently chose to work with on her new weight loss challenge (which we now call DROP 10) cried when she heard the news that she had been selected as one of the readers we plan to feature in an upcoming story. That is the kind of moving inspiration that makes me understand the tie women have to this magazine. SELF isn’t asking them to change, it’s HELPING them make the changes they want to make, and giving them the tools, strategies and encouragement to do so. We are here to support them, in anything they want to accomplish. And Self is here to make them understand they can do it. I love that positive upbeat messaging. That is my favorite part.
SELF magazine cover 2011 Sofia Vergara
An accomplished graduate of Phillips Academy AND Harvard, you are an empowering role model for young women around the globe. Who are the female mentors in your life who encouraged you to reach for great achievements?
I have been lucky to be surrounded by supportive strong, active, self-realized women, including my roommates in college, my Mother, step-mother, grandmother, and best friends. I always say that women are the most powerful allies you can have. And now I have a strong teenage daughter to help me remember to stay on track and be true to myself. She was born wise and has always had a sense of herself. I am inspired by her!
Your new book, The Nine Rooms of Happiness, is a lesson in getting over life’s little imperfections. Tell us about the inspiration for the book & were you always a gal who knew her true purpose?
I used to always let myself get down about the littlest things, even when I had so much to be thankful for and happy about. So I asked SELF’s “Happiness Q and A” columnist, Dr. Catherine Birndorf, if she heard this refrain in her practice as a psychiatrist specializing in Women’s Mental Health at Payne Whitney in NYC, and she said, resoundingly YES! In other words we women handle the big issues with grace and strength but let little things rob our happiness (the size or your thighs or bank account, the fight with a friend or family member etc). So we decided to collaborate on a book that helps women rethink their inner “emotional space” and assigned rooms of a house to each area of her life. We then created these easy strategies (called Key Processes) for coping with the conflicts in every area (the bedroom for romance, the office for work and money, the bathroom for body image, etc) and let women close the door on a room they didn’t want to clean up or deal with, (for me sometimes the kids room was a lingering mess, as my daughter would have a bad grade or we’d fight about something mundane, like getting to school on time) and come back later, when you have the time and energy to “clean” it up. In the room where there’s the mess of the day (sometimes a fight with a grown sibling, in the family room, or a spouse not helping with the chores, which actually is the kitchen, not the bedroom, since the problem is the household “to do” list), the strategy helps her clean it up. The nine strategies are simple and fun and they actually work. I stopped stressing, and stress eating, and using these Key Processes I got happier and was able to lose a bunch of weight while writing the book. That’s a first, as someone pointed out to me. Check outNinerooms.com for more on how this works. It’s super simple and I have to say the strategies have helped me tremendously. I hope they help other women too. We deserve to be happy and this book helps make that a reality…. Thanks for asking.
Thank YOU Lucy! Continued Success & GOGOGO!! Birdee
Philip Tan has mixed and/or recorded 23 singles which have reached number ONE on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts. Some of the artists upon his list of credits include: Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani, Jay-Z, Jennifer Hudson, Janet Jackson, Ne-Yo, Leona Lewis, Snoop Dogg, Usher, Corinne Bailey Rae, Enrique Iglesias, Ciara, Alicia Keys, Jermaine Dupri, Outkast, Aretha Franklin, Nelly..Ok that’s just a few but surely you’re starting to get the idea here ?? Philip Tan is one of the most succesful mixing engineers in American music today.
I recently had the chance to find out more about the man who decided to skip Berklee & whose make out philosophy could never be summed up in a typical 3 minute 15 second pop song.
Five Quick Stats With Engineer Philip Tan
1. Wallflower on the dance floor or Drop it Like It’s HOT?
Wallflower, sadly. Cursed with two left feet.
2. Favorite shoes or barefoot beneath the console? No shoes, but with comfy socks!
3. Best Make Out Song ever written?? Just one?? Make Out session’s gotta last longer than one song, no? Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” Miles Davis’ “Flamenco Sketches,” Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” Prince’s “Adore,” “Lady Cab Driver,” “International Lover,” Lenny Kravitz’s “It Ain’t Over Over ‘Til It’s Over,” all of D’angelo’s “Brown Sugar” album, except maybe “Shit, Damn, Motherfucker” (although it does feel kinda sexy) …
4. Atlanta does ________ better. SWEET TEA I wuz originally gonna say strip clubs …
If I had not grown up to be an engineer I surely would have been a _________. CO MIC BOOK WRITER/ARTIST Or perhaps a teacher. Hard to say, really. I’m rarely absolutely positively certain of much …
A staggering 250 million records sold in the US alone, you are one of the most successful Urban mixing Engineers of all time. Can you tell us a bit about your beginnings? Was there a defining moment when you knew that your life’s work would be making music?
Left home at 17. Supposed to get a degree, find job, marry a nice girl, have 2.3 kids etc. Didn’t quite work out that way (except for the marry a nice girl part - yay!). Got bored in college. Engaged in much unproductive extracurricular activities. My sis and her husband saw this, sat me down one day and had a Come to Jesus moment with me (THIS was probably the defining moment). I did a bit of soul searching and decided I wanted my life to be fun. Came down to art or music. Music won out because I didn’t always feel like drawing/painting/designing, but I’m always listening to music. Got accepted to Berklee (very happy) but couldn’t afford it (very sad). Decided to go to Full Sail instead. At the time their recording arts program was only 8 months. Came to Atlanta in 1990 for an internship at Soundscape Studios. Mainly because no studio owner/manager at any other studio I called would have me. There I met Jermaine Dupri, LA Reid, Rico Wade and Organized Noize, Outkast, Dallas Austin and several others I still work with to this day.
You are known as an independent trail blazer, but did you have mentors in the industry who helped you along the pathway?
My sisters. They were the ones who supported my decision to leave college and pursue an “alternative” career path - not well-received by my parents. I am also forever thankful to Jon Marrett and his wife Nancy, owners of the aforementioned Soundscape Studios for the opportunity they provided me. Jermaine Dupri, for believing I could do the job. He’s probably the biggest reason I have a career in music. Diane McDonald (who basically ran So So Def till 2010) for her grace under pressure and always being the sane, reasonable one. The engineers I learned from along the way - Darin Prindle, Rick Sheppard, Thom Kidd and Neal Pogue, in particular. And of course, my wife Lesley, who keeps my world rockin!
3 Grammy’s & countless accolades including an induction into the Full sail University Hall of Fame. Does all of the recognition help to motivate your process?
It’s nice to be appreciated but I’m not driven by it - not something I have any control over. Just never been someone who needs a pat on the back.
Mixing top selling albums by Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Ne-Yo, Ludacris, Usher, and Janelle Monae, were you always a lover of the Urban sound? What style music do you relax to when the lights have been turned down in the studio & it’s time to go home?
I do love urban music but I listen to all kinds. My most listened to albums include Tool’s “10,000 Days,” Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue,” Depeche Mode’s “Violator,” Peter Gabriel’s “Up” and “Us,” Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine,” Radiohead’s “OK Computer,” “In Rainbows” and “Amnesiac,” Any Prince album from the ‘80’s, MJ’s “Off the Wall,” soundtrack to “A Nightmare Before Christmas,” Keane’s “Under the Iron Sea,” Rage Against the Machine’s first 3 albums, Bjork’s “Debut,” “Post” and “Homogenic,” Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms,” Led Zeppelin I & II, The Police’s “Synchronicity” and Fiona Apple’s “Tidal.” I could go on and on, really …
What fabulosity are you up to currently?
Ooh, fabulosity … such a fancy word. I am currently mixing songs from Jill Scott’s upcoming album. Could be just me, but there can’t be too many better ways to spend the day than listening to Jill sing …
Absolutely Agreed Phil!! Thanks for an amazing interview & for fabulous music. All I can really say is Berklee’s Loss
photo of Elliot Scheiner from Grammy.com 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year award honoring Barbra Streisand
23 Grammy nominations, 6 wins, 4 Emmy noms & a win with the Eagles. An honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music & I’m just getting warmed up! Elliot Scheiner is a Legendary WOW factor producing & engineering some of the most talented artists of the last 4 decades: Foo Fighters, Queen, Eagles, Sting, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Beck, Flaming Lips, Phish, REM & too many more to mention here. Check out my Q&A with the man behind the music. Read on to find out why when "Hell Freezes Over" it’s true inspiration & why there’s no faking in TRUE performance.
photo from Wikimedia.org
5 Quick Stats with Elliot Scheiner
Electric Slide or The Lombada? Electric slide Best Makeout Song ever written? "Sexual Healing"
Jukebox or The DJ? The DJ
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Beatles
Plaid or Argyle?? Neither
You are one of the most respected engineer’s in the industry. Your ability to translate an artist’s objective into a true work of art is legendary. Was music always second nature to you? And when did you find your magic in the mix? I’d like to believe that music was always in my blood. My mom’s brother was a great musician from the swing band era. He played withBenny Goodman and also the Dorsey Brothers band. My mom was a hobbyist musician. I was a drummer and beat around in a bunch of bands while I was growing up. Even did a tour with Jimmy Buffett. In looking back on my career I think I really started to understand what mixing was all about after I mixed AJA for Steely Dan.
Tell me about your beginnings at A&R Studios in the rockin’ 60’s. How do you feel about the evolution of recording since those early days & the current state of Rock N Roll? I started working at A&R in late 1967. Back then most artists were still working in 4 track analog. The studio had just acquired it’s first8 track machine and everybody was just sort of experimenting with what to do with the 4 extra tracks. I had the good fortune to grow up with learning how to record using mostly mic technique. The rooms at A&R had consoles that were formerly used for broadcast and then later altered to use for recording. No eq or compression on the console. Each room at the studio had a pair of Fairchild’s and a pair of Pultecs.The tools have changed enormously since then and has given the ability for almost anyone to record. I believe that 90% of the people that use DAW’s have no clue of what engineering is really about. Younger artists seem to be taking the easy way out and use the electronics to do what a singer might have struggled with prior to digital recording. Obviously being able to tune a vocal performance and change thephrasing has made every singer sound like a genius. Don’t misunderstand, I like using the tools but I mostly still like working with a live band in the studio and encouraging real performances from an artist. I’m a hired gun so I’ll do what an artist wants but don’t necessarily find it very exciting. There’s something about getting a band to make it happen live. That feeling of creating a recording that happened spontaneously can’t be found with plugins. Unfortunately,due to the way the music business has changed it’s nearly impossible for young bands to achieve this. The one thing that has remained consistent is the love that musicians have for making music. Even though there’s not the money that there used to be with making albums, there is still great energy and enthusiasm for trying to get to that level of stardom.
Your discography includes some of the most talented artists of the last four decades. Hits Galore. What are some of your favorite mix memories & where do you find most inspiration?
I have mixed quite a few albums over my career that I truly love. The ones that stick out the most in my mind are the albums that took weeks and sometimes months to finish mixing. Aja & Gaucho stand out in that regard. Those records were made when money was never an issue.The studio would be locked out for a month at a time and you didn’t think about anything other than what you were doing during that period.The mix was something you weren’t sure you’d get when you came to work but the process of trying to get there was what was most enjoyable. I was always inspired by an artist and their music and that is still true today. Unfortunately the challenges that existed then for an engineer don’t really exist anymore.
You are the mixer of 3 of my favorite albums of all time. Foo Fighters In Your Honor, Foo Fighters Skin & Bones and Nirvana Unplugged in New York. How do you choose projects & have you ever been a fan BEFORE you became the mixer?
Of the 3 albums you refer to that you love, mixing the acoustic disc of “In Your Honor” was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had. It’s always such a surprise to get called to mix something for someone you’ve always admired and thought you’d never get a call from. This was one of those albums where I was a fan before I worked with them. Another example was when I got the call to record, mix and co-produce the Eagles “Hell Freezes Over”. Those are the kind of projects that make me love what I do. To be honest, a lot of the time it’s not about me choosing a project. It’s more about an artist choosing me.
Thank you for choosing to make beautiful music Elliot. You are a True Inspiration… Carry On
Tim Nordwind of OK GO is the highly recognizable & entertainingly definable bassist for Chicago rock band OK GO. His look definitely falls into the standout category. However, watching Tim in action, you quickly realize the true standout of Tim Nordwind has little to do with his chic style & much more to do with the multi-talents behind those thick dark rimmed glasses.
Having just attended the kickoff performance of the new OK GO , Of the Blue Colour Of the Sky tour, I was unabashedly on an OK GO high. It’s one thing to attend a concert and be completely blown away by a performance, but it’s quite another to attend a rock show & leave with an overwhelming feeling that MUSIC still may have the power to change the world.
I ask you, when is the last time you witnessed thousands of super cute, snappy dressed, dancing, cheering, screaming, Silly-Happy SMILING folks who seemingly just forgot about all their cares? Oh, sure some might say it’s the confetti cannons in constant explosive mode, or the laser beam infused furry guitars or maybe the leisure/neon sign suits lighting up the stage with hidden messages… but the plain truth is ( get ready for this it’s a shocker) it’s the MUSIC. The vibey, hooky move your feet, take off your jacket, jump in the spotlight & start shakin’it like you mean it baby kinda music. I admit full-on JUNKY status for the jazz hands dance party that Is: OK GO.
I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Tim Nordwind after the show. Check out why sharing makes him happy & why The Cure may be the way to his heart…
Quick 5 stats with Tim Nordwind of OK GO
1. Brunch with Prince or Dinner with Billy Idol?
Brunch with Prince
2. Best Makeout Song ever written?
CATCH by The Cure
3. Plaid or Argyle?
4. Vespa or The Schwinn Stingray?
5. Chicagoans do ______ better (fill in the blank)
I carried the Flip vid along for my OK GO concert experience & interviewed a few fans in line asking them what question I should ask you! My favorite question was from a girl named Liz & she wanted to know "How do you feel about Jeremy Piven stealing your look in the movie Rock’N Rolla?"
TIM: (laughs) Well first of all, I’m a huge fan of Jeremy Piven & his work so if he was indeed copying my look in the movie I would be honored by that. He’s fantastic & if he was stealing my style that makes me excited!! I love his work in Entourage & beyond. His family actually owns the Piven Theatre in Chicago. A great theatre. I’ve been a fan of his for ages.
I have to tell you that i was in serious perma-grin mode while watching your LIVE show this week. Do you believe, as I do, that the music of OK GO may just have the power to save the world one concert experience at a time?
TIM: Well, thanks for that Birdee. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think the reason we got into being a band in the first place & wanted to be musicians was because we like to create things & we like to share it with people. It’s how we got to be friends in the first place. We met at summer camp…Damien was 10 & I was 11 . We started talking over art projects & our creations. There is such a joy that comes from sharing with people. Music has the ability to evoke happiness, sadness, joy, fear & sometimes a combination of all in ONE song. It’s about that connection. The connection is the thing that is so exciting for us. That thing from performer to audience. Making people happy, or nostalgic or even commiserating in sadness can be therapeutic.. acknowledging sadness together. Joining in it together with the hope that happiness is just on the other side. We can only hope that people will feel what we are trying to convey. It’s a beautiful thing when successful. I’m not sure about saving the world, but I do believe that the connection of people is a powerful thing. Sharing. The new White Knuckles video is amazing. I have to ask. Did you or any of the band members fall so helplessly in love with a co-star that you had to adopt them?
TIM: Well all the dogs in the vid had already been adopted & rescued. The owners were their trainers in the vid. One of the dogs was Damien’s dog, the little brown dog that looks left & right when the tables are pushed together? His name is Bun E. He is named after Bun E. Carlos (drummer from Cheaptrick). So even if we wanted to, I really don’t think the owners would have let us take away their dogs!!! But I would have taken ALL of them if at all possible. They were great.
Tim, You’re known for your flashy dance moves & choreography. I just have to know. Would you ever consider being a contestant on Dancing With The Stars?
Tim: (laughs) Well, I never say never. We are certainly not dancers in the traditional sense. What makes our choreography so compelling is that we’re not good dancers but we’re just trying ..really hard (laughs). But I think I would have to be a much better trained dancer in order to pull that off.
Birdee: Oh I think you got that one if you want it.
Tim: Thanks Birdee!! (laughs)
Tim: Hey, I once wrote a radio/play series called The Delusional delights of Birdee Bromowitz. I dont’ know how far back our website is archived but i would create little podcasts of the shows & release them on tour & ask the audience to bring certain things to shows etc… if you get a chance check it out because the character is your namesake.
WOW thanks Tim. I’m checking it out now. You truly are one multitalented rocker (slash) saver of the world. Carry on my friend.
Rock band MELEE is burning up the iTunes chart with their latest album, The Masquerade & although I’ve been a fan for many years, I am rediscovering just why I fell in love with this band in the first place. MELEE has a way of sinking a pop hook deeply into your being…so deep in fact that you may wakeup dancing your way out of a MELEE dreamstate in the mornings. Not a bad way to start your day. Don’t believe me? Take a listen to the infectious GIRLS WANNA ROCK & just remember I warned you. Having recently returned from a Japan tour & in the midst of a busy Release schedule, I managed to steal a few minutes away with guitarist Ricky Sans. Read on to find out why LOVE really is transcending & why rainbow sandals just landed on your Fall Fashion “must haves” shopping list….
1. Brunch with Seal or dinner with James Brown? Seal
2. Barefoot or Favorite shoes? Rainbow Sandals
3. Favorite Makeout Song? the postal service album
4. Plaid or Argyle? argyle
5. Vespa or Harley? vespa
New Melee album, The Masquerade, is BURNING up the iTunes Charts since it’s release this week. Where did you record the new album & how was the overall process different from Melee albums gone by?
We recorded this album all over the place. Mainly in LA and OC, ca. This album was a Completely different process than our past two albums. We worked with several producers, rather than just one producer. We wanted to branch out, and experiment with our sound, and learn from other creative people as well. I don’t understand the point in working with one producer anymore. It’s so limiting. I love collaborating with people.
Tell us about The Ballad of You & I and why it’s our new favorite Love Song of all time… haha, well, interestingly enough, it was the title of a song we had written years ago. the only thing good about the song was the title, so it always remained in the back of my head. When we were writing the song, it became clear that the title had found a home. We wanted to write a song about love transcending a material and tangible world. Love isn’t something that happens, it’s something that exists at all times.
We all know Melee is a band filled with phenomenal talent & songwriting skill, but your live performances really seal the deal. How has the LIVE show evolved with the latest material? I feel that the music we have on this album lends itself to birth a much more energetic rock show. We wanted to fuse a club element with a rock band. So hopefully it feels like you’re at a club playing some awesome rock/dance mashups haha.
Where can we get more of our Melee FIX in the next few months? we’re releasing a 3d melee movie.
Weaving together pieces of obscure samples from vinyl with twisted vintage analog synth sounds; melding them seamlessly into an artist’s live performance… Sound complicated? Nah, it’s just all in a day’s work for producer Anthony J Resta. Join me for a peak inside the eclectic mind Of Ajax Rayovac, the musical maestro who brought to LIFE "sci fi mambo liquid centre lab" better known as Bopnique Musique. Five Quick Stats with Anthony J Resta
Slam Dance or The Hand Jive? Slam Dance
Lunch with Sid Vicious or Brunch with Elton John? since I’ve been out to eat with Elton John before I’ll go with Sid Vicious but he might not look so great these days. Favorite pair of shoes or Bare Feet? bare feet
Best make out song ever written? In your eyes by Peter Gabriel, or any Al Green song. New Englander’s do ________ better (fill in the blank) New Englander’s do red sox like no one else.
From Third Grade Drummer all the way to producing tracks for the likes of Elton John, Dale Bozzio, Megadeath, Guster, Blondie & Duran Duran (just to name a few). You made it happen & you made it happen in the New England area you love. How did you bring the masses to you? And why did you resist the LA/ NY draw? I’ve worked in places like London, Atlanta, Nashville, Australia, Miami and on and on for years, but settled here because i like everything about New England. Eventually enough people knew I cared and did a good job, so they started coming to ME and I’m very grateful. You are known as an Holistic Music Creator with an endless myriad of groundbreaking sonic technique. Where did this electronic fascination of combining High Technology & low Tech non conventional begin? On Holistic music creation… I love things wildly synthetic, used in making music like kraftwerk for example, and I love things wildly organic like old Patsy Cline recordings and victrolas and real flutes and mandolin and lap steel. Combining both worlds started for me pretty much from the beginning …. some of it was accidental.. just what I had lying around to make music with! a Moog and a banjo……:)
Studio Bopnique is your lovechild. Tucked away in an old mill complex north of Boston. What is the overall sonic vibe of Bopnique? And why does it look like the most FUN place on the planet to make a record?? Bopnique is like a 4000 square foot living room, its not really a studio. Making music there is just plain fun. Acoustically, the brick and beam sound really good to my ears as well. pics at www.bopnique.com
Ajax Rayovac is your alter ego & the Poetry over Electronic Soundscapes. When did Ajax begin & what is the latest Rayovac escapade? Ajax Rayovac is me just having fun with my toys. Here is a free download of my latest single that answers the musical question “why was George Jetson lonely in his cartoon galaxy” :) http://soundcloud.com/ajax/anthony-resta-masteredbchaos
What is the latest madness bouncing out of Bopnique?? And where can we hear/ see & be more Anthony J Resta in our 2010? Always new exciting things going on.. drop in the news section atwww.bopnique.com anytime. We post new songs and videos every month. I have a cool interview on the duranduranmusic.com site right now… that has some cool questions about my past and future work with them…. tons of exciting new artists too. Casey Desmond, The Cinnamon Fuzz, Minkystarshine, Julian Hannible, Will Daily, Andrea Surova, Syncopation, Denise Hradecky, Kat McGivern, Clara Lofaro, Novae, I’m running out of room, sorry if I didn’t list you here!!!
Thanks Birdee for all of your enthusiasm and support!
Thanks Ajax! You’re amazing & inspiring & I agree with Simon Le Bon, "Lad You’re Mad"
Bopnique Musique | Bopnique Musiquewww.bopnique.com Out of their Boston based recording studio Bopnique Musique, platinum record producer Anthony J. Resta ( a.k.a. Ajax Ray O’Vaque) and mix engineer Karyadi Sutedja produce artists such as Duran Duran, Collective Soul, Shawn Mullins and The Elevator Drops.
Music producer David Bendeth is known for being extraordinarily BUSY. The kind of Busy that pumps out numerous records every year without pause. It just so happens that many of those records have a habit of turning into PLATINUM selling Grammy nominated Chart Topping style albums. Having started his career as a songwriter & performer, his 1980 UK Dance hit "Feel The Real" began a journey of music that would take him many miles across the biz & land him in his most well known seat; The Producer’s Chair. Read on to find out why he’s a master of disguises & why Plargyle may just be the biggest fashion statement for Fall 2010.
Electric Slide or The Lombada? WELL I DO LIKE THE WATUSI…BUT WHO CAN RESIST THE SLIDE A LA JAMES BROWN?
Best Makeout Song ever written? STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. ITS A LONG ONE.
Jukebox or The DJ? DJ…TAKES SOME CREATIVITY.
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? THE STONES LOST ME AFTER EXILE ON MAIN STREET. THE BEATLES, NO ONE CAN TOUCH LENNON AND MACCA.
Plaid or Argyle?? I PERSONALLY LIKE PLARGYLE.IF YOU ARE SCOTTISH AND YOU DRINK, THEN YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
You have produced more than eighty albums. Totaling over 60 million records sold. As a boy, growing up between London & Toronto, did you ever imagine becoming one of the most successful music producers in U.S. History?
I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THOSE STATS, BUT I DO KNOW IT WAS IN MY BLOOD TO MAKE RECORDS. I KNEW WHAT I WANTED TO DO AND THAT WAS MUSIC. MY HEROES AND MENTORS WERE SO INSPIRATIONAL, THEY MADE THE BLUEPRINT, I FOLLOWED THEIR LEAD.
It seems your career has been one of every aspect of the music business. Having began as a performer & songwriter with your own hit “Feel The Real” in 1980 to A&R Exec to world renowned producer. Do you feel your experience at all levels of the biz aided in making you the Hitmaker of today?
I HAVE BEEN SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE MUSIC MY WHOLE LIFE. I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE “WELL ROUNDED” I WAS ALWAYS JUST A MUSICIAN DISGUISED AS EVERYTHING ELSE. THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT MY CAREER HAS TAKEN MANY TURNS, AND I HAVE TRIED TO LEARN FROM EVERY BUMP IN THE ROAD. AS LONG AS THERE WAS MUSIC INVOLVED AND SOMEONE I COULD LEARN FROM, THEN I VOLUNTEERED.
What was it like to be involved with the legendary ELVIS 30 #1 Hits collection as producer & mixer? And were you always an Elvis fan ?
I WAS NEVER AN ELVIS FAN, WELL UNTIL I MADE THAT RECORD. IT WAS A THRILL OF A LIFETIME AND SOMETHING I NEVER EXPECTED WOULD HAPPEN TO ME. I WAS REALLY SCARED FOR THE WHOLE PROCESS, BUT IT ENDED UP TO BE ELVIS’S BIGGEST RECORD. I WAS PROUD TO BE A PART OF IT, BUT SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HE WAS THE GREATEST ARTIST OF ALL TIME, LONG BEFORE I WAS MAKING RECORDS.
There are great years & then there are EPIC years. 2007 was a year that brought you 3 Platinum Records with Paramore’s RIOT, Breaking Benjamin’s PHOBIA & The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. How does it feel when the stars align at such epic proportions?
2007 WAS A CONTINUAL HIGH. I THINK THE BIGGEST SHOCK WAS THREE DIFFERENT BANDS WITH REALLY DIFFERENT STYLES. I HAD BEEN WORKING HARD TO REACH A LEVEL WHERE I WAS AT THE TOP OF MY GAME. I THINK IN RETROSPECT THAT MY A&R ABILITIES PICKED THOSE ARTISTS BY INSTINCT. I WAS BLESSED TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO WORK WITH SUCH TALENT. FACE DOWN WAS AN IMPORTANT SONG ABOUT ABUSE TOWARD WOMEN. A LOT NEEDED TO BE SAID ON THE SUBJECT AND THE SONG FACE DOWN REALLY HIT HOME, ESPECIALLY AT RADIO. PHOBIA WAS MY SECOND BREAKING BENJAMIN RECORD, THERE WAS ALREADY A COMFORT LEVEL AND BEN HAD WRITTEN AMAZING SONGS, THEY WERE RIPE AND READY TO HIT AGAIN, I AM ALSO VERY PROUD OF THE NEW RECORD DEAR AGONY, BEN IS A FANTASTIC WRITER. PARAMORE WAS SOMETHING I HAD WANTED TO DO FOR TWO YEARS. HAYLEY WILLIAMS WAS A POWERHOUSE AND THE BAND WERE SENSATIONAL. NO ONE PREDICTED THEY WOULD HIT, IT WAS SO GREAT TO SEE A FEMALE ARTIST ON TOP OF THE ALTERNATIVE CHARTS AGAIN WITH A SONG LIKE MISERY BUSINESS. I LOVED MAKING THAT RECORD, THERE WASN’T A DUD SONG ON THERE. THEY WERE A PRODUCERS “DREAM BAND”
2010 has you busy with Taking Back Sunday, It’s Alive, Papa Roach, Forever The Sickest Kids & more….what can we expect to BLOW up our Platinum Meters this year?
I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO A BUNCH OF RECORDS. I JUST PRODUCED KAILE GOH WHO IS A 14 YEAR OLD SINGER/SONGWRITER AND SHE HAS A BIG FUTURE. I AM ALSO WORKING WITH CRYSTAL BOWERSOX WHO WAS RUNNER UP ON AMERICAN IDOL AND SHE HAS AN AMAZING VOICE. HEDLEY A BAND FROM CANADA IS REALLY COOL, AS IS ATOM SMASH FROM FLORIDA. I AM NOT SURE WHAT IS GOING TO “BLOW UP” , I DO KNOW I AM STILL EXTREMELY PASSIONATE ABOUT WHATEVER I AM WORKING ON, AND THAT THRILLS ME TO WAKE UP EVERYDAY AND STILL LOVE WHAT I DO.
Guess what David, We’re thrilled about what you do too. Thanks for Great Records. Birdee
Sri Lankan born producer/composer, Ruwanga Samath is making noise in the LA music scene with his Bird Call Productions & a no-boundaries attitude. I caught up with him for a few minutes of Q & A along his busy pathway to Global Domination. Read on to find out what keeps The Bird Call motivated & how food may very well be the answer to World Peace….
Five Quick Stats
Best makeout song ever written? Robi Draco Rosa - Dancing in the rain Moshpit or The Dancefloor? I prefer the dancefloor… I went to a Slayer concert when I was in high school and got my introduction to moshpits. Tshirt & Jeans or Make Mine Armani? Tshirt & Jeans all day NYC or LA Baby? LA, even though NYC is great.
Take Out or Dinner at Mom’s place?
Hahaha. Easiest question of all time. Mom’s food all day, every day. Like my good friend Greg Cahn always says "Renuka’s food can end wars"
Having founded Bird Call Productions in 2003, you’ve been producing/mixing since the age of 18. When did you know MUSIC was the life for you?
My mom was an artist in my country, my uncle was a famous musician and my dad had a huge record/ cassette collection… So I grew up around music all of my life. Like my grandpa always says “Life is too short for you not to do what you love”.
You’ve worked with music from chart toppers such as Kesha, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Kelly Rowland & more. What motivates you to get involved with a new project such as the latest with Maxwell D & Cahn & Yang? It has to inspire me on some level to commit. Either the artist or the music has to move me in some way for me to get involved. That’s exactly what happened with Maxwell D and Cahn and Yang. Now we’ve made good music together and more importantly, they’ve become some of my closest friends. Your production of “Make it to the Sun” was donated to Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. How did it feel to put your musical & lyrical voice into such a monumental part of American history? The presidential campaign was a prime example of the power that our generation, especially the creative community, can have on different issues. I strongly believe that we should take up more responsibility and try to do our best to make a difference.
What should everyone know about your beautiful home country Sri Lanka? And do you visit there often?
New York Times once named it the most desirable place to visit. It’s a beautiful country. I try to visit as much as I can. I’m probably going to go visit this December. Crossing musical lines from hip-hop, R&B, pop, rock, reggae, dance hall & more, do you have a favorite genre?
It varies depending on my mood, but I must say coming from Sri Lanka, I’m a huge reggae fan. I grew up listening to Bob Marley, Peter Tosh etc. You are known for innovative music & a unique style of production. What inspires your originality & freedom to take chances?
Music is a journey for me and I try to explore as much as I can. Being surrounded by incredible talent is always inspiring. Especially working along side Ozzy Doniz has helped me grow as a producer.
Successful music compositions for TV, Movie Soundtracks, Video Games, there seems to be no limits at The Bird Call. How is 2010 treating you so far? 2010 has been a very interesting year for me and my whole team. I think I’ve matured and learned alot as a producer, composer and also as a person within the past 6 months. I’m very excited for the rest of the year.
He’s 50% of the songwriting/ production team S*A*M* & SLUGGO but he’s 100% The Hollander. Co-writing & producing songs for artists such as Katy Perry, Train, Boys Like Girls, Gym Class Heroes, Kelly Rowland, Cobra Starship & more …he’s no stranger to the term Certified HIT. I recently had the opportunity to visit with him about his monstrous success as well as his devotion to clearasil. Read On.
Best Makeout Song ever written?
Sister Christian by Night Ranger. If there’s motorin’ involved… I’m always way in.
Favorite Shoes or Bare Feet?
I went through a tremendous New Balance phase, but I’ve shifted back into the Nike realm. Bare feet… Not a good look for me. I’m modest.
Electric slide or The Sprinkler?
Electric Slide creeps me out. It’s the wedding killer. I’m always down to do the sprinkler in private.
Road Dog or Jet Hog??
NYC or LA Baby?
I bleed Yankee. When Sushi and Tacos enter the discussion… I’m Randy Newman.
You’re the co-writer, Freshmaka of all things HIP Mr. Hollander. Were you born to be HIP?
Isn’t HIP a health insurance plan? I’d like to believe I was covered at birth.
Where does the Hollander find his inspiration?
Every morning is Groundhog Day. I wake up and stare at a pimply 16 year old dork in the mirror. That being said, I’ve cut back on the Clearasil.
Gold Records…Rolling Stone Producer HOT LIST Producer of the year .. Hits Hits Hits. Did you ever imagine you would be writing the songs that make the young girls cry?
I certainly imagined it, but those dreams were usually rudely interrupted by someone jumping out of the bushes with a camera screaming “You’ve been Punk’d”
From the early days, remixing hits for DMX, Method Man & Master P to writing & producing for bands such as Boys Like Girls & Gym Class Heroes, has the journey been what you expected? And is POP the place you call home?
Home is where the heart is. Pop (which for me includes anything with a guitar) is definitely the artery. As far as my journey, it has been everything I hoped and more. I got lost many times along the way. I’m very lucky that I made it out.
Katy Perry “If you can Afford me” Is one of my favorite KP songs. And, Well you’re definitely the “Creme’ de la Crop” How do you choose your projects & what musically motivates you into action? & Lastly, what’s on the 2010 plate for The Hollander?
"Creme’ de la Crop" … That was Katy. She wins. I always dug that. Honestly as a unit, we take gigs on instinct and instinct alone. We make a concerted effort to avoid chasing what all the other kids are going after in the sandbox. The bulk of our hits have come from our own Bad News Bears-like crew, so it helps us follow our inner A&R sense. 2010… More sand… More sangria… When I wake up, hoping to see Plastic Parachute on Regis and Kelly as the morning coffee battles the previous night’s toxins. God Bless You Birdee Bow.
And Thank YOU SAM Hollander I’ll peep you through a hungover tv screen soon :)
Ron Saint Germain at home with a few of his Gold & Platinum Creations…
1. Breakdance or The Tango?
Breakdance through life! Think it’s the most original, creative & exciting form of dance in the last Century! Tango (as in, “it takes two to..”) in THOSE moments.
2. Plaid or Argyle?
Neither, but if I MUST choose between them, Plaid.
3. favorite pair of shoes or bare feet?
Stilts or Bare feet in warm sand!
4. Best makeout song ever written?
“Sacred Love”, Bad Brains.
5. Jukebox or the Dj?
Jukebox definitely… (I like to be in CONTROL of what I am listening to, especially when I am paying. Or I like to have the option of NOT hearing anything, too)!
34 Years in the Record making business & you’ve only just begun. Tell us about your new studio & what mayhem you’ve been up to lately?
It’s 39+ years now. Studio is in my daylight basement. Although I have tracked entire albums there, I built it mainly as a mix room. I have the best “plug in” I’ve EVER heard installed, the Neve/Amek 9098i. Also have racks of other great analog & tube “plug ins” as well in addition to 2”- 24 track & 1” 2- track Tape for those who care; Pro Fools for those who must either for a lack of budget, a preference to ‘see’ music rather than ‘listen’ to music, or for those in the business who have abandoned good audio simply because the masses can’t tell the difference. TONS of daylight and an amazing creative energy coupled with a VERY spacious control room (1,000 sq. feet) make work a joy. I feel I am doing my best mixes EVER in this studio. Really nice to have that familiarity back of a room that you know so well and trust!
Been doing a lot of over dubbing & mixing here on a broad cross section of music styles from Nels Cline (Initiate 1 & 2) in the experimental/jazz/rock corner, hard rock (Living Color, ‘Chair in the Doorway’), modern rock/reggae (Streetkind, ‘Medicine Man’), Pop (Skylar May, ‘Married on the Moon’).
18 Grammy Nominations with 12 winners. Do you instantly know when it’s Grammy Good? Or is it sometimes a genuine surprise?
Those 18 nominations & wins are for the Artist’s! I always get goose bumps on my arms when I’ve mixed a hit. That has become my ‘geiger counter’ over the years… a totally involuntary reaction and very dependable. Although the goose bumps have always INDICATED a ‘hit’…, all of the songs which I have gotten the goose bumps on do NOT BECOME hits. Having a HIT song is but ONE essential INGREDIENT in the hit maker machine (this is a entire separate interview!). The ‘dozen ‘wins’ (for the Artists) is always a surprise only because of the TOTAL randomness of the entire ‘Grammy’ process. MOST surprising to me was through all of those 18 nominations with 12 wins, I did not hear a single… ‘thank you’!
You are known for taking up & coming artists & moving them into the rock’n roll history books. How do you choose the music you want to work with & what inspires you into creation mode?
I started as a drummer in the 6th grade, then picked up the guitar & vocals; in & out of bands through my early 20’s so the musician in me hears the music first. I listen for the ‘signature’ first in the vocals, then in the musical identity. I LOVE all music & do not limit myself to one genre as many in this business do. To me that would be like eating ONLY your favorite food because it WAS your favorite… I genuinely like variety and am inspired by inspired musicians.
The fact that I am drawn to younger Artists is probably because I love their youthful energy, their malleability, their lack of premeditation, their innocence, their HUNGER in addition to the fact that their FIRST album has taken the sum of their life up to the point of our production to write! They are not under the ‘pressure’ of a major ‘Hit’ coming off of a successful world tour and all the other garbage that comes with fame and ego to distract and burden their creative juices. Actually, I have found that if it is not a ‘first’ album, I much prefer to produce a band’s ‘third’ album because it skips their ‘sophomore’ effort. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, but TYPICALLY it takes about three albums for a band to become ‘unknown’ on a national level (with a significant amount of touring, press, promotion, etc.). I also thrive on the creative exchange because I KNOW that the sum of the parts is GREATER than the whole.
The list of musicians you have worked with is IMMENSE. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, Muse & U2 just to name a few. Did you see yourself in that Grammy Award Winning chair early on? Or has it surpassed even your wildest dreams?
Firstly, the Grammys meant absolutely nothing to me growing up and were NEVER (then OR now) a motivating factor for my decision to get into music. I KNEW at a very early age that my life would be in music. Like a lot of people in MANY fields, I sort of stumbled in to engineering, producing & mixing along my life’s path. I was SO inspired by the music I grew up with in the late 50’s, 60’ and 70’s and all I knew was that SOMEONE had to make music and it may as well be me! EVENTUALLY I was able to pay my rent and it snowballed from there. My dreams were to make music on a world class LEVEL like those musicians I grew up with. To that end, my dreams HAVE come true and I am grateful to the unbelievable artists I have been blessed to work with and hope that they, too are happy with the results of our collaborations. By the way, there are still MANY more Artists that have NOT worked with that I would LOVE to work with.
A pilot & flight enthusiast!! When did your love affair with the Blue Skies begin? And what is your latest flight adventure?
My Dad was career Air Force (B17’s in WWII, night flight physiological research in fighter jets for the Korean War, etc.). I grew up around flight my entire life, staring up into ‘Blue Skies’ as a kid in recess watching paratroopers jumping out of C-47’s over my school yard. I went to every air show the Air Force and most of the other branches of our Military would put on and got to crawl into the cockpits and through the belly of everything that they had flown and were flying at the time! It was COMPLETELY natural for me to become a skydiver and pilot, which I promptly did as soon I was able to afford to do so!
My most recent flight was last week when a bass player friend of mine picked me up in his Cessna & we flew up to Kingston/Ulster airport to go visit the Clubhouse Studio right over the Kingston bridge.
And lastly, What is in store for The Saint in 2010?
I just finished mixing a 26 song debut album for a German label for a very unique band known as ‘X-PATSY’S’ made up of some very talented and accomplished Artist’s: Vocalist Barbara Sukowa (an amazing award winning actress who played Lola in the ORIGINAL film of the same name by Werner Fassbinder!), her husband/guitarist Robert Longo (an accomplished NYC painter/artist who recently had his own showing here in the NY MOMA) and the well known sculptor/video Artist Jon Kessler, also on guitar. I have a couple more album mixes already booked and am in negotiations to produce/engineer & mix two new young bands. One of which you MAY have heard of… PLASTIC PARACHUTE? (Although I think it is a very cool name for a band, I definitely would NOT make a jump out of a perfectly good airplane with one!)!
Cindy Blackman is the Chic Drumstress surreal. Known for her jazz mastery & versatile style, she has held the backbeat for artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Don Pullen, Hugh Masekela, Pharaoh Sanders, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Bill Laswell & Buckethead. Touted as one of the hottest drummers in the business as well as one of the Greatest drummers in the World.. Lady Blackman is the image of solid strength & dependability. I had the chance to visit with Cindy about her plans in 2010 & grab a bit of her rockin’ history. Let’s just say the word “Badass” never felt more at home than in front of the name Cindy Blackman. Read On!
Quick 5 Stats 1. Jukebox or The Dj? The DJ 2. Plaid or Argyle? PLAID 3. Road Dog or Jet Hog? JET HOG 4. NYC or LA? NYC !! 5. Best makeout song ever written? Blue & Green by MILES DAVIS
Having began your musical career as a New York street performer, you are also classically trained by the legendary Alan Dawson. From those early days until now, did you ever imagine you would become one of the most sought out drummers in the world? I only thought about the playing /virtuosity level that I wanted to reach- nothing else.
As beautiful as you are talented, Have you found that being a “Drumstress” is generally a positive aspect? I deal with music for music sake, others who don’t are not my concern
Rumor has it that your audition for Lenny Kravitz was over the telephone. That is quite a feat!! HOW does a drummer impress through the phone line? yes, it was over the phone initially. I played & then he immediately invited me ti LA to play for a day or 2 w/ his band. That turned into an audition with about 40 other drummers!
You have said that your heart & soul is in Jazz music. Who are your jazz idols? My main heros are Jo Jones, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones„Pete LaRoca & Tony Williams.
A brilliant innovator, you have stated your desire to be a “Musical Virtuoso”. What does that truly mean & are you closer to that goal? To be a virtuoso means to have such a command over your instrument & it’s language that you can play anything at any time & anything that you hear at any time.
Known as a Fit Player who is always up for the physical demands of a touring percussionist…How do you stay in such amazing shape? I enjoy yoga & other exercise, healthy lifestyles of eating & living & I love life.
What does 2010 have in store for Cindy Blackman? And where can we see you LIVE soon?? 2010 looks great ! i have a new record out on Feb 23rd called Another Lifetime featuring: Patrice Rushen, Mike Stern, Benny Rietveld, Doug Carn, Carlton Holmes, Fionn O Lochlainn, Joe Lovano, David Santos & Vernon Reid. I have a record release gig in Boston at Scullers on March 4th & IN Nyc at the Highline Ballroom on March 10th.
Displaying his drumming madness on the albums of Tori Amos, Morrissey, Fiona Apple, Critters Buggin, Dido, Sean Lennon, The Master Musicians of Jajouka, Robert Fripp,Sara Bareilles, Jon Brion, David Torn, Indigo Girls, Weapon of Choice,Macy Gray, Stone Gossard,Christian McBride, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Tim and Neil Finn, David Bowie, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, The Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant, Bill Frisell, the Saturday Night Live Band, Robbie Williams, Kanye West, Garbage, Anika Moa, Shakira, John Mayer, Brad Mehldau, Liz Phair, Chris Isaak, Dave Navarro, Kevin Max, Sam Phillips and William Shatner..to name a FEW…, whether you know it or not? YOU have heard Matt Chamberlain. Nicknamed “the Human Loop” he is as modest & understated as he is talented. AND that TALENT?? Indeed a thing of Epic proportion. Known for his unique style & solid as steel performances, Matt Chamberlain is the Drum Monster. Check out his BPM :)
Quick 5 Stats:
1. Road Dog or Jet Hog? I probably spend equal time driving and flying.
2. Breakdance or The Hustle? A chemist in Australia finally succeeded in mixing oil and water.
3. Argyle or Plaid? Did you know there are always so many fragments of spider legs floating in the air that you are constantly inhaling them wherever you go.
4. Best make out song ever? I can tell what songs not to play when you’re getting busy…
5. Favorite shoes or Bare Feet? Gorilla Feet!
Your musical career would be considered legendary if you were in fact old enough for that sort of talk. However it feels like you’ve only just begun. From those early days with Ten Hands in Denton, Texas to 80 million records sold later… What do you still want to accomplish?
I’d like to learn piano, guitar and a lot more about composition so that i can write music when i hear it.
"The Loop On The Fly Guy" Tori Amos has often referred to you as "The Human Loop". What inspires you, even at this remarkable level, to keep pushing the bar even higher??
Playing music is one of the most profoundly fun, mind altering experiences a human can have. i just want to keep playing and creating.
Having described your solo album as “an imaginary soundtrack to an Asian-Western-Sci-Fi-Horror Movie”. I gotta believe that humor has been a constant companion along your amazing journey to success. How does Matt Chamberlain chill out when the session wraps at night?
well if it was a long day i’d probably go to the hotel and crash out or maybe grab a beer somewhere..nothing too exciting
What’s been shakin’ lately in the your Seattle project studio? And do you garner the same excitement from production as you do from those awe inspiring LIVE performances of yours?
The studio at home has really helped me to continue doing records. With record budgets being cut to almost nothing i’m finding that people are looking for different, creative ways to make records that don’t cost an arm and a leg but with the same high quality results.Over the 20 years i’ve been doing sessions i have asked different engineers what they like as far as mics, mic pre’s ,compressors,etc and i’ve also learned that you can get great sounds in small rooms so my place is perfect for drum overdubs and smaller tracking sessions…at the moment i’m doing tons of records with friends that i’ve always wanted to work with and also writing away on my personal project.
I know you’ve recently been working with the Seattle based Fight The Fear foundation. Please tell me more about your relationship with the organization & how that came about?
Where do we catch you LIVE in 2010 & please share the best piece of advice given to you so far?
This year I’m hoping to hit the road like a crazy person with my drum-laptop project. I should have dates on my website in the next few months…. The best piece of advice that has been given to me was from the late Capt. Jerry Evans "we are here for a good time not a long time"
"I Pray For You" is currently burning it’s way up the Country Charts & Jaron Lowenstein’s gift of tongue-in-cheek humor is bringin’ the Heat. Quick witted & immensely talented, you may remember when Jaron & his twin brother Evan were "crazy for this girl", but Jaron & The Long Road to Love are currently finding success with a little less craziness for the girl & a lot more revenge. I recently had the pleasure of a little Q & A for my website http://www.birdeebow.com with Jaron. Here’s what he had to say.
1. Best makeout song ever written? Sensual kiss: Lost in Love – Air Supply Aggressive kiss: Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC 2. Argyle or Plaid? Country (music): Plaid clearly. Country Club: Argyle right? 3. Road Dog or Jet Hog?? Private Jet snob. 4. Favorite Shoes or Bare Feet? Never barefeet. Never been that cool. Sneaks or flip-flops. 5. Jukebox or the Dj? DJ. Prefer a human to machine always except when checking in at the airport.
The new album from Jaron & The Long Road to Love features a slammin’ song entitled Pray For You. Let’s just say the lyrics to this song are NOT exactly what one might have in mind. Direct Inspiration for this track?
All my songs come from real situations. I’m not talented enough to conjure up stories.
Or is that better left unspoken??
I won’t say her name but only one girl cheated on me. So if you can figure that out you can figure out who she is.
You recently made a huge move from Los Angeles to Nashville, TN. How was the transition?
I’m living in Nashville 3 weeks a month and in LA the other week. I love LA so much and I consider it home. It’s where most of my closest friends and my twin brother and his family live. Nashville has been near to my heart since I first started spending time here in the mid 90’s. It’s nice to return to the south and I plan to be here indefinitely, but LA will always have my heart.
And is songwriting like Ice Tea really that much sweeter in Tennessee?
The tea IS sweeter here, but as someone who writes 80% of his songs alone, Nashville doesn’t really come into play. I tend to just go out and live a little (read make mistakes) and then come home and talk about it in my songs.
From LIVE at KaLo’s Coffee House to now. How has your musical style evolved?
There is a long answer here, but the short one is that I have become more confident to be as honest as I need to be. I hide nothing from my audience anymore.
And would you say you have better footwear?
No. I bought about 30 pair of Prada shoes a few years back and I just don’t have the audacity to spend $500 on a pair of shoes anymore. Well except the $4000 I spent on my Lucchese boots, but those will last me a lifetime. So if I live another 50 years, they will only cost me about $4.50 a day. Lol.
You’ve said “if your fans are not your friends, you’re out of business” & your current success is point proof. It seems to be a labor of laughter for you. So, How much of your time is spent networking in the cyberworld & piping your music directly into friends ears?
I split my time between making music and sharing it. Those two categories are broken up into subcategories. Under making music are writing and recording and under sharing music are engaging with my fans thru social media and playing live shows.
AND how do you make time for it all?
As calculated as it sounds, it’s really not. I just do what I feel when I feel it. Some days I wanna just write and record and some days I just wanna share. I act in real-time. I have no routine. As for making time for it, I have lots of help from Shinobi, my master digital interactive throwing star ninja.
9 times out of 10, “SMOKING HOT” is used to describe you in the cyber celebrity world of blog. Would you say your audience tends to be SMOKING HOT as well?
Thanks for the compliment. As for the audience being smoking hot, I think they all are in their own way.
And what’s the craziest item ever given to you by a stalker…ooo I mean fan? ;)
An STD. Oh, tangible? Umm… Probably Bill O’Reilly giving me a copy of one of his books and then calling me 3 times that next week to ask me if I had read it yet. I still haven’t.
And we all need to KNOW..what does a PERFECT 2010 look like in Jaron world?
I don’t plan or predict, but I will say that I hope for many opportunities to be in front of fans and friends. I hope to look out from the stage and see many people happy. I hope to have many highs and that the inevitable lows aren’t so bad. And personally, I’d like to fall in love again in 2010.
Rami Jaffee embodies that sort of laid back California vibe that puts you instantly at east. A mixx of calm assurance & redic cool without an ounce of that pesky pretentiousness. Yeh, let’s just say Rami is not your typical Hollywood Rockstar. And, ok so I might be one of the biggest Foofighter fanatics of all time, seriously, I’m an official cardholder. One can only imagine the level of all consuming ECSTATIC I felt whenever Foo keyboardist, Rami Jaffee agreed to do an interview with me for my new website http://www.birdeebow.com I caught up with Rami over the holidays & picked his hippie lovin’ hit makin’ accordian playin’ brain.
Quick 5 Stats:1. Strangest Misspellings of your name? not really strange, just many wrong ways (and probably more interesting?). i just get my diva on when peeps leave off the extra “e” off of jaffee. they tried it at ellis island with zeda and we jaffee’s aint playin that since. (i’ve sent back gold records all cranky cause of it). 2. Fave mode of transportation? motorbike 3. Road dog or Jet Hog? buses n’ jets. i’m an equal opportunity passenger. jet hog sounds better since it implies getting out of the US 4.Breakdance or Tango? tango. just sounds sexier. better start lessons now? 5. Plaid or Argyle? bofe! why settle with one annoying pattern? i love it all. and of course, at once.
Word on the street says that The Kibitz room in the back of Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles was a huge influence on your musical career. So what’s with the Kibitz?? “kibitz room… that is where playing music with other people became second nature for me. i learned everything i know from those days. i tried to spend time recreating it this year in hopes to learn more and have more to offer as a player but no such luck.”
I know you own many interesting instruments & you are known for brilliance in unique sound. What are some of your favorites? Vintage vs Modern? Do you prefer one over the other? And does your accordian have a name?"Istick to unique sounds cause it seems to bring people more pleasure to their ears n eyes when recording. (isnt that a good reason?). vintage gear is my fave because there’s more bells n whistles but i can trip out with some new stuff too. i think i’ll name my pet accordion right now…. Birdee!!!! one of my all time favorite bands is called biirdie but i’ll rock your spelling cause it rules!”
Having been hailed as the “Good Luck Charm” of FOO. How do you feel about that coinage? And what is the definition of LUCK according to Rami Jaffee?"i like being called a good luck charm in music. makes me forget about how much bad luck i’ve been having in other areas of life! ha ha. luck means luck… like luckily the foos have been getting bigger n bigger since i joined up. (luck!)"
Your discography reads like a list of Who’s Who among the most talented musicians in the world. So many different styles. Keith Urban to Coheed & Cambria. Bouncing Souls to Ziggy Marley. Do you have a favorite genre? Or do you find it all flows quite easily & equally inspiring?"my favorite genre these days is "good". when it’s good, i’m happier. my job is just easier when the music is good."
You’re quite a fun photographer. You seem to find beauty & joy in the small details of life. When did your love of photography begin & what are your favorite subjects? "i only really started clicking when i bought the camera bag app for the iphone. it takes shitty pics and gets crazy with it. and with FB in my life, it’s all part of the puzzle of wasting your life away. choices, choices, choices. (i love my FB pics of that german soda. i got warhol with it. pop life makes for pop art)
Having reached Grammy acclaim with SO MANY albums, from The Wallflowers to The Foo, did you ever imagine this level of success? At age 13, when you bought that first Keyboard …did you ever imagine yourself in those Grammy style shoes?? Touring the world & sharing your talent with millions?"funny this question comes up in life and growing up in LA, i was such a snot that i was cynical about the music biz by 10th grade. "where the fuck is my record deal?" "those fuckers better sign us tonight after the show!". i guess i put in the time, hittin the strip every night, watching the chillis or jane’s or GnR get deals so i just expected my band(s) would take over the world as well. once i just chilled, it all came together. i am so fucking thankful for being the luckiest keyboard player in town! so humility pays kids. try it on."
The Foofighters played The Whitehouse for July4th this year…be honest Rami..did you take any souvenirs?? “did i take anything from the white house??? i’m the guy who collected the first year of touring with the wallflowers hotel keys. still got them. packrat extraordinaire! i even took cookies from the bakery and fed them to my daughter when i got back home.”
And the world wants to know!! What’s shakin’ for Rami in 2010? ”2010… finish producing a german artist named benjamin rose, continue to have more art parties at my studio/club (maybe even broadcast them somehow?), record another record with foo, all the while parent my kid.”