They’re cute, they’re crunchy, and most importantly…they’re back! Collaborating with mega producer and master remixer Junkie XL, the power-pop electro duo Electrocute have just released their newest EP, On The Beat. Combining the light hearted glee of ’60′s beach party music, garage band punk, and the throbbing pulses of today’s most modern electro sounds, the girl’s six track mini-album provides a quick, powerful thrust of addictive energy in just over twenty minutes. I was quite pleased with the total package; it’s exciting, unpredictable, and relentlessly teasing. Just listen to the first ten seconds of “On The Beat” and tell me you’re not thirsting for more. So check it out and ride the beats while they last, because before you know it, the album’s notes blare to a close and the party’s over. Click here to download the album from here, and check out their MySpace here!
Now…I present a transcript of the e-mail interview I conducted with Nicole from Electrocute! She explains a bit more about the construction of the album, delivers a bit of sass, and questions my fandom of Britney Spears. A thin line to cross, my friend. A thin one. Nevertheless, here we go!
Your new EP, On The Beat, just came out on April 15th. Congratulations! What are your thoughts on this new record?
We are just happy to be free from a label and independently releasing our own music again. It’s really fun and we feel now that we are all set up to digitally distribute our songs we will be much more prolific and it’s an exciting new world in music.
How long did it take to construct this EP?
All of our lives and about 6 months.
You worked with Junkie XL in producing this, who happens to be one of my favorite producers. What was the experience like working with him?
He is totally awesome. We also collaborated with him on some songwriting for 3 songs on his latest album “Booming Back At You” and one of the songs called “Mad Pursuit” that’s featuring Electrocute was just in the movie “21″ as well as the soundtrack CD. We love working with him. He’s a really nice guy, one of the smartest people we’ve ever met. The guys brain is just on fire. But he’s also a great sound crafter and he gave the songs a different life.
Any disagreements, or was this a very cordial experience?
It took a really long time to decide upon the album cover as you can imagine. The photo was taken by Evan Lane who is extremely talented “we met him on myspace”. The shoot was really fun as it involved raincoats, bikinis, cling wrap and a fog machine. VoilÃ !
Having recently acquired three new members to make up a fuller live band, do you feel that your live shows have more to offer now?
Well, we’ve always prided ourselves of dishing up pretty exciting live shows compared to most. But the musicians playing with us are exceptional and it’s a lot of fun to get their different input into the songs we have created.
I wish I could go to a show–you should tour over on this side of the pond!
We tour everywhere they will have us! When’s the show?
Now what sort of music do you get your influence from to create music?
It changes all the time as we both have extremely short attention spans.
In your biography, you say that the band was inspired by the sounds of the Berlin electroclash scene. Since I wasn’t there, I would love to know what that was like. Can you describe the environment at that time?
Fun, deranged, lost, and no damage control.
What about the electro scene in America? Is there even one?
Now Nicole, you co-wrote “Heaven on Earth” with Freescha for Britney. As her number one fan, I feel required to ask if you worked directly with Britney or not, and if so, what that was like? Were you aware that the song would be serviced to Britney?
Number 1 fan? I’m sure that would have to mean you have beaten out some very obsessed people, I’ve seen some of the fansites. Britney is great, she did an amazing job with the song. It’s one of the best songs I’ve ever written and I think it fit nicely to her voice.
And now, what’s next for Electrocute?
We are heading off to Europe for the month of May for a mini tour and we will commence work on a new E.P once we get back to L.A.
Any last things you’d like to say to our readers?
Look out for our new video for the song “On The Beat”. Its a collaboration with Jeaneen Lund and the ultra talented dancer/choreographer Ryan Heffington and his “Fingered” dance troupe.
I’d like to thank Electrocute for popping in and giving us all a taste of what’s happening. I look forward to seeing more!
I first heard of Maria Marcus back in 2006 with the release of her single, “Music Is”. The song, depending mostly on one amazingly atmospheric chorus, had a huge impact me at the time. Even now, the song hasn’t lost its impact in the slightest. I actually wrote about it a little while ago.
Now a few weeks ago, I got in contact with Maria. She’s a lovely woman, well mannered and extremely appreciative, so I decided to send over a few questions for her to answer regarding her life and career seeing as most viewers have never heard of her to begin with.
It seems pretty evident that Maria’s not going to be gracing the stages anytime soon. As I suspected, she’s paving a route of singer/songwriterdom. Certainly nothing wrong with that–in fact, I eagerly await what’s next.
Hey there, Maria! How are you doing on this fine day?
I’m feeling good, a little bit tired from working 14 hours today.
How is life back in Sweden? Are you still recording?
There’s still snow on the ground up here on the northern coast of Sweden and I am longing for the summer…
I’m recording all the time but mostly producing for different projects, for example I’ve been writing and producing together with Niclas Lundin (Niclas is the other half of NordicSound), we’re releasing a single together called “Come With Me” that you will be able to find on iTunes within a few weeks. But there are also many other projects in process.
Has life been different since the release of your latest singles?
No, it’s been just as hectical as usual. But to be honest, I haven’t worked much with the single. I’ve been stuck in the studio instead.
Your website says that you produce, play, and program your very own music. I have to say, I’m quite impressed. I had no idea that you were responsible for the whole process! How much time goes into making a track or demo for you?
That’s impossible to say, it’s so different from song to song. Usually I’d say about 6-12 days, depending on if it is a demo or a final production.
Is there a method to the process for you? Do you prefer to create the instrumentals before adding vocals, or is it a gradual process?
It’s different for each time. But mostly I program drums at first to find a groove. But on the other hand, when I write songs for myself I usually start with a melody and go from there.
I think “Music Is” is one of the most underrated songs in pop over the past few years. It’s absolutely stunning, I wish it could have reached a larger audience–It’s my personal goal to make more people hear it! How do you feel about the song?
I’m SO glad to hear you say that, I really am! The song means a lot to me, I wrote it and figured out just that day that I had to change my life. So from that day I moved out from a previous relationship, I also decided to move from that city, and eventually did. The song always reminds me of that Music and Love is the two most important things in my life, I should never have to choose to just have one of them.
You’ve also had additional single releases. Do you plan to release a full length album? Your site claims you have over a hundred demos!
I have over a hundred demos, but not well produced. But I have an album that just needs some fixing, but at the moment I can’t afford to finish the album and release it, people in Sweden don’t buy music, they download it illegal so the market is crazy at the moment. It’s really frustrating and that makes me focus on songwriting and producing for others instead.
Do you dislike the performing experience? I know your biography states that you initially sought to be a songwriter, not a singer.
That’s correct, I don’t put the time in singing every day that I would have to do to be a performing artist. I love singing but I think I am at my best in the studio where I have the chance to produce my own voice. People seem to really enjoy my music and that is why I release it, but I don’t really see myself performing my music live.
What about producing…which artist or artists would you be most interested in producing right now?
Hmmmm.. Rihanna, that would be cool, she has a very interesting voice.
Is there any artist you’re enjoying in particular right now?
I listen to different music when I’m home then when I’m in the studio, and I’ve been mostly in the studio lately so it’s been Rihanna, Just T/Madonna, P Diddy, Addeboy vs Cliff, Ne-Yo and Britney Spears with her lovely new album.
And finally, what’s next for Maria Marcus?
She’s getting married!
Wow, congratulations!! It was wonderful to speak to you. I wish you the best with your future releases and projects…I’ll be sure to keep them covered on MuuMuse. Have a lovely day, Maria! You too Brad, thank you so much for this interview and your good questions! Take care!
Now go ahead and click below to hear her song, “Music Is” off of YouTube.
If you like what you hear, please visit Maria’s page on iTunes and check out her latest single, “I Don’t Know”!
Tomorrow marks the official physical release of Cut Copy‘s electro-charged In Ghost Colours, their second LP. Check back here to my original review to read more about the album, which includes one of my top ten songs of the moment–the New Wave delight, “Hearts On Fire”! In Ghost Colours is truly a wonderful, and dare I say–superior album. To celebrate its release, I’ve conducted an e-mail interview with Tim Hoey of Cut Copy. It’s short and sweet, and lends some real insight into the band’s whereabouts, including touring with Daft Punk and making coffee! Check it out below!
3 years of touring the first record world wide (This was due to a staggered release), Setting up our record label ‘Cutters Records,’ Contributing to the fabric live series, writing in ghost colours, walks in the park, recording in ghost colours in NY with all around nice guy and chess champion (95-98) Timothy Goldsworthy, Making the so cosmic mixtape, some graphic design and art, a holiday, first OS tour in year and a half, touring with daft punk,making coffee, some remixing. Good times basically.
Now your brand new album, In Ghost Colours, will be out shortly–April for the U.K. and the U.S., and already out in Australia! Feel accomplished?
For sure! It felt like it took forever to get this out. We finished it quite a while ago and it’s great that public is now starting to hear it. Everybody seems to be liking it which is great!
How long did it take to construct this album?
After recording with Tim last Feb and mixing it a month later, we took all the tracks away and went about compiling the record. We really wanted an album that you can listen to from start to finish. We spent time making interludes and running songs into one another, also dropping songs so it’s consistent. It was really important for us to make an album and not a collection of singles or 12 inches slapped together on one disk.
I’ve often wondered about the writing process for a song’s creation. One of the things I enjoy most about your music is its repetitive nature, which slowly expands and layers into something much deeper. How do you go about constructing a song in general as a group?
We all have home studio set ups so we often work on ideas
separately and exchange song files and work on each others material. Then we’ll get together in a rehearsal space and play the ideas as a band and record that…Often we’ll just exchange mix tapes of music we’re listening to. Dan tends to write in loops and then we’ll go about together as a band pasting these different parts together to make a cut copy song. I think working with Tim has taught us to be less rigid with recording and to experiment with ideas more.
Was there a specific sound or theme you were attempting to encapsulate in creating this new album? I would say there’s a distinctly hollower, perhaps eerier sound this time around.
I guess first of all Tim wanted capture us as a band and maybe capture some of the energy of the live show. We also wanted to push the song writing into a more cosmic realm this time instead of the straight forward pop music of the first record. Dan has become a lot more confident with his voice so he is doing a lot more harmonies on this record (this can also be attributed to his Geoff Lynne and Californian pop obsession). There is a lot more texture on this record which maybe contributing to the eeriness you mentioned…
So we’ve covered your recordings. Now, I’m interested in your thoughts regarding live shows. Though I’ve not yet been to a live Cut Copy performance, I hear that you all put on a brilliant show. What’s the on-stage experience like for you guys?
Well i guess our live show is a lot rawer than the recordings. We kind of took guidance from early nineties indy guitar bands where musicianship wasn’t always that important to put on a memorable show (also not knowing how to play our instruments too well had a lot to do with this). Our show is a combination of a traditional twin guitar/bass/drums and then we have a sequencer playing of a lot of the samples we can’t play live (or we trigger them in real time) along with keyboards. I guess we wanted to make our show as live as we possible can because always found going to see a band play was a lot more engaging plus it’s a lot more fun for us. There has always been a lot of emphasis put on live music here in Australia so when we started out we really had to play live as a band to get shows.
Any particularly bad experiences on stage? Or perhaps, behind the scenes?
Sure…i guess everyone does at some stage. When you rely on machines for part of your sound there’s always going to be trouble. Especially after a flight…
For a period there we seemed to be injuring ourselves a lot at shows (backs,ankles, you name it) but now we have a stretching and work out routine before each set to combat this.
And now, what’s next for the band? Future projects, releases, collaborations?
A lot of touring for the next 12 months i guess. We have our US tour with the black kids which we’re really looking forward to. Also coachella and summer festivals in Europe and the UK. We’re going to make some more dj mixes and work on some more remixes. We’ve got a new ‘Knightlife’ release coming out on our label as well.
Thank you for answering a few of my questions…I wish you continued success in your future releases! Thank you for speaking to MuuMuse!
In the meantime, the album has already hit number one back at home in Australia. Congratulations to the band! To hear more from the group, check out their MySpace here and try out the new album!
Interview Banner Photo by Emilie Elizabeth
Second Photo Courtesy of Modular Recordings
Third Photo by Ben Saunders
Fourth Photo by Tommy Salmon
Click on the banner above or the “read more…” below to view the transcript of my exclusive with the rather feisty dancefloor diva, Amber. This whole thing sort of came out of nowhere I know, but I thought the timing was right. I saw that Amber was re-releasing her most famous single, which you’ve all heard before–”This Is Your Night”, so I decided to contact her and conduct an e-mail interview. I asked her about her life as a recording artist, her opinion of the music industry, and her future in music. The results were quite interesting, to say the least.
Watch as she dodges my hard hitting questions (“Why the name, Amber?”) makes controversial claims regarding breasts (“A part of every woman’s body”) and corrects my many errors (“I despise you”*). Oh, Wikipedia, how deeply you can fail a body sometimes. Anywho, it’s a rather enjoyable read, so get on with it!
* Note: Not actually said, but fairly obvious.
And for more on Amber, look no further than this compilation video of everything Amberlicious. It’s a refresher of all the hits you already know so well.
So if all that made you feel all fuzzy and sentimental inside (and perhaps a bit gooey), then check out the clip below to view the viral video for the 2008 release of “This Is Your Night”, an exclusive single for Amber fans.
Once again, I’d like to personally thank Amber and her management for the interview. It was a pleasure!
Hi, Amber! How are you on this fine day?
Great- thanks how are you?
I’ve got many, many questions, but there’s one that makes sense as a first question: Why the name Amber, anyway?
It was not really my idea…my previous producers thought that my real name Marie- Claire would be too complicated and wanted a commercial name starting with A.
To find out that their reasoning was that the CD stores back then were all by alphabetical order and that is obviously the first letter in line..
So they just decided to offer me as Amber to the labels. No deep thought behind it really…
The biography on your website says that you willingly chose to finish school and maintain a job before endeavoring into the music industry. Did you feel your education was more important than taking that risk?
Absolutely. I would NEVER advise anyone who wants to pursue a career in the entertainment industry to not at least finish their school education. That would just be blindsided and foolish. They will love you when you are up but realistically, there will also be a time when you will need a back up plan.
And then came “This Is Your Night,” your first and biggest hit, which solidified you as a dance superstar. You said in your biography that this was rather unexpected, as this was just one of the many demos you recorded. How did the track first come about? Did you like it when you were recording it?
I was contacted by producers after I was being seen singing at a fashion show in Germany and asked if I would feel like getting into the studio and put some stuff together.
I just thought ‘sure why not’ and so we did. We put a few songs together of which one was “This is your night”.
At that time, I really just saw myself as a singer and songwriter, not a category of music only…
I did not have a clue about the industry and how they market artists- I was just very free spirited and very eclectic in my musical taste.
They took it to the USA and right away had 2 offers from universal labels. It all happened really fast.
Were you intending to travel the dance-oriented route when you began recording?
Not at all. I thought that music was the absolute ‘freedom of expression’- boy, was I wrong..hahaha!
How did everyone back at home respond to the immediate success of “This Is Your Night”?
They were absolutely amazed, of course- and very happy for me.
And now, twelve years after its initial release, you’re serving it back to the clubs with a refreshed style. Are you excited about the re-release?
The reason why I re released my very first 1996 hit is because the original CD was not available anywhere anymore.
They are completely out of physical production anyway and not being offered as a legal download either.
The actual masters do not even belong to the label that I was originally signed to anymore.
And I kept receiving requests and complaints that fans could not find it anywhere. I also saw a huge number of hits on the actual old video on my site www.youtube.com/amberphoria and realized that people really seemed to have a connection to that song.
It was also funny to see how many people actually used the song as their theme to their video on Youtube.
So I thought- what the heck- why not!?
Many of your songs throughout your career have been quite sexual in nature. I distinctly remember getting a bit nervous hearing “Sexual (Li Da Di)” on the radio for the first time with my family in the car! You also got some slack for the usage of the word “breasts” in your 2001 hit, “Yes!” which you referred to as an industry double-standard. What do you mean by that?
That is such a load of crock…why is it that people always take these 2 songs out to make it look like my entire career was built on songs of sexual nature…Let’s go through the released singles of my 5 albums:
1. This is your night
2. Color of Love
3. One more night
4. If you could read my mind
5. Sexual li da di
6. Above the clouds
7. Love one another
9. The need to be naked
11. You move me
13. Just like that
14. Melt with the sun
It just makes me cringe to see this industry being so acceptant of the general Hip Hop genre, showing vile videos with demeaning and clearly chauvinistic, success equals money, drugs and sex philosophies, and ‘smoking weed in the back of my Benzy” lyrics and I was being complained about?
I wrote a song from a female perspective about sexuality with the person that I have a relationship with…big deal!
It was done in a very tasteful way and let’s be real here…everybody is doing it…I just did it with style and class and playfully. It is the people’s minds that take it to another level and reflect onto their own sexual behavior.
I am sure that we can count on our 10 fingers alone quiet a few artists out there, that have clearly built their careers on pure sex and bootie shorts and constant body part reveals…To each their own but I am the exact opposite of that- I do not adhere to that “industry conventionalism”- even though I was asked to…
‘Yes’ was written around an excerpt of James Joyce’s book “Ulysses”. I thought that it was an amazingly beautiful song and the lyrics were very poetic. ‘Breasts’ are a part of every woman’s body if I am not mistaken…at least the last time that I checked…I feel that Americans generally need to get with the program and shake of their pseudo moralistic behavior and backwards thinking. It is ok to recruit a 17 year old to go to war and kill people but you cannot have a beer until you are 21?? Common….
The stereo typing is just a killer in this country..as an example- I remember sitting at my previous labels office and one of their successful rappers was there in the conference room, smoking a joint. I, stupidly at that time, was smoking cigarettes but if I would try to light one up, they would freak out!…So what does that tell you…???
In the end, I am a woman of many colors and layers and that song was just one of my many layers…
But not all of your songs were sexual by any means. In fact, 2004′s My Kind of World was a decidedly new turn in style, with more rock-based influences and introspective lyrics. Why the change?
It was not so much a change than rather letting myself be as an artist and songwriter. At that point I had asked for release in 2003 and I did not have a label and A&R above me anymore to tell me which directions I had to take or what they would like to see changed.
I was going through a very ugly and bitter divorce steered by the other party and part of the lyrics were written around that. I called it my therapy.
Was that your proudest record, or do you prefer a certain record from your back catalog?
Absolutely “My kind of world” bc I did it all by myself and loved every minute of it and worked with the people I loved most. It was just very genuine.
Although I think that there are a few songs in my back catalogue that are pretty cool too…a bit further into my career I made the genre that I was marketed toward more into my own and stepped it up to feel a bit less generic.
You’ve had many singles that have gone on to #1 on the dance floor. Are there any songs that you wish you had released, but didn’t?
In the end, they were all released-either on an album or as a single- picking a single is a very hard job…it is kind of guessing the lotto numbers really…and you have to market it with lots of money or great unconventional marketing ideas to get it out there…you have to hit people straight in the heart with the right music at the right time…
Not an easy task and if we would all know the recipe for it…then we all would have # 1s…!
At this point, I am releasing a lot of older stuff in different productions because they were not available anymore and the digital landscape on iTunes f.e has all the albums and singles on one page which is great- that way, fans can browse around and maybe pick up a few more tunes they like.
In these days of ‘no regrets’, I keep mine to myself and like to just move forward and not look back on this matter.
Of course, as a dance artist, you’ve probably had yourself mixed and mashed by every DJ across the country. Are there any stand-out tracks that you can say you enjoy the most?
Many Djs have a mixing board and call themselves ‘remixer’ these days but a lot of it sounds so generic and the same and it is really tiring to my ears…I appreciate good quality in a production and also am not opposed to a decent commercial track but it has to sound right and fit perfectly- create that magic and tingle and wants to make you move even if you are not into a certain genre.
I love variety and a remixer who does not apply the same old sound and beat to the 134th track but applies with his gut and goes one by one…and uses harmonies for God’s sake…but that takes musicality obviously…and that is what I look for…
I thought that Hex did a great job on “Yes’” and “Melt with the sun”, Hani made sense on “One more night” and I am sure that there are a few more.
Remixing is a tool to further extend yourself to certain markets and I understand that I have to distance myself from my taste in order to understand where other people are coming from.
If you could record some covers, what songs would you be most interested in doing?
Well- I have one coming up this year with a collaboration and that is how much I will say for now…
Searching your name in YouTube results in dozens of your performances over the years. Performing liveâ€¦is that your favorite part of being a recording artist, or do you prefer the in-studio recording experience?
They both are great and very different from each other. The live performance and the initial reaction is the actual fruit you are carrying from all your creative work in the studio.
Writing a track from scratch with the right interpretation is not easy…but when it really comes to life, it is a beautiful experience…kind of like giving birth in a strange way…I do get all mushy & emotional when it is finished..
As far as the recording sessions are concerned: How involved are you in the creative process of your songs? Do you write your own lyrics, mainly? What about the actual music itself?
Absolutely- I write most of my lyrics and am very involved in the production process. I am not good technically in the studio but I know what I want and where I want it…I go in, free spirited with the basic idea to make sure that I am still creatively open and then take distance purposely.
My producer then gets busy on the actual production and vocals. I am then the more open minded ear on the other end. We then go back and forth until it is right.
Many artists who debuted around the same time as you in the ’90′s have since gone on to be classified one-hit wonders, yet your latest singles have all continued to chart within the top twenty spots on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play Billboard charts. Why do you think, twelve years after your debut, you’ve been met with continued success?
I am not sure why but I do know that I work very hard and am very focused on what I do- I will not get caught up with the wrong crowds anywhere. I also like to connect very much with my fans and I think that they genuinely react to that and appreciate that part of me. And in the end, they are the ones that keep me in the game. And as an artist, you have to stay humble and get that point and not get a big head…
You’ve made it clear in your recording career that you alone are in charge of your musical destiny. In today’s music industry–the pop industry, especially–being an artist is so entirely dependent upon the producers and managers above the artist. What drives you to be in charge of your career, rather than allowing the executives to handle it?
Well- not true really. these days, everything is actually crumbling, just like I saw it coming a few years ago but people thought that I was crazy…
It was an industry making money off of the creative people and purposely creating a very non transparent way of doing business.
Would you let anybody else run your life and make decision for you? Only if you would not know any better obviously…I learned as I went along and educated myself and thought…wait a minute…it should be the other way around…bc if it would not be for all these beautiful creative people and talent out there…this industry would not even exist…and I got out.
As we all know, the trend in American clubs has gone from house and trance to pure hip-hop. What do you think of the crossover in club music here?
I do not even go to clubs beside when I work really- but Hip Hop for me is a reflection of the society and the current state this country is in.
It is sad when people seem to be able to identify with the general message and emotion and feel of it. I am not knocking down the genre itself bc it does have some talent there, no doubt…but I am talking about the majority of these artists and their messages.
Australia listens to more Pop and Dance f.e. and you experience indeed a totally different way of life when you are there.
Is your reception in Europe different than in America? European markets tend to embrace dance artists, even in today’s society. Do you have a large audience overseas?
Every country has their own way of life that will result into them listening and supporting it with a certain kind of music. Strangely enough, my biggest successes have been in the US, Canada and Australia.
In my very early years, it was internationally.
Now you’ve got your own label as well. How did that come about?
I was planning it carefully and waiting for the moment to see the industry in slight distress…most labels would not just let you go if you asked for it bc they feared that maybe another label might pick you up…and to spite that, they would shelve artists rather…
You need to realize that this industry is not a lovely business that supports the artists and is about creativity ad music….it is a very competitive one that is about one thing and one thing only: the mighty $ and making their quotes……
I still had re negotiated a conventional contract in 2001 with monetary advances with my production company JMCA and my previous label in re to the album Naked and knew that the slightest distress would result into re negotiation from their side and I already knew that I was not going to say ‘yes’ to that…
So I just waited out for the right moment and spoke to the CEO eye to eye…and thank God, he let me go.
How is the label going?
It is hard work but I love a good challenge and it is exciting every day. I love to hold my own destiny in my hands and make my own decisions when and how I like it. I have an international digital distribution deal where I can release whatever and whenever I want and I love it!
You’re also a producer. What other artists have you handled or contributed to over the years?
I would not call myself a producer at all.
The actual technical execution is not for me.
I co wrote on a song for Bette Midler and Cher covered one of my tracks but I really mostly handle my own career. It takes time and creativity and money to do that.
In a time when people can now rise to fame through viral marketing and social networking websites alone, do you feel that your journey to becoming a recording artist would have been the same today?
No, not at all.
There will be more musical artists with smaller careers and way less money powered superstars in my opinion. So it is becoming more of an equal opportunity and educational process and even more about real standout talent.
I had at least a starting point where my career was built up to a certain point through the conventional label and outlets that came with it but today, it must be very hard for a talented person to be able to get to that point to be able to support themselves unless they really get into the business part of it and understand the general complexity.
Do you think it’s more difficult to be a musician within this fast-paced climate?
Absolutely- the Internet has brought a lot of changes, good and bad. It used to take 3-6 month to promote a record. There was so much physical work to be done.
Nowadays, everything is there in one click and you lose people’s attention very fast…that is why I will not spill my beans on releases anymore until I know that the time is right for it and I actually want the information to be out there.
What about music distribution? CD’s are spiraling quickly into certain extinction it seems. How will recording artists make money in the future?
I do not even bother with physical CD production anymore- many CD distributors already went bankrupt and I willingly got out of mine.
The most that I will do is produce maybe a limited edition CD of a new release where I know for myself my fan base would appreciate it as a collectable and autograph them on top.
Usually I will add some interesting features on it as a movie file or so that you cannot download on iTunes or others that I am available on.
I have a few niche stores that also take my physical product and those I can serve myself without losing any $ or control over.
Another thing that I have distanced myself from since 2005 are vinyl records. Everybody thought that I was crazy but I just honestly think they were free promotional product for the record pool DJs and they all really are using their digital mixers- no DJ is really going to work anymore with crates of records like in the early days…get real…
They are just items that you give to them for free and what will they do with them?
Collect them or sell them on eBay. And I wasted tons of money on top of that and will lose even more bc the record impact is ruined bc they started sharing it.
iTunes is my kind of company…they saw it coming and instead of complaining, they turned it and saw the opportunity…and that is why I only have a digital international distribution deal that I use to release my music over.
And that will be the way for now beside doing live shows- I think that live streams of concerts will also be a soon reality and merchandise.
No matter what- you have to invest some way or the other to get something out of it…
And now, as we look to the future, do you think you will continue to record in your signature dance/house/Hi-NRG style, or are we looking at some new genres from you in the future?
You never know with me…I will do whatever pleases me at the time and whenever I feel like it.:)!
Just rest assured that whatever I do, I try to do it thoroughly..
What can we expect from Amber in the coming weeks and months?
I have 2 more single releases planned this year that I am currently working on. One of them, will be a cover and collaboration at the same time and then another brandnew single that I have recorded in the beginning of this year.
Never a dull moment…
Do you ever see an end in sight, or is that simply not an option?
When I lose my ambition to play in this field, that is when it is time for me to go…I am a realist- I will not be singing ‘sexual’ on a club stage when I am 87 but I am like a cat- I will always land on my feet and use my gifts and talents in other ways.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to conduct this interview with you, Amber. It was simply a pleasure to do so, and I wish you all the best in your journey! Thank you!
Thanks for you time too. Just a quick hello to my fans out there and a big ‘THANK YOU’ for all the support and love in the past 12 years!
For more info on me, please visit www.amber-mcc.com & www.myspace.com/ambersings
Read on for my exclusive interview with Rob Diament from U.K. electro-pop band, Temposhark!
First, I’d like to give the band the opportunity to describe their music. In three words or less.
Like Temposhark hopefully!
Alright. But seriously…WHAT TOOK YOU GUYS SO LONG TO RELEASE THIS?! It’s wonderfully brilliant!!
Itâ€™s been a gradual evolution with Temposhark. Luke was studying in Brighton and Iâ€™d gone there for a weekend party with some other friends and we all stayed at his student halls. Iâ€™d known him a bit since I was 12 years old, but not really that well. At that party, we found out we had similar tastes in music. Heâ€™d been experimenting on some interesting films and music with Tasha Kahn, (who later became the wonderful Bat For Lashes).
I remember they were doing an art project in the big Brighton church. I heard Lukeâ€™s beats and was really drawn to them. They were kind of crunchy like Bjorkâ€™s Homogenic album. Iâ€™d been writing for months with a big producer in London called Youth (from Killing Joke) and I really liked the idea of trying out the kind of songs Iâ€™d written with Youth over the sounds that Luke was playing with. So we started to do lots of stuff in Brighton, some live music performances that included our first few embryonic Temposhark songs. But it wasnâ€™t a major focus for either of us at that time, just a bit of fun.
It was only later in 2004, when we both moved to London, that we actually started to really focus on the band. When we released our first EP we only had about 6 songs so it wasnâ€™t like most bands when you release your first single in order to promote your album. We hadnâ€™t actually made an album yet!
I set up my own tiny record label called Paper and Glue and we began to just put out CDs and vinyl with the student loans weâ€™d got from studying. Luke spent most of his on computer stuff or keyboards and I spent mine on making up vinyl and CDs. It felt like a real adventure at the time, and there was a real buzz in the London club scene. We used to go out clubbing most nights of the week and it was around the time that Electroklash was getting popular. I saw some wicked club shows by people like Gonzales, Peaches, Taylor Savvy and later Fischerspooner came along. It was such a breath of fresh air seeing their shows, the rawness, the attitude, their sense of fun, it was all really inspiring. Temposhark got invited to play a lot of gigs around that time, at places like Kashpoint, Electrogogo, Nag Nag Nagâ€¦ it was real DIY ethos, you just got up and performed. There wasnâ€™t much thought put into it, it was just fun.
The other thing about that scene at the time was the emphasis wasnâ€™t always on the music. A lot of the London bands performing were more about the costumes or the make up or the dancing. Whilst I really loved all that side of it, when it actually came to my own music, I wanted it to be about the songs first and foremost. Iâ€™m fundamentally a songwriter and my dream was always to make an album. I was also into really emotional music like Frou Frou and Mandalay and Bjork.
The kind of acts who had meaning in both their soundworlds and lyrics. So that was something both Luke and I were striving for in making the actual album. We wanted it to showcase all of our influences, from our early days in the London clubs to the more chilled out, thoughtful music weâ€™d been listening to. Our love of that kind of music led us to Guy Sigsworth and Sean McGhee who we were so privileged to have worked with on the eventual album. Once weâ€™d made the record, we also go a band together with real drums and bass, and made all the keyboards and noises live. It was really important for us to grow in this way.
How does it feel to finally have your debut album materialize into an actual product?
Really, really amazing. I am very proud of it. It feels like weâ€™ve achieved something. Itâ€™s cool to know its about to be available everywhere, especially over in the USA and Canada. I feel a real closeness with that part of the world and its exciting that weâ€™ve now got a deal for those areasâ€¦ it was always a dream of mine to put a record out there!
Your sound is incredibly raw and emotional. What musical artists would you say that you draw influence from?
Iâ€™d grown up listening to more emotional music. Storytellers like Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro, as well as overtly pop stuff like Prince, Madonna and David Bowie. So I guess I naturally combined all those influences. Words have always been really important to me too, I think songs are an amazing way of saying something powerful, itâ€™s just so immediate and Iâ€™ve always loved the way music can reach loads of people in a way a poem canâ€™t.
Are there any personal favorite tracks from the album, or tracks that you feel best symbolize the musical expression of Temposhark as a band?
I really like Winterâ€™s Coming, Not that Big and Blame. Plus songs like Joy always make me smile.
Back in 2006, the band hosted a podcast series and interviewed Kate Havnevik during one of the episodes. How did you guys meet? I know you remixed her amazing track, “Unlike Me,” but can we expect any future collaborations with each other?
We met Kate at Guy Sigsworthâ€™s studio one day. Regarding collaboration, possibly yes. We remixed a song for her already called â€˜You Againâ€™. Kate is really cool, a great writer and Iâ€™d like to write with her one day. Sheâ€™s also a genuine and sweet person, its always lovely to be around her.
I’ve also always been in love with the Temposhark remix of M.I.A.’s “Pull Up The People.” Do you expect to do more remixes in the future for other artists in general?
Yes of course, but weâ€™re quite picky over what we remix as it takes a lot of energy to remix someoneâ€™s song and I think there had to be a strong connection to their music and yours. I loved the M.I.A. remix we did and also the one for French singer Camille. Sheâ€™s amazing.
Past releases have always had strong visuals for cover art, but never members of the band. What was the inspiration for The Invisible Line’s artwork?
We just felt it was finally time to put ourselves on the cover! Weâ€™re really proud of this record. We also felt like this was finally a statement of intent if you will. Like, â€˜hello weâ€™re hereâ€™. Love us or hate us, weâ€™ve arrived. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m looking straight out, itâ€™s direct.
You’ve officially played live plenty of times in both the U.K. and the United States…Is there a difference in the fan reception from the countries? The energy and enthusiasm?
Yes there is actually. Both are good but very different. The USA crowds react to different songs and get really excited when Luke played his trumpet live for example. I also think the US want you to really go for it, put on a big show regardless of how big or small the venue. Whereas in the UK, in smaller venues I think people sometimes prefer their artists to be a bit more low keyâ€¦ The one thing that is exactly the same though is the enthusiasm from the fans of our music. Music really does unite people and I think even though weâ€™ve all grown up in different places with different cultures, weâ€™re actually all quite similar. I like the fact that music can show that weâ€™re all the same, we all feel the same thingsâ€¦
I’ve always wondered…was Temposhark a randomly generated name, or is there a more specific meaning?
We knew we had to get a band name and couldnâ€™t think of anything. Then one night I woke up in the middle of a dream and said quite firmly Temposhark. Just like that, I was certain it was the right name, it just felt right. We really liked the idea of music being a weapon, and Temposhark sounded strong and simple at the same time.
I am a huge fan of the works of both Guy Sigsworth and Imogen Heap. In fact, Imogen’s music eventually lead me to find Temposhark! What was it like collaborating with these two brilliant musicians?
Finally, my favorite part of an interview: The spoilers and juicy tidbits. What’s next for the future of Temposhark?
Well the first album comes out last week of March. We should be coming back to tour in April or May. This is all just the beginning! Oh and Iâ€™m not sure anyone knows yet, but thereâ€™s definitely going to be a digital EP for Blame with remixes, plus thereâ€™s a non-album Bside called The River. It was one of the songs we wrote before making the album, and it was recorded in Lukeâ€™s bedroom studio. Thereâ€™s something really cool about that track, that I just wanted it to be heardâ€¦ I love itâ€™s bass line and the lyrics are pretty angry, hopefully people will like it.
Lastly, anything to say to the fans?
Thank you to anyone who has come to our shows so far or listened to our music. The best thing about the Internet is that weâ€™ve actually had a lot of contact with people who like our music, and thatâ€™s why I wanted to do this in the first place. Itâ€™s a way of sharing how I feel about the world and connecting with other people. Itâ€™s been really exciting so far and Iâ€™m looking forward to putting out more albums and touring more over the coming years! Come visit us at www.temposhark.com or www.myspace.com/temposhark.
Additionally, enjoy this exclusive track off of their upcoming album!
Thanks again to Temposhark!