It’s not often that you hear about a psychologist staring a career in music. But that is the story of Swiss-born Miel de Botton. We were so intrigued here at Chelsea Monthly that we braved the cold weather on a late October Wednesday evening to meet with the trained psychologist turned singer/songwriter Miel de Botton.
What can you tell us about your soon to be released album ‘Magnetic’?
It’s a beautiful album, which is divided into two parts. One is made up of revisited traditional French ‘chansons’; the second half is of my own songs that are written in both English and French. The Album is to be released, on the 1st of February 2015.
Having listened to your album, I find that there isn’t a predominant genre throughout, is that because you don’t identify yourself to a singular genre?
I guess I like many genres, I think there is a variety there that reflects the variety in my taste.
Tell us about ‘Bad Men’ your latest single, what is it about? Is there a message behind the song? Was there a specific person in mind when you wrote it?
It was about moments in my life in which men were being difficult, and so I got it out of my system with this song and the message is for other women to do the same, to forgive. Forgiveness is shown in the music video when I refuse to shoot the ‘Bad Men’. I also believe that there are bad women out there, I’ve been a bad woman too, so this song is all about questioning oneself as well as everything is not all one sided.
You recently released the music video for ‘Bad Men’, where was the music video filmed? What sort of experience was it for you? Where did the idea of the western theme come?
The song was born when my producer, Andy Wright, was strumming with his guitar and came up with an arrangement, and I instantly though the song had an incredible western feel to it. As soon as we started getting the song together I could really visualise the video set in the Wild West. It was an incredible experience for me, very intense, but we were very well looked after. The whole experience was exhilarating; it was like being in a time warp. And having been filmed in Spain, on the set of a ‘Fistful of Dollars’, one of the greatest westerns of all time, directed by cinema legend Sergio Leone (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West), added an almost overwhelming historical value to my video and the overall experience.
Bad Men Video:
You are a trained psychologist, how does a psychologist end up releasing and album? Has that experience in anyway affected your song writing?
It was part of my progression. I do believe that both music and psychology can be linked, and music can be healing, and that is what I look for in music and what I want my music to be. This album was also healing for me, helping me channel my emotions. I’ve gone through a range of emotions that I’ve conveyed through my songs. So whether it be unhappy love affairs that I express in Bad Men, or the remedies to bad men in ‘Magnetic’ and ‘Vivement la joie’.
Is this a start of a new career for you? Or is this just you fulfilling a life long dream?
I would say this is both a new career and a childhood dream, and this is not a one off project, it is something I can carry on with.
Have you always liked making music? When did you discover this passion of yours? Do you play any instruments?
I play the piano, but I prefer singing. I’ve always been surrounded by music growing up, always been transported by music, even by classical music which was playing around my house a lot. We would often go to concerts and opera. I’ve been exposed to a lot of different kinds of music and I would always remember all the lyrics, which showed how much music meant to me.
You say you got most of your inspiration from 40’s and 50’s French variety, what makes that era so attractive to you?
I think it’s the romance, the passion and the fact that love is expressed in a very intense way, but is always delicate. I am just a massive romantic and that is why 40’s Paris appeals to me. This love of post-war romanticism start when my father would sing “Mon amant de Saint Jean” and “Nuit de Chine” to me as a child.
Having lived in Paris, did living there live up to the picture painted by the songs of Brel and Piaf?
I found that as a student, I really could abandon myself to imagining that the old and the new Paris had merged. But when I started working there, life became more hectic, and I struggled to see my vision from before.
One song stood out for me in the samples you offer on your website, and that song was ‘Je ne regrette rien”. Where did you get your inspiration for the Caribbean style reinvention of the song?
That was one of the crucial elements of the album that I insisted on. My producer wasn’t as enthusiastic as me about it, but it was very important to me. It’s a refreshing take on the song; it’s about being relaxed and not having any regrets.
Tell us a bit about recording with producing legend Andy Wright. Am I right in assuming he helped you discover you song writing talents?
It was fabulous, he is a very grounded yet immensely talented, which made the whole recording process all the more fascinating. Being able to watch such a gifted man at work was very fulfilling. He was very organised, very meticulous, and all the chord arrangements were gorgeous.
Initially, the album was only meant to be covers of French chansons. One day, while recording, Andy and I sat down and he encouraged me to have a go at song writing. We worked together at first, he walked me through the process, and he then sent me home for the weekend to finish the song, to write something genuine, that he could believe. So I went home, I cried my eyes out, and wrote ‘Beautiful You’. I’m truly grateful for Andy, and all the support he gave me.
Half the songs on the album are covers of French classics, where do you get the inspiration for your original material?
It was different for every song. A few of the songs were commissioned. The creative process was therefore slightly different, whereby you focus your thoughts on a specific subject and try to get it full of your own emotion and poetry. Compared to my other original songs, which were just free, were all about different moments in my life.
What music do you listen to today, what is your favourite album to have been released this year?
Hard to say, there are so many. I listen to the charts with my daughter, but I also love listening to Bob Dylan, Barbara Streisand, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin and a whole range of other artists and genres.
Tell us a bit about your gig at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital.
Every Thursday the hospital organises an artistic performance (music or acting), part of their healing arts program. It was a fantastic experience, and at the end someone came up and gave me flowers and I was asked to sign autographs. It was all very surreal.
Where can we expect to see you up until the release?
I’ll be doing the album launch at the Southbank Centre in the Purcell Room, on the 27th of January.
Do you have a tour planned after the release?
Yes, there are a few events planned over the year, although the specific have not been finalised, we have been contacted by venues in the US, UK and France.
We will make sure to keep an eye out for the very promising and talented Miel De Botton.
What kick started your filming/photography career? I was lucky enough to study film and television production in high school in Australia and instantly found my passion. I had an amazing teacher who encouraged me and helped me find the right course to continue my studies and meet people in the industry.
How would you describe your style? I would describe my photography style as balanced, honest, vibrant and creative. With filming, I find my style changes with each project.
Where do you get your inspiration from? I get my inspiration from my surroundings. I am always observing and enjoy noticing little things people often miss as they rush about London.
What are your top 3 career highlights to date? When I had finished university I was very fortunate to work on a music video that was directed by Russell Crowe. As you can imagine it was an incredible experience. In 2010 I was fortunate to be part of a global advert. I was working with two friends and together we got flown around the world. It was an amazing adventure. Finally, nothing beats seeing your work on the big screen. I was lucky to attend the London City Film Festival this year and watch a short film that I shot on the big screen with a full audience.
What is your favourite computer/editing accessory? I love my Macbook pro and use Aperture and Final Cut for editing.
How important is the editing process to you? Editing is a crucial step. For photography it is the final step to finishing a picture. Video editing can drastically change a story. Timing is essentially in creating the right atmosphere for your tale.
What has been the best event you covered? Best event I have covered, that is tough. I believe every event is unique and I give it my all. I have been booked to cover a wedding in Saudi Arabia and feel extremely excited and privileged to be able to document such a special occasion.
If you would be able to collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? I would love to collaborate with Alfred Hitchcock. I have grown up watching his films. He is an excellent director and storyteller.
What is your dream shoot? My dream shoot would be working with a passionate group of likeminded people where time and budget where not an issue. Maybe in a warm exotic location.
If you could live anywhere, where would you build your dream home? I do believe home is where the heart is. I grew up in Australia but London has been my home for the last 10 years. I would like to try America but as long as I am surround by friends home can be anywhere.
We caught up with one of London’s hottest up and coming club DJs, DJ Vik Toreus.
CM: At what stage in your life did you realise that you had a passion for playing music?
DJ Vik Toreus: At about seven or eight years old I started learning guitar and piano and I’ve always been interested in music, which slowly led to where I am today
CM: What inspires you?
DJ Vik Toreus: There were no DJ’s that particularly excited me but more the experience of the nightlife and seeing people perform, but when I started getting into it and practicing and doing gigs, I started following DJ’s more and more.
CM: I listened to your Blueberry Nation compilation mix, sound cloud, very eclectic, how would you describe your musical style.
DJ Vik Toreus: A mishmash of different genres, I play a bit of everything so it’s hard to narrow it down to one particular style, but generally I like to play happy, uplifting music. It’s a combination of house, RnB, old skool hip-hop, things that make people happy.
CM: The name ‘DJ Vik Toreus’…how did you come up with it?
DJ Vik Toreus: My real name is Vik. I’d been DJing for years with HV entertainment, a mobile disco company that I run with a business partner. I never really had a DJ title but when I started getting more into clubs I needed to make more of a brand name for myself. DJ Vick was a bit too clichéd, it wasn’t something that stood out. I went a bit back and forth over it because I didn’t want to make something completely fake. I wanted a cool name that had a part of me in it. I stuck with DJ Vik Toreus and I think it rolls off the tongue quite easily! Now all my friends are calling me DJ Vik Toreus, so it was the right choice.
CM: The name almost sounds like an alter ego, would you say that playing music makes you act different than in every day life?
DJ Vik Toreus: I don’t think it’s an alter ego but when I DJ it’s quite similar to how I am in person. They the way I dress, my image it’s how I am in person when I go out. It’s not like I’m quiet in the day or crazy in the night!
CM: Okay so your Blueberry nation mix CD is out on the 31st of July, can you tell us what people should expect?
DJ Vik Toreus: It’s being presented at the National Luxury & Lifestyle awards poll winners party so it’s being launched on that day. We’ll be handing out copies at the event. It’s going to be similar to the usual stuff, commercial deep-house, RnB, still very eclectic, very easy listening, something you can pop in to your car and listen too while you’re driving or at the gym.
CM: Top 3 venues you’ve played at?
DJ Vik Toreus: Home House London, Shaka Zulu in Camden, and a tie between Pacha London and the O2
CM: What are you’re top three international destinations to play at in the future?
DJ Vik Toreus: Las Vegas, Ibiza and…China.
CM: China?? That’s very interesting…
I’ve been there a few times on vacation and there’s a market out there which a lot of people don’t realise, but they are very into the same kind of music that we’re into like hip-hop, RnB and house music. They have a lot of energy, they want to party and there’s a lot of talent out there.
CM: What are you listening to on your Ipod at this present moment?
DJ Vik Toreus: Jeremiah, Don’t tell ‘em,
CM: Worst songs of all time?
DJ Vik Toreus: Aqua- Barbie girl and Bob the builder
CM: Let’s play the “either/or” game?
CM: Beach or city?
CM: Tina Turner or Lana del Rey?
CM: Mac or PC?
CM: Ketchup or Mayonnaise?
DJ Vik Toreus’s Blueberry Nation mix CD is out on the 31st of July . Catch Vik Toreus live at the National Luxury Lifestyle Awards Poll winners party on the 31st of July 2014 @ No.41 , Mayfair. W1
It takes listening to precisely five seconds of Paloma Faith’s comeback single to realise that you are already in the company of one of the best pop tracks that you are going to hear all year. By the time it gets to the chorus of Can’t Rely on You, with its defiant stomp and backing vocals from the songs’ creator, hit-maker-in-chief Pharrell Williams, it also becomes patently clear that Faith, reinvigorated and buoyant, is set to enjoy a bumper year.
Can’t Rely on You is the lead track of her forthcoming third album A Perfect Contradiction, and her best yet: as equally upbeat and sassy as it is soulful, and with a positivity that’s impossible to resist.
The inspiration, Faith says, came from not wanting to make a record as downbeat as its predecessor Fall to Grace, which documented failed relationships to mostly melancholy, ballad-like fare.
“When I was touring the last album I got a bit bored of being upset,” Faith says. “I think sometimes when you write sad songs you write them in a moment when it’s like therapy, but then when you’re singing them 18 months later it’s like picking off a scab. This time I knew I needed to inject some hope. There’s some heartache, but it’s got a hopeful vibe to it. And I’ve returned to my soul roots, working with people I’ve admired for a long time.”
A Perfect Contradiction is an evocative title – where did that come from?
“I mean perfect contradiction in terms of the last album, because that was melancholic, but also in everyday life. You can’t have real joy without real sadness. It extends to a conversation I had with Pharrell. He was asking me about myself and I said I feel an affinity with people who are a perfect mix of contradictions. And he said ‘do you think you are?’ and I said ‘yeah’ and then he told me I should call my album that. I went home and mulled it over; I decided it was a really good title, because it meant a lot of things. It’s to do with accepting difference within ourselves as well as other people and our experiences.”
Faith worked with a host of names on A Perfect Contradiction (Raphael Saadiq, John Legend, Diane Warren) but it is inevitably the collaboration with Pharrell that is of most intrigue.
“He approached me at a party to work with me and we wrote a couple of songs together, and as we got to know each other through that time he said that he had this song that he’d written that he’d been sitting on for ages. He said he thought it would suit me, and did I want to hear it. I was like ‘of course’, and I loved it. It totally has my name on it.
“Pharrell is very nice, humble, and so likeable. He works very hard and throws a lot away, because he only wants the best to come out.” He is certainly is a happy fellow, and the go-to man for a smash hit, isn’t he? “Yes, but you want to hear the ones that don’t make it, though!”
Faith is arguably as well known for her sense of style than she is for her music, and her appearance is a vital component of the entire songstress/fashion icon package.
“For as long as I can remember I’ve had it drummed into me that presentation is important. My family is full of women who really make an effort. I’ve never been around people who just wear jeans and t-shirt.
“In fact, the other day I was walking around Brick Lane with my mum, my aunt and my cousin. This girl came up and said ‘you four look like brilliantly dressed women; can I take a picture for my art project?’ She later wrote to me on Twitter later to say ‘sorry, I had no idea it was you!’ It was so funny.”
But getting stopped in the street was partly what made Faith head across the Atlantic to make A Perfect Contradiction.
“I do get stopped a lot – it’s flattering but it’s difficult to detach yourself. Ultimately, I wanted to write an album that was down to earth and about real issues, and I didn’t feel that my life was conducive to that over here. It’s not a realistic lifestyle to have being stopped by people all the time; it doesn’t promote a realistic attitude of life. People can’t relate to it.”
After A Perfect Contradiction hits the shops in March, Faith says she can’t wait to get on the road and reinterpret the new songs for a live audience.
“We haven’t planned it yet but we’ll hopefully be touring towards the end of the year. I am looking forward to going out and touring it – it’s a musician’s album. My band love it; they can’t wait to show off, and nor can I!”
Paloma Faith’s new album A Perfect Contradiction is out now on RCA Records.
Kim Woodburn offers tips on how best to spring clean this coming spring – and when to say goodbye to things old and worn – as well as revealing her enthusiasm for getting behind the Stroke Association.
If there was ever an exemplar for the art of perseverance, Kim Woodburn would be it. The veteran cleaner rose to fame in 2003 as part of TV Duo Kim and Aggie in How Clean is Your House. Since finding fame at the age of 61, she’s become known for her customary updo and bubbly persona. Eight months ago, though, her life was turned upside down when husband, Peter, suffered a stroke. Did Kim see the warning signs?
“Nothing at all! Peter’s mother and father had low blood pressure, he inherited that. He never needed pills… You wouldn’t have thought him a target for a stroke.
“But the doctors asked: why wouldn’t you expect he’d have a stroke? Babies can have them – they occur at any age. They are all severe but some are much more severe than others. You have to be grateful, stay positive.”
In Peter’s case, his stroke was pre-empted by a series of smaller incidents.
“The Saturday evening (before his stroke on the Monday) we were sitting reading the papers and he couldn’t get his words outreporter’s name – but he couldn’t say it. He said to me after he read it that he had a shocking headache on the left side. So off he went to bed. . Peter was reading something to me and he couldn’t get one word out: Bashir. He was trying to say Bashir – the reporter’s name – but he couldn’t say it. He said to me after he read it that he had a shocking headache on the left side. So off he went to bed.
The next day he was in the garden pottering round wearing backless mule slippers. But he kept losing his slipper off his foot and he had his bare foot on the pebbles in the garden – you know they can hurt – and he couldn’t feel it. Then on the Sunday evening he said ‘I have a bit of a headache’ – I said ‘go to bed’ and that’s it. What I didn’t know, is that he was still suffering these symptoms…he just didn’t tell me. If he had I would have called an ambulance right away.
“On the Monday morning it was sunny so we sat in the garden. He brought me over a cup of tea and it was spilling everywhere. You couldn’t miss it. I said ‘what’s going on?’ He said ‘I just don’t feel good’. He told me about yesterday not feeling his feet on the pebbles. He said ‘I’m numb down my right side, and the right side of my face by my ear, my hand.’ And I knew he’d had a stroke. I rang for an ambulance.
So what happens now?
“He was discharged with medication, which he will be on the rest of his life. And he will continue to have frequent check-ups. He may not have another stroke, but obviously now has a higher chance than before. He had no paralysis, and you wouldn’t tell from looking that he’d had a stroke apart from him slurring his words. But he has no short-term memory at all.”
How far back does that go?
“He can remember up to about three or four years ago his entire life, but ask him to recall what he didn’t this morning, he doesn’t know. He’s stopped slurring his words now but he can’t get out the odd word out. He panics a lot, when he was always a laid back man.” But what does happen all the time is he’ll misplace words – he knows what he wants to say but just can’t remember specific words. He does that a great deal. He also has a slight limp.
But Kim isn’t one to wallow.
“I tell Pete: ‘Listen, you had this stroke, but you don’t have to work, no-one would know from looking, remember that there are people in terrible states.’”
Having suffered a hard upbringing, coupled with domestic violence ending her first marriage, Kim knows that the secret to positive thinking is acknowledging the blessings you do have and to realise there is always someone worse off than you.
“I had a rotten childhood and it doesn’t leave you as an older woman. But honestly, people have had a worse childhood than me. It’s not that you forget there are people worse off than you – its gets you through. Pete will see people half his age in wheelchairs and thinks ‘thank goodness that isn’t me’”.
So what does Kim rely on to cleanse the mind?
“Cleaning! I know people laugh, but I’ve always loved cleaning, it’s therapeutic, it keeps you fit, the joy of a clean house. To me, it means a great deal. I love it! To know where everything is. A tidy mind! I walk around the house and it gives me a thrill. It doesn’t everybody – but it certainly does for me!”
So does Kim have any cleaning tips she just can’t live without?
“Clean as you go! And throw as you go! Don’t let a room mount up and up. Half an hour here leaves you less hard slog later.”
We’ve spring coming up – where to focus on first?
“There are always going to be certain things in the spring you do – closets. I’ll put winter clothes out of the wardrobes. Some people never clean them but they get dusty, and moths will just ruin your clothes.”
When it comes to spring cleaning her own wardrobe, is Kim as strict as with the rest of the house?
“Oh yes! You have choices – charity shops or commission shops where they’ll sell them for you for a little profit. If you have something that just sits there – give it away to someone who needs it – get rid of the junk!”
Kim is an ambassador for Stroke Association. Info can be found here.
Neil Dudgeon has enjoyed a successful three year stint on the ever popular who-dun-it series Midsomer Murders. Stepping in as the original DCI Barnaby’s cousin, he has managed to avoid coming to a gruesome end whilst relieving the inhabitants of Midsomer of their murderous neighbours. Taking the reins for Midsomer’s much anticipated Scandinavian themed 100th episode, we asked Dudgeon about life both in front of the camera and further afield.
Looking at the housing crisis of late, you’d image one area in particular to be struggling. There must be many a blacklisted house in Midsomer for nobody likes to purchase a crime scene. When speaking to Neil Dudgeon, we just can’t help but ask: “For an area the size of Midsomer, aren’t there an awful lot of murders? It must be the most dangerous place to live in the UK!”
Laughing, Neil explains, “People often say, ‘Ooh, there are all those murders!’ But the thing is, it’s not a village, it’s a county! I’m going to have t-shirts made, honestly. When I think of it, I imagine the size of Midsomer as covering the area that we usually film in, which is Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. So if you add all of those bits up, and then think that there’s been something like 300 murders in about sixteen years…well, I don’t think that’s that bad…”
That may be so, but working on a show where the main hook almost exclusively entails someone’s untimely demise must take its toll on the demographic…
The classic teatime detective series has been on air since 1996, so when taking over from John Nettles in 2011, who played the role of DCI Barnaby for an impressive fourteen years, did Dudgeon worry that he had big shoes to fill?
“There were a few worries when I very first started. I was thinking to myself, ‘is it going to be alright?’” …” But then you have to put that to one side and think, ‘I need to stop worrying if it’s going to be alright, and make it alright, and do my job!’ If people like it – great. If they don’t like it, then I suppose I’d either be asked to leave or maybe I’ll be one of the people murdered in the next episode…”
One thing Dudgeon had over Nettle was a huge archive of episodes to explore. In direct competition with a worldwide audience of sofa-detectives, has Neil ever managed to solve a murder before Barnaby?
“I have to confess that I’m pretty slow at it! I always insist that when I get the new script I want to sit there and read the whole thing in one ago, before the game is given away. It’s my only chance to look at the story like the viewer, where you start off not knowing anything. So I just concentrate line by line, scene by scene, on what information I, as the viewer, am getting.
“In the course of this, I’m thinking, ‘oh it must be the man standing with a pitchfork in the middle of the night!’ But then its ‘oh, he’s dead now, it must be the accountant!’ I usually get to about 2 pages from the end where they’re having the showdown scene and I’m still thinking that this might be a bluff… it might not be the person shooting at Barnaby saying ‘I did it!’ – this may still be a red herring…!”
But the fact that Dudgeon, like the rest of us, can’t unpick the plot, only proves the show’s longevity as it reaches its centenarial episode.
“Having a hundred episodes of a two-hour show kind of made me realise it’s like making one hundred feature films over sixteen years. In the climate of modern television in which things are commissioned and then if they’re not a smash hit within about twenty minutes then they’re cancelled; that’s incredible. There is a colossal amount of work involved and it really is a huge thing. It’s been a tremendous success, and I’m so glad I’ve had the privilege of being able to go anywhere near it.”
The Midsomer Murders 100th episode special is released as a special box set featuring the film and a fantastic full-length making of the episode feature.
Jenny Seagrove is something of an expert when it comes to reimagining Noel Coward on the stage. The star of theatre, TV and film has spent the last two decades bringing to life the wit and flamboyance of one of England’s greatest playwrights. Now, the 56-year-old is about to add her sprinkle of stardust on to yet another Coward special.
Seagrove, the partner of theatrical producer and chairman of Everton Football Club Bill Kenwright (which, by proxy, makes her a huge Evertonian), has starred in many of the West End impresario’s productions over the past 20 years. The duo join forces once again for a take on Coward’s champagne popping, love triangle comedy Fallen Angels, due to begin its run in January.
“The first ever play I did with Bill was Present Laughter by Noel Coward,” Seagrove says, “also Brief Encounter by Noel Coward and Volcano. So I am well versed in the words of the master!”
Despite “not actively chasing” Coward’s plays, Fallen Angels was certainly on Seagrove’s theatrical wish list, as “it’s a crowd pleaser and it’s always something I wanted to do.” Now, after a trial run of small warm-up shows last year, the production’s nationwide tour kicks off at the end of this month.
“We did it for a few dates last autumn and it was so much fun we’ve decided to do it again. It is great fun… I love making people laugh, it comes quite easily and I do love it. In fact, I am quite shockingly badly behaved sometimes in this play: act two is so silly, so very, very silly, that I often find I am making myself laugh and I have to try to control myself!
“But of course the audience loves that, and this is the play in which you can get away with it. I wouldn’t allow myself the indulgence of doing that in a straight play, but you can do it here and the audience feeds off that spontaneity.”
Of course, there must be extra pressure when starring in a production with so much emotional (and financial) investment attached to it, given Kenwright’s involvement…
“There’s always extra pressure. Don’t get me wrong, I have worked with Bill for 20 years and he tends to employ the same people, but there is pressure because I don’t want to go out and work on something that loses him money. But I am confident in Fallen Angels because it is a crowd pleaser and I know we have got it right.”
Whilst Seagrove enjoys filming and hopes to do more TV work, she stresses that “theatre is my big passion and always will be.” She is loathed to be without the incredible connection between audience and actor that the stage inspires.
“The audience is right there and the gratification is immediate, but it’s also to do with being able to control your own work. When you work in film and television, the director and the editor have control. When you are on stage, you are in control, you and the other actors.”
Outside of the theatrical world, Seagrove displays a passion for animals. The actress was recently the recipient of an award for her work with Mane Chance Sanctuary.
“I am a passionate advocate of animal welfare and two years ago my friend who ran an animal sanctuary ran into trouble and went bust, so I thought I would start a charity to help. Little did I know how completely overwhelming it would be, but I have taken it over and we now help sick and special needs children as well. Help us, help them – it’s a healing circle. What started as a saviour because I love animals has become something really beautiful.”
Of course, it would be remiss not to mention Everton, the third passion in Seagrove’s life. It’s all going quite well, isn’t it?
“It is, and I go to all the matches when I am not working. I was a football fan before I met Bill but now I am a raging Evertonian, a force to be reckoned with. How could I not be? I had to join the party.”
Jenny Seagrove will be appearing in Fallen Angels Between 20th January 2014 and 29th March 2014 this tour will visit nine venues in Windsor, Kingston, Darlington, Northampton, Bath, Brighton, Guildford, Milton Keynes and Woking.
Today we get to hear a few words from the man himself, Peter Bruntnell, after releasing London Clay on the Independent Charts, and coming in at number 3 on the week of December 7th.
Hi Peter, thanks for talking to us today. So when did your life in music begin? Was there any other interests growing up, or were you always going to be a musician?
A. It was either be an astronaut or a musician, I thought the musician route would be more financially rewarding,
Where does your inspiration come from, what motivates you to write the lyrics you do?
A. Things I read about or what just comes out of mumbling melodies and a desire not to sound like all that cliched crap one hears every single day on commercial radio.
What kind of shows have you been playing lately? Have you got a favourite venue, or place to play?
I like the Borderline in London. I also like playing in the U.S. especially in the dirty south.
You’ve just released your single ‘London Clay’ on the Independent Charts, care to tell us more about that song? Does London have a special place in your heart?
The lyrics were written by myself and my co-writer Bill Ritchie who lives in Vancouver B.C, they mean many things to me, I wanted this song to sound like a sixties pop song, which, in the verse , I think it does, the chorous sounds maybe a little more modern, not sure really. Yes London has a special place in my heart, I live in Devon now but every time I’m in London I get excited and drink too much.
What have been the main challenges getting to where you are now? What have you done to overcome these challenges as an artist?
My main challenge is stopping my wife from throwing me out for being poor musician. I do as much laundry and D.I.Y. as I can to overcome this as flowers don’t work anymore.
Who are your main influences? If you could play a show with any artist in the world, alive or dead, who would you play with?
Neil Young. If I could play with anyone it would be with the one and only John Lennon.
What should we expect from you in the future? Is it world domination, or are you just going to keep doing what you love?
I have applied several times this year to NASA but so far I have not heard back so it’s more of the same I’m afraid. I think we might be touring in the U.K and the U.S. a bit next year. I would like to start another record next year too, not sure what kind yet, I’ll have to wait and see how the songs come out.
Rhys Coleman gives us an in depth interview and speaks about his music, life as a musician and his new Single ‘Waterfall’ out now on the Independent Charts!
Hi Rhys, thanks for talking to us today. So when did your musical journey begin, how long have you been writing for?
My pleasure! I was quite little when I started playing music, about 8 if memory serves. My first real instrument was the piano – I moved on to drums and singing when I was older, and ended up playing in a fair few bands for/with others, but didn’t start writing solo material properly until about 2 years ago. It took me that long to find a sound I was happy with.
What are your songs about? What parts of life do you draw inspiration from?
A lot of artists draw from life experience when writing their material, but when I started writing solo stuff I was in the very fortunate position of having a very nice life! It sounds weird to mention that, but a lot of the best songs come from bad situations, and I’d had the good fortune of being in very few! So originally I wrote about hypothetical scenarios and fictional worlds, but in that time I’ve been around a bit more and have a bit more experience to draw upon.
Who are your favourite artists? Have you got an iPod or anything like that? Who would be on the ‘most played’ category?
I get mocked a lot for this, but I’m a big My Chemical Romance fan. I’m really excited about the next few months, because they’re releasing some more material, and Biffy Clyro are releasing a double album. The most played album on my iPod at the moment is bound to be In Between Dreams by Jack Johnson – I remember spending this awesome summer listening to that album so it’s got so much value. No Other Way’s a particular favourite track.
You’re just released a track called ‘Waterfall’ on the Independent Charts, how did that song come about, are there any hidden messages?
Waterfall started out as completely hypothetical – in my mind it was about this couple that wake up one day and just don’t feel the same way about each other. The track took ages to write, I was working on it for about 2 years, and about halfway through the writing process – a year ago – I was having a really bad time of it, so it started to take on more relevance to me personally. So if anything writing the song became a stress release. A few people have guessed what the waterfall is a metaphor for, and I really love hearing their ideas so I’m keeping my meaning for it close to my chest. What kind of shows have you been playing lately? Have you got a favourite venue, or place to play?
There’s a little venue called Ye Olde Farmhouse at the top of Bath where my friends and I like to play music and have a laugh – it’s become a really great family vibe. I was asked to play a gig there which was a lot of fun, and it’s become one of my favorite venues. I played in Moles with some friends, a nice little acoustic set, which was fun. Out of town, The Fleece in Bristol put on some great nights, the Vic in Swindon was awesome too.
What have been the main challenges getting to where you are now? What have you done to overcome these challenges as an artist?
Like I say, I’ve been really lucky with the life I have thus far, so there were only really two main obstacles to my music; the first was apathy. Until I really cracked on with writing, I had this attitude of sitting back and waiting for inspiration and success to fall in my lap. Sometimes people are very lucky and it does, but I did my research and discovered what a difficult job being a musician is. That was a wake up call and got me off my arse. The second was nerves – I used to be very nervous around people, whether they realised it or not, and had to overcome that to meet cool new people and make good music with them.
What does the future have in hold for your music? Where would you like to be in five years time?
The idea of being really famous has never really appealed to me. My ideal life would be being successful enough to make the music I want to make and be able to pay for a roof over my head and some food to eat. I don’t mind slumming it too much, in fact couch surfing can be quite fun! I’d absolutely love to play Later With Jools Holland at some point, I think I’d feel like I was doing well if I played there.
Today we have the privelidge of speaking with a band from New Zealand. ‘The New Brides’ are releasing their first single through the Independent Charts entitled ‘Record’ we at Chelsea Monthly can’t wait to hear it! Let’s get in deep with the band.
Hi New Brides! Thanks for speaking to us today. So how and where did youguys meet? Was it music at first sight?
Hey Laurence, hows it? Thanks for getting in touch. Yeh, the new brides, basically we’ve all converged on the same city and we’re playing all over it. Theres Billy, a young bass player with a car. Billy met Qedric, a seasoned muso with a good ear and some limited ability on his chosen instrument the guitar – though a later purchase of a delay pedal helped him along. They met through an accomplice who drummed well (for a while). We managed to get a refund on the drummer and bagged a great deal when Mark, a beat machine with cash to buy a new kit joined up and was initiated into the group with the now infamous new bride roof fight.
Who writes the songs, or is it a collaborative effort?
During this time and unbeknownst to the three, a keen musician named Johnny had just moved to the city from the UK, following his heart but unfortunately leaving behind his guitar. Now guitarless, Johnny spent most of his time drinking and writing, and so unwittingly wrote the basis of what is now a good chunk of the songs and lyrics.
Where can we find you playing live?
We play all the local venues and have faced every kind of stage, sound, room & crowd which has made us a lot tighter and stronger in loads of ways. Our first gig was at this top venue but on a bit of a shitty night, we learnt that its not where but when you play, and we’ve since been back there to smash up a Saturday nite.
Are you writing anything new at the moment? Do we have any new tracks tolook forward to?
We’ve got a solid catalogue of tunes and plenty more on the way. We picked five and recorded an e.p. in August. We spent three days at a premier studio, we actually couldn’t get the date we wanted because Flight of the Concords were in there. Those tracks were mixed and then bussed off to New York City to get mastered. They sound great by the way New York, thanks guys!
You are just about to release your song ‘Record’ through the IndependentCharts, could you tell us a little more about the song and how it came tobe?
We grabbed Record from those 5 for the ‘single’ or top track. There’s a bit of a weird disco feel goin on, in the best sense possible. It has a great intro; fast enough, and if you can remember a few lines you pretty much have it down, then just get the air guitar solo nailed and you’re done. It’s catchy, whistle it and see.
If you could play any venue with any artist who would it be and where?
At the moment we’re trying to get a slot with the Beatles at the Cavern but they never return our texts, otherwise we reckon we’d have done well as support for the stones at altamont, or maybe not, who knows.
What challenges have you faced as independent artists? What have you doneto overcome these challenges?
Writing and playing music is by far the easiest part of being an unsigned band. We don’t have the management and PR hookups that come along with a major record deal so making contacts and figuring out how to get our music out there has been the biggest challenge, a learning curve.
How are you managing to balance Music and life?
Music and life… it’s not so much of a balancing act as you obviously can’t have one without the other. So we play music when we’ve ran out of jokes or beer; we do a lot of gigs so we can sometimes have them as our practices and jam the new stuff when we’re hanging out. We play great venues and we have a great set up, huge space, & as much noise as we can get away with until the police show.
We throw parties, do what we like and there have been some times, some bad times, but that’s the life part. There’s 4 band members in the new brides but there’s a lot of people who come see us or that we know who are just as much into this as we are, we’re just the soundtrack. Without the music we’d probably get into some bad habits.
Where do you see yourselves in five years time with the music? Is theresome kind of master plan, or are you just going to keep making the musicyou love?
Both. The music will keep on happening. We’re working on a video – that’s something coming up to look forward to. We’ll gig, we’ll tour, we’ll do an album and then another. Chances are we’ll be playing your local dive soon, so be prepared! We’ve had some great interest from local and international promoters and we’re pretty excited about the future!
Thanks for talking to us guys, we can’t wait to hear record when it hits the Charts! Good luck with the video, hopefully you’ll be playing the local spots down London way in the future!
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