Monday, September 26, 2005

10 Q's with TAMRAH AERYN

Tamrah Aeryn has released a stunning new album (Review) – a real ‘must have’ for fans of classy female vocalists especially fans of Kate Bush.

Q: What are you currently up to?

A: I have been busy working on my next album with working title “Poseidon’s Watercolor Dream”. It has taken so long to get this far with “Typical Gurl” that I have about five albums worth of material so I am working through it all and trying to decide which songs to put on the next album.
I have also been rehearsing my music with other musicians in preparation for gigging which I hope to do before the end of the year.

Q: Brief history of how you got into the music business and the style of music you play.

A: I have been composing and writing my own of songs for as long as I can remember.
I studied music theory and composition at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire USA. During University, I became involved with some local bands and we gigged quite a bit and also appeared on the local public access television station. I then purchased a four-track tape recorder from the little money I made at that time and put about twelve of my original songs onto CD with the help of my brother. I carried a copy with me wherever I went. Some of the songs on the original demo were “Typical Gurl,” “Mr. Doublepersonality,” “Distant,” and “Weak,” which now appear on the final “Typical Gurl” album.
I became involved in the “Typical Gurl” project when I met Lionel Hicks in a Minneapolis night club. Because he was a producer of some merit, I gave him a copy of my home made CD. I didn’t really think he would be interested, and later he told me that he was sure it was going to be a “load of rubbish.” But I received a call from him the next day and he invited me to Oarfin Studios in Minneapolis where he was recording “Perfect Balance.” Lionel told me that he was pleasantly surprised when he heard the CD, and was impressed with the originality of my lyrics and the quality of my playing (I had played guitar and piano on the demo). I was shocked and elated at the same time to hear this considering the grass roots nature of my original recordings. Because Lionel thought we could “do something with this,” it was arranged that I would record my original songs professionally in POD studios in London with Lionel as producer.
Over the next two years, I recorded what would become “Typical Gurl.” The tracks were all recorded in London and mixed and mastered in Germany and in Minneapolis USA.
We went down various avenues trying to acquire record deals, and finally we signed a deal with Massacre Records of Germany for the European market.
I will be releasing the album in the UK independently in October with Frontier Promotions handling the promotion and Proper Distribution doing the distributing.

Q: You’ve just released your excellent debut album. Could you take us through the tracks and the stories behind the songs?

A: The songs on the album are a selection of songs I wrote over a period of a few years based on different moods/situations I had been in. Like most artists, my work is a partial reflection some of my life experiences. “Typical Gurl,” and “Mr. Doublepersonality,” are about the same person and are meant to be sarcastic responses. “Julie” is based on Julia from George Orwell’s “1984” and is partially about the paranormal phenomenon of “phone calls from the dead” where the living receive phone calls from the deceased as a warning or just to make contact. In this case, Julie is being haunted by herself.
“Valley Bridge” is about Valley Bridge (“the suicide bridge”) in Scarborough UK where I have had a few interesting haunted experiences. “Rising” has to do with certain prophesies given by Edgar Cayce “The Sleeping Prophet” and his visions of Lemuria and Atlantis. This is just to name a few...

Q: How do you hope to get heard above all the other singers vying for attention out there?

A: All I can really do is do my thing and hope that people will listen. Because I write my own songs and play piano and guitar, I hope this will give my longevity. I don’t see that there will be a problem with writer’s block anytime in the foreseeable future.

Q: Have you seen an upswing in all things rock over the past few years? How do you view the current live scene in the US as regards to new singers getting exposure?

A: Yes, I believe there has been an upswing in rock over the past few years. I believe the hype of pop music has subsided a bit, and people are becoming more interested in rock and what it stands for.
And yes, I believe that it is extremely important, for new artists especially, to get as much exposure as they can by showing their faces and gigging. People want to get out and see a live performer. It gives them an outlet and someone/something to aspire to. I have seen excellent bands/artists out there with incredibly good original songs who have acquired a massive following and yet have never been professionally recorded and have never received a record deal. But they are still creating waves just because they are out there and people are enjoying their music.

Q: How has the internet helped spread the word about the band? Do you think downloading is helping or killing music?

A: I believe the internet is a vitally important tool for publicity, and in this day and age the internet is essential for attaining a wide following. People who would not normally have access to certain music are discovering new music every day, and this is diversifying music audiences.
There is a difference between downloading a few songs to see if you will like a certain artist or album and then going out and buying it, and being a massive fan of an artist or band and then downloading everything they’ve ever done without purchasing one album. I have spoken to artists who receive mail from fans who ask for the lyrics because they have downloaded all of their songs from the internet. This is a bit of a slap in the face considering all of the time, effort, and money which go into making an album and perfecting the music and the artwork. Bands/artists who still have to work a nine to five job to support their music because more people download than buy the music, will suffer greatly and so will the music because they will not be able to afford to sustain the effort and expense.

Q: What other bands/artists do you admire and/or are an influence?

A: I admire quite a few bands/artists. I admire anyone who is original and creative and who is in tune with the music that they make. I have my old school rock favorites, some of which include, “Yes,” “Rush,” “King Crimson,” Led Zeppelin,” “Pink Floyd,” etc...And as far a females are concerned, I admire Grace Slick, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, and Bjork to name a few.
My main influences growing up were from folk albums which my parents had in the house. I used to listen to “Simon and Garfunkel”, “The Moody Blues”, “America,” and “The Carpenters,” so I must admit that I do have an affinity for Easy Listening music.

Q: What have been the highlights/lowpoints of your career to date?

A: The highlights of my career thus far have been being able to travel throughout the US, the UK, and other parts of Europe for recording purposes and for meetings with promoters, record companies, agents, etc...I have met many interesting people and have played with many talented musicians. I love putting ideas together and being proactive in the recording studio and slowly seeing ideas take shape and form something new. This is what I live for.
A low point for me was losing several thousand pounds on a video shoot for a music video that turned into nothing in the end. Recording music and trying to make oneself be heard is an incredibly painful and slow process. It is truly a labor of love.

Q: What ideally would you like to achieve by this time next year?

A: I don’t know what the future holds, but I plan to see a certain amount of success with “Typical Gurl,” and have yet another album released. I’d like to tour with my band and of course get my music heard by as many people as possible. I hope that people will be touched and transformed by my music. And I hope I can inspire other musicians to get out there and play their original material as well.

Q: What CDs do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?

A: My debut CD “Typical Gurl” will be found in shops in the UK from October 3rd through Proper Distribution, and currently, this CD can be obtained from my website:


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