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Interview | Questions & Answers With David Haerle

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Interview | Questions & Answers With David Haerle

David Haerle tells us his own story, reveals musical influences and talks about the new single “Finding Natalie”. A pretty nice song we’re digging at the moment. Definitely, if you pay attention to the lyrics its emotional component will make you remember your first crush! 💕

1 — What’s your general taste in music?

I really love a lot of different music, but my taste developed and unfolded in phases. As a kid, I remember riding in the car with my dad around Los Angeles and hearing David Bowie’s “Fame” on the radio. I thought now THAT’S cool! His voice, the groove, the background vocals, the band, I loved everything about it. If asked to name my favorite album of all time, I would say Bowie’s ‘Hunky Dory’. Then there were all the AM radio singles at the time by groups like The Commodores, K.C. and The Sunshine Band, Wild Cherry, Hall and Oates, to name a few, and of course, disco. Then I gravitated towards rock and hard rock, more specifically bands and artists with great lead guitar playing: Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa, Van Halen, Ted Nugent, ZZ Top, Peter Frampton, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple were all early inspirations of mine, especially with respect to guitar. I also loved The Cars, and then many, many bands and hits of the 80s.

My mother’s parents, and my father, had backgrounds in the country music business, and I have very early musical memories of hearing Johnny Cash’s live recording of “A Boy Named Sue” and Tanya Tucker’s “San Antonio Stroll”. Eventually, I developed a passion for my dad’s great love, country music. Artists like Merle Haggard, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, and also great bluegrass artists, especially those who recorded for CMH Records, the record label my father co-founded with Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith and which I continue to run today.

Over the years my ears would be turned on by so many great artists, I can’t give you a complete list, but here are a few in no particular order: Stereolab, N.W.A., The Chemical Brothers, Radiohead, The Avalanches, Convoy and Anita O’Day.

2 — How many years have you been active in the music world?

Professionally, over 29 years. I had been a music agent for around 2 years at International Creative Management (ICM) when my dad passed away suddenly. I decided to quit that career and take over CMH Records. I have been president of that company now for over 27 years. This does not count starting on guitar around age 13, playing in bands at parties and clubs around Los Angeles in my teenage years, and so forth. Around seven years ago I began working part-time at the label and spending my other working time writing and recording music. It was around that same time that I began work on what would become Garden Of Edendale.

David Haerle interview
3 — As a musician, is your ultimate goal to win a Grammy or reach the top of the charts?

Though I will gladly accept a Grammy if offered one, and would excitedly share news of topping a chart, I would say my goals are more along the following lines: Write the best songs and make the best music I can, with the skills and abilities that I have, and share that music with friends, with loved ones and with the public. I’d be thrilled if my music achieved some measure of commercial success and/or critical praise, as those are forms of acknowledgment that make you feel pretty good. It lets you know that what you have done has connected with someone, somewhere, and thus what you have done has had a purpose beyond yourself. I was very excited to hear that Electro Wow was liking what I am doing and wanted to do this interview with me.

The other day a childhood friend and fellow musician I respect wrote me a long e-mail with quite a lot of detail concerning how he liked my album. That felt quite wonderful and, truthfully, it’s hard to imagine that feeling being topped.

4 — What came first when composing “Finding Natalie,” the music or the lyrics?

The music came first, I had a chord structure and melody for the verse and the chorus, and had an instrumental jam developing.

Sometime after I developed the music I attended an alumni reunion at a school I went to in Los Angeles. I was a student there from kindergarten through third grade. At the reception, I noticed they had a table stacked with old yearbooks. I went over and began flipping through pages looking for Natalie.

Sure enough, there she was, smiling in those old photos. We were in the same class for 4 years before I switched schools. I was looking through the later yearbooks trying to find out how long she stayed after I left. She was there until 8th or 9th grade.

Natalie was my crush, or perhaps I should say, my first love. I started imagining what it would be like to find Natalie again, to tell her after all these years what she meant to me. The chance to tell her she was my first love would be fulfilling because that was not something I was able to do at the time. I was too young. Too afraid of my own feelings.

She wasn’t at the reunion, but the phrase “Finding Natalie” stuck with me. I knew it would go perfectly with the melody and chord progression I had been working on. I debuted the song at a live performance in Los Angeles at an event I love called Strong Words.

5 — I noticed there’s a classic rock feel to it. Are there any legendary bands that inspired your style?

I know I am influenced by classic rock bands and artists, especially those who would have instrumental sections, jams and/or guitar solos in their songs; where the drums, bass, lead guitar and other instruments would let loose on a particular chord progression or musical idea. My love for that is in my DNA, and I know Zeppelin, Zappa, Aerosmith, Sabbath, Hendrix, Nugent, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Deep Purple and many others are responsible for that.

Finding Natalie features a wonderful improvised solo by Luanne Homzy on violin, I take a guitar solo myself, and then Luanne and I do certain melodic lines together in unison and also with her harmonizing to my guitar.

David Haerle artist
6 — Why do you think people will feel identified with this song?

I hope many people can relate to a story of first love or of a first crush. And I suspect quite a few folks might be able to relate to being too afraid of your own feelings, or of rejection, to express them to the person you feel those things for.

7 — Was the music video filmed at your own studio? Who participated in it?

The music video was filmed at the legendary studio Sunset Sound, in Studio 2. That is where we did all the basic tracking. We had done some pre-production before going in, and then overdubs were done at my own Edendale Studio in Los Angeles afterward. My amazing band consisted of Carson Cohen on bass, Reade Pryor on drums, Alex Wand on rhythm guitar and Luanne Homzy on violin. Sabrina Doyle directed the video, and her team included Stephen Paar, Lee Young, Chris “Moose” Stalsworth, Samuel Phillips and Daniel Myers. And you need great engineers, and we had them in David Bianco, Geoff Neal and Jose Salazar.

So many legendary artists and bands have recorded at Sunset Sound: The Doors, Prince, Van Halen, The Rolling Stores, Zappa, The Beach Boys, Neil Young, Zeppelin, the list goes on and on.

8 — What’s the best thing about working with other artists rather than working all alone?

The input and great playing they bring to the table make all the difference in the world. In “Finding Natalie”, I love the drums and drum fills, the bass playing (it is outrageous on section 5 of the jam), the violin answers to the vocal and improvised solo, Carson Cohen’s and Alex Wand’s harmony parts and singing, and so forth. That is all them, not me.

9 — What can your fans expect from your next single?

The next single is a favorite of mine on the album, and it is called “Always.” It’s about a relationship between two people in the late summer of their lives. It is a call to love, from one to the other saying that it’s now or never. They’re both aware their time is finite, but there’s still the chance to pursue a dream, the dream of embracing and loving each other, and spending the rest of their lives together.

In my teenage years, I wrote a song called “Amazon Laura” about a crush I had on a friend of a friend. The chords from that song, simple as they are, have stayed with me and I drew on them for this song and while making my first album. The music has been with me since the early spring of my life, but did not come to fruition until the late summer of my life.

10 — What are your thoughts on the streaming era? Do you see more benefits or more disadvantages?

There are a number of things to like about the streaming era from an artist perspective and an independent record label perspective. But first the disadvantages and what I miss: I grew up holding LPs in my hand, looking at the artwork, the photos, and the liner notes while listening. That is an experience that is hard to beat, and I do miss it. Something tangible to hold and to look at. But as far as advantages go, you have the ability to make your music available to a huge audience at very little cost. And around the world for that matter.

From the independent record label perspective, manufacturing CDs and sending them to stores around the country was and is a fairly costly endeavor, and you have to spend time managing your inventory and keeping track of components (booklets, stickers, etc.). And it was sometimes hard to know what was really selling vs just sitting in record store bins. CDs could be returned by stores to the distributor and the label if not sold, for full credit. With streaming, your manufacturing costs are about zero in one sense, returns are not consequential, and you can stay right on the pulse of what is being listened to via reporting that is available. However, with Garden Of Edendale, I did choose to make a CD with a pretty elaborate package. I just wanted to!


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Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

Interviews

Trst Talks New Remix “My Neck, My Back” In Interview

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Remix My Neck My Back
DJ and Producer Trst is back with a stomping remix of the 2002 classic hit, Khia’s “My Neck, My Back”. He has transformed the track into an absolute roof raiser, he is best known for other tracks such as “Throw Yo Body” and “Bitch Boyz”. Inspired by the likes of Tony Romera, Noizu, & Rex The Dog, Trst is on a mission to bring back Fidget House. Electro Wow caught up with Trst to discuss his latest remix.

1 — What made you decide to remix “My Neck, My Back”?

I loved this song since middle school. I’ve tried remixing this song like 8 times and it always sucked. This is my favorite version that I’m finally proud of.

2 — This song has been remixed quite a bit in the dance scene; did you feel any pressure when releasing this?

Not really, no one has really took the direction I did. It was popular a while ago to remix and kinda faded. I’m bringing it back.

3 — What was your inspiration when creating your version?

UK Grime.

khia


4 — How would you describe the remix to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?

Grimey and loud!

5 — What has the reaction in clubs been like for “My Neck, My Back”?

Well I live in San Francisco, so everyone’s always like ‘hey this isn’t DirtyBird!!’. Jokes, but its gone down pretty well so far, its a fun song to sing along to, especially in a club since it’s so explicit and you can scream it.

6 — Is there any remixes out there by other artists that you really love?

Not really, they’re pretty old school Trap.

7 — Do you prefer creating remixes or originals and why?

Both are different processes for me. I like originals just because it’s a more familiar workflow.

Trst interview
8 — What plans do you have career-wise this summer?

Going to NYC and playing a show with Ekonovah (thanks Lunar Lounge) and also then playing a G Code Yacht Party later in July.

9 — Can you give us an exclusive into any other releases you are working on at the moment?

I have a release coming up soon on one of everyone’s favorite French label. That’s all I can say for now.

10 — Finally, where can we go to download your remix of “My Neck, My Back”?

Free download on Soundcloud!

Here is the link: https://theartistunion.com/tracks/6ca8cd


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Interview | Questions & Answers With Helsinski

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Helsinski
Hailing from Finland, Juho Vehmanen aka Helsinski, is a promising new talent within the world of contemporary Pop music. Electro Wow had an interview with him to find out all the most important details you’ll probably want to discover about himself as an artist. In addition, I fully recommend you to listen to his newest single “Glow Sticks” below, which seems to be on everyone’s lips.

1 — First of all, why did you choose “Helsinski” as your artistic name?

I think the name ‘Helsinski’ (the capital of Finland is correctly spelled Helsinki) encapsulates some relevant information about me in one word. Obviously it gives away my geographical location which – I think – is always an interesting fact to know about an artist, since it puts them in a cultural framework. The name also suggests that the music is somewhat urban. Helsinski also really sounds like a surname, so it could lead to the correct conclusion that the music is performed by one person only. For some, it may represent a humorous reference to the political concept of Finlandization. All in all, I think it’s a name of many associations.

2 — How would you define your music with just three words?

Urban alternative pop would be my genre description in three words. To put it more informally, I’d use the adjectives soft, nocturnal and relaxed.

3 — Which popular artists can we compare to Helsinski?

I’ve heard some Depeche Mode comparisons. I’m a fan of Die Antwoord, Daft Punk and Air myself to name a few, but don’t think you can really hear those influences in my stuff. I keep surfing Spotify for random stuff for inspiration. My background as a musician is in Pop and Rock. I think Helsinski is a hybrid of a whole lot of stuff. I’m eager to hear those comparisons, though!

helsinski interview
4 – Can you talk about the recording process of your latest single “Glow Sticks”?

After marking the structure and chord progressions with a piano I laid the foundation for “Glow Sticks” with a pretty loose Hip-Hop drum groove that’s partially programmed “in the box” and partially played with real drums and percussion. I’m not too solid of a drummer so I had to cheat a little. The bass part is a combination of overdriven and side-chain compressed synth and an electric bass slapped and played with a pick through a Big Muff fuzzbox.

I put some ambiance pads and a groove-emphasizing synth arp to the background. The shimmering top end consists of granulated delay effects derived from other, already existing elements. Most of the guitars were played by Riku Karvonen, a super talented guitar connoisseur whom I’ve been lucky to play quite a lot with over the past few years. All elements combined, I ended up with pretty 80’s sounding track by accident. But I decided that as an 80’s product myself I have all the rights to sound like one. Vocals are pretty heavily effected with saturation, huge delays, doubling, pitch and formant shifting and vocoding.

5 – What is this song “Glow Sticks” about?

It’s about two self-contained, short-term light-sources who find comfort in each others company in this impossible place called life.

6 – Any plans to drop a video for this single?

Would you like to invest in one? I’m short a couple grand. The revenues will be surprising, I assure you!

7 — What can listeners expect from your next release?

The next release after the single “Glow Sticks” will be a similarly named album of 9 songs. It will be released on May 17th and it’s gonna be great company for a night drive under neon lights!

8 – Finally, what’s your ultimate dream as an artist?

To crystallize my own sound to the max and keep the high motivation on learning new stuff every day. A billboard hit would also be cool.


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Interview | Questions & Answers With Adam Noah

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Adam Noah

Read this exclusive interview with Bronx-based rapper Adam Noah. Not so long ago, he released the music video for “Blaze”, which is a heartfelt tribute to his late mother. On the other hand, he’s currently promoting his brand new album ‘Trajectory’, that could be relatable to some listeners as its concept revolves around life itself.

1 — Hello Adam, when did you begin to develop a passion for Hip-Hop & Rap?

Growing up in the Bronx, Rap was a part of the environment. My older brother was always playing Pun and BIG around the house. I lost a lot of people in my life due to violence, sickness, natural causes, and writing was my only therapy since I was 8 years old. Although I have a passion for music in general, I always felt that Rap was more direct and true to who I am.

2 — Who are your musical influences?

Eminem, Nas, Jay-Z, Pun, Mos Def, Big L, Fabolous, the Beatles, the Neptunes, Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, Marvin Gaye, Jadakiss to name a few.

3 — What’s your creative process behind your lyrics?

Most of the times it starts with an instrumental. If it doesn’t speak to me, I don’t write. Sometimes I have an idea and I go back to that beat I wasn’t feeling a year ago. There are other times I have a melody or a verse, and we start making the music from scratch.

Adam Noah interview
4 — Do you produce your own beats?

Yes. I started making beats in high school. Going to thrift shops, buying vinyl off online marketplaces, and experimenting on FL Studio. However, I’m starting to work with other producers and getting more involved in the mixing/mastering aspect of my music. I’m starting to fall in love with actually making each track sound like what I hear in my head.

5 — You recently released the music video for “Blaze”. Why did you choose to film it in your bedroom?

I’ve sacrificed a lot to chase my dreams. I had to leave my childhood home at a young age because I was misunderstood. A lot of my friends are living with their parents and I’m renting out a bedroom. A lot of pain and overthinking goes on in my bedroom. It was only right to perform Blaze in that setting.

6 — Who would you dedicate this single to?

It’s definitely for my mom. I wrote it while she was dying and I just want her to know my presence is not a waste. I have a purpose and this music is going to do great things not only for my family but for the world.

7 — On another note, why we should listen to your latest album ‘Trajectory’?

Everyone struggles in life, I think ‘Trajectory’ highlights it very well. From being homeless to being in a job that you clearly hate, there is something for everyone on that project. Everyone makes life sound easy until it’s time to live it. Bringing lyricism, songwriting, musicality together, makes the album something special.

8 — What’s your favorite track from this material so far?

It changes every time I listen to the project. Currently, my favorite track is “Conditioned”. Heading into my job while listening to that track makes me want more out of life.

9 – Any plans to do live performances?

Definitely. I have a lot of ideas to bring these smaller venues to life as well. A lot of people are performing pretty much the same nowadays, it’s time to give people an actual experience. You can always email: contact@theadamnoah.com and I’ll kill your stage.

adam noah music
10 – What else is happening next in Adam Noah’s world?

I’m working on an EP called ‘Save UR Emotions’, S.UR.E. for short. I’m coming out with a lot more visuals, Melo’s Story was just the beginning. Also working on a collab with a couple of West Coast artists. So I’m pretty much going back and forth from NY to LA. I’m trying to spend all the time I have outside of my 9-5 to make this happen, staying as busy as possible.


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Quickfire Interview With: Drew Schiff

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Drew Schiff

Over the last two years, Drew Schiff is 100% focused on his artistic career. To my great surprise, the Indie Singer-Songwriter has a degree in political science, but his passion for music would not change it for anything else. “Ride The Wave”, is his latest single, and all proceeds from it are going to the Stonewall Community Foundation. Electro Wow caught up with him to do a quickfire interview to get to know him better.

1 – You’ve been singing since…

Does the shower count?!

2 – You got involved in the music realm because…

It’s a beautiful way to express yourself. When you’re hurt, or happy or excited. I always loved the idea of being able to spread a message, influence people, be the soundtrack of their special moments. It can be a very powerful and rewarding tool.

3 – Your sound is…

How do I describe the ‘Drew Schiff’ sound? Especially as it’s still evolving and hopefully it never stops doing so. “Ride The Wave” is only my third release yet I already have things I would change in both of my previous songs. I think I am very knit-picky. I’ll probably be like George Lucas, going back time to time to enhance my previous works! This probably sounds controversial huh? To answer the question, I’d say pop. But then as we know, pop can go to so many directions, I view it as a tree. Add more heavy, hip-hop influenced beats, or a guitar to make it more rock, I love experimenting. I’d say my heart is closest to RnB, with some good beats, bit atmospheric, added some electronic influences which I think is exciting. One thing I’d make clear: I do not view ‘commercial’ as a dirty word. ‘Imagine’, ‘Like A Prayer’ or ‘Purple Rain’ all reached phenomenal commercial successes, yet I don’t think that any self-respecting ‘musos’ would say anything against them. Be smart.

Drew Schiff interview
4 – Your biggest inspiration is…

This is a tough one. I love MJ and Beyoncé for their work ethic and how they consciously built / building their legacy. Kanye West for being so experiential. The list goes on. I’d like to take and implement different traits of different people that I look up to, whether it’s for their message, their vocal technique, their writing skills, moves or styling.

5 – Fans should listen to your new single “Ride The Wave” because…

It’s a beautiful midtempo ballad with a singing style in the pre- and chorus that somewhat imitates the movement of waves. It is a love song but if you listen again and concentrate on the lyrics, it is a song about loving someone no matter what. Where you’re coming from, what some people tell you you should or shouldn’t be. You can have a shit storm around you, but as long as you got someone to got you, you can deal with it all, together you can be the eye of the storm. It is also a charity song, with the proceeds going to the Stonewall Community Foundation. So the more you listen, the more you help. 😉

6 – If you want to know who Drew Schiff is, listen to the track…

Given that I only have three tracks out atm, I’d say, listen to all. Or listen to “Ride The Wave”, the new one.

7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…

Charting in the USA with my second song, “It’s Just Today!”.

8 – Your dream is…

To become big enough to play with Ariana Grande.

9 – Your next release is called…

TBA. I mean I don’t have such a detailed master plan. I have checkpoints I want to make but I write a lot so even right now, I am simultaneously working on about eight songs that are at various stages of readiness. Two weeks ago, I gathered some friends for an extended weekend, we went out, played videogames and wrote some tunes. It was awesome!!

10 – Your all-time favourite track is…

Wow, this is a very cruel question haha! Ask me about a favourite album, that’s hard enough, but at least I could attempt to crack it!

11 – Your favourite movie is…

Hm. I’d say The Little Mermaid. I love the music, the old-school, beautiful hand-drawn animation and how Ariel dares to dream big, she goes against what people in her ‘bubble’ tell her. I can definitely relate to that.

Drew Schiff singer
12 – If you weren’t a Singer and Songwriter you’d probably be…

I think a politician. I would try to make a difference. And make beautiful speeches with mermaid metaphors.

13 – You’ll only stop making music if…

First I wanted to say, ‘if hell freezes over’ or something cocky like that but come on, let’s be real, if no one wants to listen, I shan’t be as arrogant to keep on pressing it. But I hope this won’t be the case.

14 – In a few years, you want to be…

…called the Prince of Pop.

15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?

Working on my website, gym, plotting world domination… I actually need to tell my stupid ex off for something so I need to find sufficient time to do that. We are super close but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.


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Interviews

Quickfire Interview With: Grant Saxena

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Quickfire Interview With: Grant Saxena
This is the second time I have an exclusive interview with International DJ & Producer Grant Saxena. Yesterday, he released an original tune called “Palolem”, which features exotic oriental sounds, but at the same time creates a trancey atmosphere. With short questions and answers, we try to find his artistic essence. Discover many unknown details below!

1 – You’ve been DJing and Producing since…

Since 2000… almost 20 years.

2 – You got involved in the music realm because…

I enjoy the creative process! Performing is also a fun part of the job.

3 – Your sound is…

Epic, progressive, dynamic. Evolving from one track to the next.

4 – Your biggest inspiration is…

Experiences in life… drawing from the adventures in the past, present, and even potential future.

5 – Fans should listen to your new Trance single “Palolem” because…

“Palolem” was inspired by Travels to Goa, India. Has a modern trance bassline fused with world sounds.

6 – If you want to know who Grant Saxena is, listen to the track…

“Resurrect” is a good place to start with the 30 track discography.

7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…

Achieving a #1 on iTunes for Digital Arkham’s album: Amsterdam Dance Event Essentials 2018.

8 – Your dream is…

Touring original material at festivals and venues globally.

9 – Your next release is called…

“Drivin’ Me Crazy”. A classic trance vibe with stellar vocals.

dj grant saxena
10 – Your all-time favourite track is…

Sasha’s “Xpander” was probably the first track that made a huge impact in the record store. Still remember the feels I got!

11 – Your favourite venue/club is…

XS Las Vegas. The club opens up into a giant pool area that is great as a dayclub / nightclub.

12 – If you weren’t a DJ and Producer you’d probably be…

Scuba diving. Recently certified in Mexico on a trip also spinning a 2-day yoga festival. The location was prime in Balandra Beach, near La Paz.

DJ Grant Saxena
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…

I’ll never stop composing music! As a lifelong musician, creating has become ingrained in my DNA.

14 – In a few years, you want to be…

Expanding into foreign markets for dance music. Performing outside of the USA at so many of the newer and upcoming festivals.

15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?

Going to watch the new Avengers: Endgame movie. 🙂


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