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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

Diego Druck Reveals What Listeners Can Expect From “A Different Way”

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Diego Druck
Get to know Diego Druck, a talented EDM artist who discovered his passion for music at age 14 and has since channeled his eclectic influences into his productions, including remixes for Major Lazer and SUPER-Hi. He has just released his new single “A Different Way, all details are revealed in this interview!

1 — How would you describe your sound and how has it evolved over time?

I’m an extremely eclectic guy, so in my productions, I always try to bring inspiration from all kinds of music genres and masterpieces that shaped my music taste throughout my life.

2 — When did you realize you wanted to turn music into a career?

At age 14 I went to my first EDM festival and got to see first hand Vintage Culture playing a set while the crowd went crazy happy. At that moment I realized what I wanted to do with my life.

3 — Can you talk about the experience of remixing for artists like Major Lazer and SUPER-Hi?

It was unbelievable for me when I first found out I would have a chance to submit a remix for both of them. Even more when they got approved. I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity of working with these icons and share a track with them. Both of them are huge inspirations for me.

4 — What is the inspiration behind your recent song “A Different Way”?

At the time I first wrote the song with my guitar, I was going through some internal conflicts about some decisions and my life paths. “A Different Way” is a reflection of myself.

5 — What steps did you take when producing it?

It started as a Jazz-like sound on my guitar, and I kinda free-styled the lyrics on it. Later on I passed it to my DAW and started building a House beat behind it, then recorded all the vocals and guitar sounds over it. Fun fact: the acoustic guitar used for the riff fill was the guitar my father got from his father when he was only 5 years old.

6 — How do you hope listeners will respond to this tune?

I hope everyone can assimilate what I was feeling and inspire reflections about themselves. I guess everyone has these kinds of thoughts about their own life choices.


7 — Is there a formula to gain a million streams?

Just try to do music just like you would love to hear!

8 — Are you already working on upcoming projects?

Not only working but there are several tracks ready to go for the next months, originals and remixes. Stay tuned!

9 — How did Florianopolis shape your music?

The EDM and clubbing scene is very strong in my city. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to experience it from a young age, and it has opened many opportunities for learning and expanding my musical background ever since.

10 — Musically speaking, where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Just as I am now, learning and exploring the infinite universe of musical possibilities.


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Beth Crowley: From Books To Music — A Revealing Interview

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Beth Crowley Interview

In this revealing interview, Beth Crowley shares insights into her creative process, the challenges she faces as an artist, and her passion for books and reading. Get ready to dive into the mind of this talented woman and find out what makes her music unique.

1 — Can you tell us about your new single “The Ghost Who Is Still Alive” and how it relates to the book of the same name?

“The Ghost Who Is Still Alive” is based on the book The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, which is about a woman who makes a bargain with the devil where she will get to live forever, but the catch is that no one she meets will remember her. It’s such an interesting premise for a story — how much of life’s enjoyment comes from the people around you who love you? For the song, I wanted to capture how sad and haunting it would be to know that you can’t truly make an impact on the world. I tried to take some themes from the book so that people who have read it will know the “easter eggs” in the song, but it’s not so specific that people who haven’t read it wouldn’t enjoy it.

2 — What makes this composition worth listening to?

I am always proudest of my lyrics. It’s such a careful and painstaking process to craft the exact right lyrics, so I hope that alone makes “The Ghost Who Is Still Alive” worth listening to.

3 — Is there any specific book or author that has had a significant impact on your music?

I don’t think my first book-based song “Warrior” would have taken off like it did if it weren’t for Cassandra Clare (the author of the books it was based on) being incredibly kind and supportive not only when it came out but in the years since. I will always be grateful to her for that.

4 — What would be the title of your life story if it was a book?

Well, This Has Been Unexpected.

5 — Your tunes are often described as emotional piano ballads with cinematic elements. Are you open to experimenting with different sounds in the future?

Absolutely! I don’t think I have painted myself into a corner throughout the years with only having one “sound”— I have had songs that are a little more Rock, musical theatre, or even Country. Doing the same thing over and over again is boring, and I don’t ever want my music to get too predictable.

6 — “Warrior” is your most popular track to date, and it has been streamed over 16 million times on Spotify. What do you believe to be the key factors that contributed to this achievement?

Like I said earlier, Cassandra Clare sharing the song and being so supportive is a huge factor in that. But I also think “Warrior” just resonated with people. It’s about realizing that you are stronger than you think you are, which is something we not only see in tons of different characters through books/movie/television, but something people relate to within themselves as well.

The Ghost Who Is Still Alive Beth Crowley Interview
7 — How do you know when a song is finished and ready to be released?

I hate to be vague and say that it’s just a feeling I get, but it really is. When I am writing a song, sometimes I’ll finish a full set of lyrics and just sit with it for a while to see if it still feels right. But sometimes I immediately know it’s done. When I am in the studio, my producer Daniel and I will usually get to a point where we think it might be ready, then listen all the way through one more time just to make sure. It really does just boil down to a “feeling” though.

8 — What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in your artistic career?

I think my biggest struggle has been trying to not take numbers and social media algorithms too personally. No one really knows how the algorithms work, which can be frustrating when it feels like they control if people are going to hear your music or not. When the algorithms don’t work in your favor and a song doesn’t do as well as you hoped, it’s easy to feel like it’s a failure even if the people who do hear it have good things to say about it. I have to remind myself that I can only do so much and just keep putting out music that I am proud of.

9 — When not working on new music, what other hobbies does Beth Crowley enjoy?

Unsurprisingly, I love reading. There is something really therapeutic about listening to an audiobook while doing a jigsaw puzzle, so I do that pretty often. I host trivia once a week at a bar, which I love. And I spend a lot of time with my family.

10 — Finally, can you reveal details about your upcoming projects?

“The Ghost Who Is Still Alive” is the first single from my upcoming album ‘Unabridged,’ which is going to be all book-based songs. I am really looking forward to seeing people’s reactions when I reveal which books I chose to write songs about, and I have some really great videos and other fun things to go along with them. It’s going to be a lot of fun.


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Interviews

More To Discover: Additional Insights Into Rubayne’s EP ‘Connections’

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Rubayne Connections
Don’t miss out on rising artist Rubayne’s new EP ‘Connections,’ a blend of genres he calls Bass Pop exploring the ups and downs of love. With a special live performance airing on February 24th and music videos planned, it’s an EP not to be missed. Read the interview to learn more.

1 — What is the main theme you explore in your new EP ‘Connections’?

The EP is a set of eclectic love stories that are connected to each other. Throughout the EP, you will discover the feeling of falling in love, being in love, and holding on to love in the toughest time.

2 — Is there any special meaning behind its title?

There are multiple. Firstly, the titles of the songs relate to each other. In addition, I made a stronger connection with my music by involving myself in the songwriting as well.

3 — Did you collaborate with other artists or producers on this project?

Yes. There are a couple of great singers involved with ‘Connections’! Some new, some I do know from the start. I must give credit and big ups to Romy Dya, Yunnee, EthanUno, and Ansaly for their amazing work.

4 — How did you go about crafting the overall sound and style?

The approach for creating ‘Connections’ was different in comparison to my regular creative approach. With each project, I first focused on selecting a main instrument that would characterize the song. Unattainable has the guitar, “Connections” has the bass, and “In Love Tonight” has the piano. After the main instrument and its melody, I would carve out the full production.

Rubayne
5 — Did you have any specific genre in mind while producing this material?

I had not, but I focused on having a blend of genres that I and the love theme associate with. I would say this blend of genres can be best described as Bass Pop.

6 — Is there a particular track on the EP that you have a special connection with?

Nope! They are equally special to me and as they complement each other, I feel that I have a special connection with the project as a whole.

7 — Are there any things you wish you had done differently?

When it comes to the EP, there’s nothing I wish I had done differently.

8 — In what ways do you think your songs will resonate with listeners?

I think this project, as well as other songs I have made, encourages its listeners to open up and acknowledge their feelings. I hope my music provides the listeners with a better understanding of themselves.

9 — Have you ever considered creating a music video for any of these news tracks?

I did! I feel like each of the songs has a visual story to tell. However, I have prepared something special for this EP which is visually pleasing as well.

10 — Is there anything else you would like to share about the EP that we haven’t covered in this interview?

To celebrate the release of  ‘Connections,’ I recorded a live performance of the EP with all the vocalists and an amazing guitarist (Rob). It will air on February 24th and you can get notified here.


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