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Interview | Questions & Answers With Images of Eden

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images of eden
This is the first time I interview a Heavy Metal band, and contrary to what many believe, Images of Eden‘s music isn’t too dark. Surprisingly, their art is just the opposite as there is always a positive message through lyrical content. In this interview, we chat with band members Gordon Tittsworth (GT) and Steve Dorssom (SD) who clarified everything. If interested, watch below their video clip for “Shield Me”, which has already won several awards in national film festivals due to its production.

1 — How do you describe your genre?

GT- The best way to describe it is a mix between modern hard rock with classic metal/progressive elements, but with a very unique sound. Musically – A lower end/ heavy sound but lyrically – Very positive, uplifting, inspirational and hopeful.

2 —How did you get the name ‘Images of Eden’?

GT- “Images of Eden” was actually the working title for the first release. There was no band name at the time but since the concept of the first album worked with what we are about and trying to say, it was a no-brainer to use it as the band name, so voila.

3 — What makes you unique from other bands?

GT- Many things- first, our sound is very unique and cannot really compare to anything specific, and even though our sound is heavy, you will hear a very positive tone/ arrangement/ delivery which in many cases, seems to offset (or “contradict”) the heaviness. The lyrics are very “divinely inspired” and also very much contradict the heaviness as well, which lends to the uniqueness. All of the IOE releases have been “concepts” in their own way. The first 3 albums were a concept trilogy about the ongoing journey of life and how we persevere. But, when we completely reformed the lineup in 2016, the content shifted a bit as well. “Soulrise” is actually a narrative/ “conversation” (so to speak) from the very beginning to the very end. I won’t say anything beyond that because I want the listener/reader to interpret it their own way. But… The lyrical content is 100% about bringing hope, strength and inspiration to the world in a very dark time. We cover all of the trials we face on a daily basis but there is a very real common denominator that brings us through everything and strengthens us. I encourage everyone to read the lyrics because writing this album was completely life-changing for me. I hope it cascades to each listener.

4 — What was the inspiration behind your new song “Shield Me”?

GT- Being haunted by a “demon” (addiction, fear, frustration, hopelessness, etc) and fighting hard to unsuccessfully escape it. However, when turning to faith, we find that we gain all of the strength to win the war and defeat what is trying to destroy us.

SD – The inspiration to this video storyline was the fact that we are all tired of seeing young people, or at any age for that matter, get hooked on drugs, then it’s, over they die. We’ve witnessed friends, family, and parents go through this and it’s horrible! We thought this was a good way to give back and put a message in metal music that actually means something and could be life saving.

So, the storyline in the video was a little visually metaphorical in the sense that the dark figured demon just would not leave the girl alone until he got his way. It was also a setting for a kid who feels alone, no parent involvement or understanding, the things this girl faces on her walk home is just tremendous pressure for a young person to deal with. This video brings a view from the outside in so maybe someone who has a similar situation can say, “Yeah! That’s me”… and know they are not alone, there is hope and things can be good with the right choices in life.

5 — Who wrote its lyrics? What’s probably the best line?

GT- I write all of the music and lyrics. Everything I write comes from faith-based inspiration, but very specifically, drawing strength, hope and inspiration from personal struggles that we all face every day. “Shield Me” is specifically based on personal experiences with addiction/ loss, and warnings against (or trying to deter) death due to addiction. But most importantly, a) gaining strength to conquer our demons, b) convey the message that addicts are not alone and should not feel alone, so they should all be encouraged to reach out to someone, and c) that life beyond addiction is far superior than life during (and prior to) addiction. I even say “prior to” because once you have won a war on substance abuse/ addiction, you feel stronger and have a much greater appreciation for life than you did beforehand. At least I do.

6 — How good was the experience of filming together the visuals for this single?

SD – This was a two-part film shoot. I produced and directed the video so it was a wild experience to say the least. The first shoot we did was strictly the storyline, what we call “B-Roll”. This is where we filmed all the actor scenes at various locations, the emergency scene etc. We had about 90 days of pre-production just for this 3-day shoot, due to the fact we had to finish scripting the story for film, cast actors, find the right locations and so on. We needed every day of it. Then we took another 90 days of pre-production just for the live band performance 2-day shoot. This is when the band came together for the very first time to meet and perform in the same room. It was a pretty special moment for this band!

images of eden interview
7 — What kind of venues do you normally play?

GT- Right now, we have been playing high-profile concerts in support of national acts (Geoff Tate- 30 yr Operation: Mindcrime, Stryper, The Iron Maidens, etc) but are also playing 2-3 dates at the 2019 Exodo Fest in Mexico and will be coordinating a tour there as well. Beyond that, there are some irons in the fire for a possible 2019 North American tour.

8 — Do you have a ritual before going on stage?

GT- Nothing crazy… get ourselves pumped up, fight off the nerves and have a group huddle/ prayer before the show.
SD – Yeah our group huddle that we do before we go on is our thing! We started this when we first got together to film the music video and now we do it every time before we perform. Someone steps up in the huddle and states a short motivational speech. then we GO!

9 — What gets you excited when you think about the future of music?

GT- We have all been writing, recording and playing music for decades but with “Soulrise”, it was as if we reached a new level in every way. It was also very clear that everything we have all been working so hard for so many years for has all been in preparation for this, and that everything we need has been miraculously placed in our paths. So, we are extremely excited to see where things are going.

SD – The only thing you can do as a musician in a saturated musical world is be YOU and do your thing the best you can do it! That’s what you have control of….the rest you hope takes care of itself. With that being said, this is the most amazing band I have ever been a part of. When Gordon and I found each other it was like from that point on everything came together in an awesome but unorthodox way. This is the best album I have ever recorded, hands down! I am putting all my cards in on this one and really hope the fans feel what we feel.

10 — Any advice on starting a band?

GT- A LOT of advice:
1) NEVER give up no matter how much discouragement you get. Those first pieces of negative feedback make you question your abilities and whether or not this is something you should be doing. Do NOT let it discourage you. Learn from the feedback and use the info to improve your skills. I got a ton of negative feedback over the years and I would never have improved without it. Be grateful for the feedback.
2) HANG IN THERE! Most bands fail because they throw in the towel. They think that if they are not rock stars after 1 or 2 releases that they did not make it. Longevity is the key. This is a marathon and not a sprint.
3) LOVE THE JOURNEY and have no expectations of reaching a “destination” because you may never see that port that you hope and expect to reach. I would not trade ANY part of my journey for the world. I have grown, matured, lived life and become even more than I thought I would be by taking this journey.
4) Cliché but stay true to yourself and who you are. Trust your gut and do not let someone else dictate what you do/ how you do things. Everyone thinks they know what you should be doing better than you do. News flash… they don’t!
5) Be careful who you take advice from. I would only recommend taking advice from those who have proven success, not from the yo-yo who is still at the same place they were at 20 years ago.

SD –
• You will hear NO a lot. Let that motivate you to keep going.
• Put a notepad and pen at your bedside. The best solutions and thoughts come at night when your relaxed.
• Do it for the love of your instrument and the camaraderie of your band. If your in it for fame and money your hearts in the wrong place.
• Believe everyone but trust nobody
• Be a dreamer! That’s where it all starts. It’s the people who act on those dreams are the ones that prosper.
• Work on your craft everyday
• Remember always put your best foot forward
• Invest in your vision. It takes money to make money. Invest in your gear, recording and presentation. These are foundations to being a pro!


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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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