By Alex Teitz
Kasey Chambers 11th studio album is bigger and better than expected. It is called Dragonfly and is a double album featuring Keith Urban, Ed Sheeran, Foy Vance and many others. Chambers is an ARIA winning singer-songwriter. We first interviewed Chambers in 2001. That interview can be found at: http://femmusic.com/wp/index.php/2001/08/01/kasey-chambers/
Chambers is not an artist to pin down. She has played country, folk, rock and breathes easily in all environments. She has been compared to Lucinda Williams for good reason. FEMMUSIC is honored to speak with her again. Chambers is touring the US with the album now. For info visit http://kaseychambers.com/#
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
KC: It’s a fairly natural approach overall but sometimes I like to challenge myself and write in a different way than I have before just to push my own boundaries and step outside thd box but I still try to do it in an fairly organic way. I go through spurts of writing. Sometimes I don’t write for months but I think subconsciously I’m writing all the time so they pour out when I open the gates. I try to write around sounds a lot and then fill in the gaps around what sounds good to my ears. I write on a lot of different instruments even tho I don’t play them well but it puts a different sound in my ears for a different headspace.
FEMMUSIC: What was your vision for Dragonfly? It is rare to want to do a double album, and a lot more work.
KC: I didn’t set out to make a double album. I was going to do two sessions of about 5 or 6 songs and put them together but both sessions we ended up with so many more songs than planned and I became to attached to them all and couldn’t let any go.
FEMMUSIC: You used 2 producers, Paul Kelly & your brother Nash. Each produced a separate album. Obviously both know your work. I was wondering why you choose them vs someone else? Why did you choose them to do separate albums vs having having one producer for both albums? What did each bring to the project and your voice in the albums?
KC: To be honest I had always wanted PK to produce an album for me and I pretty much annoyed him until he said yes. We thought we’d just start with a few songs to see how it worked but it fell into place so easily that we ended up with 11 finished tracks. The other session was with my live band I’d been working with for a couple years and I felt Nash was the best producer for these songs and band as he knows me live more than anyone. Each session is just as much me as I am right now but both have some new sounds as well.
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Dragonfly?
KC: Honestly none of it felt like a challenge really. It all fell into place really easily but I think it was important that I was open to it taking shape in its own way and I tried not to control it too much. I let it find its own feet and walk on it’s own sometimes. It’s a balance of not getting swallowed up by it and losing too much of yourself while still letting it have its own path.
FEMMUSIC: Are there any experience during production that stuck out for you?
KC: I loved finding the beauty in all the musicians as much as anything. I worked with some very experienced musicians for some parts and learnt so much from them and the brought out new sides of me but I also worked with a couple of young musicians (21 yr olds who have been in my band for the last few years but had barely recorded before) who brought a fresh reckless ‘nothing to lose’ attitude to the record that helped to bring out another side of means my music. They have been a big part of my growth over the last few years and they have their own band too called Grizzlee train. They will be on the road with me throughout the america tour.
FEMMUSIC: What is the best thing you’ve learned over time that you wish you knew earlier?
KC: Give yourself hard days! I used to not allow myself to have hard days and fall apart sometimes. I’ve learnt to be more real over time. To not try to live up to anyone’s expectation. It’s only your own that really matters. You are never going to make everyone happy. Mistakes are part of life. And without the hard times I would write songs-ha
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry have you been discriminated against?
KC: To be honest I’ve never felt discriminated against in this industry for being a woman but I also don’t allow myself to approach the industry from a females point of view. I approach it as a real person being creative and doing what feels right to me. Not what people expect of me. I do my own thing my own way. It doesn’t always work but it’s always mine. I get to own it. That’s a powerful feeling.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you change about the music industry?
KC: Only one?? Ha. Na I’m not a bitter songwriter who hates the music industry. I love being a part of it in the way that I am and it’s been good to me. Not every aspect of it would feel comfortable to me and there’s a lot I choose to stay away from. Not because I disagree with it but because it’s not for me. Everyone has a different path and the industry is big and beautiful enough to just find you’re own path and walk it. The hard (and fun) part is being realistic about what you truly want your path to be. So my answer is nothing. I wouldn’t change it. It’s not for me to change. It’s for me to create my own place in it that feels right to me. (Oh ok I would change one thing-I’d make Bruce Springsteen play in small venues just for me. Yep)
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like like to tour with or collaborate with?
KC: I would LOVE to tour with Foy Vance so I get free tickets to see him play every night.
Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: Kasey Chambers
Festival of the Month – February 2017
San Francisco, CA – February 17-26, 2017 – http://noisepop.com/
Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: The Noise Pop Festival
Upcoming New Releases – September 2016
Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: Upcoming New Releases
Happy Birthday to Us! Happy Birthday to Us! This issue marks 17 years for FEMMUSIC. It is both frightening & humbling to say we’ve been around that long. FEMMUSIC is old enough to drive but not old enough to vote. I think we’re all afraid when FEMMUSIC is old enough to drink.
FEMMUSIC & I have changed over the years. When we began I only thought it would be taking an hour or two a week and would be mainly local. I’d toyed with idea of freelancing but liked having control of the project. In mid-2000 we became an international magazine when we interviewed Bif Naked for the first time. These days it is easier to be international than ever before. I look at artists from the Europe, Asia, and Australia on a daily basis. I thrill to artists from the Middle East. I consider it my job and duty to find artists people may not have heard of.
FEMMUSIC is not an island in of itself. I’m working with a small amount of people now to make sure what you see & read is accurate. FEMMUSIC is not alone in our coverage of women in music. I can name numerous publications and blogs who do the same thing. There is a variety of coverage out there. Some publications focus on a specific instrument, genre or sexual identity. FEMMUSIC has always been about one thing, music – all genres. We can dive into stories about politics, equality and more but at the end of the day the music is paramount.
What is the role of FEMMUSIC? Going back to those in the same niche referenced in last paragraph. When we started many of our competitors made presenting shows and conferences part of their mission statement. I think they made more money, took bigger risks and learning event planning. I considered it many times starting out. I feel FEMMUSIC’s role is twofold. One we are A & R. We are looking for those artists who will be big 10 years from now. Two we are interested in education. That is the development in artist development. I believe in the axiom of “A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships.” I oppose favoritism and think every artist has the potential to be something more. Surprisingly the older I get, the more I believe this.
What’s next? A year ago FEMMUSIC was going to shows and covering artists. In a year we’ve brought in a bunch of photographers to change the look and coverage on FEMMUSIC. In the coming year I’m toying with the idea of a sponsored podcast. I would also like to find more writers to expand our coverage of stories internationally, but with a local voice. If you have ideas, suggestions, donations, we are interested.
Thank you to all our readers, friends and family for allowing us to do this. We look forward to another year with you.
Posted in Uncategorized, Unfinished Mail
Name: Fiona Campbell
Bands worked with: Hinds
FEMMUSIC: How did you become a tour manager?
FC: Through Punk and necessity. I’ve been a touring drummer for many years, I originate from New Zealand and landed here on tour playing drums in a band called The Coolies in 2004. I then moved to the states in 2005 and continued to help bands from New Zealand tour around, I would go out with them and perform rudimentary tour manger duties, but was mostly there to party. I began working along side a promoter Todd P in Brooklyn and for the next 6 years worked booking and running shows across about 50 different DIY venues including Market Hotel, Silent Barn, Monster Island etc etc, we would also put on a week long all ages free festival in Austin TX during SXSW and it was through all this I started to learn alot about organizing bands. I also interned for a kiwi woman who booked for Eclipse Booking who worked with Sunn0))) and Om so that’s where I learnt alot about the language of show contracts. In 2008 I started playing music again after mostly sticking to helping book and run shows, I started a band called Coasting, and also joined two other bands that toured extensively Vivian Girls and Chain & The Gang, the latter I still play in. All of these bands are self managed and I joined Vivian Girls as their third drummer because I had seen how crazy hard they toured and that’s all I wanted to do. Around then I moved into a punk house called the Dead Herring in Brooklyn that had shows twice a month as well and we had alot of touring bands come thru from all over the world. This time last year, things were getting quiet on the drumming front for me and I wanted to go visit my best friend Madison who plays in Coasting with me, she lives in Memphis and works for Goner Records at was going to be at SXSW. So I posted something on facebook asking if anyone needed a drummer or a tour manager because I knew I would go nuts at SXSW not having a job, gotta have a job, and Joan their manager wrote me. I meet Joan years ago, he put on shows for Vivian Girls and Chain & The Gang in Spain when we toured there, and he told me about this new band he had that was coming to SXSW, he had also been to some of the shows I used to help run their and knew I was well acquainted with the insanity that is South by. I think drummers make naturally good tour managers, I know quite a few of them, that coupled with the kiwi wanderer in my blood, and years of touring specifically with women I think I was a good choice for Hinds.
FEMMUSIC: What are the biggest challenges of being a tour manager?
FC: Being the hub of communication can be tricky, you are the point person between the managers, the label, the band, their PR people, the venue and the booker, trying to make sure you are hitting everyones’ targets and keeping everyone happy can be tricky. The basics are always the biggest challenges and goals, making sure you, the band and crew are all feed, hydrated and getting enough sleep so you can be functional (or at least pass for functional) human beings.
FEMMUSIC What challenges does being a woman tour manager present?
FC: Mostly power dynamic issues where people do things that they wouldn’t usually if they were dealing with a man, I don’t think they are even aware of it half the time. At more than a quarter of the shows last tour the first person I approached at the show would say “Oh hi are you the merch girl?”, it makes things awkward because when I tell them I’m the Tour Manager they get flustered as the assumed power dynamic they have approached me with flips. Every time it happened the person was apologetic and you could see they even surprised themselves they made the assumption, so I think it’s interesting the assumptions people make about other people’s positions by how they present. I know I would be treated different if I rolled in a business suit and clip board, but that’s not me, and I’m not about to fake a “lean in” attitude just to make it easier for other people to recognize my position.
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry, have you been discriminated against?
FC: Across the board as a booker, tour manager, musician, festival coordinator, I’ve had issues with being taken seriously. Stage managing as a woman has been frustrating, I’ve had weaker moments where I’ve resorted to employing a male co worker to deal with other men when you’re in a time crunch and you know that they will respect him or you and get shit done faster. Ugh, then you think about it all the time, so frustrating. But being a female musician and just being visible can be straight up dangerous, you laugh it off and don’t talk about it alot because it’s annoying you just want to be musician and not a female musician, but I’ve had my share of threats of psychical and sexual violence online and that’s definitely something male musicians don’t experience as regularly. This gives me an edge though especially timing for an all female band, I can clock a threat in two secs and know exactly what level of action/non action is needed in a way I don’t think it’s possible for a male tm or even a female tm who hasn’t been a musician can. I have to rely on those instincts from all those gathered experiences to make those decisions as any woman does shutting down a situation and assessing how the rejection is going to affect their safety and their environment.
FEMMUSIC What one thing would you like to change about the music industry itself?
FC: One?! Jesus, there are so many things…….but I guess just more women!! And that takes a lot of hard work on the grounds of conditioning early on, not just encouragement later on. I’ve been getting into hardcore music more lately, I always loved it, the politics, sounds and lyrics always resonated with me but physically I was so not invited to the party. There’s such a massive female lead hardcore scene happening in Olympia and Boston right now and when I’m at those shows I watch how differently people act in the audience when women and girls are on stage, and I think that goes for all genres and parts of the industry, it shifts attitudes. Music is so inartistically entwined with capitalizing on youth and beauty which can lead to dangerous behaviors and attitudes towards women in bands, I feel like the more women involved in the industry the more we can advance towards the music and our communities rather than being stuck within the confines of gender politics, it’s BORING. Haha.
Posted in Interviews, Uncategorized Tagged with: Fiona Campbell, tour manager
Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: Short Stack
FEMMUSIC.com gladly accepts any press packs and CDs.
Attn: Alex Teitz
1550 Larimer St. # 511
Denver, CO 80202-1610
FEMMUSIC endeavors to read and listen to all submissions in a timely manner. We regret any complications caused by delays.
FEMMUSIC can not track all submissions sent out. We do ask that you contact us within two weeks of mailing to ensure that your material has arrived. FEMMUSIC can’t be responsible for material never received.
FEMMUSIC would like to be able to review all CDs submitted, but reality and print space forbid it at this time. FEMMUSIC will endeavor to work with artists in listing their schedules, and in printing their advertisements for a nominal fee.
Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: submissions
A Friday night benefit for Breast Cancer is far from original. One that continues to draw consistently good artists, and money is. The blame lies squarely with Michelle Hagelund, of Michelle and the Book of Runes and Bugs in My Bath Productions.
Michelle recruited some of Denver’s most talented bands to play for free. Among them include Leslie Epperson, Hookem Cow, Coy Kindred, Whitney Rehr, Wendy and Raina of Dear Marsha, and of course, The Book of Runes. The event was held at theSoiled Dove, Denver’s premier acoustic venue. Each band, and many others were given their own set building towards Durga’s Matrakas. During set-ups a raffle was conducted of sponsor items. Set ups were quick. No long sound checks were allowed. What was the most sought after raffle item? The signed Durga’s Matrakas’ jerseys.
Leslie Epperson began the night as the first solo, acoustic woman artist. Her biting vocals and creative lyrics were eagerly awaited. Leslie was not the first act, but helped set a tone more so than those that were. After a short instrumental guitar set by Tim Edwards and Mike Ballard, the headliners began.
Hookem Cow came onto stage led by lead singer, and keyboards, Patsy. This five piece band incorporates imaginative percussion (including train whistles and cowbells) into a pop sound. Their set was hi lighted by such songs as “in The Bag,” “Shaking It Off,” and “Setting Sun.”
Next to the stage was Coy Kindred. Lauren Cuggio, and Alec Simms dominated the set and charging the crowd so much that dancing was beginning by the stage by the second song, “Baby Don’t Like.” For the next forty minutes the audience poured into Coy Kindred’s sound and songs leading to a finale fit for Fiddler’s Green, stage dancing.
Following Coy Kindred was Whitney Rehr and the Hot Sharpies. The Hot Sharpies sported a new color with Susan on bass, playing barefoot. Whitney’s alternative folk rock was well received, but slowed the pace after Coy Kindred. Beginning the set were new songs including “Clue Me To the World,” and “Inspire.” Whitney ended her set with “Father,” a bold song about an unreachable parent.
Michelle and The Book of Runes then did an electric set of their funk rock. Prominent songs in that set included “F” about sex, “No Time For the Blues” a rock hoe-down, and “Healer.”
Then it was finally time for the Durga’s. Durga is in Michelle’s own words, “the first warrior goddess.” The Matrakas are her servants/avatars but “mothers.” Durga’s Matrakas that night was an all woman band made of Michelle – vocals, Whitney – guitar, Wendy – bass, Raina – vocals, Patsy – keyboard, Lauren – vocals, and Emilia Shopova (Michelle’s phenomenal drummer) – percussion. These positions were not set as each member had a song including Whitney Rehr’s “What About The Word,” Coy Kindred’s “Rain” that was filled with numerous sound problems, Book of Runes “Hearsay” and an encore jam.
When the night was done $1500 was raised for the American Cancer Society’s Pink Ribbon Campaign of Breast Cancer Awareness through the raffle, door, and donations on-line from the simulcast from coloradomusic.org.
For further information on Michelle and Book of Runes, Durga’s Matrakas, and what’s next visit http://www.coloradomusic.org
Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: Breast Fest '99