Lia Cole | April 2017 SMC Artist of the Month!

SMC Interview | Lia Cole Artist of the Month April 2017

By Candice Anne Marshall

SMC – Hello Lia! We are thrilled to host you as our Official Artist of the Month winner on our site! Where were you when you first heard you had won the competition?

LC – Thank you, I am so excited to be a part of this!! I am so thankful for the support I got from my fans. I was at school when I found out and was so excited I could barley focus 😉

SMC – Can you tell us what your thoughts are on being in the running now for Artist of the Year in June 2017?

LC – Having the opportunity to work with ArtistMax, Ken Caillat from Fleetwood Mac and his daughter, Grammy Award Winning Colbie Caillat would be such a dream come true. Thank you for this cool opportunity to work towards artist of the year.

SMC – What are your thoughts on your close call with Soap Box Duo (Also from Edmonton)?

LC – They are incredible musicians and it was an honor to be in the running with them!

SMC – We have interviewed you last year when you released your single ‘You Lost Me’ and since, so much has happened for you in your music career! Can you tell us about your accomplishments since October 2016?

LC – It’s only been a few months but I’ve been really focused on building my fan base on social media and planning some exciting shows for the year. I also did a really cool showcase at the Needle with Paul Woida. We premiered our mashup video, and thanks to all my fans and friends, my videos have gotten over 200,000 online views since October!

SMC – We saw that you are also doing some amazing work with a few others in the industry such as Paul Woida and Toxsic. Can you tell us about those projects?

LC – I love collaborations. Edmonton has so many talented artist and any chance I get to work with them is an incredible opportunity. I worked with Toxsic over a year ago with one of the songs “Lucky’ off my first Ep produced by Hands Up music. Dan Davidson, Kayla Patrick, Toxic and I co wrote the song as part of a really cool song-writing workshop at The Audio Department. It was such a cool experience and I learned so much from all of them! Paul Woida so inspiring and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

SMC – You and Paul (Woida) seem to have such a magical music connection, can you tell us if you will be working on more future duets with him?

LC – Paul is honestly like my big bro!! I look up to him a lot and I learn so much from him. I co-write with him as often as I can.

SMC – What are your biggest goals for your music career?

LC – My biggest goal would be selling out Madison Square Garden. But right now, I am focused on building my fan base, creating the best show possible and writing music that means something to me. I want to be able to connect with my fans, and I believe that connecting with my own lyrics and focusing on my music is the best way I can do that.

SMC – Can you define what success means to you in terms of your career?

LC – For me success is being able to do what I love everyday of my life. Music is in my blood and if I can be able to play music everyday, touch people’s hearts with my songs and make a living… that is true success for me.

SMC – We have seen that you play acoustic guitar in some of your Facebook Live videos. Have you always created your new music on the guitar or is there any other instruments that you play?

LC – When I write, I start with the guitar. Once I find a chord progression I like I will start coming up with lyrics. I mainly stick to my guitar but I also move to the piano if I’m looking for a different vibe! I dabble on the drums a little bit as well, just enough to do a sick drum solo in my Madison Square Garden concert!

SMC – What are your thoughts on being in the running for Artist of the Year with only one other female?

LC – Girl Power! To be honest it I don’t even really think about that, I think great music is great music and I’m just happy for the opportunity to be in that mix of talented artists.

SMC – What do you feel is the benefit that Artists receive when they run for competitions like our Artist of the Month?

LC – I think that artists work very hard to do what they love, and to be acknowledged for that is an incredible feeling. It’s important to me as well to expand my audience base and get my music out to as many new people as possible. Artist of the Month has been an incredible platform for doing that, so thank you once again.

SMC – What is your favorite song off your EP?

LC – What Does She Do! It is so fun to perform and the lyrics really hit home. I love when silly boys give me great reasons to write great songs 🙂

SMC – Can you tell us what kind of feedback you have received when your EP launched in terms of your peers, music industry in general and your fans?

LC – There was so much positive feedback, from St. Albert all the way out to Nashville. Of course, a lot of my fans and friends were curious about the name change from my real name to my stage name, Lia Cole, but at the end of the day, they realize that’s it’s still just me, doing my thing and making the best music I can. And now that they’re used to it, they LOVE the new stage name.

SMC – What is your favorite venue to perform at in Edmonton?

LC – I absolutely love the Needle!! They’ve been so supportive of my showcases and music video shoots, and super easy to work with.  Plus, the food is amazing! I love the atmosphere in there and everyone is there for the love of music. I also love turning different type of venues into really cool showcase opportunities, places where you might not necessarily think you would see a live show there. I’m planning something like this for my summer showcase, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more about that!

SMC – What has been the Radio response to your music? Have you already been granted Radio Play?

LC – I’ve been focused on online releases. I want to be able to release music and videos to my fans as much as possible, and social media has been such an awesome medium for doing that. Once my new record is produced this year, I’ll be looking a bit harder at marketing grants so I can really focus on radio tracking properly. I want to make sure I’m taking the right steps, at the right time.

SMC – Who is responsible for the production of the music videos you have created? They are brilliant!

LC – I work with PlanIt Sound! They are a local marketing agency helping me with my overall branding and creative direction as an artist. They specialize in audio branding and high quality video production, and the videos they’ve produced for me have been getting so much traction and great feedback online. I love working with them, it is so much fun.

SMC – What is the biggest compliment you have been given in terms of your music or performances?

LC – When I was in Nashville I had the opportunity to meet and sing for the head publisher at Universal Music. She told me that I have what it takes to make it. That was one of the most exciting moments of my life!

SMC – Do you have any tours lined up for 2017?

LC – I’ll be headlining my own summer showcase with special guests in August. We’ve also got a huge concert announcement and even bigger tour announcement coming very soon 🙂

SMC – What has the family support been like for your career so far?

LC – They have always been there for me since day one and I am so thankful for them and everything they do for me! Sometimes when we’re sitting at home, they don’t care to hear my new songs because they hear me sing ALL THE TIME in the house. I have to remind myself when that happens that they might not want to hear me sing every second of the day, but only my family will be there for me at the beginning of the show, and the end of the show, helping me setup and tear down. I can count on them no matter what happens, and that means everything to me.

SMC – Have you had any negative experiences with the Music Industry at all?

LC – No negative experiences at all from the music industry, but there are always “negative nellies” on social media. I just feel like when you do something worth looking at, you’re gonna have people saying negative things. So, I’m proud to say that yes, I have had a few negative comments on social media already!

SMC – What have been the most positive experiences with the music industry to date?

LC – The most positive one would have been meeting the head publisher at Universal Music! She gave me amazing feed back and really made me feel like if I work hard enough I can achieve anything!

SMC – In terms of media platforms, which ones would you like to give a shout out to for supporting your music?

LC – CTV, Global, CITY TV, CJSR, Nait Radio, Dinner Television, St. Albert Gazette and of course Starlight Music Chronicles 😉

SMC – Are there any organizations or charities you have plans to work with in the near future?

LC – I wrote and performed the theme song for the Glenrose’s Courage Gala campaign video again this year, and will be performing for their 800-guest sold out crowd on April 21. I’ve also been a top 5 artists for the My United Way Voice contest, a singing competition that helps fight poverty in our region, and I plan to submit for this year again as well.

SMC – We LOVE your new EP – which is your favorite song on it and why?

LC – What Does She Do – see above answer

SMC – What do you hope to inspire the next generation of Musicians/Artists with through your Music Journey?

LC – I just want them to know that if music is their passion then never stop. Follow your heart and work hard! Anything is possible. Dream big, and be anything you want to be 😉

SMC – We are affiliated (Media Ambassadors) for ArtistMax in Los Angeles. Have you had a chance to check out what that is all about yet? Our winning Artist of the Year will be awarded with a VIP Scholarship to the organizations three-day weekend which is a mentorship program hosted by award winning Producer Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac), and his daughter, Grammy Award WINNING Colbie Caillat.

LC – Yes! It would be a dream come true to have an opportunity like this, and I’m so excited and grateful. Thank you!

SMC – Final Question: Do you feel you are at an advantage winning AOM so close to our Artist of the Year event in June? If so, why?

LC – I hope so, I’ll take any advantage I can get! It might be an advantage to be top of mind so close to the June event, but I think it will come down to great music and who’s fans step up to the plate to support. At the end of the day, I’m honoured to be in the mix of these talented artists.

SMC – Thank you Lia! We look forward to seeing you in the running for our Artist of the Year competition I June 2017!

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Lia Cole Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

SoundCloud

Instagram

iTunes

YouTube

Lucien Dante | March 2017 SMC Artist of the Month!

Interview Lucien Dante | Starlight Music Chronicles March 2017 Artist of the Month

By Candice Anne Marshall

It always amazes me how fast the month flies by and I am here posting yet another Indie Artist interview. What amazes me even more is the rapid pace at which our SMC Artist of the Month (AOM) competitions are catching on globally. The last two events have resulted in online fan votes at 1112 (SMITHRADIO) and 1129 respectively and are our highest Facebook votes to date! With our First Artist of the Year winner Olivia Penalva headed to Los Angeles to the March ArtistMax event for her VIP scholarship (part of our Artist of the Year win), its imminent that word will spread even more rapidly than before. In the coming week, we will be making a special announcement regarding ArtistMax and our Artist of the Month past, present, and future Competitors! Stay Tuned!

Now, It is with absolute pleasure that I welcome in our newest Indie Artist Lucien Dante to the SMC Artist of the Month alumni. I connected in the last couple days with Lucien to talk about his music, AOM win (with the highest votes ever recorded!), and what’s coming up on the radar. Here is what he had to say:

SMC – Hello Lucien! Welcome to Starlight Music Chronicles! We would like to welcome you to the SMC Artist of the Month Alumni as our OFFICIAL SMC March 2017 AOM Winner! Not only are you a part of the SMC family now, you are also the top fan voted Artist in our monthly competitions! When did you first learn that you had won?

LD – Hello SMC and SMC readers! Thank you for this exciting interview! It’s like an extensive welcoming card to the SMC family! In all honesty, I wasn’t aware that the fan voting process was composed of 50% fan votes and 50% judge votes, so when I won the fan votes I thought I had won AOM! I immediately made an instavideo post of my triumph only to find out that the judges still had to vote ha-ha! Luckily, they chose me because that would have been embarrassing! Thank you Judges!

SMC – What was your reaction?

LD – I was so excited! It meant so much to me for two reasons. The first being because of the fan votes. I did not expect so many people to vote for me! It showed me that all the work my label and I have put into my career is paying pay off, and that means something so beautiful and indescribable to me. Secondly, the fact that the judges found me and chose me is something I will wear as a badge of honor 😀

SMC – There are so many things I would love to ask you! I must tell you that your music really resonates with me Lucien. It’s very positive and heart-centered. You remain unique and grounded in everything. I really admire that. Where would you say your positivity derives from?

LD – Thank you for your enthusiasm! It’s encouraging and heart-centered! I think my positivity comes mostly from my mother. She is the most incredible woman I’ve ever known and she has always loved me and shown me that love is life and life is creation. She’s also extremely intelligent, wise and has very high standards, and all those things have resulted in me having a natural magnetic pull to light and positivity. That’s a difficult question!

SMC – I interviewed you for Indie Music Monday (IMM) recently and I have to thank Walter Hargrave for the introduction. He is very good at spotting great talent! Now you are also a part of the SMC family. What are your thoughts on networking like this?

LD – I have to thank Walter as well! It’s been nothing but a positive experience for me! I love networking in this way, especially when it’s based around interviews and other creative things. It’s a great opportunity to connect with potential Lights and share things about my craft and self that otherwise might not be shared. To be able to do that with such a lovely supportive community like SMC is really quite touching and satiating for the heart.

SMC – I don’t think I asked in the IMM interview – how old are you?

LD – I am 22 and I am a Cancer 🙂

SMC – You had also mentioned in the IMM interview that you are from Chicago. I recently interviewed another band from the same area and they had wonderful things to say about the music scene there! What are your thoughts on the kind of support you have received where you’re from?

LD – Other than a few live shows, I haven’t been involved in the Chicago music scene! I do plan to return to Chicago to perform!

SMC – Let’s dive into your music. I LOVE that you wrote ‘Beowulf’ to honor the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Can you tell us what the connection was for you when you wrote the lyrics?

LD – The incident really spoke to me because of the perpetrator being male, what happened before the incident, as well as the age of the victims and their environment. A young male going into a kindergarten to slaughter children and teachers after having killed his mother, tells me that he suffered a great deal of childhood trauma that grew as he aged, eventually resulting in a sort of external destruction of what he felt he was never a part of. I think that society’s ideas about masculinity and boyhood as well as the perpetrator’s own personal familial struggles were a huge catalyst for the event. And this feeling of desperation, confusion and betrayal that I think the perpetrator felt allowed me to construct the lyrics of Beowulf around a character faced with similar thoughts.

SMC- What do you feel is the power behind your music in terms of how it affects your fans?

LD – Although I haven’t always known exactly who I am, I have always been a unique individual, and I think that my individuality, through my voice and lyrics, has defined my music. Especially now that I have transitioned from director and co-producer to sole producer, my songs are becoming an even more tangible representation of who I am. I strive to sing about things that are completely real and necessary for me, and I strive to sound like what I feel the subject matter needs. I think the power behind my music is simply the power that lays in being an individual and embracing that fully and unapologetically.

SMC – Do you feel that music can change the world? If so, in what way?

LD – Of course! Music has changed the world and music has changed me! Heck, my music has changed me ha-ha! Music is vibration and I believe that a song that you love is a song that literally resonates with you. Music is a deeply emotional and evocative form of communication that can touch the most undiscovered parts of ourselves. I think that like anything else, however, the power of music lays in the creator of it. I believe music is one of my most pure and fundamental gifts to this world and I treat it as such.

SMC – What has been the most frustrating thing you’ve experienced in your career to date?

LD – I don’t have enough funding to create everything I want to! I want to create so much and it requires things that I have yet to acquire! Getting to that point where I have all the means to produce what I envision, however, is part of the journey and I love all of it with every fiber of my being.

SMC – In reference to the previous question, how did you handle that?

LD – I handle it by the sheer love and magnetism I have for music and my career. I am so driven and so capable of achieving what I know I must that I just keep going! My financial limitations are also a lesson for me to create the most out of what I have, and I am deeply grateful for that.

SMC – Can you tell us which instrument you gravitate to most in terms of the song writing process?

LD – Aside from vocals of course, it used to be piano. Now days, since I mostly work with electronic production, it’s definitely that! A beat and a melody usually give me what I need.

SMC – What do you find beauty in?

LD – What a question! I find beauty in the success and understanding of any positive or transitional situation!

SMC- Do you think that social media is a help or a hindrance?

LD – As an independent artist especially, I think social media is a huge necessity and a gift! It allows me to connect with people I would have otherwise never met. It also provides me with the opportunity to learn and grow as a human being and artist. My Lights say so many insightful and amazing things. <3

SMC – When can we expect your EP to drop?

LD – June! Right before my West Coast Tour! 😀

SMC – How many songs are you planning on having on the EP?

LD – Five!

SMC – Where is your biggest fan base?

LD – So far I would have to say Facebook. My Lights are all over the world in random sporadic niches so its hard to pin point a physical location.

SMC – I love that your name ‘Lucien’ means ‘Light’ and that you refer to your fans as ‘Lights’ – can you tell us why?

LD – I say they are my ‘Lights’ because I believe it is through someone else’s support, exposure and sharing of you, that you are illuminated to the world beyond yourself.

SMC – I saw that you are doing some wicked costume designs for a recent photoshoot! Can you tell us about the concepts and theme?

LD – Yes! Apart from music and art, fashion design is my other primary creative platform and 2017 is the year that I will finally be able to start showing that in a very realized way! I’M SO EXCITED! The garments are rather experimental since I am completely self taught. They also don’t exactly fall into one category since they are all very different. One thing is certain and that is that they are all extravagant garments that aesthetically embody my feelings regarding my self-identity and complex, multi-dimensional gender and sexuality.

SMC – I referred to you as a ‘celestial being’ in a SMC post on our Instagram. Is that the first time you have heard that from anyone?

LD – Hahaha! No, it is not the first time I have heard that, which makes me laugh! It seems to be a common theme, but I feel that it’s not uncalled for based on the aesthetic that I have ha-ha.

SMC – I am going to ask a similar question about spirituality as I asked in the IMM interview but with a little twist: what are your thoughts on how you are best portraying your infidelity and personal beliefs?

LD – I understand that you’re asking me, in which way do I best portray that I am not a part of an organized religion, and rather an advocator for, and an example of individual spirituality? This is a tough question to navigate ha-ha! I think that I represent myself as a generous, unique human being with a very self-manifested sense of purpose, vision and spiritual identity, and that resonates when people get to know me.

SMC – Has there ever been a time where you have been criticized for your spirituality and if so, how did you handle it?

LD – From what I can remember, no one other than close friends have criticized or critiqued my spirituality. My sense of my spirituality is my sense of self and myself, and it changes and evolves as I do. I love to have conversations about complex intricate things, so it’s always a rewarding and evocative experience that I always appreciate.

SMC – What is the most off the wall thing you have done for your art?

LD – When I performed at the Teddy Awards a few years ago, the French arts associate for APEPAC (a France-based cultural arts association, and promotor and advocator for beauty and the arts) saw my performance on his television and had his assistant call me. He invited me to fly out to France to put on a few concerts around his town and to meet some lovely people. I said yes! It was amazing and magical and life changing. He remains a unique friend and business investor of mine today!

SMC – What is the one thing you would say ‘no’ to in terms of sacrificing who you are for the sake of fame?

LD – I think that the possibility of my brand and concept and practice of my career is something that is contingent on my ability and opportunity to express myself and have my success directly represent that. So, no need for saying no!

SMC – You are going to be entered into our Artist of the Year 2017 competition in June. So far, the highest fan votes in our competition was by SMITHRADIO and that was for February 2017. What are your thoughts on the AOY competition – do you think the ‘lights’ are up to the task?

LD – SMITHRADIO has a pretty big army! I think it’s beautiful and wonderful that I’m being entered into the AOY competition! I’m eager to discover the other artists and I’m pumped and I’m excited to get into that go go go mindset again! I definitely think that my Lights are up to the task. We’re a growing family and the things that I am creating and releasing soon will hopefully inspire and reach more and more people in the coming months!

SMC – Can you describe for our readers what the evolution of Lucien Dante was like? When did you have that ‘Ah ha’ moment when you knew music was your destiny?

LD – Actually, I first decided that I would use my first and middle name as my stage name when I was practicing signature aesthetics back when I was fifteen or sixteen. I used to have a strong stutter and it comes back a little every now and then when I speak. I realized that I had a hard time saying Lucien Lazar, which is my first and last name, so I decided Lucien Dante was easier, sounded more public, and still represented who I am. When I was sixteen I went to Germany on a foreign exchange trip. I fell in love for the first time, and I ended up writing a lot of piano ballads ha-ha. My exchange student and very close friend let me use his GarageBand to produce my acoustic sets into my first pop songs and then helped me upload them into SoundCloud. I created my first album, First Breath! 😀 For the next five or so years I just wrote tons and tons of songs on GarageBand and then Logic and then Ableton. I got signed three years ago and began working with other producers which eventually allowed for the creation of my first album Our Of We, which I released in June of 2015. A little over a year ago, I stopped working with other producers and started to harness my production skills. Brainheart is a triumph of all that hard work and my upcoming EP will be a grandiose personal success and public announcement of myself as a strong, self-created artist! I’m so excited!

SMC- I have listened to the ‘Our Of We’ album in its entirety and there is such variety! Was it intentional to have the music so diverse?

LD – Yes! With the addition of the physical album design, I wanted to create something that would represent me as a multimedia artist, writer and producer. It was definitely a product of searching and discovery as well! I look back on that album as an integral and life-changing experience for me.

SMC – Will there be a theme in your new EP?

LD – That’s an amazing question because I haven’t asked myself that yet! Ha-ha. I think the theme will be self-empowerment, diversity and exploration!

SMC – What is the kind of feedback that you have received from industry professionals and how did you react?

LD – All the feedback I have received has been so positive and encouraging. So far industry professionals have let me know I’m on the right track! 🙂

SMC – What is the comment you hear most from your fans about your music in terms of feedback?

LD – Many of my Lights say that my music calms them and relieves them of anxiety, which touches my heart. Others say it is angelic! Ha-ha, which makes me laugh and feel joyful. I remember one of my Lights said that my music is energetic yet peaceful, which is exactly how I think of it, so that was beautiful to hear.

SMC – Which social media platform do you prefer the most to interact with your fans?

LD – Facebook and Instagram!

SMC – When will you know that you have reached the level of success in terms of you career? In other words, what does success in the music industry mean to you?

LD – Success lays on many different levels and there are many different stages of success that have made me feel and will continue to make me feel accomplished. Before I die, however, I hope my career has become much greater and impactful and energizing than a traditional music career. I am an artist, a musician, a fashion designer, a poet, and so many more things. Success for me is ultimately changing the world for the better by utilizing my gifts in a soulful, life-filled way.

SMC – I would love to know your family background – many of the Musicians I interview have some sort of musical background….

LD – My father is a super hard working retailer and an amazing singer songwriter with a gorge voice 😀 He sings and plays piano, guitar, harmonica and a wooden flute. My mother used to play flute as well, but is mostly a very artistically aware person who is super wise, hard working, intelligent and generous. I’m half Jewish and half Catholic by birth. I have six siblings and they are all extremely unique intelligent people who are so much a part of who I am.

SMC – At what point in your career to date have you felt most comfortably and authentically you?

LD – NOW!

SMC – If given the choice, what country would you most like to perform in and why? (aside from North America)

LD – I would love to perform in Mexico because of its beautiful culture and lovely people, and also Japan. I think Japan has such a unique culture and artistic aesthetic both in and outside of music, it would be amazing to experience it! And Germany of course! Where it all began <3 I miss you!

SMC – What is going to be happening for you career-wise in the next 12 months? Can you give us some hints?

LD – I will be going on my debut tour! 😀 I will also be doing regular live dates around Los Angeles, and as always, I will be releasing new music, new art and a whole lot of incredible photo shoots revealing the creations and evolution of my First Official Fashion Collection. I will be revealing new garments every few months <3

SMC – Your Bio on your Facebook page says ‘I believe that we all come to this planet with a mission. To find ourselves, me must begin looking. To look for ourselves, we must be passionate, driven, curious, and empty for what is not there….’ Wow – those are some deep thoughts Lucien and your words resonate with me. When did you first begin to cultivate the wisdom and insight within you?

LD – I’ve spoken about my mother a lot, and rightly so. I think my mother is an extremely wise individual who radiates her wisdom, and sense and example of self realization and purpose out to everyone around her. Her wisdom and love combined with my father’s amazing love and artistic energy are the building blocks for who I am and I believe that it is truly the biggest part of myself. I’ve also had the privilege and hardship of having quite a few advisors in my life. At every point in my life I have always had a close elder friend to learn and grow from and they have most certainly aided in defining and enabling me.

SMC – When did you feel it was time to voice those thoughts?

LD – As I’ve grown up, I’ve become more aware of my individuality and through that, I’ve become able to understand and voice my thoughts and ideas. 🙂

SMC – Okay, final question: Can you tell us one thing you would like to improve on in terms of your career, personally, or in any aspect and why?

LD – I want to work on creating a stunning live show that resonates with myself and the audience, and I want it to be consistent and pure and inspiring. I also want to get faster at my craft because I have so many things to do! I’m so eager and excited to share my new things! <3

SMC – Thank You Lucien! Welcome to the SMC family! We wish you luck for the AOY competition in June!

LD – Thank you so much and I look forward to it SMC!

#LightsFamily <3 SMCFamily

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Lucien Dante’s Social Media Links (click to view):

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

SoundCloud

Spotify

YouTube

Biography

Los Angeles based, Chicago born, Germany refined Vocalist, Musician, Producer and Multimedia Artist Lucien Dante has always been attentive to mastering his craft. Though a skilled musician, designer, sculptor and painter, most of his attention rests in harnessing his voice. His sound fits into the musical genres of pop, EDM, alternative, R&B and acoustic. His sources of inspirations aren’t only rooted in artists he enjoys, but also in the environment surrounding him. For Dante, he has cultivated his voice by recording himself and unfolding his voice’s textures and the textures’ resonance, rather than relying on listening to his inspirations and attempting to mimic – he’s an individual, reverberating with uniqueness. Among the many tracks recorded on his own, he has recorded multiple singles, an EP and an LP since signing to his current label, DEG Records, in early 2015. His latest 18 track LP “Our Of We” brings you along on a spiritual journey with Dante as your guide. Post album he has released two singles, “Do It For The Heart” released early 2016 and the recently released “BrainHeart” A national tour is planned for Spring/Summer 2017.

 

Scott Patterson | SMITHRADIO SMC February 2017 Artist of the Month!

By Candice Anne Marshall

images provided by Scott Patterson | SMITHRADIO

If any of the Starlight Music Chronicles followers on Twitter were paying attention from January 15th to 22nd, they would have noticed a flurry of activity. This was the seven-day period that will go down in our history books as the Artist of the Month fan voted competition that broke some serious records in terms of ‘fan votes’. It was the first time ever that a band (fan nominated) would achieve the highest ever votes for the social media poll posted. In fact, SMITHRADIO fans were relentless in their pursuit of making music history by elevating their favorite Musician, Scott Patterson and his band, to this level of success with a whopping 1112 fan votes tallied as of January 22nd, 11:50 pm MST. (previously, the highest votes ever recorded was held by The Roxy Suicide in December 2015)

Recently. I connected with Scott to talk about the February 2017 Artist of the Month win, his fans (who have now labelled themselves the SMITHRADIO Army), and what that means for the upcoming Artist of the Year competition in June 2017. Here’s what he had to say

INTERVIEW | Scott Patterson SMITHRADIO January 30 2017

SMC – So tell me, what are your thoughts on winning SMC’s February 2017 Artist of the Month (AOM) competition?

SP – Well, it’s a terrific honor to get this kind of validation so early in the game. I didn’t expect to get a nomination, was surprised when we got it and was even more surprised we won. Kinda pinching myself on this one, truth be told.

SMC – Yes, they sure did! It’s so exciting Scott because a lot of Artists who come out with a first single don’t have this kind of support right away and I believe it’s what SMITHRADIO has produced so far that really has enraptured the fans. What was your first reaction when you found out you were nominated by a fan?

SP – My fans have always been there for me. There have been times when I’ve been so exhausted, too exhausted to continue on a given day and just seeing a few nice comments got me to the finish line. I’m doing this all myself – my own label (Blind Horse Records), my own small but dedicated staff and fan support that is unprecedented for me.

SMC – That’s true! You’re right!

SP – My assistant called to tell me that we were beginning to pull ahead in the voting and I was quite moved by the whole thing. It meant the fans were supporting it and wanting to represent. That was very meaningful for me and the guys (band). I never thought we would win.

SMC – what was your reaction to the win?

SP – I didn’t know right away. My assistant contacted me and said, ‘They’ve made a decision and we won!’, and I thought, ‘Good Lord, how did that happen?’ I was excited. I was in the middle of writing a song when I got the news. So, I allowed myself to have that moment, and then the work ethic in me demanded that I stop celebrating and get back to writing the song. After my writing session was done, I got on the phone and was talking to everyone (band) and we had a good time (celebrating). We are really excited about it.

SMC – Yeah, that’s great. The fans went crazy. I think they’re still celebrating.

SP – Yeah, Isn’t that amazing?

SMC – Absolutely. I’ve seen this happen with another young (new) band once before and I know that this is possible. Aside from the win, how did the name SMITHRADIO Army come about? That’s pretty cool.

SP – That was a term I was kicking around with my assistant at the beginning and then some fans picked up on it and ran with it so it stuck. I have some very loyal fans that are spreading the word about “HAHA SONG” and SMITHRADIO just like any other band but these particular fans are going the extra mile. Can’t wait to meet them, comp them when we tour and thank them personally.

SMC – That’s exciting. So, which Social Media platform did you find the fans most active on for this competition?

SP – I spent more time on twitter and I jumped on the Instagram and Facebook band pages to engage as well. I just tried to be active on as much as I could.

SMC- What are your thoughts on the other Artists you competed against in terms of the camaraderie while there was active fan voting?

SP – I think they were a very classy group of people. They congratulated us and were very kind. I was really moved by all that and I wish them all the best. I don’t know their music but I can’t wait to hear it. When we go to the U.K. I can’t wait to see The Black Jackals.

SMC – Hey that’s awesome.

SP – Yeah, they just kick ass! Also, Neil and Adam – such nice guys! I haven’t listened to their stuff but I am going to. They all reached out to me – classy guys. That’s what I love about music – these Musicians are so giving and generous. It’s not really a competition really, it’s a chance for people to get to know one another and share music.

SMC – Absolutely. That’s really the point of our fan nominated competitions – is to engage and cross promote the Artists. When we’re talking indie music, we are talking about bands who may not know a lot of the other Artists that are in other countries. Because SMC promotes bands on a global scale, this is a way of introducing one another via the fans. For this new season, we have three European bands who have won AOM (Hannah Clive, DaveIt Ferris, and Tamsyn) in the latter part of 2016 and now one North American band to kick off 2017 (SMITHRADIO). We have a few more months left before we head to the Artist of the Year competition in June 2017 so there may be more, but SMITHRADIO is the first North American band to win AOM this season. Last season, our Artist of the Year (IAMWARFACE) is from the U.K. and they won with 22,000+ votes. What are your thoughts on all of this?

SP – Oh wow. Well, the EP will be out and we will hopefully be touring by then so maybe we’ve got a chance. Wow.

SMC- I think you do!

SP – Okay, well, we’ll knuckle down. We’ll see what happens. Does this mean we are enrolled into the Artist of the Year event?

SMC – Yes. All our Artists of the Month are automatically enrolled into the June 2017 Artist of the Year (AOY) event.

SP – Wow. Okay!

SMC – It was your fans who nominated you and brought you to this place.

SP – They are the very best in the world which is why I am being so meticulous with these tracks. Want them to be as good as they can be for the fans. They deserve that.

SMC – Part of the Artist of the Year win means you get a scholarship for ArtistMax. This program is in Los Angeles with Producer Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac) and his daughter Colbie (Caillat – Grammy award winner), who is one of the program mentors. Our AOY winner will also receive VIP invitations by ArtistMax to VIP events as part of their scholarship program as well. It’s kind of a big deal. So, what are your thoughts about going to that next level in addition to what you’ve already accomplished?

SP – Wow that’s great. Well, we need to just keep doing what we are doing. The 5 songs (for the new EP) are almost mastered. We are going to release the EP and then a single after that. There is a single that I wrote that has a different feel than the rest of the songs (on the EP). It’s a more serious song which hooks into something we’re involved in. We want to roll this out the best way and that’s really the step to take us to the next level. We’re going to be playing the SXSW (South by Southwest) 2017 Music Festival this year as well. I was on the Rachael Ray show back in November and played a couple of bars of “HAHA DONG” and right there, she said, “I want you to come and play at SXSW. We have three stages down there and you get one of them for a 30-minute set”. That’ll be fun. Rachael really hooked me up. You know, we had that instant chemistry when we met and we had a great chat. Spectacular woman. She and her team are comped for life any show we do. I mean, how do you pay someone back for being so generous and having your back like that? Anyway, could go on about her forever. Love her.  There’s also a Sirius XM radio concert in New York as well as an AOL Build appearance which will hit Facebook as well. We are rehearsing for that. In the meantime, writing a lot of new material and eager to get back in the studio to record. Don’t like songs to sit very long after they are born.

SMC – I heard an interview earlier today that you had with Pulse 98.4’s Big Drive Home with Peter Greenwood. You talked about your influences. Who are your main ones?

SP – When I was five I use to stand on top of my parent stereo console (like a coffee table) with a hairbrush mic and sing along to Beatles songs. Hard Days Night, Rubber Soul. I’d put on shows for my parents when my dad got home from work. Then there was The Rolling Stones and ‘Satisfaction’. The sound of that guitar bore into me and from that moment I wanted to play guitar as well as sing. We had an old Spanish guitar laying around the place and I started plucking away. Growing up it was Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Zepplin, Bowie, James Gang, Skynyrd, Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, The Who, the usual suspects. I liked bands and songwriters. I liked guitar heroes. I liked guitar solos and drum solos. I like bathing myself in the giant cloud of marijuana that hovered above the ice rink at The Spectrum in Philly where I saw all those great bands. There was joy, anticipation, beautiful girls and a big train of rock music coming our way as soon as the lights went down. Joni Mitchell fascinated me. The tone of her voice is really special. Neil Young, too.  Love that big arena sound – The Who, Zepplin. When Patti Smith came along that just blew apart everything for me because what she was doing was her poetry and putting music to it. People were doing that a lot in the Village in NYC in the early 70’s but not like that. Blew me away. There are so many different types of performers – flashy showmen/women, introverted songwriters, etc. and I love them all. Anybody with the guts to get out there and just play their songs, well, I’m gonna listen. Over the past twenty five years or so there have been some great bands and songwriters but the one guy that always stood out for me was Noel Gallagher. No bullshit. Just gets right to it. With him it’s about the song and nothing else. It’s about a melody, a dynamic and a structure over an entire set. Very powerful. His ‘High Flying Birds’ will be my next concert to attend.

SP –SMC – So when we talk about your five song EP, we are going to be listening to songs that are your truths, correct?

SP – Yes. The songs are all about a girl: they are either break-up songs, love songs, or they’re ‘can’t-wait-to-get-away-from-you’ songs. The one song that will release as a single after the EP is launched is not me, it’s someone else’s point of view. I put myself in someone’s shoes and felt a need to tell the story of their life through that song. I imagined what it must be like for this individual to go through this particular experience. Deals with PTSD.

SMC – I do know that Patti Smith’s daughter had reached out to you and that you are looking at doing a benefit concert with Patti. Does this song tie into that?

SP – It may…. it’s about one specific type of a person but it could cross over into everyone who is experiencing these types of feelings. It’s not specific to any one category of person but that’s who I am telling to story of the song through. Kristina – pieces of it has been online, and that’s a song that might be appropriate for a benefit concert. That’s about a young girl being sexually abused and becoming a teenager who escapes her circumstances.

SMC- So many people look to that to tell that kind of a story. In terms of your EP and the kind of variety in genres (blues, punk rock, rock), what can we expect?

SP – You’re going to get rock and roll, Americana, some Glam, a dash of punk. In the same family as “HAHA SONG”.

SMC – Yeah, I love it.

SP – Yeah, I love it. Some good, classic party songs on the album and I attribute that to coming out of long period of writing very serious material and, quite frankly, getting sick of writing serious material. I simplified everything and started writing the kind of songs that come out of jam sessions with friends just horsing around at a party with maybe a beer or two in you. Just let it fly, appreciate the major chords and play what’s fun to play for YOU. What feels right and good in the moment. Might be the simplest progression but doesn’t matter if it rocks. It’s RockNRoll, man. It’s not complicated. Write what you feel and scream it out.

SMC – Oh excellent! You’re songwriting style is very strong.

SP – Like I said…..it’s rock. Rock is a specific discipline that too many people clutter with bullshit. Rock is supposed to hit you in those places we can’t talk about at family dinners. Rock is momentum. It’s a locomotive, it’s inevitable. But it’s personal to each songwriter. I write all the time which mean I’m strumming the guitar all the time. A lot of time bullshit comes out but when a real song comes out of your soul, for me it comes fast. Five minutes. Like a window opened and some power handing you something good. That’s exciting.  So, there’s stuff in the hopper ready to record. These are the songs I’m sharing with the world.

SMC – That’s exciting! In terms of touring, are you possibly looking at Australia?

SP – We’re looking at everything. Candice, we’re looking at touring all over for a number of years. We want to play everywhere and we don’t want to stop. That’s just something I want to do until I drop. So yes, we are looking at all possibilities to go everywhere. We are in discussions about this right now and we need to choose wisely. We thought we were going to start in the USA to do a six-week tour of the south west, now a lot of other countries are stepping up: Brazil, Scotland, U.K., Japan, and it’s a nice problem to have but we don’t want to alienate anyone. We want to do it right, so we’re being very careful and methodical about it. There will be something to announce soon enough. I understand the fans are getting anxious but I promise we will announce the EP and some solid dates real soon.

SMC – I know that the pressure is on but I do know the process of producing something that is quality and that takes time….

SP – It does. I spent the holidays laying down guitar tracks for a couple of the songs for the EP. I am very meticulous about this. I am working with people that are equally meticulous. We don’t want to have to go back and redo anything, we want to get it right the first time. Recording a song properly is complex. The listening public is very sophisticated now and they’re used to a very high quality recording because there’s lots of great Producers and bands and they’re hearing great stuff all the time. It’s important to step up and compete and we’re going for a knockout punch and “HAHA SONG” set the bar real high.

SMC – I know it’s going to be a great follow-up: you’re working with Michael Nomad Ripoll (Producer and Guitarist for SMITHRADIO)

SP –  Yeah, Nomad and I work well together in the studio and we are producing a great album. Hell of a guitar player, too. The band is together and we will be introducing members soon.

SMC – Are they the same musicians that will be touring with you that were also in the studio recording?

SP – Couple of the same and a couple different.

SMC – Going back to Patti Smith, what was your reaction when her daughter reached out to you?

SP – Total shock. Read that email ten times before it hit me. Full circle kind of thing. Nice when that happens.

SMC – Absolutely. So, what is the greater feeling of gratification for you: finishing the recording of a new song, or performing in front of an audience?

SP – Either or. They are both great feelings that stay with you. I’m addicted to both. Can’t imagine not recording or performing.

SMC – I agree. It’s funny because I had a fan private message me and say that they felt that this career path you’ve taken really speaks about you as an individual the most. Do you feel the same?

SP – That is an accurate statement, yes. I’m ready. I have tried to pursue a music career several different times in my life: out of high school, again when I was out here in LA initially, then back in New York, and a couple of different times out here. What remains the same is that I continued to write music. When I was growing up I began writing my own stuff.  Now, it’s about getting my music out of my own body and soul. That’s what interests me. So, to answer the question, yes, I feel this is the right path for me. Things are happening and people are responding in a positive way. I’m steering the ship, it’s my record label, it’s all coming out of me. That’s where I am happiest.

SMC – It really shows too. You’ve been on a few talk shows already, Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show, and Rachel Ray to name a few since “HAHA SONG” released and you could really see that you were excited when they began to talk about the single and your music career. What were those experiences like?

SP – It was completely surreal. When I went out there and sat down on the couch next to Jimmy (Fallon), and we started talking and he held up a placard with the “HAHA SONG” on it, a photograph that I took, it was just a surreal moment. Here’s the biggest talk show guy in the world holding up my song and talking about it. I thought, ‘Good God, it doesn’t get any better than this!’ It was a real moment. That was the moment, to reference the previous question, that I knew I made a good decision in choosing this career path. I have made a lot of bad ones in my life, but I made a good one here.  

SMC – When I saw you walk out, I jumped up in my seat and shouted ‘YES! He did it!’

SP – It was surreal. It’s The Tonight Show. Grew up watching it. Was a head trip.

SMC – I know, I was so excited for you.

SP – They give you seven minutes but it feels like seven seconds. It’s over before you know it.

SMC – You know I really don’t think that will be the last time he will have you there. He always has a music component on his show and I’d love to see you two do that sing-off or guitar playoff – whatever it may be. Is that something you’d like to see happen?

SP – We went out for dinner after and I pitched the idea of the ‘three lost Dylan brothers’ to the Producer (Bob hasn’t anything to do with this and nobody knows about them) but they do Bob Dylan covers. Let’s see if the phone rings.

SMC – Oh, that’d be great.

SP – Then the Producer sent me a clip of Jimmy actually doing Dylan which was really funny. Jimmy is talented – really talented.

SMC – That would be amazing. One of the fans had asked if you would be looking at writing a SMITHRADIO Army song?

SP – I think I already have…. I wrote a song about taking over the world (laughs).

SMC – Pretty much!

SP – It’s something that I’ve been tossing around as a way to say thank you to the SMITHRADIO Army. It’s got to be rock with a little bit of humor. I am trying to get the right tone and balance for that song so yeah, I’ve been thinking about that song. Absolutely.

SMC – When we are talking about this all coming together, and the fans being there for you, years down the road, when you are really in the groove, you’ve gotta look back at the beginnings and the people who were there at the very beginning, how would you pay homage to them?

SP – The people that I started out with are still with me. They are either with me in spirit, or they’re employed by me. The team is very solid. They’re very dedicated, and loyal and that’s the great part about it. It is a family, it’s an extended family. The vision is: maybe a year from now, there is a SMITHRADIO convention, or a picnic, or a weekend retreat, something like that. These people get along very well. They are connecting and making friends and that warms my heart.

SMC – In terms of looking back at the first couple of interviews that you and I have had – One of the fans asked why I hadn’t changed the original GORDON name on the title of those articles to SMITHRADIO. I told them that the purpose of SMC was to actually chronicle the journey for the Artists we support. Therefore, you will see a numbered series on the Spotlight portion of our website. We feel it’s important to keep the chronicle as it was written with no updates so that we can keep a well-documented history of the Artist’s career and milestones. Later, when the band has become big, it’s always nice to uncover the beginnings and find those treasures for fans. What are your thoughts on this kind of authenticity?

SP – Hey, you’re the boss of that situation. (laughs) Well, hey, that’s what I was then and I think it should stay. I agree.

SMC – What’s behind the name change and the name itself?

SP – I thought of what my biggest influence was and what made me want to do this (music career) – what changed my life as a young person most radically, and that was Patti Smith. Through Patti, I discovered that Artistic courage and staying true to your art really was. Through her, I discovered so much literature – Arthur Rimbaud (French Poet) who, I ended up having a bigger obsession with than Patti.

SMC- I remember you referencing that in one of our earlier interviews.

SP – Yeah, and there were a lot of other literary influences that I went through in my youth because of Patti Smith. I discovered – to borrow her term – “the country of the mind” as it related to music and poetry. There’s a deep spirituality that isn’t often recognized through her work. A kind of faith, deep-seated. I would listen to Patti Smith live concerts from The Bottom Line (venue in New York City) via WMMR (radio station in Philadelphia) when it was past my bedtime. It would be late when she would come on and I would listen to these Sunday night live concerts….We had to change the band name because I was doing this this radio interview last summer and the DJ said, “Wow, that’s quite an EP you’ve got there. It’s a really punk sound”, and I said, “What are you talking about, we don’t have an EP yet”. That’s when we found out there was another band with the same name. So, we had to change the name. I didn’t want to come up with just any name – had to be very meaningful to me. I just kept thinking about Patti and those Sunday nights listening to the radio with the sheets over me, in the dark on a rainy evening in South Jersey and Patti Smith turned low so no one could hear. Those were the moments that make you really dream, so I just thought Patti Smith on the radio…. Smith Radio….SMITHRADIO. I thought, you know, I’m a wavelength on SMITHRADIO. Artistically, I was invented by Patti Smith. She is the Muse.

SMC – That’s an amazing story. I love that! Wow……wow.

SP – I grew up with a very artistic mother who demanded artistic integrity, honesty, vulnerability and, above all, spirituality, in every piece of art, music, book, film she exposed me to.  So, that’s what I aspire to. We’re starting this EP off with songs about love gone right and gone bad, longing with a kind of wistful resignation.

SMC – So there was that deep connection with her. I think you and I…. if I had read correctly…. both had mothers who passed away in 2008.

SP – Yes, my mother and I had always had a very deep connection…to the point where we were telepathic. I knew what she was thinking all the time, and vice versa. We didn’t have to speak, we just knew with a look. She never had to tell me to do anything, I always knew what she wanted me to do or what was expected of me.

SMC – My relationship with my mother was very similar, so I can concur.

SP – Yeah and it really contrasts with my relationship with my father because I had zero connection with him. We didn’t understand one another. He wasn’t around very much and when he was, it wasn’t very pleasant. When he left, I was really kind of relieved.

SMC – Now when I look at you having this success in your career along with also having a (young) son, and he starting to play with his guitar…with you not having that relationship with your own father, what would you like to bestow upon your son that you may not have gotten from a fatherly figure?

SP – My job is to prepare him to leave home eventually and thrive in the real world and that’s what I am doing. He’s very bright, willful. Absorbs everything I’m doing or saying so gotta be careful. The thing that really struck me is how much joy he brings every day, how funny he is. I literally laugh all day with him. Smart, quick, mischievous. Ton of fun. Then there’s the scary side, the worry but all worth it. He’s watching me build my music into something and I am very proud of that. I already have a nice, fat scrapbook about SMITHRADIO to go through with him when he’s ready. If I can inspire my boy to strive for great things and fight for his dreams I’ll have done my job.

SMC – In combining those two questions together, would you say that your mother, being the primary caregiver – obviously, she had to wear two hats – would you say that the skills she bestowed upon you is something that you are passing down to your son?

SP – I think that the greatest gift that my mother gave me was…. you know, she was toughest person that I’ve ever met. I’ve never met anyone with a backbone like that. She was 5ft 2” and the sweetest person you would ever want to meet but man, when people crossed her……uh oh! She wouldn’t yell. She would get really quiet and say, “Let me tell you about the facts of life here”, and we would go ‘Uh oh!’ She was amazing. But just tough as nails. Her famous line to me is the line I always say now and that’s: ‘Give ‘em hell’, that’s all I heard when I would walk out the door of the apartment was ‘Give ‘em hell’, and I did. In every aspect of my life, I gave ‘em hell. She wanted us to be competitive in all areas, and we were (he and his sisters). I still am – I don’t know any other way. I compete, therefore I am and that’s just what she wanted for us. She instilled the work ethic by example. I wish there were 30 hours in the day because I love putting in the work for my music. There’s just not enough time in the day.

SMC – I know, I can relate.

SP – I’m just at it all the time. People think I’m a mad man but I’m always saying, ‘I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go write.’  Songs hit me in odd place at odd times but the bottom line is they don’t hang around forever so you gotta split and get it down. When the Muse calls you answer.

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Shay Esposito | SPOTLIGHT Series No.1

By CA Marshall

It has been a little over a year since we’ve featured Canadian independent pop/electronic Singer/Songwriter Shay Esposito on our Starlight Music Chronicles platform. Her first appearance was on our website where we launched her feature as our October 2015 Artist of the Month. We also wrote a follow-up feature in the fall 2015 Starlight Music Chronicles Magazine. Shay recently performed live at the ‘Youth 4 Youth’ concert in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta alongside fellow Artists’ Paul Woida, Mackenzie Dayle, Olivia Rose, and Robb Nash. In fact, Shay has always been an advocate for youth in bringing awareness to mental health, PTSD, teen suicide, and depression by way of public speaking, performances. Even her song writing focuses on bringing awareness to the stigma that often accompanies this.

Today, December 13th, 2016, the young activist has launched her new single ‘How Does It Feel’ with a music video that is stunning! The song focuses on overcoming addictions and the struggles therein. I can honestly say that although Shay remains loyal in bringing a strong message to her loyal fans, her lyrical ability has matured into a lilting, sweet and sincere tone that is carried out perfectly in the production of this single. The video is a beautiful kaleidoscope of imagination genuinely reflecting the darkness and light that accompanies addictions. She walks barefoot, scantily clad through a wintery cold forest searching for something, when she comes across a mirror and the search is for herself. This video And song perfectly reflects the struggle many people with addictions face and it is very well executed.

Shay will always be an intentional writer with cleverly written lyrics that reflect her own truths, tragedies, and triumphs she has also overcome. If you have a moment, I encourage you to check out her social media platforms and follow her journey. This young woman is a sweet and powerful force to be reckoned with as she continues to fight for youth to find their voice (that in some cases, never seem to be heard.) She does this while touring and public speaking with fellow Musician Robb Nash at schools across the country about her own experiences, She brings messages of hope to youth who are struggling through her affirmation of: ‘if I can do it, you can too’. This isn’t an Artist who creates simply to have her sound heard, she is an Artist who is bringing a serious message that reaches the hearts of everyone she meets during live performances. It Is a message which alters these individuals in the most positive way: they seek help!

Here is the exclusive interview we had with the lovely songbird below:

Spotlight Interview | Shay Esposito December 11, 2016

SMC – Hello Shay! So much has happened with your Career since we first met in 2015 as our October Artist of the Month! There’s so much to talk about…. but let’s begin with your experience with Starlight Music Chronicles. Can you tell us what the experience was like for you as our Artist of the Month as well as the Artist of the Year competition?

Shay – It was an incredibly rewarding experience to be a part of these two competitions, I had a lot of fun and it was such an honor to win artist of the month.

SMC – So let’s get into more of your progress with Artist Robb Nash…. we know you were recently involved with the Morgan’s Mission concert in September this year with him. What was that experience like?

Shay – It was amazing, we had such a great turnout and I’m so glad I could get Robb out to the show. The concert turned out great.

SMC – Do you have any future projects that you are working on with Robb?

Shay – I’m continuing to join him at schools whenever I have the Chance, and hopefully I’ll be joining him for a bigger show in the new year.

SMC – We are going to get a little more personal here because it relates to the kind of lyrics and music you have been producing as of late. Can you tell us of a time in your life where these experiences were vivid and how they relate to the execution of your music?

Shay – For me, the hardest times were junior high and early high school. I struggled with depression and anxiety, and although I’m doing better now, I still struggle with these issues every day. I use my music as a means to tell my stories without having to actually SAY them.

SMC – What are the things you find most important when choosing to collaborate or work with others in the music industry such as Robb Nash?

Shay – The most important thing to me is honesty and a good cause. A lot of people in this industry will just tell you what you want to hear, so I’m lucky that I’ve come across the honest and sincere people that I have with me.

SMC – What is a deal breaker for you as an Artist? We don’t often ask that question but we can see that you are an Artist with amazing integrity!

Shay – The biggest deal breaker for me would probably be compromising in what I must say in my writing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than willing to hear constructive criticism, but when it comes right down to it, I write because I have something to say, and to me, that’s the whole point. I won’t have my creative freedom be compromised by anyone.

SMC – Can you give a shout out to the team behind the making of your new single ‘How Does It Feel’? (song and video)

Shay – HUGE shout out to Trey Mills, the producer that brought this song to life, Chris Daellenbach for helping me out with the lyrics, Justin Weisinger (and his team) at Intrinsic Media Group for directing the beautiful music video, Gina Cicero of Lady Venom Cosmetics for making me look fantastic (and keeping my feet warm) and last but not least, by mom for helping me pull all of this together.

SMC – Fans got a sneak peek of your new video (launched today) for the video on December 8th and at the time of this interview there were already over 11 thousand views and still climbing! Shay, what are you feeling right now? I mean, you must be ecstatic!

Shay – I’m so excited! I’m so grateful to everyone liking and sharing the video, helping me get out there, and I can’t wait for everyone to see the finished product!

SMC- Can you tell us about your connection to the song and how you feel it will impact society?

Shay – This song means a lot to me because it says a lot about struggling with and overcoming addiction. I think it’s the kind of song you’ll come to understand more and more every time you hear it.

SMC – What has the family support been like? I know your mom has been a huge support. What about the rest of your family? Friends?

Shay – My family is amazing, they have always backed me 100% and done everything they can to help me pursue my dreams. My wonderful friends and boyfriend have also been a huge help pushing me to reach my goals.

SMC – Have you ever encountered anyone opposed to the values you campaign about (mental health issues, depression, PTSD, teen suicide awareness)? If so, how did you handle it?

Shay – There will always be people that don’t believe that this is a real issue. People will say we’re just looking for attention or we’re exaggerating. But those people are the ones that have never seen what mental illness looks like, never experienced it, and therefore could never fully understand it. And I hope they never do. But to say that this isn’t an important issue is just flat out wrong. And that’s why I do what I do, so that our youth can see and believe that they’re not alone in this, and that their struggles do matter and they can overcome them.

SMC – What are your views on teen society today and the subject of teen bullying? Do you feel there is proper support for teens today?

Shay – I believe that the support for teens is getting better, albeit slowly. But it’s not enough. Teens are still bullying and being bullied, and the answer to solving how they treat each other is wrapped up in first teaching them that they themselves matter, and teaching them to love and appreciate themselves. Once we have that figured out, we can learn how to respect and appreciate each other.

SMC – You have always been a huge advocate of Morgan’s Mission. Can you tell us if there are any future collaborations with the organization?

Shay – I certainly hope so! I’ve loved working with them, they are an incredible organization and although there’s nothing planned yet, I’m sure there will be?

SMC – What do the next three months’ look like for you in terms of your career? Do you have any live performances or projects you are working on in that time you would like to share with us?

Shay – Well the biggest and most important project of all will be my album release concert! We’re planning it for February so I’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date!

SMC – How do you think that people in our society can help support the kind of change you would like to see for teens today?

Shay – I think that the most important thing is believing them. Teens will say something when they’re struggling. It might not be direct, or all at once, or even said with words. But they will say it when they need help. We just need to listen and believe them when they say it.

SMC – Since our last interview in September 2015, can you tell us how much has changed for you personally and professionally in terms of growth?

Shay – Since 2015, my biggest achievement is recording my second album, Sunday. In terms of growth, it was a huge year for me. I’ve come to know myself as an artist far better, and come to know what I want and what it’s going to take to get it. It was an adventure but definitely the kickstart of the rest of my career.

SMC – What does it feel like knowing that your music can impact the lives of so many people who struggle with depression, mental health, and PTSD in a positive way?

Shay – It’s so humbling and so rewarding. Music was always what got me through the worst of times, and all I want is to share that with everyone else struggling with mental illness

SMC – Where will we be able to purchase ‘How Does It Feel’? On what media platforms can people find the song for download and how soon?

Shay – How Does It Feel will be available on iTunes, Spotify, and countless other media platforms including YouTube for the music video. It will all be available December 13th!

SMC – Well, Shay, I would like to thank you for taking the time to chat with SMC and we want to personally congratulate you on your accomplishments. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Shay – I just want to say thank you so much for doing this interview with me and for all of the support you have shown me. Also, a huge thank you to all my friends and family, and I hope everyone likes the song!!!

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Shay Esposito Social Media Links (click to view)

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Scott Patterson | SMITHRADIO (formerly GORDON) SPOTLIGHT Series No.2

By CA Marshall

There’s a storm brewing in Los Angeles and it isn’t the weather-related type either. I am speaking about an accumulative combination of exceptional instrumentation, vocal ability, and lyrics that are fresh, intense, loud, and intentional. This storm is called SMITHRADIO (formerly GORDON) and in as little as three months (since their inception in June 2016), they have accomplished three live benefit concert performances, launched a dynamic website, and connected with a Producer to begin recording their five song EP (literally within a week!). For a band so young, hurling themselves into the industry with this kind of energy and determination is virtually unheard of, but they’re doing it.

And I haven’t even touched on the music yet.

If you are already a fan (or a careful observer like me) you will have already enjoyed seeing snippets of the bands’ music via short videos of live performances posted by frontman Scott Patterson on social media daily. (see links below to engage/follow SMITHRADIO) What I’ve heard to date is just what this industry is missing in terms of a classic ‘Blues/Rock and Roll/Punk Rock’ (yes, Punk Rock!) sound and that is: a true ode to an iconic period in music history. Let’s face it, many of our industry peers have left us this year and have passed the torch to a new generation of musicians and when we speak in terms of ‘filling their shoes’, SMITHRADIO fits the bill. Every music icon from the late 60’s onward is respected in the music that GORDON has created and very soon, the whole world will be able to verify my claim when the band will launch their EP on iTunes this fall.

I had the opportunity to speak with Scott one on one in July 2016 only days before the band left for their live debut shows in West Virginia and New Jersey. Just days ago, we touched base again and delved a little further into discussion about their progress, upcoming EP, and even a little about the frontman himself. Here’s what he had to say:

Exclusive Interview: Scott Patterson | September 14th, 2016- 

SMC – Hi Scott! Nice to talk to you again. So, let’s get right into it right away: there were three live shows out east in August. (see: Spotlight Series No.1 Scott Patterson SMITHRADIO (formerly GORDON) debut interview) What was your experience with the fans?

SP – They were all great! As a band wave become progressively more comfortable with our live performance. During the second show (in West Virginia for flood relief), we really got people on their feet into the second song and for the next two hours it was complete mayhem. I learned as a frontman how to engage an audience which is a decision that you make in the moment. The same thing happened in Ocean City because the venue, I think, was the kind where people didn’t feel comfortable getting up and rocking out and forgetting themselves. I gave them the permission to do it and they did. It was an interesting dynamic, with the fan participation at that level – it really elevates the experience for everyone. We had a great time!

SMC – That’s awesome. I can see this in the photos you’ve been posting on your Social Media – I’ve been following along the journey with the band and seeing how it’s coming along. It’s quite impressive! I also saw in photos that you were also traveling (by motorcycle) between shows….

SP – That was separate from the shows…that was something I did for amfAR – The Foundation for AIDS Research and Kiehl’s to help raise awareness and money for AIDS research.

SMC – Nice! What was the song that was most responded to in your live performances?

SP – I did an acoustic pre-show before the concert and people really responded to ‘Kristina’ there’s a clip of it up on my Facebook Band page (SMITHRADIO – Band). I would say ‘Shady’ as well, they really loved ‘Shady’. They just seemed to respond with excitement and enthusiasm to every song we played. After the show, we were covered in sweat, we did three encores. Total exhilaration!

SMC – I Bet! Well I remember our last interview how you spoke about how much energy it took even in the practices prior to these shows! How are the practices and recording processes going for the band now?

SP – We’re gearing up to go into the recording studio either this weekend or early next. We’re going to record five tracks and make an EP that should be ready early to mid-October working with a really great (Producer). I’m going to go and meet him tomorrow to go over some of the songs. We’re very excited about it because we’re going to have five or six radio-ready tracks. They’re real quality tracks which is what we need at this point and then it’s off to Brazil (laughs).

SMC – Oh wow! Brazil! Is that for the band or……?

SP – Yeah! I’m having a love affair with Brazil right now.

SMC – Really? That’s awesome!

SP – Yeah! I’m just getting bombarded with messages on the Facebook band page from fans in Brazil. It’s just so crazy and overwhelming the support! I am talking to some people about arranging some shows in San Paulo right now but we’re going to give ourselves some time to promote of course. Organically, it’s looking like a Latin America tour to start off!

SMC – Scott, only you could pull this off…. seriously!

SP – It’s just bizarre, right?

SMC – Well I have seen with other bands with that level of ‘uniqueness’ where it’s the Latin American fans that respond the best initially. They’re so loyal!

SP – I just can’t believe what’s coming through on these messages. It’s fantastic!

SMC – Yeah, that’s great.

SP – There are a lot of other countries that are responding: Germany, the UK, Canada is big….we should probably start in Canada because it’ll be easier to get up there. But Brazil….they’re just winning the day. It’s overwhelming! It’s interesting to see who’s stepping up but every day it’s Brazil, Brazil, Brazil…it’s great.

SMC – How do you feel about the progress with everything? I mean, you’re really pushing hard!

SP – Yeah, we’re working hard. I feel it’s going the way it should go you know? It’s going to take a while. These things don’t happen overnight. We need to get that smaller club level, conquer it, then go to the next level and so on. We just need to travel and play and have people hear us repeatedly and return to those places and perform continuously and we’re looking forward to it. We love to play live it’s a real blast. It’s also going to be challenging doing back to back to back shows (laughs) it will be hard vocally. Energy-wise, it will be pretty tough to do that because we are playing a long set and we are adding to it. It’s stretching out to about two and a half to three hours.

SMC – Oh wow! That’s amazing!

SP – Yeah, there’s all kinds of new material coming in and we’re going to record some of it. We’re playing really long shows but now I am learning to pace myself. Before, it was us blasting right out of the gate at top speed and not slowing down….maybe a little bit in the middle, and then we’re just ramping it back up again. Now I am seeing that might not be possible for two solid hours and it’s definitely not possible for two and a half to three. So, what I am doing is adding in some acoustic songs to add balance. It gives the band and even the fans a little break, you know what I mean? I remember those nice moments in concerts when I was growing up and really enjoying them. We’re learning how to pace the show and really let each song breathe. As we’re rehearsing and I am working on these songs of my own, I am coming up with different approaches and different angles of how to approach the song and let it breathe a little. I am very pleased with the progress, it feels organic and right. No one is in a big rush to get anywhere our opinion is ‘Let’s just work on the songs and make them better and perform them better’ If you focus on the songs, you’re going to be okay. If the material is there the rest will fall into place.

SMC – There’s some beautiful imagery on your website too!

SP – Yes, well, it’s your basic website. We’re going to keep improving on it and working on it. There’s a lot that goes into these things.

SMC – Well I wanted to know more about the main image on the site which I see you have also used as your twitter banner….

SP – Yes, that’s a photograph of mine. I am into abstract photography and painting and have been for a long time. So that’s one of a series of images that I have. It’s a self-portrait from the day I was born.

SMC – Really?

SP – Yeah and I call the series ‘King Electric’ and it has nothing to do with music. It’s not a guitar or anything, that’s just what I call it. So, there’s a whole story behind it and a whole series. In photography, if you want your work shown in a gallery it’s best to string together twenty photos where they tell a unified complete story and that photo is just one selection from that portfolio. I want to use my own art on album covers because that’s the kind of band we are.

SMC – Well I can certainly appreciate this being an Artist myself. Can you tell us the story about how that came to be?

SP – Well, it’s just some of the work I do. The photography I can’t do it all the time. It comes in these spasms…. a couple of times during the year I have these creative spasms. I get ideas and get inspired and I get into my studio where I work on configuring shots and then executing the shots is really just a formality. The work goes into planning the shots: I get an idea in my head and I’ll have to duplicate it in my studio or outdoors and capture it. I don’t work on it all the time. I can’t it’s too draining because I put a lot into it. Of the hundreds of thousands of shots that I’ve taken in the last couple of years, there’s been some really good ones. It’s just another leg of the table for me.

SMC – This is why I like to ask questions about all aspects of an Artist because the fact that you’re using this art on your website and upcoming album you’re going to be using it on your upcoming work correct?

SP – Sure. Unless we get some designer to come in and take over. (laughs)

SMC – I saw something stated in your newsletter to your fans that you’re going to ‘push’ to get the album completed as soon as possible and I laughed because really, that sounds like who you are and It’s a positive attribute. You get the job done! What are your thoughts on that?

SP – Well, you know, I’ve done this before in a couple of different careers. What it takes is discipline and hard work and that’s what I feel I am good at. I mean, I have had these songs for years but I didn’t work hard enough at it or do anything with them until now. I had some stuff happening before anything else took over and made this obsolete but now I am revisiting it and now I’ve got a real determination and iron will to accomplish it. I just feel this very strong and urgent need to connect with audiences in a live situation through my music. It is overwhelming I go to bed with it, I wake up with it, and I work on it in every aspect all day because I love it. I’ve fallen in love and it just doesn’t seem like work to me. I am eager to get at it each day. I am eager to get to my vocal coach back home and work on songs. I am eager to rehearse and when it’s over I’m disappointed because I want to keep going but I know these guys have a life (laughs). I am probably driving everybody crazy!

Look, in my experience, the only way to get things done is to force it and to work harder than everybody else. I’ve never been afraid of working hard. I think I need to because there are a lot of great musicians, songwriters, and singers out there and they’re working hard too. If you want to compete in this world, you’ve got to give it the respect that it deserves and the time that it needs. It’s a huge thing we’re going after and not a lot of people can do it or even want it. Some people work hard for it and get it and realize they don’t even want it that bad and they kind of back off. I often wonder what happens to bands that achieve number one world status and they disappear…. I think it’s because they realize to sustain something like that, it will begin to affect their artistry and therefore corrupts their songwriting and I understand that. So, it’s a big beast that we’re trying to wrestle down to the ground and it takes time and real discipline. That’s just how it works for me. I am not trying to force it, it’s just what I’m doing now.

SMC – You’re a real people person. You’re not a big ego-maniac at all. So, I am wondering….as your career progresses, where’s the limit for you? We have seen how fame in the music industry can affect a persons’ attitude. How do you think you would cope with that ‘Rolling Stones’ type level of fame?

SP –  (laughs) If something like that happens to that level for this band, I think we’d be so thrilled and so grateful…I would be speechless and they’d have to throw something to hit me in the head just to sing a song. I think whether you are playing for two or twenty thousand people, you’ve gotta knock them dead. So there’s the fun. You go out there and kill it. Look, I think we’re just hopeful that we can sell out some two hundred seaters (laughs). I mean, it takes a long time to get to that (Rolling Stones) level. Very few bands enjoy that kind of success. We’re just hoping we can make a living at it and play some nice venues, travel…. we’re all hard working humble guys and we’re in it for the right reasons because we just love creating music. We could do it all day but then we’d probably burn out and you’d never hear from us again (laughs again).

It’s interesting because when we got back from Ocean City (New Jersey) we all got very busy. Then we met up ten days later at our rehearsal space and the energy was just fantastic! Everything felt so new and so fresh. You have to find that balance where you’ve rehearsed and you’re ready to go and you’re not burnt out because I think people can overdo it. We have rehearsed a lot to this point and we don’t need to go at it every day, I think that would just kill the mojo. If we’re going to put together a tour then yes, we will knock it out every day to get nice and tight. I’m really lucky with these guys. There’s a lot of work to be done still but we’re doing it.

SMC – Well we are happy to be a part of that journey!

SP – I think the thing is to get into one of these music festivals and play in front of a lot of people. That would be fun. We’re going to need to make an impact here first. Once we get these songs up on iTunes, hopefully we can get signed by a label and get going. That would be a real win. We’re all really hoping for that within the next year. I know we’re really ambitious but that’s just who we are.

SMC –  I don’t think it’s unheard of. You have already created quite an impact with these live shows. So, with Brazil in the works and other live performances, are you ready to rock with a radio campaign?

SP – Yes, I think pretty quickly after that. I think it will depend on how the tracks are received. I think these next couple of steps are going to be crucial. The tracks must be great but we’ll have to take it one step at a time. Like I said, we’re not in any rush. We want the tracks to be great. We know we can kill it live and open for big bands in arenas. We’re very confident in the songs and the sound. We just need to earn that right to do that though. You don’t just come into the business after three shows and get to do that. We must go out there and earn that.

SMC – Your song ‘Marie’…. can you tell me what the ‘special-ness is about that song?’

SP – With ‘Marie’, there’s a different structure to it…. Marie is special to me because it’s a bigger song than…. well, let’s just say it’s an ambitious song. It’s a love ballad but it’s a hard-driving love ballad. It’s non-stop words. It’s wordier than anything I’ve written before. Well, I have written songs like that before but have never performed them. There’s one song I wrote called ‘Broken Hands’ and it has a kind of country/Bob Dylan vibe to it with lots of words. It’s a long song that goes on for five to six minutes and I have added a bridge to it. Marie is a song that is interesting to me because of it’s structure and the potential of what it could be. I think someone more gifted can hear all the parts and structure it in such a way that will make it a very effective song. Right now, it’s about 85% complete. The lyrics are written but it’s just a question of the structure of the song and I think we will record it. I think that song has a great deal of potential because I was very excited about it when I was writing it. It took a while to write too. It came out in pieces but I enjoyed it because when I felt it was kind of drying up for me, I would put it to bed and not force it and the next day it (creative flow) would give me a little treat, and then the next day and that’s how it went. I am very eager to share that song with people.

SMC – Is there a specific reason? Is it specifically about a person you know?

SP This song is autobiographical in nature. There are pieces in it of how I feel about things…. every thought and feeling in that song I experienced firsthand and I am putting it into a song. It’s probably one of the most personal songs I have ever written.

SMC – Nice. Your five tracks would this be one of the five that you will be recording?

SP You know, even if the Producer thinks ‘nah’, I’m going to force this one on him. You’ve gotta give me one chip here and I’m going to play that chip on Marie.

SMC – Awesome.

SP – I think produced the right way it could be a big song.

SMC – I think that’s a gut feeling all Musicians have is when they feel they’ve hit that golden nugget…. always go with your gut.

SP – Well, I really feel this song, very deeply, it’s very personal. This EP is not going to just be these crazy hard driving songs we perform live. I want to layer this EP and have some softer and beautifully produced content. I am eager to do that and to see what this Producer can do. What I am interested in doing is finding a song and layering it and having the real sound emerge from that song. I think hunting for those combinations of instruments, beats, and rhythms is what is so intriguing. That’s what we are planning tomorrow with the Producer is playing the songs and then he’s going to pick five or six and then we’re going to rehearse until we record it all.

SMC – I saw a fan ask if you would consider a country song. Have you entertained that thought?

SP – Listen, I love country music….one of the songs we have ‘All The Way In Love With You’ is sort of country-ish. It really does have kind of a country/rock flavor to it. I think lyrically it also lends itself to that genre and I have others that are country/rock. You asked the question earlier: ‘what song did people respond most to?’ and you know? They really responded well to the punk song

SMC – I knew it!

SP – Yeah, They (fans) rocked out to the ‘HA HA’ song. They were not expecting that. They were completely shocked and we did it as an encore.

SMC – That’s awesome!

SP – I asked the people who were helping out with the merchandise table what they thought and they all said that the fans went crazy for the ‘HA HA’ song. You know, I wrote another punk song that I don’t know if we’re going to perform live yet or not. I could perform it for college crowds, but I don’t know that college kids are really angry anymore. We’re going to have to find the right venue I mean, this one’s out there, it’s called ‘Fuck The Suits’.

SMC – Right on! Love it (laughs). You know that’s the festival song!

SP – (laughs) Yeah, nobody is playing that kind of song. It’s truly a punk song. That’s like Patti Smith and Johnny Rotten had a kid it would be ‘Fuck The Suits’. I showed it originally to the band and they were like ‘What the hell is this?’ Then we started working on it and grooving to it, played it a few times, it was fun a lot of energy. Then during the next rehearsal, we went through the set list a few times and with 15 minutes left in the session, one of the quieter guys in the band said, ‘Hey, uh…. can we play Fuck The Suits?’ (laughs). We hadn’t played it yet, and everyone said, ‘Yeah, sure! Let’s do it!’ It has to be a song that we play at the end of a set because you will blow your voice out on that one. If ‘HA HA’ doesn’t kill me it will be that song that does (laughs).

SMC – (laughs) Well Scott we have a lot of great stuff here! Thank you so much for your time, we are excited to share this new info with your fans!

SP – Yes, it was great talking with you again Candice, thank you so much.

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SCOTT PATTERSON | SMITHRADIO (FORMERLY GORDON) SPOTLIGHT SERIES NO.1

A force to be reckoned with SMITHRADIO debuts LIVE in West Virginia for Flood Relief

by CA Marshall

*Some content updated May 2017 with reference to previous band name GORDON

There’s a golden nugget waiting to be discovered in our Music Industry and it comes by the name of SMITHRADIO (formerly GORDON). I speak strongly here when I make this claim so let me back up the bus a little and catch you all up to speed on what’s about to literally explode onto the music scene

Since early June 2016, when Los Angeles, California-based world renowned actor Scott Patterson tweeted out ‘The band prepping first two gigs! More info to come! #rockandroll #LAdebut #lovethemusic #RideTheBull’. As Editor of an established Music and Entertainment Website and online Magazine (Starlight Music Chronicles), my antennae immediately went up – this needed to be researched more…

We are always on the lookout for new music and are happy to promote Indie Artists so this definitely had me subscribing to his Twitter account and following his tweets. I wanted to know more, see more, hear more. Here and there and up until this very moment while I am typing this feature, I would see snippets of what was to come. ‘In the Studio Recording’ was one. Then there were some video clips of the band at rehearsals followed by the Band Logo revealed on July 9th which read simply “SMITHRADIO (With a backwards `R`) and the initials ‘R B S P T I D’” attached to the message: “July 29 Tractor Bar, Mt. Nebo, WV! 9-11pm. Flood Benefit. Let’s Rock!’ On July 12th, Patterson posted “VIP/Meet-Greet/photos/autographs at Tractor Bar Mt Nebo WV 7/29/16, 2-6pm SMITHRADIO onstage @9PM!!” All of this followed by a clip of the song ‘Beautiful’, a deep bluesy soulful taste of what really is to come.

I put in the request to speak to Patterson immediately so that we could feature SMITHRADIO on Starlight Music Chronicles (SMC). After hearing the ‘Beautiful’ clip, I knew instinctively this was something the world is going to appreciate very quickly being that the music is what avid music junkies are seeking right now: a blues-based sound with a rock and roll twist topped with a little bit of Punk Rock perfected with powerful vocals (Patterson’s) that will blow your mind!

The debut for SMITHRADIO is not just going to be your average live show; it’s also a benefit concert for the families in small communities of West Virginia who have been affected by recent flooding. This is not only a bold move for a debut live show (most Artists will usually only debut for an album release), but every twitter sneak peek leading up to this event proves that it’s also going to be a ‘knock their socks off’ performance. After interviewing Patterson, it is clear that SMITHRADIO is a force to be reckoned with, bringing to the table a history rich with Rock and Roll roots and nothing short of magic to the ears.

Here is our exclusive debut interview with Patterson on all the info you will want to know on SMITHRADIO:

INTERVIEW, July 22, 2016 | Editor CA Marshall with Scott Patterson-

SMC – Hi Scott, thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Obviously, this is your debut (for SMITHRADIO), and you have chosen a Benefit concert to be a part of that debut. I am curious to know a little about that but first, can you give us a little bit of a synopsis of the band and how it came to be?

SGP – Well, I’ve been in bands since I was in third grade and all the way through high school and then when I came out to LA to pursue acting I was doing music as well. I was probably pursuing music as hard as I was pursuing Acting. Things weren’t happening on the acting side in any consistent way so I had a lot of time to write music (he’s written 500 songs!), and to play out in LA at the Kibitz room every Monday, which is a pretty famous venue. They’d have an open jam for people and you’d come in and get up on stage and play a set if you wanted to. I was in with the regulars there for about five years doing this. Right when I was starting to book real gigs in 2000, obstacles were placed in my way, good obstacles, but the music was put on hold. Since 2000, it’s been hectic, busy, and great. Then there was a little bit of a lull, but then in June of this year, I was talking to a friend of mine from back in New Jersey (Patterson was Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Haddonfield, New Jersey) and we were talking about putting the old band back together. He’s a drummer and I grew up with him on the same street. He’s still a drum teacher back there in Southern New Jersey. So, we are talking about the possibility of us joining forces and then he referred me to somebody in the town next over, and they knew somebody, so it kind of started like that then there were people out here (LA) that they knew so I got in touch with those people and I had been auditioning people for a couple of years trying to find the right guys, the right egos, the right players to fit together. There are a lot of great musicians out here but I couldn’t quite find the right mix of people. It would get started and then it would fizzle quickly for whatever reason. It`s not easy putting a band together. So anyway, I found some guys who were not only virtuoso players on their instruments, absolute monsters on their instruments, they’re really good guys. They are really excited to play together for this opportunity to get gigs. Nobody’s getting gigs! It’s hard to play out live and get paid even a little bit of money.  It’s a hard business, a hard business.

I write all the material and the litmus test was (for band member enrollment) was going to be: are they going to hang around for my songs? Are they going to see the potential in the songs and they did. We’ve now been rehearsing for about six weeks now and we’re really beginning to come together as a band. The songs are sounding great and I’m very excited. Everybody is pretty excited. It’s going to be a big powerful sound. So, I’m eager to start playing out and having fun!

SMC – I have listened to some of the clips you have tweeted out and I am blown away: the sound is very reminiscent yet it’s fresh and I think it’s something the world needs right now. How do you feel the music that is being generated and produced by other musicians is at this point? We’re missing a lot of really good Rock and Roll music as in times gone by!

SGP – Well, right, but look, every generation has their music, every generation has Sinatra, and everybody has their particular flavor what they produce and what they like. What’s out now is just really a reflection of who these kids are today and what they like. I’m not going to judge it. It’s just my experience and our experience was different. I grew up listening to the big classic rock bands of the 70’s: The Who, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, you name it; I’ve seen all these bands when I was growing up. I made sure that when anybody was coming to town I was there at the area. Those were the most fun times of my youth were going to those concerts and getting lost in the music. A lot of what I hear today, yes, it’s a lot different. In the past 20 or 30 years there has been some music that hasn’t, shall we say, been honest? It’s kind of manufactured purely for the purposes of making money and I don’t see really, the Artists themselves writing the music, it’s been written for them but look, at the end of the day, it’s a business. I write my own songs, I’ve written 500 songs. I have all kinds of songs: I have some that are attempting to be complex, and then I went into this phase where I thought the biggest challenge in popular music is to find a hook and something simple that people can really groove to and enjoy. So that’s been the challenge of the last several years is trying to come up with a set list of 15 or 16 songs that people will remember and enjoy but still pay homage to the era that I come from with the music that I grew up loving and the music that is in my bones. I think that the kids of today are very well versed in classic rock. When I sit down with a guitar, I’m not listening to songs of today and trying to emulate that kind of writing, it’s not what I do. What I do is blues based because that’s what I love. I am really trying to have fun with the music and I want the audience to have fun with the music as well. I think people get together at a venue and they want to have fun; they want to dance and enjoy the music and they want to feel happy and forget their troubles especially in this age we live in you know? So, there you go, that’s it in a nutshell.

SMC – I was going to ask you about whether you write your own songs and what is the inspiration behind it. Specifically, the song ‘Beautiful’ which you had up on twitter…

SGP – That’s the song that came out of. (He pauses reflecting) well, I had a son, a baby boy, and I started looking at the world differently and was looking at my own life differently and everybody else differently. That event changed me in profound ways as it always does for everybody who has a child. I wanted to share this new-found ability to love, I guess, for lack of a better phrase, with the world! I was really thrilled that I was no longer bashful about it, I could take the armor off, and I could stop fighting in a sense…look, it doesn’t matter who you are when you’re behind a microphone, that’s powerful and you’re spreading a message and for this 3-5 minutes of the song, I thought ‘What is this message going to be to these people for a good five minutes why can’t I tell the people in the audience that they’re beautiful?’ It’s like what George Harrison did in his career is try to be a better person and try to convey a better message of love and peace. I just figured the world could use a good five minutes of that from my band.

SMC – We support an organization called Morgan’s Mission which stands for anti-bullying. By you saying the world has become hardened, it’s so true so it’s nice to know you have a song that stands for that.

SGP – Yes, well you know look, there’s a lot of people out there that aren’t doing too well, they don’t feel too good about themselves, and if they’re not what ‘corporate America’ wants them to look like, they’re depressed, bullied, and told that they don’t look right and they’re shamed in all kinds of ways, a very small percentage of those people are going to take their own lives and they’re 14 years old and 12 years old, it’s just the most tragic thing.

It goes back to how I write music. How I write a song – I will play around with my guitar and if I hit a chord or a certain chord progression the right way an entire story comes at me fully formed and I have to write it down pretty quickly. There are wormholes for songwriters and if you fall into one, and get into the right progression, there are some nice lyrics and songs out there. I don’t write songs first and then match the instrument to the song, that’s not how I write music.  I’ve been messing around with a lot of different tunings lately and you can hit some crazy chords! One chord I hit. I just love the song that came out of it. Again, its rock, its blues, and again, I don’t want to become too complicated with the songs. It’s just the feeling behind them and the player’s ability to play the songs. Less is more for me. If I hit a chord, there’s a story that draws it out of me.

SMC – How much are you able to say about the band’s former name (GORDON)? It’s your middle name, correct?

SGP – Yes, it’s my Mother’s maiden name and my middle name.

SMC – So tell us a little about the Flood Relief concert, that’s the event you have chosen to debut and I am curious, there could be anywhere in the world that you could debut, why West Virginia? I see you are big into the humanitarian side, so we would like to know a little bit about that.

SGP – This Gentleman in Richwood, West Virginia reached out to me via twitter. They were hit historically hard with flooding. Approx. 24 people died in White Sulphur Springs, Richwood, and Rainelle, West Virginia and other areas. He had tweeted out to a bunch of big country music stars and other music stars and somehow, he included me in his tweets. I just was so taken by that. I read about what happened and I’ve been keeping abreast of the situation. His phone number was on the tweet so I called him and asked how I can help.

SMC – I bet he was surprised! (laughs)

SGP – He was really happy because I called him within 10 minutes of getting the tweet and I don’t think he heard from anybody else at that point.

SMC – That’s awesome! Good for you!

SGP – There are many, many chapters to this story, but it ended up being two benefit concerts. The first one is Friday night, July 29th at The Tractor Barn in Mt. Nebo, WV. Then July 30th, there will be a free concert in Summersville, WV which is right up the road, I believe, from Mt. Nebo, its outdoors at the pavilion downtown. They’re going to shut down the streets and rope off an area close to the stage and charge $25 per person for VIP access and everybody else is free. I’m going to do a ‘Meet and Greet’ for fans Friday from 2-6 pm at the Tractor Bar and then Saturday 2-6 pm at Maloney’s Sports Pub in downtown Summersville. The Tractor Bar show starts at 9pm for SMITHRADIO and the opening act is called the Carpenter Ants and they’re good players and I believe they are WV boys too so it’s going to be a fun time. They go on at 7pm Friday at The Tractor Barn and 6pm Saturday in Summersville followed by us at 8pm. So that’s how it happened. The Mayor of Summersville has gotten involved and he’s been doing a lot of heavy lifting getting this all together. It’s been a lot of work, yeah sure, I’m pretty tired at this point but these things are worth doing and there are people who are really hurting. Life’s been good to me and I’ve been very fortunate and now it’s time to try and help some folks out. I just thought it was the perfect way to debut the band, and these are really good guys in the band and when I told them about it (flood relief concert) they all wanted to do it. That’s why I chose these guys, because they are just good-hearted guys on top of being fantastic players, they’re just good people. Why not make a couple of concerts and try to help people take their minds of their troubles for a couple hours a day?

SMC – I know you say you’ve been involved in music at such a young age, yet I feel your band is going to go in a very strong direction very quickly.

SGP – Why do you feel that way? I share your optimism because the songs are solid and the band is just fantastic. But why do you feel that way?

SMC – Well, there’s a couple reasons: Number one – My impression from your twitter newsfeed about SMITHRADIO is that you’re very happy and excited about what you’re doing. It’s an excitement behind it, it’s not an ‘okay, well, we’re going through the process…following protocol, we’re going to release on such and such a date, etc.’, it’s more like ‘Hey everybody! Come out and join the party!’ and it’s rather refreshing. Secondly, I think that, with the music I have heard, this is what the world is wanting right now. I think that it is very fresh and enjoyable. It’s exactly what I imagined and you confirmed it just by talking about it.

SGP – Well listen, I have not been this passionate about anything in my entire life. I have never felt so great and so determined in my entire life. I have done some things where I have tried to build careers in different areas and I kind of know what it takes: It takes talent, hard work, patience, and you need to be on an even keel because there are highs and lows. I have been through that through a couple different careers now. The one thing that excites me about this and the one thing that was obvious to do was to do a live experience where I could connect with other people. I just started craving it. I could not be myself continuing solely in a profession where I had no contact while doing my job with an audience, you know what I mean? So, the options were: Live Theatre or this. Music has always been, for me, the number one choice had I been able to choose a career. I thought to myself, well when the heck am I going to do it? I have to do it now (he laughs), I’m not 20 anymore.

Another reason I am so passionate about it is.my son is just two years old and he hasn’t seen me build anything yet. I’ve built a couple of different careers and one I was very successful but didn’t reach the ultimate goal and the other career I almost got all the way to the top of the mountain and ended up making a really great living but he hasn’t seen me do it. I want him to see me build something; I want him to see me enjoying it and see me successful at it so that’s what’s driving me. He sings songs with me and plays the guitar with me.

SMC – Are you kidding?! That’s so cute!

SGP – Yeah, he comes into my media room where I write and I’ll give him a guitar pick and he’ll hit the strings and he’ll sing along. I want my son to see me pursuing my passion because that’s what I want him to do. So, there’s a lot of energy behind it.  I have a friend of 30 years come by and she didn’t have any idea (and she is in the music business) I was so heavily involved, and she said, ‘You have a band?’ (laughs) So I said, “Come by to the rehearsal studio!” She did and we had the best time. We played the whole set for her.

SMC – That’s great!

SGP- Those clips you heard were done a couple of weeks ago when we were just starting out. Since, we have recorded a couple of songs in one take, with no over dubs at all. I am talking to some people now about recording and working on our first album. I want to have something for people to hear obviously instead of these little clips here and there but we are just six weeks old and our band is just a little baby at this point.

SMC – Well thank you for considering us for the interview! We really appreciate getting to know the band while it’s still young!

SGP – Absolutely!

SMC – Do you want to remain ‘Indie’ or are you wanting to be signed by a label?

SGP – You know what I want to do? This is what I want to do: I want to play a lot of live shows for a lot of people. That’s what I want to do. That’s all I want to do.  I want to tour, be on the road, and bring my family with me all over the world. If at some point, someone wants to sign us, great! I just want to play live! I want the world to hear this band and there are times in rehearsal when I just stand there and I am amazed at what is hitting me in the back. It feels so good and I’m just so happy to be there. Look, it’s an intense band. These are intense songs.

SMC – Even better!

SGP – We’re looking to blow some doors off some rooms. That’s what excites me is the level of intensity of this band and how we can take a song I wrote 20 years ago and take it out of this moody, little quiet thing and rock it up and make it a powerful song and we do it. We have just finalized the set list that is most impactful to debut these songs. I don’t want to be a guy up there giving speeches and talking too much, I just want to keep people grooving for a couple hours at a time because I think that’s also a lost art and to share that with an audience would be monumental. Its contact with people and the world and I just feel a very powerful need and inspiration with my band and I am going to do it and nothing is going to stop me.

SMC – Would you ever consider coming to Canada?

SGP – Absolutely! We’d love to come to Canada. This WV concert is a lot of work but we are getting a lot of support from the Mayor and others. It’s really not a simple thing to put together and so many decisions that have to be made to make this come off right. We are looking at playing some benefit concerts on the Jersey Shore in mid-August. We are planning some bigger shows actually; maybe you can come down for those! Is there really anything better than going to a live concert? I don’t think so.

SMC – Do you have any co-writes in the future?

SGP – At the moment, I write all the songs.

SMC – Have there been any interesting fan moments that you would like to share with the inception of SMITHRADIO?

SGP Word is beginning to trickle out a little bit and everything that we have heard so far as feedback has been positive, just completely positive. People want to know more and are finding out where we are rehearsing and they are ‘stopping by’ saying ‘I was in the area’ and I say to them ‘Really? You’re just sort of stopping by here…. Really?’

SMC – So essentially, this is the ‘Golden Nugget’ in your career?

SGP – How can I say this. I am at a point in my life where…there’s something far more interesting and deeper that is buried underneath your rage. There is something far more productive and artistic, you know, it is the heart and soul of art. I think I’ve finally gotten to that point in my life where I can wipe away bad memories and access some really golden stuff and enjoy it and share it with the world. That had a lot to do with the birth of my son and I am expressing it through the music. I should have probably named the band after my son because really, it’s me wanting to share the joy of my son with the world! (laughs). Now if everybody would do that, there would be a lot more music and a lot more peace, right?

SMC – No Kidding! (laughs) Do you plan on having more children?

SGP – Oh yes! I like how this first one came out and I think I’ll do it again yeah.

SMC – Awe, nice! That’s great to hear!

SGP – Yeah, they’re wonderful. He’s wonderful.

SMC – Hoping for a daughter next time?

SGP – Maybe two boys and then a girl…we’ll see, we’ll see.

SMC – Is it going to be far off into the future as far as recordings that will be available to the public?

SGP – I am talking to some people now and I want to be very careful about this because it is important how the public hears this music for the first time. First impressions are everything. I want to do it right and I want to make sure that it`s the best quality tracks that we could possibly do at that moment before I share full songs with the world. I want to be really, proud of it. I need to be impressed by it and I`m very demanding of myself and detail oriented. It just has to be great. I won`t share it unless it`s great. We have recorded five songs but I thought the power of the band wasn`t captured in those recordings so I will share little bits here and there but I think it`s important to come out guns blazing with some great tracks. You don`t get a second chance. I`d rather have people get a little frustrated with me than put out a product that I`m not proud of.

SMC – Understandable

SGP – Let`s just get some gigs under our belts because there’s a lot of mistakes and adjustments we need to make yet and we’ll learn as we go. Right now, it’s finding the right Producer who can structure and produce the songs with the sound we are creating and capable of.

SMC – Your logo, why does it have the numbers 1:11 on it?

SGP – That’s a tattoo I have on my left shoulder and the other one, in the middle of the logo, is another one I have on my right bicep. There’s meaning with them, all that kind of stuff, deep meaning. I just wanted to make the logo as personal as I possibly could.

SMC – It’s great! It’s very reflective of the band. With regards to your live performance, does the band feel like they can do a two-hour show and walk off the stage feeling fine?

SGP – Let me put it to you this way: A three-hour rehearsal for us is a short rehearsal and we go through the set list one and a half to two times in three hours with about a 15-minute break in between. After that, we are spent(laughs)

SMC – You boys are machines!

SGP – Thank God I am in good shape but I’m a pretty emotional guy as it turns out (laughs). That’s how I sing and that’s how I write.

SMC – How do you feel about how it’s all coming together?

SGP – I think we’re ready to play live. We were ready a month ago. They say playing one live gig is worth one week of rehearsal so I think we’re ready to get out there and learn what we need to do. We’ll put on a good show. People will enjoy it but we’re going to learn a lot. We’ll make some mistakes but we’ll learn a lot. I’ll forget some lyrics and they’ll forget some transitions, you know, it’s part of it. Nothings perfect, it’s not going to be a seamless performance but we’re ready!

SMC – But the beauty in that is the audience hasn’t heard the full songs yet so they won’t know, and that’s the beauty in all of this. That’s what I am excited to hear about: is the audience’s reaction.

SGP – Well yeah, I write a variety of different styles too

SMC – Well I recall that we had talked about (in the beginning of the interview) different kinds of music that were your influences. Are there any Punk Rock influences you liked?

SGP – Patti Smith. I auditioned for her band when I was 15.

SMC – You’re kidding?

SGP – Oh yeah. You know she’s a South Jersey girl. She grew up where I grew up. When I was in high school, beginning my freshman year, I would go up to New York City to see her band every chance I would get. I would stay with my sister and I would see her perform at The Bottom Line (venue), speak at Amnesty International events, and I was in CBGB’s (venue) one night as a 15-year-old with two of my sisters and she was standing there talking to some guy. He looked like he was a record Producer. She was wearing these Ray Ban’s with these blinders on the side

SMC – I remember those!

SGP – Remember those tan leather blinders on the side?

SMC – Yep!

SGP – I went up to her…I am pretty bold and not terribly shy when I want something, and I just walked right up to her and interrupted their conversation and I said, “I’m from South Jersey too and I’m a big fan and I was wondering if you are looking for a keyboard player.” Then she pulled down her glasses a little bit toward the end of her nose and looked at me and said, “How old are you?’ (he laughs)

SMC – (Laughing) that’s awesome!

SGP With Patti, she really started out the other way around. She started a band around her to match the words to some songs, I thought, with some terrific results. It was very unusual music very exciting music based on her inspirations and her love of great literature and French symbolist poetry and the alchemy of the work. She was trying to do what Rimbaud (French Poet) tried to do and achieve this kind of alchemy with her music. In my humble opinion she achieved that.

I also remember at that time I was listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin, The Stones, The Who, and who everybody else was listening to. Then she came along and I started listening to her on WMMR in Philadelphia was the big FM Radio station and they would do live broadcasts every Sunday night wherever she was playing. Those shows had just had incredible energy coming out of the radio and I just think: wouldn’t that be great to do that at The Tractor Bar on July 29th is have a live broadcast. because for me that was just so exciting as a young boy: the anticipation, waiting for that concert to be on the radio and having to hide the radio under the sheets because it was past my bedtime you know.

SMC – That’s awesome!

SGP – Yes, and actually, after I had auditioned, I hadn’t heard anything.  A month later I saw her at an Amnesty International speech and we ended up backstage. Patti came up behind me and my sisters’ eyes went really wide and she said ‘Scott, turn around’ and, it was her. She said, ‘I remember you. How are you doing?’ I was totally star-struck again. I was gaga for the woman. We ended up having a nice conversation and afterwards, when we were walking out the door and taking a left down the Bowery and we weren’t 20 feet down the street when I heard this voice shout out ‘Hey!’ and its Patti Smith again standing there with some people. So, I turned around and she shouts “Hey man! Good luck!’ For me, that was the biggest moment of my life. I kind of feel like I’ve been, how can I say – blessed by the Goddess right? You could say I was ‘Blessed by the Goddess poet Patti Smith’. It was a really nice moment which meant everything to me. She represented to me that somebody from south Jersey could get out of south Jersey and do big things you know what I mean? It was just a huge inspiration for me. It was a moment where someone I looked up to so much was so kind and beautiful to me. I will always love her for that. Those memories of seeing her in New York, those memories are deeply ingrained in me. To me, she represented artistic freedom, freedom of expression, living outside of society and not feeling like you have to fit in somewhere. She could be her own person and be proud of it and not really care what other people thought except what she thought. To me, she was self actualized and really loved herself and still does. Horses was such a deeply impactful and artistic album for me. You just can’t make that kind of album today, but I’m going to try!

SMC – I hope you do! Keep up the good work! For me it Bowie.

SGP – You know what? When Bowie died, it hit me harder than I expected it to. It was just because of his individuality and how unique he was and how bold and brilliant the music was. The song writing was so impactful. When I found out that he passed away, I was stunned. I just couldn’t move. Bowie was just (sighs). Bowie was Bowie…I sat in my media room and I wept. I was really in mourning. I knew Iman back in the late 80’s, we were friends before they got together. I wanted to reach out but, you know, it had been so long. I was just completely stunned and blown away. He wrote some beautiful songs. What an unbelievable loss to the music industry!

SMC – Yes, I totally agree. You know, I’m going to have to see you live!

SGP – Absolutely!

SMC – So, there are a lot of Artists that go live and they sound nothing like they do in their recordings

SGP – Yeah, well, we’re not going to have that. There’s a device now that you can put into your microphone so that live performances can get auto tuned through your mic. I’m not going to do that to my fans. If I go off-key then it’s on me. You know? We’ve got to keep it real for the fans. That’s how we record too. We record live and we just try to rock it as best we can. We want a real raw sound because our live sound is just so explosive we’re looking for a Producer who can capture that real like raw explosiveness.

SMC – NICE!  Someone needs to film this. I want to see the reaction! I have a feeling SMITHRADIO will appeal to a lot of different age groups really, because the younger crowd is looking for something new.

SGP – If the younger crowd is craving an iconic throwback 70’s rock band sound, that’s what we have. That’s what they’re going to get. We have searing lead guitar solos that will blow your mind, one of the guys’ plays a slide guitar that is absolutely wicked beyond wicked, the drummer is thunderous and he’s gifted. It’s just such a great sound. A lot of the songs are about life experiences.

SMC – Okay, can you name one of the songs you’ve written which still really affect you even to this day.

SGP – I think one of the most deeply emotional songs in the entire set is a song called ‘Christina’. I wrote it about a girl I knew a long time ago, but really, it could relate to anyone that wants to escape their circumstances as teenagers. Ones that are growing up in horrible circumstances and maybe some abusive circumstances and they long to leave and run away because they know that if they don’t leave, something bad could happen. It’s autobiographical and I realize why I liked the song so much is that I wrote it from experience: I was struggling to get out of my circumstances at the time as well. Those are always some of my favorite songs growing up are songs like that: songs about the need to escape, the need to get out, the need to know more about life. I think a lot of popular music comes from the need to pour one’s heart out into an instrument.  Let me sum it up for you: instead of therapy, you’re screaming into a microphone for three hours at a time. It’s wonderful. Even if you don’t have a band, you should buy yourself a microphone, get into a sound proof room and scream for a couple of hours. You’ll walk out feeling great! I’ve been screaming now for six weeks and it feels so right and good.

SMC – What do you want people to remember from this debut concert?

SGP – Our intention is to have people leave that theater exhausted and exhilarated and smiling and sweaty and hoarse you know? And their right or their left shoulders hurting from pumping their fists so much and their palms hurting from clapping so much. We’re not asking for much are we really?

Not at all Scott, not at all

World, are you ready for the SMITHRADIO Storm?

Stay tuned!

______________________

*UPDATED May 2017*

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