Something to *Fight For- An Interview With Kelly Burdge of NoMara

November 4, 2009 at 4:45 PM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , , , )


kellynomara (1)

NoMara: The band name derives from the Buddhist Lord of misfortune, sin, destruction, and death, Mara. Mara is the ruler of desire and death, the two evils that chain man to the wheel of ceaseless rebirth. Mara reviles man, blinds him, guides him toward sensuous desires; once man is in his bondage, Mara is free to destroy him”. Mara can be defined as the evil in all of us. In relationships, especially with people close to us, many of our actions including words can be used like darts to hurt and inflict pain. Over time, those words and actions wear and tear down others to the point that we lose them from our lives. NoMara means our partner is not Mara and should not be abused as if they are the evil one. The answers to our individual issues lie within us, not others. She is not Mara, she is not your fight!

I have the pleasure to know Kelly Burdge; the lead singer of NoMara and to be introduced to his music- his band.  I was inspired by his story and his music. The words to his songs are something we can all relate to; his passion to drive on through and make his dreams a reality should tell us that we can do anything we set our minds to.  This Ohio based rock band has been working hard to get their music to us and Kelly has kindly given me an interview to share in depth about his fervor and dedication to his life long dream.



Your band just emerged in 2008. What drove you want to start a band?

You know, who doesn’t want to start a band?  I can remember growing up and listening to KISS Alive and thinking to myself, “Wow, this is something special…which reminds me…I should be eligible for some kind of benefit for being in the Kiss Army all these years.”  At any rate, I chose a different path which included sports, college, 9-5 and so on.  I always kept music close to my heart and frequently attended tons of shows whenever possible to see the bands that gave me that spark inside.  To me, it all comes down to the connection between myself and the band at the live show.  I can listen to CD’s all day long, but until I see them live and “feel it” in the flesh, it does not become burned into my soul.  It really wasn’t until the past few years I honestly gave any serious thought to becoming a musician.  In fact, it all started a couple years ago when one of my favorite bands, Fuel, announced online they would be seeking a new lead singer and would be holding auditions.  I thought to myself, “Self….could this be a sign?” Well not having the courage to submit an audition tape, I did reach out to a long time friend and one of the world’s most amazing rock drummers, Troy Luckketta from Tesla.  I told Troy I wanted to do a song together and I didn’t think he took me too seriously but nonetheless, he was very supportive.  Troy suggested finding a few local guys and start jamming. Well, where else to find a couple local musicians but at your neighborhood coffee shop? We jammed one day in my apartment and the addiction kicked in.  Over the course of the next few months, I literally began writing tons of songs, mostly in the form of short stories without the music.  Looking back, anyone who has ever known me always knew that being a front man in a rock band was my true dream and fantasy in life. Music has been the one thing in my life that has always been there, never failed me, and has always done what it set it out to do, heal and sooth.

How did you start the process? Who co-writes the songs with you?

Process is a good description. Starting and maintaining a band is certainly a process, not an event.  Not really any band experience, I kind of assumed finding a group of musicians to give up their lives and go on tour with me would be easy.  Come to find out, the music business is a bit more complex.  Typically, a band gets together as friends or colleagues from a local scene and writes music together. My situation was a little different than that; I wrote all my music with already established musicians in a studio.  A good friend of mine named Phil Taylor (Future Leaders of the World) had recently teamed up with ex-Evanescence band member John Lecompt on a new project called “Machina” that was based out of Little Rock.  I contacted Phil telling him about all these songs I had been working on and he suggested I come work with him and John to see what we could come up with.  The next thing I knew, I was down in John’s studio and before I knew it we had 12 really good songs and POOF! I was a front man!  So, the next step was to find a band.  In September of 2008, I spent a weekend with Troy and let him hear the final product for the first time.  He was very surprised and proud at how far this dream had come in a very short period of time.  We immediately began the process of putting a band together.  For most of 2008, the band was based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We toured a bit with a great band called Pop Evil, but the chemistry was just not there with that line-up, so I had to make a few changes.  Currently, the band is based back in Ohio but still has nationwide roots with our lead guitar player coming from San Francisco (Nicky Now) and our bass player (Matthew Paul) coming from Atlanta.  Our other guitar player (Steve Prater) and drummer (Andy Perkins) are Ohio boys from Kenton.  I am extremely pleased with this line-up and truly feel they are connected with the music; each bringing their own energy and vibe into the songs giving them life.

You told me that you didn’t know you could sing for the longest time; what happened to make you realize you can?

I am still very much a student of singing and learn more about it every single day.  If you could hear the first time I stepped into the studio box to sing you would laugh your butt off. Again, I had never been in a band, had a lesson, or been on a stage other than one or two times doing karaoke.  In fact, the first time I ever stepped foot on a stage was opening for Tesla at a sold out show in California; I think I fooled them.

What kept me going was I could hear in my head how it needed to be sung.  I would also imagine how singers like Brent from Shinedown or Jacoby from Papa Roach might sing the song.  I would take all that in and let it out with my own flavor and style.  I have been taking lessons and asking lots of questions when in the company of talented local and national artists on how to keep getting better.  My vocal coach Stephanie is amazing; she really helped me gain the confidence I needed. I also do my best to keep my voice healthy by not drinking alcohol or smoking.  Water is also key.

Your lyrics are drawn from relationships and the hardships from them; what emotions and memories do you draw from to pen the lyrics?

Well, if there is one thing we can all relate to it’s the pains and joys of being in a relationship. For me, my life struggles have always been about accepting my place in the world and being content day to day.  For some reason I have always felt like I was missing something and just not complete.  Having children certainly filled most of that void but having that true connection with a partner has seemed to always flee over time in my past.  I frequently ponder and wonder why this happens and I still do not know.  The current songs of NoMara do stem from a particular point and instance of time in my life not too long ago.  The record actually tells a story from beginning to end.  The first track is called “Last Call” and is about the end of a relationship.  It’s about that last call, last text, or email…when we finally realize this relationship is over.  The remaining tracks are about the period of time after a break-up detailing the thoughts and process we go through in getting back on our feet.  Relationships are great practice for personal growth.

Which song is the closest to you heart and that you are the most proud of?

Without question Fight Song means the most to me.  All I ever wanted was someone who wants to be with me as much as I want to be with them.  That song is going through some changes right now and I think the updated official version will be even better. We are playing the new version live on this upcoming tour and do see it being released on radio soon if things continue to progress for us. Personally, I don’t think the world needs another love song. I think we what need is a fight song that will keep us together so we never ever fall apart.

What obstacles have you pushed through (and currently) to make this dream your reality?

I think the biggest obstacle has been maneuvering around in today’s music business. Everything is so different than bands experienced prior to 2002.  The biggest challenge is getting your music out to the people.  Yes, there are more tools today than ever before with social networking and online music stores but there is also a tremendous amount of bands out there saturating the consumer.  Getting yours into their ears is a challenge.  I have always been a firm believer that the cream comes to the top and if the music is good enough it will eventually be heard and embraced.  As a band, we need to stay focused and healthy while on the road.  All of us are committed to doing whatever it takes to get the music to the people.  Hopefully, the people will respond by becoming NoMara fans and coming to our shows.

How are you defying yourself as a band?  How are you making yourselves stand out from the rest?

I think our band is in a position to accomplish some great things.  All of the guys are seasoned musicians that have been down the road before and have experienced what works and what does not when it comes to “surviving out there”.  We just had this conversation tonight at practice as we processed our shows from the past weekend.  We all want NoMara to be a class act from the minute we enter a town to the time we leave.  We don’t subscribe to the stereotypical “up all night- sleep all day” rock and roll lifestyle.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our fun on the road but we do our best to keep things balanced and in perspective.

What would/does “success” mean to you?

Well for years I viewed success by the how much money I had, but over the past few years’ success has been defined as living life chasing dreams.  In my old job,I was surrounded by people counting the days to retirement.  I never subscribed in my heart to that mentality and did not want my children watching me live my life doing something I was not passionate about.  Everything I do today or become involved with has to have a purpose.  It must have something to do with making the world a better place.  Aside from this rock and roll life, I am a licensed substance abuse counselor.  I recently co-authored a book that uses the languages of sports to reduce high risk behaviors in youth and young adults.  I would like to eventually get the book out and be able to visit local high schools during the day while out on the road rocking and rolling during the nightshift.

Who and/or what is your inspiration/muse?

My children are my inspiration.  Without question they are the best thing that ever happened to me.  It’s difficult being away from them while on the road but we manage to stay in touch daily via cell phones and this trip out we are going to try some web cams.  They both rock!

You are going on tour soon; how are you preparing for it?

The band finally arrived in Ohio a couple weeks ago.  We immediately began daily rehearsals and played a few regional shows.  Nowadays the band has to play the part of management, marketing department, promotions, booking agent, etc.  If we are not rehearsing, we are talking to venues, reaching out to new fans online, or sleeping.  The tour kicks off Friday at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus. We then head down to Nashville and into the northern U.S. for a few weeks.

NoMara will be playing at Columbus, Ohio’s Newport Music Hall November 6th!  To check out other tour dates, please go to their Myspace music page:

http://www.myspace.com/nomaramusic

Follow NoMara on Twitter!  They follow back!

http://twitter.com/NoMaraMusic

To buy tickets for their shows:

http://www.nomaratickets.com/

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Paying It Forward By “Healing”: An Interview With Musician Josh Charles

October 5, 2009 at 5:05 PM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , , )

Josh Charles

Josh Charles is a remarkable man and musician.  He is an inspiration to others; more should pay it forward for the greater good.  Josh is giving back to the community of New Orleans.  Download the single “Healing Time” on iTunes or Amazon and 100% of the proceeds  go to The Preservation Resource Center (PRC) of New Orleans to help rebuild, restore, and preserve the architectural history and historic neighborhoods that support the local culture and character of New Orleans.  As stated in an article in the Huffington Post by 2morrowknight, Josh stated that ” I’m trying to do my part to give back to the city of New Orleans which has given me so much as an artist.”

Read more at: Huffington Post

Josh began playing at an early age.  He began playing piano at the age of 8  and he started playing guitar at 13.  He was classically trained and spent summers at band camp.  His piano playing can be linked back to blend of New Orleans music and gospel styles.  You feel at peace when you listen to him play; a part of you can go back in time and feel his soulful music enter your heart  and you can’t help but move along with the notes.

Josh Charles is also teaching a master class at Steinway Music Hall in NYC on the how to play New Orleans /Boogie Woogie Piano even if you’re never played. It is Saturday, October 10th from 3-5 PM; all beginners are welcome.  If interested, please contact him: masterclass@joshcharlesmusic



You are on Twitter; have you found that spreading your music and message has been helped by it?

I am thankful that I found Twitter. I was just telling Gavin DeGraw last night that I find Twitter to be my favorite way to communicate with fans. It’s amazing, in real-time you can share personal thoughts, pics,vids,music and I really enjoy interacting with people. When I’m on tour, I meet people from Twitter and I’m so appreciative for their support. Twitter is also how I stay connected to everyone. There is so much great content on Twitter and I feel so lucky to have so many great tweeps who help me out – I must name some here: @buzzedition,@alyssa_milano @collective_soul ,@jason_pollock @_stevewoods @kevin_desoto @kim @lorimoreno @krystynchong  –the list goes on and on but I feel very lucky to be considered worthwhile among tweeps.  In short, I love TWITTER..

You have said you are a “wandering nomad” and you feel a kinship to New Orleans.  Do you see yourself moving back there soon?

At some point, I would love to move to New Orleans for Take 2. I love the city with all my heart and soul.

You started playing in blues clubs when you were a teenager.  Do you have any crazy stories from playing in clubs at such a young age?

My first job was at a blues joint in KC. It was on a 100 year old beat up piano with jagged keys and missing notes- I would bleed from the sharp edges and playing so hard. I had no microphone and it was a 4 hour a night rowdy blues and boogie woogie gig.

What makes you want to get up every day?  What inspires you?

I love being able to share my music with the world. Knowing that it’s helping make a difference in people’s lives is a very powerful thought. I take it very seriously and work very hard on my craft.

You recently met Smokey Robinson; please tell us of that experience.  How does it feel to meet other remarkable musicians?

One of the nicest, most gracious and caring guys on this planet. He fills the room with joy and it’s an honor. I”ve been so fortunate to meet amazing people and musicians. Just recently, I shared an afternoon with Allen Toussaint playing piano and singing songs and it was a highlight of my musical life. I mean it’s Allen Toussaint!

If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

Wow just one?  I’d love to have spent a day with Ray Charles 🙂

“Healing Time” is eligible for Grammy’s in the following categories: Best New Artist, Song of the Year and Record of the Year.  That is incredible; how does it make you feel to be recognized in that way?

It’s an honor! Healing Time has tremendous potential to make a difference in people’s lives and help rebuild New Orleans. I can’t stress enough how important it is for people to download the song and pay it forward.

To learn more about Josh Charles and his cause, please visit his web page:

http://joshcharlesmusic.com/home/

Follow Josh Charles on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/joshcharles

Become a fan on his Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18473958150

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“Bad Things” With Jace Everett

October 2, 2009 at 1:17 AM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , , , )

Jace

Photo Courtesy of jaceeverett.com

You have heard Jace Everett’s voice.  HBO’s huge success, True Blood, has his song “Bad Things” as the opening title theme.  It’s his sexy, sultry voice that you can’t help sing along with or tap your foot to when you sit down to watch it on Sunday nights.

Jace is just more than one song of a hit TV show. His talent is evident.  His deep, sweltering, expressive music turns you on, grabs you and doesn’t let go.  When you listen, you can relate and take the stroll with him along his emotional memories.

Jace, when did you realize you made it in the music business?  What was your defining moment?

Have I made it? I’ve been making my living with music for over 10 years. In a sense that’s “making it”. But this business is really about tenacity. You go up and down like a see-saw for years only to find when you look back that the only thing that’s amazing is that you’re still doing it! My defining moment is every day I get up and do it again.

When did you 1st start singing and realize it is what you wanted to do with your life? How did you prove to others that you will be successful?

I started singing in public when I was 12. I always knew this was what I wanted. I don’t really worry about proving things to other people. It’s enough to prove it to myself.

Which singers do you emulate?

All of them! Big influences on my actual singing are Bono, Tom Waits, Tom Petty, Joe Cocker, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. Different songs call for different kinds of singing. Those are the guys I rip off most often though!

Your song, “Bad Things” is the open title song for the show True Blood; how did that come about?  Did you have any idea how big this show was going to be and how has the success of it impacted your music and life?

Alan Ball discovered the song on iTunes and thought it was a good fit. Turns out he was right. The show has been a huge shot in the arm for me.

I have listened to your new album, Red Revelations and it is filled with dark, bluesy, arousing goodness.  What was your focus for this album?

I wanted to synthesize all my different influences into a fresh sound. Outlaw country, rock and roll, blues, torch songs, the whole shebang.

How would you personally categorize your music?  More Rockabilly than country? More like blues than rock?  All of them?

Yeah, I leave that up to the marketing guys. My music is just that; my music.

You like whiskey like I do, what is your favorite kind?

Jamesons Irish

What do you do to unwind from a crazy day?

See above!

What is your “Bad Thing” or habit?

Too many to list.

I would love to see you do a duet with Chris Isaak; perhaps go on his show, The Chris Isaak Hour because you remind me so much of him.  Could that be a possibility?

Chris is a far better singer than I am. Beautiful falsetto. Very Orbison. A lot of folks assume the “Bad Things” was a take-off on “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing”, but it wasn’t. I’m certainly a fan of his and there’s obviously some rockabilly in my music, but Chris does a really unique and great thing that’s quite different from me. I’d be delighted to work with him. Never know.

Can we expect a nationwide tour soon?  I would love to see you in Columbus, Ohio.

We’ll see how sales go. It takes money to make it, but I’m on the West coast a lot this year as well as some UK shows. 2010 should be busy.

Please, give me one crazy story from a show.

I remember playing a small club back in the 1990’s when the power went out. Turns out the manager of another act had pulled the plug in the middle of my set! I was young and full of rage. I picked up a monitor and threw  it across the stage at the guy. The power returned pretty quickly.

How do you prepare for a show?

Quietly with about 15 minutes of silence in a room by myself.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned in your career?

Never surrender, never quit, and don’t believe everything you hear; the bad or the good.

You have been nominated for Spike TV’s Scream Song of the Year; how does that make you feel?

Amused.

To vote for him, please go here:

http://www.spike.com/event/scream2009/page/vote/category/33121


To know even more about Jace; to see where he will be playing and to buy his album RED REVELATIONS, visit his website:

http://jaceeverett.com/

Follow him on Twitter!

http://twitter.com/jaceeverett

Myspace:

http://www.myspace.com/jaceeverett


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Breaking Through Walls; The Essence Of Being Unstoppable – An Interview With Musician Roni Bryant

September 26, 2009 at 2:33 PM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , )

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Interview With the Harber & Miller Band

July 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM (Interviews, Music, Concerts) (, , , )

Harber and Miller Band

I have a special treat for you today!  I interviewed the wonderful, talented Christian Harber of the Harber & Miller Band.

From their Myspace music page they are defined as:

“The quintessential southern rock band, but somehow never losing that small town identity that has branded them rock’s west Texas badboys. They’ve reigned as a genuine force of nature, boasting rock n’ roll’s concept of road warriors and show performances with songs like “My Release” and “Yesterday’s Fool”. Unleashing their songs at the beginning of 2005, the band seemed to capture a steadfast refusal to be just another southern rock band and will release a new EP winter 2009. 


The Harber and Miller Band defies genre sound and transforms southern rock and alternative rock with powerful, soulful vocals. The composition echoes the work of Lynard Skynard, The Black Crowes or even hints of artists like surround the style of Government Mule.”

The band members:

Christian Harber
Vocals & Guitar

David Miller
Vocals & Bass

Wes Korner
Drums

Juan Carlos
Lead Guitar


How did you guys get together and form The Harber and Miller Band?  When was it formed?

David Miller and I, Christian Harber, met at church sometime early 2005, few years before we actually started singing together.  One night I was playing “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi on the acoustic and David started singing harmonies with me.  I was immediately surprised and said;” wow, we sing really well together”.  We recorded our first CD less than a year later.

How long did it take for people to notice your great sound? (i.e., record deal)

We’re not really sure some people have gotten it yet…hahaha!  But our music is liked by the Gen Y and Baby boomer generation.  Our sound really defies genre.  We combine a plethora of styles from country down to alternative rock.  Our sound mixes our music preferences with a Southern Rock/Blues/Americana result.

What is your inspiration for your lyrics? How do you write them?

I (Christian Harber), I’m the songwriter and as cliché as it may sound, I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot in my life.  I realize that people struggle with different demons and different situations, much like me.  I think most of the songs I’ve written are about those battles.

Why are you branded the “Bad Boys”? Any good stories you can share?

Bad boys? I thought it was Baptist, LOL…just kidding.  We may be branded that but there’s nothing on the record that stands for it.  We certainly don’t follow too many rules but a lot of people say that we really know how to live.

What band do you most identify with?

Individually we all have way different flavors but together I think we can say that we…..have absolutely no idea!  What we do get is that we definitely defy specific genre but that our fans really enjoy the music we make.

What do you like to do in your spare time?  What hobbies do you most enjoy?

We’re Texas boys! BBQ and anything that gets us away from work and close to water or snow!  Just about anything; reading, movies, hiking, boating, tubing and having a killer time with friends and family.

Your new EP is coming out this winter; what should we expect?

We think this EP will finally showcase what our band is all about.  We’ve managed to pique the interest of serious music professionals, which we intend to, collaborate with in the studio.  This EP will definitely leave a deep mark in our music career with all the intention to not disappoint our fans.

So, when will you be coming to Columbus, Ohio so I can see you live and party with you?

That, my dear Misty, depends on just how well we continue our march towards our goals.  As soon as our EP is out, we have some marketing strategies that can possibly include supporting our EP in your area.  We would love for you to get to know us and enjoy a HMB night out with us “Bad Boys”. Thanks for interview, is our pleasure.

Please listen to their soulful, compelling music here: http://www.myspace.com/harberandmillerband

Follow them on Twitter!  http://twitter.com/HandMBand

I hope you fall in love with their music like I did.

Thank you guys for giving me this interview!  I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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