GoGirls Interview with Laura Payne of Rhythm and the Method
What drives your music? When did you first know you had to do this thing called music or bust?
For me personally, music saved my life in many ways. It is my anti-depressant, my best high, my love, my family. I simply can't live without it. :) For the rest of Rhythm and the Method, the love of music is very strong in each and every band members, especially the lead singer/songwriter Rhythm Turner. Music and creativity just seeps from her pores! Rhythm and the Method is driven by the following belief and mission:
The music we create is meant to awaken human beings to the realization that they themselves hold the key to unlocking their highest potential; that they, as all of us, are living during this certain time, under these certain circumstances, for a very profound reason: We all have deep, individual missions to fulfill in this life. Rhythm and the Method knows that our mission allows us to tap into our own limitless potential through our gifts of song and word. These gifts can (and will) change the world. Political struggle, social change, environmental awareness, and overcoming internal strife: These are topics often exemplified by Rhythm and the Method's poetically passionate lyrics. They signify the desire to contribute to the propagation of positive thinking, peaceful resolution, and the enlightenment of human beings as a whole in this lifetime.
Describe your music style and name three musicians you have been inspired by and why.
Rhythm and the Method's style is rock/blues/folk/funk/indie (in that order ;). So many artists/musicians which have inspired us all, here are a few that come to mind:
- Johnette Napolitano: singer/songwriter/bassist extraordinaire, I saw her live with Concrete Blonde many mexican moons ago and she has continued to awe and inspire me ever since. I also get inspired by her politics and activism, which is a big part of her music & performances.
- Annie DeFranco: This is one of Rhythm Turner's biggest inspirations, for alot of the same reasons above. she's a dynamo on stage and has blazed an amazing trail for independent artists.
- Nancy Wilson: damn that girl can play some guitar! Listen to her solo acoustic stuff and be amazed. Her musicianship has been very underrated in my opinion, and she still jams it out to this day. She was the first female rock guitarist I knew of when I was a kid, and really inspired me toward learning how to play rock guitar through the realization that yes, Girls indeed can ROCK.
What's your ideal venue atmosphere?
The ideal venue is one with a good sound system with an engineer who can run it, good stage lighting, and great vibes from management, staff and patrons. Also, good food is important! It brings in the peeps and allows them to stay longer for the music :) Lastly, the venue should put in at least an equal effort to promoting your shows.
Describe how your music career has evolved since you first started performing.
I started performing in rock bands when I was 18, and been hooked on it ever since. When I first started it was mostly parties organized by friends in a central CA town. Now performing consists of live TV spots, video tapings, and playing venues anywhere from 50 to 1000+ capacity all over Southern California. Rhythm and the Method has been together just over 2 years, and we are just starting to see a noticeable up-tic in publicity and being known as one of the top bands in the area. It took consistency, hard work and promoting to build it up to this point. GoGirls music has helped us tremendously along this road by opening doors, establishing new contacts and broadening our network US wide.
How would you describe the music scene in your area?
San Diego is a great music scene! Lots of diversity in sounds & genres, there's alot of great female singer/songwriter and female-fronted bands around these days too. More than I've ever seen at a given time. We team up frequently for "female bands that rock" type of nights at our residency venues. Of course just like anywhere else, there's some politics, cliques and other obstacles to contend with. Just need ignore, or go over/around them and continue to move forward.
What was the inspiration for your latest release?
We've released one CD so far, the printed copies are sold out but the songs can be purchased/downloaded from amazon.com or itunes.com. The songs on this 6 song EP release were inspired by Rhythm Turner, from social consciousness and matters of the heart.
What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project and and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?
Number one is practice practice practice and nail down the songs prior to recording them! :) One of the things we've learned that saves us tremendous time in the studio is to record the songs slated for your CD project during rehearsals and listen back, so you can discuss / fine-tune the arrangement and dynamics as a band.
What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?
Attitude is everything, it doesn't matter how great you sing and/or play, if your attitude sucks no one will want to work with you and the audience will get turned off by your demeanor very quickly. In other words, check any negativity, attitude, bad vibes at the door no matter what's going on, and show up with a positive demeanor, an open mind and an open heart. This does wonders in attracting your audience and keeping your band mates happy! :)
Describe your toughest moments in your quest for a music career and tell us how you overcame them.
One of the toughest moments (and the most recent) was when our lead singer was attacked in a hate crime. It has caused us a major setback in many ways, we've had to cancel many high paying gigs and lost out on some great opportunities as a result. We are still in the process of overcoming the fall-out from this attack, mostly by the tremendous support we've received from the music community (i.e. GoGirls music members), the LGBT community, and our love and support for one another. We have no doubt that we will come through this stronger than ever!
Watch the video of Rhythm Turner talking about her hate crime experience:
What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don't give up?
Hit alot of open mics to build up your name and music biz contact list! Follow up with booking at these same venues, because open mics tend to help open lots of doors. Leverage your GoGirls music network, when you go to a GoGirls chapter city, hit up the local chapter community and ask what venues/open mics and any other gogirls music related events that you can participate in. Leverage the internet via social networking tips for musicians to build your network throughout the world!
Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.
Hello music world! I've been with you since I heard my first song on the radio, I love you and I'm here to stay ;) Seriously though, if anything I'd like them to know is that my personal goal in music is to make a positive difference in the world through the gift of music, continuously grow my skills and strive to become the best female bassist on the planet. I don't know if I will ever make it there, the most important part of going after my goal is enjoying the journey itself.
What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?
All sorts of great stuff! including but not limited to:
- Connections for female musicians from all over the place! I've met fellow GoGirls music member Sharon Hazel http://www.myspace.com/sharonhazel when starting up the local San Diego chapter and we've hit it off instantly as musicians and friends. Sharon's music is a very unique blend of jazz/funk/folk and I've experienced a whole new level of creativity in bass lines by playing in her group. Also met Holly Ransom aka Snakeoil through GoGirls music http://www.myspace.com/hersnakeoil who's voice is alot like one of my fave vocalists, Chrissie Hynde's. Playing with different artists helps me to grow my creative and improvisational skills
- Useful tips and information from the GoGirlsmusic.com website. There is so much useful content to read, written by the women who know their stuff. We should call it "GoGirls Music University" ;)
- Concalls with fellow GoGirl members: what better way to figure out your next step or to overcome an obstacle in your music career than to have a sounding board of like-minded peers from all over the US?
- The overall GoGirls Music community. As they say, it takes a village...to make it in music and with the large community of strong, independent female of musicians available through GoGirls Music there's just no stopping us now!
Check out Rhythm and the Method at www.rhythmandthemethod.com
Copyright © 2009 Madalyn Sklar, GoGirlsMusic.com
Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 13 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success in the biz. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.
Social Networks for Musicians