GoGirls Interview with Laurie Jones
What drives your music? When did you first know you had to do this thing called music or bust?
Fortunately, (or unfortunately.... depending on the day) I got infected with the "music bug" at a rather young age. I was playing in a rock band when I was 14 years old and began writing my own material out of frustration for all the covers I was having to play and for the lack of inspiration on popular radio. There really isn't anything I've been more passionate about than writing and playing music... so it's been "bust" from the get-go.
Describe your music style and name three musicians you have been inspired by and why.
It's hard to put music in a genre, I think. I've been called everything from "chick rock" to Euro Americana to alternative folk. I'd like to consider myself a singer/songwriter first, but playing live with a band certainly puts an edgier spin on the lil' folk songs I compose. I'm a huge fan of Chrissy Hynde because she not only rocks, but she is an animal activist and overall kind human being. She really inspires me to strap on my guitar, be feminine, yet give the songs hell when need be. I can't help but love the Rolling Stones. Great songs.... consistency.... legends that just wont stop. Ya gotta love it! Adam Duritz (counting crows) is my favorite songwriter... he fascinates me with his use of words, phrasing, and his melancholy approach.
What's your ideal venue atmosphere?
My expectations have changed drastically over the years.... my ideal atmosphere now is really a good sounding venue with people who love live music and songwriting in general. In the perfect scenario they would also know my material and be able to song along to what they may have heard on the radio or previous shows. I've become a bit burnt out with the club scene ..... I've outgrown having drinks spilled on me half the night and having Lynard Skynard request yelled from the back of the room by the drunkest local.
Describe how your music career has evolved since you first started performing.
It's been a great journey and I've learned so much. Looking back over the past 10 years I do have so much to be grateful for .... I've been promoting my own material...working from an indie label....doing basically my own radio promo and then finally having the opportunity to have a publicist work the latest CD in Europe. I've gone from having my music reviewed in my local hometown newspaper, to having reviews in countries that I can barely translate the language. It's more than exciting and at times seemed surreal.
How would you describe the music scene in your area?
I live in Maine, so the music scene is not as obvious as NYC OR LA... but there are definite opportunities to play and make your mark. We have great venues in New England.... I've lived close to Canada for several years and take the opportunity to tour Atlantic Canada at least once a year. Being in Maine has also forced me to travel a great deal, but it's been a great experience. It's actually quicker for me to fly London than LA anyway- you gotta love that!
What was the inspiration for your latest release?
I think I quit the music business every other day while I was writing this record. I was promoting my Better Days CD and was on the road pretty heavy and feeling like maybe it's not all worth it. I was going through a lot of personal stuff (who isn't right?) and just knew I needed to make some major changes.. professionally and personally. I really love this last CD. If it's my last, I'm very proud of how it ended this extreme adventure. That is why I titled it Laurie Jones... because I think it just about sums up everything. Maybe it should have been called "Meet Laurie Jones". Either way, I'm very happy with it.
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?
Plan ahead! Practice, practice, practice..... be prepared when you go in the studio. it saves so much time and money. If your taking a full band with you make sure you're well rehearsed for sure. On another note, be true to yourself and your vision. Recording is so permanent... make sure you're happy with the outcome and stick to your guns.
What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?
Attitude is everything! Focus, Focus, Focus!
Describe your toughest moments in your quest for a music career and tell us how you overcame them.
I did the whole Nashville scene and recorded w/ a small label several years before my CD "After the Crash". To make a very long and sad story short... it ended up sour. I was very disappointed... lost a great deal of money and ended up with cases of CDs that I'm not happy with. I was heartbroken for several years over the experience. I was so naive, but gosh was it good for me! It made me understand the music biz a bit more and realize that I was in charge of my own destiny. No one was, or ever will be, handing over anything to me on a silver platter.
What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don't give up?
I would say that staying positive is so important. What you put out there in the universe is gonna come back to you.... see it, think it... believe it. Ultimately you ARE doing it.. perhaps on a different level than you may be satisfied with, but hell, you're living the dream girl! You're playing your music and have the courage to pursue it. That alone is success in my book.
Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.
I'm currently taking a breather to reassess the next big move and have cut way back on my gigs. I'm loving having the freedom to write new songs right now without the pressure of having to travel and keep up with a hectic tour schedule. I'm rediscovering how much I love being a songwriter... how rewarding it really is... and perhaps the songwriting really IS the best part. I'm working on a new project to touch back on my "folk tendencies" and I'm at a comfort level that I have not felt in years.
What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?
It's been a great resource. I've been able to do showcases in other parts of the country... meet fantastic musicians.. network on so many levels. there is so much power in numbers! chicks do rock!
More about Laurie Jones at http://www.myspace.com/lauriejonesband
Copyright © 2009 Madalyn Sklar
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.
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