Kim Sozzi

August 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Interviews, Music

Kim Sozzi

Die-hard Dawson’s Creek fans may remember hearing Kim Sozzi’s ballad “Letting Go” on the first soundtrack for the show, but now you may be more familiar with her new dance hit “Feel Your Love” that has been in-demand on the club scene.

We had a chance to catch up with the talented performer as she dished on her music, performing, and recognition for dance artists.


Hi Kim! How are you?
Hi Courtney, I’m good.

How did you get involved with pursuing a career in music?
Yeah, I’ve been singing since I would say about nine or ten years old. I put my first single out in 2000 on the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack, called “Letting Go” and it was on Columbia Records. It’s been a long journey, I’ve been on several labels and finally with “Feel Your Love” having my first Top 40 hit.

Yeah, you mentioned Dawson’s Creek, that’s actually when I first became familiar with you.
Oh really?

Yes, I was an avid fan of the show and the music. One thing I’ve noticed with Dawson’s Creek and shows like The OC, One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl they are pretty much an outlet for introducing new artists.

What was it like for you at the time when your song was on the show?
Oh it was amazing. It happened so quickly when I got signed that you kind of don’t realize the impact. I guess I didn’t know how big it was, because now I feel like I’m working harder, harder now than I ever did. I guess being on a major label had its perks, but it lost its shuffle so.

Well I still think it was one of the best songs that played on Dawson’s Creek.
Oh thank you! It’s so funny; when people connect the dots … I have people that like live for that song. I’ve had fans or girls like crying that it helped with their relationship or whatever, but it’s pretty amazing the power of it.

Oh yeah those that say ‘oh it’s my break up song’.
Yeah, yes I know it’s crazy.

Kim Sozzi

So, between then and now how have things been going for you? We know you’ve gone between labels.
Releasing singles … I mean I’ve done many other things with that nine year span there. I’ve definitely had other dance singles on the charts. You know, been plugging away doing several other things, recorded and toured in Europe, Epic Records … had a couple of singles released there. So, like I said I’ve been in the game a long time, but just finally getting some more recognition … mainstream recognition.

Yeah, when I first heard your new song on the radio, they said “Kim Sozzi” … and I was thinking ‘wait I know her’.
Aww, I know I’ve been around. I’m telling you I’ve been around a long time. So I have fans from like you said Dawson’s Creek, Germany, from the dance world, you know all over. Hopefully they all just keep supporting me and helping me continue to build a fanbase.

You know “Letting Go” is so different from “Feel Your Love” so how would you say your sound has really changed?
My whole philosophy on life is you have to stay current, stick with the times. You know the world is different than it was nine years ago; music is different. How I am as a person is different … just everything is different. I don’t want to say stop doing what I was doing ten years ago, I love dance music.

“Just One Day” has been in the making for a bit and you just released it this summer. How does it feel to finally have it out there?
I am so happy, I am ecstatic. When I signed to Ultra Records I had three singles and then they called for an album; “Feel Your Love” is actually the first single off the album. Yeah, it’s been like since 2006 but finally my first debut … it’s great. There’s definitely some very personal songs on the album.

What’s your most personal?
I mean it doesn’t really … now that I’m in a much better place … “Secret Love” was like a very torturous song for me, something that I wrote. That one and what else … I mean I love the album or I wouldn’t have put all the songs on there. It’s really good, being really well received; the fans are loving it, great feedback so I can’t really complain.

And “Feel Your Love” has just been kicking butt on the radio.
I know! Yeah, it’s like a top 10, top 5 record in New York, my hometown. There’s nothing better than like your friends and family, everyone hearing it in the car, at the gym … wherever. It’s just like the best thing ever.

How do you follow that up? I mean do you have any plans for next single? Feeling the pressure?
Yeah, mhmm yeah … it’s funny because a couple of station had already added “Kiss Me Back”, which is number two on the album, and it’s doing well feedback has been really good. Then another station here in New York, a big station, has added “Secret Love” so I guess we’ll see what happens. They’re playing “Secret Love” already, they love it and I really have no control over what stations play. I mean there are other stations that have added “Open Up Your Heart”, I guess once you have an album out program directors can kind of do whatever they want. So, we’ll see what happens, I’m just happy that the album is selling well and that you can get it on iTunes.

Cascada did a remix to your song “Break Up”, and recently performed on the roster at KTU’s Beatstock with you. Any chance of you both collaborating again in the future?
You know what, I don’t know. I don’t want to feel like now we’re competition because back then we weren’t. I was happy that they wanted to collaborate a couple of years ago, but I really don’t know. I mean I’m friends with everybody, the two producers and with Natalie; it just hasn’t been talked about lately. I love Cascada don’t get me wrong but I’d love to work with David Guetta, yeah that would be like my next … Id’ have to stalk him or something.

Kim SozziThat’s what’s so great about Twitter … you can. [Laughs]
I know! [Laughs] I have some of my own stalkers yeah.

And it’s legal.
It’s crazy, it’s crazy. [Laughs] But yeah that’s kind of who I’m hoping to collaborate with next.

Speaking of Beatstock, we heard there was over 20,000 people at both shows. How do you prepare yourself to perform in front of that big of a crowd?
Yeah, it was incredible! It’s funny because at the second night at Jones Beach my mic cut out, and I knew something was messing up but I didn’t know that I had shut out. What’s crazy is I just plugged along kept doing my thing because you never want to show the crowd that there’s a problem. I actually got a write up in the New York Times, the whole entire KTU event actually got a write up, but the whole opening paragraph was about how the sound went out and how well I handled it. How dance artists can really sing, and it was just a great article for people in my genre.

It’s funny you mention that because I was recently talking with someone about how with a lot of dance songs it’s hard to sing along because some tracks are basically remixed to give it that club sound. Makes you wonder how those are performed live, but dance artists do really sing.
Oh, you mean the delay and stuff as far as production? I hear what you’re saying, but you can always find a way. That’s why the live version is sometimes different than the radio versions you know … make it work.

I was hoping to make it out to Beatstock, but unfortunately couldn’t.
It was really a good show. I think it was even sold out, I know it was at Jones Beach. I got to say they did a really, really spectacular job. Everything was really A+.

Any new shows you’ve got coming up?
Umm, I was just in Rochester which was a lot of fun doing a concert for PX Live. I know I have thing coming up, my manager is actually out of town for three days where gonna do a catch up once she gets back. But, I’ll be working the record selling the album.

Awesome, well thank you so much. I had a lot of fun speaking with you.
Thank you for doing the interview!



· Official Site
· Official MySpace
· Official Twitter







Sissy Wish

August 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Interviews, Music

Sissy Wish
Isn’t always a refreshing thing to find new music? We think so and we can’t get enough of Norwegian songstress Siri Wålberg – aka – Sissy Wish. This super talented musician has a hauntingly beautiful voice with lyrics we think you’ll fall in love with. After releasing her debut EP in 2003 and later on her debut album, Sissy is gearing up for the release of her US debut Beauties Never Die.

Read on and get to know Sissy Wish…


You know I’d love to learn some about you. When did you get your start in music?
Alright, I kind of started when I was about six years-old. Everything was because of feeling good, because my parents really wanted me to do something that had to do with music. So, they told to give me a clarinet and play in a school band. I realized that as long as with melodies out of it, I wanted to do it for like ten years or something. They allowed me to play piano at the same time so I have a lot to do with music. But, I didn’t make any songs until I was maybe sixteen years old.

Oh wow, you started pretty young.
Well my taste wasn’t … that was kind of low before I was sixteen years old. [Laughs] I bought my first album when I was like fifteen, and my brother he ran after me with a knife because he was so ticked off it was Ace of Base. So, he forced me to have research on different kinds of music. I felt threatened I had to do it and then I realized afterwards that it was a good idea.

How did you come up with the name Sissy Wish?
Uh, that was a long long time ago, so I didn’t have any choice when I was like twenty-three. I really wanted to change that name, but I realized why would I do that when I already have had it for like five years or something. The reason why, maybe because I was reading a lot of Astrid Lindgren at that time. You know that book writer? It’s a boy that she wrote about a lot, it’s called ‘Per Pusling’. Maybe there’s something on the net in American, I don’t know what it’s called in American. But, Per Pusling he is like the character I wanted to be like. I think like the girlish version of Per Pusling, is kind of what I came up with Sissy Wish. It’s like a similar thing to Per Pusling, except for that he is boy and I am girl.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?
I think that the music I’m making now has nothing to do with like my musical skills. I really want to use its time on finding the right sound and have fun with the sounds. Mix them together and not be afraid of having too much on the songs, and when it’s too much just to take away. Like that stuff that’s not the most important. So, I really use lots of time with researching on everything I find in a room and I don’t care about if it’s on piano or full or a chair. I think compared to the others that I have released in Norway, it’s more fun.

Sissy Wish

Your album Beauties Never Die will be released early this fall; it’s your third album and has actually been out for sometime overseas. Can you tell me a little bit about the record?
Yeah, I have been sitting in my studio working for like one and a half years, before I went to the studio working with a producer. So I had a lot of demonstration stuff that we had when I went to my producer and started working with it. At the same time I was also having help from my band, at that time … that I haven’t anymore because now I’m like playing this like duo. So, um we were like maybe five people in the studio trying to work out the demonstrations that I’d done in my own studio. Then we changed some digital sounds with bird sounds, just not to make it too flat and cold. To warm everything up just a little bit with the earth instruments. As I said, I don’t have that much musical skills that I wanted to make this album the best way. So, I had to have some help from my friends and my backing band to play the stuff that I wanted to have on the album that was already played in a sense on keyboard.

It’s a very easy listening album, really mellow. Would you say it’s much different  from  your first two albums, You May Breathe… and Tuning In?
No, I think that the only … that the most important thing that you can see the difference is my self-confidence. I’ve always tried to make melody first before the lyrics, and it has always been a first priority to work on the melodies to get it like perfect when I start to record it. That’s why its so many hundred years on one song at a time. [Laughs] Usually I try to make one chorus and then after two days I’ll have to check if it’s like as good as it was. Then maybe change the whole chorus again because the verse was maybe not so good with it. Everything is like that, that’s how I work. I can’t work with anyone I have to work alone at first.

Where do you get your songwriting inspiration from? What inspires you?
It’s like everything, especially even being walking around. It’s got nothing to do with music I think, where I get my inspiration from … just daily life.

And Beauties Never Die is actually named after a track on the record, what’s the song about?
I don’t know really because … you can tell kind of … and it’s really important for me that people can write my stuff and make their own opinions. It’s like you have your downs and you have your ups, it has nothing to do with how you look; it’s the way you act … the way you decided to do stuff.

Is it more like you inner beauty never dies?
Well, it’s not about me really, it’s about everyone. It’s a word that I can’t figure out what’s in English. But, when in the end you get use to the rejection everywhere, people are always after you because its too much selfishness everywhere. As long as you take your own decisions, you will in the end feel like it’s worth doing that and not go other ways like change your opinions. Because you care to do your own things, not because the other opinions are stronger than you.

Sissy Wish

You’ll be touring a bit later on in the year but I heard you’ll be playing the annual Modern Sky Festival in Beijing, that’s so exciting! Will this be your first time in China?
Oh yeah, yeah that will be really interesting. I wonder how they will look at me when they see how tall I am compared to them. They will be really terrified I think. [Laughs]

Are there any US tour plans in the works?
Yeah! That’s why we’re here because I think it’s really important to do something before the album will be released. It’s really important to also come back after the release, to show the songs live, if people come maybe more will listen to it in September. But maybe we will help more people to find out about the music if we come here and promote.

Well, thank you so much for chatting with me. We definitely look forward to seeing you live soon.
Yeah, I hope I see you soon, thank you.


· Official Site
· Official MySpace


Sissy Wish



photos: Stian Anderson


August 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Interviews, Music

Maddhouse [L-R: Kale, Adam, Jeremy, Alex & Tim]Just when you thought you had you fill of boy bands, we bring you a fresh and hot batch of guys to listen to – and stare at! That’s right, MADDHOUSE is a name you should remember because you’ll be buying tickets to their show later. We spoke with the boys – put names – about everything from the start of the group, their sound, their hobbies, what makes them tick, and what’s on the horizon for this crazy house of boys – we know you’re going to love them!


First off, I want to get to know you guys a little better and I’m positive that Fanvasion readers would like to as well. Don’t be shy – who’s who and where are you from?
I’m Alex; I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Let’s see I grew up in the suburbs, my musical influences range anything from Prince, Michael Jackson, all the way up to Madonna. I’ve been singing since I was about four, and …. yeah I think that’s it for right now. [Laughs]
Tim: My name is Tim Essary; I like long walks on the beach and occasional sunset. No I’m just kidding … kidding. I’m kind of from all over; my dad was in the military so traveled a lot and lived all over the place. I was born in Japan, lived in Turkey for several years and Germany.

Japan really? That’s so dope.
I was. I was born in Okinawa. It’s funny I don’t remember it much because we moved when I was really young. But I’m hoping that we’ll be on tour in Japan very soon, and then I can go back and holler at my peoples.

Well, that’s just cool to say, ‘oh yeah I was born in Japan’.
[Laughs] Oh yeah totally. Well actually I want to get a tattoo that says ‘Made in Japan’. So, yeah me and my best friend were talking about going to get tattoos sometime soon, I think that’s what I’m going to get; just because not everyone can do that.

But yeah, my parents are actually from the south, so they live in Alabama right now they’re both retired. So, I kind of call Alabama home just because it’s where all my family is at.

And, who would be next?
Alright cool, cool this is Kale … Kale Otis. I’m a Cali boy born and raised; been playing guitar since I was like eleven helping a lot with song writing and stuff like that. And uh I like to party … that’s what I do. [Laughs]
Tim: That’s what he does. [Laughs]
Kale: So, yeah I do a lot of writing, I use to rap actually real heavy.

Oh really?
Yeah I use to be real heavy.
Tim: He’s really good at free styling.

Why don’t you do a little bit?
Oh snap.
[Background ooh’s and uh oh’s]
Kale: What do you want me to rap about?

Whatever you want, putting you on the spot.
I don’t know you might not want him to he’s pretty intense.

AdamOkay we can come back to that then. [Laughs]
Yeah, we’ll come back that will be cool. But yeah I mean that’s about it, Adam go ahead.
Adam: Hey, my names Adam Tyler I was born in Columbus, Missouri but I moved in and around Missouri … mostly like Kansas City area. Let’s see I started singing at a really early age, got in to gymnastics at I don’t even know five or something because flips and all that were really cool. But, I quit so then I can’t do anything anymore and yeah. I’m like the pop kid of the group, I grew up listening to all the boy bands and Britney and all that stuff. That’s pretty much me I think.
Tim: Wait, to go back to Adam we live together and he has the room right next to mine, and I just have to let you know when he says he loves pop music … he loves pop music.
Alex: Oh my gosh, the minute he wakes up, he bumps … it’s mostly like euro pop. But you know it’s pretty cool he’s got us all like into it.

Euro pop? That’s hard core pop music right there.
Yeah, Euro is like different than the pop from America; because America kinda like ventures into Urban sounds and stuff. European stuff kind of stays more in demand.
Tim: It’s very club music too.

I guess Jeremy’s not here, but we could definitely say a little something about him. He’s from San Diego, I think he grew up … Did he grow up in San Diego?
Yeah, he grew up in San Diego, I think he has a couple of sisters or something and he’s only been in LA for like a year.
Tim: Great songwriter.
Kale: And he knows everybody.
Alex: Yeah he’s pretty involved in the industry.
Kale: He’s a little hustler, but we all are you know.
Adam: He’s in a writing team right, like a writing group?
Tim: Yeah, yeah he’s a writer, he’s a big writer. He also has two dogs … two little dogs.
Alex: Oh yeah, Pugger and Jack.

Aww, what kind of dogs are they?
They’re little yappy dogs.
Alex: He’ll pick them up by their skin and he’ll just toss them like their little rag dolls.
Tim: W-w-w-wait, it’s because they’re puppies and they can handle it. We don’t want people to think he’s like a dog hater.

So you all have been into music and grown up with it since you were really young. How old are you now?
I’m twenty-two.
Tim: I’m nineteen; I’ll be twenty in September.
Kale: I’m twenty-one, my birthday is in October.

October, me too.
October what?

The twenty-third.
Twenty-fourth, mine is the twenty-fourth.
Tim: Wow, you guys are twins. [Laughs]
Kale: Almost. [Laughs]
Adam: Oh yeah, I just turned twenty-one on April 17th.
Tim: We went to Vegas on his birthday, it was amazing.

I feel like I should get this out of the way before fans who read this hold their breath the whole way through waiting for the question. – Are you single?
Yes. Yeah we’re all single at the moment.

Okay, well now that we know that we can move along.
Tim: We’re so busy right now it’s sad to say, but yes we are.

Did you know each other before you started MADDHOUSE?
Um, no not really actually.
Adam: The band was put together through you know a nationwide talent search. So, we’re all pretty much strangers, but our personalities are so … like we click really well.
Tim: Yeah we were together for a few weeks and it was like we had been together forever. They were like brothers it was pretty cool.

You guys already have a very large and dedicated fan-base with street teams all over the US, actually overseas too. So, I want to know how MADDHOUSE came to be. You mentioned a nationwide search, how long ago was that?
Well I guess officially with this group now … we went through a couple different members just trying to figure out the exact, best mix. But officially with MySpace up and everything kind of going it’s not even five months yet; which is pretty cool because we’re almost at 15,000 fans and over 120,000 hits or something.
Adam: Yeah we officially made our MySpace on January 2nd and it’s not even June yet and we already, like we have so much momentum right now you know.
Tim: It’s definitely; it’s all word of mouth which is pretty cool too. Right now, we’re still in the dance studio working on our live show, we’re finishing up this album so. We slowly release tracks as we finish them, but each track that’s released it like grows … fan base grows even more. Hopefully, with the live show and the touring this summer it will only get bigger so we’re excited.
Adam: I think what adds to our appeal, and us having such a huge fan base is the fact that we are really connected with our fans and we reach out to them a lot.
Tim: Yeah definitely.
Oh so you have more of a personal kind of relationship?
Tim: Yeah, we talk to everybody.
Kale: We pretty much talk to…
Adam: We actually hung out with some last night, a couple of fans came out that were in town.
Kale: Yeah.
Tim: Especially if someone is in LA and their not from LA we definitely like to kind of hang out with them, and kind of fill them in on the process too and show them what it’s like to be recording.

You’ve been in the studio working hard on some new tracks but before we talk about those, I want t mention that I love “All Eyez on Me”. What other songs have you guys been recording that you can tell us a bit about?
Awesome, that’s one of our favorites as well. Umm, our newest one that our manager has actually been sending out the snippet of is called “Confident”, and it’s more of like a ballad, kind of like a mid-tempo. Have you heard it?

AlexYeah, yeah of course.
Tim: It’s a mid-tempo; it’s a pretty cool song and in fact we don’t have it on our MySpace but we’re kind of doing a little thing where if you shoot us a message, send us your email we’ll actually email you the track before it gets released on the album. You can check it out and listen to it, but that’s one of the songs we just finished literally. What do you guys say we just recorded that like…
Kale: Yeah, there’s a lot of songs. We have a cool, fun song called “Overtime”; it’s really our manager’s favorite song.
Tim: Yeah, our recording process is pretty quick you know we’re in the studio and we’re all writers as well but we do record some songs that other people wrote, and we record our own stuff. We’re just kind of in and out of the studio and then our engineers mix it, and we kind of go through … we record several songs, and then we kind of break it down into the actual eleven or twelve that are gonna make the album. But we have a lot of stuff recorded.
Alex: And we’re really involved in like picking out our songs, which ones that we really like. A lot of groups they don’t really get that opportunity; we’re really hands on with that as well.

You’re right a lot of groups don’t get to be that involved. It’s nice that you can get into everything and do what you want.
We know its fun, and we can put our stank on it you know. [Laughs]

Who have you been working with in the studio?
Predominately our main producer, we’ll writer actually, we work with a lot of producers overseas but we get the hook up through a really cool guy that’s based out of New York, his name is Diesel Berry. He’s in our top friends on MySpace and yeah predominately we work with him.
Tim: We also work with several other people as well, kind of all over and that’s sort of where our sound comes from; our sound kind of comes from all over.
Adam: Literally when we threw up the MySpace we got bombarded with so many people, like producers that wanted to work with us. So, we’re still that process, still trying to weed out who exactly we want to work with and scheduling all that kind of stuff. We’ve been blessed.
Alex: Yeah definitely.
Tim: We’re also writing a lot ourselves too for this album.
Kale: And we can’t forget to mention we uh … both produces overseas and our engineer who records most of our stuff, his name is Thomas Pine and he does a lot of work for us. He takes care of all of us.
Adam: Yeah he records us and he’s a dope producer as well.
Tim: It’s really fun too because he has a cool studio in his house and he’s got a dog that we play around with. We just basically get in the studio and kind of knock songs out, pretty much a couple times a week. We pick the song we want to record and then we go in there and we do it, it’s a really cool environment and he’s a pretty cool guy.

Sounds like a party.
It is a party.
Time: It’s always a party for Maddhouse.

Ha-ha, nice. So, going back to your song “Confident”, what makes you guys ‘confident’? I know everyone has their little quirks that perk up their confidence so what about each of you?
What makes me confident? I mean I don’t know, that’s a really tough question. I mean I don’t want to … you know like when people give you compliments and stuff, I don’t want to be like that type of person but it really does. It boosts your confidence when there are people that point out certain things, like ‘you look nice today’. It’s honestly the little things with me.
Tim: For me I guess what helps with my confidence is … I guess my friends and family can help me stay confident kind of in everything I do. I think having a solid foundation is really good to help anybody, wither you’re a musician or athlete or just getting through school. Having a good, solid foundation is something great you know that helps keep you confident. It works for me.

And it keeps you grounded.
It does indeed, it really does.
Kale: I’ve got to agree with Tim. A lot of it is who you surround yourself with and the encouragement that they give you. I also … I’m gonna sound like a tool, but uh I’m in the gym a lot. [Laughs]
Tim: I don’t know if you guys have seen Kale’s arms, but they’re huge. I just had to throw that out there.
Kale: I stay in the gym, I don’t do much else. But you always feel better after a workout, a little more confident.
Adam: Is it my turn? Oh shoot, umm … yeah I’d agree with the other guys in saying just who you surround yourself with. Because it really is, you have to drown the other people out that are like you know mean or insults or whatever. Start believing in yourself and all that, and so yeah it’s all about that.
Alex: That was a tough question; I do not want to go first anymore.
Tim: [Laughs] Alright, Alex so we’ll switch.

So, we’ve been talking about this album of yours… can we expect it soon?
We’re in the process of … I mean we are still recording now as we speak, we were in the studio yesterday recording. So um, the process takes awhile and it’s kind of more about getting the exact sound that we want. You know we all write we’re working on those songs, recording other people’s songs; but we’re really trying to find that perfect sound. At the end of the day we’re trying to put an album out there. We don’t have an exact time frame right now, but we’re looking at coinciding a major tour with an album release, so that would be somewhere in the near future. By near future I mean very near future.

And by near future, do you mean very near future.
Very near future. [Laughs]
Alex: Like yesterday. [Laughs]

I believe it was you Alex who said you grew up listening to Michael Jackson and Prince?
Yea, that was me.

What about the rest of you? Who are some of your favorite artists out there that you grew up listening to?
Um, well for me I play acoustic guitar, I’ve played for years and I play piano. I’ve sort of been influenced almost by you know kind of like the Jason Mraz, John Mayer; sort of laid back, acoustic sounding material. That’s really what I’ve always kind of been playing. It’s funny because what I play and what I listen to are completely different because like Alex I’ve gotten down to pop music and Michael, just soulful stuff too. With my parents living in Alabama, there’s a lot of gospel and soul music there as well. Yes, I love some gospel music, but I always go back to sort of Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson just kind of the uh hippie crowd I guess you could say. [Laughs]

Dave Matthews … I don’t think anyone has ever said that. I’ve always felt like Dave Matthews was under appreciated.
Really? Well you know what I am secretively and very publicly a huge Dave Matthews fan. I’ve been to several of his concerts and it’s a good time. You know Dave puts on a good show.
Alex: You know he’s so good live.

Well, I’m gonna take a guess and say Michael is pretty much an inspiration all the way around, right?
Alex: Yea, that’s pretty much on everyone’s list. I mean he’s just like … just like the God of pop music.
Tim: He’s the King of Pop.
Alex: Yeah, exactly.

He’s in his own category … there’s Michael Jackson and then music.
Kale: I actually have someone above, William Hung. [Laughs]
Tim: He does trump Michael Jackson, and yes I use the word trump.

TimWord is you have your own TV show airing on FOX this fall! Tell us more about that! Is it a reality show or scripted?
Yes, yes, yes that is the word. I don’t know if you guys have checked out MySpace lately, but we’ve been slowly leaking some ideas about that. Um, we’re basically still in the process of shooting it and
right now it’s scheduled for FOX in San Diego; there’s potential for other FOX affiliates to pick it up. What we’re hoping is that once it starts airing, people will be able to call their local FOX affiliates and get it on their FOX. So, we’re starting it out kinda small and hopefully spreading it really big. We can’t give away too many details right now because we are still in negotiations as far as material and stuff like that.

Can you tell us if it will be scripted or a reality show?
It’s definitely not reality, it’s scripted.
Tim: Yeah, it’s actually … we can’t tell you … it’s a scripted, uh it’s a comedy. What’s my, what’s my word here, it’s kind of like a … a … it’s a collection of short skits. I think that’s about as much as I can really say.
Alex: It’s kind of like an SNL, like Saturday Night Live but suited for much younger with a music element to it.
Tim: There you go. We’re saying if Maddhouse were to take over your TV for thirty minutes to an hour this is exactly what you would expect.
Alex: Random, Maddhouse random.
Tim: Because we’re all actors, I don’t know if you’ve seen some of our YouTube videos but we’re all pretty goofy, crazy. You should sit in the car with us for like one day, its ridiculous the stuff we come up with. So, we wanted to incorporate that with our music and somehow create a television series where we incorporate music and our skits, our humor … our Maddhouse humor.
Alex: This project also we had a lot of hands on, we wrote all of it pretty much along with our manager.
Tim: Yeah, we’re still in the process of writing the sketches and all that.

We have seen your YouTube. Is it not the greatest invention ever?
It’s amazing.
Alex: Yes, I know.

Aside from MySpace where you can connect with the fans, if we had this many years back think about what could have happened.
I tell people I don’t watch TV, I just watch YouTube really to be honest. [Laughs]

There’s cooking shows on YouTube, it has everything.
Everything is on YouTube, you can learn.
Tim: [Laughs] It’s a little how-to section.
Alex: Yea.

Yeah, get some exercise tips, learn to cook, do your hair, watch some comedy and then go check out Maddhouse.
Exactly! [Laughs]

You guys mentioned you wanted to be doing some touring after the album release. Will you be doing any shows this summer?
Definitely, I think we’re sort of in talks with a couple of different things. Right now it’s just sort of a matter of if we’re doing a major tour with several cities or are we doing just the big cities. We’re still in talks with promoters and stuff like that because I don’t know if everyone knows but we’re actually not signed. We’re kind of doing this all on our own, which is rare but it’s also kind of new age. A lot of bands aren’t going with major record companies; you know they’re doing it themselves. So as of now we’re not signed, so we’re doing it ourselves and we’re uh still in talks with different promoters and sponsors and what not. But, I mean definitely before the albums’ release we will be on tour, just to get our name our there and have some fun.

Well, hopefully we’ll get to see you guys out in New York that would be great.
Oh for sure, that will be one of the first stops.
Tim: I think we all want to personally go to New York for fun.
Alex: Yea, I’ve never been I mean how is it? Were you born and raised there?

No, born and raised in New Jersey. But it’s like a hop, skip, and a jump from the city.
Oh, okay.
Alex: Nice. I totally want to go though, I’ve never been and I’m super excited to go.

New York is definitely the experience.
You can be our chaperone. [Laughs]

This is a fun little game we like to do where we get to know a bit more about you that you probably wouldn’t reveal yourself. Could each of you describe the group member next to you?
Alex: Oh my gosh, but we’re not next to each other.
Tim: No actually I am. Alex is outside, we’re watching a basketball game that’s why it’s kind of loud in here … he’s outside and I’m in here. But, um I’ll go first by describing Alex. Wa-wa-wait, I have to describe him but like how?

You know anything; throw in a few tidbits that no one who guess about each other… whatever you want.
Okay, you guys want to know something really funny about Alex? You’re going to kill me, but this is funny.

Of course.
Okay, we’ll just be sitting there … Alex is … first of all let me just give you some background information. Alex is one of the happiest people I know, I’ve never seen him get mad and when he is really mad he just breaks out laughing. And so the funny thing about Alex too is he breaks out laughing just sitting there thinking about something, like he can’t help himself he’ll just laugh out loud about everything. People type ‘lol’ on instant messenger, but they really don’t laugh; Alex is really laughing out loud when he writes the word ‘lol’ when he text you. [Laughs]
Alex: [Laughs]

KaleSo, he’s that person that will actually be laughing about something today that happened yesterday?
No, he really will. It’s so funny because like in fact ten minutes before we called you he was sitting on the couch and just started laughing. My buddy looked over at him and he’s like ‘what’s so funny’, and he goes ‘oh nothing I was just thinking about something’. He busted out laughing, it was so funny.
Alex: [Laughs]

I can actually identify with that. [Laughs]
Alex: I know, but sometimes like it’s awkward because I feel crazy. But then I’m like oh well that’s me.
Tim: Yeah at least you bust out laughing, not bust out crying randomly right? [Laughs]
Alex: Right. [Laughs] Okay, cool so I guess it’s my turn. Since Tim is like right there, I’m sitting here waving at him.
Tim: I can see you through the window. [Laughs]
Alex: Um, I have to say Tim has such a really good fashion sense. He’s got a closet full of clothes but I mean … I don’t know, he’ll take these random items and he’ll make it look just like really cool.
Tim: Like I walk off the pages of GQ, aww.
Alex: Yeah, well I mean he’s got these bracelets that he literally made from a fork at a restaurant. It’s like everywhere we go everyone is like ‘oh my gosh, I like your bracelet’ and he’s like ‘yea I made it myself’. I mean it’s just, it’s pretty admirable.

Oh that’s pretty cool; you know they actually do sell bracelets made out of forks and spoons.
I know, I should make up like a silverware line. No pun intended, silver-wear.

Maddhouse clothing and jewelry line, hint hint.
Yeah, that’s a plan. That’s another thing we want to be like major moguls you know in this industry. We want to tap into everything.
Tim: Definitely. I’ll start selling silverware that you can wear around. So who’s left? We’ve got Kale and Adam. You guys are next to each other kind of.
Kale: Yeah okay see I was trying to find him, cause he’s at my house … and then I’m looking for him.
Adam: I lost you so I just started walking outside, shoot.
Kale: He was around the block.
Tim: Oh where are you guys? You’re at…
Kale: We’re at my house.
Tim: Oh cool.
Kale: Yeah, so anyways … Adam let’s see. Adam is a super junk food junkie. Oh my … like if you go into his backpack he has cookies, gummie bears, it’s ridiculous. It’s like Willy Wonka. [Laughs]
Tim: He is Willy Wonka.
Kale: Sorry. Well, it’s cool cause whenever we’re in the studio or something he just reaches into his bag.
Alex: He’s like the goody master. He always has a bag full of goodies.

What do you have in there?
Oh name something and he has it.
Tim: What did he has today? He had Oreos, but they weren’t Oreos they were like organic Oreos. They were really good.
Adam: Yeah, I wanted to be all healthy and everything so.

Hmm cool, I’ve never heard of them. Did they taste like regular Oreos?
I don’t think so.
Tim: Yeah, Kale didn’t think so. I don’t know, to me they were kind of good.
Alex: More like chocolaty I think.

Yeah. [Laughs] She’s like ‘ohh’.

You know I’ve seen a special on how they actually make the crème on the inside. That was bizarre.
Ohh, I don’t think I want to know.

I forgot what it was.
I bet it’s like cake lard or something.
Alex: Did it make you not want to each them anymore?

All: [Laugh]
Tim: So Adam’s left. Adam’s got to either say something really mean or really sweet about Kale, lets see what he does.
Adam: Hmm, tricky tricky let’s see. Umm let’s see, hmm. Oh gosh it’s so difficult; I don’t know what to say.
Tim: Duh, duh, dun, dun…
Adam: Well Kale is um a little bit, girl crazy I could say.
Tim: No, he’s a ladies’ man let’s put it that way.
Adam: Yeah, cause he’s always got people on his mind.
Tim: Twenty-four seven.
Adam: Yeah
Kale: All day.

And it ends there, right?
Adam: Yeah, I don’t want to get him in trouble or anything. [Laughs]
Alex: Alright, well Jeremy’s not here. So let’s all say something about Jeremy. Hmm, let’s see he’s hilarious; he’s like really crazy and like spontaneous.
Tim: He’s spontaneous; yeah that’s a good word for Jeremy.

He’s hilarious, you mean funnier than you guys?
Oh yeah, Jeremy’s hilarious.
Tim: He’s pretty funny; I mean I don’t know about funnier than me.

I don’t know you guys have been kind of fun lately.
Alex: I think he’s a mind reader too because he sent me a text earlier and like he wrote out the lyrics … cause we were all singing this song, we had a photo shoot earlier today … we were all singing this song by Jordin Sparks call “Battlefield”.
Tim: It was stuck in everyone’s head today.
Alex: Yeah and he texted me the ‘you better go getcha armor’, and I was just thinking that. That had just crossed my mind.

I was just singing that today, it was playing in my car and I cranked that part up. It’s the best part of the song.
You knew when we were singing it.
Alex: Yeah. [Laughs]
Tim: Jeremy has …what’s it called when you can read people’s minds?
Alex: ESP.
Tim: ESP … N. No ‘N’, just ESP.
Alex: Yeah, musical ESP. [Laughs]

Jeremy’s psychic.
He does this funny voice where he goes ‘just watch’ and then he sings.
Adam: Oh yeah that’s funny.
Tim: He goes ‘just watch, ahhh’. [Laughs]

Well, it’s been great talking with you guys tonight.
You too you’re so sweet for hollering at us, beautiful phone voice I might add.
Alex: Thanks for talking with us.

I hope we can do this again.
Yes, we should.
Alex: Yes, with Jeremy.

Yes with Jeremy. We wish you guys the best of luck with the album, can’t wait to see a live show; and when you come to the city … we’ll show you around.
Oh we will, definitely.
Alex: Awesome.
Tim: Thank you so much.
Alex: Have a good night Courtney.
Kale: Thank you.
Adam: Thank you Courtney.



You may have noticed Jeremy was missing from the above answers. Unfortunately, he had a prior commitment and was unable to join the others when we spoke with them.

Luckily we caught up with Jeremy the next night, so you could get to know him a bit too.

Hi Jeremy! How are you?
I’m doing amazing, and yourself?

Good, good. I was pretty bummed you weren’t able to be there when I spoke with the others yesterday. So, I’m glad we get to talk tonight.
I know I’m so sorry. Did they tell you what I was doing?

No, actually.
I was in another session that I had planned a long time ago, so sorry.

No, no it’s fine I’m just glad we get to talk now. You know the guys told me a bit about you, but I’d like to give you the chance to tell me a little bit about yourself.
Okay, well I’m from San Diego. I started singing … man I can’t even remember. I knew I wanted to go into the whole pop world when ‘N Sync and everybody was out and I remember learning how to dance watching their videos and stuff. You know and then Justin kind of went off to do his own thing and it just really inspired me; plus listening to like Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. At that time when pop was such a big deal, just so inspiring and everything was brand new, everyone was buying records. I think the 90’s was such a big time for pop music that I think that’s why there’s so many people now trying to do it because everyone was inspired.

You know I’m just glad it’s back though. I think we’ve had a good five years since the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync days, where the punk phase came back and we had pop rock with Good Charlotte. All of them started it off, and now Kings of Leon are doing it now. But I think now is the perfect time for the “boy bands” to re-emerge.
Right, right totally. Then we went through the whole rap phase and stuff, and that was cool for awhile but…

It always comes full circle.
It always does, right? [Laughs]

So, how old are you now?
Um, I am nineteen now.

You’ve been singing since you were young?
Yes, I was really, really little. Probably about a couple of years ago, a couple of friends were at my house and I was singing in the bathroom I think, and they were just kind of like ‘What? You sound good. Why aren’t you going out and doing things?’ blah blah. So, it’s just kind of like one of those snowball effects, like one thing happened after the other and I’ve just been really blessed to find like what I want to do at such a young age.

Absolutely. So, how did you end up hearing about Maddhouse? The guys told me it was a nationwide search.
Yeah, yeah well I actually met the guys at a showcase that I wasn’t performing in, but the team who put it together had actually written for them a lot. So, I met the guys there and I think it must have been a few weeks after that, I forget really how we got in touch, but they were looking for a fifth member. We had just kind of met up and hung out, played music for each other and just kind of started getting a vibe. I got along with the guys right away and the same for them, like we have the same sense of humors which I think is like such a big part of it.

Yea, they told me you’re hilarious.
[Laughs] I try. Um, yea so I just always love to have a good time, with anyone I work with I think if you ask them they’ll say that you know if I’m not laughing in the studio then I’m not having fun.

That’s so important though. People look at the music business as such an easy thing, but it’s serious business and if you can’t keep your sense of humor…
Totally and then there’s the people who take themselves so seriously and you’re just kind of like ‘I thought we got in the music to have fun, and like be creative, lighten people up.’

That’s what it does for me.
Right? Like my goal is to bring it back. I’m not sure if you can do that, but just bring it back to the old days. I would love for it to be like that again.

Somebody needs to. I think music is going in a pretty good direction now though. I don’t think it was every at a really bad spot, but pop music has changed a little bit. But I certainly don’t think it’s been ruined.
Right, oh no.

I think it’s coming back in a huge way. You know now there’s MySpace and Twitter, things ‘N Sync didn’t have back in the day so…
You’ve got so many different flavors.

Yes, everything is confusing. It’s more Pop/R&B, and I’ve seen a lot of Power Pop.

How would you describe Maddhouse?
You know what? I would describe Maddhouse as Maddhouse because that’s one of the things that drew me to them in that I’d hear the songs … I didn’t listen to the songs and hear a conformity. I definitely heard inspirations from everywhere. You know ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys … if you want to go as early into as Varsity or whatever, but I think that there’s something about our group that sets the music apart from everything else. I think that’s why we have a good fighting chance; it’s what drew me to the project and what I think drew the other guys to the project as well.

Well, you have a good sound; I was telling the guys how I love “All Eyez On Me”. We were even talking about the song “Confident”, and I wanted to know … I’m going to ask you too, what gives you confidence? Because everyone has that little quirk that will perk them up, or something that kind of drives it out when they’re on stage.
Oh man, you’re stinging me.

Sorry. [Laughs]
No, I like it. You know what gives me a lot of confidence is the fans. Hearing messages on MySpace and stuff, just knowing I’m touching someone the same way someone touched me with their music kind of gives me that confidence to be like ‘get over yourself and your nerves and butterflies’. Like someone’s waiting for this, for you and I like to believe in that. That gives me a lot of confidence other than you know this is what I love to do and if you can’t be confident in what you want to do then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

Absolutely, and what you were saying about nerves and butterflies, I would think that doesn’t just apply to going on stage. Do you ever get nervous when you go in to record new music?
Oh going to record a new song, yeah you can get really nervous. Especially going in with new producers you never know who is going to want what, and what they’re going to expect of you. I mean it’s kind of with any profession; you just kind of go in there and do it and you usually end up with a good relationship at the end of the night.

Well, we hear there is an album in the works so does that mean you guys have been in the studio every day?
Umm, we have been in the studio … I haven’t been in the studio that much but we’re actually working on a lot of really good stuff. We’re writing a lot of stuff …

The guys mentioned you were in a writing group?
Yeah, I’m in a writing group with one of the girls from Trip. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them.

Are they a girl band?
Yea, they’re a girl group … they’re triplets. But I’m in a writing group with them so I do a ton of writing for a lot of people. I’ve kinda been encouraging the guys to do a little writing, they do a little bit. So, we’re going to get in the studio really soon, hopefully recording some of the songs we wrote together.

Oh awesome, and with the TV show you guys are on a roll.
Yeah, that’s really exciting … it’s going to be an amazing experience.

They guys were telling me you’ve only been doing this for five months? It must be crazy for you with how much you already have of a dedicated fan base.
We’ve got some really dedicated fans already. I don’t know if the guys told you, but the other night two girls drove up to San Diego when we were just at a showcase … and it wasn’t even all of us. They just out of the blue showed up. It’s just stuff like that, that kind of makes you want to keep moving forward.

But I think that’s great though. It kind of goes back to what we were saying with MySpace and Facebook though, that now you can build relationships and keep in touch with the fans .. whereas that option wasn’t really available a few years ago.
I kind of think that’s what makes music now-a-days … it’s kind of a catch 22 because the internet is such a good thing for getting new and unsigned artists out. But it also does such horrible things for people who abuse it and kind of steal from the artist.

Well you also get a sort of different review of your music. It’s not just the magazine and television reports, but you get direct feedback from the fans themselves. I think that’s huge, I mean even album covers are such are being decided on by the fans.
Totally, and it gives us a chance as well to directly communicate with our fans; which is like so awesome. I know we’re really involved with giving it back to our fans.

Are you excited to get out there and do some performances this summer?
Oh man! You don’t even know! Every day we’re on the phone or together or whatever and are like ‘Dude, it’s too quiet. I want to be performing, let’s go, let’s go’. But, you know all good things must come in due time.

Well you know I asked each of the guys to describe one of the others, and each of them had a little bit of something about you. .. your dogs and your music ESP? You apparently are a music psychic because of your ability to text a few Jordin Sparks lyrics.
What, oh …oh my God.

So you must confirm or deny, are you a music psychic?
Oh I can’t believe they told you that. We’re going to have to come after you now. [Laughs]

Well now is your chance to say something about them? What are some things about Adam, Tim, Alex and Kale that people don’t know?
Oh Kale, he’s like the biggest teddy bear. He’s probably like the sweetest guy we’ve got, but don’t tell him I told you that.

Of course, I won’t tell anyone. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Put that under like Tim’s name or something, quoted by Tim. Then Adam, oh Lord where do I start with Adam? Oh Adam is just like one of the funniest guys to me, we will just go on for like ten minute periods and do the weirdest voices to each other. It’s really weird, just talk in weird voices … do weird things, be weird characters. It’s just weird. Umm then … I don’t know I should probably stop while I’m ahead. [Laughs]

It has been great talking with you, and I’m glad we were able to catch up.
Oh for sure, thank you so much.


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Brett Claywell

June 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Interviews, Television

Brett ClaywellWe teamed up with blogtalkradio show “Brandon’s Buzz” for a unique radio event featuring actor Brett Claywell!


Best known for his five-year recurring role on the CW’s smash teen drama “One Tree Hill,” Claywell is now wreaking all kinds of havoc as crooked lab tech Kyle Lewis on ABC’s soap “One Life to Live,” and he stopped by the Buzz to discuss his burgeoning career and his time on a pair of television classics!



Listen to the interview in full below:


Tyler Hilton

March 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Interviews, Music, Television

Tyler HiltonHi Tyler! How are you today?
I’m doing good. I’ve got a bit of a holiday bug and it’s raining in LA, but that’s exciting actually.

Oh yeah, we got a lot of that yesterday; rain then snow, then rain … all in the same day.
Whooo, that sounds dirty and messy.

I heard you were filming a video today?
Yeah, yeah we do Monday videos on our web thing and so we wouldn’t have to film ‘em on the holidays we kind of filmed three today. So, we can kind of have them to put up til the end of the year.

That’s exciting, I so watch them.
Oh you do?

I do watch them, I love the videos.
Oh that’s great. Yeah, we had a good time today. It’s kind of our first time filming all day, but it was really fun.

Yeah, one of my favorites is the elevator one.
Oh nice! [Laughs] Yeah that’s cool.

Well, you know in addition to FANVASION, we also do and we miss you on One Tree Hill. It has been way too long without ‘Chris Keller’, way too long without you. Everybody emails us constantly wondering if you’re going to come back, so have you talked with Mark [Schwahn] at all about it?
Aww, that’s nice to hear. You know, Mark and I always end of up talking about it, because he and I both love that character. I think that’s why the character lasted so long, because he and I just got such a kick out of it. It’s great because the one think Mark and I have in common is kind of like, you know, desire to be that … you know I don’t know. I think there’s that small part of every guy that wishes he’s as care free as ‘Chris Keller’. As much as girls say they don’t like the assholes, so many people come up to you on the road that are girls and ‘Oh we miss Chris Keller, we love to hate him’ this and that. I was like man; it’s so funny that like people really kind of are attracted to those kind of people.

So anyway, just plain and simple … whose that free and whose just that … I don’t know self indulgent is just like so fun. So we always talk about it, but it’s just a timing thing. I just got to … really want to work on the record. You know if I went to film an episode I’d have to fly out there and kind of take some time off the music and I just haven’t been ready to do that yet. I would love to as soon as we get a chance, I’d love to come back.

I’m sure there’s hope. Apparently, he’s in talks to do the spin-off for Melrose Place and The CW is so happy with the direction of One Tree Hill that they may be picking it up for two more seasons.
That’s just crazy!

Yeah, but you know I don’t just love to hate ‘Chris Keller’. I just love him, when he came between Nathan [James Lafferty] and Haley [Bethany Joy Galeotti], that you’re able to stir things up with the other actors. All the characters are different when ‘Chris Keller’ is around.
Yeah, you know I got to hand that to Mark, I mean he just…that’s just something he created. I always marveled every time I got the new scripts at how ‘Chris Keller’ would just come in at the most inopportune moments and it was just always so uncomfortable, but made the characters so fun to play. Everyone on set always had fun with those ‘Chris Keller’ episodes too because their characters were put in such uncomfortable situations. It’s a fun character to play, I really dug it.

You know I think you should have your own show. There should be like a ‘Chris Keller’ spin-off.
Pshh, now that I would be all about. I don’t know if people could take just an hour of ‘Chris Keller’ a week though.

I could! That is quality television. Just for fun, if you did have your own show … what would it be called?
[Laughs] Oh my God, it would be called … I don’t know. I’ve got to think about that.

Well you know, other than One Tree Hill we last saw you in Charlie Bartlett, please tell me you do have plans for another movie.
Oh that’s cool thanks, I don’t actually. I’ve been reading scripts or whatever and nothing has really worked out. But the main thing has just been the timing thing, I’m never sure when I’ll be available to make a movie or go back to One Tree Hill, until the record is done. The record has just kind of dragged on and on for so long and the more I’m finishing the more I keep seeing that needs to be finished. Until I see a definite end in sight it’s almost hard to consider any of those other things. But you know it’s gonna come to an end soon, it has to in the next couple of months I’ll be finished. I’m actually pretty excited to finish it up and see what else is out there, maybe other movies or going on the road for awhile or maybe more One Tree Hill.

I definitely want to talk about the album. But first, I’ve always wondered … was acting something you sort of fell into or did you seek out to pursue it?
I did, I really loved it. When I was a kid in high school I acted a bunch. I also put out my first record in high school and was playing a lot of shows then. It was weird because early on I had to kind of make a decision. I was in a pretty serious theatre program where commitment was absolutely essential, and so if I was going to be playing shows out of town I couldn’t always do the plays. So, early on I had to make some decisions and prioritize early on what was more important to me.

I always kind of followed my music but any time I could do the acting I would, and when I got signed to my agency as well I said ‘you know I do love acting, but you guys sign me on as an actor as well as a musician. Just know the music takes precedence, so don’t be bummed if I can’t do certain auditions or this and that.’ So, it’s been great, going in no one has pressured me to do any kind of acting, it’s always been just whenever I had time.

I always felt one day maybe it would be great to get into some kind of acting, who knows, but to have had that happen so early on was just pure luck that Walk the Line and One Tree Hill came along in the same year when they did. Then after that being able to do Charlie Bartlett was just kind of the icing.

Tyler HiltonLafferty & Hilton on ONE TREE HILL.

Well since you were more focused on music and that was your main focal point; were you a little nervous going into the audition for One Tree Hill?
Yeah, on one hand I’m really nervous going into those situations because I am inexperienced and not the confident pro always goes into these auditions. But on the flip side when they hear that I’m coming in they always kind of …. I always feel a little spoiled, in a good way. Because they always treat me like an idiot, but in a good way, you know they don’t expect much from me because I’m a musician. That’s always a good thing because it’s easy pretty easy to beat expectations on auditions, but you know I don’t always get the part.

With One Tree Hill they were looking for a musician and a couple of the guys they were looking at for ‘Chris Keller’ were musicians as well, so I think going into it they knew they weren’t going get an actor. They were going for somebody that had a vibe and a personality of his own they could just kind of work with. The same thing with Walk the Line, they weren’t looking for actors, they really wanted musicians who didn’t really act to play those parts like Jerry Lee and Elvis and everything. So, I got real lucky both times. Charlie Bartlett was the only real movie role where I was up against other actors for it, so it was a personal pride thing for me and I got it.

I guess the cards all fell into place then.
They did and the nice thing about doing a TV show or an episodic like that is … you know they wrote Chris for I think just two episodes or maybe it was three and that was it. Then once you write a character like ‘Chris Keller’ you never know what and actor is going to bring to the table or what my Chris Keller is going to be like. After he could kind of see what I was doing with it, then it’s great because he was able to write for me, write for the jokes I’m better at saying or the situations I’m better in. That’s the great thing about TV; once they get to know you they can kind of write for your strengths. I think the character got better and funnier as it went on because he was able to tweak as he went, which was real nice.

Okay, I want to talk about the new album – so excited. I think we’re all going through Tyler Hilton withdrawals. What can we expect from the new album this time around?
Well it’s a bit more … I would say rock n roll on the fast tunes and I think it’s just a little heavier all around, the slow songs are a bit heavier. You know when I like a band, I like when they don’t change too much; but they change enough where it doesn’t sound like the same album with just different songs. Without even meaning to just probably naturally growing as a writer and just being around a little longer, I feel like this album is like that. For the people who liked my music before, I don’t think that they’ll be surprised. But, I think there are better songs, I think this is the best record I’ve ever done. I’m really, really excited about it; but that’s why it’s taking so long to make.

Will “Ain’t A Thing’ be on there?
Yeah, absolutely.

Can you talk about any of the new songs, an official first single maybe?
You know I don’t know what the first single is going to be. I decided to record a few more songs and that’s what is taking a little bit longer, and so one of those might be the single. I think I would rather just wait and hear everything recorded and finished before I decide what the single is. Also, I’ve got a lot of friends in the radio department at Warner Bros. and it’s nice to kind of play the record for them and hear what they think, because to be honest with you I don’t know what a single is anymore or what it sounds like. It’s hard for me to keep up, so it’s nice to kind of go to be people who work in the day to day and say ‘What do you think? What sounds like it should be on the radio?’.

When you set out to do the album was intentional to take this much time, get it right, get your vision out?
Well, it didn’t take too long. I went into it thinking it was going to be real quick. Making an album can be real quick, and should be if all the parts are there. But, what happened was I recorded a record and scrapped it maybe three or four times, so that is what took so long. I would be almost done with the record or half way through and then just scrap everything and start all over again; with some new producer, new studio, new city. That’s what really took a long time…years; until found my footing back here in LA with John Malaysia. We made the whole album with John and it sounded great, that would have been the end of it except I’d written some new songs I really wanted to record. I asked the label if I could record them and they gave me the money to do it, and that’s what I’m in the process of doing now. So, it’s because I started over so many times that’s what took so long.

Normally an album if you get it right the first time can be really quick. The other thing is Warner was really great about not getting involved too much; they really said ‘You know we want you to be happy with this record. We want to see where you can take this record on your own without us trying to make you something.’ It was really up to me and that’s why I was so picky and scrapped the album so many times. If I was going to be this involved with it I really wanted to make sure that I was happy with it, because if it ended up not being good I would have no one to blame but myself.

Tyler HiltonReportedly, Will.i.Am of the Black Eyed Peas recently spoke out about BEP’s new album and how they hoped to release it this year because it will be the final year where physical sales are significant. You know, he says Christmas is the last Christmas that CDs will be in stores due to digital downloads. — What is your take on that? Do you agree?
It very well maybe, I think never before have musicians had to keep their finger on the pulse of technology more than they have to right now. You really have to be sensitive to what’s going on because it’s moving so fast. I mean I just went out on tour and I haven’t released a record in awhile and the last thing I had out was an independent film [Charlie Bartlett], so I haven’t been out there in the market, the pop world, in maybe two or three years.

This tour was one of the best selling tours that I’ve ever done, and I couldn’t figure it out. It’s because I’ve been putting these videos up on YouTube so steadily, and to think that YouTube has that much control over an audience that I have makes me think I could easily see much and videos being released for free just to get kids in to fill seats and concert venues. I don’t know, I mean it could go so many different ways. I honestly couldn’t tell you. I mean everyone thought laser disk were going to be killer and those didn’t end up going anywhere. But, as long as I stay up on it hopefully I can uh … at the end of the day good songs make you money. The reason I want to make money is so I can keep doing this as a living. So if I keep writing good songs and I keep working hard I can do this and not end up on some reality show or something. [Laughs]

You’re right about YouTube, and how easy it is to be able to get some much out there. Like your Kings of Leon cover, that was great, you should definitely record it. Make an MP3 download.
Aww, I’m glad you like it. That’s a great band, that’s a band that keeps growing. Every record that they do keeps getting better to me and I think they’re one of the best bands out there for sure. I really like them.

Another great artist out there, Taylor Swift, who you’re friends with. We know you two did a cover of “Missing You” live, and chance for another possible duet?
You know I don’t know; I haven’t even talked to her in awhile. We just lost touch a bit since I moved back to LA, but I wouldn’t rule it out at all. It’s kind of just like friends you lose touch with when you move towns; I’m sure we’ll see each other on the road and start jamming again. We did some writing when we use to hang, and I’m sure all that will kick back up when we see each other again. I do miss her, so it would be great to see her once we all get back together again. She’d be great to sing with, she’s a true talent and there would be no shame on my end if I’m standing next to her and singing with her.

You have a foundation called “T.H. Books for Kids“; can you tell me more about that?
Well, the foundation we put together, my friends and I, and the idea is to get books into the hands of children. Try to promote reading, education, and literary through ownership of books. Giving kids books to own themselves, and making them feel like they have books that are available to them. So, we restock libraries at hospitals and schools, that kind of thing.

Every event we do, we try to get enough money raised or enough books available to give the kids to take home as well so they can start their own libraries and collection. Just to get them started, because if they can continue reading books on their own and not just because they’re told to they’ll be able to find the kinds of books specific to them. I think what reading has helped me with and everyone I know who loves reading, has been problem solving and helps you relate to the situations you deal with in life. There’s a lot of problems that could be circumvented through I know the kind of ideas and concepts you read about in books and other peoples experiences. So, just trying to promote that at an early age, hopefully it will catch on with kids.

I grew up loving to read, and now I see so many kids especially on MySpace where you have to fill in your favorite books who write ‘I don’t read’ or leave it blank.
Yeah, you know there’s enough books out there for everyone. No matter how crazy or bored with the books you’ve read, there is something out there for you. It’s just about trying to get kids out there to seek it. It’s been really nice to see the effects of what we’ve done, it kind of gives me confidence that this might be something that works you know?

Its weird people I know are starting to read more now than they did in recent years.
Isn’t that amazing? You just can’t really grasp that you know? Will all the technology and stuff you would think that wouldn’t be the case … people are reading Twilight and Harry Potter.

Yes, Twilight! I read the books, but I didn’t think it would be that huge. Now with the movie it’s just blowing up all over the place.
I know, it’s unbelievable. It’s so weird, but great though.

Well, Tyler it’s been great talking with you today, but I know you have to get back to rehearsal.
You too, I’ll talk to you later!


· Official Site
· MySpace


Tyler Hilton“THE TRACKS OF…”



Kelsey Chow

November 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews, Television

Kelsey Chow

We first saw Kelsey Chow in season three when she stepped into the Tree Hill High gym as the quirky teen sportscaster, “Gigi Silveri”. The chemistry between Kelsey and Lee Norris [as “Mouth McFadden”] was so pure and entertaining that the actress captured our hearts and became apart of the One Tree Hill family.

After taking a season off, Kelsey is back to bring in the laughs and stir up some relationship drama! We caught up with the actress to talk about her career and what it’s like playing “Gigi”.


Hi Kelsey!
Hi! How are you doing?
FV: I’m good! How are you?
KC: Pretty good.

So what have you been up to?
Umm… right now or since filming?

What have you been up to since filming [“One Tree Hill”] last year?
I’ve been spending more time in LA, which is nice. I filmed an episode of “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” with Jaden Smith which recently aired… I guess in March? I also just filmed an episode of “Little Britain” yesterday for HBO, which is awesome! That was a lot of fun! This summer I actually spent time in Scotland performing “Les Miz” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. [READ MORE]


November 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews, Music

It was a ‘great adventure’ when we caught up backstage with MENUDO when they performed at the Six Flags amusement park in New Jersey.  This time around Monti, Chris, Carlos, Jose, and Emma answered some of YOUR questions, where they touched on everything from their favorite sports teams to their celebrity crush, Halloween costume memories and the pranksters of the group.




Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers

October 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews, Music

Stephen Kellogg & the SixersStephen from the totally cool band, Stephen Kellogg and Sixers took some time out of the bands current tour to chat with us a little bit about their album, touring, Rock Boat, the response from new bands, and what happens to a band after they’ve been playing shows together for five years straight.


I first saw you guys when you were out on tour with Hanson this past spring. What was it like touring with those guys?
Touring with Hanson was great! I mean they’re great guys, and touring with them was cool. They’re good guys, they’ve got a passionate fan base and it was kind of amazing having watched them on TV as little boys and then kind of like seeing them and you know, being around them, working with them, writing and playing tunes together and stuff. It was cool.

So, you had listened to Hanson to before you went on tour with them?
I mean I had been hearing about how they… you know, that whole thing of “Wow, Hanson’s a real band”. Because they were under the radar for a while and I had been hearing like, “Wow, they’re really good. You gotta go check “em out.” Then when it came up as an opportunity to be touring together, it was like “Oh cool!” So, I did check them out and it was great… it was fun.

I spoke with Taylor a few months ago, while you guys were on tour and we were talking about the Annual Rock Boat. He told me about how you guys had actually done it before?
Yeah, we did it last year and we’re doing it again this year. They’re doing it as well so; we’ll all be on it. He had asked me about it too and… you know it’s such a great musical community. I think in these times, you have your “One Tree Hill” and it’s just a community for people who watch the show. Hanson’s fans are definitely a community and I think with the Sixers fans it’s the same thing. So, stuff like the Rock Boat becomes really appealing. It really fits into the value of the way we do stuff.

I mean on a boat for days just listening to music can be quite a time for a band and avid music lovers.
Oh yeah, absolutely.

I would love to be apart of that.
Go girl! You should do it!

I should, shouldn’t I? I actually have a friend who’s going in January, and she’s going for Hanson. So, I’ll be sure to let her know you’ll be there too!
Yeah! Please do.

The fans of “One Tree Hill”, they’re – like you said – not only a dedicated community, but they’re also very opinionated and feel very strongly about the music on the show. So, my question is – how was the response from the viewers for you guys?
I think it’s been great. I honestly didn’t know that was a characteristic of the listeners, it made me kind of nervous just hearing you say it; I’m like “uh oh, I hope everybody’s happy about it.” I know it was certainly exciting for us, and the song that they used has definitely had a much bigger listening ship in the last two weeks. They used it and now we’ve been getting more requests for it at shows and stuff because it wasn’t a song we played all that often, only because I play piano on it and I’m not a very good piano player. So, I’m like “uh oh, I better go take piano lessons so we can do this song.” [laughs] But, it’s been great as far as I know and I hope everybody was happy to hear it and stuff. It seems they were.

You made a music video for the song. It’s an animated video that’s kind of done in the style of your album cover? Who came up with the idea for the video?
There’s a really cool animator, Olney, is her name and she has gotten into a conversation with our manager and had this idea to take all the artwork from the new record, which was artwork where we had a symbol for each song on the record. I’m really old school in that way, I get really into artwork as a piece of the whole album and I think you miss that in iTunes. You don’t really get that thing you can hold in your hand. We did that artwork almost a year and half ago, so it was really exciting when she was like, “I want to take that and I want to animate it and do stuff with it.” And she has a great… I wish I could give everybody it… but, she sent us the symbols of what everything in that video means and when you watch it, it sheds so much light on the meaning of her video too, but it’s really touching… like in that scene with the little ducklings. I like that scene a lot.

I loved it. I’m such an avid music fan but, I’m totally into art and graphic design. That was the main thing I was paying attention to in the video, so it was great.
Oh that’s cool! I mean, you saying that too makes me think we should put the little symbols and codes up and enhance the viewers’ enjoyment. But yeah, it’s good. She’s super, I mean she and I got on the phone and talked for like twenty minutes about what the song meant, how it was written, and then really the rest was just her hard work and her team that put the video together.

Music and art definitely go hand-in-hand, I think. Then, with having the song played on “One Tree Hill”, why do you think music is such an important part of TV and film?
Well, I mean because now it’s kind of the new “radio’. It’s just a great tool for the way people find out about music. You know, and in some ways I think it’s replacing the radio in terms of the way of mouth. The radio has gotten to a place where everybody kind of knows the music that’s on the radio is there because someone pays for that exposure. The TV and film thing is a little bit different because it does have the fit the mood and with a show like “One Tree Hill”, where people actually… you know, where that’s part of your whole experience, like “what new music am I going to hear tonight?” That’s just so exciting for an artist, like for us, to just be under the radar and have somebody take us under their wing in that way is so cool. I mean, it’s such a gift. We’re so appreciative to the makers of “One Tree Hill” and the music supervisor because it really is such a great way to reach new people.

Oh absolutely, I think after that episode aired our inboxes flooded with fans saying like “Oh, what was the name of that song that played at the end of the episode? It was so good!” You know, they have their eyes focused on the show but, then their ears alert as to what they’re going to hear next. Even the score music on “One Tree Hill”, the fans are so dedicated.
Aww, I mean it’s revolutionary, it’s very cool. It’s just exciting.

New fans that may have gotten into your music from the Hanson tour or even “One Tree Hill” they’re just discovering you guys, but you’ve been actually making music for years. Can you tell me a little bit about how Stephen Kellogg and Sixers came to be?
Well, the band basically came about because we had been friends sort of in passing and then we all graduated from the University of Massachusetts and we were working different jobs. I had played a lot of solo shows and stuff like that, basically just working, and we really put the band together based on the premise of friends… wanting to spend time with people you like. It wasn’t out of any great musical vision, it was more of like “Hey, these are great guys and I wonder if we put a band together and work hard then we could find another way to make a living that was more fun than what we were all doing.” So, that was like the bond that put the band together, it was friendship. This tour that we’re doing right now is the five year anniversary of our first real tour when we were able to leave our jobs and make music a full-time thing. While we’re totally like a new band to the mass majority of the world, you know, we’ve definitely spent like eight to ten months to a year of the last five years all together out on the road, seeing the world and playing shows. It’s been a great adventure.

How do you think your music evolved over those 5 years?
That’s a good question because I think our music has evolved a bit, but I think we’ve evolved as people mostly. I don’t think at its core that our music is that much different then it was five years ago. We have a better idea of how to present it and maybe we’ve gotten a little better at our instruments, we’re better players… or you could say that the band has gotten a bit “rootsier” then it was in the beginning. We might have been closer to like a pop band, and now we might be a bit more of a roots-rock band. You know, essentially those elements have all stayed the same, but really has changed because I think we’ve changed as people. We’ve learned to appreciate what we have, and we’ve learned to appreciate the moment a lot more than I think in the beginning. You just want to get somewhere all the time, like “well, if we could get this big then we’d be happy,” you know? You realize how insatiable that is, and so there’s been a lot of healthy, hard, fought for lessons that I think we picked up, and that’s what I think is so different. Now we have a point-of-view to offer people that we maybe didn’t have five years ago. Hopefully we were able to encourage more people and be braver about the things that we stand for now then maybe in the beginning when you’re just like “I hope everybody likes me”.

Oh yeah…
And I’m not saying we still don’t feel that. We still feel those emotions, everybody wants to be liked but there’s so much that’s dear to me and it’s so important to have a grasp on what I think is so beautiful in life. I think we’re trying to share that every night in a way that we might have been afraid to do in the beginning.

I definitely have a few favorite songs off your Glassjaw Boxer record. It’s almost hard to pick, but I love “Sweetest Goodbye”, “Sweet Sophia”, and of course “Hearts in Pain”. One of them in particular that I like is “4th of July”. Can you tell me a little bit about the song, you know… like the “back story’? I love knowing the back stories of how they came about.
Oh yeah, well that’s the good stuff. I mean that song is the centerpiece for the album, but it’s mostly just an auto-biographical song. Some songs you sort of write methodically and they take awhile, but that song… it was the third of July and we were all down somewhere in the deep South and we had been rehearsing in the back of this inn where we had been staying. It was the Stonewall Jackson Inn and we were all hanging out, getting ready to go to dinner and we started vamping on those chords. The guys were playing the chords and I just kind of sat down in the back and started writing all these lyrics. I don’t even know where… it terms of that you don’t know where anything is coming from, but it was like to add to that rhythm that was in my head, and I just kept writing verse after verse of things that had happened in my life. The whole thing is kind of thinking like, “well this is where I’m at.” You know? “This is what it is. It’s not a lot maybe, but it certainly feels good to have something that’s my own.” And that’s sort of the “American Dream.” You know, to have a little piece of something you can call your own, and it just kind of flowed out. The song doesn’t really have any errors about it, I mean it probably could’ve been produced to be more of a “hit’ or something like that, but it was always just this song that was like “well, here’s my story.” It all just sort of tumbles out. We change our set so much every single night but that’s probably the one song that we play every single night of the tour and I don’t see that changing. It’s such an intricate part of introducing who we are.

I don’t think it should’ve been produced in any other way. I like it just the way it is.
Well, thank you. That’s good!

You guys are on tour now, am I right?

How has it been, how long will the tour be?
Well, we’re about seven and half weeks into the tour right now. So, we’ve been out since the beginning of September. After November 1st we start doing weekends because we all live in the Northeast, so we’re doing like three or four shows and then we go home for three or four days. Basically the tour goes strong until December 4th, so we’re looking at another six weeks of the tour but we do get a few breaks in November. It’s a pretty long one, but then we have a Holiday run which we always try to do something fun and original like last year we had a bunch of cool special guests from different bands, like my friend from O.A.R. and Pat McGee. We had all these different friends come out and play in our band with us for the Holiday run and we’ll do that between Christmas and New Years.

Now you have been doing a video blog! I’ve noticed a lot of bands using that as a way to stay in touch with their fans while they’re on the road. Were you approached with the idea or is that something you’ve been doing for awhile?
Well, the guy on that is Boots who plays drums in our band. He’s a filmmaker at heart, he loves to do that stuff, and he was making all these movies for a side band that he has. We did get approached like, “hey want to do a weekly blog for iLike?” I guess that’s who we do it through. It’s been really fun; he’s been making these little five minute movies every week that we’ve been on this tour. He’s the boss, we let him drive the ship… whatever he says, it’s like “you got it Boots”.

So, it’s like like behind-the-scenes antics?
Yeah! He makes them about whatever he wants to make them about, and we’re just participants in that. We don’t have a film crew so; he’s got to put it all together every night, whatever he wants to do. I just kind of sit back in “awe’ of like… how does he come up with cool ideas every week? But, they’ve been entertaining.

That’s cool though! A lot of bands who do stuff like that on out the road, they have other people taking care of their video production stuff. To have a band write the music, go out and play the music, do the video reporting. That’s cool.
Yeah, it’s great! I love that he’s the one doing it… its very new.

To someone who stumbled across this interview, hears about you guys for the first time and looking to check out some of your music. How would you capture their interest? You know, how would you describe your music or grab their attention to where they want to check out Glassjaw Boxer and hear what you’re all about?
That’s such an awesome question and it demands a nice, clear, kick ass answer, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to give one. But in terms of whom this band is… I always tell people, “If you come to our show, if you buy any of our records and spend any kind of time with it… and you don’t like it. We’re a ‘money back guaranteed’ band.” I don’t mean that in the sales pitchy way, I just mean it like… we’re for everybody. This isn’t just a limited thing that’s just like… if you like Pop music or if you like this or that. I think you just have to spend some time with it, and for those who don’t dig it… we’ll give them their money back. We try to have the most fun show humanly possible, and also have music that’s hopefully going to speaks to people’s hearts. So, it’s not a very good sound byte, but if someone said, “Why should I come see you? Why should I check out your band?” I’ll leave it to the brilliant journalistic abilities of someone like you to somehow kind of shave that into something sensible that someone could be like, “Yeah! I’m gonna go check this out!”

Thank you so much! It was fantastic speaking with you today.
Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and for checking us out. We appreciate it.


· Official Site
· MySpace


Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers“GLASSJAW BOXER”



photo: Megan Baker Photography

Simon Baillie [La Rocca]

October 18, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews, Music

Simon Baillie [La Rocca]Irish band, La Rocca has been taking America by storm! Their beautiful melodies stand against intense, real, life changing lyrics that you can’t help being swept up in.

Their music has also provided a backdrop to some of the most memorable scenes from the television show “One Tree Hill”, which introduced this band to a whole new fan base. Now, we’re going to introduce you to them! Check out our interview with La Rocca bassist, Simon Baillie!


Simon: “Hi Courtney!”
FV: “Hi, Simon! How are you?”
Simon: “Not too bad, and yourself?”
FV: “I’m doing pretty good.”
Simon: “Good stuff.”

Can you tell me a little bit about La Rocca came together? You know, like the history of the band?
Sure. Well, we originally formed when it was the four of us. The three other guys… my brother Bijorn, Nick, and Allen were in college together in Cardiff, Wales and I was down in Bristol, which is a University down below, quite near them. Yeah, so we formed kind of as a college band in 2000 and then we started taking it pretty seriously, pretty quickly and we moved to Ireland where we played, and there was a small record label there where we released an EP. From there we were looking to get a producer to do our album, we wanted to see if Tony Hoffer would do it and through him we got in touch with Dangerbird Records, who we’re actually signed to, and who we’ve released these two albums with. They’re American-based, so we all wanted to come to America to play so we ended up moving over here to Los Angeles, which is where we are now.

Why the name La Rocca?
Yeah, lots of different versions, but probably most accurate one is that there’s a club in Bristol called “La Rocca” which we use to frequent which is a good ‘ol student bar. Basically no license and very cheap drinks and the had the most amazing neon sign I think I’ve ever seen outside the front door, so we thought “ah, well it’s as good as any other name.”

Let’s talk about your album, Ok Okay. But, first I want to focus on two songs in particular – “Roadway Hymn” and “Half Speed”. Can you tell us the story, the inspiration behind those tracks?
Sure. Well, my brother wrote them, so he probably knows exactly the interpretation, but I’ll tell it from my side of it anyways. “Roadway Hymn” is a song we’ve had for a little bit longer, Bjorn said a little bit longer. I think he wrote it just after The Truth, our first album. It’s kind of… we play it very similar to the way he wrote it and it’s a special song to me on the album because I think it’s the one that…when we recorded it, well we record most of the songs live and then put vocals on it afterwards. It seems it’s the opposite of what most people do, but this song we kind of just did late at night recording. The version you hear is actually what we did in one take and it caught a bit of magic in a late night session which is great. It’s nice we caught that on the record, so we’re really pleased with the way that one has come out. The inspiration behind it? I’m not really too sure. My brother would probably be the best one behind that one.

“Half Speed” is a song that was written last year, and Bjorn wrote it as well. It’s about relation…, I know a little bit more about this one, it’s about relationships when you meet someone and it just slows you down. You know? You kind of stop looking at everything else and you just focus on the relationship that you have, so instead of running around all over the place being a busy bee, you’re just focusing on the person that you’re into so everything else takes its time and time slows a little bit. With that one we just wanted a kind of nice groove and sort of an uplifting feel to it while telling the story of someone falling in love basically and it came out pretty nice. It has a nice little groove to it.

I love them both, but “Roadway Hymn” is so beautiful.
Thank you very much. Yeah, it’s just one of my favorites as well, ever since I heard it when Bjorn played it on acoustic. It just has a really nice vibe to it and I’m really glad we recorded it.

Those are two of the seven songs that have appeared on the television show “One Tree Hill”. They even named an episode after your song “Some You Give Away”! How has the response from “One Tree Hill” fans over the past two years been for you guys?
Unreal actually! Really, to be honest with you it’s been amazing. I mean, “One Tree Hill”, as everyone knows, has a habit of searching for new music and bringing new music to their listeners, they’re viewers. I think Mark [Schwahn] and Lindsay [Wolfington] finding our music was, first of all, it’s amazing exposure for a band starting out and I think the fans of “One Tree Hill” have really responded to our songs. “Non-Believer” has really gotten an amazing reaction, all of the songs actually. We’ve been very lucky that they’ve featured seven songs now, and every time we see the reaction. It’s nice because we toured there just recently in America and you know, you can see the reaction from fans of the show that have noticed the songs and bought the record. It’s infallible for a band really… the exposure, and for “One Tree Hill” fans to know their music as well. They know their music… they have good taste.

I loved Non-Believer! That was the perfect fit for that episode and for the soundtrack. Can you talk about that one; do you know the story behind it?
Sure. “Non-Believer” is more, I think it’s sort of a discovery of someone who… hm, Bijorn told me what it was about and now I sort of can’t remember. For me, it’s someone having a few doubts and trying to resolve them with himself or herself and eventually coming through it and realizing that “this is who I am”, you know, “just take me as I am” really. It was a song for the first album and we always felt good about that song. As the album goes, it kind of doesn’t really fit the album, it’s a very grand feeling, and I think it needed that. It was the only way it was going to be done actually. I think it fit it so well in that piece, like you said, in that scene… I think it was really good of the “One Tree Hill” guys to manage to fit the scene with music, which is intricate very well all the time actually, but that was especially for us because it was our song. It was good.

Every note fit the scene perfectly. I think it’s one of the most stand-out songs that have been featured on “One Tree Hill” to date.
Ah well thank you, that’s good. We certainly had a massive reaction to that song and it’s sort of, in a way, been our “calling card”… the way most people seemed to have gotten into the band. It was through “Non-Believer,” which is great.

The show has had many bands perform in episodes over the past six seasons, would you be open to appearing in an episode? Has that idea ever been approached to you?
It hasn’t been approached to us, but I mean we’ve got a very good relationship with the “One Tree Hill” people so we’d totally be up for it.

I hope to see you guys on there, that’d be awesome.
Oh it’d been fun alright.

What musical artists, if any, would you say has a big influence on the sound of La Rocca?
For the sound of La Rocca, I would say people like Bruce Springsteen and U2. Being an Irish band you can’t get away from U2 in your own country which has been great for Irish music in general. I think they’ve definitely influenced. American bands like The Band, a 70’s band which we were really into and that kind of thing. We really believe in… there seems to be a lost art in lyrics and what the importance of lyrics are in songwriting. I’m glad it seems to be coming back now with artists who seem to be giving a little bit more promise to their lyrics. That’s something we’ve always believed in, songwriting is a craft that should be done well and I think that’s something we really strive for… important lyrics matched with good melodies and so that’s what we’re trying to achieve. For people who are trying to achieve that as well, or have achieved it, its people we respect and look up to. You know?

I’m so glad you said that, because I couldn’t agree with you more. I think songs have lost something in the lyrics in the past few years and it is coming back now, and I can see that in La Rocca.
Yeah, I mean that’s kind of what we’ve been about from the very start and we just have our own way of doing it. It’s nice when you get recognition for it and it’s nice that it’s been on the show and people are getting into it. I think songs mean more to people when they actually say something and have a story to them, and can relate in some way to other people with those experiences. I think that’s what songs are, they are for me. You take a song and it can fit your scenario, it means something to you, and I just love the idea that one of our songs is someone’s first date, kiss, or going out song. Just anything and it sort of gives them a bit of a smile or a pick-me-up or something like that, you know? I think that’s what’s important about music and uh, that’s what music is for me. It’s nice and I hope we’re doing the same thing for other people.

Back to Ok Okay… what’s behind the title, and why was it chosen for this record?
It was the only one we agreed on and it was probably the easiest. We had quite a few and with the last album we had a few names to decide but with this one, we only had two or three and since the other two were rude titles we decided that “Ok Okay” was the best one. I think it fits. We actually have a song called “Ok Okay”, which didn’t make the grade for the record unfortunately but we all sort of went, “what about ‘Ok Okay’ for the title”, and amazingly enough we all agreed right away.

How do you think your lyrics, or your sound has changed from your last album, “The Truth”?
With “The Truth”, being your first album, it’s very true when you say you’ve spent your whole life trying to make your first album and then you’ve got two years to write the second one. The first one was kind of a compilation of our music career up to that point, and so it was a little bit varied into the style which is what we always wanted. But with this one, because it had been a two year gap, we had to concentrate there with who we’ve become as musicians and finding our sound as we go along. We just sound more cohesive with this album in the style and the message we’re trying to get through. So, in that way it’s kind of moved on… we’re finding our sound and we’re trying to develop it. But, are we there yet? I don’t know if we’ll ever get there, but it’s certainly a much more cohesive album. I think the lyrics are as strong as ever from Bjorn and the melodies, and I think we’re just getting better as musicians. Hopefully that comes across, you know?

What’s in the future for La Rocca? A tour, maybe?
Yup, yup! We’ve just come off the back end of an acoustic tour that we did with Amy MacDonald, which was interesting just to play as the two of us and just to see how these new songs come out in the translation of acoustic and songs like “Non Believer.” Well, that was good but we’re dying to get out with a full band. Hopefully we’ll get out in November in the US and then with the new year, to play all over the place. You know, to be in every town we can possibly play in.

Hopefully there will be a stop in New York.
Oh yeah! Definitely! You can’t miss New York.


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Simon Baillie [La Rocca]“OK OKAY”



Joe Manganiello

October 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews, Television

Joe Manganiello

Joe Manganiello joined the cast of One Tree Hill during season five as the TRIC bartender Owen who captured the heart of Brooke Davis [played by Sophia Bush], as well as the attention of the OTH viewers!

We sat down to chat with Joe, who returns to Tree Hill in this sixth season, about working on the show, the Owen/Brooke relationship, his new movie, and the new story-arc of Slamball involving his and James Lafferty’s character, Nathan!


How would you describe your character, ‘Owen’ to new One Tree Hill fans, and even old ones who didn’t connect with the character right away?
Well, I think that Owen is the classic ‘knight is shining armor.’ He’s the guy that girls, probably, you know dream about coming and protecting you from the bad guys, or whatever it is. He’s got a dark past, he’s got a little bit of mystery… a little bit of a dark past. He’s kind of a big strong guy, and fans from last season saw him revive Brooke’s friend from an overdose and then beat up her drug dealer.

I think that with everything that’s going on in Brooke’s life, and kind of the trouble she’s been through, he’s that guy who can kind of swoop in and protect her from the cruel world.

That was a great scene by the way, I didn’t see it coming!
[Laughs] Thanks! Yeah, I know, I know.

What brings “Owen” back to Tree Hill? Can you say?
On a business side of it, the reason why Owen went away is I had to go shoot a movie. My contract expired during the writers strike and before it was renewed, I got offered the lead in a Fox action movie. I had to go off and shoot that, so that was really why Owen left. You know, if I didn’t go shoot that movie, Brooke and I very well would have had a kid. But anyway, yeah of course with that said — Owen has some apologizing to do. Big time.

So, Owen will be introducing Nathan into the sport of Slamball.
That’s right.

Were you already familiar with the sport when you found out it was going to be a part of this season?
I had seen some clips of Slamball before and it just looked insane. But Mark Schwahn, the show creator called me on the phone and said, “Hey we’re gonna be playing Slamball! Is that cool?” And I of course was just super excited to back on the show, and was like “Yeah! Totally!” You know? I went and actually looked again at the clips on YouTube and it made me kind of nervous. [Laughs]

I saw those clips on YouTube! It’s ridiculous! I’m so excited to see it apart of this season.
James and I got out with the actual team in the pro Slamball players and we had to go through basically a series, an orientation process of learning how to pull off all those tricks. You know, moving from tramp-to-tramp, or moving from tramp-to-the-floor, or moving from tramp-to-tramp-to-dunking, tramp-to-tramp-to-Ally Oops. You know? All of those are separate skills that have to be learned. It may look easy, may look simple, but it’s just a testament to those athletes making it look easy. Yeah, we had a really intense practice period.

Yeah, It looks like you can just lose your balance simply from jumping tramp-to-tramp.
Sure, yeah! You have to think ahead. A lot of coordination has to happen and your body has to get used to that kind of pounding. You’re up really high and you’ve got to learn how to land and all that shock needs to be absorbed somewhere. I pulled a muscle next to my spine and I thought I had a spinal fracture. I had to go get MRI’s and X-Rays, and everything was okay, it was just a muscle pulled but I had to sit out for two weeks.

Joe ManganielloOuch! I bet with the storyline of Nathan not playing basketball because of his injury, this could be very dangerous.
Exactly! But, everything was okay. My back healed in time and we got to shoot everything. I saw some of the dailies and it looks awesome!

I’m glad to hear that! You participated in the James Lafferty/One Tree Hill Charity Basketball Game earlier this year. Did you grow up playing basketball?
Yeah, I did! I grew up playing basketball from the time I was a little, little kid. Probably at eight years old, I started playing YMCA league and I definitely played all through elementary school and then all the way through high school. I could’ve gone on to play in college, but I wound up getting a scholarship for acting.

So, I wound up doing that and the scholarship for acting at school was a full-time job. I didn’t really have time to do anything else. Even in LA, I try to get out every once in a while. I love basketball and I’ve been playing forever so, getting out there at the charity event was really fun.

I imagine that’s great being on a television show where you can share both of your loves!
Yeah! That was something that really factored into my choice to be an actor. I think was that if I had gone on to play college sports, I think I would have neglected my artistic side or my intellect. I think that I’m lucky that I’ve gotten to the point in my career that I’ve had a long enough career that I get to do a lot of athletic stuff along with a lot of artistic stuff. So, I’m very lucky. I’m very happy about that! So is my Dad, he likes all the action stuff a lot.

Well, the buzz on-line is that he [Owen] and Brooke won’t jump back into a romantic entanglement when he comes back. Why do you think Brooke wanting to be a mother made Owen back off? You know, when he and Brooke weren’t even officially dating?
Well, I mean, okay — I can only speak as a guy. I think that having a kid is a really huge commitment, so I can understand why any guy would be hesitant about that. But, with that said I just do what the writers tell me! That’s more of I guess, a writer question. You know, because I think Owen would have been the perfect guy.

Over the years it’s really been about that love-triangle between Lucas, Peyton, and Brooke. I’ve noticed since Owen and Brooke met, the fans have just been so locked into their relationship and rooting for them. Why do you think fans are so drawn to seeing these two characters hit it off?
Like I said, I just think the characters are perfect for each other. There was a great, great tribute video that somebody made on YouTube that was set to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl, and I know that sounds hilarious but, it’s that uptown girl — that high society girl who’s got it all and it’s that maybe, lower status guy who’s just got that heart. You know what I mean? Who’s going to take care of her. It’s Romeo and Juliet, it’s that same formula and I think people really respond to that. That big masculine guy who’s going to take care of that high society girl.

It’s like that classic movie love story! But, you can watch it week after week.
Exactly! It’s just that guy who may not have all the money in the world or the cars, but he’s got that heart. You know that he would do anything for her.

You mentioned that scene last season where he [Owen] beat up the drug dealer and we found out that drugs were a big part of Owen’s past. Do you think that will be brought back up in his storyline? Would you like to tap into that kind of story-arc?
Owen is sober, so obviously if they make Owen start doing drugs or drinking again…

Yeah, like a relapse.
It’s going to get bad. It’s going to get really bad. I think if it gets bad like that, it would be bad for the relationship. But, with the introduction of the Sam character… with Sam being as troubled as she is, once again, I think that Owen would be a good influence on her. Or it would be interesting if Rachel came back in, and drugs kind of came back in. I don’t know, I like Owen in the protective role. [Laughs]

Joe ManganielloWho would you like to work more with on the show?
I had a lot of fun working with James [Lafferty]. Sophia [Bush] and I have had some really great scenes that we’ve put together for the new episode, so I love working with her. I think she’s great.

Of course, I miss Robbie [Jones]. Robbie’s my buddy, so I miss ‘Q’. Yeah, I would love to work with Robbie because he’s fun. Yeah, so pretty much James and Sophia. I mean, that’s pretty much who I work with and I’m very happy working with them.

How long can we expect Owen to stick around? Do you know?
All I can say is that there was some new re-writes and… I don’t know. There are some new re-writes that came out yesterday and they could potentially take Owen in a completely different direction. So, once again… I just do what the writers tell me.

Switching gears a little bit, can you tell me about your new movies “Irene in Time” and “Behind Enemy Lines 3”?
Sure, yeah! “Irene in Time” was a movie I actually shot three years ago! I had long hair and a beard.

[Laughs] Yeah, it was like three years ago and I shot this one day. It was just a small part in this movie where I had to improv. I guess it’s all about relationships and I really wasn’t allowed to read the rest of the script. I was just brought in by the director to work one day.

Joe ManganielloWhat about “Behind Enemy Lines 3”?
“Behind Enemy Lines” is the movie that I went away to shoot during the last “One Tree Hill” season! In that movie I play the lead, a lieutenant in the Navy SEALs who leads a squad of SEALs to Colombia on a recon mission and things just go horrifically wrong. We are fighting for our lives trying to get extracted back to the United States.

You shot that in Puerto Rico right?
We shot that in Puerto Rico, yeah.

I’m sure that’s a BIG change from shooting in the small town of Wilmington and then going off to Puerto Rico!
Yeah! I mean we stayed at a resort right on the beach, but with our filming schedule we didn’t really get to spend that much time there. We were being bused out to an hour and half out into the center of the island. You know into the rainforest, and these jungles, these crazy locations to shoot. Yeah, I mean in Wilmington you’re living in Tree Hill so of course, with the exception of Slamball, it’s pretty much romantic drama. “Behind Enemy Lines 3” was straight up action, gun-shots, explosions, helicopters, night fighting. It was really physical and just exhausting physical work all day.

I love a good action movie, so I’ll be excited to see you in a different element than “One Tree Hill”!
Cool! Yeah, I think you’ll like it. It’s pretty cool.

Thank you so much!
Cool, yeah! Thank you!


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