Sunday, August 14, 2016

Indie Ville TV #114 Danielle Lauderdale Finally Releases her First Single, Fools Gold

Written by Alexis Chateau               
                                                                                  
                                                                                  
Danielle Lauderdale became something of an overnight hit in her town after the
amazing opportunity to perform on the Grand Ole’ Opry in Nashville. Many
opportunities would come afterwards, and Danielle inevitably followed them all the
way from a small town in Florida, to big city Nashville, where she currently resides.

“It was interesting,” she says of growing up in her small community. “It’s a whole lot
different than Nashville... There are elements of Nashville that remind me of a small
town – everyone knows everyone. But it’s still a big city.”

Danielle also thanks her move to Nashville for exposing her to the real world, and for providing her with experiences that turned mere words in songs she knew and wrote, into real life heart break and happiness she can relate to.

“I’ve just spent so much time sitting back and working on my craft and writing, and basically living life,” she shares. “I don’t think I became a true artist, until I lived the things I wrote about.”

She adds, “I have something to say from an honest place when I write... I just wanna write songs and stay true to who I am, and be the therapy that is music to some people that a lot of other artists have been to me.”

With this goal in mind, Danielle recently released her first single ‘Fools Gold’ – a female
anthem which reminds women that not every handsome face behind a generous offer
and charming words is worth their time.

In the song, Lauderdale bounces between several genres – starting with a poppy and
r&b intro before launching into a more country pop sound. Her smooth voice seems to
glide over the reminder that sometimes what glitters is only ‘Fools Gold’.

“I hope this song will open the door for me and help get some of my other music heard,”
she says.

Though ‘Fools Gold’ is Danielle’s first official single, she is constantly working on new
music and has more than enough to flood the music world with, but admits, that’s a part
of the problem.

“I’ve got tons of music that’s just sitting there... Sometimes you just gotta throw
something up against the wall and see if it sticks. I want to see if ‘Fools Gold’ takes off
and opens the door to put out new music.’.” She refuses to publish an official album until
she has a good understanding of her audience and their reception of her single.

“I have so much [music] that I can’t keep up,” she tells us. “I write songs and forget that I
wrote them.” She laughs as she adds. “I have a lot of emotions pent up inside of me!”

Considering the amazing success Danielle has had, one can sense the length and breadth
of her humility in this approach to making and releasing music. She has worked
alongside big names in the industry, like Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and plays every
month with the band – Sixwire – which is a part of the Nashville TV show.

Of working with big stars and some of her favorite idols, Danielle says, “It’s the coolest.
It’s a dream. Any time you ever get in a situation where your talent is recognized along
with people you look up to, and who inspire you musically, it’s like it’s not even real.”

She shares that during these moments she sometimes asks herself, “What am I doing
here? Why am I here? But it’s certainly validating, and it’s really awesome to be
categorized and on the same program as these people… It’s an honor, to say the least.”

Idols of hers that she has not yet worked with include Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Sam
Smith. (Hint hint!) “His album – sooo good!” she gushes of the Grammy and Oscar
winner who suffered some terrible trolling from fans after unknowingly making an
inaccurate statement regarding his win. Like many others, Danielle hopes the singer
comes out of his self-imposed social media hiatus soon.

While she waits patiently, you can find Danielle Lauderdale playing at local venues
around Nashville, or you can check out her single ‘Fools Gold’ on iTunes.
 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Indie Ville TV #116 Interview Collective Soul

Indie Ville TV #115 Sad Baxter: Effortlessly Awkward… and Killing It

Written by Alexis Chateau


Sad Baxter blends the sound of iconic bands like Nirvana, and Smashing Pumpkins to make one effortlessly awkward mash-up; and we mean that in a good way, a great way, in fact. With album titles like ‘Weirdy’, and lyrics like “I hate you, but I want you”, the
band forces us to confront some uncomfortable situations that most of us would rather sweep under the rug and forget about.

With a track record like this, not even old dating rumors can faze these band mates. In
fact, Deezy only laughs when asked about her former relationship with fellow band
mate, Alex. The two dated for four years in college, but somehow managed to keep it
together after the relationship ended; for the sake of their friendship, and of course, the
music.

“We were very optimistic when we were together. Things just change, and we were so
young,” Deezy, explains. “We did a good job of setting boundaries after the break up…
We’re still magically best friends, after 8 and a half years.”

Unapologetically Honest
Whether it’s in the music or the chemistry between two exes on stage, Deezy and Alex
bask in the offbeat vibe of their paradoxically tightly synced music, reminiscent of old
80s and 90s grunge rock.

“I think it’s just, as I got older, I started experimenting with different things...” Deezy
says of their old school sound. “In terms of lyrics, I made a conscious decision a few
years ago to write openly and honestly as if I’m writing in a dairy, instead of putting on
any airs.

“A lot of people connected with [musicians] in the 80s and 90s who were just being
themselves, and who were unapologetic about any bad or good feelings that they had.”

It’s not surprising then, that one of the band’s ‘role models’ of sorts would be Weezer,
whose influence is easily heard in both their lyrics and instrumentals.
“[They’re] straight up honest,” Deezy says of the band. “They just have that insanely
nerdy-don’t- even-realize- that-they’re- cool vibe to them…. Like, ‘I’m sorry but I can’t
help what a dufus I am.’

90s Nostalgia
But the band’s 90s nostalgia doesn’t stop there. To encapsulate their old school sound,
the band released their recent album ‘Weirdy’ on cassette. Alex and Deezy made the
decision after seeing a revival of the old medium in their music circles, shortly before
their release.

“It’s fun to have a physical thing,” Deezy asserts, as she thinks back to the days when
fans were thrilled to open up a cassette or CD case and look at the lyrics, alongside
words of gratitude from band members. “I think since cassettes are a lot cheaper and
fun-looking, we decided to go with that...” She adds, “It’s fun because it’s a vintage
thing.”

It wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s one both Deezy and Alex are glad they made. “The
cassette release was so fun,” she tells us. “Sometimes you need... reminders that people
are there to support you and help you.”

To ensure fans have no problems playing their music, each cassette includes a download
card, which provides access to the digital versions of the songs online. This allows the
band to live in the past for a moment, while embracing the digital wonders of today.

Deezy on Sexism in the Performance Industry
There is one thing about the 80s and 90s though that Deezy wishes had progressed
much further along; namely, equality in the music industry. Deezy witnesses and
experiences a fair deal of sexism as a female performer, from some fans and the media
alike.

“It’s so hard to escape anything about that,” she admits. “It’s so frustrating. Every review
– except for one that came out recently – always has to say female-fronted, or something
about my gender. They never say anything about Alex being a man, so why do they have
to mention my gender?”

Deezy has also received backhanded compliments, which begin with “I don’t usually like
bands with female singers but...” and the occasional remark that her voice isn’t ‘pretty’
or ‘girly sounding’.

“I know it’s important that we shed light on female singers, especially when they’re
killing it,” she says. “But not everyone wants that attention. We want to be seen as equal;
and rank up alongside the men, and not in a separate category.”

Deezy traces perhaps one of her first taste of the road ahead back to when she tried to
buy a white guitar from a professor in college. She remembers his selling-point as, “It
will go with everything you wear…” She laughs bitterly at the memory, admitting that
fashion had never been one of her strong points. “If I was a guy, he would never have
said that to me,” she adds.

The Road Ahead
In spite of all this, Deezy is optimistic about where the band is now, and the way
forward. “Honestly, I would say this past month has been amazing. Going on tour was
really hard to plan. It’s hard to get in contact with people you barely know and set up
shows in cities you’ve never played in,” she admits. “It showed us, we can continue to do
this... on our own.”

Sad Baxter is also looking forward to expanding their tour into international countries,
and have their eyes set on Japan.

“Alex and I are dying to play music in Japan,” Deezy says. “We’ve both really been
fascinated with Japan since we were younger, [and] the whole idea of going overseas to
play music is so cool.”

But the band struggles with a language barrier, which has been a formidable bar against
entry into the Japanese music market, thus far.

In the meantime, Sad Baxter continues to draw crowds all across the U.S. from Boston to
Nashville. Sad Baxter also recently kicked off their tour for ‘Weirdy’, and will be coming
to a town near you – if they haven’t already. Check out their website at
www.sadbaxter.com for details.

Indie Ville TV #113 Divided We Stand

Written by  Alexis Chateau                
           

Evident even in its name, Divided We Stand is not a band that bows to clich├ęs. The five- piece metal band combines melodic, clean vocals with heavy rock instrumentals to create music that sounds like a mash-up of some of the best rock bands in the industry. Bands that come to mind include the likes of Atreyu, Breaking Benjamin, Escape the Fate, and for a fleeting moment, even System of the Down.

“I think Joe and Phil used to be in church music,” Randy, the band’s bassist, explains. “The
drummer – Mike – has played in some local bands, and I think he played in church a little
too… [He] loves All that Remains, and power metal. Our lead guitarist listens to crazy
experimental type metal, like Meshuggah. It makes you feel like you’re hallucinating when
you’re listening to them.”

He adds with a chuckle, “I used to play in death metal bands. Now I’m playing with a band
that sings. It’s almost like having an extra instrument in the band. I like it… It was an
adjustment for the lead singer too, because his favorite band is Coldplay and Bono is his
idol… A lot of bands start heavy and then incorporate singing. He’s doing the opposite…
now he’s learning how to do screams.”

In fact, when Joe showed up at the band’s audition, he had no real intention of joining, but
later changed his mind. And in spite of Joe’s unusual background for heavy rock, Randy
says of his band mate, “He was a good fit. He has a good voice.”

That voice continued to grow as the band put out two albums, and then later began
working on singles. Joe has definitely gained more confidence as a metal vocalist since his
earlier days in the band – perhaps under the tutelage of his death-metal- loving band mate?

Aside from the amazing musical range of all its members, the band also has another
strength: its mainstream appeal. Divided We Stand essentially swallows all that’s good in
mainstream music – high quality recordings and videos, bi-annual touring, radio-friendly
lyrics, and infectious melodies – and then spits out the rest.

This mainstream appeal and good deal of airplay on local radio stations, helped earned
them the opportunity to share stages with bands like Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, and
Mushroomhead.

It’s also allowed them to work with big names behind the scenes, like Travis Wyrick, who
has also worked with notable musicians like P.O.D., 10 Years, and Dolly Parton.

When asked about how the band came by its own notable name, Randy laughs. “We
debated it for a long time… We started arguing about it, and we picked the name because
we were pretty divided about what the name should be. And that’s kind of what’s going on
in the world. So… Divided We Stand.”

Interested in seeing more of the band? Divided We Stand recently put out a video for its
single ‘New Era’ and is working on making new music.

Keep an ear out. They’re definitely worth the listen!

Indie Ville TV #112 Brauninger McDaniel: Singing the Blues

Written by Alexis Chateau        
                                                                                                 

Brauninger McDaniel knows a thing or two about blues, far beyond just singing it. Like world-renowned vocalist, Adele, Brauninger became inspired to write and make music after the heartbreak of a failed relationship.

Brauninger first moved to Nashville, with her then-husband, for better opportunities. But when the marriage ended, Brauninger found herself exploring one opportunity she had not explored before: a career in music.

On her own for the first time in years, the Louisiana native turned to music to move forward. Passersby often overheard her outside her duplex and encouraged her to make a profession out of her favorite hobby. After a while, Brauninger found herself thinking ‘Why not?’

That was more than half a decade ago.

“When I started writing, I was by myself a lot and things that I had [been] through started
coming to me,” she explains. “The first song I wrote was called ‘How did we end up this
way’” Naturally, Brauninger turned to jazz and blues, and then transformed her private
ruminations into something millions of other women around the world could relate to.

Even so, the up-and- coming singer doesn’t like to be boxed into any one category. “A lot of
people say it’s jazzy, and a lot of people say I’m blues, and a lot of people say it’s easy
listening. I have such a variety… I’ve been writing a lot of country too. I love country music!
… I like to mix my stuff up. I get bored of one thing. I try to be versatile with [my music].”

The versatility is evident in the wide range of musicians Brauninger thanks for her unique
sound. Brauninger credits Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, the Rascal Flats, Donna Ray, Sheryl
Crow and Keb’ Mo’.

She also credits her family, who she says was really into music, and encouraged her to
explore instruments, and her vocal range, from a young age. “I started at around five years
old. I played the piano… I play by ear, but I’ve been doing it for a while.”

Back in Louisiana, Brauninger’s uncle was also very involved in music and inspired her to
make music of her own, though it would be many years later before she pursued that
dream.

The timing must have been right, because things have definitely been on the up and up for
Brauninger. She was recently featured in the Country Music magazine, and feels honored to
have been chosen. She was also featured in the Nashville Scene, and will be one of the main
performers at the upcoming Wine Down Main Street in November, to benefit the Boys and
Girls Club of Middle Tennessee.

But Brauninger has much bigger plans ahead. “I would love to tour. I’ve had one CD out and
I’m working on another CD now, trying to get that out. So hopefully that won’t be too long.”
For updates on new music, check out her website at www.brauningermcdaniel.com.
Brauninger is also on the hunt for a booking agent and will probably be singing the blues at
a bar near you, sooner than you think.