Pepe Deluxe

'€œI predict in three years there won'€™t be any music with beats, it'€™ll all just be violins and cellos.'€ James Spectrum
'€œWe are wizards!'€ JA-Jazz

It'€™s probably best not to take either of those statements entirely seriously, but you'€™d be foolish to do the same with Pepe Deluxe. The last time we met them they were sound-tracking the hugely successful, continent spanning soundtrack of the Levi'€™s Twisted Jeans campaign. But so much has happened since then that, frankly, everything we thought we knew is now wrong'€¦ So let'€™s start again.

Beatitude is going to be one your most cherished albums of the year, you just don'€™t know it yet. You'€™ll almost certainly be drawn in by the head-wrecking funk lunacy of Salami Fever, but you'€™ll stay on just to have another listen to the languid sexiness of the very beautiful Lying Peacefully. You'€™ll stick First Goodbye'€™s deep, cinematic blues on a mixtape and possibly even get a shag because of it. You'€™ll hear future single Girl in every high-class, late-night drinking establishment you frequent from here '€˜til Christmas, but you'€™ll never tire of it. Within days of listening to Beatitude for the first time, you'€™ll imagine DJ Shadow throwing his windows open, realising what a fucking beautiful day it is, and deciding to spend it having a noisy, drunken BBQ with actual human beings rather than picking dust off his sneakers in a record shop basement. Again. It'€™s that type of album.

But how did we get here? Well, in 1997, James Spectrum and JA-Jazz '€“ along with the now departed DJ Slow '€“ recorded a tune called '€œWoman In Blue'€ that sampled Tony Hatch (the man responsible for, among other classics, the Neighbours theme) and Nina Simone. Everyone thought it was great, including Levi'€™s. Simone'€™s record company cleared the sample for the album, but not for the advert. This turned out to be a Very Good Thing Indeed as the group obsessively developed their skills at replaying and recreating original sounds and textures where they would have once just used samples.

Consequently, three things happened. Firstly, the process made Pepe Deluxe realise what they were capable of doing themselves. Secondly, this realisation pointed the way forward to their new record and thirdly, it gave the group the financial freedom to give up their day jobs and concentrate fully on their music. Tony Hatch isn'€™t complaining either '€“ he still made, um, crazy bank.

'€œIt sped things up,'€ admits James. '€œWe loved music but we couldn'€™t invest more time in it.'€

'€œIt was a job,'€ reckons JA. '€œIt just so happened we weren'€™t getting paid.'€

Anyhow, the success of the advert also meant that every time the band thought they could get back to the studio they'€™d be called out for another round of promotional duties, but in Summer 2001, more than three years after the album '€œWoman In Blue'€ had been taken from was released, the phone finally stopped ringing and Pepe Deluxe were ready to make new music.
With Slow off doing his own projects, James and JA faced the huge process of going from three guys using samplers and decks to two guys learning how to record and build a studio that would end up utilising the talents of more than 34 different musicians from around the world. But they did it, and how'€¦

'€œEverything'€™s taken so much time because we didn'€™t know what the hell we were doing. But we do now,'€ JA

'€œWe built a studio not to get the sounds of today, but to get the sounds of the samples we loved,'€ says James, a part-time physics student so obsessed his new studio toys he can '€“ and will '€“ happily talk for hours about spring reverbs and archaic, long since out of production pedals and FX. '€œI'€™m not after the modern best,'€ he says, '€œjust the craziest. The whole concept of the album is trying to be the best of everything.'€


Pepe Deluxe


'€œWe spend as long as it takes to make everything right,'€ says JA. '€œIt'€™s about feel and vibe. I mean, we like the crazy noises, but it'€™s really all about the song.'€

'€œWe had ambitions to make better songs with more elements and layers,'€ says James, a man whose last album was awarded Future Music'€™s Album of the Month five years after it was recorded. '€œWe get bored of things quickly and we hate doing things twice.'€
So, what can you expect? Well, Beatitude draws inspiration from all over the globe, while the last album had precisely no live instruments on it whatsoever, this one has guitars, brass sections, piano, strings, electric violins '€œand lots and lots and lots of drums.'€ Musicians from all over the world would record pieces then the work would be collated at the band'€™s studio in Helsinki. There'€™s a mad video genius from Minnesota, a jazz drummer from Finland, singers from Syria, Cuba and The People'€™s Republic of Brighton, girls with exotic parentage (Finnish & Pakistani, Swedish & Slavic), a string section recorded in Russia, there'€™s even an appearance of Finland'€™s King Of Tango, a form of music that'€™s surprisingly big in northern Europe'€™s (often) frozen wastes.
'€œArgentinean Tango is fire,'€ explains JA. '€œFinnish Tango is ice.'€ Which, according to Spinal Tap, would make Pepe Deluxe lukewarm water. '€œTango is all about suffering and loss,'€ he continues. '€œOne day we will discover exactly what Pepe Deluxe are all about and on that day we will will it because it'€™s all about discovery and adventure. It'€™s about the journey, not the destination.'€

The band plan to play some live dates and are equally terrified and thrilled by the idea but, they add, '€œwe will do it because the songs deserve it.'€
'€œPepe Deluxe are about exploring,'€ reckons James, '€œand not just music. It'€™s pictures and movies and design and people. You need ideas and inspiration all the time, it'€™s a seven days a week job, but we'€™re ready for it.'€
Pepe Deluxe then. Real songs, real musicians, real instruments. '€œAnd real wah-wah!'€ Yes Mr Spectrum, and real wah-wah.

MEMBERS

The group consists of two key members: James Spectrum the producer and programmer alongside JA-Jazz who provides live instrumentation.

Pepe Deluxé are (in their own flipped out words):

James Spectrum
'€¢ A son of an inventor and a craftsman who has won many competitions and built, among other things, a 100 foot iron ship with a bar, sauna and hydraulic doors. Thanks to a fanatic big brother James gets an overdose of progressive rock, blues and psychedelic weirdness when still a small kid. Gets interested in computers and their musical possibilities when he gets his first Vic-20.
'€¢ Gives up computers and starts playing bass at the age of 15. He has endless jam sessions with a drummer friend and starts listening to classical music.
'€¢ Buying his first sampler at the age of 19, James starts making dance music. During the following years he moves gradually back to his roots.

Ja-Jazz
'€¢ JA hears his first hip-hop tune at the age of 13 and is instantly hooked. Spending all his money on records he has major problems with other kids: everybody else digs rock and pop.
'€¢ Through hip-hop he discovers funk, soul and jazz.
'€¢ He has a brief excursion into dance music and DJing when Acid arrives in Finland. '€¢ Plays jazz in chill out rooms mainly for himself - at this point everybody else digs techno.
'€¢ Decides to give up DJing and starts experimenting with music: first with a Casio keyboard with less than 2 secs of memory, moving on later to an Amiga.
'€¢ JA joins Pepe and after a few sessions decides to buy himself a sampler: another lost soul!

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles

'€œThree Times A Player'€ (Tiger) [Deleted] - Released sometime in 1998
'€œWoman In Blue'€ [Deleted] - Released April 1999
'€œSuper Sound / Everybody Pass Me By EP'€ - Released September 1999
'€œCall Me Goldfinger'€ (3mv) - Released September 2000
'€œBefore You Leave'€ (Catskills) (featuring mixes buy Ashley Beedle and Mex) - Released May 2001

'€œSalami Fever'€ (Catskills) - Released March 2003
'€œGirl!'€ (Catskills) '€“ Released June 7th 2003

'€œAsk For A Kiss'€ '€“ RELEASED 20th October 2003

Albums

'€œSuper Sound LP'€ [Deleted] - Released May 1999
'€œSuper Sound LP'€ [New Version] (Catskills / INCredible) - Released May 28th 2001

'€œBeatitude LP'€ (Catskills) '€“ July 27th 2003 (UK)

Remixes

'€œBurning Down The House'€ by Tom Jones and The Cardigans [Pepe Deluxé Remix] (Gut) 1999
'€œRunning With Scissors'€ by Jacknife Lee [Pepe Deluxé Remix] (Palm Pictures) 1999
'€œHelsinki Rock City'€ by Giant Robot [Pepe Deluxé Remix] [Featured on Straight Out The Cat Litter: Scoop 3] 2001
'€œNothing To Do'€ - Bad Meets Evil (featuring Eminem and Royce 5'€™9) [Pepe Deluxé Remix] (Mole UK) - Release November 2001
'€œCyclops Dance'€ - Matti Oiling [Pepe Deluxé Remix] (City Rockers) Released November 2002
'€œGoing Home'€ - Black Grass [Pepe Deluxé Remix] (Catskills) - Summer 2003
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Fam-Lay

Years after production heavyweights like Timbaland and The Neptunes paved the way for talent to come out of the state of Virginia, Missy Elliot, Skillz and the Clipse broke down the rest of the barriers artists like Fam*Lay to rock the mic. After appearing on The Neptunes Present'€¦Clones, record labels were on his trail after hearing '€œRock '€˜N Roll'€ and shortly after Fam signed a joint deal with Star Trak/Def Jam. MusicRemedy.com had a chance to catch up with Fam*Lay as he prepares to make his moniker and hometown a household name.

Years after production heavyweights like Timbaland and The Neptunes paved the way for talent to come out of the state of Virginia, Missy Elliot, Skillz and the Clipse broke down the rest of the barriers artists like Fam*Lay to rock the mic. After appearing on The Neptunes Present'€¦Clones, record labels were on his trail after hearing '€œRock '€˜N Roll'€ and shortly after Fam signed a joint deal with Star Trak/Def Jam. Hailing from Norfolk, VA, Fam*Lay is hard at work on his debut album which is due out in early 2004. MusicRemedy.com had a chance to catch up with Fam*Lay as he prepares to make his moniker and hometown a household name.

MusicRemedy.com: First of all, how'€™d you hook up with The Neptunes?

Fam*Lay: I liked up with them '€˜cause I was introduced to Pharrell in my neighborhood, you know, he used to come out there. He knew me like that, I was a little kid runnin'€™ around. And a few years later he came around and at that time I was rhyming and he was like '€˜yo'€™ I heard you rap'€™ so I was like '€˜yeah'€™'€¦So I rapped for him and he was like '€˜yo'€™ you need to start coming to the studio'€™. I used to come around(the studio) and he used to shop me around to different people. He ended up getting a label and so now I'€™m with him.

MR: Ok, so now you'€™re signed to Star Trak/Def Jam?

FL: Yeah, it was a joint venture. But um, we just felt it was better for me to be over there(Def Jam).

MR: When'€™s the album dropping and what'€™s it called?

FL: It comes it in March of 2004 and it'€™s called Trainango.

MR: What'€™s the name Fam*Lay mean?

FL: It'€™s just like a phrase we use at home, in Virginia(Norfolk), we call everybody famlay'€¦You know, like '€œyo'€™ famlay whattup mane?'€.

MR: I know Lil'€™ Flip'€™s on the album, who else is on it?

FL: I got Kelis, Lil Jon & Tha Eastside Boyz, Roscoe, Jae Millz, T.I., you know, a lot of new talent.


Fam-Lay


MR: You'€™re from Norfolk, VA'€¦How has the hiphop scene changed-if it'€™s changed at all?

FL: I think we came with The Neptunes and people are starting to take us more serious. I'€™m hearing more groups, and more people coming out.

MR: What were you doing before you got signed?

FL: Uh, right before I got signed I was hustlin'€™ on the streets.

MR: What do you hope to establish with this album?

FL: Hopefully I can just give us a place in the hiphop world and kind of let people know about Norfolk, VA kind of like what Nelly did with St. Louis.

MR: How would you describe your music or your sound?

FL: It sounds like old school but it'€™s refreshing. It'€™s different already '€˜cause like I said, people never heard of Norfolk, VA.

MR: Looking back, did you ever think this(rapping) is what you were gonna be doing?

FL: Nah man, not in a million years. This wasn'€™t remotely what I thought.

MR: Who would you love to work with that you still haven'€™t had the chance to?

FL: A lot of people man. I wanna just keep makin'€™ music.

MR: Did The Neptunes produce the whole album?

FL: Nah they produced like 80% of the album. I got some songs from Lil Jon. I got 1 from David Banner, and a couple others.

MR: Who in hiphop are you feeling right now?

FL: Jay-Z, G-Unit, a lot of old school stuff too.

MR: Ok, so you got this Trainango album dropping March 2004, any last words from Fam*Lay?

FL: Go cop the album and show your support!
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Jean Grae

Newly signed to Babygrande Records in conjunction with Orchestral Entertainment, critically-acclaimed MC Jean Grae is getting ready to drop her first release for the label, The Bootleg of the Bootleg EP , on October 7th. We talked with Jean Grae about her new EP and her forthcoming album in this exclusive interview.

Acclaimed as one of Entertainment Weekly?s "Bands on the Brink? in May 2003, and hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as "the best-kept secret on New York?s indie hip-hop scene", Grae is arguably the most gifted and critically well-received female emcee in years. Gritty and raw yet intelligently artistic, Jean?s debut LP "Attack of the Attacking Things" garnered wide critical acclaim, immediately solidifying her place as not only an indie hip-hop icon, but as one of today?s most promising new artists.

With the first single "Hater?s Anthem," The Bootleg of the Bootleg EP also features Cannibal Ox, with whom Grae is touring this fall (see below for dates). Also included is a bonus track - a 45-minute megamix of some of Grae?s hottest freestyles, beats & rhymes. Look for Jean to be featured on an upcoming episode of MTV?s "Advance Warning." A full-length album will follow in 2004.

INTERVIEW

For people who may not have heard some music from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

Something totally different.

Are you pleased with the response you have received so far?

Yes, just to know that more people are listening. I don?t think everyone is completely "getting" it though. A lot of review I read people miss the entire points of songs, or misspell or misquote lyrics. It?s interesting to see since I think I am really clear about my diction and subject matter. That?s annoying at times.

Could you explain the album title "The Bootleg of the Bootleg EP"?

It?s the Bootleg of the actual Bootleg album that we are selling now. The shorter version. Thereby the EP.

How was it to work with Cannibal Ox? Will there be more other artists on your album?

It was quick. Everyone wrote quick. Whole session took about an hour. I was going to have features, I suppose I still wiil, we are holding off til the end. But you never know... Might not even be any knowing me.


Jean Grae


Who would you like to work that you haven't yet, whether it be Hip-Hop, Rock, or any other form of music?

Bach. I suppose that won?t happen.

How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

I still haven?t. It would take a while to start a whole new career right now though. But honestly, I really haven?t decided what I want to be when I grow up yet.

What did you went through to get your music recognized?

It isn?t recognized yet. A whole lot of silly shit. Which would take entirely too long to discuss.

How do you separate yourselves from other artists?

Well, I don?t see myself as being separate from any artists.. I think I touch on a few topics that have remained untouched in hip hop... I?m not that special .


In the HipHop scene there never have been many female rappers. At the moment you have Heather B, Rah Digga, Lil Kim, etc... Could you give an explanation why man still dominate the HipHop scene?

Because more males rap than females. And you forgot Apani and a few others.


Who has been an example for you [artist, family, etc...]?

My family and just in general, good music. Whether it be soul, rock, rap...whatever. Good music is good music. I don?t make a distinction because of genre.


What are you planning to do in the [near] future?

Go to the gym.


What artists are you listening to at the minute?

Jay Z, Andre 3000.


What's the one music album you love that everyone else seems to hate?

Any Kittie album .


If you ran the industry you work in, you would...

Give myself money. After that I could pretty much work for whatever else I was planning to do. I wouldn?t be lazy with the wish. I?d rather work for change. Money really helps though.


What celebrity/person would you want downloaded onto your hard drive and stored for all time?

Oh my God, that?s horrible.


Do you have anything to say to the MusicRemedy.com?s visitors?

Hey guys. Do ya have the album? No? You should get it then. Especially you Jeff. Yeah, you. I can see you through the computer. Don?t be scared Jeff, it?s just a thing I do.. Now Jeff, go out and get that album.
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Depswa

Depswa: Music without boundaries fueled with emotion and a lot of melody. Comprised of songs written primarily over the past two years, TWO ANGELS AND A DREAM thrives under a compelling and often convention-defying mix. We talk with Depswa member Dan about their album and his desire to have Brittney Spears on his pc.

Biography

Depswa is:
Jeremy Penick: Lead Vocals, Guitars
Dan Noonan: Guitars, Vocals
James Mills: Guitars,Vocals
Ryan Burchfield: Bass, Vocals
Gordon Heckaman: Drums, Samples

It was only some five years ago the Los Angeles-based Depswa was considered perhaps one of the heaviest burgeoning bands in California. At the time, such an accolade was one the group was proud to be associated with. But, more recently, as the hard-working young musicians searched to discover their true musical identity, the heavy expectations became a creative burden.

"After writing one way for a long time, we came to the realization that if we were trying to write songs to appease people with one particular kind of taste, then we weren't being true to ourselves," says guitarist Dan Noonan. "It got to the point where we were throwing away songs because we convinced ourselves that, 'Oh, people won't like this.' But it soon became clear that most of all; we needed to write the songs we liked. If other people liked them, too? great." "That decision turned everything around," says vocalist and founding member Jeremy Penick. "To do anything else, we knew, would have been totally plastic."
Their fateful determination spurred the band forward with a musical and performance output that eventually found them in the studio recording the forthcoming TWO ANGELS AND A DREAM, their Geffen Records and full-length debut. Sessions began in February 2002 with producer Howard Benson (P.O.D., Blindside, M?torhead) and engineer Mike Plotnikoff (Kiss, P.O.D., Cranberries) at a pair of Southern California studios, in both Valley Village and Calabasas. Recording continued on and off throughout that winter before acclaimed mixing agent Chris Lord- Alge was welcomed into the process.

Comprised of songs written primarily over the past two years, TWO ANGELS AND A DREAM thrives under a compelling and often convention-defying mix: raucous, ringing guitars; driving, frequently chomping rock rhythms; wide-ranging, sincerely shaped vocals; and engaging arrangements, all cast within a powerful melodic current. On this dramatic sonic canvas, songs shift from such explosive, dynamic numbers as "This Time" ? with backing vocals by Brad Kane (Disney's Aladdin & The King of Thieves) ?to such tracks as the stirring, unplugged "The Traveler's Song" ? with guest backing vocals by solo artist Sierra Swan (Cold, Black Eyed Peas). "The Prom Song," features added programming from former Yes contributing keyboardist Igor Khoroshev. Thematically, TWO ANGELS AND A DREAM explores the inner-workings of both self-doubt and self-confidence, relationships gone hopelessly wrong and wonderfully right, and the fragile balancing act that determines the course of so many lives. "All the songs are very close to the heart," says Jeremy, "but the motivations change all the time."

The story of Depswa traces back to Modesto, California in the mid-1990s when guitarist and music-obsessed college student Jeremy Penick launched the progressive instrumental trio, Carcinogen. After releasing a 4-song EP, CLEANSING, in 1995, the group saw its star steadily rise on the Northern California rock club scene. Early the following year, the group opened the door to new bassist and well-regarded local musician Ryan Burchfield, a move that coincided with Penick's decision to tackle vocal duties and shift focus from writing six-minute instrumental pieces to a more song-oriented approach.

1998 found Carcinogen earning new fans both through the release of a self-titled 6-song EP and an emerging reputation for blistering live shows on stages across Modesto, Sacramento, and San Francisco. After playing a series of highly successful gigs in Los Angeles late that year, the band permanently relocated to the City of Angels and in February 1999 recruited Penick's longtime friend and former bandmate Dan Noonan to take on guitar duties.
The move sparked a creative awakening for the band, one that centered on greater attention to song structure and arrangements along with Penick's fast-changing vocal style. "When we moved down to L.A. with Dan, we knew what we all wanted to do," says Penick. "It came to a point, maybe it was part of a maturity process, but I realized I didn't want to be like everyone else. For so long, I was trying to sing in a way that wasn't me ? trying to emulate other people. Eventually, I had to get real. That meant getting over my fear of singing, really singing. When that finally happened, it opened up our music overall and everything just started to feel really good." With that, Carcinogen became Depswa, a Swahili word meaning "deep behind the moon." It is also a South American term for tribal healer. The newly monikered group went on to record the 4-song EP, FAITHLESS, in early 2000, a year that saw extensive touring through California and Arizona, marked by notably packed-house concerts at L.A.'s Whiskey, Roxy, Viper Room, and Troubadour. The Depswa team reached fighting weight with the October, 2001 addition of drummer Gordon Heckaman and the Spring, 2002 enlistment of second guitarist and NoCal native James Mills (just in time for him to contribute to a pair of tracks during the TWO ANGELS? sessions).

To a band that prides itself on an overarching team spirit, adding new members required serious deliberation. "Above anything in Depswa, we're great friends," says Dan. " So when we got James and Gordon in the band, their playing wasn't as much an issue as how we got along with them. When people started getting interested in signing the band, we had to take a step back, look at ourselves, and ask, 'How is this band going to have longevity?' We came to the conclusion, yes, musicianship obviously has to be there but overall we have to be friends and be able to live with each other on a cramped bus for weeks at a time." "That will kill a band in a second ? no matter how good the players are ? if you're not able to solidify those kinds of bonds," adds Gordon.

For Depswa ? who have already shared stages with the likes of Nickelback, Down, Disturbed, Sevendust, Stone Sour, Rob Zombie, Danzig, Chimaria, 40 Below Summer, Kottonmouth Kings, etc. ? the best possible affirmation of their efforts came a year ago when they played a sold-out New Year's Eve show before 2,500 fans in their old Modesto stomping grounds. "I walked out on stage and got chills," says Ryan. "The place was going wild and I had an ear-to-ear grin on my face."

In the fall of 2002, the band embarked on their first nationwide tour, playing in support of Illinois rockers Mudvayne and Ann Arbor's TapRoot. "On that tour," says Ryan, "every night we got out on stage we just looked at each other, as if to say, 'Wow! We're getting that chance to have a chance.' It's already been an amazing experience and nobody out there has even heard the record yet."

Interview

1. For people who may not have heard some music from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

Music without boundaries fueled with emotion and a lot of melody. We write music under a very broad spectrum from heavy-to-soft, aggressive-to-passive. We definitely don?t fit the mold of three chord bands. We try to write intelligently and try to utilize all our resources and influences.

2. ?Two Angels and a Dream? was released on June 3rd, 2003. Are you pleased with the response you have received so far?

We are definitely pleased with the response we?ve heard from people who have bought the album. It seems like everyone has a different favorite song. That means a lot to us. It shows us that we didn?t make the typical ?Radio? type album where the radio singles are the best songs on the album. We sincerely believe that our album is deeper than that and invite people to explore it.

3. Does the album title have a special meaning?

There are a couple metaphors for ?Two Angels and a Dream.? The first relates to balance in life ?Good can?t exist without the bad and both are needed for balance. Hence the two angels ?one above, one below.? They represent heaven and hell, good and evil, etc. In between is where you feel stable.

The other meaning is more of a direct meaning. It relates to our singer, Jeremy?s, personal life. If you didn?t already know he has twin daughters (the angels) and a passion to create music as a career (the dream). He wrote it as sort of a dedication to them and to show the compromises of following a dream.

I think it is brilliant how he was able to connect the two meanings in one song. It?s definitely enlightening when you read the lyrics.

4. Who would you like to work with that you haven't yet, whether it be HipHop, Rock, or any other form of music?

We are all huge Tool & A Perfect Circle fans. We?ve always said we?d love to either play or collaborate with either of those bands. Other than that, I could go on forever. We are fans of all musical styles and respect so many artists in different genres.

5. How was it to work with P.O.D. producer Howard Benson? Will he produce your next albums too?

Howard was great he definitely has his act together. He has the best people on his team (especially engineer Mike Plotnikoff), and he knows how to make a great album. We all learned so much from him and are very content with the album he produced. As for working with him in the future, we?ll have to see. He is definitely an awesome producer and great to work with.

6. How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

I think that when we all got our first instruments, we felt the magic and knew that it was something we?d love to do for the rest of our lives. At least that?s how I felt when I got my first guitar and began to learn to play. We?ve all spent so much of our lives writing music, so doing anything else would be unimaginable.

7. What did you go through to get your music recognized?

Rehearsing for hours-upon-hours, playing gig-after-gig, and recording demo-after-demo. Luckily once we established ourselves and had a decent demo, our networking paid off and the labels took interest. It was a tough road, but it definitely has been worth every minute.

8. How do you separate yourselves from other artists?

I?d like to think that we sound pretty unique. I know I have a hard time telling people what we sound like. I think that because our musical influences are so broad, it really enabled us to explore our boundaries. We?re not a metal, rock, pop, thrash, grunge, alternative, or hardcore band?we?re just Depswa.

9. What are you planning to do in the [near] future?

Hopefully we?ll be able to continue touring and record our next album eventually.

10. What would you like to achieve with your music and career?

We want to write songs that will mean something to music fans and that will stand the test of time. I definitely feel that it is important to write music that in 20 years will still have an impact on people and won?t be labeled for the time period it was written. Look at the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, etc. Their music definitely stands the test of time and is still very meaningful.

11. What artists are you listening to at the minute?

This will sound weird, but we have all been listening to bands such as Bjork, Lamb of God, The Used, Eminem, AFI, System of a Down, etc.

12. What's the one music album you love that everyone else seems to hate?

I really like Hooray for Boobies by the Bloodhound Gang (mainly for comedic content), but the rest of the guys hate it. When we toured with Mudvayne in a van, I?d throw it in when I drove occasionally. What can I say?it?s funny!

13. If you ran the industry you work in, you would...

do my best to try to diversify the music that is popular right now. To me, it seems like there are a lot of bands that sound alike, and radio plays them all day long. I?d like to see more unique underground bands get the respect and recognition they deserve.

14. What celebrity/person would you want downloaded onto your hard drive and stored for all time?

Brittney Spears would be a bonus!

15. Do you have anything to say to the MusicRemedy.com?s visitors?

I?d just like to thank everyone that has supported us. We are forever indebted to you! Depswa is and always will be about the fans. Without you our music would be non-existent. For anyone that hasn?t heard our music, check it out at www.depswa.com. Hopefully it will be something new and you?ll enjoy it as much as we enjoy playing it. Thanks! Sincerely, Dan
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Kill Hannah

Sleek, sexy, undeniably melodic, and thoroughly unique, it?s ironic that Chicago rock quintet Kill Hannah got its start in a place called Normal. Anyone who complains that rock isn't as much fun as it once was needs to pay close attention to For Never & Ever, which paints a consistently exciting picture of the Chicago-based alterna-rockers.

Sleek, sexy, undeniably melodic, and thoroughly unique, it?s ironic that Chicago rock quintet Kill Hannah got its start in a place called Normal.

A native of Connecticut, singer/songwriter/guitarist Mat Devine moved to Chicago?s North Shore suburbs during his senior year in high school. He proceeded to enroll at Illinois State University, where it turned out that he was a poor fit. Sitting in his dorm room, he felt alienated and bored in the rural farm community.

"Kill Hannah started in Normal as just me and a four-track," says Devine. "I didn?t have any friends the first year, so I just worked on music. I was so elitist in a sense - I always felt like a loner - and I turned that restlessness into songs."

One of these was a tune called "Kill Hannah" that was based on a brief but turbulent relationship. "It was the best song I?d ever written at the time," Devine says, "and I was really excited about it because it was the first time I heard something that was close to what would become the band?s sound.

"The song kind of lost meaning for me over the last six years," he continues, "but the story is kind of cool. Hannah was a 16-year-old at the time I was a freshman in college. She was a local, but she stood out - she was modelesque but didn?t know it, and she had purple hair and three nose rings. This was in 1992, so it was a little more daring. We started dating, and it was a really bizarre, brief relationship that resulted in my first experience with heartbreak. I was devastated. I think I was fine three weeks later, but at the time it was really, really emotional, and I was really angry."

Thankfully, Devine?s revenge fantasy was limited to a song: he and Hannah are still friends, he says, and she "kind of gets a kick" out of the band?s name. "She?s still a really fascinating person, she loves literature, and now she lives in Geneva, Switzerland."

Though the song has long since been dropped from the band?s set list, it?s indicative of the way Devine writes. "What I liked about it was that it was specific but universal," he says, "because everybody?s been through something like that." The same can be said of many of the driving, hook-filled songs on "FOR NEVER AND EVER," Kill Hannah?s Atlantic Records debut.

Few among us haven?t had a lonely, desolate moment like the scene on Chicago?s Navy Pier described in "New Heart for Christmas," felt the hopelessness portrayed in "Raining All the Time," or experienced a brief flash of the triumphant and defiant attitude that propels "Kennedy." With their killer power chords, catchy electronic loops, propulsive rhythms, and anthemic choruses, Kill Hannah?s songs have won the band a dedicated following.

Leaving Normal behind (in more ways than one), Devine relocated to Chicago in the mid-?90s and put together a full band. The group released a series of strong D.I.Y. recordings, including three EPs (Hummingbirds The Size Of Bullets, Stunt Pilots, Sleeping Like Electric Eels) and two albums (Here Are the Young Moderns, American Jet Set). Their following grew organically as the musicians converted one fan at a time, relentlessly spreading the word (they?ve long been a familiar sight handing out fliers all around Chicago, even standing on street corners in the rain and snow).

The result is shows that regularly sell out, a Web site that gets over 10,000 hits a week (www.killhannah.com), and a dedicated fan base that includes some impressive cheerleaders. Said Smashing Pumpkins? Billy Corgan: "They may have a sexually ambiguous nature - like me. They may sing in a high nasal voice - like me. But unlike me, they are the future of Chicago rock."

Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, rock critic Jim DeRogatis noted: "Kill Hannah transcends image by delivering the goods...On one level, these are pleasant bubblegum ditties. But there?s also a measure of subversive, My Bloody Valentine-style sonic terrorism, and that?s what makes the band stand out." He also added that they were "the cutest band in Chicago" - and indeed, a distinctive sense of style has always been important to the group.

"From the very beginning, when I was still na?ve and didn?t know anything about being in a band, I always had a vision of what I wanted," Devine says, and he chose his bandmates accordingly. "Super-slick, polished, pretentious, arty - I wanted to be like the cool band, with people who had some fashion sense and who liked sexy music. We admired the sounds of the Cure, but we wanted the philosophy of Andy Warhol."

Several members came and went through the years. "On our album notes, I give an extra special thanks to the ex-members," Devine says, "and I think there were six of them, not counting people who were just in it for a week." The group finally solidified with its strongest line-up ever, featuring guitarists Devine, Dan Wiese, and Jonathan Radtke (whose dad, a studio drummer, played with Miles Davis), bassist Greg Corner, and drummer Garret Hammond (formerly with Prick).

To record their major-label debut, the band chose producer Sean Beavan, whose list of credits includes work with Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, No Doubt, and Slayer. The musicians had previously recorded a three-song demo with Beavan, and they appreciated how hard he drove them. "When we did that demo, I remember we had two days of pre-production, and after that we were a much better band than we?d ever been before," Devine says. "Each one of us grew through that."

Now, all of the hard work and the years of hoping and dreaming are ready to pay off. But for Devine, the best thing about being in a band remains that feeling that he first experienced long ago, when he wrote the song that gave the group its name.

"Nothing is as entirely exciting or as satisfying as that feeling that you?ve just written a song that works," he says. "Those are the moments when I realize that there is no doubt at all that this is my favorite thing to do, and I know with 100 percent certainty that I?ll always keep doing it.

Interview

1. For people who may not have heard some music from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

Imagine the greatest hits from THE CURE, SMASHING PUMPKINS, DAVID BOWIE, JANE?S ADDICTION, THE SMITHS, PSYCHEDLIC FURS & RADIOHEAD combined. Then update it, add some electronics, make it more aggressive, more raw.. then refine it, make it more modern, then destroy it again.

2. Are you pleased with the response you have received so far?

Yeah.. we were #2 most added at alternative radio in the first week.

3. Who would you like to work that you haven't yet, whether it be HipHop, Rock, or any other form of music?

Maybe a concierto or something symphonic.

4. How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

Nothing else matters to me.

5. What did you went through to get your music recognized?

We worked our asses off in Chicago for 8 years. We never slept.

6. How do you separate yourselves from other artists?

We don?t. We enjoy meeting other bands.

7. What are you planning to do in the [near] future?

Tour for the rest of our lives.. Never go home again.

8. What would you like to achieve with your music and career?

I just want to matter.

9. What artists are you listening to at the minute?

The Red House Painters.

10. What's the one music album you love that everyone else seems to hate?

The Red House Painters.

11. If you ran the industry you work in, you would...

Probably get a lot more action.

12. What celebrity/person would you want downloaded onto your hard drive and stored for all time?

I guess it would be nice to ?download? Steven Segal and store him in some hard drive in my attic forever. That way I can bring him out at parties when we?re drunk.

13. Do you have anything to say to the MusicRemedy.com?s visitors?

Please visit www.killhannah.com for more info on the band.
Continue Reading...

V Shape Mind

Remember the old adage "opportunity only knocks once"? Brad Hursh--songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist for the group V Shape Mind--sure does, though he couldn't be blamed for being a bit wary when that knock finally arrived.

Interview

1. For people who may not have heard some music from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

I would say that our music is a blend of heavy and melodic elements.
It's guitar driven rock, but it's balanced out with a very melodic vocal sense.

2. Are you pleased with the response you have received so far?

Yeah, it's been great. We've got a lot of positive feedback at this point.


3. "Cul-De-Sac" is the name of the album. Could you explain the title and has this anything to do with the album cover?

The title kind of represents where we come from. It seems very limiting, but at the same time it made us who we are as people and as a band. So it's got positive and negative elements. The original idea of the cover didn't get used for various reasons and the photographer for the record, Nitin Vadukul, had some really cool stuff that he wanted us to consider. He's a brilliant person and we are very happy with the outcome of the cover.

4. Why did you choose "Monsters" as your first single?

That was the labels decision, but we were definitely cool with it. We got some spins on a couple of radio stations with our demo of that song, so I think that may have been a factor as well.

5. Who would you like to work with that you haven't yet, whether it be Hip-Hop, Rock, or any other form of music?

That's a tough one. I have tons of musical influences, but I guess right now I'd say Peter Gabriel, Lenny Kravitz, I love Prince but he's so fuckin good at everything that I probably wouldn't want to play around him, Indigo Girls. Too many to keep going.

6. How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

Around the age of 5, I knew I was going to play guitar. It didn't happen until years later, but I've wanted to play music basically all my life. Being surrounded by music at an early age was probably a lot of it.

7. What did you go through to get your music recognized?

We just did what most bands do, play shows, demo songs, etc... Just tried to get out there at least on a local/regional level and get the name out there.

8. How do you separate yourselves from other artists?

I think that we just do our own thing, we are who we are. We try not to attach ourselves to one exact or specific thing.

9. What are you planning to do in the [near] future?

Our record just came out, so I'm sure we'll be on the road for the next year or so. Try and get out there and let people know we exist.

10. What would you like to achieve with your music and career?

I would love to be able to make music for a living for the rest of my life. That's a very difficult thing to do, but that would be the ultimate thing for me.

11. What artists are you listening to at the minute?

Today I listened to The Mars Volta, some Jellyfish, some Soilwork, Devo and Marvelous 3.

12. What's the one music album you love that everyone else seems to hate?

I love Deadsy-Commencement. Not to say that everyone hates it, but I think they're one of those bands you either love or hate.

13. If you ran the industry you work in, you would...

Fire everyone.

14. What celebrity/person would you want downloaded onto your hard drive and stored for all time?

Salma Hayek.

15. Do you have anything to say to the MusicRemedy.com's visitors?

Thanks for taking the time to read my bs. Oh yeah, buy CUL-DE SAC!!
(plug,plug)

Biography

Remember the old adage "opportunity only knocks once"? Brad Hursh--songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist for the group V Shape Mind--sure does, though he couldn't be blamed for being a bit wary when that knock finally arrived. That's because the first time someone appeared at the band's door, it wasn't fame, fortune or fate standing in the entrance way. It was a pair of angry cops.

"A few years ago, we were in the middle of practice and there was a knock at the door," he recalls. "It was the police, and they had come to see Scott, our drummer. I don't recall exactly whether it was for failing to appear in court for a traffic ticket or some other violation, but they ended up taking Scott away that night."

Fortunately, the incident caused only a brief disruption in the group's development, and soon thereafter opportunity truly did knock at their door. That's when world-famous producer David Bottrill (TOOL, King Crimson, Silverchair) signed V Shape Mind--which, besides Hursh and Scott Parjani, also includes guitarist Jeff McElyea and bass player Vic Zientara--as the premiere act on his new Mainstation label.

"I was really attracted to the character of Brad's voice, plus the tightness of the band and the way they played," explains Bottrill. "The texture of Brad's voice is especially amazing. It's just like treacle: it runs all over you. It was inspiring for me to be able to work with such a great instrument." Bottrill also helped the young quartet, which formed in Decatur, Illinois in 1999, to realize their full potential. "We really needed David to take our music to the next level," says Hursh. "He took the songs that we had and really brought them to life. We're extremely happy with the record we made with him."

That album, titled CUL-DE-SAC, spotlights the band's self-proclaimed "heavy mellow" sound. "It's definitely a rock record, where there are heavy guitars and big parts, but at the same time there's a very melodic sense to it," reveals Hursh, who wrote all 12 tunes on the CD. "I love so many styles of music, from the Beatles and Prince to Pantera and Mudvayne. It's absolutely those two worlds--heavy and melodic--put together."

The first single, "Monsters," is a perfect example of that delicate melding of heaviness and harmony. The tune blends dynamic drums and grinding guitars with poignant lyrics and Hursh's unforgettable voice. "It's a pretty driving rock song that, once again, combines heavy and melodic aspects, especially within the choruses," notes the multitalented musician. "It's also a rather provocative piece dealing with demons, either the strictly psychological ones or the types of external demons that you encounter on an everyday basis."

Still, for casual listeners, the subject matter may not appear so obvious. In fact, whether experiencing "Monsters," the bittersweet "The Taste of Vinegar" or "Glitches," which highlights booming bass and relentless percussion, nothing about CUL-DE-SAC is clear-cut. "I write in a very metaphoric manner, so everything is rather ambiguous," says Hursh. "Anyone can interpret what I write in any way they want. That's because I really like people to kind of grasp what they want out of something, as opposed to making things so black and white that they aren't necessarily relatable to everyone. If something is ambiguous, two different people may have different interpretations of the same song, and they'll both be correct."

That same uncertainty is intentionally reflected in the band's name. "I wanted something that could be interpreted in many ways," declares Hursh, adding that he is constantly amused by the varied definitions he has heard for V Shape Mind. "Ultimately, I wanted the name to symbolize balance and structure, and I liked the idea of transcending and using our minds more than what we tend to do." Regardless of how folks decipher the group's lyrical content or moniker, the charismatic lead singer promises a contemplative, constructive and, perhaps most important, consequential listening experience. "My goal was to have a non-filler record," asserts Hursh. "Every song had to count. That's very difficult to do, but it was important to me that we have a recording full of tunes where none of them seem or sound like filler."

The four band-mates may have been flustered by the initial knock at their studio door, but with the forthcoming release of CUL-DE-SAC, the members of V Shape Mind can rest assured that opportunity--in the form of producer David Bottrill and his Mainstation imprint--truly has arrived. For that, Hursh, and legions of prospective fans soon to be introduced to his "heavy mellow" music, can be quite thankful.
Continue Reading...

Prince Paul

Contrary to how the music industry ought to operate, being creative and being commercially successful aren?t necessarily scenarios that go hand in hand. Just ask Prince Paul. So we did in this exclusive interview with producer/DJ/recording artist Prince Paul.

First I would like to show respect to Prince Paul. You have done so many things for Hip-Hop. Respect!

1. For people who may not have heard some beats from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

Expect experimentation and fun...

2. Are you pleased with the response you have received so far from the public and the Hip-Hop scene?

Yeah I?m cool with it so far, I still have a job I guess

3. What did you went through to get your music recognized? Has your career been more difficult because you have a very own opinion on which music you want to make?

Being constantly dissed. It?s a little more difficult but it?s more rewarding when you set your own pace and styles

4. During your career you have done a lot of things like Stetsasonic, Gravediggaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School. If you look back to these projects what can you say about it?

Each project represents a certain point in my life - for example gravediggaz represents a dark, depressed side, Handsome Boy Modelling school represents the handsome side. Stetsasonic represents my beginnings.

5. Are there any plans for these projects to record a new album? Or are there plans for a completely new group/idea?

Yes Handsome Boy is currently recording a new project due out next year. The others won?t do anything again, that?s in the past. I have a new group I?m working on now, The Dix -

6. You have also done a lot of producing through your career for De La Soul, MC Lyte, Boogie down Productions, Big Daddy Kane, etc... Who would you like to work that you haven't yet, whether it be Hip-Hop, Rock, or any other form of music?

Most of the people I would have liked to work with are dead. But I wouldn?t mind working with Prince - at least on one song.


7. Your latest album is entitled "Politics of the Business". Could you tell something more about the purpose of the album and the title?


Politics is the song and dance you have to do in order to get things done in the recording industry. The purpose of the album is to represent that song and dance in music - a parody of all the things being done for people to make a hit record in today?s climate.

8. You had problems with Tommy Boy about your former album "A Prince among Thieves". You said that you thought had enough experience to have no loopholes in your contract. What did you exactly learnt from such experience? How do you handle your contract [-s] nowadays?

I learned to be more careful and I let my attorney handle it - but sometimes you just get got - you just never know.

9. "Politics of the Business" is more mainstream then your former albums. Did you made this album more commercial because of the problems you had with Tommy Boy?

I was just doing what the label asked of me - to be more commercial - to a certain extent - but only as a parody.

10. How did you have all those artists like Planet Asia, Guru, the Beatnuts, etc... to be featured on your album?

I begged them first, and then I paid them.

11. The latest track on your album has two more joints on it. Lately I have noticed that more artists are doing this. Why is this because it isn?t easy for listeners to skip through the song?

It didn?t fit within the sequence of the album to me - it didn?t flow well - so I put it at the end as a bonus track

12. How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

I didn?t - it was by the grace of God really

13. What would you like to achieve with your music and career?

To have fun, be creative and pay my bills and put my kids through college.

14. What artists are you listening to at the minute?

Ghostface and Redhead Kingpin and Kwame and JJ Fad


15. You are promoting your own website [www.princepaulonline.com] a lot but a lot of sections are not available yet like the message board and the merchandise section. How come?

It?s a work in progress - all good things take time, like a fine wine

16. Do you have anything to say to the MusicRemedy.com?s visitors?

Yeah visit princepaulonline.com

Biography

Contrary to how the music industry ought to operate, being creative and being commercially successful aren?t necessarily scenarios that go hand in hand. Just ask Prince Paul. During his unprecedented 18 year career, the revered producer/DJ/recording artist has experienced every high, low and in-between that the business has to offer-from mentoring De La Soul during the group?s chart topping heyday to independently releasing no-budget LPs like the wonderfully eclectic
Psychoanalysis as rap music?s outsider genius. But whether it?s been as the turntable wizard in the original hip hop band Stetsasonic, collaborating with fellow production gurus RZA and Dan the Automator (Gravediggaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School, respectively), or creating conceptual album masterworks like A Prince Among Thieves, Paul?s legacy has always been synonymous with innovation. Naturally, his latest opus, Politics of the Business, continues on this highly inventive path. And the title suggests, this time around he channels his talents into a humorous and insightful treatise on the trials and tribulations of the recording industry.

The jump off point for this project was Paul?s own record label dealings involving his last album, the critically lauded, narrative-based A Prince Among Thieves. Explains Paul: "In my meetings with my former label, Tommy Boy Records, they pretty much dismissed my last album by saying, ?You have no singles.? I was like, ?But it?s a concept album.? Then I went through a whole lot of stuff where I wasn?t getting paid because of loopholes in my contract-things that I thought I had figured out from so many years of experience. I was like, ?It?s always something.? From there I knew my next record was gonna be Politics of the Business."

More than just an opportunity to vent about the nonsense involved in the record game, Politics is also about musically leading by example, and it provides its own remedy for the industry?s general creative stagnation by delivering some of the most engaging and accessible material of Paul?s career. Along for the ride are some of the most respected and recognizable artists in hip hop-Erick Sermon, Trugoy of De La Soul, Guru, Masta Ace, Chuck D, Ice-T, Beatnuts, Tony Touch, Chubb Rock, M.F. Doom-as well as some of the underground?s most exciting voices in Jean Grae, Planet Asia, Kardinall Offishall, Truth Enola and Wordsworth.

"I think this album is more user friendly than my last one," says Paul. "I don?t wanna say it?s commercial, but it?s mainstream for me. See, I?m usually rebellious in a way where I think, ?Okay, I?m gonna make something that nobody?s ever really done before.? With this situation I was rebelling against myself, like, ?Aight, I?m a try to go as mainstream as I can, but still be me. You want singles and guests? That?s what I?m a give you.?"

This musical approach is typified by "Make Room," featuring Erick Sermon, Sy Scott and Molly Gee, an infectious club banger buoyed by hooky clavinet stabs and vocal samples. "Rock a show, tell them fools at the door/We the ones who the people came for," the Def Squad compadres exhort, conveying the pure exhilaration of those who love to rhyme. With Snoop Dogg?s favorite funked up vocal foil, Kokane, twistedly crooning the hook ("What do you say to a man that raps about his car?/So what/What do you say to a man that claims he?s a rap star?), "So What" finds Masta Ace and Pretty Ugly trading unimpressed quips about those who exalt materialism.

"I just got murdered with all the cats just bragging to me about, ?Yo, I got this, I got that,?" Paul says exasperatedly. "You turn on the radio and it?s the same thing. It kind of got me down in a sense. And a lot of these cats is winning. It seems like today a lot of music is based on what surrounds the music, not necessarily what the music is."

By contrast, "Not Trying To Hear That," featuring Guru and Planet Asia, and "What I Need," featuring Canadian rhyme stalwart Kardinall Offishall, address the frustration of artists at their wits end. "[What I need is to] empty a couple clips into a label nigga?s ass/ And show him my life is worth more than a contract," Kardinall spits over an arresting, ascending guitar-propelled melody on the latter. And "Chubb Rock Please Pay Paul His $2200 You Owe Him (People, Places and Things)" resurrects one of Paul?s most famous beats (originally created for De La?s "Peas Porridge") as Chubb Rock, Wordsworth and M.F. Doom free-associate verses in an extended metaphor for those who drop names to get put on.

"This album embodies a bunch of emotions to me," confirms Paul. "There?s feeling good, there?s feeling anger with the fact that a lot of things are money driven. There was a lot of things that was kinda going on around me at the time I was recording that forced me to make music to represent my feelings."

Some of the most emotional songs deal with relationships-specifically, the difficulty in maintaining one when music occupies most of your time. On "Drama Queen," also featuring Trugoy, Truth Enola, succinctly sums up such situations in a few lines: "First message on my cell/ ?Daddy please come home?/ Second message/ ?Daddy please I don?t wanna be alone?/ Third message/ ?I know you fuckin? them bitches out there?/ Fourth message/ ?When you get home I won?t be here.?/ Lady givin? me drama more than my soul can accommodate/ Watch your shit, miss/ I need some time away."

"Every guy I know who?s in the music business who has a girl always got some stories like this," says Paul. "You love your girl, but man, does she stress you! You?re like, ?I love you, but get off my back!? And that?s a prevalent thing that I?ve dealt with most of my life."

In fact, the subject of infidelity (as a result of relationship tensions) produces what may be Politics of the Business?s most startling composition, "Beautifully Absurd," a lovely, acoustic guitar-based number featuring Washington D.C.-based singer/emcee W. Ellington Felton. Wrapping his raspy vocal chords around a folky melody, and somber lyrics about a loved one who?s strayed, Felton (the son of cult jazz keyboard hero Hilton Felton) evokes sincere heartache without resorting to melodrama. Ironically enough, the song came to fruition in a most atypical of record business deals. Paul met the aspiring vocalist after a back woods D.C. DJ gig at which he was stranded with no transportation. Felton offered Paul a ride to his destination on the condition that he please listen to his demo. Amazingly, "Beautifully Absurd" was one of the songs on the demo.

"I was like, ?Yo, this is really good!?" Paul recalls, still seemingly surprised by the whole
experience. "He was like, ?Yeah, yeah.? And I was like, ?No, this is amazing. Rarely does
something like this ever happen. I really wanna work with you.?" And the rest, as they say, is history.

Of course, a Prince Paul project wouldn?t be a Prince Paul project without some real drama. No, not the kind detected in rickety relationships, but skits acted out for audio pleasure. With the help of funnymen Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock (their past collaborations yielded two Grammy?s for this comedic duo for Best Comedy Album, Roll With The New-1997 and Bigger & Blacker-1999), Politics of the Business contributes some future classics to Paul?s already prodigious canon. "A Day In the Life..." sets up the album with Chappelle as a record exec overly (and insincerely) enthused over Paul?s music ("I?m love this shit more than pussy on a Triscuit! Delicious! It?s gonna sell!") only to change his tune after the album flops ("Liked it schmiked it! It?s all backpackin? music. You?re lucky to go double wood with that shit!"). "The Driveby" substitutes gangbangers with gats for aspiring rappers with industry dreams running up on an unsuspecting Paul for pointers. And the title track simply features Chuck D and Ice T doing what they do best: spitting wisdom in bite sized bytes.

Not that, despite its subject matter, Politics of the Business aspires to preach a bunch of heavy messages. "One thing I did not want to do was hate," maintains Paul. "Yeah, the game has changed, but too many rappers come out and all they talk about how everything?s wack: ?Aw yeah, this is wack and if you breakdance and do graffiti you?re real!? I ain?t into that. Because I know I don?t like listening to preachy rap records, especially by some ?old school? guy. It just sounds bitter.

"I just want people to listen to it regardless of what they?re into, the hip pop stuff, or the
street stuff or ?underground? stuff, and try to relate to what I?m talking about," he concludes. It shouldn?t be hard, because making creative and compelling albums is Prince Paul?s business-as usual. Aight?
Continue Reading...

Rooney

Consider Los Angeles? Rooney. What makes them timeless is simple: their songs. They love classic pop records, and it comes through in the way the quintet captures the beauty and heartache of being young and loving music.

1. For people who may not have heard some beats from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

"beats" is really more of a hip-hop term....we play "songs". Our songs are roughly 3 minutes and contain catchy melodies, lyrics, riffs, harmonies, and of course: 4/4 or 6/8 drum BEATS.

2. Are you pleased with the response you have received so far?

Yes. for the most part, everyone has enjoyed the record and the live show...this of course excludes the "big two" music publications who think we are unoriginal pussy rock with bad production and offensive lyrics.

3. Who would you like to work that you haven't yet, whether it be HipHop, Rock, or any other form of music?

Eminem, Gwen Stafani, Bono, Dre, etc. just kidding....none of those people! We?re mostly into working with each other and a good ROCK producer.

4. How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

In Los Angeles, if children show any sort of talent at an early age, they are forced into government programs to further develop these talents...it is our only hope of escape from peasant life.

5. How did Rooney get together since you all attended different high schools?

Through a secret society known as DESTROYER.

6. You built your fan base through your official website. How did you promoted yourself as an artist on the internet?

This fan built us our first site and the rest of the fans took over from there. We put some music up on the web one time.

7. How do you know that your fan base is so extremely dedicated?

Because they tell us in books of fan mail they assemble at their homes.

8. What do you do in return to thank the fans for all their support?

Keep our heads down and shred. FULL ROCK.

9. What did you went through to get your music recognized?

We played hundreds of shows and wrote and recorded many songs.

10. You guys skipped college to write songs and play in the L.A. area. What was your families? opinion about that situation?

Our families are huge Rooney fans and they were so excited because they were sure we would break up leaving them high and dry.

11. How do you separate yourselves from other artists?

Sleep in my own bed and try to take turns with showers. Also, don?t drink from the same straw.

12. Does everyone in the group have his own role [in production, performance, etc...]?

Yes....they are the following: robert: vocals, taylor: guitar, louie: keyboards, ned: drums, matt: bass.

13. What are you planning to do in the [near] future?

Tour, record, tour, record, tour, record, get addicted to drugs, tour, record, become estranged from our families, tour, record, lose all of our money, record, tour, record, develop ridiculous egos, tour, record. Go to St Louis tomorrow

14. What would you like to achieve with your music and career?

We hope to make many records that are good to very good...

15. What artists are you listening to at the minute?

The Move, Sparks, The Sweet, Humble Pie, Trapeze, Slade- at the minute.

* The answers to this interview havenot been changed by the editor.

Biography

The essence of rock & roll is the ability to reinvigorate itself each generation.

Consider Los Angeles? Rooney. What makes them timeless is simple: their songs. They love classic pop records, and it comes through in the way the quintet captures the beauty and heartache of being young and loving music.

Formed in the final hours of the twentieth century, Rooney has built up an extremely dedicated following in both the new and old-fashioned ways: through their independent releases, all-ages club shows and a well-maintained website. "We couldn't have built our fan base without the Internet," says lead singer/guitarist, Robert Carmine. "Seeing that these fans were so into it and brought us to other people, was amazing. We had no record in stores, but people still knew the songs and lyrics."

They?ve been working hard since the start. Back in 1999, bandmembers were still attending various L.A. area high schools. Carmine and Taylor Locke (lead guitar/vocals) soon recruited Matthew Winter (bass), Louis Stephens (keyboards), and Seattle native/drummer Ned Brower. They had a vision, says Locke: "We wanted to put something out there that could potentially be mainstream, but also had a sophistication that was lacking on the radio and on MTV. We were basically disappointed in modern rock."

It was a time in their life when their peers were in transition. They knew they wanted to be in a real rock band, not just a part-time thing for kicks. They knew what they wanted to do-they wanted to rock. They wanted to get a record deal, they wanted to write pop songs, and they wanted to take their songs to the kids. So rather than go to college, they kept on writing and playing in the L.A. area, occasionally cramming in a van to take road trips to play elsewhere in SoCal.

Rooney is renowned for their attention to detail in songwriting, arrangement, studio recording, and live performances. "We are a band with a strong sense of direction and intent. We're not a jam band," says Brower. "Each part has as purpose within the context of the song."

And this is a band that knows its rock history. Rooney?s songs are like term papers on the song structure, lyric writing, and sounds of all the ?60s English stuff that followed the Beatles. There?s a bit of New Wave-Rooney fan Ric Ocasek even loaned a guitar for recording-and a bit of modern rock.

Locke adds, "We've always had a fascination with sparse production and quality instrument tones. You need to hear every part. That is how we approach the recording process, whether we?re doing a home demo or our major-label release."

That self-titled major-label record was produced by Keith Forsey (Simple Minds, Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol) and Brian Reeves (Billy Idol, Pet Shop boys), with Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine, who has worked with superstars such as Tom Petty and U2, producing, "I?m Shakin?." Andy Wallace, known for mixing about half of your favorite guitar-based albums, mixed the disc.

Rooney was very hands-on in the making of their debut. ("We?re tone freaks," says Carmine.) When it came time to record, they were immersed in all the aspects-they even moved microphones around-and succeeded in capturing the classic tones they love. Musically, the album encompasses Rooney?s warm-weather heritage and sunny pop disposition, offering a boost of light and heat in contrast to the smoky urban rock of New York and London. Yet even while championing Los Angeles? revitalized rock scene, they have the power to recall English power-pop groups such as The Zombies and Badfinger. They are a young, ambitious, hard-working band that promise great things. And not once do they sound out of their league.

"Some of the greatest pop songs were written by people in their early-20s," says Carmine. "Buddy Holly wrote great pop songs, and he died at 22. All those early Beatles songs-they were young guys when they wrote those love songs. Our lyrics are similar to what people experience, no matter what their age. And that?s the kind of music we like."

"I don?t think we tried to make a record that says something beyond our years," says Locke. "It?s a youthful record, but the songs aren?t necessarily high school or kid topics. It?s not about going to the mall. A great pop lyric is open enough that it can mean something to just about anyone. It?s like when people say, ?Oh, that?s my song,? like it was written specifically for them, they relate that much to it. That?s the balance between personal and abstract that we strive for."

While finishing the album, Rooney did a pair of tours, one with Weezer and one with the Strokes. (They?ve also toured with the Vines and the Donnas.) In between, they also found time to record "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" for the star-studded Ramones tribute We?re a Happy Family, joining the likes of U2, Metallica, Tom Waits, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

On those pre-album tours, the band took 10,000 three-song CDs with them and handed them out to the kids. They could see the grassroots following build on their website?s message board. "We handed out free music samplers after our shows so people had our music to listen to," says Carmine. "You can't rely on other people to promote your band; you have to be involved.
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Lillix

"People are so used to the stereotype of girls being manufactured," says bassist-vocalist Louise Burns, one-third of the vocal firepower behind Canadian female foursome Lillix. "The public is now starting to become more aware that girls do musical things like play guitars and write songs. Girls do rock."

Spoken like true rock veterans, there's no doubt that the girls of Lillix are set to put their music where their mouths are. With a lead vocal triple threat made up of guitarist Tasha-Ray Evin (17), older sister and keyboardist Lacey-Lee Evin (19), and bassist Louise Burns (17), as well as an accomplished drummer in recent addition Kim Urhahn (23), the band has a well-cultivated musical vision.

In the Evin household, located in the heavily wooded rural town of Cranbrook, British Columbia (surrounded by the Purcell Mountains to the West and the Canadian Rockies to the North,) music has been calling since the girls were old enough support the weight of a guitar. Six years since picking up instruments for the first time, Lillix is set to strike North American audiences with their rambunctious, pop-infused rock and roll on Falling Uphill, the band's Maverick Records debut.

Falling Uphill is the culmination of years of successfully fighting boredom in Cranbrook, a town of 18,000 inhabitants. "There is nothing to do in Cranbrook," says Burns. "That is the reason we started the band. It?s a huge hockey town, not a big music town. A typical Friday night involves going to bush parties where everyone hangs around a bonfire drinking beer."

But the girls refused to be limited by the surroundings. Without a nearby hipster culture to influence their choices, they had increased freedom to craft a style all their own. Armed with influences running the gamut from Queen to Weezer and the Beatles to Radiohead, Lillix set up shop in the Evins' basement while still in the 7th grade, and started belting out rock-edged pop tunes written and played by their own hands and own instruments. "When we started out, we were 11-year-old girls," says Burns. "The music was pop but we played our instruments so it wasn't bubblegum stuff. Now we have matured and taken influences from different bands and different genres and put them into one. You can't really define our sound. It's so eclectic."
Lillix hooked up with an impressive list of producers to shape the sound of Falling Uphill, including the Matrix (Avril Lavigne), Philip Steir (No Doubt), former 4-Non Blonde Linda Perry (Pink, Christina Aguilera), John Shanks (The Corrs, Michelle Branch) and the omnipotent Glen Ballard on "24/7. "Glen was so awesome," says Burns. "He has this presence around him that just makes you feel safe and warm."

Additionally, with both Lacey-Lee and Tasha-Ray as well as Burns trading off lead vocalist and songwriting duties throughout the record, Uphill weaves several contrasting vocal textures into a coherent pop-rock tapestry that quickly leaves an indelible mark on the eardrums.
First single "It's About Time" shows off the quartet's long-simmering talents, with soaring harmonies and an infectious chorus, while songs like "Tomorrow" and "Quicksand" showcase Lillix's spunkier, anthemic rock side. Toss in a cover of the Romantics' classic "What I Like About You," which served as the theme to the WB comedy of the same name, and Falling Uphill serves as a rowdy antidote to the teenage pop doldrums -- a potent sonic cocktail that is anything but paint-by-numbers.

"Our music comes from the heart," adds guitarist-vocalist Tasha-Ray Evin. "Everything that we write, we believe in. That's what propels this band."

FUN FACTS

Lacey-Lee
My first name: Lacey-Lee M.
My last name: Evin
My age: 19
Zodiac sign: Libra
Main instrument: Keyboards, Vocals
Other instruments played: Guitar, Flute, Drums, the EGG
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Blonde
Height: 5' 1/2" (yes, that is a half inch)
Marital Status (single, casually dating, steady boyfriend, don?t want to say):
casually dating (unfortunately) but i would like a steady boyfriend (if that?s possible!)
Qualities You Look For In A Partner Are:
Musical, Understanding, Trusting, Enjoys my Company, Treats me good, Humorous.... I dunno, I just want someone who likes me and WANTS to be with me. As well, i guess there must be some sort of physical attraction too! haha.
My Dream mate: Rivers Cuomo with a dash of Jack Black
My Future Goals Are:
Get Married, Have Kids, Design my dream house in Vancouver, record a funk/dance/new wave album with Louise under a secret identity,
My Favorite Saying/Quote Is:
"Shittake Butter Yaki" ,"ahh..come on den", "junk", "where da party at?", "corner time" , "gooch"(all inside jokes...which no one will understand)
My motto in life is:
Expect the worst but hope for the best ... I know, kind of a downer, but I guess you could say I look at things realistically and I don?t want to give myself false hope...
Education (High School Student, graduated High School, College Student, Graduated College - specify which establishment (s):
Graduated High School
What Would You Do With $1 Million Dollars :
"If i had a million dollars"...
My favorite band/artist (s): Weezer, Queen, Marianas Trench, Supertramp, Radiohead, Lauren Hill, Blur, The Pixies, Nirvana
My favorite website (s):
www.weezer.com , www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/tab.html , www.thespark.com , www.kootenayice.net , haha
My favorite movie (s):
Labyrinth, Wayne?s World, The Garbage Pail Kids movie, Never ending Story, Dazed and Confused
My hobbies include:
Music (writing, listening, playing), Drawing, Computers, doing questionnaires about myself...
My favorite color: Pink, Green, Black
How would you describe your fashion style: Retro/Feminine/Bbop/Mod and a side order of sweatpants...
My first concert attended:
Philosopher Kings in Cranbrook
Any tattoos? If not what would you get:
Yes, i have one... Its a Libra sign on my inner right ankle .
If your house was on fire, which one item would you take with you?:
My Scrapbooks
If you were not a musician, what would you be doing?: Probably going to school, studying architecture.
What upsets you the most?:
When i feel under appreciated or lonely
What's your favorite food?: CEREAL!
Favorite TV show?: Tiny Toons, Degrassi High
Coolest person you?ve ever met?:
I guess it would be Madonna
I?d give anything to meet?:
My grandpa who passed away before i was born.
You?d never know that I ...?:
That the ambulance once came to my elementary school to rescue me because of my foot being stuck in the fence. Also... I'm known as 'the voice that no one hears'


Kim Urhahn
My first name: Kim
My last name: Urhahn
My age: 23
Zodiac sign: Libra
Main instrument: Drums
Other instruments played: Backup vocals, bongos
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Brown
Height: Taller then all the other girls
Marital Status (single, casually dating, steady boyfriend, don?t want to say): Why, are you asking?
Qualities You Look For In A Partner Are: Not missing teeth, has all their hair, is taller than me
My Dream mate: The Drummer Extraordinaire
My Future Goals Are: Play drums well
My Favorite Saying/Quote Is: Shitake (makes a Llama face)
My motto in life is: Appreciate everything
Education (High School Student, graduated High School, College Student, Graduated College - specify which establishment (s):
Graduated Lord Byng High school in Vancouver, graduated Vancouver Community College, Music diploma specializing in Latin percussion
What Would You Do With $1 Million Dollars: Buy stuff
My favorite band/artist (s): The Ramones
My favorite website (s): Mine of course! Duh
My favorite movie (s): Pootie Tang
My hobbies include: Playing drums, sewing
My favorite color: Green
How would you describe your fashion style: A girl wearing clothes
My first concert attended: Tiffany
Any tattoos? If not what would you get: Oh yah!
If your house was on fire, which one item would you take with you?:
Is there enough time to unload the whole drum set?
If you were not a musician, what would you be doing?:
Open my own clothing store
What upsets you the most?: Dishonest people
What's your favorite food?: gummy candy (is that a food?)
Favorite TV show?: Letterman (I love Anton)
Coolest person you?ve ever met?:
Simkin (ha ha) - Mike Mangini (drum god)
I?d give anything to meet?:
Gina Shock, Cindy Blackman (more drummers)
You?d never know that I ...?:
Can belch better then a guy

Louise Burns
My first name: Louise
My last name: Burns
My age: 17
Zodiac sign: Scorpio
Main instrument: bass
Other instruments played: piano, triangle
Eye Color: green/blue (depends what I?m wearing)
Hair Color: Brown
Height: 8'9
Marital Status (single, casually dating, steady boyfriend, don't want to say):
casually single
Qualities You Look For In A Partner Are:
what a stupid question
My Dream mate: ?
My Future Goals Are: to go to university
My Favorite Saying/Quote Is:
"Live your own life, not the life others say you should"
My motto in life is:
be yourself (wow, how original)
Education (High School Student, graduated High School, College Student, Graduated College - specify which establishment (s):
still in high school
What Would You Do With $1 Million Dollars:
invest and donate
My favorite band/artist (s):
The Beatles, Silverchair, Incubus, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Jimi Hendrix
My favorite website (s):
My favorite movie (s):
Wild Hearts Cant Be Broken, Soldier, She knows, He's Back, The Son
My hobbies include:
writing, playing piano and bass, horseback riding, throwing jeans into the air, making pizzas, talking to Jeff
My favorite color: blue
How would you describe your fashion style: comfort grub
My first concert attended: Fred Penner
Any tattoos? If not what would you get:
getting a native killer whale drawing on my back
If your house was on fire, which one item would you take with you?:
everything i could
If you were not a musician, what would you be doing?:
something equestrian-related, and school, listening to music
What upsets you the most?:
when other people are upset
What's your favorite food?:
scones (my moms homemade, with jam), fruit
Favorite TV show?: Francine Dancer
Coolest person you've ever met?: tons
I'd give anything to meet?:
George Harrison (unfortunately, that?s completely impossible)
You'd never know that I .?: come on den!>

Tasha-Ray Evin
My first name: Tasha-Ray
My last name: Evin
My age: 17
Zodiac sign: Gemini
Main instrument: guitar
Other instruments played: flute, bass, drums, keys
Eye Color: blue
Hair Color: blond
Height: 5'2
Marital Status (single, casually dating, steady boyfriend, don't want to say):
single
Qualities You Look For In A Partner Are:
smart, funny, anyone who isn't materialistic..and superficial.
My Dream mate: Taylor Hanson
My Future Goals Are: do a tour around the world
My Favorite Saying/Quote Is: bulletproof
My motto in life is: the one who denied it, supplied it!
Education (High School Student, graduated High School, College Student, Graduated College - specify which establishment (s):
high school student
What Would You Do With $1 Million Dollars:
donate money to preserve the rain forest, invest.
My favorite band/artist (s):radiohead
My favorite website (s):
My favorite movie (s):what dreams may come
My hobbies include:
fishing, writing songs, singing, guitar, camping, archery.
My favorite color: black
How would you describe your fashion style: conservative/rock
My first concert attended: philosopher kings
Any tattoos? No
If not what would you get: don't know yet
If your house was on fire, which one item would you take with you?:
toothbrush, underwear.
If you were not a musician, what would you be doing?:
biologist
What upsets you the most?: neglect
What's your favorite food?: sushi
Favorite TV show?: Seinfeld
Coolest person you've ever met?: WEEZ
I'd give anything to meet?: Kurt Cobain
You'd never know that I .?:worst speller in the world!
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Zane

The transformation from teen star to respected adult performer isn't an easy one. But for Zane (formerly known as Lil' Zane), the transition has been seamless. Zane has returned with his new album and in this interview Zane tells you all the 'juicy' details.

1. For people who may not have heard some beats from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

Someone who's never heard of me can expect energy, expect good life experience stories, some personal subjects that talk about my life. My first single is a mid tempo joint almost a ballad, but I've got some other up-tempo songs. Slow, up-tempo, commercial, street lots of stuff. There is a lot of variety on my album. There are some up-tempo songs I'm just in love with right now.

2. Your new album is entitled "The Big Zane Theory". Does this title have a [deeper] meaning for you and the public?

It does, The Big Zane theory sums up - I could've called it 'The Storm' or 'The Breakout', because I've been going through a lot getting my music to fans. It sums up the good things and the up and downs I've been going through for the last year or two. For me, it's deeper cause it stands for where I started from and where I'm at and where I'm going to be. And my dad, not my biological dad, my dad that raised me is Big Zane so it's a salute and shout out to him, undercover cause we've gone through problems but he's still my man. The title lets him no that no matter what he's still my man. He's Zane Senior and I'm Zane Junior. Sooner or later I'm going to have to fill those shoes for my own kids. God forbid he passes, I'm getting an early start filling those shoes.

3. Are you pleased with the response you have received so far?

Yeah I'm pleased with the response from the fans. I just came off tour with Genuiwine. I was pleased the fans still love me after being away for two years. There were teens now that grew up with me so I love that. I'm number eight or nine on BET's countdown show and that's all because of the fans voting for me. I want to continue to do things and make music for them. The label could get behind me a little more--with every artist that hasn't gone platinum the push is smaller. My true fans know my album is out. Maybe they liked the last album and the new movie 'Fighting Temptations' with Beyonce and Cuba Gooding Jr. Fans been there for me through thick and thin.

4. Who would you like to work that you haven't yet, whether it be HipHop, Rock, or any other form of music?

The Neptunes, Missy, I've worked with Jermaine Dupri before so I'd like to do that again. Janet Jackson and Usher. Beyonce. Who ever wants to work with me, I'll do it as long as it's hot. I like to make hot music.
B2K, R. Kelly. Funk Master Flex.

5. How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

It was something in me since I was young watching ABC (another bad creation), TLC, Kris Kross, people that come from Atlanta. Mary J. Blige and DMX who come from Yonkers like me. Outkast from Atlanta. Atlantic is the new music capitol. Lil John, Bow Wow, Jagged Edge. A lot of people. Montell Jordan.

6. Do you still have contact with the members of your first group "Kronic"?

Yeah, all the time. One of the members was my brother, Michael Copeland, and one was my cousin Eric Greene. My brother is my biggest supporter. He is the manager of a department store. He doesn't mess with music anymore but he'll help me with whatever I ask him. Those are my biggest supporters.

7. What did you went through to get your music recognized?

Everything! I drove for eight hours, ten hours to get my record played. I drive 8 hours to some city it's a backyard barbeque at some girl's house. It was a radio station event. It was like six people. Hours in the hot sun, then two days later they dropped my record. The record is hot so it's hard to get it played and everything has there opinion. Have to keep music industry-stay in their faces. Like a boy might like a girl in school, but she doesn't pay much attention to him. He just stays in her face til she realizes what she is missing out on. So in the industry will come around like some girl who finally sees the real deal.

8. How do you separate yourself from other artists?

By trying to keep a smile on my face. I try not to walk around with the mean face like 'yo I kill you' like some other rappers. Try to make a record that appeals to everyone rock, pop, young and adults. Doing movies, I'm more personal with my fans. I sign autographs until the last fan is gone. Some times I kick back with fans and hang out with them. I run into the crowd and pull people on stage with me. Just cause I?'m making money it doesn't mean I have changed. I try to give something back.

9. What are you planning to do in the [near] future?

I just plan to stay do music maybe branch off into more movies, some TV. I did Moesha and the Parkers -TV shows like Ice Cube, Will Smith and LL did. I?m starting a label I'm signing a male vocalist group 3-D and a female rapper Lady Lana out of North Carolina and Jushawn out of Jersey. He is very funny so I think people are going to love him. People consider me in the door, to some artists they'll stop right now, but there is a bigger level that I want to go to and get the support I want. Hopefully I'll stay down with them and stay with the fans the industry will catch on.

10. You are a music artist but you also have been in a couple movies. What do you enjoy more?

I enjoy music because it's my first love. Acting lets you get outside your own character like scream and be a mad man. Movies give you a chance to do that. Money comes easier cause you know where you are at from nine to nine. Studio sessions can last crazy hours. In music is can be very unfocused. Acting is more on a schedule more people you have to pay for crews and you go over and it costs you fifty grand and then someone gets fired for that.

11. You said that "...Doing film taught me how to put more character into my lyrics... It taught me that every song, you've got to go into that character, whatever feeling you're trying to get across...". Does this mean that the songs/tracks you perform are not stories about your own life or you have written yourself?

I was afraid people would take it that way, but nah I mean that sometimes people don't listen to what you are saying, but how you say it. You can be totally serious but people think you be playing. But you have to tell them I'm serious, it's a way to say everything. Every emotion is felt it's for real. Acting helps me to project. You have to talk up and it helps me be heard and even if you are lying you have to do it. It helps me with music and getting myself heard. In music all the stories are all real and they are from my life and around me. Music is real. Acting is fake.

12. What artists are you listening to at the minute?

Beats from Korean Asian beats for a remix
J Y for 'Tonite I'm Your's.' He's the Michael Jackson of Korea right now. I'm thinking globally. This cat is tight.

13. Do you have anything to say to the MusicRemedy.com's visitors?

Wassup yall this Zane aka Big Zane and thank you for your support in my music and films and my family. You support them all by reading articles and buying my music and I know that. I've been gone for a minute and now I'm back. My website it tight --lilzane.com is hot, request my song on the radio, my CD is out and go pick it up. Catch me live or you'll be missing out. Love Zane!

BIOGRAPHY

The transformation from teen star to respected adult performer isn?t an easy one. But for Zane (formerly known as Lil' Zane), the transition has been seamless. As someone who has already scored a number of hit singles ("Money Stretch," "Callin? Me") and appeared on screen with Sean Connery ("Finding Forrester") and ddie Murphy ("Dr. Dolittle 2"), Zane has made it clear that he?s a natural performer.

The most obvious example of Zane's creative reach comes with his second album, "The Big Zane Theory." The follow-up to 2000's critically acclaimed debut collection, "Young World: The Future," Zane's new album showcases Zane's improved songwriting skills and gives his loyal fans an intimate look into the life of one of today's most promising talents.

"My music has gotten a lot more mature, so I just wanted to show some growth and maturity," explains Zane, now 21. "It's like, 'Damn, why does he think he?s Big Zane now?' I'm just trying to show them that I'm trying to do big things in my life. I'm doing everything, movies, rap, whatever I can do. It's just about me growing up."

Zane's newfound maturity shines throughout new album. It's no wonder why he dropped the Lil' from his moniker. "The Big Zane Theory" is a portrait of an artist as a young man, a stunning one at that.

"Baby I'm Yours," for example, features Zane flowing over a smooth, guitar-driven track about the dedication he will give to his special lady. Guest vocalist Tank adds tender singing in the chorus, providing the perfect bridge between Zane?s compassionate, respectful raps.

"Anyone can relate if they?ve got a special one, the one you want to hang with but you can't really give her all the time you want to give her because you're doing so much stuff," he says. "You might be in the streets or on TV. She's upset, like she's fed up. So you're like, 'I'm going to put this all aside and tonight I?m yours.' It's showing them that I'm wrapped in my work, but not so much to show her that I know that she?s there for me."

Zane continues his emotional outpouring on the moving "I.O.U." An introspective track where Zane acknowledges the numerous blessings bestowed upon him, "I.O.U." shows respect to those Zane admires.

"It's a song that's dedicated to all the teachers that helped me throughout my life, from my mom and dad to my school teachers to God," Zane explains. "That's who I owe me being able to be level-headed and blessed. I also wanted to thank everybody who bought the album."

Zane shows his lighter side on "Bounce" and "So Hot," two club cuts that will be mainstays on radio and in clubs across the country. Even though he's made a point to deliver a strong album with a number of important themes, Zane also felt it important to include celebratory songs on the collection.

"An album has got to make you feel good," he says. "It's got to tell you something about me. It's got to make you laugh, cry and make you happy. I just wanted to touch every emotion and party joints are definitely the singles. Right now, it's all about the streets, the clubs. With all the stuff going on in the world, you want to make people party."

But as Zane has navigated his way through the entertainment industry, he's been quick to take life lessons to heart. On "All $ Ain?t Good $," Zane shows how money is worthwhile only if it is obtained legitimately and used wisely.

"I got that song idea when I was on the set of 'The Fighting Temptations,'" Zane says of the new film in which he appears alongside Cuba Gooding Jr., Beyonce and others, which opens August 8. "I was talking to Lou Myers [of "A Different World" fame] and was telling him where I've been in different situations and have turned down money, like the Tommy Hilfiger deal because SAG was on strike and I didn?t want to have people picketing outside my house. God blessed me to do something positive and make money the good way, so I don?t want to destroy my blessing."

Despite his blessings, Zane has experienced his share of tragedy. Even though he wrote the touching "Come Runnin" to the mother of his infant child, Zane found out a year after the child's birth that it was not his. Around the same time, Zane also discovered that the man he knew to be his father was not his biological father. Almost overnight, Zane's life was turned upside down.

"In the same week, I found out my pops wasn't my pops and that my baby wasn?t my baby," Zane says. "You can only imagine what I was going through."

Thankfully, Zane's ascent to show business stardom was less tragic. At age 10, Zane was smitten by the burgeoning hip-hop and R&B industry that boasted Jermaine Dupri, Kriss Kross and Illegal, Too $hort, TLC and Erick Sermon, among others. He decided he wanted to be on TV, too.

Soon thereafter, Zane helped form teen rap group Kronic, but he would have to wait about six years to catch a break. On a chance meeting with Kevin Wales, who worked with Zane on Kronic, Zane earned a slot guest rhyming on 112's "Only You."

Zane's memorable appearance on the smash single helped him score a recording contract with Priority Records, who quickly put him on Ice Cube's "Next Friday" soundtrack, which was released in 1999. Zane's hit "Money Stretch" single set the stage for his acclaimed debut album, 2000's "Young World: The Future." Named "About 2 Blow" by The Hollywood Reporter in August 2000, Zane landed roles in "Finding Forrester" and "Dr. Dolittle 2."

Always one to learn from experience, Zane applied what he absorbed as an actor and applied the lessons he learned into the making of "The Big Zane Theory."

"Doing film taught me how to put more character into my lyrics," he says. "In film, you can just say something, talk a script out. You've got to actually act it out and get the feeling. Movies affected my rapping because it taught me how to get my point across in a more clever way. It brought more feeling to my music. It taught me that every song, you've got to go into that character, whatever feeling you?re trying to get across. Every song is a mental thing."

Zane's newfound reach and perspective is evident throughout "The Big Zane Theory," an album that will increase his visibility and solidify his status as a multi-media star.

"People know who Zane is," he says. "Now, I've just got to keep putting out that stuff that makes them like me."

Add "The Big Zane Theory" to the list.
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