[fbshare type=”button”] [tweetmeme] Rick Jamm continues the Twenty Questions series with the eclectic independent singer-songwriter V.K. Lynne who digs in deep and brings forth the honesty of her trade.
1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
VK LYNNE: I’ve been singing all my life…I started seriously writing music because if I didn’t, it would have gotten very crowded in my head, and I may have exploded.
2. Who has been, or are, your musical influences?
VK LYNNE: Anyone who ever wrote a great song. I’m a fan of music; my tastes aren’t confined to one genre; so my influences range from Melissa Etheridge and Beth Hart to Nightwish and 30 Seconds to Mars, with a little Black Crowes in between.
3. Put together your dream jam session band made up of your all time favourite musicians.
VK LYNNE: That’s easy… Dual lead guitars- Nuno Bettencourt & Jerry Cantrell, Drums- Tommy Lee, Keys- Tuomas Holopainen, Bass- Sting.
4. Describe your first instrument or piece of musical equipment.
VK LYNNE: A little starter nylon string guitar…’twas adorable.:)
5. What CD is in your car stereo right now?
VK LYNNE: More of an mp3 girl in the car; right now I’m revisiting The Open Door by Evanescence.
6. Which song or musical composition do you wish you had created and why?
VK LYNNE: I don’t wish that I’d written anything other than what I have, because for me, part of the magic is that moment when a song grabs me by the lapels, and I can feel the writer sharing an experience with me- it’s a kind of solidarity that is different from the solitude of songwriting, and it cannot be undervalued. The most memorable time that happened for me was the first time I heard Beth Hart sing ‘Leave the Light On’ at Club Lingerie inHollywood. It was like she’d been beside me my whole life and was saying “it’s ok, you’re gonna make it.” It made me think maybe I would, too.:)
7. The greatest album ever, and why?
VK LYNNE: That’s subjective, and there’s no one answer that fits. Obviously, Sgt. Pepper changed everything. But then, for me, on a very personal level, so did Jar of Flies by Alice In Chains. Then my whole outlook on music was turned on its head forever by Dark Passion Play by Nightwish.
8. If you were forced to pick one, which of your original compositions is your favourite?
VK LYNNE: Sunday. I think more than any of them, it’s a portrait of my essence. I was as honest as I’ve ever been lyrically, and as obtuse as I’ve ever been sonically.
9. Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making your music the way it is?
VK LYNNE: Truth. If you bullshit your lyrics, people can hear it. But if you tell the story the way it really was, then the listener can connect. For me, truth is what touches people and makes them think about their own truth.
10. Does the place where you live ( or places you have lived ) affect the music you create and in what ways?
VK LYNNE: Of course. I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and brought that small town sensibility with me toPhiladelphia, where I soaked up the urban environment, then took the whole lot of it toLos Angeles, where there were more musicians and more opportunity to make music than I’d ever seen. All those things informed my perspective, and my truth drips through that filter.
11. What aspect of music making excites you most?
VK LYNNE: When a song has the capacity to change someone’s life…or save it…then I’m inspired to work harder, dig deeper, learn more. It makes music a mission, and that is exciting.
12. What aspect of music making discourages you most?
VK LYNNE: The insincerity. Unfortunately, there is the business aspect, and the longer I do this, the longer I see the contrivances, the plotting, the manipulations. Not just of the artists, but of the fans. I’m still indie, so there’s no one to censor me yet. But I’m sure soon someone will try….
13. What are your thoughts about the actual state of the music industry today?
VK LYNNE: It’s reflective of the state of the world. Chaos. You have the old school folks still doggedly trying to make an outdated model work, the new mavericks that are trying to force change that a huge demographic isn’t ready for, and a listening population who has no idea what to make of any of it. Welcome to the Jungle!:)
14. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed (and one you didn’t but should have)?
VK LYNNE: Best that I followed: “Go toDenmark”. When I was trying to sort out whether I should go make Whiskey or Water with James Thomas in Scandinavia, or do it here inSouthern California, a good friend (who incidentally was going to produce W or W here) said, “As the guy you were going to give money to, I’m telling you- give it to someone else. James can make this record happen.”
Best that I didn’t: Get the fee upfront. (This is particularly timely…and a mistake I won’t make again!!!:)
15. At this time in your career, as an independent artist, which factor do you desire most (increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure etc…) and why?
VK LYNNE: Without question, media exposure. I’m very pleased with the quality of Whiskey or Water; James is a consummate professional and an almost otherworldly artist. Distribution-wise, most music buyers are iTunes savvy, and those who want a hard copy can easily get it from my website. But they can’t and won’t if they DON’T KNOW ABOUT IT. Getting the music to the ears of the people is priority one.
16. How often and for how long do actually practise or exercise your talent
VK LYNNE: If you’re a songwriter, your life IS practice and exercise of the muscle. Your experiences prompt you to write, sometimes compulsively, and that makes your hands itch for the guitar, and as a singer, there is less time that I’m NOT singing than time that I am.
17. Which is your favourite distribution platform ( Tunecore, Audiolife, CD Baby, your own Website, etc…) and why?
VK LYNNE: At this point, CDBaby has been very good to me. Their digital distribution is pretty broad in spectrum, and they’re reliable.
18. Live gigging or studio recording, pick your first choice and why?
VK LYNNE: Both have their charm, but live gigging is of course the most visceral, simply because it’s a shared experience.
19. Analogue or Digital effects in music production. Choose one and tell us why?
VK LYNNE: Honestly, I couldn’t care less. The adjectives I use for my sonic desires are decidedly more literary than technical. I told James that I wanted Sunday to sound “like the perfect sunset.” God bless him if he didn’t do that. I read once that in the studio, John Lennon wanted his voice to sound different on a take, and the engineer started asking him if he wanted this or that effect, and John said petulantly, “I don’t know, smear it with tomato ketchup or something, just make it better.” Yep. That.
20. If you were not a musician, what would you be doing today?
VK LYNNE: Sitting in a backyard, somewhere quiet, with a laptop, writing a book. But maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.