• Brooke Trout’s Songsalive Interview!

    Posted in Blog by Brooke Trout

    The following interview with Brooke Trout was originally published on the Songsalive.org website in 2007. Songsalive!® is the largest international non-profit membership organization and social community for songwriters and composers, since 1997. Songsalive! is a grassroots, philanthropic, volunteer managed charity organization run by songwriters for songwriters and is dedicated to nurturing, support, education and promotion of songwriters and composers worldwide.:

    1. Where are you from, originally and what brought you to California?
    I am originally from Montana, from a town that isn’t found on most
    maps – in the middle of the Mission Mountain Wilderness. I always
    hated the isolation and never felt like I really belonged. I always
    dreamed of moving to the city so I moved to California in 96. Writing
    is my passion and I got my first gig for The Santa Maria Times as an
    entertainment editor and staff writer which included my weekly column
    “Musical Squares” that featured concert and album reviews. Following
    that I majored in screenwriting at Cal State Northridge. Ever since
    I’ve been keeping myself busy writing for music websites like
    Mahoganygirl.com and Bitchin Entertainment.com and recently had the
    wonderful opportunity to work for Martin Literary Management. I’ve
    definitely learned a lot during this time about marketing in the
    entertainment industries. In film, publishing and music the trends are
    all very similar.

    2. What style of music would you say you do?
    Basically, if it has a chunky sound to it, I love it and will play it.
    My sound is a delicious ska, blues, new wave, punk casserole, topped
    with Cheez-It Baked Snack Crackers for that hint of kitsch.

    3. What do you enjoy best – songwriting or performing and why?
    I think the two are very different. Performing is a catharsis for me.
    I feel like I let my pain out during my shows. It is not about
    entertaining for me, and it is not about perfection either.
    Songwriting is also an outlet for pain but it is more of a challenge –
    finding the right libretto to match that hook. I won’t let myself
    settle for the first thing that comes out of my guitar even if it does
    sound radio friendly. I want to play something that will keep my
    interest; I would enjoy listening to if I’m going to have to memorize
    it to be played at a show over and over again.

    4. Who are your musicial influences?
    Nirvana and Green Day got me motivated to play those earliest of barre
    chords when I was 14. Later Stephen King, PJ Harvey and Jim Morrison
    gave me the courage to sing and write about things that I didn’t
    realize I could before. Danny Elfman, Prince and Elvis Costello I
    admire because they aren’t afraid to play with genre and vocal
    stylings. I always try to push myself to do something new and these
    particular musicians remind me music will always be with me no matter
    what my age.

    5. Describe your favorite song you have written and why is it so special to you?
    One of my favorite songs that I have written is Roller Coaster Lover.
    I originally wrote this as a send up to The Beatles, in tribute to my
    absolutely favorite Beatles song, “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite,”
    off the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. I started out
    with the riff, knowing I wanted it to be a sultry and seductive blues
    song, then added the lyrics to play with the metaphor of roller
    coaster for a manipulative relationship. When I recorded this in the
    studio I went in knowing I wanted it to sound like this Beatles song
    so Timon (Marmex) played an intro that combines calliope and chime
    sounds, and we also used a sound loop of a roller coaster on a track
    for the percussion element as well as a big booming bass drum and
    cymbal crash because I wanted that feel of being in a carnival and
    you’re just expecting the ringleader to come out and announce the next
    act. Playing it live with my band however the song comes off sounding
    like something you would hear in a swanky ghost town bar in a David
    Lynch movie which I love! It makes me smile a mile wide hearing Mike
    play these dissonant Nick Cave-style solos on his slide. We try to
    integrate that sound and feel into much of our act.

    6. What are your goals for the next 5 years musically speaking?

    I already have enough songs ready for three albums and am anxious to
    gather resources to get them recorded and distributed. I just got a
    four piece band put together in March of 2007 including Alex Schmauss
    on bass, Mike Dill on lead guitar and Stuart Dill on drums. We had an
    immediate synthesis of sounds from our mutual musical backgrounds.
    What resulted is what people are calling “spooky surfer music,” and we
    are being compared frequently to the B-52s, only a much darker
    version. Alex released his album Broken in 2007 which has a dark
    Talking Heads meets The Pixies feel to it. And Mike Dill has an
    extensive background in jazz and blues, teaching as well as running a
    few open mics throughout SoCal including Primo’s Pizza in Santa
    Clarita. We’ve played some larger LA venues including Safari Sam’s and
    The Gig and in Spring of 2008 we’ll be participating in the Emergenza
    Festival which is an international battle of the bands.

    7. Tell us about your recordings and what’s in store next.

    What’s next? I’m not currently signed so I am just working on
    promoting this album the best I can with the resources I have. I got a
    great review in All Access Magazine and was nominated for best female
    guitarist for their All Access Awards Show this year. I focused the
    most on getting radio play across the country, and this upcoming year
    I am going to concentrate more locally on the club circuit and press
    now that I have a great band to play with.

    8. Where can we buy your music?

    Direct link to CD Baby
    Online Digital Vendor List: Apple iTunes, AudioLunchbox, Rhapsody,
    Interia, Verizon Wireless, Sony Connect, MusicNet, BuyMusic,
    GroupieTunes, MusicIsHere, Muze, GreatIndieMusic, Ruckus, Puretracks,
    MP3-Extension, Napster, RuleRadio, PayPlay, PassAlong, Sonific, Daiki,
    USEN, Bitmunk, Nexhit, Inprodicon, Destra, PlayIndies, Tradebit,
    Intent Media Works, Zune, MP3tunes, MusicNow

    9. What are your views about where the music industry is heading in
    your community, or on a global level?

    I recently interviewed David Knight, founder of Music Talks Sessions
    for Bitchin Entertainment about the current state of the music
    industry, ten years after the digital revolution. I concluded in the
    article that we have really seen a flat line in creativity and
    production standards with cookie cutter bands and retro sounds that
    are being rehashed as something new when in fact it is just more of
    the same. I think musical revolution will only happen when the market
    sees the financial potential in backing artists that dare to be more
    inventive. Unfortunately the market is so saturated now because of
    reality programming, black market downloading and burning – it’s a
    problem that won’t go away and we’re seeing its effects across the
    board, right now in the screenwriter’s strike. Article link.

    10. Anything pertinent you’d like to say about Songsalive!

    I just joined up thanks to a friend out here in L.A., Aaron Black (who
    totally rocks it out!) I haven’t had a chance yet to check out all the
    resources but that’s definitely one of my New Year’s Resolutions!

    For more information on Songsalive go to http://www.songsalive.org/

    6.16.2007
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