Archive for October, 2014

ACL Interviews: Melanie Martinez

At just 19, Melanie Martinez has used every ounce of her budding creativity and sharp eye for aesthetic appeal. Her distinctive look and spell-binding voice made her a semi-finalist on season 3 of The Voice at 16 years old, captured the attention of American Horror Story execs, and recently got her a record contract with Atlantic Records. She just released the music video for the eerie and haunting “Carousel,” and dressed in a fluffy pastel bunny outfit, Melanie sat down with us last weekend at Austin City Limits Music Festival to discuss her upcoming LP Crybaby, her song being featured in the American Horror Story: Freakshow trailer, and what she learned from being on The Voice.

How do you like ACL so far?

It’s really cool. It’s so exciting watching artists I like and just seeing people have a good time and dance and stuff.

What artists have you seen, or who are you most excited to see?

I saw Eminem! I love him. I also saw Lana Del Rey, Major Lazer, and Iggy Azalea. My friend actually dances for Major Lazer.

You were on The Voice when you were 16. Why did you choose The Voice over, say, American Idol, and what were some of the most important things you learned in the process?

I wasn’t really doing anything besides writing songs in my bathroom at the time, and I didn’t really play any shows. So I went out on a limb and saw this ad online for The Voice and thought “why not?” So, I went to the open call at Javits Center, and I just kept getting further and further. I actually auditioned for American Idol when I was 15, but I didn’t make it anywhere. It’s not something that I really wanted to do, it was just something that I did because I had nothing to lose. There was nothing else to do in Long Island.

The biggest thing I learned was just how to perform under pressure week-to-week on live television. I think that awesome to go through before actually starting your career because now when you eventually get on TV again, it’ll be easier. It’s definitely like a boot camp. You go under lots of stress and stuff, so now I feel like I can handle stress a lot easier. It was definitely a huge learning experience for me, and I’m happy to be doing what I’m doing now.

You recently got signed to Atlantic Records (congrats) after you had been releasing material independently. What is the process like after you get off The Voice? How does that all work?

After I got off The Voice, I just started playing shows and kept working at it and writing. Then I got a publishing deal with Warner and just started writing a lot. Then I came out with my single “Dollhouse,” and then earlier this year Atlantic signed me. Now I’m finishing up my album, and it’s going to be released beginning of next year. It has been really fun and definitely an interesting process. Most of it has just been me playing live and preparing myself for playing shows later on.

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ACL Interviews: Emily Wolfe

Emily Wolfe is quite steadily climbing up the Austin music scene. After graduating from St. Edwards University in 2012, Wolfe has made a name for herself in the Central Texas region and has recently garnered the attention of staple news sources such as MTV, NPR Music, Paste Magazine, and more. Her soulful, hard-hitting music is most often described as “folk rock” but can thoroughly be understood by listening to her two 2013 EP’s, which she says span completely opposite ranges of her musical stylings. We sat down with Emily and her band members Hannah Hagar, Sam Pankey, and Jeffrey Olson at Weekend 2 of Austin City Limits to talk about their new EP Roulette, what it’s like being a musician in Austin, and more.

How is ACL so far?

EW: Last weekend we play an after show, and that was great. It was a lot of fun.

Who have you seen, or who are you most excited to see?

SP: Outkast!

JO: I really wanna see Mac DeMarco!

HH: Childish Gambino.

JO. They’re just all awesome.

Can you talk a little bit about your music background and how you guys came up in the Austin music scene? 

EW: Hannah and I met in college, and we started writing songs together. We started out just as a duo, and it was more acoustic stuff. Then we got an electric guitar together and started to do more rock and roll stuff. Then we met Sam and Jeff, and we started playing more band stuff, and now we have new member Jack in the band, and he makes it all really full-sounding, so that’s really great.

JO: Sam and I met at UT, and we were both there for music. And Jack and I have known each other since high school — we were both musicians.

Artists constantly praise Austin for how great it receives them at shows, etc. Do you think the city of Austin is the perfect place for artists like yourselves to make a name for yourself? 

EW: Austin really is great. There are so many artists and so many opportunities, and it is such a creative city that you can’t go wrong being a musician here. I feel like people here really just know how to watch music, and that’s pretty awesome, too.

SP: I also kind of feel like there’s a downside to there being so many musicians here, though, because that means there’s so much competition compared to other places. If you were a band in a small town in, say, Michigan, then it would be pretty easy to get people to come out to your shows and to be the most popular band in that area. But nonetheless, it’s the perfect city to be a musician and be creative.

 

You released two EP’s in 2013, Mechanical Hands and Night & Day, and have said that stylistically they’re very different. How are these EP’s different from each other?

EW: Well Night & Day is just very, very different from Mechanical Hands. It’s very acoustic, and basically it’s just very low-key and “for the moms.”

HH: No!

JO: It’s for everyone!

EW: No, it is for everyone! It’s just that my mom is really into it. It’s like a mom thing.

HH: Night & Day is like the rainy day, you want to listen to some music under the blanket type of music. It’s pretty romantic.

EW: Mechanical Hands is just full band, and the lyrics are more abstract and not as straight forward like, “Oh, romance!” It’s more like you gotta think about it more and put your own meaning to it.

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