Wednesday, 27 January 2010

New Music! Interview and Review: Veronica Bianqui

When We Were Beautiful is very proud to announce its discovery of Veronica Bianqui. I managed to steal a few moments with Veronica; please enjoy her interview below and my review of her track 'Shame On You'.

Hi Veronica! So, according to your Myspace page; you grew up in LA. How did that have an affect on your wanting to become a musician?
I'm not quite sure that living in LA really influenced my decision to become a musician at all.  I honestly don't know why or when I decided.  Perhaps all memory and sense of myself started at the moment I knew music was what I wanted to pursue, and so I couldn't tell you anything that happened before! It's a cool idea, i think? hah.

Where do you spend most of your time now; where do you call home?

Most of my time is spent in London, until I return to Los Angeles, which is my home.

Is the hectic life of a musician a full-time job for you at the moment or are you still studying?
Ha I wouldn't say my life is particularly one of a "hectic musician," but, yes, sometimes balancing gigs and studies can be a bit challenging. I study Ethnomusicology, one of the most exciting and relevant fields in our day and age. 

Where do you take inspiration from when writing your music?
Words, Books, laughs, smiles, cries, small gestures, big questions, strangers, friends, anger, the Sun, the rest of the stars, the ocean, sadness, desire, loneliness.  Inspiration, however, is not always a bolt of lightning which strikes unexpectedly, you must also reach for it and it will come to you.

How did 'Shame on You' begin life, and where did you take inspiration from to write it?
I was asked by an independent film maker, Matias Masucci, to write a song for his up-coming feature-length film "Noise Matters" because he was impressed with a gig of mine he attended.  So, I tried to incorporate a bit of the overall tone and a few of the political messages from the script into the song, without making it explicitly about any one thing.

You've chosen to label your music as ‘acousticized soul.' Tell us more about what that term means to you.
It means a vibration which runs directly from my soul to the guitar strings, and out of the sound hole into the world.  It's the attempt at amplifying the wordless-soundless feelings that make up myself. "Amplification of the soul" is perhaps a better term.

In your own words: "I can’t help that I relate more to Jack Kerouac than Perez Hilton. Bob Dylan than American Idol. Other influences include John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, The Doors and any singer of the Delta Blues." The last true songwriters of our generation seem to have really struck a chord with you. How important is it these days, considering the artists that dominate our pop charts, for people to remember what a real song is about? Do you think any of that passion has been lost from the days since Dylan and Lennon?
I wouldn't quite consider Dylan and Lennon songwriters from our generation... I'm not even sure if I quite know what a real song is about, it's hard to define, really. I saw an acoustic performance of Lady Gaga playing "Poker Face" while she played piano, and I thought, "shit, that's a good song..." and she does it well, though it's not necessarily a style I particularly listen to.  I mean, I can be snobbish and say 'real songs' are only those that say something meaningful or don't have 72 production tracks and auto tune on them, and while that's true at times, it doesn't always have to be true.  If it moves your body and affects you deeply, then it's a real song, isn't it? I suppose...At the same time, people are constantly bombarded with this saturated mainstream music that they don't realize there could be something else out there, something old or undiscovered, which can blow their minds.
You also count Nirvana as an influence of yours, although it's not really an artist that springs to mind when I listen to 'Shame on You'. What influence did they have on you?
I used to write a lot on electric guitar before I got too lazy to plug it in! haha. A big thing I got from them, i think, are my dynamics. And Kurt Cobain's vocals, i love them.

How do you feel about the music industry in general at the moment? Are you excited or anxious for its current state and future?
We can all agree that we are in an uncertain, transitory state. And I think it's an amazing, exciting time to be a part of it. Things are bubbling to the surface, only just starting to be exposed, something massive is going to happen, probably within the next 5 years. Can't quite put my finger on what it is, but I feel it, I think a lot of people feel it...

What's new for you at the moment, and what does the future hold?
What's new for me? Starting a new life in London, trying to decide where to venture to next! What does the future hold? The future holds a bit of madness, a bit of chaos, a lot of love, and a lot of guitars.
Finally, can you tell us a secret? 
They're in the songs.

A happy-folk laden riff chugs into my speakers and immediately the young-sounding yet mature voice of Veronica Bianqui hits me. I'm not sure what to expect whilst waiting for the vocal but I'm not left waiting long as tones reminscent of Regina Spektor mixed with an almost female-sounding Johnny Cash crawl into the mix. I love how the ends of the vocal phrases lean gently into the next line, as the start of each new lyric tries desperately to catch-up with the ever-driving riff. The vocals are raw yet soulful, and ooze real passion; squeezing every ounce of meaning from the cleverly-fitting lyrics, and the Mumford & Sons-esque backing vocals compliment the simple yet effective guitar work. I love how the track is so texturally sparse for so long, but suddenly builds and intensifies; rousing a stomping folk-reuinon as 'the backing to a television advert' that I pictured in my head becomes 'a busy and pleasantly ferocious late-afternoon folk club'. Even at it's busiest part, the song still ebbs and flows, giving the listener a feeling of swaying along at my imaginary folk club with the bustling crowd. But as soon as it's begun, the song halts at a surprising and unwelcome ending; it doesn't feel like three and a half minutes have passed and as I sit in the silence now very apparent in this room I find myself waiting for a rabble of whistles, applauding and more feet-stamping before the next track comes thundering in.

'Shame on You' and other live tracks from Veronica Bianqui can be found at her MySpace page. I urge you to wrap your ears around her infectious indie-folk tunes and join the party at her next concert while you can!

Upcoming shows

02/02/2010 -  Three Kings Pub - Clerkenwell, London
06/02/2010 - The Luminaire - London
18/03/2010 - Monkey Chews - Chalk Farm, London

Remember - Please vote for us HERE to become winners of the Best Weblog About Music category for the Tenth Annual Weblog Awards 2010!

1 comment:

  1. awesome interview. i just checked her out and I love.

    cheers :)


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