Q: What made you decide to go with Twilight Dementia for a band name?
A: My standard answer to that is because Turdblast was taken. Haha. Serious answer? Ok. Well, when we started the band in 2006, John and I used to concoct and record songs, at twilight. During those times, we felt like we were not only creating songs, but an entire world to go with it. In order to really delve into that fantasy world, we both felt like we kind of had to forget the real one.
Q: The vocals for the music are extremely powerful and haunting... Did you have any formal training or take voice lessons?
A: I wouldn't say formal training, as in a one-on-one with a voice coach or anything like that. It was primarily my dad who coaxed me to practice singing on his karaoke machine. So a lot of the time, I would lock myself up in my room and just have at it with those minus-one (vocal-less) tracks. I was also in three church choirs, simultaneously, one in school, and two in my community. I was put in the alto group in one of them, and soprano in two, and since we were learning pretty much the same songs, it's where I practiced singing harmonies.
Q: What made you decide to pursue your musical dream?
A: I'd say it was all my idols. Alanis Morissette was the first to catch my attention. It made me go, hey, I wanna do that too. And then, I heard Shirley Manson in Garbage and thought, I wanna be that cool. And then, when I discovered Alison Krauss, I thought she was just the best singer out there --- angelic voice, perfect pitch, masterful harmonies --- just phenomenal. I worked hard a lot to try and get an ethereal sound that was still just whole and beautiful, like hers. Lastly, when Evanescence blew up the scene, I got kind of obsessed with the sound ... especially with the sound of Amy Lee's voice. It just made me think, alright, I really wanna do this for real. It was luck that I crossed paths with John at that time. He was working at a recording studio, and I was trying to make vocal demos to karaoke tracks, so I could audition for bands. He said, why sing other people's songs, when you can make your own? We gave it a whirl and everything just fell into place. The chemistry was so awesome, we decided to actually form the band. We've been together ever since. Hell, we even got married.
Q: Some people say that recently the industry has changed and tend to favor female vocalists... Have you found that to be true?
A: Hmm, I don't think so. I've always known the industry to be peppered with some really talented female vocalists. Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Heart, Pat Benatar - just a few that come to mind. I don't think they had a shortage of people who thought they were spectacular. I guess it just seems like there are more females in the spotlight these days, because the songs that are on Top 40 and all that, happen to be sung by a girl. Beyond Top 40, I don't see it favoring one more than the other. My iPod has always had a good balance of male and female sung tunes. Of course, to get that, you also have to be pro-actively seeking music from different styles, different countries, etc.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from in regards to the music?
A: From anything and everything, really. I used to watch a lot of movies (until our 4 y/o dominated the TV with Thomas the Tank Engine and Gilligan's Island reruns, the latter of which, I like. Don't get me wrong). But I read a lot too - mostly fiction. Then, John sends me some instrumental track to write a melody and lyrics to. I listen to it and the sounds kind of cue me in to what subject I should be writing about. I try to tie that to something I've read or seen. It's weird, because sometimes, I have a subject I' determined to sing about, but when I get the instrumental, it doesn't let me write about that. I just go along with the flow. For instance, we have this song called Twelve Oceans. When we first played the instrumental, it made both John and I think of Odysseus being tied to the mast in his ship, so he could hear the sirens sing. I thought, hey, let me sing about that - about sirens singing and luring sailors to crash their ships into the rocks. Forever I tried to put actual lyrics into it, but nothing seemed to fit, except in the chorus. So I made up my own "sirenesque" language, which is to say, a whole bunch of gibberish. Hahaha. It worked though. That's why when you look up the lyrics, all it says is "Love, hear me, heal me. Drowning all away, fading all away, lost in your love."
Q: What do you hope the future holds for Twilight Dementia?
A: I think we all have the same vision for it; not a ridiculous amount of fame and fortune, although that would certainly not be turned down, but that it blows up enough for us to be able to pour our energies into it, full time. It would be great to live and breathe Twilight Dementia, and not have to worry about where we need to scrounge up enough money to pay our bills and not have to hold down other jobs, in order to make it work. Then we can just create more songs and have those songs reach out and move as many people as they can. Sometimes, we get letters from people who say that this song or that has helped them go through a particular trial in their lives. That's really something special, and those will always be the best compliments and if that is the effect it gives to people, it will always motivate us to create, create, create.
Q: If you were to share the stage with any other artist, who would it be and why?
A: Tom Waits. I think it would be a riot! Not only is he a masterful song crafter, but have you seen the dude play live? You should youtube him. Your life will never be the same!
Q: What is the toughest part in creating music?
A: For me, since I do all the melodies, harmonies, and lyrics, the initial block is hearing what the instruments are trying to convey. Like I said before, I might have a topic I am determined to sing about, but sometimes, the song will fight me and want to go another way. I usually hear a melody first, and sing it with nonsense. Then I fit words where I hear words. After that, I have to string them along so they make sense. A few times, I'd hear the melody and the words, but I have no idea how to connect them to each other. When that happens, I get away from the song until I forget the original melody, and then come back to it and sing something totally different --- different notes, phrasing, etc. Then it allows me to turn it into a song. I've only ever shelved one or two tracks John has given me, but who knows, they might talk to me someday. Compared to everything else, harmonies are a piece of cake. If I hear a melody, it's always easy to ear harmonies. I usually do those on the fly, while I'm recording.
Now, our process is slightly different, since there are three of us doing the writing. John used to create everything. Now, a lot of times, Gordon will lay down a drum groove. Then John does his hocus-pocus on the instruments, before handing them to me. Sometimes, the structure is already there. Sometimes, I have to kind of arrange how long the verses/choruses should be. After that, we just all "massage" the song into being.
Q: Some say social media can hurt an artists career and some say it is helpful... What is your stance on the issue? Do you think the market has been saturated and artists have lost sight of trying to make it big in the real world since its easier to become a star in the virtual one?
A: It's neither here nor there, really. You can advertise all you want on Facebook and Twitter and all that stuff, but it's a matter of whether or not people pay attention to what you have to say, if you even catch their interest. You know what I mean? Even then, it is easy for fans to spread the word, retweet, or whatever, but it rarely ever gets converted into a sale.
In all reality, music is a product for sale. What helps or hurts an artists career is how many people are willing to buy it. I know it's taking out all the fantasy from it, but it is a business. You can only shell out enough funds before your business closes down, if you are not getting any sort of revenue for it. As much as I would like to believe that music should be free, I've been on this side of the fence. There is a reason why "money makes the world go 'round" is a cliche. It's because it is true. An artist's career is no exception. It is their job to make music, and they should certainly get paid for it. I have a whole lot to say about this matter, but that's not the question, is it? Haha. Sorry.
Q: Which song from Twilight Dementia holds the most meaning to you and why?
A: This is a pretty difficult question. It's like asking, which of your children means the most to you. All our songs have different stories behind it --- lyrically and process-wise. I do have my favorites, but that changes depending on the mood. At the moment, Georgy Porgy is, of course, my favorite, because it is the latest one we've completed. There is also this song in the works called, Let Me Touch You, that I absolutely love, because my kid rocks out to it. XD. Gordon likes Higher - which is the next song to surface in the coming weeks, and John likes You're All I Want - which is still in its infant stages. I imagine you guys will hear them before the year's end, or at the very latest, the beginning of 2014. I promise, it's going to be worth the wait.
Thanks for the interest, Des! We really appreciate you really promoting our stuff. And thank you to whoever is reading this, for taking the time to listen to my blubber-blabber. Make sure to support indie. We love you guys!
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