Interview: Kate Voegele
Thu, 10 Jan 2008 07:40:45
Kate Voegele crafts soulful, catchy pop rock with an honest core. On her MySpace Records debut Don't Look Away, the 21-year-old songstress croons on personal themes way beyond her years. Her warm vocal melodies soar backed by clean guitars and ethereal keys, during tracks like "Chicago" and "Only Fooling Myself." The hooks are fun, smart and ultimately undeniable. The sultry singer definitely knows how to handle a crowd too, as she's already served as an opener for both John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band.
She also stands on the cutting edge of the industry, amidst changing tides. As the first signing to MySpace Records, she's utilized the web site to her full advantage by constantly updating her page and video blogging for fans. The blogs follow Kate backstage and in the studio, allowing the audience a close connection. In addition to rocking' across the country with Cary Brothers and Ben Lee, Kate's also snagged a spot on the upcoming season of the hit show One Tree Hill. On the show, she plays a musician named Mia that's almost as captivating as she is. In between acting, touring and recording, Kate found time to sit down with ARTISTdirect to discuss her music and much more.
Would you say Don't Look Away is an especially personal record?
It's definitely a very personal record. It's kind of an amalgamation of everything that's been going on in my life over the last three or four years. I started writing when I was 15 or 16, and I didn't really take everything seriously, until after the label deal when I was 19. I had all of these songs that I had accumulated. This library of songs was extremely personal, relative to what was going on in my life during those years. We picked all of the songs, making sure that the album was varied, but still flowed. My creative process was different for every song. It just depended on the song; sometimes the songs were about a personal experience or something that was going on around me. A lot of times, the ideas come at really inconvenient times. Like in high school, I would write in class a lot. For some reason now, I tend to get a lot of ideas when I'm flying on airplanes. So my creative process is very spontaneous. It's just whenever inspiration strikes.
The songs are like snapshots of different chapters of your life up to this point.
Very much so, and I think that's cool for my first record to have that.
There are a lot of experiences and sounds. The pop rock style mixed with modern folk really stands out.
I wanted to go for something different. It's mainstream music, but I didn't want to put something out that sounds like every other young girl that plays guitar. I'm glad that it sounds the way it does, because I wanted to have different flavors on the record.
What are some of the folk-influences you draw from?
I love a lot of folk and alt country music. A lot of '70s stuff had a big influence on me, including Carole King, Carly Simon, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. Patty Griffin is a more current influence. She's one of my biggest influences along with Ryan Adams. Mindy Smith is another one. All of those people have inspired me to want to make records.
How's the road been touring with such big acts?
It's been great. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun. I can't stay in one place too long, and I love discovering new places and random adventures. So it's been awesome. I love discovering new towns even if they're weird, quirky and cool. The people I've been on the road with have been incredible. They're all people that I'd been a fan of beforehand. So it's really cool to be on the other side now. I'm not classified as a fan anymore, but I'm on the same level as these people, because I'm another artist playing on the bill. Everyone's been so great too, and I've made a lot of good friends. On the last tour, we did a big jam with everyone from the tour at the end. With Cary Brothers and Ben Lee, we all got up onstage and covered Cheap Trick. It's really cool being able to collaborate with other musicians, and get inspiration from hearing them.
As the first artist on MySpace records, you're part of something groundbreaking—a collaboration between the tech world and the music industry. How has the site helped shape your path?
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