Musical Q&A (rp for [livejournal.com profile] vavarner)

Apr. 22nd, 2009 10:11 pm
fey_fire: (Direct)
[personal profile] fey_fire
Rory took another pass through his living room to ensure that the premises looked at least decent, sprinkled with a little comfortable clutter instead of out and out messy. Normally he did a better job of keeping his Woodside apartment tidy, but lately he had been too busy. Practice, meetings, interviews, planning sessions, photo ops and more practice had sucked up the last dregs of his free time, until he barely had a few minutes even to keep in touch with his family anymore.

Of course, if he had more time at home, there would be more mess needing cleaning. He supposed it evened out in some ways.

But today he'd managed to wedge open a slice of his schedule for an interview he actually anticipated with pleasure instead of resignation. Instead of talking to jaded music industry reporters on the hunt for shallow gossip material, he'd be discussing Breaker Street's debut CD with a young man who actually shared Rory's passion for music. Instead of gritting his teeth and reminding himself that he was doing all this to help his band, he could enjoy the fact that he was helping a friend spice up his class assignment. Rory whistled a few bars from Automatic Panic as he arranged his electronic keyboard and six-string acoustic guitar ready to hand for demo purposes.

Only then did it occur to him to glance in a mirror. Eh. He'd do. Jeans, a blue sleeveless t-shirt and a mane of dark hair that wasn't any more rumpled than usual. A buzz from the intercomm told him that his guest was right on time. "Hello, is that you Val?"

Date: 2009-04-27 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vavarner.livejournal.com
"Yessir, it's me," Valentine called back through the intercom. "Thank you for having me over for the interview."

Though this was just a class assignment and not for a newspaper or anything, Valentine took his role as interviewer seriously. He has prepared some questions ahead of time in a notebook - which he brought with him to take notes - and had a mini recorder so that he could just record the interview if Rory would allow and transcribe later.

He'd also brought the CD booklet so he could refer to the songs easier, because he had some questions about lyrics and liner notes and the like. Above all, he was trying not to be nervous. Though he'd been friends with Rory a while now, he felt kind of self-conscious coming over and interviewing him about the CD - taking up some of his doubtlessly busy time. Heck, he bet all the big magazines were going to do interviews with Rory, as good as the CD was. He was just some college kid lucky enough to have met him before he became famous.

Sighing and telling himself not to follow that train of thought because it would only lead to more nerves, he straightened up and waited for Rory to let him in.

Date: 2009-04-28 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory grinned at Val's "sir". Not something he was used to being called, even if he was a century and a bit old. "I'm on the seventh floor, 721 to be exact. Come on up." He pressed the button to buzz the young man into the building.

Val might have been reassured to know that Rory was suffering from a dose of nerves as well, though not because of his friend or the impending interview. The steady increase in public scrutiny of himself and his band was a heady thing for Rory, feeding into his fey energies in ways both subtle and obvious. Hopefully he'd find his balance in time, but right now the results felt like a severe sugar buzz to a six-year-old.

No doubt that restless energy explained why he was waiting by his doorway when Val arrived, smile at the ready.

Date: 2009-04-30 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vavarner.livejournal.com
Val smiled when Rory opened the door, and shifted his stuff to offer a hand for shaking.

"Hey man - thanks again for letting me interview you. I know you must be so busy right now with everything- I appreciate you taking the time."

He knew all too well how sudden and hard success could hit. Not with music, but hey, he imagined it was a lot of the same deal.

"Nice place you have here... you know, my cousin lives in your area. Not too far from here."

Date: 2009-05-01 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
"Really? Your cousin?" Rory's eyebrows lifted as he shut the door. "Seems to me that the city gets smaller every time I turn around. Hopefully I'll get a chance to meet her sometime."

He gestured Val to a seat on the couch opposite his favorite armchair. "Make yourself comfortable. And you're more than welcome for the interview. With all the publicity, marketing and scheduling we've been dealing with lately, it will be a relief to actually discuss music with someone." He offered a wry smile with that last.

"Can I get you something to drink, or shall we get right to it?" Rory already had a tall glass of iced tea sitting by his chair, and he certainly wouldn't let a guest go thirsty.

Date: 2009-05-01 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vavarner.livejournal.com
Valentine settled on the couch and opened his notebook. "I would not mind a glass of water - thank you kindly."

He took out his question list, and eyed what he'd written. Good questions, he hoped. Nothing stupid. Nothing that would make Rory laugh at what an amateur at this he was. "Um - do you mind if I record the interview?" he asked. "Would be easier for me than having to stop to write everything between questions. This way I can just transcribe from the recording later..."

Date: 2009-05-01 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
"Not a problem," Rory called from the kitchen, where he was loading up a glass with ice and water. As he walked back into the living room, however, a thought struck that made his brow furrow.

"Though I'd best add one little caveat," he sighed as he handed the glass to Val. "The recording has to be used only for your assignment, not given to anyone else or shared online in anyway." Dropping into his chair, he offered a small, apologetic shrug. "Sorry to be anal about it, but I'm afraid I have to keep the lawyers happy."

He took a swig of his tea before adding, "Honestly, there are times I wonder if I own my own vocal cords anymore."

Date: 2009-05-01 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vavarner.livejournal.com
"Oh of course - I understand. I'll erase it as soon as I transcribe it," Valentine promised.

He took the water and had a sip, then set the glass down and took the recorder from his pocket. He turned it out, and checked to make sure it was recording. "There.. now that's on and don't have to worry about it."

He collected his question sheet. "Hope you don't mind none, but I've got some general questions on here first before we get into the ones about the album, get things started. Like this first one - when did you first know you wanted to get in to music and how did you learn how to play?"

Date: 2009-05-01 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory shook his head slightly to indicate that no, he didn't mind at all, then tilted his head thoughtfully at Val's first question. "I grew up in Ireland and actually started out singing in the choir of my parish church when I was small, so that was really my first exposure to performing of any sort." Slouching down a bit in his chair, he stretched his long legs to one side. "From there I found myself singing at céilí dances, in pubs, for informal parties ... fortunately I wound up with a decent baritone after my voice broke."

His smile turned a shade nostalgic as he went on. "So of course at the pubs and whatnot I sang with musicians playing traditional instruments, guitars, and eventually piano. I started learning from whomever would teach me. But I didn't really realize that I wanted music to be more than a hobby and part-time employment until I moved to New York and played solo in a few clubs."

Date: 2009-05-02 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vavarner.livejournal.com
Val listened intently, taking a few notes despite having the recorder going.

"So you were a singer first, and the instrumentation came later? Then you moved to New York, and played solo - how did you move from solo performance to forming a band?" Valentine asked, trying to segue seamlessly into the next question on his list.

"Was Breaker Street your first band?"

Date: 2009-05-03 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory nodded a bit as he took a swallow of his tea, appreciating Val's way of confirming information from one question as he moved on to the next. His smile widened a bit when he heard what those next questions were. Breaker Street was of course one of his favourite topics.

"By the time I hit New York, I was also getting deeper into writing my own music," he replied. "It soon became obvious to me that I wanted a greater depth of sound with my songs than I could create with my own two hands and voice. Therefore I needed other musicians."

His dark eyes gleamed as he warmed to his subject. "And yes, Breaker Street is my first band. First, last and only if all goes well. We were some time coming together because I very much wanted to get it right the first time."

Date: 2009-05-03 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vavarner.livejournal.com
Val smiled at his obvious love for his band. It was nice when bands got along like that - he hoped they would stay tight like that throughout their career.

"So how'd you meet the other members of your band - and how did you settle on the name Breaker Street?" he asked.

Date: 2009-05-03 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
"Ah, yes." The memories brought more nostalgia, even if the events were recent from his point of view. What was it, six or seven years ago now that he began his search?

"I'd played in the clubs long enough to listen to and jam with quite a variety of other musicians, plus I knew I'd need experience to fill in the gaps of my own knowledge. So I approached Nil Cameron and Marcus Kreske first about joining as bass guitarist and drummer. Nil had more than a decade of session work in the studios under his belt, and Kreske also had some studio experience in addition to knowing all the ins and outs of the club scene. They had the sound I was looking for, and also the ... the soul, for want of a better word."

He nibbled thoughtfully on one knuckle for a moment. "You see Val, I was looking for people with talent and a style that would mesh with the songs I was writing, but I wanted more than that. I wanted passion in my bandmates, not just for music, but for people and life as well. If they had a good attitude and sense of humor to go with, so much the better."

As he often did when discussing something that aroused his enthusiasm, Rory found himself talking with his hands. "So we had a long, drawn out audition process before we found Dave Rackley for keyboards ... he was between bands at the time ... and Junie Cabriano. Not only does she catch fire on that Fender Strat of hers, she's equally good on electric cello. Sascha Brockmann we found at Juilliard through a friend of my sister's about a year and a half later, when Dave and I were talking about bringing on another keyboard player. Of course we were already Breaker Street by then."

A soft chuckle. "The name resulted from a few evening bull sessions about what kind of message we wanted it to convey. I've always thought of music as a connection, a conduit that lets energy flow from musician to audience and back again. Breakers do the same for electrical current, and streets connect buildings, cities, people." He smiled and spread his hands. "So, Breaker Street."
Edited Date: 2009-05-03 10:17 pm (UTC)

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