Friday, February 19, 2010

Interview with Alannah Myles

Since I have started my blog I have focused on athletes of both genders. I have started to mix it up and add a legendary musician.

Hello Alannah, I really appreciate you doing this interview. To start off could you tell us a little about yourself? Where did you grow up, where are you living now, etc?

Alannah Myles Bio

Alannah Myles is grateful to have been lauded by many as a powerful influence for singers, songwriters and recording artists - touring internationally, winning a Grammy for best rock vocalist and selling millions of records. Alannah has met every challenge an artist can be dealt with a great tenacity and love for the music that continues to motivate her.

Alannah was born and grew up in Toronto listening to FM radio stations which introduced her to more ecclectic styles of music. She studied to become a graphic artist, splitting time in Buckhorn, Ontario where she learned to ride and spent her early years competing as an equestrian on the Ontario A Circuit, competing in Canada's prestigious Royal Winter Fair prior to deciding that music was her calling. Acting & modelling income paid for early demo tapes attempting to get signed but prevented her from being regarded as a recording artist so she independently financed her first 3 songs with the help of collaborator Christopher Ward who helped manage her career to international success.

The '
Alannah Myles' first self titled album (1989) produced four Top 40 hits, “Love Is”, “Lover of Mine”, and “Still Got This Thing”, as well as the number one international smash, “Black Velvet”, which she won a Grammy award for best female rock performance, along with several Juno Awards, a Diamond award for sales in excess of 1,000,000 in Canada - the only artist who still retains this status for her debut record. ASCAP awarded the song a 'Millionaire Award' in 2005 for over 5 million radio plays of “Black Velvet” in the USA. SOCAN awarded the songs, “Black Velvet” and “Lover Of Mine” each with an award for over 100,000 plays in Canada in 2006 with her #1 hit song “Instead Of A Kiss” to follow.

Her follow-up album;
Rockinghorse, (1993) received a Grammy nomination for it's title track and three Canadian Juno Awards. After the sale of over six million records, Alannah concluded her alliance with Atlantic Records signing on with Miles Copeland's Ark 21 Records to release her fourth record Arrival (1997), which had the top 40, hit Bad 4 You. She also released THE VERY BEST OF ALANNAH MYLES (2000) containing hits from all four albums including the beautiful, newly recorded Linda Ronstadt cover Long, Long Time.

After an eight year songwriting hiatus
Alannah has re-emerged, with a newly recorded album entitled Black Velvet in order to re-connect with her millions of fans. Black Velvet contains brand new studio recordings along with Black Velvet 2009, a new studio recording with a contemporary arrangement of her classic hit. Executive produced and financed by Alannah, produced by A Rival co-producer Mike Borkosky with help from gifted Veronica Ferraro in Paris, France and mixed by renown producer Terry Brown, Black Velvet was released in Europe and Canada in 2008 and in USA, 2009 receiving accolade from both new and established fans around the globe.


“A good song lives on til well after we're gone. It has the power to inspire others and move hearts without their even being fully aware."

"Though I never realized it until years later, my art had become a direct reflection of the way I felt about instant fame. Though I was and still seem to have been lauded respect for the accolade my music created, I sure had
alot to learn that I was in too much of a hurry to hear. I eventually I learned to use what fame brought me as a weapon against all that is false and low."

God put me on this planet to accomplish a certain amount of things.

"Right now, I'm so far behind, I can never die!"


To get started I would like to ask you what got you interested in music?

As a small child of 5 I always sang. It came naturally to me and I envisioned thousands of people watching and listening tome sing. I picked up my mother's classical guitar at 11 and taught myself to play. At first I could not play bar chords and because it was difficult to learn other artists songs, I wrote my own.

For me, I learned to play the guitar as a child and my Uncle was my inspiration. Who was your musical inspiration, and why?

Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, early Elton John, Beatles, Stones, Lovin' Spoonful, CCR, Mavis staples, The Staples SIngers, Aretha Franklin, Anne Peebles, early Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, 4 Tops, AC/DC, T Rex, Jennifer Warnes, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, it is a very long list and it continues to grow.

Could you tell us what happens on a usual day for Alannah Myles?

I am self managed. I have an assistant who answers regular fan requests but it is I who must respond to no less than two or three hundred booking requests per year. Only 10 - 20 of them actually materialize from clients, promoters or agents who are legitimately interested. I have suffered trauma due to spinal injury from
chyropractic abuse and have been healing holistically without medication for the last 6 years. Miraculously, with a great deal of physio therapy I am able to walk and my health is slowly improving. My voice has never been stronger.

What is your type of music you listen to for enjoyment?

I listen to no music when I am not creating my own. I surround myself with silence. I prefer the sound of oceans or wildlife & nature to
anyone's expression of music. There is alot of music out there and most of it is unfortunately derivative and uninspiring. I must turn to my memory banks and call on the inspiration of my favourite artists that are filed somewhere in my brain. I live a very quiet life in a very beautiful place overlooking Lake Ontario in Toronto, Canada. This, and my vast touring experiences are what inspire me.

Have you seen any good movies lately?

I've seen many movies. I am a movie freak. I subscribe to pay television in Canada and see all of the movies released to cable. Thank God for movies and their makers who respect the use of music in them as imperative, otherwise I would suffer stagnation.

Do you have any interest in sports? Are you watching any of the Olympics?

I am an equestrian and have enjoyed showing hunters and jumpers since I was a young girl. Presently I am not in the position of being able to afford a horse but eventually that will change and I will live on a farm surrounded by horses.

I have enjoyed watching the Olympics.
IMAO I believe the U.S. male gold medalist for figure skating Evan Lysacek was totally worthy of his win as it was the strongest and least flawed performance of them all despite how many times he twirled on the ice. It is a tremendous misfortune that the lack of snow and warm climate has made for such flawed slopes for the downhill skiing events.

Are you computer savvy, if so do you use Mac or PC?

Do birds fly? I may be a bull in a China shop but I am proficient enough to accomplish all that I need to on my Mac, personally supervising all of my online accounts.

What is on your bucket list?

That's a tall order. I have already accomplished, in one third of my life what most wish for in a whole lifetime. Good health privacy and and peace of mind are most important to me. Though I have not ruled it out as a possibility, I gave up on finding the man of my dreams a long time ago.

What is one of the best days of your life so far?

Learning how to stand up for myself by
guiltlessly saying No!

What keeps you getting up in the morning everyday?

I am a very enthusiastic and energetic person but it's usually my not so little, 9 month old Bengal kitty, Gabriel that either keeps me sleeping through my mornings, or up really early jumping on my head to play fetch the Q-Tip.

What musical instruments can you play?

Acoustic guitar, very poorly.

Do you have any preconcert rituals?

Yes, I like to remain quiet and calm and do not like meeting anyone until after I've played so that the energy I deliver to my audience is my own. I take baths in, or burn lavander, geranium and eucalyptus essential oils in a lamp to sooth my vocal chords and miraculously prevent any possibility of losing my voice. Then I warm up my vocal cords in a very low key to songs like Amazing Grace while putting my make up on in my hotel room.

If you were a bag of chips what kind of chips would you be?

Popcorn or sour creme & onion Quaker Oats rice puffs or Cheetos Cheesies.

Do you really think that KD Lang has a striking resemblance to Wayne Newton?

Ha, ha, you've been reading my blogs. Yes, in fact I do. Particularly in that white tux worn by all of the men in the Canadian Winter Olympic parade. I do, however recognize her profound passion and technique as a singer but her voice does not touch my soul in the same way as perhaps Justin Timberlake's did in his version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah which both of them recently performed live in North America, or Susan Boyle for that matter.

Where has music taken you in the world?

I have been almost everywhere including Brazil but not the rest of South America which I would still like to see and south Africa, India, Turkey or Malaysia.

Do you have any pets?

My beloved blue fish George died after 2 and a half years so I replaced him with my Bengal cat, Gabriel. He should last for 20 years and has become more like a scrappy little racoon or a dog. I cannot eat a meal without setting a place at the table for him or it becomes a stressful meal with him crawling all over me. He loves human food.

Do you have any new endeavours for the near future?

I am in no hurry until I find the right collaborators creatively as well as financially to record a 1920's styled jug band blues record with pop & jazz overtones. Ideally, I would like to win a lottery, law suit or an inheritance and finance it myself so I am able to work without the stress caused by record company interference. Since the beginning I have A& R'd my own records alone or with the aid of my collaborators.

Do you anticipate any new albums or songs coming out?

I have been working on a video for Trouble, a song from my currently released CD called Black Velvet. It will usher in my blues record quite nicely and give audiences a very clear idea of what I am about to embark on. I'm sure it will also attract all the right elements to enforce what I envision creatively.

We all make mistakes in life. Are you one that looks at tomorrow, or someone who dwells on the past?

No time to dwell in the past. Learn from mistakes but quickly move on to more positive things.

For me if I am having a bad day I like to eat vanilla icecream. What helps you get through a bad day?

Sheer determination, iron will and a voluminous spirit. If all else fails, shopping.

If you had to do it all over again would you change anything, or do it all the same?

I accept all that had to happen to get me where I am today, even though I admit I am guilty of having sabotaged my efforts on more than one occasion.

The program ‘Own the Podium’ has proved to be a success for the Canadian athletes in 2010 Olympics. Do you think they should make a program for musicians like ‘Own the Music Charts’?

The music industry is in serious danger of becoming a circus. It needs all the help it can get!

I would really like to thank you again for doing this interview. If you have anymore that you would like to add, feel free to do so.

You're most welcome. All the best and thank you for your intelligent questions.

Alannah Myles


Nancy said...

Thanks for the interview. I always wondered why became of Alannah and it's nice to have it come from her. The photos are stunning and she is more beautiful now, IMO.

coyote said...
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Unknown said...

Beautiful woman with a beautiful yet non cookie cutter voice. Stunning! Love watching your live performances.