Kate Voegele Interview – Part 1
I got to sit down and chat with Kate Voegele on Sunday night right before she performed to a SOLD OUT crowd at one of Chicago’s fav venues – Schubas. We talked for about an hour at Harmony Grill, the restaurant attached to Schubas and here is Part 1 of the interview. Stay tuned for Part 2 – coming soon! In the meantime, go check out Kate on her current headlining tour www.myspace.com/katevoegele. If she is not coming to a town near you, check her out on One Tree Hill, which airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CW.
When you were growing up, how did you make your first connections to music? What is your earliest musical memory? Did your mom and dad influence you?
My dad has always played the guitar and was a songwriter just as a hobby. So I grew up with him singing James Taylor when I was a baby, my mom would sing me to sleep with blah blah blah, so I kind of learned to sing and stuff when I was really little and was really interested in music and stuff , I was in choir and everything, but I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 15 really. My dad bought me one in 5th grade, he played and he wanted us to play, but I didn’t want to cut my fingernails so. When I went to high school I thought it would be fun, but I never had the intention of “ooh I want to be famous” So I accidentally stumbled upon something and now it’s what I want to do and love it.
Did you take piano/voice/guitar lessons or did you learn to play by ear?
My dad taught me, he played forever. So I never officially taken guitar lessons or voice lessons, I took a couple voice lessons here and there when I have something big to do. Not to say that lessons aren’t a great thing, I’m sure that would help me out, but I just kind of I never planned on doing anything with it, it’s like oh whatever, I never worried about it.
Do you know how to read and write on staff paper/sheet music?
I did it in choir and high school, so I know how to, but I don’t do it for guitar when I write songs I never score them out, I will just write down the solfedge intervals I learned in choir, that is how I write a melody out. Do Re Mi, I use that.
Do you have any “under the radar” artists that you are listening to or that you know about that you think the world should know of?
Definitely! There are so many artists that I love who I don’t think get enough recognition. I really love old country and Patty Griffin is one of my favorites, she’s def an underground prodigy. Mainstream, no one really knows who she is and I love Ryan Adams, same kind of thing. There’s a guy from Nashville who I just played with on the Rock Boat which is like a cruise where all these artists go and play for their fans. Andy Davis, I am totally into his record right now, I really love the band Scars right now they are awesome and Band of Horses, great great record. I love the new Against Me album. It’s totally all not country at all.
We saw on your Myspace that you go to Miami of Ohio?
We were reading about that on your Myspace and thought, “How in the hell does she go to school and tour and make a record all at the same time?”
It was hard when I was trying to pull it off. I was there for 2 years and I stopped going in May, so I would be a jr now but it got way too hard. It was so much fun and I’m so glad I did it but it was like I was giving 200% all the time which is impossible so…but it was a great great school.
Did you study Music?
Their music program is classically based so I couldn’t really study the kind of music I wanted to study. So I was studying fine art, I was an art major. Which is something I want to do at some point in my life like when I’m bored of whatever I am doing, but unfortunately I had to take some time off from that. But I think I am going to take some online courses to kind of you know just continue working on my education at my own pace. And there are so many ways to do it now that don’t involve having to live on a campus and go to class. It’s like I can’t, I can’t be a creature of habit, I just can’t. Online courses allow you to do stuff whenever it’s convenient for you, which is so cool.
I’d be an art major in college which is ridiculous because people are like what’s your back up plan? I’m like majoring in art is like another one of the most unpredictable, unstable careers in the world. But I would love to look into graphic design or I was an art education major in college so I thought that was cool. I love kids, I would love to be the art teacher who wears the colorful glasses and the ridiculous outfits, that would be really fun. But yeah, something with art, it would have to be artistic. I can’t do anything like accounting or any of that, I’d be hopeless.
What are the last five shows you’ve been to?
I’m always playing, it sucks but it doesn’t suck because a lot of the people I’m playing with I’m a fan of. I’ve toured with Ben Lee, Carey Brothers and I’m a huge fan. I played with Josh Kelly last summer, I love Josh Kelly. So I don’t get time to see one off shows, but people that I’m touring with which is cool because if you don’t know any of their music by the end of the tour your buying their records because you can’t get the songs out of your head, so it’s really fun, it’s a cool thing.
What are the last five albums you bought?
Let me think, Beck I love Beck. I love Wilco, like some of their old stuff. Arcade Fire who is like blowing up, they’re great, no one can even argue with that. Andrew Bird. There is just so much, when I was in North Carolina, I was in NC a lot this fall, there was this record store down the street, I didn’t have a car so I would just have to live in this 1 mile stretch of shops and stuff so I would just constantly be in the record store buying more stuff more stuff more stuff and it was so much fun. Digital sales and stuff is cool but it’s kind of killing the fun of buying new records and cd’s and stuff. There’s nothing like having a physical thing.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
People have been asking me this a lot lately and I kind of realized that things are going so great right now, the records really breaking and I have been showcasing since I was 16 and trying to find the right deal and trying to find the right team of people, it’s so easy to get discouraged when stuff doesn’t work out. But now that I’m 21 I really feel like I’m ready for all the stuff that’s happening to me. The best advice people have given me is don’t be discouraged when 18 people don’t get what you are doing because 1 person is going to and you just have to find people that get it and that are so excited about it and are passionate about helping you out and passionate about the music and now that I have that team of people it’s so exciting and I really realized that it will happen for you at the right time if you keep working on it and stay true to what you want to do, if you change to try to mold people who don’t quite get it to something that they do want you to be your never going to be happy. That would be my best advice to people that I have gotten, just don’t be discouraged. Not everybody is going to love what you do and that’s ok, because other people will.
What made you not want to sign with a major label?
I would walk into these labels and it’s like the whole conference room vibe is like six 50 something dudes in suites and ties looking at you like impress me in the next 5 minutes because I wanna go to lunch. And I was like this is BS, like this sucks. It’s so intimidating and cold and the atmosphere just sucked. I was like if this is how it’s going to be at your label I just don’t want to be here, this sucks. So I got really discouraged about the whole thing, do I even want to be in this business is this how people are and then I walked into MySpace, Tom Anderson opens the door in his trucker hat and he’s like “What’s up dude? I’m Tom.” I’m like this guy is awesome and I think that the most successful people and the most successful businesses are usually ones that are kind of like pushing the frontier and trying something brand new. Everybody else is so comfortable with their little mold. Like this is what worked for Avril Lavigne and it’s like no. So I was really excited to be kind of a risk taker and a guinea pig and I think that taking a risk and trying something new can really benefit you, in business and even in just life. It’s so important to just if you have a good gut feeling about it, like go with it, just see what happens. So I’m really glad I did cause I love my label. They have been so great.
Part II to come….