Bianca De Leon Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show
Lamitschka: Music has many new fans throughout
Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe
yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?
Answer: I would call it folk rock/border
ballad. I was raised near the Texas-Mexico border and most of my influences are
from there. All of my songs are true stories so they all ring true. Some are
pretty crazy, but that’s life, maybe crazier than most.
Lamitschka: How was the last year for you? What
were your highlights?
Answer: Last year was a very creative year for
me. I wrote a lot of new songs and finished this current CD Dangerous Endeavor.
I am also half way through another cd. The title cut for that cd will be The
Crossroads of Hell and Spijkerboor. It was written for a club in N. Netherlands
called Cafe t’Keerpunt for their 30th anniversary commemorative CD.
Lamitschka: What is your latest CD and how’s it
Answer: My latest CD is called Dangerous
Endeavor. It’s getting very good review both in US and EU.
Lamitschka: How did you choose the title for the
CD? Is there a story behind the name?
Answer: The title cut is called Dangerous
Endeavor. It alludes to an incident that occured in Mexico that contains
oblique referrences to a dangerous situation that is escaped from by a fast run
for the US border and never mentioned again except in this song.
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If
not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?
Answer: I sole writer on all of the songs in
this CD except White Freightliner by Townes Van Zandt, Lonesome Whistle by Hank
Williams, and Thorns of a Different Rose by Will Dudley.
Lamitschka: Please tell us about the songs on your
album (influences, etc).
Answer: Each song is influenced by a different
event. They are all true stories. Hollow Victory was written about the death of
my mother. Her ghost came through my house. I sat down and wrote the song and
made note of the time and found out a week later that she died at that moment.
Vintage ‚67 Cadillac I wrote in my sleep and was
influenced by a vintage car show I went to in Boston when I played a show at
Berklee College of Music.
I wrote I’m Waiting For A Miracle when the Bataclan Club
was bombed in Paris. Some friends were there and we were texting all night abut
the situation. After the sun came up I wrote the song.
Sad Corners of Her Eyes I wrote for Marilyn Monroe. She
was way ahead of her time as an actress and film producer. She overcame many
obstacles in her life but never found the love an recognition she longed for.
Lamitschka: What is the difference between your
last CD and your current one?
Answer: I feel that the current release is a
little more accesible although I Sang Patsy Cline has become a mainstay and
crowd favorite. Buscando Por Ti is also a mainstay.
Lamitschka: Your current single is being played by
radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to
Answer: So far, the songs are all getting airplay so
it would be difficult to pick a radio favorite at this time.
Lamitschka: What kind of songs do you like to
record the most?
Answer: I like a lot of diversity. I never
want the songs on my cd to sound the same. My personal favorites are the more
Lamitschka: What is your favorite song among all
the songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?
Answer: It would be difficult to chose a
favorite. It varies from day to day. The current song Dangerous Edeavor is a
favorite. The title cut from the next CD The Crossroads of Hell and Spijkerboor
is a second favorite. As for older favorites, Nowhere Mexico, Stale Wine and
Roses, Silence Speaks Louder Than Words, High and Lonesome.
Lamitschka: How much creative control do you have
over your music?
Answer: When I write, I hear all of the instruments
like it was on the radio, so I try to recreate that in the studio. I have been
working with John Inmon for a few years now and he is great to work with in the
studio. He understands immediately when I explain what I am looking for.
Sometimes I don’t have to say a word.
Lamitschka: There’s a lot of work that goes into a number
one hit. What did it take to make it in your case?
Answer: Writing and recording is the easy
part. The press and airplay is the hard part. I am fortunate to have a
publicist that I enjoy working with.
Lamitschka: Do you have any interesting stories
about how fans have been affected by your music?
Answer: I was playing a live radio show in
Helsinki and the last song I played was The Long Slow Decine of Carmelita. I
had recently written it and it’s a long, sad, song so I was looking down trying
to remember the words and didn’t look up until the last verse. When I started
playing it there were about 8 people in the control room. When I looked up at
the end of the song, there were about 30 people crammed into the room and tears
were streaming down the faces of many of the people. I will never forget that
moment. I realized how much music affected people and have never forgotten
Lamitschka: Who inspires you musically and how deep
do your musical roots run?
Answer: Townes, Warren Zevon, Dylan, Lightnin
Hopkins, and Robert Johnson were some of my influences. I learned to play a toy
zylophone when I was still crawling and continued to play. I played percussion
in the Jr. High symphony.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music
scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?
Answer: When I started out playing, I could
make a good living just selling CD’s. Now, the only income if from gigs and
touring. It has affected the music industry in that there is no longer funds or
time to create quality music. It is more about speed.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music
Answer: The music industry is now assembly
line and much of it isn’t music, it’s angry poetry and doesn’t require playing
an instrument, which is fine but call it what it is.
Lamitschka: If you had the chance to change
something about the music industry, what would it be?
Answer: Royalties for music would make a huge
difference. Especially in the US where you only get writers and not performers
royalties. In EU they pay both.
Lamitschka: As an artist, you so many tasks such as
recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your favorite
Answer: Touring and performing. I like playing
and interacting with the audience and I like traveling. I also like writing and
being in the studio. I hate booking.
Lamitschka: What was your big break that got you
into the music business?
Answer: I’ve been in the music business since
I was a teenager and was playing for a living.
Lamitschka: Before you became a star, were your
friends and family supportive or was it a struggle?
Answer: I don’t have any family except for
many really good friends. They were always very supportive of me and it made
all the difference in the world.
Lamitschka: What inspired you to become an artist?
Answer: Singing along with the radio when I
was very young.
Lamitschka: What inspired you to become a
Answer: I started writing when I was about 12
and really enjoyed it. I knew right away that it was what I wanted to do. I
also knew I wanted to be a literary writer and I just finished writing a book.
It’s a collection of road stories called Wild Ride and I am looking for an
Lamitschka: What drives you?
Answer: I have
huge work ethic and work constantly. I love seeing a CD take shape and
released into the world.
Lamitschka: What’s unique about you that will
differentiate you from other artists?
Answer: Lots of crazy stories that people can
identify with that are put into song and grab the attention.
Lamitschka: What has been your greatest challenge
in music business?
Lamitschka: What moments in your career stand out
in your memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?
Answer: I was honored to be invited to perform
at Berklee College of Music. I was invited to play a house concert in
Washington DC for Barry Lynn, previous head of Americans United for Separation
of Church and State for the whose who of DC.
Lamitschka: Who is your biggest critic, yourself or
Answer: Myself, by far.
Lamitschka: When you get time off, how do you like
Answer: I am an avid gardener and grown most
of my own food. When I feel myself flying into the ethernet, I dig in the dirt
and literaly ground myself.
Lamitschka: Is there anything in your life that you
would change if you could?
Answer: Booking. lol
Lamitschka: What hopes and desires do you have?
Answer: I would like to have better and more
gigs. I took time off to write the book and am now building up my booking
Lamitschka: What has been the biggest
disappointment in your life?
Answer: Not finding stability sooner in my
Lamitschka: Many European fans travel to the United
States to attend the several of the music festivals for the opportunity to see
so many of their favorite artists, bands and celebrities. Will you be
participating and how will the fans be able to find you?
Answer: My website www.biancamusic.com has all of my tour
schedule and cd info.
Lamitschka: Is there any place you haven’t played
that you would like to?
Answer: Too many to mention.
Lamitschka: What can your fans expect to see when
they see you in concert?
Answer: I usually play solo or sometimes with
a sideperson. I fingerpick and flat pick and tell the stories behind the songs.
I welcome audience participation if people have question. It makes a very
Lamitschka: When you’re on tour, do you have time
to play tourist?
Answer: I always schedule time to play the tourist.
I have been to the Louvre in Paris and seen the Mona Lisa, I saw the David at
the Uffizi in Firenza, I saw the Van Gogh and Gaugin exhibit in Amsterdam, and
the Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. I played in the walled cities
of Wurzburg and Bamberg, Germany.
Lamitschka: Many music fans today get their
information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will
fans find there?
Answer: I have a very extensive site www.biancamusic.com where fans will find
mp3’s, press, tour schedule, photos, videos and links to my youtube channel,
and info about my book.
What’s the best compliment a fan has ever given you?
Answer: When I first started touring The
Netherlands, I sang a song about something that happened to me. After the show,
a fan came up and asked the story behind the song. I was a little afraid to
talk about it since there were some illegal things mentioned in the song, so I
said I just made it up, I’m a writer.“
He said liar!“ and walked away. I realized that I had written to song well
enough to be belivable and I needed to own up to it. After that, I started
telling the stories behind the songs. He didn’t mean it as a compliment but I
learned about myself from that incident.
Lamitschka: What message would you like to send
your European fans?
Answer: I’ll be there in October in the
Netherlands and possibly Germany.
Lamitschka: You have a new love in your life? Can
you tell us something about it?
Answer: In between at the moment.
Lamitschka: Fans are always hungry for good road
stories. Do you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?
Answer: Last year I was touring NL and DE. I
played in NW Netherlands and caught the train very early to go to Wurtzburg to
play the next day. The first train broke down, the second train ran over
someone, the third train had Unexploded ordinance“ so my guitar player and
co-performer was already at the gig. He was giving the audience a blow by blow
description so when I walked in about 20 min late the audience stood up and
applauded. I walked up to the stage with my suitcase and guitar and plugged in
and started playing. I wanted something to go right. The reviw the next day
said She didn’t stop for a drink or
bathroom break, she walked in, she plugged in, and she brung it.
Lamitschka: Describe what a perfect day is like for
Answer: Any day I have a new song or a great
gig is a perfect day.