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Interview with Jan Seides

Interview
with the country singer Jan Seides
Jan
Seides is very well known as a
Singer,
Songwriter and also a Storyteller. Her
beautiful
self-penned songs are the basics of Jan Seides newest record “Siren
Song”. Her soft and relaxing lovely voice is the so-called ‘cherry
on the pie’.
To
understand what people think about her music, I let you enjoy with me
a comment a woman from Houston Texas made about one of her
performance.
,
Quote, “Jan’s performance was exceptional and she is a
delightful, gracious woman. Her music is heartfelt and touches the
soul when it isn’t carefree and just plain fun!  My guests were
enthralled with her performance and commented on her excellent
abilities, both vocal and instrumental.”, unquote,
So
I think that speaks for themselves!
Gaby:
Music
has many new fans throughout Europe, they may hear about you for the
first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you make,
to someone who has never seen, or heard about you?
Jan:
Lyrics-driven,
eclectic, down-home truths told with uptown flair. Heartfelt soulful
stories and snapshots, but with a touch of humor and wit.”
Some
of that is from actual reviews…..
Gaby:
What
is the name of your latest CD and how does it sell?
Jan:
The
CD is titled Siren Song. It’s at a local record store, on my
website and at CD Baby. And, of course, I sell it at gigs. That’s
the way it sells the best. At the end of a show, when people are
still enjoying the musical experience.
Gaby:
What
made you choose that title for the CD?  Is there a story behind
this?
Jan:
One
of the songs is titled “Femme Fatale”, and right up to the
meeting with the graphic designer, the CD was going to be called by
that title. But I was trying to describe to her what a femme fatale
was, and I said, “You know. Like in a 40s or 50s movie, like Lauren
Bacall or Jayne Mansfield. Like a siren song. Oh wait! I like that
better! There’s plenty of reference to the other kind of siren in
the songs too. Let’s call it that instead.”
Really,
It was that quick of a decision.
Gaby:
Do
you write the songs by yourself? If not, how do you manage to find
the perfect songs for your CD?
Jan:
Yes.
All the material is original, hard-won in the middle of the night
most of ‘em.
Gaby:
Please
tell us about the songs on your last album (influences, etc).
Jan:
I’m
very eclectic. There’s folk-influenced material (Joni, Nanci
Griffith, Judy Collins), Broadway influenced (mostly Rodgers and
Hammerstein, a little Sondheim), soft jazz, soft rock (Beatles, Moody
Blues), pop (mostly girl groups from the 60s) and the oddball stuff
(Yiddish and Hebrew songs my family sang). A lot depends on what I’ve
been listening to lately when I’m writing.
Gaby:
What
is the difference between your last and your current CD?
Jan:  
My
last CD before this was songs that were inspired by members of my
family, especially my kids. It was very simply produced, often just
me and an instrument. This one was fully produced, and a bit more
hard-edged. Not too much, but harder than the previous one.
Gaby:
What
do you think about today’s music industry?
Jan:
It’s
in such a state of flux; it’s hard to know how to answer this
question. The old model, Record companies holding the reins, is
clearly moribund. Radio is certainly not the driver of sales the way
it used to be. And the new model is changing so fast that assessing
it is difficult to impossible.
I
knew as soon as I knew anything about it, that the internet would be
the major vehicle for getting one’s music out or selling it. I
didn’t foresee that it would be so crammed, or that so much of
what’s on offer would be of such high quality. Yes, there’s a lot
of junk too, but it’s almost scary how much really good music there
is, and how many wonderfully talented musicians there are. No one
hears about a fairly large percentage of them, except for their local
community unless they are working really hard at marketing – which,
of course, takes time that most of them would rather spend making
music.
Some
vehicles for getting attention for your music strike me as more
viable than others: webcasting, crowd-funding, and a few support
sites like Patronize (started by my friend, John Pointer) which is
designed to work the way patrons worked in Mozart’s time.
My
hope is that this time of major change will settle into something
where the cream will rise to the top and all the really good music
will have all the support it needs. But we’re not there yet, and
we’ve got plenty of roads to travel before we are.

Gaby:

As
an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews.
What do you like most, what is your favorite activity?
Jan:
Writing
and performing. I like touring too, because I love traveling. Mostly,
I love communicating. My favorite moments playing are when I can see
the audience responding to what I’m doing on change. Taking the
hand of the person beside them, or visibly agreeing with the song’s
idea. Or leaning forward and taking in the details of the story.
That’s so nourishing to me. It makes me smile to think of it.
Gaby:
What
inspired you to become a songwriter?
Jan:
I
don’t recall ever having a choice, or rather, every choice I made
seemed to lead me to being one, regardless of what I might have
intended.
For
example, I have what they call “perfect pitch”, and before I
settled into being a songwriter, I used to write down other people’s
songs so they could get them copyrighted (You used to need a written
copy.) I didn’t realize right away that I was getting a crash
course in songwriting, until one night my first song was born, and I
knew exactly what not to do with it, having heard so many good and
bad songs.
Or
… my parents bought a piano when I was 4, for my older sister to
have lessons. (I was considered too young.) That’s when I found out
about the pitch thing – although it was years before I understood
that not everyone could do what I could do. My sister’s teacher
agreed, after much persuasion, to take me on as a student.
Or
finally, I’m standing in a line at University of Texas, where I had
planned to register as an undecided major. The line was to major in
music. My friend asked if I was going to do that, and I replied
casually, “Sure. Why not?” I pretty much bumbled my way to a
career in music, I guess.
Gaby:
What
is the motor that keeps you going?
Jan:
What’s
the next song going to be like?
I
can’t wait to find out!!!
Gaby:
Is
there any place on earth, you haven’t played yet, that you would like
capture?
Jan:
Israel
– For a variety of reasons. I’ve wanted to see Israel since I was a
teenager, and I want to play my music there. I really like the kind
of music that David Broza is doing and the reasons he’s doing it. I
would like to help work for the kind of change he promotes.
Gaby:
What
was the most enjoyable compliment, a fan has ever given to you?
Jan: 
I
think you just changed my mind.”
Gaby:
What
was your favorite song, which you wished you had recorded?
Jan:
From
a Distance
Gaby:
Thank
you very much Jan Seides, that you shared a few of your thoughts with
us. And if People want to see more about Jan Seides, here is the
place, where they can find her.
 
Interview
by Gaby Agrikola for Country Music News International

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