Wednesday Q&A: Steel Threads
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I’m gonna be real honest here, who knew I would dig fiddles? ‘Cause usually when I even read about fiddles, I think of classical music and the thing I hate the most, besides that growling death metal crap, is classical music!

Man, I couldn’t have been more wrong with Steel Threads! Their sound, the beautiful harmony between the acoustic guitar, vocals and the violin… While it does have that REM-ish feel to it, they manage to grab your attention with their very unique style.

And that they did, grabbing my attention! So I made sure I got theirs, and at the end of this Q&A with the Steel Threads giveaway, I know we’ll be having yours… Trust me!

The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks?

Steel Threads (ST): Depends – American bucks, Australian Bucks, or the animal variety? We don’t have the capacity to transport 20 young male reindeer, I’m afraid. What do you think I am, Santa Claus?

TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?

ST: We are a Power-Folk/Rock band using guitar, fiddle, kick drum and vocal harmony to create uniqueness.

TDG: What are your roots?

ST: Neil’s roots are steeped in classic/heavy rock, brought up on Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Moody Blues and Black Sabbath. Laura on the other hand is a 90s kid and mostly enjoyed ‘bands’ like the Spice Girls and Whigfield while growing up! She was taught violin in a classical style though and played orchestral music as a teenager.

TDG: How long have you been working on your dalbum?

ST:For Those Who Are Left‘ is actually our second album! Neil wrote (almost) all the songs, some of them are old and some new. We spent about a year putting the whole thing together and it was released in October 2013.

TDG: How would you describe your sound?

ST: According to one reviewer, we are somewhere ‘in the space between Whitesnake and the Waterboys’! We’re not certain we agree with that. We know our music is quite difficult to pigeon-hole and we’re quite proud of our unique sound. It’s a sort of Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, Crowded House, Led Zeppelin jumble!

TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process?

ST: Usually Neil comes up with the main idea for chords and lyrics for a song and Laura embellishes it with counter-melodies and harmony.

TDG: Which aspect did you enjoy the most while working on your album?

ST: The songwriting has always been Neil’s favourite part of the process whereas Laura enjoyed hearing the evolution of the songs as parts were added and changed throughout production.

TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?

ST: We both have a strong musical energy deep within us which is boosted by the ideas and songs we come up with. So I guess we inspire each other!

TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?

ST: It’s very important! Music is a very emotional thing and it’s important for people to connect on a personal level and to feel involved with our music. We actually funded our album through, which required our fans to pay for the album in advance and they hadn’t even heard any of the songs at that point.

They pledged for the usual mp3 downloads and CDs, but also more personal touches such as for us to play at their house or record a cover song of their choice. It was a lot of fun and we were overwhelmed by the response and so grateful for the way they rallied for us – we hit our target way faster than expected too!

TDG: And social media is a big help in your opinion?

ST: In the sense that it makes us a lot more accessible, yes it is. On the other hand, it makes it a lot more difficult to stand out from the rest… There sure are a lot of musicians on the internet!

TDG: What do you do to stand out from all the rest on social media?

ST: It is very difficult as there are so many others asking for the attention, but we try to let our songs speak for themselves and keep all our images and updates entertaining in the best way we can.

TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?

ST: When people who haven’t heard of us see us set up for a gig and see the acoustic guitar and violin, they tend to assume we will be boring or dreary – they soon realise their mistake!

TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod or Spotify list?

ST: We don’t own an iPod, but Laura can’t stop listening to the Cure at the moment! Neil is rediscovering his love of Crowded House and Sunhouse.

TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?

ST: Be true to yourself and sound like yourself, and learn to be happy with that..

TDG: 2014 is funky fresh, but what do you have in store for us this year?

ST: We have a very full gig diary for this year including a few festival and support slots we’re really excited about! See the gig page on our website for some of the important dates for your diary!

TDG: Got any last words of wisdom you wanna lay down on us before we wrap this up?

ST: We would like to say a big hello to all our Dutch friends, especially Eddy Taatgen from Groningen! And thank you very much Mr Dutch Guy, we have enjoyed chatting with you!

Check in with Steel Threads on:
Twitter: @Steel_Threads
Facebook: /SteelThreads
iTunes: Steel Threads’ album ‘For Those Who Are Left’

Lauren Lanzaretta – Wounded Man
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I had an eyeball on Lauren for some time now. I asked her if she could give me a sneaky-peek of what was coming. Even threw in my Dutch charmes, and still I had to wait like anyone else. But dayum! It was definitely worth the wait!

Wounded Man‘ is the soulful, sexy horns filled single of her soon to drop debut album ‘Naked Soul‘. And I for one am really looking forward to check it out, ’cause if the album is just as smooth as her pipes, we are in for a real treat!

My Dutch charmes did pay off in the end, ’cause Lauren agreed to do a Wednesday Q&A with me, when her album has dropped. Thank god, I haven’t completely lost my touch…

Check in with Lauren Lanzaretta on:
Twitter: @Lanzaretta
Facebook: /Lanzaretta

Sunday Smooth Groove: Kenya SoulSinger
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During the week, people are busy. Busy working, busy networking and when Fridays hits, usually partying. So when Sunday does come, it’s nice to wind down and be with the one who really matters…

‘Cause singer/songwriter Kenya SoulSinger got it right ya know. You gotta love that special someone to life. Let love be indeed your natural high…

So pop on this weeks Sunday Smooth Groove, grab your loved one, cuddle up on the sofa and whisper softly… ‘Love You To Life‘…

Check in with Kenya SoulSinger on:
Twitter: @SimplyKenya1
Facebook: /KenyaSoulSinger
iTunes: Kenya SoulSinger’s single ‘Love You To Life’

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