How did you get into music? Music has always really been a part of me. It's always been my passion. It's been something I wanted to do every since I was 15. I started (playing) when I was 21. Back in 2005, I met up with this producer in York, and I recorded some demos with him. At one point, I stopped working. . .with other producers and went on down my own path. (I found) who I was as a person versus, you know, who I wanted to be as an artist. I was a lot younger back then. Five years is a long time. A person can grow a lot and mature a lot.
What changed in those five years? I think, you know, I'm still trying to learn musically, and I'm still trying to figure some things out. In real life, aren't we all? I'm still doing the music thing, so I guess, you know, that speaks for itself.
You must get frustrated at times. Definitely. I've had my moments of frustration and all that. I figure just, "screw it . . . forget it." A minute later, I would come right back to it. Music is the way, you know, I express myself. My music is my life: What I've seen, what I've been through, what I've experienced, what I've been put through. Hopefully people can, like, find a way to relate and emote to the same feelings that I have. I think it's really important that, you know, people make music (about) their life and not, you know, the glamorous side of Hollywood . . . and the money and the cars. I think people need . . . to start making music that's more real.
What artists were influential to you? I like . . . various types of music. I guess to name a few: Fall Out Boy, The Fray, Dashboard Confessional, Howie Day (and) even people (who) aren't signed like Kingsfoil (and) Brandon Little. I've been to a big concert in August. It was up in Hershey with Fall Out Boy, Blink 182 and Panic at the Disco.
What do you want to do that sets you apart from the other musicians? What I strive to do with my music is that I try to make my music as real as possible. A lot of music is kind of about slick words and catchy phrases and stuff, but with my music, it's . . . more story-based. My first album is all under an umbrella concept. In a nutshell, it's like this kid in this town who has a heart full of dreams and wants to make it big. At the same time, (the kid) is scared to let go.
Did you have a good experience making your first album? I wouldn't say it was a good experience, and I wouldn't say it was a bad experience. For the most part, I would say it was alearning experience because I went down my own road. I've actually, like, learned a few things, which is I guess is good for any artist. I'm probably going to be working on a new album come the new year.
Do you think it's hard for original artists to book gigs in the area? Unfortunately, right now I don't have a car (to get to gigs.) I've heard some (bars) . . . only want people to play covers. Some places want people (who) are original. I'm not the cover type of artist or the tribute type of artist. I just want to stay as original as possible. I think that's . . . important. I don't think the (music) industry has enough of that.
Is that how you came up with your artist name? Yeah. That's exactly where the name came from. Even the name is real. (Laughs) All the things I've been through in life . . . all kind of go back to the name. As a teen, I've been to places that, you know, kids probably don't want to be like . . . juvies and foster homes and residential placements. I'm not a glamorous kid. I've been in some really dark places and really dark situations and that's where the name is coming from.
Is it important for you to talk about those things to be able to reach others in similar situations? Exactly. I get people writing me on MySpace all the time about how they like my music so much. They write little things about how they can relate.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF