I N T E R V I E W :
Basic info about the band's lineup, history and discography. In addition, how the band got its name, discriptions of the band's music, writing process, influences and basic message.
Lineup: Lead Singer: Erika Amato * Bass: Jeff Stacy * Guitar: Brian Reardon * Keyboards: Marc Antonio* Guitar: Dan Wistrom* Drums: Brett Chassen * Drums and Electornics: Jeff Mince * Guitar: Arif. The band uses various combinations of these players both live and in the studio.
History: Velvet Chain is about 7 years old. The band was formed in L.A. by Jeff Stacy and Erika Amato and has released 3 full-length CD's, 2 EP's, and 1 Vinyl LP (club disc), not counting the band's first CD "Groovy Side," which was reworked and added to to create their first "official" release, which is called "WARM." The "WARM" album was released by indie record label Overall Records, which also funded the band's 1998 U.S. Tour.
Discography: 1994: 4 Song Demo 1; 1995: 4 Song Demo 2; 1996: Groovy Side CD; 1997: Warm CD 5; 1997: Warm Album; 1998: Frenchie Vinyl; 1999: The Buffy EP; 2000: Moody Groove Music Album; 2000: Velvet Chain Live at the Temple Bar Enhanced CD; 2001: The Velvet Chain Custom Album and related releases, including Velvet Chain Greatest Hits Vol. 1, Velvet Chain Soft Sounds, Jeff Stacy's Custom Velvet Chain Album, Velvet Chain Instrumentals Only, and Erika's Mix. (The next Velvet Chain studio album is in process and slated for spring 2001 release).
Band Name: The band is called Velvet Chain because that's what the band sounds like.
Description: It's hard to describe the music. It contains a lot of styles, and you can't really say what category it's in, or what it would be called. Perhaps, "sophisticated modern pop." It's like a new trippy form of pop music that uses all the elements of the existing pop/rock forms, all at once. So, for example, you get the trip-hop thing and the hard rock thing, and the gothic thing, and the jazz thing, the Moby thing, the cool Smiths picking guitar thing, the weird Eno thing, the Bowie thing, that 60's Burt Bacharach pop thing used in a lot of the Martini/Bachelor Pad stuff, the Portishead thing, the electronica thing, the Herbie Hancock/Tower of Power/James Brown full blown groove-funk thing, the classic rock guitar thing (yes, we do guitar solos), the whacked-out hip-hop remix thing, including the turntable thing, the James Bond thing, the spoken-word art-house eclectic thing, a little blues, a lot of the Cure and the dark stuff from the early Eighties, a lot grooved-out type stuff, and a lot of bass.
Influences: The primary influence on the band's music is early Roxy Music and 70's funk. Favorite current band would have to be Radiohead (although Velvet Chain does not sound too much like Radiohead).
What Velvet Chain is NOT: Don't do much rapping (unless it's in French). We don't do a lot of heavy metal stuff (although it's not off-limits), and we really don't like any of the cheesey, corporate production crap currently inhabiting top 40 radio.
Lyrics: About 90 percent of the lyrics are written by Jeff Stacy.
Music: About 75 percent of the music is written by Jeff Stacy.
Message: Basically, our message is that there's no rules. You should do what inspires you because that's why you are here. If we make a mark on the music world, it will not be because we were the best at following all the rules or emulating the most current market trend. It will be because we had an artistic vision and connected with a lot of people in a powerful way. We make our music with a heavily artistic philosophy, with more recpect given to creativity than to commercial marketibility. We have faith in and completely trust our instincts, do exactly what WE think the coolest thing is, and we don't follow anybody. We believe that in the arts, you really have to be new and unique in order to be truly notable -- otherwise it's not art, it's manufacturing. Our success thus far has been based on this, and our future success will be too. Van Gogh or Picasso would never have painted what they did if they concerned themselves with painting what they thought would maximize sales. We think music and life should be the same way, and you should always make sure you're painting your own painting.
Influences and appreciations -- bands, movies, books, people: Bands/Artists: Roxy Music, Bowie, Sting, the Police, Eno, Fripp, U2, Portishead, Radiohead, Garbage, Beck, Beatles, Mancini, Bacharach, Sinatra, Herbie Hancock / Movies: Blade Runner, Cookoo's Nest, 2001 a Space Odyssey / Books: Issac Asimov, John Steinbeck.
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