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23 July, 2010 11:56 PM
Published by MDS
Bess Rogers is an american singer/songwriter who, apart from developing a solo carrer, takes part in two different bands and has been touring with Ingrid Michaelson and Leila Broussard. I got the chance to interview this really interesting artist some time ago. The interview was initially much longer, but she could only answer this, which is ok. She is really great! The fourth-pice-all-Bess band in the video is magnific. And her voice ... WOW
Read the interview, check her latest music video for "I Don't Worry" and see where you can pre-order her EP after the JUMP ...
*Who is Bess Rogers by Bess Rogers?
Defining myself is a very difficult thing for me to do and I think that's the same for many artists. I write songs from my heart and my mind, and both of those places are fairly complex. I'm always changing and growing and as a person and I think my music reflects that. I prefer to let listeners/writers describe what they hear so I can focus on making music without any confines.
*Who would you name as your biggest influence/es?
I grew up listening to a lot of great music: R.E.M., Joni Mitchell, The Talking Heads, The Beatles, and a ton of classical music. As a teen I discovered Elliott Smith, Rufus Wainwright, Belle and Sebastien, Neutral Milk Hotel, Juliana Hatfield, the list goes on. Lately I've been really into Laura Veirs and David Bazan. But everything that I listen to influences me in one way or the other. Sometimes I don't realize it until it's sneaked its way into a song.
*What would be your first singing experience?
I started singing in my church choir when I was about 9. I actually joined the church out of peer pressure (my parents didn't raise me any religion). I felt like in order to fit in I needed to be part of a religion and so for a few years I attended a Methodist Church. The religious part of it didn't stick but I had a wonderful experience singing in the choir and continued to do so all the way through college. My choir director was probably the best music teacher that I ever had because she made learning about music fun.
*You've toured with Ingrid Michaelson for a while, How would you describe that experience?
Touring with Ingrid is a total blast. Not only is she a great person and a great friend, but I've learned a lot about the business through working with her. I met her through my husband, Chris Kuffner, who plays bass in the band. He had been playing with her for a few years because they both grew up on Staten Island. Eventually she was in need of a new guitarist and I stepped in. The rest is history.
*Leila Broussard and you went on tour too, Do you consider you have very similar voices?
I think Lelia and I are very different singers actually. She's got an incredibly soulful and big voice and she's an amazing talent. I think our musical differences compliment each other well.
*You also take part in two different bands, Do you prefer playing in a group or as a solo artist?
I love doing both which is why I do it. At this point most of my time is spent either playing with Ingrid or working on my solo stuff. If I had all the time in the world I'd do everything as much I could. I love playing different instruments and contributing to other people's songs. I think it inspires my own music and helps me grow as an artist.
*What else can you tell me about The Age Of Rockets, What's the name meaning and how did you meet?
The band name came from Andrew, the main singer and writer of the group. I'm not sure exactly what it means. We all met at SUNY Purchase, where we went to college together.
*You released "Hannah" in 2008, Are you working on a third album together now? How can we expect it to be?
Andrew is currently doing the bulk of the work on the next record but when Saul (who's the newest member of the Ingrid band and also a member of the Age of Rockets) and I get back from tour we're going to put all of our heads together and see how we can contribute. We'll probably be working on it with him whenever we're around throughout the fall.
* "The Flux Capacitors" is the other band you take part in, tell me about it's name and how did you meet ...
The name comes from Back To the Future: it's the invention that allows them to time travel. We cover 80's songs but in a country/bluegrass style. I chose the name because it's a 1980's reference.
*You are about to release a new EP, What can we expect of it?
Yes, my new EP is called Bess Rogers Presents Bess Rogers and it's coming out September 7th. I'm really excited about it. I've been playing these songs live for a while now and they are some of my favorites to play. Dan Romer produced it and did a fantastic job. I think people will really like it!
The album will be available for pre-order on August 3, 2010 HERE.