News Bands 1QI: Laura Stevenson, Tidemouth, DJ Trackstar, The Space Merchants

1QI: Laura Stevenson, Tidemouth, DJ Trackstar, The Space Merchants

Posted July 13, 2015, 2:02 p.m. in Bands by Cheryl
1QI: Laura Stevenson, Tidemouth, DJ Trackstar, The Space Merchants

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday.


After our social media followers get the first word, we post a wrap-up here at the site and archive them here. This week check out Q&As with Laura Stevenson, Tidemouth, DJ Trackstar and The Space Merchants.

Laura Stevenson

SPB: What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about performance since moving to a solo approach?

Laura: So the biggest thing I've learned about performance since I began a solo-approach. I'd have to say pacing. I used to be oblivious to how important that is, and I would fly through songs when I played solo because I was nervous and not focusing on the whole. I was just like, in my head, "Okay you got through that verse and didn't forget anything, next verse hope that'll be okay"…and that would be my internal monologue throughout the entire set which is a really bad thing. Not only does it distract you from the experience, but it disconnects you from the audience and from the words you're singing and helps to feed anxiety and it just basically turns you into a nervous, sweaty, twitchy person and makes you wonder why people paid money to come and see you act crazy in front of them.  

Anyway, two years ago my band was on a tour that really changed everything for me. The headliner was Tim Kasher, who is the best, and Jake Bellows opened about a week of the shows. It was crazy to watch Jake play solo every night and be the most incredible, engaging, magnetic singer I had ever seen. And he never rushed it, he just had the best pacing. Everything was so controlled but also really loose and honest. He's kind of the model for what I wish I could do and how I wish I could perform. He just sucks you right in and makes you feel so lucky to be watching him play. So, yeah, pacing. Just play the song and get in it every time and don't worry about anything else. If you fuck up, chances are everyone will be on your side. 

Mike Kilker (Tidemouth-vocals)


SPB: What do you think of bands playing an entire album as a tour concept?

Mike: I love when bands that haven't toured in a while play an old record that everyone knows, the record that made people fall in love. I'm a nostalgic guy. On the other hand, if your new record just came out, and although it may be a banger, it's not the reason I'm here. Play me some greatest hits, Dad.

DJ Trackstar

SPB: Do you feel the value of a DJ has diminished in present day hip-hop? If so, do you see a resurgence on the horizon? 

DJ Trackstar: Compared to a couple decades ago, I'd say it definitely has. Recorded hip-hop definitely features far fewer scratches than they used to--in the 80s and 90s, a lot of albums would have entire songs dedicated to the DJ! As far as performance, I think having a DJ keeping the pace and adding scratches is still a really important part of any live hip-hop show. A lot of artists travel without one, just using whoever the house DJ is at the venue--at worst it can be a disaster, and even at best it doesn't compare to the polish of an act that has established trust and communication with their own guy. Hopefully this next generation of youth who have come up with a huge exposure to EDM culture may value the role differently since they will be more accustomed to seeing DJs as the centerpiece of performances.

Michael Guggino (The Space Merchants)

SPB: What is your primary tour food? 

Michael: We really don't have a primary tour food, though we are very into food. We always like to get the standout food in the cities we tour. Like pulled pork sandwiches at Tony Luke's in Philly or Joe's Kansas City BBQ. Ani is a vegetarian so she is the only one with any kind of limitations. We are the kind of band that would give up a hotel or somewhere comfortable to sleep to eat a good meal. I used to do sound on a cooking show where I followed Little Big Town singer Kimberly Schlapman around the country while she went to farms and restaurants. Needless to say I got to eat some amazing food and I take that chance to share some of the places I've been with the band. When we don't get to eat good food, snacks are key. We love snacks.


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