“Sick of this Town is about being restless in your home town, wanting to leave before it swallows you whole. I wrote it about Toronto, Ontario, The place where I grew up. Trying to be successful musician in such a music Mecca of a city is hard and the game is tough. There is a lot of competition and a lot of back stabbing that doesn’t get talked about much. People were so quick to step over you on their way to the top. ” – @1dianacatherine
Live Interview February 25 6:20 pm et
Episode #301 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/02/25/episode-301-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW DIANA CATHERINE
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Music was a big part of my childhood…
I remember my parents playing music all the time, everything from Pink Floyd to BB King. It just became such an important part of my life, then when I was 11 my dad gave me his old acoustic guitar and it was all downhill from there. In high school and through college I was always in a band. Once I graduated college I decided to really try to put together a serious band, one that I could start touring with. That band was called Left of the Sun, although that band never really got out of playing around my home province of Ontario, my next band Diana Catherine and the Thrusty Tweeters did. We toured all over Canada and the US. What inspired me to start pursuing music as a career was the fact that nothing else in my life made me as happy as playing music and writing songs. I knew that it would be a long hard struggle but at least it was more satisfying than sitting behind some desk somewhere always wondering if my dream could have come true. I had to try and if I failed at least I tried.
Sick of this Town…
This song is about being restless in your home town, wanting to leave before it swallows you whole. I wrote it about Toronto, Ontario, The place where I grew up. Trying to be successful musician in such a music Mecca of a city is hard and the game is tough. There is a lot of competition and a lot of back stabbing that doesn’t get talked about much. People were so quick to step over you on their way to the top. It was sad that there wasn’t more of a sense of community. Don’t get me wrong there were some great people who supported me (as I did them) but at one point it felt like if I didn’t leave that place, all those games people play was going to drive me crazy. So I moved to Sarasota, Fl. I’m glad I did, I got out just in time. I can now look back on my home town with fondness instead of disgust.
Download the Artist: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/DianaCatherine
This last album of mine is very dear to my heart…
I started recording it in 2012 at the Spirit Ranch in Sarasota FL. I was going through a rebirth of sorts. I decided to go back to being a solo artist as my last band had just dissolved. It was a little scary but at the same time totally refreshing to not play with the people I’ve been use to for so many years.
I lined up the best players in town to help me record the album, Damon Fowler, Pedro Arevalo, Thorson Moore, the late Dan Toler (of the Allman Bros Band) and (my now husband) Berry Duane Oakley, Just to name a few. They pushed me to be a better player and to be more confident in my abilities. Especially Dan Toler, he pulled me aside after a session one day and said, “You got it kid, you really do. You’re a great songwriter, don’t stop”. (This was coming from a man who wrote with one of Americas greatest bands The Allman Brothers.) It was a little surreal, this girl from Canada now playing with some of my musical heroes.
During the pre production of the album I also got a very big surprise…
I found out I was pregnant. That definitely was an interesting hurdle thrown into the mix. By the time I was tracking vocals I was 6 months pregnant, it was like having two producers telling you what to do, I’d sing something and he’d move around and let me know “his thoughts” lol as my producer, Grammy nominated Bud Snyder, would tell me his through the control room.
It’s very hard to sing with a baby…
sitting on your diaphragm, you have no idea! lol. I completed the album after my son Declan was born, but with a new baby and a new husband and family (his 3 other children) I decided that I would put the release on hold for a while so I could put all of my focus on Declan. I’m so happy I did because my son is now 3 ½ and can understand that mommy needs to go back to work.
What my experience also taught me is…
that I don’t have to rush things anymore. I use to put out an album and immediately go on tour for months on end. Now I’m a little more relaxed about the process. I’ve release the album and it will take its course, it will do well or it won’t. Sometimes no amount of pushing will make an album succeed. I’m not going to let the “game” of the music industry get to me the way it did when I was younger. Things have changed so much and the industry is a different beast.
My music will find its way to the people who want to hear it…
and that is the greatest success I could ask for. Sure, I’d love for it to make money and help support my family but I get to play around my home town to wonderful fans from all over the world and come home to my son every night. If I get a chance to go on tour for the right money and the right reasons I’ll do it again but I can reach just as many people through YouTube and Periscope as I can from touring and I don’t have to miss my son grow.
I live in Venice, Florida…
but mostly play in and around the south western Florida area. The music scene on the west coast of Florida is the best kept secret in the world. The quality of players here is just incredible. There is very real sense of community both from the fans and the players. Plus, being so close to the beach is a real perk! I’m a real tree hugger and I love being outside in nature. I love to grab an acoustic guitar and head down to the beach, the drum circles are also awesome. Outside of the ridiculous politics (which I don’t agree with) it truly is a beautiful place to live.
The Music business…
is just that, a business with one thing in mind, making money. Unfortunately most of the musicians today only care about the bottom dollar and not about the craft of song writing. It’s definitely not like it was in the 60’s and 70’s anymore, which in some ways makes me sad. The unfortunate part is the best of the best music will never be heard on “popular” radio. Without the support from smaller stations, college radio and internet radio great music may never be heard unless you see the band live.
There is also no A&R anymore; bands don’t have a support system to help them grow. It’s a wham bam thank you ma’am business, give me a hit single or get out of my way. Also, being a female in the industry has its downfalls.
There is always someone with lots of money willing to take you to the top if you can just shed a few more layers of clothes.
However, this is something that I’ve developed a thick skin to. Thankfully there are those out there that don’t put stock in appearance but the quality of what they are hearing. I’ve always believed that music touches a part of your soul, and that has no color, creed, sexual preference, what have you. Inside we are all the same we get sad we get happy and that is all universal. So it’s the fans who give me hope, not the business. Not that the business use to be better, it was always a little slimy, but today it just seems more so than ever. However in saying that, it is nice that the internet affords the artist today to take control of their own career. We are needing the big record companies less and less and hopefully they will go away completely in the next 10 years.. lol
What I like about social media is…
the connection you can make with people who live all over the world. Before this you couldn’t really make fans in another country without going there. Now I can connect with people from the comfort of my own home and that is awesome! Fortunately I have yet to see any bad from my dealings with social media, although I’m sure one day I’ll say something that will piss someone off and I’ll see the back lash from it. It sucks that there can be so much bullying on it. But that is just the nature of some people and it’s the unfortunate side to the human race, in real life or online.
Singles vs an album…
In today’s day in age it makes more sense to release a single, it costs less and you can gain just as much traction form one song as you can from an album. I’m just a little old school in the sense that I like to listen to albums, so that’s what I make. There is something special about albums, to me it’s like reading a book; I want an entire story not just a chapter.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with….
Tom Petty, he is my biggest influence. I love his writing and his style and I like the way he does business. That, to him, song writers have a responsibility to the music they create. I think this quote says it best “When I was a young rock & roll star, I was really fascinated and shocked at times by the power that I had, by the power of my words, and shocked that it can be taken wrong. I don’t believe in censorship, but I do believe that an artist has to take some moral responsibility for what he or she is putting out there. And I think a lot of these young kids are going to have to learn the hard way before they realize that you can actually do some damage if you’re being careless or frivolous in what you’re saying.”
Being current and trendy…
Yes, there is way too much emphasis on being trendy. I don’t think I’ve never been trendy, I don’t make trendy music. I make what comes out of me; I’m not trying to write a song so it will get played on the radio. I write songs and hope that someone will like it enough to play it on the radio or use it in a commercial/tv/movie. This is who I am and how I write and if you don’t like it then please move along. I’m sure there is someone else out there that will disagree. To me music is as personal as sexual preference; you just like what you like. It’s not a choice, it’s how you feel. I like all kinds of music from Metal to Hip Hop, if it’s something I can connect to and it makes me feel something then I like it. And that’s how I figure others will see my music, they either like it or they don’t.
I am most afraid of…
The State of the world ie. Global Warming Donald Trump actually becoming president… I think that scares me the most!
My personal definition of success is..
when a fan comes up to me and relates to a song that I wrote. For instance, a woman came up to me after a show and explained how my last album really helped her through a really bad break up. The woman had been a victim of domestic abuse and she finally got the courage to leave him. She explained that the strength in my voice gave her strength to find hers. We both shared a good cry together. It really touched me and it made me realize this is why I do what I do. I was that person, listening to certain albums until the cd’s skipped, it helped with the pain of life. I’m glad I can help others the way my heroes helped me.
My over all goal for my life & career is…
To keep making music and playing live for as long as I can, with hope that I can make enough to squirrel some away so my son can go to college. I don’t need to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone or make millions. I mean, if that happened then great but it’s not really my goal.
3 Ways that I challenge myself and how each one moves me forward towards my goal.
1) I challenge myself to write as frequently as I can. The more you write the better chance you have at writing a really good song.
2) I challenge myself to learn more about my instrument. Practice makes perfect and there is always something new to learn.
3) I Challenge myself to be positive. This can be a hard career choice and some days are better than other. However, I’m a firm believer is negativity breads negativity and positivity breads positivity.
Where to buy: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/DianaCatherine