Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Interview with Kate Laurel Smith

Since we last emailed, you have recorded two new projects tell me a little about the recording process this time around for each.

Actually, the two projects I have released digitally are a collection of home recordings from the last three years. They are (partly) demos for the new project I'm working on, and just early songwriting demos. "Confessions" is a look at my life and outlook on the world circa Fall 2004-Spring 2005 and my move to Denver. This is ultimately a really intimate project that I recorded in a basement apartment with just acoustic and keys (much like "Sometimes" only with a little better engineering skills on my part). "Canvas Sky" is a collection of solo acoustic songwriting demos that were going to become the Roots/Americana project I thought I'd record with a full band, but then I ended up going more for the "pop-rock" project I'm working on now. Several of the songs that I'll be releasing fully-produced are included as acoustic tracks on these two home recordings.

You put together a band to record this time around how was the process for you?

This process was a huge learning curve for me, but only because I'm producing a project with a full band and haven't necessarily played with the instrumentation before. My biggest challenge was communicating my ideas to these guys, but they are all fantastic musicians and it was no obstacle for them to appropriately interpret my tunes with a little direction from me. Being in the studio with an engineer is also a luxury I haven't been afforded, so I've been able to concentrate on the writing and studio performance angles (a nice change).

You are a indie label owner (roaring twenties records). Tell me what advantages are there for you as an indie versus with partnering with a major label?

The advantages are obviously freedom and the potential to be the sole financial beneficiary of your songs' success. The drawback is the lack of financial backing/support going into the process, so it's obviously much slower going to get started. I lack the promotion that a major label (or even "big" indie) would garner.

Do you think that the internet evens the playing field for indie artists to compete with the majors?

I believe it helps. There is still the problem of lack of promotion, because just because you're on the 'net doesn't mean you won't be lost in all the millions of other musicians who have the same playing field as you do. However, it has given indie musicians access to be able to market to their fans in a way that was nearly inaccessible except to major labels previously. And there are the perks of the possibility of discovery through channels like MySpace, especially for artists who are approached for TV/film sync opportunities and the consequential exposure that is generated. With the popularity of itunes, and other avenues of downloading music from the internet what do you think the future of cds will be? I believe CD sales are down due to the popularity and success of digital distribution, however, there will always be the emotional connection of merch to the live show. People want to have something to hold and take home from their experience with the artist, and therefore "hard-copy" recordings will never entirely disappear. I could be wrong. Maybe someone will invent a machine that allows you to download tunes right at the show instead of buy a CD and the "hard-copy" craving will be satisfied instead with only t-shirts, stickers and swag. :)

What do you think the future holds for the Music Industry?

I believe there are changes coming down the pike. I'm not sure exactly where things are headed, but it's general knowledged at this point that a major label deal is no longer the gold-mine it used to be. There are opportunities for indie musicians to work hard and develop a career apart from the contract, and I believe that is most often the smart way to work these days.

Do you have any plans to tour nationally to support both projects?

Not these two home releases. Hopefully the new album will open some doors next year. I am currently playing regionally in Colorado.

If someone would like to book you for an event what would they need to do?

Write me. Call me., 720 470 1606. I'm still accessible. No third party manager here.

Thank you for your time.

You can check out kate on the web at or myspace


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