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Jun
27

HYDROVIBE

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HYDROVIBE INTERVIEW

Afresh: What is your name, and name your group/band/act?

Mat Dauzat, Heather St. Marie:  Hydrovibe

Afresh: Where are the artists from?  What is their talent in the group?

Heather St. Marie:  vocals (from South Louisiana)

Mat Dauzat:  guitarist / vocals (from North Louisiana)

Philippe Mathys:  drums (from Switzerland)

Eliot Lorango:  bass (from Southern California)

Afresh: How did the band get the name?

Heather:  Mat coined the name while trying to describe the sound of a vintage guitar effects pedal he had been given.  It had “sort a trippy, watery vibe…. a hydro vibe… HEY, THAT’S A GREAT BAND NAME!!!”  It stuck.

Afresh: How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

Heather:  We are straight up female-fronted heavy melodic rock.  Big, passionate vocal melodies supported by periodic walls of solid vocal harmonies over blazing guitar riffs and groove-oriented, well-crafted rock songs.

Afresh: Give me some details about the group/act/art?

Heather:  Hydrovibe had its early formative beginnings in North Louisiana where / when Mat and I began writing music and forming plans to form the band in Los Angeles.  We moved to L.A. in late 2002 and Mat immediately was recruited by Sharon and Kelly Osbourne to play lead guitar in her band.  He took off to tour the world for about two years with Kelly – spreading the word about Hydrovibe abroad and continuing to collaborate with me on music via the internet.  We began recording demos of the new music and releasing them on our MySpace page.  The labels began to take notice and soon we had major label funding to back our recording efforts.  With all the radical changes going on in the industry, however, we decided that a major label was not a proper home for Hydrovibe at that time and decided to forge ahead as an independent band.  After an exhausting band member search, we solidified Hydrovibe’s lineup in mid 2006, recorded our EP “Killer Inside”, got the title track placed in the blockbuster hit movie SAW III and the SAW III Soundtrack, did our first show as a band with Static X at Rain in the Palms Casino in Las Vegas for the SAW III Movie Premier, and hit the road with Amity Lane (Trust Company) for METAL EDGE Magazine’s “Corporate Punishment Tour”.  We ended up staying on the road touring solidly for about 2 years, then returned home to Los Angeles to record our full-length album.  “Nothing Left To Lose” was released late last year and we teamed up with independent rock label SPINNING in Tokyo to release the album in Japan in March.

Afresh: How long have you been performing live or making art?

Mat:  I didn’t really start performing until right after high school.

Heather: I sang in public for the first time when I was 15 for a school talent show.  But I was never in a band until I joined Hydrovibe.

Philippe: I played my first school concert on drum set in 4th grade.

Eliot:  I’ve been doing shows since I was 16 years old so that would make it 8 years as of now BUT I did perform Cliff Burton’s (Metallica) bass solo when I was 15 at my high school’s talent show but I’m not sure I’d call that a performance!

Afresh: Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

Heather:  Mat and I met in North Louisiana, and we met the other two guys in Los Angeles.  We’ve been together since mid 2006.

Afresh: What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

Mat:  Money struggles affect every group in the beginning, and we are no exception.  A new band is an upstart business – it can take years before any real money is made.  It’s always a challenge to keep the personal finances covered while working full-time at a job that doesn’t bring in a lot of money, so it’s always a fine balancing act of risk management and money management.

Afresh: You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

Heather:  Believe me, we are no strangers to starving!  Starving for your art is easily justified, however, when feeding the mind and soul’s appetite for creative nourishment.

Afresh:  Do you feel the economic crunch has hurt the industry, or do you have some other promotional tips to help support your music?

The economic crunch has hurt every industry, but industries that are viewed as “non-essential” (such as arts and entertainment) have been hit worse.  We’ve certainly felt the squeeze and have been forced to be more selective about our touring schedule because of it.  Fortunately we have been immersed in the wave of promotion associated with our album release in Japan (where the music market is currently much healthier than ours here in the US), so we have still been enjoying strong forward progress for our band while we’ve been off the road.  The economic downturn has tapered off a bit, so it is perfect timing for us as we are launching back out on the road in the coming months.

Afresh: Art & Music has an impact on both young and old.  Everyone loves a celebrity, so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

Heather:  EMBRACE MUSIC!  If you are a musician, BE A MUSICIAN!  Make the best and most honest music you can to share with the rest of us.  If you are a fan, BE A FAN!  Support the musicians that are making the music – buy their CD and merch, go to their shows to support, and tell all your friends about them.  Independent music is solely driven by fan support.

Afresh: What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

Heather:  I am very lucky to have a family who believe in the arts and in following dreams.  They have always been supportive of Hydrovibe.  But I think once they saw this lineup and really saw what we’re capable of onstage that they REALLY got behind it and became my super-fans.  My immediate family and cousins in my extended family are amazing; they buy all the merch and promote as much as they can.  My cousin – who’s like a sister to me – even bought ads on the local cable channel when we played my hometown for the first time!  Being in a band is like being on a rollercoaster… Big ups and big downs.  And I don’t think I would have the ability to cope with this as well if I didn’t have such a supportive and amazing family behind me.

Mat:  My family is always supportive of whatever I do, but they were VERY reluctant in the beginning.  They knew that the pursuit of music was sure to be a long, hard road and nobody wants to see their kids have to go through that sort of struggle.  The first time they actually saw me perform on stage, however, their attitudes changed drastically.  Once they witnessed my passion and drive, they got behind me 100%.

Eliot:  My parents and my brother have always been incredibly supportive of me being in a band and more so just pursuing music. Better yet, they support me just being music to the full extent and I’m quite blessed to say the least. My family especially enjoys hearing about the random sites and characters that the road brings!

Philippe: My family supported me to leave my home country Switzerland to study music and then pursue the dream of playing drums in a band….they knew from early on that this was my passion and believe and are 100% behind the cause.

Afresh: What is your stance on how to get the public to support “live music” and see the shows?  Any ideas???

Mat:  Check out this graph that illuminates the amount of downloads we’d have to sell before we’d even make minimum wage – http://altreport.hipsterrunoff.com/2010/04/how-many-mp3s-albums-streams-must-an-artist-sell-to-make-minimum-wage.html
The more we can educate the fans that we rely solely on their support to even keep our business afloat, the better off we’ll all be.  Independent musicians are up against great hurdles in making a sufficient living via downloads and other online sales, so we lean heavily on our touring business and merchandise sales at live shows to sustain.  Without the support, we’d not be able to afford to take our live show on the road.  It is important for fans to understand that their support and show attendance is crucial to the continuation of their favorite bands’ careers.

Afresh: Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

Heather: Yes, my family is very artistic and musical.  All my cousins draw and paint… and quite a few play musical instruments.  My aunt plays piano by ear, and one cousin went to college to be a music professor. But, you know, I think it must be something in the water down the bayou cause almost every cajun I know is musical to some degree!

Mat:  My family are music fans, but I’m really the only one in my family that has actually pursued music whatsoever.

Eliot:  My whole family loves music. My dad played piano and drums growing up, his uncle plays the sax (still to this day too playing big band music) and my late uncle, Thomas Lorango, was an amazing classical pianist (you can still find some stuff on Amazon I believe). My brother also can play around on piano a bit and not to mention we have been starting to write some music and songs together as well which is progressing very nicely!!

Philippe: my uncle is a drummer and my mom plays the piano really well. i was exposed to a lot of different styles of music very early on in my child hood.

Afresh: Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?

Heather:  We all have greatly diverse interests and tastes in music, but a love of rock music is our common ground.

Afresh: Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Mat:  I’ve been a studio rat for years and have always been very much into the processes of making studio recordings.  I’ve learned lots over the years and have begun applying those skills and talents to other bands, taking on production projects when I get the chance.

Heather: I am a freelance graphic designer working for New Level Graphics – the company behind Hydrovibe’s website and merchandise.  I also paint, draw, make jewelry and sew.  I’m working on some things to sell in Hydrovibe’s online store sometime in the future…

Eliot:  Hmm… most of my thoughts and interests remain around music, philosophy, religion, and politics so I’d say nothing too out of the ordinary.

Philippe: I’m interested in anything drum related and can appreciate pretty much any form of artistic expression, any style of music, paintings, movies etc…..

Afresh: What has been your strong influence to continue performing?

Heather:  We are passionate about our live show in general, and we pride ourselves on having one of the most intense live shows around.  There is nothing quite like the electricity and fury of a Hydrovibe performance… it invigorates us and keeps us energized daily.

Mat:  The two main driving forces behind Hydrovibe are:  #1 – THE LOVE OF MUSIC, and #2 – THE FANS’ SUPPORT.

Afresh: Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?

Heather:  We are extremely diverse in our influences and musical backgrounds… it’s one of the most interesting aspects of our band.  Rolling down the highway in the Hydrovibe van, you’d hear a surprisingly eclectic mix of music from metal to pop and everything in between!  Our common ground, however, is just good ‘ole ROCK MUSIC!

Afresh: Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?

Heather:  Each song comes to life in a different way, so it would depend on the song.  Of late, the band guys have been recording music and I sit with the songs to come up with the melodies and lyrics… which seems to work well.  We have several new songs that we are very excited about!

Afresh: If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?

Mat:  The only thing that I’d change is that I wish we had the financial freedom to fully dedicate ourselves to our art.  Hydrovibe makes great progress as is, but if we didn’t have to spend time and energy convening ourselves with personal and band business finances, our efficiency would increase by leaps and bounds.  Any adversity or hurdles that the band faces always seem to boil down to financial scenarios…. and whereas we don’t mind a good challenge, it would be nice to spend our time and efforts on other things than overcoming financial hurdles!

Afresh: Have you ever had any strange or stalker type fans that you are aware of?

Heather:  We have certainly met some very interesting people along the way as you can imagine, but our fans are all very cool and supportive.  Thankfully no crazy stalkers as of yet!

Afresh: While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans who snuck in to the dressing room/rehearsal?

Mat:  That’s not an issue because you can usually find Hydrovibe in the crowd supporting the opening bands before our show.  We are an extremely accessible band… we don’t hide in our touring vehicle and dressing rooms.  We WANT to meet the fans and hang out with them!

Afresh: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment if you care to share it with us?

We were about to play to a crowd of 650+ people in Tallahassee, Florida and we had this great suspenseful intro to our show that went into our song “Disconnect Me”.  We began the intro and the suspense building into the opening riff of the song, Heather walks onstage and the crowd goes wild…. then she was to count us in “one…two… three…” and we’d rock out the beginning of the song.  So, she counts us in and as the band kicks into the riff, my whole guitar rig shuts down, leaving Heather, Eliot, and Phil rocking out the song by themselves.  It was classic!  Luckily, we are a well-seasoned band and the three of them held it down for the remainder of that song while I quickly did some troubleshooting on the guitar rig and got it working again.  It only lasted about 3 or 4 minutes, but to me it seemed like an ETERNITY!!!

Heather: I can’t really think of anything… Not to say mishaps haven’t happened.  But I wouldn’t call any of them embarrassing because I’m having so much fun up there! I’ve tripped over cords… gotten caught on Phil’s drum hardware… wrapped my mic cable around Eliot… but those things are to be expected when you are performing hundreds of shows a year! I just laugh and continue on with the show…

Philippe:  We were playing a show somewhere, and during the 1st song, my snare drum head broke, so I quickly had to replace it with my backup.  Then, during the 2nd song the back up snare drum ripped in pieces as well, so I had to interrupt the set to fix the drum!  It felt like it took half an hour to fix the drum while everyone waited, even though it only took 5 minutes!

Eliot:  For me it would have to be the time we opened up for Saliva at an outdoor festival. During our song ‘Killer Inside’ I got lost in a moment moving around, got tangled in my cable a bit, tripped, and landed on my butt! Instead of playing it off I got up and figured people wouldn’t mind too much. Oh was I wrong! Three kids in the front row were literally pointing and laughing! It felt like it should have been a moment in a TV show!

Afresh: What has been the most bizarre thing (thrown) on the stage with you?  How did you react?

Mat:  I can’t think of anything that was THROWN on stage, but we’ve had people jump up on stage with us before.  Usually security takes care of it pretty quickly.

Afresh: What is your wildest story with the group?

Heather:  Without incriminating anyone, one of my favorite tour stories involved good friends, a West Virginia hotel room, some of West Virginia’s finest moonshine, and BOTTLE ROCKETS!

Afresh: What has been the worst nightmare for the group?  How did you get through it all?

Heather:  I don’t think we’ve had a real nightmare story fortunately, but we did have a difficult time once when Mat had a horrific accident right before a show that smashed several bones in his foot.  He had a heavy amp fall directly on his foot, demolishing many bones as we were loading up on stage to play a show.  We thought surely we’d be making a quick drive to the emergency room instead of playing a show, but Mat insisted that “the show must go on” and played what I imagine must have been the most painful show anyone could imagine!  Our fans are so awesome they showed up to our next show with crutches, bandages, and all sorts of things to help Mat get through the rest of the tour.

Afresh: What are your up-to-date performance plans?  New releases?  Tours? News?

Heather:  We are awaiting the final tour plans for our late Summer/early Fall tour… that should be announced soon.  As far as new releases go, we JUST released our album “Nothing Left To Lose,” so it might be a little while for another full-length release, but we plan to be digitally releasing some new songs over the Summer.  Stay tuned!

Afresh: If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)

Mat:

1. Ozzy Osbourne – because the Osbourne camp are good friends and family and I don’t get to hang with them as much as I’d like.

2. Metallica – because of their legendary status as a monster live band (and they play to huge crowds of eager fans)

3. Alice In Chains (WITH Layne Staley) (preferably on the Dirt tour) – because I’m a huge fan of that band (and especially that album)

Heather:

1. Queen (WITH Freddie Mercury) – because I’ve always loved his presence and grew up along to their songs

2. Heart – because I LOVE Ann Wilson’s voice, Nancy’s harmonies, and the songs

3. He Is Legend – because their music is just plain FUN!

Eliot:

1. Led Zeppelin (circa 1971) – For obvious reasons.

2. Red Hot Chili Peppers (with Frusciante in the band) – Because they were able to converse with each other so beautifully through music.

3. The Beatles – ‘Cause I LOVE The Beatles!

And if I could have 4 choices, Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning Tour” would have been nice as well!

Philippe:

1. Iron Maiden – a big childhood influence of mine

2. Led Zeppelin – one of the most influential rock bands of all time…and amazing musicians

3. Deep Purple – another heavily influential rock band

Afresh: What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

Heather:  The furthest show from our home would probably be in Bedford, New Hampshire (over 3,000 miles from Hollywood).

Afresh:  How do you feel about file swapping?

Heather:  It is a part of our culture now, so we really just need to adapt and use it to our advantage.  The way we see it, if you like a band’s music so much that you feel compelled to share it with your friends, that’s just good word-of-mouth marketing for that band.  We obviously hope, however, that your friends support the band if they enjoy the music.  As long as you continue to go to the shows, buy merch, buy CDs, purchase music on iTunes or Amazon, etc., these bands can continue to make the music.

Afresh: Have you been involved in any benefit performances?  What was it and how did you become involved?

Heather:  Semi-recently we spearheaded a benefit concert to assist with some friends in need.  There is a special family in North Carolina that is extremely supportive to the independent touring band world, widely-known nationally for opening their home to weary bands on the road.  They would house and feed several bands weekly and their home became sort of a crossroads on touring circuits.  Unfortunately, an accidental fire burned their home to the ground and the family had no insurance to cover the extensive losses.  Hydrovibe stepped up and coordinated a benefit concert near their hometown to raise some money to assist the family in getting back on their feet.  With great community cooperation and band assistance, the family quickly got back on their feet and have opened up a new home… and are back in the business of feeding and housing weary bands on tour!

Afresh: Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc.?

Heather:  Our booking agency is TKO (The Kirby Organization), our label is Orleans Street Records, and we are sponsored by Paul Reed Smith guitars, MESA / Boogie Amplification, Dean Markley Strings, inTune picks, PreSonus, PedalTrain pedalboards, Ibanez Acoustic guitars, Rivera Amplification, Tama Drums, Apple/Filemaker/Bento, APHEX Systems, Native Instruments, and Moog.

Afresh: Is this your first interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?

Heather:  We have several interviews posted in the News section of our website – http://hydrovibe.com/news/

Afresh: Do you have any video links where people can see you?

You can see some video at our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/hydr0vibe

Afresh: Do you have a website of any type?  (Name all options)

Our official site is at www.hydrovibe.com but of course we also span the gamut of other social networking sites as well.  Here are some of the main ones:

http://www.myspace.com/hydrovibe

http://www.facebook.com/hydrovibe
http://www.reverbnation.com/hydrovibe

http://www.twitter.com/hydrovibe

Afresh: Please feel free to add any other information you want to share with the public audience/readers.  We want to extend our warm wishes for your success and thank you for the awesome interview.

Heather:  Thank you, Afresh Entertainment, for a wonderful interview and a great opportunity to help spread the word about our band.  You are certainly doing great things for the independent music community and we greatly appreciate it.  And thank YOU, the fans, for your support!  Hope to see you at a show near you sometime soon!

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