Blast from the Past: Dream Aria Interview!

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Out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada comes the progressive rock band Dream Aria!  Read the interview with the band dominating the MySpace Music Charts.  **Originally posted in November 2010 in the webzine’s original format.

MU- Ok, first off you guys are a very eclectic band with a very unique sound in your music.  How would you describe it to someone who’s about to listen to it for the first time? 
DA-First I would like to thank Musical Goddesses Webzine for having us on your page.  We were talking to a dj awhile back and he mention that most bands now intergrade more than one genre into there music ,the difference with us we use many genres in our music to name some, rock/hard rock/opera/classical/world/heavy metal/pop/ambient/electronic/goth/alternative/indi
e/prog/classic rock/ even within a song you may hear 3 or 4 different genres; did I help answer your question LOL , guess you just have to listen to all our work.
MU- What is the history behind Dream Aria?  How did the band come together?
DA-I am going to try to answer this question in short form.I met Garry {our drummer ,producer} from a friend of mine 7 years ago when I asked him who I might want to record with,when it was time to add vocals I had met up with 2 opera singers but when the music started to go in a heavier direction they left and thats when I found Ann who not only sang rock but could also handle the opera and all the other musical styes we were working on.   Jon our bass player came on board about 3 years ago.
 
MU- Dream Aria has been dominating the myspace music charts for quite sometime.  How did you guys find about the first time you topped the charts and how did it feel to be at the top of the charts on an internet site that has thousands possibly even millions of bands and musical acts?
DA-I was {for fun } checking the charts never thinking we would be #1 in the world {for unsign bands}then one day {about a year ago } I check the charts and there we were , I almost sakjdfiohegrvn myself, and from then on {we have been #1 most of the time in Canada and in the top 10 in the Global world unsign charts}
MU- There has been much debate on how the internet has impacted the music industry.  What is you view on it and do you feel it’s hurt or helped your own band?
DA-The internet has help us allot {over 600 radio station have played us, many interviews and reviews in top magazines , over 123,000 fans and friends on our myspace site also has help push up the sales } our video also has hit #1 on the myspace Canadian charts.
MU- Ok, with your new album soon to be released how would you describe it to fans and new listeners?  How is it similar to or different from your previous releases “In the Wake” and ”Transcend”?
DA-In the wake was our first cd and we were really just trying to find ourselves , with Transcend I think we established the sound of the band and with Fallen Angel {our soon to be released cd } we took Transcend and gave it a harder edge .
MU- Is there a song that’s been a fan or band favorite?
DA-In the past it was Pandora’s Box, Transcend, 11th hour but we have had a crazy feedback from Fallen Angel We have had a under 3 minute sample version of Fallen Angel on our playlist but the full song is over 6 minutes
MU- And finally (and most important) where can people sample and purchase your music?
DA-You can sample and buy our music on our myspace.com/dreamariacanada page , cd’s or you can buy the digital downloads.
Tiffany Apan is an award winning and acclaimed independent recording artist along with being a stage/film actress, producer, and writer.  You can find more about her at her Official Website , Web Blog, MySpace , Twitter , and Facebook She can also be found on IMDb and her music releases on CDBaby along with iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers.  She also writes for the publications Rogue Cinema and Horrornews.netShe is also responsible for starting up the Music’s Underworld Webzine .
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Nicole Kruex: Actress/Producer/Model/Singer/Just About Everything Else Under the Sun

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During my time in this crazy world of entertainment, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know some really cool individuals.  One such person has been “Jill of all Trades,” Nicole Kruex.  It’s always refreshing to meet someone who understands the reasons behind your views of the industry and how it works.  Nicole talks about her newest film, “Discursion” (in which she acted, produced, and did pretty much everything under the sun with this film) being put out by her production company, TriWar Pictures, some of her experiences with the industry, her own thoughts on the “overnight success” illusion, AND shares her love of gaming.  Read on!

MU: Ok, you’ve worked in many different areas of the industry (modeling, acting, directing, producing, music, and I’m sure a few others escaping me at the moment). What part of the industry would you say you’ve enjoyed the most so far?

NK: My absolute passion is acting. I’ve been a performer since I was six years old. Most people are unaware that I took competitive dance for 7 years, I took on two roles in my elementary school play, I’ve done theater, commercial acting, and as of late Feature Film. Much unlike those around me I don’t actively pursue it as aggressively as most, but for good reason. Every year there are hundreds of indie films being produced, but only a few of them are really strong and incredibly sound films. When I started this? I wanted to do everything I could, I knocked down almost 60 projects in 18 months… but I realized I had nothing of worth to show for it. I was told by a talent rep that works with Spielberg that my course of actions were hurting me for large role consideration and so I slowed down and now just look for really good projects to be a part of vs. any project. It puts you between a rock and a hard place. I LOVE my indie friends, b-horror, and fun films… but I had to make a decision about what and who I wanted to be. Well, I’ve made it… and this year will prove a whole new reality about who and what I hope to become.

My second love is producing. I love the busy work of getting a project ready to be shot and the adrenaline rush of making it actually happen!! I do this for a living. Projects of all kinds from commercial to feature. It is HARD in the worst way but challenging in the right way. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, but love those that can handle the pressure!!

MU: Recently, your production company, TriWar Pictures, completed production on the film, “Discursion.” I like the concept of the film and was curious about how the idea came to be.

NK:  HA! Discursion is the most incredibly ridiculous reality I’ve lived yet. The Director, Mitchel A. Jones, and I were watching these incredibly bad films release by Lionsgate. I don’t remember what the titles were or even what the movies were about? But we made a split second decision to just go shoot something, ANYTHING. So many people talk about it and then create a million reasons why they can’t make it happen, ie. money, resources, time etc. We were essentially broke, but we had a camera and the drive to make it happen. (Funny though, we had no script) We decided on a concept we knew could be easily shot on a dime budget and only needed a bit of cash for SFX. Enter Indiegogo!! We literally walked down our street and shot a 10 sec jib shot that we turned into a 50 sec teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH3zgdI-f3c

People got excited… we raised twice what we asked for and then investors started to call. Before we knew it we had a budget large enough to include actors and a bit more storyline. We wrote the script in about 2 weeks and in November of 2010 we started principle photography.

The film proved to be nearly impossible to shoot.

We had to postpone shooting until March of 2011 for dozens of reasons, but it allowed us to fine tune the project. We fought hard up though the summer and by October? We’d completed the entire film. At present we are in talks with distribution and waiting for the final word on the next steps to get the film out there to the public. From the beginning we expected none of what happened to actually happen but we’ve learned a great deal along the way.

MU: Now being that you have worked extensively in the independent realm and the entertainment industry in general, do you feel that there is a sort of disconnect in how people tend to view the industry vs. how it really works? I ask this because the mainstream media tends to saturate us with stories of the so-called ‘overnight successes’, the American Idols, the reality tv ‘stars’, etc. Do you think that such images tend to give (especially) young people a rather unrealistic view of becoming the ‘next big thing’?

NK:  YES YES YES. There is no such thing as overnight success. It takes years of relationship cultivation, lo to no-pay projects, talent development, networking, etc. People don’t realize that even though it seems like Eli Roth or James Wan walked out of the door one day a successful director or some of these unlikely actors just appeared on screen without a history of trial and error? Each of them has a story of no money, eating ramen for breakfast lunch and dinner, and hoping that someone, anyone, would take notice of the little project they were in or created.

I’m amazed at how many filmmakers who’ve never created more then a short film assume that 100K is a reasonable budget to ask for. That would be like applying to be a doctor without attending college. There is a level of financial risk involved that no amount of “just think how cool this film will be staring my friends” will ever live up to. BUT If you pull out all the stops on a dime and make it look like 100k? Chances are someone will take notice and with a proven track record of completing something? You’ll get your chance at the 100K, then 1M, then who knows?

MU:  I think we can both agree that despite the many strides women have made in the industry, there are still many challenges and stereotypes that follow us. Is there any particular challenge or stereotype that still tends to rear it’s ugly head at you?

NK:  Funny thing? As an actress, it’s not so much being a women as it’s being an American Indian/ African Mix. I’m a Midwesterner, and one of the greatest challenges in my neck of the woods is available roles. Most calls for females are strictly “Caucasian” or “Black” with very little in between. I long for a market like Florida, Chicago, or New York where there is a larger market for every color.

But as a female producer? My community is very supportive!! There will always be the idea that men in the industry prefer to deal with men, and I’m okay with that! I’ve positioned myself with a great partner who is just as passionate about this as I am and will express my needs/concerns when I can not. I look at it as an advantage for the both of us, my female wiles and his force as a strong male at the helm gives us the opportunity to be an unstoppable force if we work hard at it.

I firmly believe in the power of a female in business? But I also believe in some of the duties of a female presence in a relationship, taking care of your significant other is important to his sense of being as a man and that means stepping aside to let him handle things as he requests. He knows I’m strong, I don’t need to prove it to anyone.

MU:  Onto a more cheerful topic. You’ve done some recording in music. Are there any plans to do anything further with that?

NK:  Yes ma’am! Mitchel and I are planning a project in the next year or so to turn out something reminiscent of ’30 Second to Mars’. Music is a great hobby for both of us, he’s played guitar for 15 years and I’ve sang for as long as I can remember. We want to take a serious look at performing for fun.

MU:  If a 16 year old were to come to you and ask you for advice on ‘making it’ in this crazy business, what advice would you have for them?

NK:  First of all… it’s not going to be easy, but it will be rewarding if you work hard at it! Don’t compromise for greatness, let no one take advantage of you, and nudity is NOT a necessity to a successful career. You must always do what you are comfortable with and don’t let any sleezy director tell you otherwise. Many incredible actresses never showed a nipple and are making millions in Hollywood, or at least they waited to work with reputable directors for real money. I’m not saying not to? Just saying that it’s not a requirement so don’t be pressured into it unless you are comfortable.

Also… don’t quit. If you really want it? You have to fight to get it. It may take a while but as long as you don’t quit? You’ll succeed one way or another!

MU:  Are there any particular projects everyone should watch out for?

NK: TRIWAR will be producing several projects in the next 18 months. I wish I could give details? But at present they are too young to breath a word about. Keep an eye out though!! You’ll find out first hand at www.triwarpictures.com. You can visit me at www.nicolekruex.com, catch my gamer blogs on www.alienbee.biz, or findout about Discursion at www.discursionmovie.com.

Thanks Nicole:)

TriWar Pictures

Nicole Kruex Official Website

Nicole’s Gamer Blogs

Discursion the Movie
Tiffany Apan is an award winning and acclaimed independent recording artist along with being a stage/film actress, producer, and writer.  You can find more about her at her Official Website , Web Blog, MySpace , Twitter , and Facebook She can also be found on IMDb and her music releases on CDBaby along with iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers.  She also writes for the publications Rogue Cinema and Horrornews.netShe is also responsible for starting up the Music’s Underworld Webzine .

Matthew Jason Walsh- Screenwriter/Filmmaker/Musician

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Matthew Jason Walsh is someone you can call a ‘jack of all trades’ in the industry.  He is known for working on such projects as “Bloodletting,” “The Brotherhood” film series, “Stem Cell,” “Cougar Cult,” and the rock opera/concept album, “Love’s Young Nightmare” (which features indie film/television/stage actress and singer, Robyn Griggs) inspired by Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”  In this brief interview, Matthew talks about his experiences in the indie world vs. the mainstream world (advantages and disadvantages of both), his favorite Pink Floyd album, and the inspiration behind “Love’s Young Nightmare” (which is also a Music’s Underworld Recommendation).

MU: So for starters, I’m asking the obvious. When and/or how did you decide you wanted to partake in this crazed industry if pure insanity?

MJW: I think I started out wanting to be a writer, then, a comic book artist, then, a musician, then, an actor — I was a pretty spastic kid. I got interested in writing movies when I was in high school and tried sending these scripts I’d written around to all the film production companies in my home state of Maryland. This was back in the Eighties, so it was a slightly different ballgame than it is now; today, you could throw a rock and hit a bunch of people making a movie, but back then, even where I lived, the only people around making movies were making them on film with sizable crews, so getting bugged by some high school kid with a badly-written screenplay was generally frowned upon. A Baltimore-based filmmaker named Steve Yeager finally took pity on me and had me work on his set as slate and continuity, and that’s pretty much what set me on my path.

MU:  Now you’re into horror films. What’s the most horrifying film you’ve ever seen?

MJW: I notice you said “horrifying”, not “best horror film”. if you mean “best horror film”, it’s THE EXORCIST, hands-down. If you actually meant “horrifying” … man, that’s a long list.

MU:  What made you want to be part of the indie/underground world as opposed to chasing the Hollywood dream (cause you know that’s, like, what everyone wants *note the sarcasm*)?

MJW:  Well, I started out doing the underground/indie thing as a way of breaking into the business, building up my resume’, gaining experience, etc. I’ve actually gotten to work in the mainstream a few times, and it’s always been a horrible experience. I think, as you get older, that voice inside your head that keeps saying “Just one or two more of these and you’ll sell that script or land that gig and you can just work on the big stuff” gets less and less prominent and the one that says “I’ll just be happy with another gig, period” gets louder.

MU:  Being in the indie world, what will you say are the advantages vs. the disadvantages?

MJW:  I’ve actually seen a disturbing trend in the last decade or so where a lot of indie filmmakers seem content to make five thousand dollar Kickstarter-funded HD flicks and … that’s it. There doesn’t seem to be any ambition to move forward from that. When I got into the business, we were all making the holy pilgrimage to L.A. and trying to work with directors or go to auditions or get a job working for a makeup FX artist. Even the people making movies in their backyard were doing so with the intent on having something to show a studio or a production company. There was always the idea that you made your way up to the big leagues. On the other hand, a lot of these present-day filmmakers are making the film they more or less want to, even on a limited budget, editing and finishing it themselves, putting it on DVD, making a box for it and getting it out there at conventions or through a Web site or streaming, so maybe that’s really the bottom line: to just make something and get it seen.

I’ve worked at both ends of the spectrum, and I can definitely tell you that, the bigger the budget is, the less shots you get to call. The paychecks and the residuals are definitely nicer, but everybody answers to a group of people who probably have no business working on movies, let alone at the creative end of them. Of course, you can look at most of the commercial films being released today and almost be glad that you’re not working for a studio. The industry’s really gotten ridiculous.

MU:  As a fellow Pink Floyd fan, I have to ask: what is your favorite Pink Floyd album and what about it makes it your favorite?

MJW: “The Wall”, of course! I’m a huge fan of pretty much all the post-Barrett/pre-“Momentary Lapse Of Reason” stuff, but the first time I heard “The Wall” was the first time I wanted to write songs. It’s still an amazing blend of rock, orchestral arrangements, voice acting, sound effects, outstanding songwriting and ahead-of-its-time production that comes together to tell what’s really this very small and personal story. As much as it’s the antithesis of “arena rock”, it really embodies what the medium used to be all about: a larger-than-life illustration of the regular person.

MU: Speaking of Pink Floyd, you have a concept album out titled “Love’s Young Nightmare” (which is in our recommendations section) which was inspired by “The Wall.” How did this happen to get started and come into fruition? Are there any other future plans for it?

MJW: “Nightmare” actually started out life as a movie idea. I had written a couple of songs in high school regarding this female musician I used to know who kind of blew her considerable talent before she had a chance to do anything with it. She was a good friend and it was a tragic story. After I got into the business, I’d started hashing out this idea as a movie and figured I’d have to make demos of some of these songs to go along with the script, since I thought it would wind up being a musical or a rock opera. I’d always planned on having a band eventually record these songs for real … then, I finally got the crazy idea to just try and do it myself, and wound up with an album’s worth of material. Just around that time, it was finally possible to record these huge multi-track projects on a computer (up until then, I had a cassette 8-track recorder, some keyboards and a DAT deck) and I figured I could probably do the whole thing as a concept album. In retrospect, I probably should have let a band do it with a real engineer.

Currently, I’m in the midst of trying to remaster the album for a proper CD release, and if that somehow works out, I’m planning on at least trying to do a stage show, if not the movie I’d wanted to do in the first place.

MU: What future projects should everyone look out for?

MJW: Right now, I have nothing coming up, but that can change at a moment’s notice …

Thanks Matthew!  To find out more about Matthew Jason Walsh and his projects, visit the following sites:

Matthew Jason Walsh at Facebook

Matthew Jason Walsh at IMDb

Mattew Jason Walsh at Last.fm

Armegeddon Productions

Armegeddon Music Online

Love’s Young Nightmare at CDBaby

 

Tiffany Apan is an award winning and acclaimed independent recording artist along with being a stage/film actress, producer, and writer.  You can find more about her at her Official Website , Web Blog, MySpace , Twitter , and Facebook She can also be found on IMDb and her music releases on CDBaby along with iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers.  She also writes for the publications Rogue Cinema and Horrornews.netShe is also responsible for starting up the Music’s Underworld Webzine .