Musical Discovieries: Kate, can you tell us a bit about background?
Kate Aumonier: I'm sorry to say, but my background is actually pretty normal! I've two brothers and two sisters, and my parents are still happily married. Maybe it was having such a full house all the time, and being the youngest of a big family that got me in to performing. You have to work very hard to be heard!
Musically I had early influences from just about every member of the family! Mum played Carol King and James Taylor, while dad would blast out Rod Stewart at Christmas with one of his ten brothers. Obviously being the youngest I had a big crush on all my brothers' mates, who where all into bands like Guns and Roses, Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam, who all played a huge part in infuencing my first album. Oh, and by the way, never worry about asking my age--I'll be 23 for the next few years!
What was your musical education like?
I was classically trained vocally for about seven years, but then found fags and boys. When I realised that doing gigs in smokey pubs and clubs was as much fun as it looked from the pit, I realised that it was what I had to do. I didn't really have much choise in the matter.
How did you get involved with songwriting?
Well, I'd say that I was always in to lyrics. But that to me isn't exactly song writing. It took a couple of years before I was totally cofident with the direction I wanted to go musically. But once I'd worked in the States for a bit learning from the likes of Glyn Johns and his son Ethan Johns and some of the most amazing artists, being smuggled in to live clubs to learn about the whole art of performing. When I got home, I was more than ready to put my lyrics to the style of music I'd fallen for! I was so lucky to find such talented musicians to write with.
Who have been some of your musical influences?
Some of those who are probably the most influential are Sheryl Crow and Lenny Kravitz.
And who have you found yourself listening to all the time?
Most recently Maroon 5. They're bloody brilliant and I think Natasha Beddingfield is really cool too, but I haven't had the chance to buy the album yet--this week though!
Where do you draw inspiration for songs and lyrics that you write?
Just from day to day life really. I tend to glamourise it slightly, but on the whole from personal experiances. "Beautiful Girl" stemmed from a slow day in the studio, reading Now magazine and there was an article about plastic surgery. Thought it might be a laugh to write something about the likes of Jordan, but as is so often the case, we came up with the first single.
Can you give us some more specifics on the songs included on your EP and how the response has been?
I'm not going to go through the whole album, coz I'm hoping that people will draw there own conclusions, but I'm pleased that it's quite diverse from start to finish. ome to think of it, it reflects my personality quite well.
I'm really chuffed to be able to say that the response has been really good. I was dreadding opening the Times to see our first reveiw, but thank god she actually really loved it. It's a really good feeling at last to have strangers coming up to you at gigs saying how much they liked it.
Tell us some more about your songwriting.
When I first started back in London, I was writing with people from both ends of the spectrum--from dance stuff, to out and out pop. And there's pleanty of stuff that I wouldn't put anyone through hearing.
Are you singing with any other bands, progressive or other styles?
Not at the moment, no. But I would do anything to sing alongside Kelly from The Steriophonics. I'm totally in love with his voice.
Does the material on your album combine in any way that our readers would find interesting?
Here I Am ranges from really quite balsey rock, to two-minute acoustic tracks. Hopefully there'll be something for everyone.
Who else worked with you on the album?
To be honest, I've been a bit selfish on this album. It's just us on this one, but who knows about the second. I really want to go back to the States for most of the writing of the second album.
Will there be a tour to promote it when the album is released?
We're actually going out in September. Hopefully October too, but that's not fully confirmed yet.
What is is like performing in front of a live audience for you?
Words can't really describe it actually. I know that sounds naff, but there's nothing else to compare it to really. It's the best thing in my life--when I get it right!
What would you say has been your biggest challenge in a musical career so far?
Doing a gig at the Albert Hall with food poisoning--at the end of my first tour with Dr. John--probably the biggest challenge so far. But I loved every minute!
And what would you say has been your biggest achievement?
Finishing a gig at the Albert Hall with food poisoning.
What are your hopes, dreams and fantasies for 2004--in life and of course in music?
Longevity in everything; my relationships, and especially in my music.