How did you find touring with Black Tape and a Blue Girl?
It was a great experience! It was so exciting to visit so many new cities and perform in so many new places that I had never been before. I gained so much valuable insight about everything. It was a really wonderful first tour. I couldnít have asked for it to have been any better.
We were surprised to learn that you had never known any of that group of artists before because you are such a great fit with them.
Yeah it's just one of those things were people that are in all the same circles just donít meet sometimes. We finally met though so things were set right!
On the nights that you opened the show, how were you received by Black Tape for a Blue Girl's fans?
Very well. I was so happy about how receptive their fans were to what I was doing. You know I think that Sam has a really good ear for what his fans are going to enjoy and Iím glad that he put me on the bill and that he knew it would be well received. Iím really pleased about the reception that I got.
You also have a new band collaboration with Sam Rosenthal as well right?
Yes, it's true. It came about when we were driving back home from the east coast tour. We were speaking a lot about collaborating together. Since then we have gotten together and worked on quite a few songs. We are currently working with a really amazing violin player and we have some other musicians we'll be meeting with as well. We are looking to release an EP and to start performing this spring. I'm really really excited about the new band. It is yet to be named though because I just can't decide that I love any one name! (laughs) I'm holding everything up but we will be naming it very soon!(laughs)
Your debut CD Of Pigeons and Other Curiosities has been out for a while now. How has it been received compared to any expectations you may have had for it?
I have gotten a lot of positive feedback about it. You know, just like any studio CD, itís different from a live performance. I have had a lot of people ask me if I am going to put out something live as well. I do plan on releasing a live recording that was made at one of the shows that I opened up on the Black Tape for a Blue Girl tour. Like I said, I have gotten a lot of positive feedback but Iím looking forward to going back into the studio again with the experience I have now. My first experience in the studio was good and I think that it will be a lot more fun the second time around you know?
Since the release of your album you have parted ways with Shaman Records. Is there anything you can tell us about that?
(laughs) I'm not sure if I say nothing at all or be brutally honest! I guess you could say that there were irreconcilable differences. (laughs) I will say that once it came to the point where it was evident that it would not be possible for us to continue working together they were very receptive to doing what needed to be done for us to part ways. It wasnít the loveliest of experiences you might say.
Do you plan to pursue a new label or stay independent? I would say that Projekt Records probably has a good shot at signing you right?
Well, Projekt is a wonderful label! (laughs) I have nothing but respect for Sam and the work he does. Weíll see how the new band goes and what sort of label involvement there will be. Sam and I still need to discuss that so it's open ended at this point really. Iím so focused on what we are doing now with the band that I havenít thought much about my solo work. Iíll be releasing the live CD but other than that Iím totally focused on the band material. Since there is no plan for me to release another solo album in the near future itís not something that Iím giving to much thought to at the moment.
As an artist, how do you tend to write your songs and albums. Do you tend to plan things out or just go where the music takes you?
I think that there is a little bit of both involved. I think it's good to go into the studio with some kind of idea about what you want out of it. There are just limitless variations on what you can do with a song in the studio so, for me, if I didnít have an idea going into the studio I would be overwhelmed knowing that there are an infinite number of things that I could do. There is also something to be said for leaving room for change if something strikes you. I think itís good to go with a plan but you should be flexible and open to new things that might come to light in the studio.
Obviously most artists hate having labels placed on them. How do you feel about being "Nicki Jaine Goth Artist"?
Itís not something that I had ever expected. (laughs) As I started to play out I found that there were a lot of individuals who were very much into art that was very dark were very into my music and what I was doing. I just started to become friendly with a lot of artists and musicians who were very involved in goth events and they have been the most wonderful and supportive group of people. I canít say enough wonderful things about the individuals I have met within the goth scene.
Having said that though, I definitely want to broaden the audience that hears my music. I have played a lot of events that arenít really considered goth events and have gotten some really positive feedback at those places. I totally love the whole goth scene and it holds a very special place in my heart among the types of shows that Iíll play. Iím definitely looking to play more shows for a more diverse audience, especially with the new band. Iím sure weíll always play goth events because that's home but there are other exciting types of audiences and events to play it. We definitely want to experience those things as well.
Where you into the goth scene before you began playing out?
To a certain degree. I have certainly always had an appreciation for the darker side of art but I can't really say that I was involved in going out to events and things like that. It has all just come very naturally to me though. I feel very at home with the people that I have met in my travels.
When you write a song, what'ís more important to you--what you mean when you write it or what someone takes from it after hearing it?
I guess I don't usually think of it in those terms so it's kind of hard for me to answer. When Iím writing a song Iím definitely focusing on whether or not itís getting across the mood or the feelings that I want to express. In that way Iíd say that itís a lot like forming a sentence. You want to get all the thoughts in there so that whomever you are saying it to is gonna get it. So I definitely want to be pleased with what I have created but I also want to be sure that it can communicate what Iím trying to communicate to those who are going to be receptive to it. I'd say that they are both important in their own right because they kind of work together. If I say something in a way that achieves the moods and feelings that I want then I think that people are going to get it.
Would you say that in general there are definite things you would like your listeners to take from your songs?
Well, different songs certainly have different moods and feelings that I hope individuals take away from them. You know though my greatest hope is that I can really create a separate world within a performance or within an album. To create that feeling that you are somewhere else isÖyou know the feeling you get sometimes when you walk out of a movie and youíve been so engrossed in that world that once you walk out into the parking lot youíre like, "Oh! I had almost forgotten that thereís a whole other real world!Ē If I can take that moment and create my little world then I feel like I'd have done what I want to do most.
I understand you also have a part in the new play Courting Mae West.
Yes, I sing a song in the play. My wonderful friend Chris Bade, who works at Mazur PR, who are an excellent public relations company I have been working with, has a client who had recently written a play about Mae West. She wanted to have a singer come out at the beginning of the play and perform "Bye Bye Blackbird." Chris though that it would be perfect for me so he put us in touch. Iíll be singing that song next month. It will be such a different venue for me to perform in so Iím looking forward to such an interesting change of pace. I'll be singing at the pre-play performance as well.
Do you have any plans to tour at all this year
Not currently. Iím really focusing right now on the new band and writing new material for it. Right now those are the primary goals. Once the EP is released and weíve begun playing out then a tour is definitely something we'll discuss and plan to do. For now though it's just write, write, write, record, record, record, and practice like crazy.
It's been great talking with you. I appreciate your time. Do you have any parting thoughts for the readers of Musical Discoveries?
Not really. I just really appreciate you speaking with me. I hope that everyone enjoys the new band and the EP we'll be releasing soon!