If the mere fact that sisters Morgan and Mercedes Lander of the Canadian metal trio Kittie are still in their teens fails to impress you, consider this: the band has already released two hit albums on Artemis Records, supported Slipknot and Pantera on tour, and co-headlined both the Sno Core tour and the Ozzfest 2000 sidestage.
JoAnna Janét only recently completed her first album, but she learned a long time ago to trust her instincts when it came to writing and choosing material.
It's hard to believe that the spectacular success of the Dave Matthews Band began with a shy conversation.
"I always used to see this ponytail-wearing kid when I'd gig with Secrets, this jazz fusion group I used to play with," recalls DMB drummer Carter Beauford. "We never talked until one day in 1990, when he came up and said he'd always wanted me to play on one of his songs. I heard three or four of his tunes, and I was blown away. It wasn't complex music, but the way he played and sang was so unique, I knew I wanted to be part of it."
For Steve Mazur, things are pretty good right now. The new guitarist for Canadian post-grunge band Our Lady Peace spoke to us from Maui, where the band is recording with legendary producer Bob Rock (Metallica, the Cult, Motley Crue). "I don't know how it could be any better," Mazur reports. "With Bob, and his studio, and Maui-it's like a fantasy."
Though originally from Texas, keyboardist Dean Sams of platinum-selling country band Lonestar feels right at home in Nashville. "It's an inspiration having so many great songwriters in the area," he says. "The culture of collaboration and co-writing here is unlike anywhere else. Co-writing is really what makes Nashville a great songwriting community."
As drummer for gospel artist Fred Hammond, Marvin McQuitty is a driving force in the urban praise and worship movement. With a style that combines in-the-pocket grooves with subtle, expressive ornamentation, he's sometimes ranked alongside drum legends such as Omar Hakim and Vinnie Colaiuta.
With songs performed by the Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Martina McBride, to name a few, you'd think Annie Roboff could tell you what makes a hit song. But, she says, it's not that simple.
"I think I know when I've written a great song. But I don't necessarily know when I've written a hit, because there are so many variables. The record has to be made fantastically. It has to be performed by an artist who's in the right place at the right time. Then the song has to be released in the right order."
Nathan East has played bass on many of the best-loved recordings of the past 20 years. In addition to his work with such legendary artists as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, and Barry White, East's own GRAMMY®-nominated group Fourplay has topped Contemporary Jazz charts numerous times since its inception in 1991. His latest efforts include sessions with Keb' Mo', B.B. King, and Luis Miguel. As East says, "There are definitely some good projects in the works!" Nathan spoke to us recently from his home in Southern California.
Rarely do two drummers--in the same band, no less--agree as completely as Shannon Larkin and bandleader Sully Erna of Godsmack. Now on tour with their latest album, Faceless, Larkin and Erna spoke to us during a recent soundcheck about the roots of Godsmack's brand of heavy, drum-centric hard rock.
Stacie Orrico knows exactly what matters to her audience. "I like to write songs that have some depth and meaning and are really true to what I'm dealing with as a 17-year-old girl. You know, everything from my family to my relationships, good and bad. The mistakes I make, how I get through them-I like to put all that into my music, so other people my age can relate to it."