Category: Women Who Rock

Interview: Guitarist Malina Moye discusses her upcoming acting role in new film, ‘The Samuel Project’

It’s been an incredible year for guitarist, Malina Moye. Not only did the beautiful, multi-talented artist release her genre-defying collection, Bad As I Wanna Be, but the new album also marked Moye’s first #1 album on the Billboard Blues album chart and featured songs that infused the best elements of funk, rock, blues and soul.

Now, Moye sets her sights on another side of creativity – acting— where she’ll make her big screen debut in the Marc Fusco directed film, “The Samuel Project.”  The story centers on a teenager named Eli (Ryan Ochoa) who, for a school art project, gets to know his Jewish grandfather, Samuel (played by the legendary Hal Linden), who was rescued from Nazi capture as a young boy. Moye plays the role of Violet Leroux, a bohemian art director who befriends Eli and shows him what’s possible with his gift.

Moye also penned a song specifically for the film. The emotionally charged anthem, “Enough,” which features her sultry vocals and guitar wizardry. The track is also featured on Bad As I Wanna Be.  The Samuel Project hits theaters on Friday, Sept. 28.

AXS recently spoke with Malina Moye about the film, her new single and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: Many people know you for your infectious brand of guitar playing. Was acting something you always wanted to explore as well?

Malina Moye: It’s something that I started to discover early on in high school. I remember a friend of mine had asked me about filling in as an actor for a project she had been working on. I did the scene and really enjoyed it and got a lot of great feedback. At one point, I remember having to make a decision on whether to pursue acting or music. I obviously chose music because it was my passion and calling. But when this opportunity came up, it was another way for me to express my creativity.

Click here for an introduction to Malina Moye.

AXS: What attracted you to “The Samuel Project” – was it the story? Your character? Getting the chance to work with some of these other amazing actors?

MM: It was all of the above. Everyone wants to show what you can do, and this was a way to show people another side of me. It’s a character I thought I could really bring something to and have people see me in a different light. Ryan Ochoa plays the teen my character befriends and I help him realize what’s possible with his gift. Hal Linden is such a legendary actor, so to also have a few scenes with him was unbelievable.

AXS: What else can you tell me about your character?

MM: Violet’s a classy, bohemian art director with a great personality and is one of Samuel’s favorite customers. Whenever she comes in she brings the greatest energy, light and all things positive.

Click here to watch the trailer for “The Samuel Project.”

AXS: What are some of the differences between performing music and acting? Is there one that gives you more creative satisfaction?

MM: When you’re on stage playing it’s a whole different feeling. That stage is the set and there’s no do-over. You feed off the energy from the audience, and when you get off stage at the end, you’re amped up. It’s the fifth gear of entertaining. With acting; and especially if you’re doing a deep, heavy scene, it can take a lot out of you. But that just shows you what an incredible instrument your body is. You have to be present and in the moment for both, and that’s what I love about it.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Malina Moye by Clicking Here.

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‘Neapolitan Sky’: Actress Ashley Watkins Discusses Voice-Over Project

Photo: Josh Daugherty

There are few artists with the ability to successfully transition between the world of dance, feature film and commercial work. Even fewer can successfully maneuver these mediums with desire, versatility and charm.

Ashley Watkins, a professional actress and dancer, and a fixture of the entertainment industry for nearly ten years, meets all of this criteria.

An accomplished artist and performer, her resume encapsulates the full spectrum of drama, comedy, horror and dance/music videos. Her versatility, prowess and beauty are matched only by her innate ability to draw deep emotion.

Watkins takes on multiple roles in her latest project; providing the voice-over narration for James Wood’s suspense-thriller, “Neapolitan Sky”.

In “Neapolitan Sky”, dreams of becoming a professional writer are abruptly put on hold for college student Nica Mitchell following the unexpected death of her mother and her father’s cancer diagnosis. Forced to return home when he’s hospitalized after encountering a near death experience, Nica learns that her father has been keeping a dark secret. Something in between the stages of life and death that, when revealed, will change her life forever.

Watkins’ entertaining and infectious voice can be heard on the Audible version of “Neapolitan Sky”, which is available now!

I recently spoke with Ashley Watkins about her work on “Neapolitan Sky” and more in this exclusive new interview.

Was voice-over work something you’ve always done as an actress?

I’ve done some voice work in the past but never voice-over narration. So, this was totally new for me. It was fun to delve into the characters and find out who they are and then bring them to life. At one point, I didn’t even have to look at my notes to see how to do each voice. It came very naturally.

What are some of the differences between typical acting and doing voice-over for a book?

In a film, there’s typically one actor with one character. This was one actor playing multiple characters. So, I had to focus not only on the main character, but the side characters as well and then bring them all to life. They all come up very quickly in the book, and I remember at one point five of the characters were together on one page! Having to distinguish between the voices when the men were having a conversation was also a bit of a challenge.

Was there anything you had to do to prepare to take on this project?

Just like a movie script, I had to read through the story and then break down the acting in each of the chapters. I used a different color highlighter on the page to mark each character who was speaking. That way, I could prepare by seeing in advance who I was going to be speaking for while I was recording. I also had to make sure I was able to pronounce words correctly, so I did some research beforehand. After I had recorded each chapter, it then went into the editing process where I would clean up any excess sounds. I didn’t want any breaths or smacks and wanted only true silence between every space and at the end of each chapter.

What did you enjoy most about the story?

I liked the twist. It was something I never saw coming. I’m reading this book with a character I can completely relate to: a girl with a military dad who grew up in the military and had a close group of friends. I related to so many things and then, out of nowhere, the twist just blew me away. You think everything is comfortable and then something happens that makes you re-think about life. You’re asking yourself, is this real? I felt for every character in the book. 

You began your career as a figure skater. What made you make the transition to acting?

When I moved to Northern California when I was twelve, I had to quit ice skating because there wasn’t anywhere to skate that was within driving distance. The closest thing I could do that was similar was cheerleading and dance. As I started doing that, I also fell in love with drama and theater, which eventually opened the door to film. At the time, I was really into leading lady characters like Neve Campbell, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Julia Ormund. I went to college and got a theater degree and as soon as I graduated college, I went straight to L.A..

Are there any other projects you’re currently involved with?

I have a movie called “Professor Dario Bava” where I play the villain, Camilla. We’re going through an Indigogo phase right now. Our director, Phil Mucci, also wants to turn it into a comic book series to build the fan base. We’ll probably start filming in the spring. 

What gives you the most satifaction about doing “Neapolitan Sky“?

I liked that I was able to add all of my touches on it. A writer brings the story to life and I got to bring the characters to life, vocally. Normally, there’d be an audio expert coming in to edit when everything is finished. But since I also did the editing, I learned a lot about the process. It was fulfilling to know I could put all that work into something and people will be able to hear it. It was fun to start the project and see it through to completion.

Interview: Nancy Wilson discusses new Roadcase Royale Tour, 40th anniversary of Heart’s ‘Dog & Butterfly’

Photo: Jeremy Danger

Fresh off a series of Southern California live shows, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Nancy Wilson of Heart and her band, Roadcase Royale, are gearing up for their first East Coast and Canadian shows of the summer. The group, which features members of Heart as well as R&B powerhouse vocalist, Liv Warfield (Prince’s New Power Generation), will be in support of their eclectically cool, soul-driven debut album, First Things First.

The five-city tour begins in Waterloo, New York on Saturday, Aug. 11 and wraps up in Toronto, Canada on Saturday, Aug. 18. Tickets are available now.

AXS recently spoke with Nancy Wilson about the new Roadcase Royale tour, songwriting and the 40th anniversary of Heart’s album, Dog & Butterfly in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: What can fans expect from your upcoming tour with Roadcase Royale?

Nancy Wilson: When we’re out touring as Roadcase Royale, we’ll be doing quite a bit of the hits Heart fans really like to hear, like “Crazy on You,” “Barracuda,” and a reinterpreted “Straight On” that’s even more rock and fun. We’ll also be doing a few original songs from our album, First Things First, and a few covers that we really love to do. It’s a good place for a Heart fan to be.

AXS: How has the reaction been to the new Roadcase Royale album?

NW: A lot of people have called it a fresh, new take on rock and soul, which is exactly what we were aiming at. It’s still fun performing our song, “Get Loud,” which was aimed at the #MeToo movement before it even started. We wrote the song for the women’s marches and it’s even more of a relevant song today. There’s also a reinterpretation of “These Dreams” on First Things First. Liv is such a different kind of singer, and her interpretation and spin on the Heart songs is something so unique and different. She’s made the songs her own.

AXS: You’ve described the sound of First Things First as muscular rock with a flavor of R&B. Was that what you intended to have or did the sound evolve as you all started jamming and writing?

NWIt was definitely an intentional collaboration. I first met Liv when her band opened for Heart. She had been wanting to rock more and I’d always loved the flavor of soul and R&B. We liked each other so much that Liv sent me some tracks and we started talking about how we could make music together. I had a million ideas, but the first one I wanted to try was this amazing song, “Hold On To My Hand” by Colin Hay. The version I’d heard was just one acoustic guitar and voice. It was so moving that I thought, let’s interpret this simple, meaningful song, make it our own and see what our sound is going to be like. It still may be my favorite song on the album.

AXS: Can you tell me the origin of the track, “Cover Each Other” from First Things First?

NW: That song was inspired by my husband, Geoff. He has far-reaching talent and had been working for many years in movie division and TV. One day, they offered him and a bunch of other people a buyout, which was a very generous reward for all the years of loyalty and success. It was one of those things you’re happy about when you take it, but then realize there’s this whole other emotional level you didn’t anticipate. Leaving is like graduating school and missing your friends; the camaraderie and structured routine. I knew he was dealing with some of those feelings, so I wrote the words for “Cover Each Other.” Because when someone is going through something hard, you catch them and are there for them. That’s what the song is about.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Nancy Wilson by Clicking Here!

Interview: Guitarist Nita Strauss Discusses her new Signature Model, The Ibanez Jiva

Photo by: Samuel Lathrop

Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitarist known for her shredding skills as part of the Alice Cooper band, was recently awarded her first Signature model guitar from Ibanez.

The Ibanez JIVA gets its name from the Hindu word, which means the vital energy of life and the creative essence that lives on after the body passes away.

Strauss’ JIVA is based on Ibanez’s popular S-series model and features a quilted maple top on a mahogany body. There’s also a 24-fret, ebony fingerboard with a uniquely designed “Beaten Path” EKG-Style inlay. The guitar also comes with Strauss’ signature DiMarzio pickups, which the guitarist designed herself.

The Ibanez JIVA’s unveiling at this winter’s NAMM Convention makes Strauss the company’s first female guitarist with a Signature model. Strauss has been on the Ibanez roster since 2008 and the JIVA is a well-deserved award that recognizes one of the most inspiring and hardest working guitarists in music.

Strauss is currently gearing up for a new round of touring with Alice Cooper and is deep into production on her first guitar-driven, instrumental solo album.

AXS recently spoke with Nita Strauss about her new Signature model guitar, her upcoming tour with Alice Cooper and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: Where did the idea and inspiration for your Signature model come from?

Nita Strauss: I think once you start playing guitar and learning about their components, you start figuring out what features would make it better. So, like most guitars players, I started designing my Signature guitar when I was in grade school [laughs]. I would always write down all my ideas into a notebook that I would carry around. This year is my tenth anniversary with Ibanez, and last year was when the discussion for a Signature model first started. I already had a clear picture of what I wanted from all the endless decisions I’d done in my head. So, once the final decision was made, it was a pretty straightforward process.

AXS: Why the name, “JIVA”?

NS: The word “jiva” is a Hindu word that means the part of yourself where all your creativity, ideas and life force comes from. It’s your jiva manifesting itself. Whether it’s your art, music or creativity, it’s the part of you that lives on after your body passes away. I thought, what more appropriate thing to call my guitar. On a personal note, my Dad’s band was called Jiva a long time ago. Since my dad’s the one who taught me how to play guitar, it’s also a fitting tribute as well.

AXS: What can you tell me about the guitar?

NS: It’s a mahogany body with custom maple top and ebony fretboard that weighs exactly seven pounds. That combination of wood gives it the tone I love and sets the guitar apart from others in the S-series. The Deep Space Blonde color is also unique as well.

AXS: What about the guitar’s pickups?

NS: Choosing a pickup was a trial and error process. I wanted something with a lot of body and sustain. Something that could hit top harmonics and hold them out but also not be too noisy on stage. We have a happy medium with my DiMarzio Pandemonium pickups. They’re really bright with harmonic resonance but are also really quiet.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Nita Strauss by Clicking Here!

‘Earworm’: Filmmaker Tara Price Discusses Her Latest Horror/Sci-Fi Short

Tara Price

When a reclusive man is repeatedly woken up over the course of a night by severe headaches, accompanied by musical repetition from an unknown source, his sanity begins to swiftly unravel.

The premise for writer/director Tara Price’s new short film, “Earworm”, is more than just a sinister play on words. It’s an eerily captivating, empathetic look at a man losing grip with his own reality. In mere minutes, Price is able to effectively weave a compelling web of cringe-worthy horror and uncertainty, while taking the viewer on a wild, emotional thrill ride.

The film, which stars veteran actor Ernest L. Thomas (“What’s Happening!!,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Malcolm X”) is as infectious as it is unsettling.

In addition to already being an acclaimed actress, Price wrote, produced, and starred in the award-winning, sci-fi short, “The Routine”, which was an “Official Selection” in thirty film festivals worldwide as well as being a nine-time award winner. “Earworm” is her directorial debut.

With endless enthusiasm and a profound knack for uniquely capturing a vision from written page to screen, Price is one to watch in 2018.

I recently spoke with Tara Price about “Earworm” and more in this exclusive new interview.

Where did the idea for “Earworm” originate?

I’ve written and produced several short films in the past, but this was the first one that I wrote with me specially wanting to direct. The whole concept behind it is actually a play on words. I’ve used the word “earworm” many times in my vocabulary. It means when you get a song stuck in your head. But what I’ve discovered over the years is that many people hear the word and relate it to “tapeworm” or “ringworm”. They don’t realize that it’s about music being stuck in your head. I thought it would be great to make a movie about both of those things.

Was the idea always for it to be a short film, or did you have something more feature-length in mind?

All of my other films were under ten minutes, so I always knew that it would be short. I like my material to pack a punch and end on a good beat. I’ve had people suggest that I make “Earworm” into a feature and I’m always flattered, but it was never meant to be one.

How did Ernest Thomas become involved in the film?

Ernie and I had worked together as actors in the past. All of our scenes were together so whenever there was downtime, we would spend it by hanging out and getting to know each other. He’s so kind, funny, generous and down to Earth. He’s also got an iconic smile that you immediately recognize. Ernie’s known primarily as a comedic actor, but he has such a great face for drama. I didn’t write the script with Ernie in mind, and I wasn’t even sure if it was going to be about a man or a woman. Ultimately, I decided it would be interesting to have a seasoned actor in the role, and Ernie was the first one who popped in my head. I shot him an email and was really lucky when he said yes. We had always hoped to work together again, and it was a wonderful thing.

What was the filming process like for “Earworm”?

We shot the entire film in one day. It was exhausting, but tons of credit goes to my team of people and to Ernie, because they never lost their momentum. I also had a wonderful producer, Billy Hanson. I’m so indebted to him for believing in this script and for being a great partner. To have someone that solid in your corner who believes in and trusts in you is so important.

Tara Price & Ernest Thomas

As a first-time director, what was the biggest challenge?

This may sound silly, but sometimes just believing in yourself can be the hardest thing. The idea of directing can be intimidating, but I was fortunate to have many positive influences in my life and a lot of people encouraging me. Directing sounds scary and is a lot of work, but it’s easier when you have a good script, go in with a plan and surround yourself with top-notch people.

How has the reaction been to “Earworm”?

It’s been great. I love going to festivals and sitting in the back and watching he audience. There’s one scene I won’t give away where the audience always shrieks [laughs]. It’s my favorite part.

What’s next for the film?

It’s recently screened in New York and Berlin and will be playing at the Indie Horror Film Festival in Illinois in March. It’s already been in forty-eight film festivals and has won seven awards.

Was a filmmaker something you always aspired to do?

Initially, I wanted to be an actor and moved to L.A. in pursuit of it. I always liked to write, but did it mostly to help me as an actor. Eventually, people started telling me that I should try directing. I was hesitant at first, but once I did everything else paled in comparison. It’s exciting to write something and then bring your vision to life. But it wouldn’t be possible without having a great team of people who bring everything they’ve got to the table.

Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?

I’ve recently directed a music video for the song that’s from “Earworm” – “The Worst Thing”. It’s a completely separate entity that has nothing to do with the movie, but it’s a catchy song that gets stuck in your head [laughs]. It’s funny how you can plan something and then things go a completely different way. Directing was never part of my plan, but my path got rerouted and here I am. It’s very exciting.

What are you most looking forward to about the next phase of your career?

Honestly? It’s wherever the chips fall. I’ve got a bunch of irons in the fire right now, and I’m looking forward to whatever happens first. I’ll just be lucky and happy to have the opportunity. Setting out to do something and then reaching the goal is very satisfying. Finding passion in something new is such a blessing, and I feel so fortunate.

For more information on ‘Earworm’ visit:
http://www.dirigoentertainment.com/earworm

Out For ‘Blood’: Maria Brink Of In This Moment

MariaBrinkWhen it comes to women who rock, there are few who do it better or rock harder than Maria Brink. The feisty blonde singer of the band In This Moment is the Queen of Hardcore Metal. Brink is also one of the most charismatic and endearing women in music today. Believe it.

Last year, following the one-two punch of being dropped by their management and losing two band members, Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth found themselves in a bit of a quagmire. But rather than wallowing in the negative, the duo instead armed themselves with a new-found sense of direction and channeled that energy into Blood, an album that has become their most successful to date.

Reunited once again with producer Kevin Churko (The Dream, A Star-Crossed Wasteland) the combination of Howorth’s guitars and Brink’s infectious vocal lines make Blood a must have album for both die-hard and new fans alike.

The video for the album’s title track features haunting innuendos of both strength and vulnerability and showcases Brink’s seductive nature and vocal prowess.

In This Moment plans to continue to tour extensively in 2013, giving fans more than enough opportunity to pay homage to the Queen.

I had the chance to speak with Maria about “Blood”, her upbringing and where she finds her own inspiration in this exclusive interview.

What was the spark that ignited the new album?

Everything just kind of hit rock bottom and everyone had thought the band was finished. The idea that everyone had given up on us is what lit this fire. The truth is, we haven’t even touched on many of the things we want to accomplish so we couldn’t let go.

In the studio, how do you develop the melodies for your songs?

What I like to do is go into the vocal booth, listen to music and start feeling it and then seeing what comes out. Then we’ll go back and listen to all of the different takes and find the one that’s most exciting. Sometimes, that’s the most organic way of doing things.

Do you find it difficult at times being a female lead singer in a primarily “male dominated” genre?

I don’t think it matters if you’re a woman or a man as long as you’re confident and know exactly what you’re there to do. When I go out there, I control that crowd. I see myself as a queen, commanding and strong. I don’t let anything pull me down or let anyone take that away from me.  We’ve opened up for Megadeth, DevilDriver and some of the heaviest, underground metal bands. Those crowds can be a little bit challenging, but I don’t think that it’s because I’m a girl. From my perspective, We’re a metal band at heart.

Did you always aspire to be a singer?

Ever since I was a little girl it was always a dream. I used to pull all of the kids together from the neighborhood and put on plays where I was the singer. But it wasn’t until I was around 22 that I  started to really believe that I could do this. I realized that I could create this if I really wanted to.

There’s so much power and range in your voice. Have you ever taken vocal lessons?

I’ve never taken lessons, but I’ve been singing for so long that I’ve learned to grow and know how to push my voice. I’m fortunate that I can go from being emotional, raspy and intense to the softer, more feminine sound.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to paint, visit underground coffee shops and of course, the spa. That’s probably my favorite thing. I love just going to a spa and shutting off. For eight hours straight if possible. [laughs]

Which of your tattoos is your favorite?

I’d have to say it’s my knuckles because they say “Believe”. It continuously inspires me to realize that we can all create our own destiny and manifest whatever it is we truly want and desire. If we just believe, we can make it happen.

In This Moment (Photo by: Robert John Kley)
In This Moment (Photo by: Robert John Kley)

What does In This Moment have planned tour wise for 2013?

We’re working on a bunch of things that we can’t announce just yet. But one thing’s for sure, great things are going to happen.

Article first published as Out For Blood: Maria Brink Of In This Moment on Technorati.

Nothing Like The S.U.N: Sass Jordan Discusses New Album

sassjordanSass Jordan’s new project, Something Unto Nothing (S.U.N.) is a much welcome relief from the force fed blandness that’s currently being marketed as “music” these days. With a raw vibe and groovy goodness to it, the 13 track opus is reminiscent of the epic rock albums that ruled the charts in the 1970′s. Together with guitarist Brian Tichy, bassist Michael Devin and drummer Tommy Stewart, Jordan and S.U.N take the listener on a rock and roll journey of honest songwriting and cool hooks.

S.U.N is infused with a variety of Jordan and Tichy’s influences. From the opening lines of ‘Burned’ to  songs like ‘Nomad’, ‘Mobile Again, ‘I’m the One’ and the title track, it’s a sound music fans have been jonesin for a long time.

S.U.N isn’t just a record. Something Unto Nothing is an experience. One that brings back the days when wearing huge headphones, listening to new vinyl and becoming immersed in music was all the rage. And that’s no jive.

Jordan, the beautiful blonde, vocal dynamo, is one of the best singers in rock. With a bluesy tone and power that commands an audience’s attention, perhaps it’s no surprise that same command may have been a reason why she was chosen to become an Honorary Colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force; a title bestowed upon her this year while touring with the Canadian Forces.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Sass about the new album. We also discuss the day she realized she wanted to become a singer, her stint with the Canadian Forces as well as the origin of one of her biggest hits, “Make You A Believer”. With an infectious new album and spirit about music, she’s certainly made one out of me.

goJimmygo (gJg): Congratulations on the new album! How did the release event go?

Sass Jordan (SJ): It was amazing! We held it at the Key Club in Hollywood. I’m very happy.

Brian (Tichy) is known primarily for his drumming but in this band, when you play live, he’s the guitarist!

He’s an incredible drummer but also a great guitar player as well. He played both instruments on our album.

gJg: You guys were also recently joined onstage by another amazing guitarist – Jake E. Lee! How did that experience come about?

SJ: Jake is a bad ass! Still an amazing player and a lovely human being as well!  He knew we were playing and texted me ‘What am I coming up to play?’ It was so cool.  He also asked me to sing on a new record he’s currently working on. I’ll be singing a song that I co-wrote with him, Ron Mancuso and Derek Sharp.

SUNLogoWhat was the spark that ignited S.U.N.?

Tichy had played on a 1993 record of mine called ‘Rats’, but over the years we had lost touch with each other. We somehow got back together again through MySpace back in 2010 and we decided to get together and write some songs. So, we got together and started writing and instantly it was a fountain of creativity. One of the most creative relationships I’ve ever had. After we’d written 4 or 5 songs over the course of the year, we decided we needed to be a band. Being an equal part of a band is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

What would your songwriting process be like?

We would write in the loft at his house. First, we’d write and arrange a song and then he’d go downstairs and get on the drum kit and record the drum part from his head. Then we’d start putting on the guitars, bass and vocals. We recorded the entire album in his house, up at Tish Rock Ranch, in the California Canyons. There’s something about the light and space in the Canyons that inspires this kind of big rock sound. We wanted to make a record of songs that sound like you’ve heard them before, but not quite – so that it would be familiar but still fresh!

One of my favorite songs from the album is the title track, Something Unto Nothing. It reminds me of the days of big headphones, putting a song on the turntable and being taken to another plane of existence.

SJ: It’s so cool that you say that because that’s exactly what we were trying to achieve. It’s like early Styx or Kansas; or even Genesis – those epic songs that they used to play on the radio. FM radio back in the seventies was so great. Back then, they’d play everything, and it was up to the disk jockey’s what they would play on their own shows. Before radio became a corporate entity designed to sell things other than music.

When did you realize that you wanted to become a singer?

When I was young, my parents only listened to classical music. Then one day, my brother and I discovered that if you changed the dial on the radio, a different sound would come out. [laughs] That’s when I first started to hear pop/rock music. In fact, the very first song I ever heard was “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” by The Band. That changed my life. I remember my Mom came home from grocery shopping and I went running up to her and said “MOM! I know what I want to do. I want to be a singer!”

When I was 14, I started singing in Westmount Park, Montreal, with my friends. We’d just sit in the park, play acoustic guitars and sing songs of the day: The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young … that’s how I started. My last two solo records are rootsy like that: ‘Get What You Give’ and ‘From Dusk til Dawn’. I recorded ‘Get What You Give’ in Nashville and there are a lot of amazing players on it. Colin Linden, the great blues/roots guitarist and Audley Freed from ‘Cry of Love’. Richard Bell from the Band (keyboards) and Bob Babbit (bass) from The Funk Brothers both played on it as well. That was one of the last recordings that Bob and Richard played on, as both of them are no longer with us, unfortunately. They were two of the greats, and I am honored to have had the chance to work with them.

Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?

SJ: I’m an honorary Colonel in the Canadian Forces. My squadron is up at 4 Wing in Cold Lake, Alberta, 417 Combat Support Squadron. We’re working on a TV show about my experiences with them, but the show is mostly about the men and women who serve, and what fascinating and incredible people they are – it’s a chance to get to know them, and maybe get a feel for their lives and lifestyle.

How did you get involved with them?

I was doing a Canadian Northern Entertainment Show Tour (similar to a USO Tour) and we were up at the North Pole, CF Alert, on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut. While we were there, it was 24-hour darkness. The sun never came up. I ran into the station warrant officer, MWO Rob Dumelie, and he said to me, “My squadron in Cold Lake, Alberta would like to have someone like you as our Honorary Colonel. Would you ever consider it?” And I said, “Absolutely!”

What duties does your job entail?

I’m a liaison (or public face) for my squadron and get to go out into the world and talk about them. I’m also a big part of morale and get to hang out with the families. It’s truly an amazing honor, because these men and women are performing such a huge service for us. It’s good to acknowledge them and let them know that people care.

One of my favorite Sass songs is “Make You A Believer”.  How did that song come to be?

Rick Neigher and I were at his writing studio in Hollywood, and I wanted to write a song that sounded like the Faces mixed with a southern rock kind of vibe. So he just started playing that chord progression and I just started singing… “I’ve been sitting here all night, tryin’ to make this thing work out right…” and it just flowed from there. At that moment, we pretty much knew we had something!

What are you most looking forward to with S.U.N and this new music?

We really want to tour and we know that we have to build this person by person. The good thing is, when people see the band they love it. This type of music and attitude seems to be something that people are really hungry for, if all the comments and reviews we’ve been getting are any indication. We aren’t neophytes – we’re veterans – we’ve been working our whole lives to be this good at what we do, and we are the real deal. We don’t use auto tune, we don’t use click tracks we don’t use any studio trickery. What you hear on the record is what you get live. This music is genuine and it comes from our hearts and souls. And if we can provide what’s missing in that little niche gap, that’s the greatest thing on Earth!

For more on S.U.N. (Something Unto Nothing), visit their Official Website and Facebook

Article first published as Nothing Like The S.U.N: Sass Jordan Discusses New Album on Technorati.