Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pheaturing Doris Brendel



Hello there, welcome to another entry of the Phile, which is a proud sponsor of...

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Leonard Skinner
January 11, 1933 - September 20, 2010
Pronounced.


Today's guest is a talented singer and musician based in England whose lastest album "The Last Adventure" is due for release on the 1st November on Sky-Rocket records. She'll be playing next on September 30th at Water Rats in London, England. Please welcome to the Phile... Doris Brendel.


Me: Hello, Doris, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Doris: Very well thank you. Busy as ever.

Me: Should I call you Doris or Doz?

Doris: It's Doz to my friends.

Me: You're from London, right? What part? I was born in Balem, gateway to the South.

Doris: Actually originally I'm from Austria. I was brought up in Vienna and came to England when I was 12. I've mostly lived in London (North West) but have lived in a few other towns as well.

Me: Let's talk about your CD "The Last Adventure". Will it be available on iTunes here in the States?

Doris: It should be - it has recently been submitted to iTunes for a 1st November release. It's already listed on Amazon US.

Me: Where does the title come from? It's not really your last adventure, is it?

Doris: Nope. Not mine. The song itself was inspired by the death of my mother and all the musings of what may or may not be waiting for us afterwards that such an event promotes.

Me: Doris, you weren't originally a solo act, right? You were once in a band called The Violet Hour I believe. What made you go on a solo career?

Doris: The Violet Hour split up because we didn't get on very well anymore. Following that I have had numerous projects, some solo and some with other bands. "The Last Adventure" is my 6th album, though I've done some dance records as well under stage names.

Me: And you were in a bunch of cover bands as well, am I right? What bands did you cover?

Doris: I still am, though I've scaled things down considerably. Our playlist is huge covering most well known artists old and new. We specialise in party material, audience participation and medleys. You name it we do it.

Me: I know you've been doing shows in London and England as a whole, but are you planning on coming to the States?

Doris: I would LOVE to tour in States. It's all down to budget at the end of the day and how well the album does - touring is expensive. Things are particularly bad for the music business and musicians right now. CD sales are at an all time low and people don't go out midweek as much. Here's hoping.

Me: You must have a lot of influences, Doris, because you play a lot of different instruments and played a lot of different kinds of music. Who are your influences?

Doris: No one artist. I have very eclectic tastes and I guess it shows. I was brought up on a classical diet; then discovered the Beatles which changed my direction completely. Once I came to England I found much more: Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Free. Then later U2, Alanis, Skunk Ananse, Sting/ Police, B52s, Peter Gabriel, and and and...

Me: And how many instruments do you play anyway? What is your first and main one?

Doris: My first instrument is my voice of course. Then acoustic guitar - I'm a decent enough rhythm player, though don't ask me to play solos. Not bad at the flageolet either (Irish whistle) which features on several albums. I play fiddle, though not very well - I work on the principle that if you play really fast people can't hear the bum notes. With the covers band I also play saxaphone - again I'm not a great player; I just learn tunes on a requirement basis - seems to fool most people. I also play piano, but only as a song writing tool - ie I work it out, then get a good player to do it properly.

Me:
You have worked with Dave Beeson for a while, right? When did you first meet him and do you write songs together?

Doris: I met Dave many years ago - he lives nearby and has had a great reputation as a guitarist for a long time. Initially he played the occasional covers gig with me. Then Dave built his first studio and I approached him about doing a song writing/ recording project. At that time it was not meant to be anything too serious - we both were incredibly busy with other projects - but a great release for some ideas. The song writing was and still is all mine - it's what I do. Twiddling nobs in a studio on the other hand isn't, and what Dave is so good at, as well as having a great talent for instrumentation. Our 1st work together became the DB 'driving' album and features only the two of us. Apart from a bit of acoustic guitar, Dave played all of the instruments. "The Last Adventure" on the other hand was rehearsed in with a full band before we recorded it. I had a lot of instrumentation ideas I wanted to try out and it has made for much more interesting arrangements.

Me: I was excited that you worked with Sam Brown and her dad Joe. People over here probably don't know who they are, but I do, and my British readers will. I loved Joe's album that he released over ten years ago. When did you work with he and Sam? Are you still friends with them?

Doris: I first met the Brown family before getting signed to Sony. Pete Brown (brother of/ son of) produced our final demo and then went on to produce the Violet Hour album on which Sam did background vocal's. Pete Brown became my partner for several years, hence close ties with the whole family. I sang On Sam Brown's 3rd album (and played flageolet too), she in turn sang on my album "If" and we wrote a few songs together, and she used to be part of my acoustic live project. Similarly with Joe - I sang and played on a few tracks at his studio and Joe played fiddle on one of the "If" tracks. Once Pete & I split up I didn't see much of the family anymore - I last saw Sam last year at her house, but we don't see each other regularly.

Me: You should let them know I would love to interview them, Doris.

Doris: Sam is notoriously bad at returning calls and emails... Someone else wanted to interview her and I don't think it ever happened. You're best sending her a message on her Myspace page.

Me: Anybody else you worked with? Jools Holland, Eddi Reader?

Doris: I've supported a few good bands - Marillion, John Farnham, Nils Lofgren, Steve Marriott. Recently Bryan Ferry nicked my drummer! Lots of sessions, some film tracks, duets - all kind of blends together. Recently I've been getting some song writing commissions which I really enjoy - theme tune for a new film & a song for the charity Reunite which will be coming out soon. Dave Ball (Soft Cell) has just done some dance mixes of "Latest Fantasy" which will be released around the same time as the album.

Me: Okay, Doris, go ahead and mention your websites. We can find you on Twitter as well, right? Do you have lots of followers?

Doris: Oooh do I get to plug myself. Main website is www.dorisbrendel.com Then there's www.myspace.com/dbdriving Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/people/Doris-Brendel/100001280294308 Twitter: http://twitter.com/DorisBrendel and http://www.reverbnation.com/dorisdbbrendel (there is another if you enter my name on search) . Both Twitter and Facebook are not run by me though (I don't have the time) - lovely Julie from Canada is in charge of those. Myspace I do myself.

Me: Thanks very much for taking time out to be on the Phile. I wish you continued success and I enjoy your music. Thanks again. Take care.

Doris: Thank you too! XXXXXX




There, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to Doris... or Doz Brendel for a really good interview. Also, thanks to you for reading the Phile. It will be back next Thursday with a new entry with guest Tiffany Thompson who is a very talented singer who has a four song EP on iTunes. Until then, spread the word, not the turd, don't let snakes and alligators bite you, bye love you bye.





2 comments:

Roger Beleffi said...

Hey, I love your interview here. Im a big fan and supporter also sponsor of Doris Brendel. Shes a great musician! She has soo much power and a great voice.
Let us support Doris & Lee Dunham when ever we can.

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