This page is dedicated to my friends who have gone through extraordinary situations or have been influences to me. It is also dedicated to all the muso friends I've made either through web-design, fluke connections or attending their shows. It gives me a chance to ask them about what they love and the experiences they've had (most of which you don't get to chat about normally). And out of thanks, I hope this page can give them a bit of free advertising :D

Image Source: Facebook/ Naomi Moore merged by PhotoScape.

Mum's the Word

To date, I still recognise Naomi Moore as the first friend I ever made during high school. She was the funniest, nuttiest little white rapper I had ever met. She loved Eminem, and yet managed to get dragged along to several Invertigo concerts (she was my good luck charm, everytime she was with me, we would meet someone in the band). Now, my fiesty Tool-loving besty is a mummy. I asked her a few questions about motherhood.
 
You had a daughter last year, tell us about her.
 
My beautiful daughter was born on the 31st of May, 2009- the day after my 21st birthday. After we met her for the first time Matt & I decided to name her Matilda Charlotte Swannell Horne which was one of the many names we had in mind for her. She was born weighing 3.695 kg and now days she is a lil Buddha.

What are the origins on Matilda's names?

The name Matilda means "mighty in battle" and it's just a name that Matt & I liked when I was pregnant. We were originally going to have Charlotte as a first name but several family members disagreed with it so we settled for having it as a middle name.
The name Swannell is a family name passed down on my side from my great great grandfather and I hope that one day when she has children she will follow the family tradition and pass it along to her children.

How has life changed since you have become a mother?

That’s a big question. Life changes in so many ways after you become a mummy and most of them are fantastic changes. I never thought that one day I would be a full-time mother, teacher, cook and cleaner and now that I am, I could never imagine it any other way. Having a child gives you a reason to wake up in the morning and makes you thankful for every breath that you take!

How did you prepare for Matilda's birth?

I read so many books, watched DVD's and went to classes but NOTHING can really prepare you fully for what you actually experience.

Is there any advice you would give to expectant or hopeful mothers?

Enjoy and cherish every second of it, even the hard days, because the days go by way too quickly.

Are there any items that you think people forget when buying baby gifts? What should be on the list for baby showers?

I got way too much stuff for my baby shower, we got everything we needed plus more! But an item that should be on every mother’s baby shower list is the smaller things such as singlets and socks... I’m forever buying socks because Matilda pulls them off and hides them!

What do you enjoy the most about motherhood?

It’s hard to say what I enjoy the most because there is too much to enjoy! I guess the mornings are pretty fantastic; I wake up to a happy, bright eyed little princess every morning. It's hard to have a bad day when you wake up to the sound of a baby laughing. : )

Does Matilda have any little selfish pleasures and things that she enjoys yet?

Matilda enjoys heaps of things at the moment. She started crawling and standing up against things in December so at the moment she enjoys following us around the house and standing up against our legs when we are trying to do things in the kitchen. She really loves playing on the swings at the park, chasing the cat around the house and trying to eat socks.

There is a bitter debate between working and stay-at-home mothers, what is your view of each side?

I’m a stay at home mum at the moment but to be honest I’m really looking forward to going to TAFE and spending some time apart.
I certainly do respect other mums who choose to spend all day everyday with their child but it’s just something that I’m choosing not to do. I think it’s because of the way I was raised. I've always had two working parents and it’s never effected me in anyway so I know it won’t be too hard on our daughter.

What is your hope for the future, both yours and Matilda's?

I hope that Matilda's future involves lots of happiness, laughter and love! I also hope that she is strong willed and successful in everything she does (what mother doesn’t want that for their child).
My hope for my future is that I am able to give Matilda everything she needs in life (within reason) and that I can give her many happy memories!
 
How can I not want kids after reading this??? Thanks Nomi xXx

Image Source: Facebook/ Pete Imbesi (sori Pete, finding a decent pic of you with your bass wasn't easy..hahaha) 

Time out with Pete Imbesi

As the bassist for Sydney-based band SK4, Pete Imbesi experienced the excitement of being a signed act, recording an album and following his dream. Their debut album Faceless was released in 2002 through LongPlay Records, and their single Are You Ever was well received by rock station Triple M. However, their lead singer pulled the plug on the band before their second single, the title track from their album, was released and the dream ended. I asked Pete a few questions about his time in the band and his new career with covers band Jellybean Jam.

 

With SK4, you spent some time in the music industry, recording an album, making clips and going to the ARIAs. What were some of the best moments you experienced?

Without a doubt, the best moments were almost always on stage. We were fortunate enough to play in some pretty big rooms in front of some massive crowds. It's a real adrenalin rush, right up there in intensity with anything else I've done. We were also fortunate enough to meet and work with a whole bunch of people who were a lot more famous than us, some of whom I'd admired for a long time. To my surprise almost all of them were extremely down to earth, easy going people with little or no sign of ego or self importance. Perhaps it's an Aussie thing, who knows, but no matter how famous they were, most were easy to talk to and I almost never got brushed off. That was a nice surprise and definitely one of the highlights of my time in the music industry.

Is it really all it's made out to be?

Hell no. And Hell yes. It's a real roller coaster. I know it's a cliche but we used to comment all the time that the highs are incredibly high and the lows are incredibly low. You can come off stage from an awesome gig in front of 10,000 people and be feeling like the king of the world. 30 seconds later you get a text message from your manager or record company and the whole band/Album/Project, and even friendships are suddenly fighting for survival. Here's the problem - the general public only gets to see the highs. A lot of young musicians in particular are lured into the music industry with stars in their eyes and plans to take over the world, make millions of dollars, and have unlimited hotties throwing themselves at you. The truth is that for every band that makes it to that point, there are litteraly tens of thousands of bands that don't. The odds of making it big are about the same as winning the lottery, the difference being it takes seconds to buy a lottery ticket but thousands of hours of effort to just get an album out there which may or may not tank.

Wow, how long did it take you to get exposure with SK4?

Years! We were represented by management that had been there and done it before with some very big names. We expected that our management's contacts would open doors for us, and to a certain extent they did, but it far from guaranteed us any exposure. We still had to work very hard for what little exposure we got, and we still needed a lot more to propell us into the real of being household names. Radio and TV won't touch you until you've got a reasonable following already. We tried to gain that following by doing as many gigs as possible. That kinda worked but perhaps it was too old an idea in a changing music market. Unfortunately for us, the band self destructed just as we started getting our song played on the radio. Regional stations were reacting to us quite well and finally a big city station started playing our song......It was only minimum rotation at night, far from where we wanted to be, but it was a great start and unfortunately for us, we weren't able to capitalise on it.

What was it like, recording your own album?

Frenetic! Like most new bands, our budget was somewhere between shoe-string and non-existent. Nowadays you can make some decent recordings in a bedroom with a computer, and to a certain extent that's what we did. That's what we had to do, and we could take out time with those recordings. But some things just can't be recorded that way and still sound professional. So we hired a reputable recording studio did all the Drum, Bass, and guitar tracks for the whole album in one continuous 24 hour session. That's ridiculously fast! Almost all of my bass tracks were done in 1 take and on no sleep. But underlying all of that was an incredible sense of excitement. By this stage we'd been touring for several years but somehow this felt like the start of the journey. It was also a great learning experience working with professional sound engineers and producers in a professional studio. We'd all done recordings before, but not in a studio like this one, so I found myself looking over the shoulders of all the pros and learning as much as I could from them while I had the opportunity.

How long had you been playing in bands for, before that?

I started playing bass when I was 15, which is pretty late. I'd been playing semi-professionally, mostly in cover bands for 9 or 10 years prior to SK4. It was actually through musicians I met playing the covers scene that I met the guys who ended up forming SK4 and having a crack at the original music scene.

What made you decide to become a bassist?

I didn't pick bass. Bass picked me! I can actually play several instruments at a reasonably good level. In the early years I didn't concentrate on any particular instrument and spent equal amounts of time playing bass, drums, keys, guitar, and even a little bit of trumpet. I had every intention of starting to learn sax as well but I never got around to it unfortunately. For some reason I seemed to get more interest in my bass playing than anything else. Add to that a shortage of decent bass players at the time and before I knew it I was a fully-fledged card-carrying member of the Bass community.

You're stage presence was described as being compelling and unique. Did anyone inspire how you perform on stage?

I haven't really though about my stage presence much. In SK4 there was a lot of emphasis placed of our appearance but most of that came from our singer and our manager. I just took the approach of "whatever, just tell me what to wear and I'll wear it". In hindsight that was probably a bad attitude to take, those old SK4 photos make me cringe now :) I do move around a lot on stage, but that's not something I consciously worked on. I just find I play better when the music is eminating from deep inside me, and the best way to channel my inner Flea is to move my body to the music.

What have you been doing lately, musically?

Getting paid for once :) Seriously, SK4 didn't make a cent. Very few originals band do. So when SK4 split up I put myself out there as a session bass player, and that went well for a few years. I also became known around Sydney as the emergency bass player you can call in last minute to get you out of trouble if your regular bass player suddenly can't make it to a gig. Often I'd never even met the band before, let alone had a rehearsal. I just used to wing it as best I could and most of the time I did a decent job of it. Through that, a lot or permanent offers came my way and I resisted them all for a long time. I was enjoying the freedom, and the absence of inter-band politics by not actually having to JOIN a band. Then I bought a house and suddenly I had to start thinking about job security. One of the bands that offered me a full-time job was a silly corporate covers band that does a lot of piss-takes and seemed to have a lot of work, paid reasonably well, and even had roadies to carry around all my heavy equipment. So I joined "Jellybean Jam" in Feb 2006 and that's still my main gig now, almost 4 years and counting..........

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to aspiring musos?

Oh boy, where to start........... OK:-

* Learn to do it properly..... only once you've done that should you even consider cheating or taking a short-cut.

* Guitar Hero is absolutely no practice whatsoever... unless you're planning to be a percussionist. Drummers are the best Guitar Hero players.

* By all means listen to advice, digest it before dismissing it, but ultimately you have to remain true to yourself.

* It's all about sincerity! Once you learn how to fake that, you're set!

* Sometimes it's best to sit there, shut up, and pretend you're wrong..... at least you've considered that you might be!

* Watch the "Spinal Tap" movie. Don't argue, just do it!

* Protect your hearing! Use proper musicians ear plugs! Or don't, go deaf, see if I care :)
 
Thanks so much, Pete!!!
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