| Band: Fishkill|
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
GC: What is the name of your band and who are the current members?
CN: Fishkill. I'm playing everything on the records, but I'm looking for a bass player and a drummer right now.
GC: How did you become connected to make music?
I've been listening to music since I was a little kid. My mom and Dad liked classical, and when I got older, I discovered rock. One day I found I could come up with music that sounded like to the stuff I was hearing on the radio. The rest is history.
GC: What are your musical influences?
CN: There are a lot of them and I usually miss someone along the way.
Steve Miller, Blur, The Smithereens, REM (up till 2000. They really need to stop now.), The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Fury In the Slaughterhouse, Genesis (the old, not the new), Radiohead, The Who, and AC/DC (I wouldn't have expected this, but listen to some of the songs and you'll see what I mean)
GC: What is your live show like?
CN: I did some accoustic sets last year and they were pretty lively. Unfortunately, I don't think all my music translates acoustically. I like to jump around a lot and I can't really do that acoustically. Once the live band is working, I hope to feature a lot more energy in the performance. I think that's what rock and roll is all about, anyway.
GC: Tell us about your own unique style of music?
CN: A little bit of this, a little bit of that...
GC: What serparates your band from all the other bands out there?
CN: I think we all play the same style of music, so focus on certain parts of the sound a little differently than others. I think that Fishkill's strength is its energy. Even on a record, you're caught up in the performance. Of course, the same could be said for Jet.
GC: How do you go about writing songs?
CN: Usually I get a line or a phrase stuck in my head. There's a little piece of music attached to it. I work the rest of the song out from there. It can take up to three years or thirty minutes, depending on what I'm doing at the time. I've come up with quite a few ideas while I was out running.
GC: Pick one of your latest song and talk about everything from writing it, meanings, the challenges of recording it?
CN: "Bellieve" was from the EP I relaese last summer called "PineappleOrangeBananna." I worte the song out of my fear and disgust for some people who were getting married right after high school without any idea where they were headed in life. There's no way to know what you're going to become after High School--you don't even know who you are as a person, so how can you possibly know if you're going to want to spen the rest of your life with one person? That's the basis for the song. As far as recording it, the drums were a lot more complicated than they sound. Remember, when you're the drummer in a band, everyone is taking their cues from you. When your the drummer in a virtual band, you have to imagine what those cues are going to be and sometimes, you get it wrong. Needless to say, there was a lot of editing on that piece before it was completed. The entire CD wasn't even going to be release. I did it at the suggestion of my daughter, whom I was producing her EP "Dizaster" at the time. I decided to give it away totally for free. There must be hundreds of that EP all over the world right now!
GC: What is your latest news with the band? CN: I've moved to Pennsylvania from Washington and I'm looking for a bass player and a drummer to play live around central Pennsylvania. I am also going to be trying to enhance the fan club to make it more fun to be in. Ultimately, my goal is to make a live recording and release it as a 2-CD set with a mixture of old and new material.
GC: Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your band?
CN: Independently wealthy! (ha!) Seriously, I hope to be able to have a well-known name around the Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia area.
GC: How are people currently reacting to your music?
CN: They either love it or hate it. Some people don't like my voice and they seem to harp on that. Come on, I'm not the only one who has a less-than-perfect singing voice! What about the singer's for Future Leaders of the World or Chevelle? Come on, that's a cheap shot. That's why the latest tag-line for the band is "shut up and listen." On the plus side, we (I?) scored a number one hit with "Stormcloud" back in November of 03 on New Artist Radio and I've had several tracks placeing highly on the Soundclick charts.
GC: What would be the top 3 reasons for listening to your music?
CN: To have fun, to hear something new, and to be entertained.
GC: What is your best experience as a band?
CN: Getting people to start dancing while you're playing--that's the greatest thrill.
GC: What is your worst experience as a band? CN: Having a fight break out between an audience member and one of the band members during a performance. The worst part is when the drunk guy that was picking a fight with our guitarist at the time (I was the drummer) started falling backwards onto my set. I had just bought a brand-new synthesizer drum and he was headed straight for it! I basically disassembled the set as he was falling and created a hole for him to land in. We never even got paid for that gig.
GC: What is most important to you in your band?
CN: Originality and versitility.
GC: Do you have a personal favorite song, could be your own or another artist?
CN: It changes from week to week depending on what I've been listining to. I'm really partial to U2's new song "Vertigo." I also like "I Want To Be An American Idiot" by Green Day.
GC: What was the hardest song to write and why?
CN: "I Quit." I have the hook for that song stored in my head for three years. I couldn't find another part that would compliment it, so it just sat up there as a really cool riff I couldn't do anything with. It wasn't strong enough to even be an instrumental, although that's what I was thinking when I first developed it.
GC: What do you think of the current gothic/ EBM/ Industrial/ noise/ synthpop etc scence today?
CN: Some is good, some is bad, some is like going back to the '80s
GC: What music do you currently listen to?
CN: I like rock, mostly. It's getting harder to find new music I really like. It all is strating to run together.
GC: How do you keep changing your music from album to album or plan to change it?
CN: I just let the music take me in the direction it's going in. I try not to do too much to actively change the sound. The last time I did that was when I decided not to use keyboards in any of my music. I wound up still using it for one song, but it's the only one on "A Change of Atmosphere" that has one in it. I guess they were starting to sound trite.
GC: If you have released a CD and after listening to it or making it would you change anything and why?
CN: Usualyy there's always something I can do better after I finish it. However, I also know that sometimes its best to leave well-enough alone. Like changing answers after you've finsihed taking a test. You could be changing something that's right.
GC: How do you go about making decisions with your music?
CN: I just do it. Actually I'm a pretty participative type of person. I noramlly accept inputs from other band members about the direction the music is taking. Right now, thre isn't anyone else and it's kind of isolating.
GC: What kind of recording environment do you have?
CN: A large basement and a computer. You can see pictures of my old house at my website.
GC: How long did you spend on your latest effort? CN: Four days, but it was an EP. It took five weeks for the "Atmosphere" CD.
GC: What is the hardest thing about being in a band for this genre?
CN: Getting people to listen to you.
GC: Feel free to do any shameless self promotion here of you band, now is your turn to talk about anything you want about your band, ideas, or life in the band.
CN: This is part of something I've always wanted to do. Go listen to the music and decide for yourself. I hope you'll be able to hear the live show and decide that you want to buy the music on CD. If you want to hear more, go to www.soundclick.com/fishkill and if you'd like to check out the CDs (there's three of them) go to http://www.cdbaby.com/group/fishkill. I also have music available through Music Match and Apple i-tunes.
GC: What is most rewarding when it comes to your band?
CN: Having people come up to you and tell you they love your music.
GC: What are some of your highlights as a band?
CN: I spent years getting the word out and it's just now starting to catch on. I enjoy interviews and getting the chance to talk with other musicians. I like being able to have other people who don't know me listen and enjoy the music. (I hope this is what you were asking for.)
GC: What are you looking forward to most right now as a band?
CN: Playing live and meeting new fans in person.
GC: Do you have any band goals?
CN: Increase the exposure in central PA. Get more people to buy CDs and release a live CD with both new and old material.
GC: Can you tell us about your songs on your latest release, anything from messages to inspirations?
CN: Fishkill has always been about fun. I think the songs on all the CDs are fun to listen to. I would like to thank Gary Neilsen for letting me use his song "My Solar System's Sun" on the Pinapple EP.
GC: Now, that you CD is out would you change anything?
CN: The intro on "Riven Song" annoys me. There's always next time...
GC: Are you with a label working on finding one if so.. how are is it to be accepting or what was it like being accepting?
CN: No, I produce my own CDs on my own label. I've had a few offers, but most of them have to do with me giving them money and that's not the kind of agreement I'm interested in. I do have one company I'm working with, but it's too soon to tell what will come out of the deal. I must say, I've done well for myself as far as distribution goes. The band's getting played all over the place.
GC: Remixes? Do you have any or working on any?
CN: No. It might be fun to do a dance remix of "I Quit" or "Wasting" but there's nothing planned right now.
GC: Compilation experiences good or bad and why?
CN: The compilations I've been on don't really seem to have any affect on publicity. A lot of compilations want money and I don't want to pay. I know what it takes to make one and I know that a lot of time these people want way too much money for it. I think it would be easier just to have the artists pay for the shipping and mail it out through your own distribution list. With the Internet, you don't really need compilations as much--people can access your music through a website. Why would they need to pay for a CD of unknown material. I've found that many people will buy a CD because its something they want to listen to over and over again. A lot of times they'll download it first.
GC: What kind of mind set do you like to have been performing?
CN: I'm very positive and I want people to have a good time.
GC: When you get a review back from press how helpful is it really for you?
CN: Not really. A lot of people review because they like to write. I've found while reviews --either good or bad-- are essentially only someone's opinion. To me, the idea is to get the band's name out into the public view. A review gets your name in print, so to me, it's like advertising.
GC: What do you think you would be doing if there was not this type of music out there?
CN: Probably spend more time writing fiction.
GC: How do you promote your music, and is it working?
CN: A constant barrage of internet mailings, sending promo packages to radio stations, e-zines, personal contacts, and any other source of publicity I can find. It took a long time, but people are finally coming to me and asking me to send CDs to their stations. I've been away for a few months whil I got my personal life back under control, but I will be trying to re-energize the fan club and make it more interesting for the members.
GC: How did you end up in the dark underground scene?
CN: Through Space Junkies Magazine and Beowolf Productions. "Stormcloud" actually charted on the goth rock charts! I couldn't believe it, since I never considered Fishkill to be a goth act. Certainly not in the way that bands like Evanessance or Tapping The Vein are. I'm more power pop, if anything. I hate labels, so I really don't know what a lot of these mean.
shut up and listen...
Official site: www.geocities.com/fishkillmusic
Streaming : http://www.soundclick.com/fishkill
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