In Flight to Find Vienna

Find Vienna is a pop/rock band made up of Patrick Mencel (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Ian Walsh (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Paul Mencel (Bass, Vocals), and Mark McGuire (Drums, Vocals). They are a “ blend of all that is good from the 80′s until today.” This is one band that is  adamant about keeping their music honest with no gimmicks.  In today’s music industry, that is becoming more and more rare.  Their sound is a mix of  Sting, Steve Perry, U2, Jeff Buckley, Edge, and Jeff Beck. I even detect a little Adam Levine sound in there at times.

In true Teeco71 fashion, this interview came out of a Twitter interaction I had with Mark one night.  As we were tweeting, I started to check out their music and really enjoyed what I heard.  As you all know, I don’t keep the things I like to myself for very long.  Please allow me to share this interview with you so that you, too, can enjoy Find Vienna:

Q: I read that Find Vienna “draws inspiration from The battle artists fight everyday to make ends meet.”  The music business has changed so much over the years. How do you adapt to it as artists so that you can continue to do what you love?

A: It has changed immensely. Social networking sites have become such a huge part of music promotion. Twitter is one of the most valuable resources available so we have been hitting that super hard. Records haven’t been selling like they used to, and it’s next to impossible to tour without tour support from a label. It’s a huge catch-22, but you have to try to start small and build on the little victories, one at a time.

Q: Speaking of the changing business, you do not use “gimmicks” in your music or videos.  Its just authentic lyrics, music, and voices. Why do you think that has become so rare?

A: The Internet allows anybody to post just about anything so that it is available for all to see. It’s simultaneously a gift and a curse. It allows bands who wouldn’t normally break through the chance to break through, but it also clutters things up. It gets harder and harder to weed through the bullshit anymore. I think a lot of the true artists have a difficult time promoting themselves effectively through the Internet. It really takes a perfect storm to make it because labels aren’t giving people as much slack to screw up. If your first record doesn’t sell, you’re done.

Q: Who are some of your role models and influences in the music business?

A: We are huge fans of Coldplay and U2. It is so hard to stay relevant in this industry for more than 10 years. You see a lot of bands that put together a hit, maybe a solid album. But to put together quality albums and evolve with the changing times, that is something that warrants serious respect.

Q: Who would you like to work with? Artists, Producers, etc?

A: Michael Brauer would definitely be one mix engineer we’d love to work with. Brendan O’Brien and Jacquire King would be two producers we’d love to try as well. Then again, there’s so many talented people who are undiscovered, yet so talented. We’re an underdog, so for us we are all about working with people on the rise who are underdogs as well.

Q: Tell me a little about the new 5 track EP, ‘In Flight.’  It was supposed to be a full length CD but you decided to put out what you had ready. Do you still plan to release a full length in the near future?

A: We released In Your Favorite Colors in September of 2009 and we have gone through some personnel changes in the band since that album. We didn’t feel that it was properly conveying the sound and the maturity of the band, so we felt the need to release something fresh, something new, something that said “Here’s the new Find Vienna”

Q: What is the most rewarding part of doing what you do?

A: Seeing People sing along to your songs is the best feeling we’ve ever felt. It’s hard to explain in words how amazing that feeling really is.  We’ve toiled for hours on these songs in the studio and in practice to get them just right. When you see someone feel all the emotions that you’ve poured into the songs, it’s just incredible.

Q: How important do you think Social Media is to artists today? How do you think it is best used?

A: Social media is HUGE. It’s become the biggest way to promote what you do. Record labels aren’t handing out monstrous deals like they did in the 80s and early 90s. Those days are gone. You have to make yourself today. If you want it, you have to go out and get it, and social media is the best tool you have right now.

Q: Speaking of Social Media, where can we find the band online?

A: wearefindvienna.com, twitter.com/findvienna, facebook.com/findvienna

Q: Tell me a little about each of you. Who is the “class clown”? Who is most serious? The most parental?

A: Patrick is the class clown for sure. He always keeps everyone in good spirits and you just never know what he’s going to say or do. Paul and Mark are the business sense. Ian is the studio genius who can play anything. Mandolin, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Ukulele, Piano, engineer extraordinaire, you name it. Patrick and Ian do most of the songwriting. Mark has assumed the nickname of “Dad” because he generally tends to be the sober one who drives after the gig is over and makes sure no one does anything stupid. Paul also does most of the booking, so I guess that makes him the most serious…except don’t challenge him to a dance battle. A: He’ll take you up on it and B:You’ll lose.

Q: What do you think of reality shows like ‘X Factor’ ‘American Idol’ ‘The Voice’ and ‘Duets’?  Do you think these shows help aspiring artists as much as one who is not in the industry would think? 

A: I think they are good because it allows smaller bands to get exposure playing with the winners of the various shows. At the same time, I think the shows are a bit ridiculous and the winners are sometimes predetermined, but that’s just my opinion. Granted, we all still watch them haha.

Q:  Any advice for the bands and solo acts who are just starting out or thinking about starting out in the music business?

A: You have to promote yourself. At all times. And it’s OK to be shameless about it. Don’t be pushy, but don’t be afraid to tell people what you’re doing. People don’t want to look for new artists anymore, they want them to fall into their laps.

Q: What’s up next for Find Vienna?

A: We will be touring heavily this summer throughout the east coast and Midwest. We have also been working on a lot of new material. Unfortunately we don’t have any sort of release date just yet, but you’ll have to wait and see :)

I would like to thank Find Vienna for taking time to chat with me and I hope that you will all look them up.  Check out their music, catch them on tour, and spread the word.  

Trevor Page: Someone You Should Know

I am super excited to introduce you to Trevor Page. He is such a multidimensional human being, an amazing artist, and quite the smart guy. His sound encompasses so many genres and yet has a uniqueness that is refreshing in a time where music seems to have taken on a formulated feel to it.

Trevor has worked with Gabe Lopez, who I interviewed a few months ago so I decided to ask Gabe for a quote about working with Trevor (but Trevor doesn’t know I asked…..yet :) )  Being another extremely generous soul, he had this to say about Trevor:

“Trevor has become such a great pop singer/songwriter and producer.  He has great production instincts – he’s very savvy about his use of synths and sound effects.  And his lyrics – such a great combo of personal, heartfelt words and catchy  hooks.  He’s great live, too.  A very solid singer – complete with range and runs. I have a blast working with him.  He’s the real deal.”

When I first became aware of Trevor, through my interview with Gabe, I immediately looked him up and began to experience his music.  I say experienced because in special cases, you don’t just listen to music, you experience the art of it.  I was extra pleased to discover he is such an approachable and generous person.

Please enjoy this interview as much as I have enjoyed working on it:

Q: Have you always known you had such an amazing talent?  Your voice is very unique and so mature for someone your age.

A: First off thank YOU. Finding myself as an artist wasn’t a completely smooth ride. I was very shy. I always new I loved to sing and loved music but growing up in a small town in Florida wasn’t the most encouraging atmosphere. My parents are very supportive but having this big dream was a bit scary for my mom when I was younger. She never really encouraged me to sing. She is very business minded and always wanted me to have a plan for success doing something a little more solid… and to an extent understandably so. There are NO guarantees in the entertainment business. It wasn’t until I was around 17 or 18 that I started seriously writing music and I didn’t perform any of it until I was 20 or so. It was when I started doing music with Ricky Diamond that I really started to come into my own. The duo was fun and it taught me a lot. So no, it has been a tough, bumpy path but I am far from done.

Q:  I read that you are a child of a multi-racial marriage. Was that challenging for you growing up?  Do you have any advice for people who may be teased and/or bullied for being different than others?

A: I honestly never knew that I was different until I’d be told or reminded by other people but I have been blessed with absolutely the best family anyone could ask for.  Like i said, it was a small town and sometimes tolerance for being different is a little skewed out of fear. I really just try to take that as a learning experience too. Things have gotten better and better but we still have work to do to spread education and love. As far as advice for anyone being bullied… Hmm.. Its so much easier said than done especially if its your family who may be the negative influence. But in the case of racial issues, our race is something we have no control over. So being oppressed over something like that can be detrimental in learning or having negative experiences . Try to surround yourself with positive people. There are wonderful things about ALL of us. Look for positive role models that you can relate to because you are not the only one. Don’t stay silent. Tell a counselor, your parents or a friends parents. Continue reading “Trevor Page: Someone You Should Know” »