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Interview: Allison Crowe
DecipheringDaisies.com (U.S.A.)
Saturday, May 28, 2005

From the Deciphering Daisies website, "Promoting Women In Music and the Arts":

DD: You grew up surrounded by jazz and rock music, what is the first
record you remember listening to as a child?

There are probably a few records I remember listening to as a child, one
being The Fox and the Hound, which was a story record, so it probably
doesn't count! As for music, I remember listening to the Chipmunks, a
Mickey Mouse exercise tape called Mousercise, and I remember my Dad
listening to a lot of Elton John and Ronnie Milsap on long car trips.
:o) Oh, and Anne Murray.

DD: You discovered Nina Simone and Chet Baker while you were in your
pre-teens, and their work helped fuel your desire to pursue music. Why
did they have such a big impact on you?


At that age I discovered a LOT of different music, and I'd say it all
had a huge impact on me, because it was around that time that I really
started to get into playing music and taking it seriously. There was
jazz (ie. Nina Simone, who I had heard on a vocal jazz collection along
with many other artists, her classically-infused piano style inspires
me, and the unique voice of Chet Baker, whose music I was introduced to
while taking lessons on the electric bass). And there was rock (Led
Zeppelin, Janis Joplin among others) and folk and classical and all
sorts of music surrounding me. All of the music I heard during these
formative years, I'm sure, impacted on who I have become and am becoming
as a person and musician.

DD: What was the first concert you attended?

I believe the first concert I attended was Ray Charles in Nanaimo, B.C.
at, if I remember correctly, the Civic Arena when I was in grade 4. Even
before that, though, I probably saw a Raffi concert (Canadian children's
entertainer) which is cool because he came to one of my own concerts a
couple of years ago!

DD: Your first public performance was at the age of 6, where did you
perform?

My first public performances would have been at Cilaire Elementary, at a
school concert. I believe I had a solo in the flapper-era jazz song
"Jada Jada".


DD: Just a question for fun: You've performed in coffeehouses throughout
your career, if you were a coffee drink, what would you call it, and
what "ingredients" what it consist of
?

I think I would start with the size. If there is a tall size, my coffee
drink would most likely be short. I'm can be a nervous person sometimes,
just generally, and can get hyper and a bit silly, so there would
probably be two shots of espresso. (I also like to think I can be strong
sometimes, maybe, so, espresso might work for that too.) I've heard I
can get a bit frothy, okay well I know I can, so it would most likely be
a latte, and really I just like chocolate and caramel...

I would be a Short and Sweet Espresso Latte Mocha. (okay so I am
flattering myself a bit here.. just .. a bit... and it sounds a lot
better than it would probably actually be.. hehe that's the trick!)

DD: When writing songs, which usually comes first- the piano (music) or
the pen (lyrics)? Where do you draw most of your inspiration from?

When I write, how the songs are written (piano or pen first or last)
often depends on the song itself. It just kind of happens however it
wants to, or however it's working for that particular song. I draw a lot
of inspiration from my own experiences and emotions, and from observing
the world around me. (I live on an island, where there's lots of trees
and water, and nature that inspires.) It's really like a form of
therapy!

DD: As an artist, what is more satisfying for you- recording a CD or
performing live?  Tell us about the CD you're working on.  Are you
introducing anything new into your music?


I'd say as a performer I really enjoy the performance aspect of music
the most. Both recording and performing live have their own merits, but
my first love out of the two is definitely being on the stage! Right now
I am working on a few projects, one being a Christmas DVD called
Tidings, a double live album, and another studio album, largely recorded
in 2002, that we are working on finishing this June. I always like to
think I introduce something new each time I do anything, as I get older
and learn and (hopefully) evolve. Mostly I perform  and record solo, and
live (on stage or in the studio). The CD I'm finishing this summer will
have more instruments and sounds on it - along with voice and piano.
Maybe even strings!

DD: If you were given the opportunity to collaborate with any musical
artist of your choice, who would you chose and why?

There are oh so many people I would love to collaborate with musically.
Pearl Jam, Counting Crows, Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco... I would love to
collaborate with all of these artists, for one, just for the chance to
share the stage and sing with them, and also to learn and to glean
wisdom from their experiences in the music industry (or their own
labels, with Ani!) and beyond. These are artists that have inspired me
as a singer-songwriter and musician since my teen years.

DD: You put together a CD titled Lisa's Song + 6 songs, to help raise
money to search for Lisa Marie Young, a young woman from British
Columbia who disappeared in 2002. How did you get involved in the
project?

Lisa and I have known each other since we went to high school together.
When I returned from touring across Canada in the summer of 2002, I
learned that Lisa had gone missing one night after being out celebrating
a friend's birthday. I wanted to do something to help, in any small way,
so I wrote Lisa's Song for her and her family. Later, my trio and I
recorded Lisa's Song in a Victoria, B.C. studio and added it to the CD
called 6 Songs, proceeds of which have gone to help fund the search for
Lisa.

DD: What has been your biggest achievement to date and what would you
like to accomplish in the next 5 years?  As a musician what is the best
compliment you have received?


I'd say my biggest achievement to date is just keeping doing what I am
doing and sticking with it. That may not sound very exciting, hehe, but
to me it means that I haven't given up, and that's big for me, and means
there are still more challenges and achievements to come, and that's all
I could ask for! For the years ahead, I'd like to keep making music and
playing for people all over the world.

The best compliment I have received as a musician would be towards my
piano playing, because that is something I really work on and am still
hoping to learn and learn and become a better musician!

DD: If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to portray
you?


I would want either John Cleese or Eric Idle to portray me in a movie
about my life, because I would hope it would be something along the
lines of Monty Python, maybe like The Life of Brian, except it wouldn't
be about Brian.

DD: What is your favorite quote by a musician?

"Music is spiritual. The music business is not." - Van Morrison. I
really agree with that statement.