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SkinnJakkit

Writer friends Glenn Walker and Becca Butcher recently asked me to provide a stop along The Rock Blog Tour for a North Carolina-based band called Skinn Jackitt, and I am glad I took on the opportunity.  I had been planning to put together an interview series for The Dream Between, and there’s no time like the present.  Skinn Jakkit has just released their self-titled album on November 5th.   You can pick it up here

Being the old folkie and punk rock girl that I am, I had to admit I am not as much the expert when it comes to the 70’s to 90’s heavy rock and metal that most influences this band.  I have always been fascinated and impressed by the intensity of metal fandom, however, and curious about how the business works for indie bands on that circuit.  Thanks to lead guitarist Barry Sams for the interview and the glimpse into the music and music business according to Skinn Jakkit.

1. You name check musical influences from the late 80’s and early 90’s. Aside from the general category, metal – and in my limited knowledge, there seem to be many subgenres of metal – what are the terms you use to describe your music?

We pull from a lot of subgenres in metal, such as thrash, groove, grunge, hair metal, southern rock and power metal. Each one of us has a different take, but an ideal mesh that makes us who we are. For instance, I (Barry) could pull a good Fear Factory feeling riff and Shane comes with his heavy Sabbath influence to help hone in our sound.

 2. Some punk rock is fairly similar to metal from a musical standpoint, but with some distinct differences, often in vocals and subject matter. Are you at all influenced by punk or other alt rock bands?

Of course. We love and respect all music types. Listening to our album, you will hear punk, thrash, hair metal, black metal, southern rock, and many others.

 3. For which other subgenre do you have the most affinity?

All the guys grew up when it was simply known as “Heavy Metal”, and it still is a good way to define us.  I’d say progressive metal.  But, sadly, people have to label everything so most can divide and not have it become just “music.”  I believe we all like something from every style out there from classical, country, metal, and hip hop. The subgenre divides most people in the music community and leaves little support as a whole. Our belief is a true musician can listen to and enjoy all music.

 4. What do you think generates the deeply devoted audiences for particular metal bands and for metal in general?

Every generation has their hero of rock. Growing up for us was Metallica, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath.  Then it was Nirvana, on to Avenged Sevenfold, and Five Finger Death Punch. Devotion to a band comes from several factors – the band breaks new sound territory, or just the need to fit into a group. Mainly, the music generally says something to us, we relate to the lyrics, and the music really fits and creates mood for us.

 5. How did you meet and begin working with your label and marketing representative?

In 2011, we submitted to several labels and shopped for a while before we signed with TMG (Tate Music Group). They gave us what we were looking for in a label. TMG contacted us via email, they sent us a contract to review, and the rest is history. Our relationship with TMG is a well-balanced machine. They have opened up doors and Marketing works very hard to help get us out there. We really enjoy being with TMG.  They allow us to be us, and didn’t come in and take over.

6. What is your strategy regarding the types of venues where you’ll seek to perform in support of your new self-titled album?

We are working on bigger venues with higher profile bands. We need to connect with larger audiences and gain support in their territories. Every venue has a place for us to develop and grow. Not all places are ideal, but a lot of clubs, music halls, and other establishments are desiring more original music. Our current game plan is to plant our feet in as many States we can for 2014.

 7. What are the other important ways you are getting the word out?  Do you have advice for others?

Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, You Tube, creating your own website. Allowing some of your music to be downloaded for free. You can’t be a social shut in.  Really network yourself. People still like the human touch.  Get out there and talk to people, club owners, bookers, and so forth. We have a manager to help us in other mediums. Whatever you can afford to do to gain any media acknowledgment, take advantage of it.

8. Tell us a bit about the most memorable show you’ve played so far.

Opening up for Eye Empire was our first big moment. We had such a small area to stand, if we took a step forward we would have fallen off the stage. Being there, sharing the stage with a well known nation touring band is surreal and a chance few bands get.

 9. What song or moment on the new recording is your personal favorite?

The recording process is always excitement and frustration rolled into one. You are creating songs that will be locked in for eternity. My favorite is a song called “Farther.” I love to jam it live and it has a power and groove that stays in your head.

 10. What are the things you would most like to achieve professionally and artistically?

Artistically we are always growing, changing, and evolving into our true selves. Every song we write feels better, stronger, and really defines what Skinn Jakkitt can accomplish. Professionally, we want this full time. To play music, being in a band, recording new songs, without having to rely on a 9 to 5 job. Plus selling 10 million CD’s wouldn’t be too bad.

 11. How do you think indie musicians can best help each other succeed?

Support, support and support. Find a band or several bands in your area to latch on to. Don’t be a leech or a drag. But having other artists on the same level and goals will help you grow, network faster, and be well known. There are always others who think they are better, will stab you in the back, and talk junk about you. But always let your music, your fans, and your strong (band connections) talk for you.

Visit Welcome To Hell for a list of the previous stops on The Rock Blog Tour.

 www.skinnjakkitt.com

Keep up with me, my music, other writings and happenings at www.robinrenee.com.

ol_velvet

I was very psyched to see my Halloween-themed  Warren Zevon article/playlist go live today on Biff Bam Pop.  My friend Glenn Walker, pop culture writer extraordinaire (Welcome to Hell, French Fry Diary) asked me to guest blog for the site and it was a pleasure to put together this piece.

I hope you like the alternative Halloween soundtrack.  Please read, listen, & share it!  I promise my next post will be about something other than WZ.  :-D

31 Days of Horror 2013: Guest-Blogger Robin Renee on Warren Zevon: On Beyond Werewolves

 

Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain.

tour bus, back

Yesterday, Glenn Walker posted the last piece on the Robin Renée Blog Tour on his blog, Welcome to Hell.  The original interview @ Biff Bam Pop! the day before ran so long that he rounded up some eclectic bits not included there for Odds & Ends.   What’s covered?  My jazzy version of Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to be Kind,” a makeshift Ouija board, true holiday sentiments and a bit of parody, some great new Mutant Mountain Boys videos, wighead art, a personal question (with some answers), and a 70’s smooth rock dude named Devo Dan. Odds and Ends –  It’s an aptly-named article, I’d say!

Check it out at The Robin Renée Blog Tour, Odds and Ends

Miss anything?  You can take the tour with this great recap.  It includes a synopsis and link for every stop along the way for the interviews, podcast discussion, videos, reviews, and info on the new single, “All I Am.”

Thank you so much to mastermind Glenn Walker and everyone who helped put this together.  It was busy and engaging and was a way I’d never reached out to new and old friends.  The tour bus is home now, but I’m already psyched for next time.

Photo by Jenn Phillips

Not much to say about this one – I’m just really happy with this interview.  Got to name check some of my favorite people, talk about my musical history with the band Spy Gods, and to take a look at some of the bigger questions on life and creative work.  – Nice roundup of rr live performance videos, too.   There’s really a lot in there.  Great job, Biff Bam Pop!

Read it here: Robin Renée – The Biff Bam Pop Interview

The blog tour ends tomorrow where it began –  at Glenn Walker’s blog,  Welcome to Hell.  I think some of the more off-beat outtakes from today’s interview might show up there.

Thanks for following along!

Love,

Robin

Devo Cat Listening Party

Glenn and Ray of the “weekly nerdout” known as the GAR! Podcast have a rule: They don’t discuss the podcast beforehand.  They just show up and hit record.  Glenn told me they bent that rule a little to prepare to be a stop along this week’s Robin Renée Blog Tour.   Luckily, whatever they talked about beforehand this time around took nothing away from the spontaneous, freewheeling conversation full of music geekery and beyond that ensued.  Here is the list of topics they compiled:

Robin Renee introduction / cat listeners / DEVO / Devo Dan / making music in the digital age / live music / cover songs / Elvis Costello / BeeGees / David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust / Fishbone / more DEVO / songwriting process / Kate Bush and revisions / deadlines / productivity / Cerebus by Dave Sim / distractions / the tree question / musical instruments / Prince covers / album covers / All I Am / The You Will Rise Project / the music / – See more at: http://www.garpodcast.com/#sthash.u3om7WrE.n7ibL7BP.dpuf

Listen in to the conversation here: GAR! Podcast Episode 16: Performing Artist Robin Renee.  I’ll be listening along with you to remember how we wound around to all these topics.  The standard interview this was not! – and that is a lot of fun and refreshing.  I’d love to be back on their show again soon.

Next up on the blog tour:  a comprehensive interview on the excellent pop culture site, Biff Bam Pop!

Robin Renée @ Empire Haven.  Photo by Joel Simpson.

Today’s blog tour stop takes me to the website of Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey.

Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey is a collection of short stories and slice-of-life tales from members of the South Jersey Writers’ Group.

But today, Marie Gilbert’s interview with me is featured on the site.  We cover a lot of ground in this one, including serious topics like the career pitfall of feeling less than enough and advice for young performers in a shaky, changing music business world. There are also fun references to my (very) early bands Solar Explosion and The Half Mann Band, J. R. “Bob” Dobbs, and The Barry Gibb Talk Show.  Balance in all things, yes?

Here’s the interview!   Super G Interviews the Very Talented Robin Renée

Check it out today.  Tomorrow I’ll be a guest on the GAR! Podcast with hosts Ray Cornwall and Glenn Walker.

Thanks for reading & listening.

 

ashford_castle_aerial_view

Today’s blog tour stop brings me to Patti O’Brien’s blog, A Broad Abroad.  I have enjoyed following her travels from time to time, so I’m honored she’d take a moment to write a bit about me, highlighting some of the places I’ve journeyed.

You can catch up with Patti’s discovery of Mantra-Pop, my upcoming trip to Canada (Finally!), and more here:

Robin Renee and Mantra-Pop

Tomorrow’s stop: A guest blog by Fran Metzman.  You can check it out here.

This. -  Robin Renée

I really love today’s stop on the Robin Renée Blog Tour.  My friend Glenn Walker has had This. on his iPod for a few months now, and it is clear he’s really been listening.  Coming from a perspective of someone with no background in kirtan, yoga, or concepts from those traditions, he took in the sounds, did a little research, offered his impressions of each song in turn, and gave me the chance to respond.  It was a great experience to hear what he had to say and to get a unique real-life glimpse into another person’s encounters, questions, and growing fondness for the music.  It was just as cool to take some time to respond to Glenn’s questions and impressions.  Even though it was a challenge to explain what, for the most part, lies beyond direct explanation, I still managed to find plenty to say.

Read Glenn’s great blog entry here: This. Song by Song.

Buy This. @ CD Baby or iTunes.

Remember to check out tomorrow’s travel-themed blog tour stop @ Patti O’Brien’s blog, A Broad Abroad.

Still on the (blog) tour bus.  With funny glasses.

Still on the (blog) tour bus. With funny glasses.

Author Marie Gilbert usually writes about zombies and the paranormal.  I *think* it constitutes taking a break from her usual topics to share an intro to my work, as she did yesterday on her blog, Gilbert Curiosities.  Thanks so much, Marie!  Later on the tour, Marie will post an interview she did with me.

Today, check out BeccaButcher’s Blog where she shared her impressions on my latest full-length chant recording, This., in Turn Up the Volume: Robin Renee.  I hope you will enjoy her take on it, as I did.  I especially enjoyed reading who she likened me to musically – it’s a comparison I haven’t heard before.

You can keep up with the tour tomorrow by heading back to Glenn Walker’s blog, Welcome to Hell, where he is going to share some of his thoughts in This.

Thanks for reading, commenting, picking up your copies of This. and the new song “All I Am,” and for all your blog tour support!

xx,

rr

I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like.  I’m generally too busy writing something to give more than transient attention to the books I hope to absorb.  This is a definite frustration for me – If I had 48 hours in a day I’d take some of those extra hours to sink more deeply into popular science and science journals, spiritual biographies, political nonfiction, and contemporary poetry, maybe even with time left over to escape into a few episodes of Regular Show or American Dad.  Love of toons aside, as I’ve gotten more and more interested in trying my hand at writing some fiction, I do think I ought to start reading some of it now and again.

When my friend Glenn Walker (Welcome to Hell, French Fry Diary) asked me if I’d like The Dream Between to be a stop along Fran Metzman’s virtual tour for her new collection of short stories, The Hungry Heart Stories, I thought it was a fun and innovative idea.  It was enjoyable to go into the reading experience with no preconceived notion of what to expect.  What I found was that I’d need to leave my hope of escaping into stories aside.  Witnessing the interactions of the characters in memorable situations led me to some meaningful reflection on relationships in my own life.

In My Inheritance, Metzman explores the difficult mother-daughter relationship, as she does later in Getting Closer.  Frustration, indifference, avoidance, reconciliation, and hope are on the non-exhaustive list of elements thrown into the emotional soup.  How does peace-making around the relationship between my mom and me compare?

How have I been like the woman in Christmas in August?  What makes for healthy navigation through the end of a romantic relationship?  Am I capable of distorted love and desire that could lead to the main characters’ acts in The Invisible Wife or Myra’s Garden?

Redemption prompts: How far could I or should I go to protect my loved ones and greater community?  The construction of the stories invite writers’ inquiries, easily expanded: When is metaphor truly the best way to express an essential detail or experience?  When will only plain words do?  Metzman makes us privy to what her characters do, but the archetypal questions remain.

Author Fran Metzman is a graduate of the Moore College of Art and the University of Pennsylvania.  She teaches writing at various Philadelphia area colleges and universities and co-authored her first novel, Ugly Cookies, with Joy E. Stocke.  Her blog, “The Age of Reasonable Doubt” can be found at Wild River Review and deals with mature (sometimes immature) dating and relationships, as well as aspects of society that influence all relationships.  The Hungry Heart Stories feature tales of people in crisis yearning for emotional sustenance, where food occasionally intersects the empty spaces in their hearts.

THE HUNGRY HEART STORIES
Wilderness House Press
ISBN 978 0 9827115 5 2

On Amazon

On Barnes & Noble

From Wilderness House Press

You can read more as the blog tour continues:

Wednesday, February 22nd

“Literary Debauchery” by Krista Magrowski

Thursday, February 23rd

“Welcome to Hell” by Glenn Walker

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