theaussieword.com catches up with the Janis Joplin inspired Lauren Wolf.
What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin?
The Lauren Wolf Band is made up of 4 rock/blues musicians from Chicago. We are a high-energy group that thrives on LIVE shows. I front the band on lead vocals. Patrick Dugan is on guitar/backup vocals, Mervin Dimailig is on the drums, and Bill Marzano is on bass. We like to think of ourselves as old school rock and roll with a twist of the now. Think Janis Joplin/JImi Hendrix meets Grace Potter/The Black Keys. I first won a contest back in 2009 called Road To Fame which landed me singing for a venue out in LA for a night. I met Rob Christie through this contest (formerly with Capitol Records for 15 years). We took an instant liking to each other and within a year a band was formed and an album made. Rob produced and released the album through Robo Records.
What had you first interested in music? I grew up around music. Especially R&B in my early years and then more classic rock and alternative as I got into my teenage years. I was actually in musical theatre as well for a while. I love it all. The whole band is influenced by so many diverse artists and that is what I think makes us strong all around.
Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music?
I am always motivated by the fact that I have to sing and perform. I love the way it makes me feel and the way an audience feels when we are on to something good. I want to be able to share mine and my band’s music with people all over. Our whole band is so passionate about what we do and that is what keeps us going. There is nothing else I would want to do. An office job is just not my thing. I would go crazy.
Do you have any planned tours coming up?
Yes! We are working on booking our first two-week tour in November.
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
Of course most of us have big dreams, but honestly it is the monthly goals that keep us going to get to the bigger accomplishments. I think after this first tour, we would like to come back and make sure we finish and record our second album. We would like this to be an all original LP. Our first album did have some covers along with our own. We would love for there to be a break out song that could get on some larger radio rotations. That is an extremely tough goal to make, but we are up for the challenge. Then the hope is to do a larger tour in one way or another.
What can fans expect from you in the coming months? A November tour (Midwest), but I should also mention that we will be releasing our first “official” music video next month (September). We are very excited about this video for our song “One Day”. There should be a full length second album in late fall or early winter. We hope more touring in the Spring. Then festivals in the Summer of 2013. I think this next album is going to be more focused. The first album was a bit more diverse in genre. Patrick and I are really working hard on writing songs that are diverse as far as style, but have our unique sound in each and every one. We do cover “To Love Somebody” and people love this song (written by The Gibbs. Performed by many) so that is a possibility for one cover on the album.
Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I am not sure there is one secret to success. I wish I could say talent, but we all know that is not always the case. If it were then the industry would be entirely different. I do however believe talent and drive are at the base of it all. Especially when you are an Indie Artist such ourselves. I think confidence while staying humble. Playing LIVE whenever you can! This is so incredibly important. Not just to build your fan base. That is important, but it is also imperative so you can truly make your shows the best they can be and keep improving them. Changing them. Keep writing. Keep meeting your fans. Keep reaching out and learning from other bands.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
That is a loaded question. We have star faves and then also local faves. Both important. As far as stars, we do like The Black Keys a lot. We also love Gary Clark, Jr. He is a fast rising star and an amazing artist. Florence and The Machine, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, and the list could go on….
How would you best describe you and your music to your fans?
For people who are not familiar with our music, I would say we are classic rock with lots of blues influences. My biggest influence is Janis Joplin and I guess that is apparent from what I am told. We are a bit Woodstock, a bit Chicago Blues, and a whole lot of good old rock and roll!
What can you tell us about your latest album?
Our first album “All My Secrets”, as I had mentioned was sort of all over the place. Some blues, alternative, darker ballads, love song, some covers, and even a Janis cover. I love so many different genres but I do think this next album is going to be more focused on our style with hints of our influences. I believe we were still searching for our sound as a whole with “All My Secrets”.
Are there any new exciting projects in the works?
I guess the most imminent one is our “One Day” music video which we hope will be released at the end of September.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
I see us being a part of bringing back real rock. So much seems to be lost on the radio. There are some great bands already on that road but we hope to be an influence one day with the bigger names. Fame is not necessarily what we are after, but getting our music out there is a goal. Playing to crowds all over the world.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
I actually just saw Gotye in concert tonight. I have to say him. AND now Missy Higgins, who we just saw open for him. I will admit I was not that familiar with her music before tonight, but I am now a fan. I think by law I have to say AC/DC. Ha! I do love Kylie Minogue. Of course, I cannot leave out Orianthi. She is such a badass chick!!! Last and I know there are many others, but to keep it short then I will say INXS.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
I do love that social media makes it possible for Indie and/or DIY artists to promote and make their own music without the help of a major record label. I don’t like that labels won’t even look at you unless you have a huge following that you built and then they take over after all your work. I think the best way you could possibly get yourself noticed these days is landing one of your songs on a TV show or in a movie. Yes, touring is fantastic, but that is a much slower way to build fans. Unless of course you are one of those lucky bands to be opening up for a much larger National act.