Musical Discoveries: So how did you get involved in the Balligomingo project?
Jennifer Hershman: I have been singing and performing since the "tender" age of eight. I sang in my first rock band when i was fourteen. We loved the music from the 60s. While everyone else was listening to U2, we couldn't get enough of Jefferson Airplane and The Rolling Stones. A few years later I was in my first recording band. We released an album--independantly--packed our bags, hopped into the beaten down van and toured across Canada. From that band we transformed into another, releasing another album. We were compared to "Kate Bush meets Alice In Chains."
Having musical differences with the others, and ready to express myself, I moved on to write my own material and release my own album, which is titled "Knowingly Naive" by the artist known as Chic.P-that's me. A friend of mine had my album and loved it. She was making a trip to Los Angeles to do some business and visit Garrett and she urged me to get her a copy to pass along. He and I finally hooked up here in Vancouver to make music.
And what about your musical education and vocal training?
Well, I was heavily involved in the music department throughout high school. I sang in choir and performed in musicals, one in particular where my name was Dorothy and I had to follow the Yellow Brick Road--sound familiar? I have taken some voice trainning and, more recently, guitar lessons. But most of my education is derived from experience, getting out there and just doing it; where there was a stage, there I was.
How would you characterize the song you've did on the Balligomingo album?
"Sweet Allure" is a difficult to describe. I am listening to the album right now-ummm-without giving too much away, I would say that the tone of the song is loneliness.
Did you share any of the writing duties?
Yes,i wrote all of my own lyrics and created the melodies of the words.
How would you compare the Balligomingo tracks to your solo material?
It's smoother, creamier and bigger--that sounds dirty. For me, the overall sound of Balligomingo is about talented intracacies--swept away with an enormous amount of mood. The production value is greater than other music I have worked on and it is more etheareal. My most recent solo album is probably a little closer to a Sneaker Pimps/Madonna feel.
And how was the project put together?
I met with Garrett and he gave me a copy of some musical tracks. I took them away and dug deep and was taken by the music immediatly. I lived and breathed the track for about a week straight. I remember cycling around the seawall with my discman, listening to the track that would soon be titled "Sweet Allure."
I was familiar working in this type of a process, as that was similiar to how I worked on my last album. We went into the studio and on the way there, Garret told me that everybody was happy with the existing track that had already been recorded but he'd like to hear what I had created. They liked my idea so much that it was put on the album and it is now going to be the second single off the album.
As for the recording process, Garrett was at his computer and I was singing into the mic a few feet away. He suggested that I do something a little different with the chorus so I walked to this big open field--it was a beautiful sunny day--and I worked on it there, with my discman, came back and recorded it.
What kind of music do you find yourself listening to all the time?
I like to listen to Bran Van 3000, Pete Yorn, Morcheeba, Esthero and I have always been a big Fiona Apple fan. My most recent purchases are the new Sheryl Crowe and the latest Alanis Morisette--love the Alannis CD.
Do you work outside the music industry as well?
Music is my life right now--creating music, expressing myself through music. I have also acted in a couple of independant films; they should be hitting the festivals this year sometime. I also waitress part time to make ends meet.
What are your plans as a solo artist and with Balligomingo?
I plan to keep writing my own material. I've also been working on a new track for the next Balligomingo album. I have always been a firm believer in not having a backup plan, so to speak, outside of music.
Why do you think it took so long to get from the pre-production stage to the full-length album release?
Well, I didn't come on board until the very late stages, so i can't comment there. The label has been very supportive. The people that I have talked to at BMG are very excited about the potential of the album and are anticipating it's release. I'd love to see a tour come together!
Do you think there's any value in internet for your career?
Definitely! I hope to connect with a lot more fans. I've had people log on from around the world from some exposure I had on television with my music. I think that the release of Beneath the surface will expand our--the women of Balligomingo--audiences, and i'm looking forward to it!
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