Spotlight On… Andrada Maria Brisc from Leapfrogtown

Andrada Maria Brisc plays keyboards in the band, Leapfrogtown – Break A Leg have been following the band closely as they develop new tracks and prepare for future gigs and festivals. Here, Andrada talks to Break A Leg about a typical rehearsal and her advice for budding musicians. 
Thanks for talking to Break A Leg.  Tell me why you joined  Leapfrogtown, what is/are your favourite track/s and what brings this/those to the forefront of your mind?
 
I have many favourite tracks, that’s why I joined the band! If I had to pick a favourite, Chris will hate me but it has to be ‘Better Than This’. The new tracks are quite exciting so they are on the list. I’d never joined a band before and in this I’m not just playing the piano, I’m playing effects and adding atmosphere to the instruments, it’s very new but I love the music. It was Chris’s idea for me to join the band and I love their vibe.
 
Describe a typical rehearsal to me…
Rehearsals are crazy, it starts with coffee and then we try either going through the old set or working on the new songs. It depends on the day and it’s very spontaneous!
 
 
Who are your musical influences?
I’m classically trained, although I listen to modern music, I’d never joined a band before. All my influences are classical composers like Beethoven. Basically I’m in a new field now discovering a new world and new influences.
 
 
When you connect with a piece of music, how does that make you feel?
I’m in a completely different world and I follow the emotions of the song. It depends on the song but I usually get carried away.  
 
What is your advice for any budding musicians?
With my experience of going from classical music to Leapfrogtown I would say have no barrier, follow the music and go where it leads you. You’ll get there, follow the feelings and the music.
 
 
Finally, sell the band to me, why should everybody listen to Leapfrogtown’s sound?
Leapfrogtown is very different from the other bands, not just because of the music which is very uplifting and positive but because of the vibe each musician from the bands gives. Leapfrogtown is special because of what each musician brings to the band and the music.
Thanks so much to Andrada for her time, here is a clip of Leapfrogtown’s in-house gig from March this year…

Spotlight On… Florin C Pascu from Leapfrogtown

Florin C Pascu is drummer in the band, Leapfrogtown – Break A Leg have been following the band closely as they develop new tracks and prepare for future gigs and festivals. Here, Florin talks to Break A Leg about a typical rehearsal and his kind of music. 

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, Florin, What is/are your favourite track/s and what brings this/those to the forefront of your mind?

‘Somebody Said’ is my favourite track as it has an optimistic melody line and comes straight in with a verse and great groove/feel. “Come on we can do better than that, bury the hatchet cut that crap. Free the love and be this thing together” That is beautiful!  I can’t wait until that song is next to play in the set list. 

‘Better Than This’ is also a song I like a lot, especially that is a reggae beat to it and it makes you dance. I like the phrase “all my enemies, they don’t exist” in this song. 

Describe a typical rehearsal to me…

In a typical rehearsal I talk a lot! We usually chat for a little while before starting. We play the usual set list and we work on some new material. It is good that Chris does not take the whole thing as a strict leader, he is open minded and lets the others come up with ideas regarding structure especially.  Generally speaking they are productive rehearsals.      

Sometimes I am on the phone/texting while we rehearse, Chris likes that!!

What is your personal style of music? Both as a musician and as a listener?

I like Rock and Funk but if I look at myself in future events I would see myself on big stages playing Rock music. When it comes to listening I really like everything from Classical to world music, reggae, afro Cuban, jazz, electronic music, trip hop.  Most music I like including Byzantine (which is so great).

What do you find the most rewarding part of being a musician? 

That you can free yourself from everything and just be with that moment, be present. It gives joy. If I am happy I play, if I am sad I play.

What do you think your life would be like without music?

I think I would have chosen to be a footballer or tennis player if no music was around. It is hard to answer as I was in situations when I didn’t listen to music for a long time and I was enjoying the quietness but when I got back I got really happy and appreciated it.  I could not go too long without music though!

Finally, sell the band to me, why should everybody listen to Leapfrogtown’s sound?

The band has a great vibe and of course we are tight. The music has something commercial in it and it is easy to listen. It is catchy and uplifting. Danceable with great chords and rhythm. A strong reason for why I think people should listen to it is the fact that we do put a lot of passion, work and we are serious about it.

Thanks Florin! A great interview… Here’s the video footage from Leapfrogtown’s live in-house gig back in March. 

 

Spotlight On… Kosmas Mylon from Leapfrogtown

Kos Mylon is bass guitarist in the band, Leapfrogtown – Break A Leg have been following the band closely as they develop new tracks and prepare for future gigs and festivals. Here, Kos talks about his career in music and what life would be like without music.

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, tell me about Leapfrogtown and what the challenges and highlights are of being part of the band.

First of all I’d like to thank you for inviting me for the interview.  It is great to be part of the band. We have spent a good time together working on songs and recordings in the studio and we have played a few shows. We are working hard in updating our repertoire with new material as we want our fans to get updated regularly with Leapfrogtown music. Apart from playing music, a typical Leapfrogtown day consists of having endless conversations about every little thing that can be possible. You have to come and join us for a day in the studio to understand what I’m talking about! There is a good relationship and understanding between the band and that’s the most important reason for me to be happy being a part of the band.

What is/are your favourite track/s and what brings this/those to the forefront of your mind?

My favourite Leapfrogtown track is ‘Love you more’ from the latest band’s EP, I can easily listen to it 40 times in a row and I cannot get bored. It touched me straightaway from the first time we played it together in the studio, it has something about the melody and of course the great lyrics by Chris.

What key elements must a piece of music have to inspire you?

Whatever the style, the arrangement or the structure of the piece-it has to talk to your soul straightaway. You definitely get these vibes when you’re listening to an artist that really enjoys what he/she is doing. On the other hand, it is also subjective, so I can say that for me it’s easier to listen to a song there’s lot of guitar playing inside because I was raised listening to music in which the guitar is prominent within the songs. So it is automatically becoming a standard for me because of that reason. This is not always the case though, for example, if I want to get away at times I love to listen to Indian traditional music.

Who are your musical influences?

I was raised listening to Blues, Country and Rock music and mainly those styles have influenced my approach to guitar and music over the years. I have to mention Duane Allman, John Fahey and Jimmy Page as my first guitar idols and Iron Maiden as the band that got me into the guitar for the first time.

What led you to become a guitarist? Did you learn to play from a young age?

I first picked up the guitar when I was 11. My friend’s brother who was 18 at that time was a big fan of Rock and Metal music. So it happened that way and I ended up listening to Iron Maiden CD’s and video cassettes. When I first saw them live on the video I was ecstatic. How did this band have that huge sound and how would it be possible to learn how to play like them? My parents bought me an electric guitar and that’s how it started. I can still remember buying the Metal Hammer magazine and looking in the ‘musicians wanted’ section of it, I wanted so much to play in a band but I was very young back then. 2-3 years later I was very lucky to have lessons with a very good Rock guitar teacher, who I owe a lot to in my career and I played in a band as a guitarist for the first time when I was 15.

What do you think your life would be like without music?

Sometimes it works good for me to take a break out of music for a small period of time. Then I can get back stronger physically and mentally. But for living without music generally-well I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it will be weird!

Finally, sell the band to me, why should everybody listen to Leapfrogtown’s sound?

If you like authentic Rock bands then you must listen to Leapfrogtown. And if you like seeing adrenaline high live bands then you should come and see us in our next show!

Thanks to Kos for his time and a great interview, here is an example of that adrenaline, watch the live in-house gig played in March this year.

Visit the band’s website to find out more and keep up to date with their news: Leapfrogtown Website

Spotlight On… Singer, Songwriter & Actor, Christopher Guard

A year ago to the day we published an interview with Christopher Guard, familiar to many from the small and big screen. We chatted about his band, Leapfrogtown, amongst other things. Break A Leg caught up with Chris again to find out what’s been happening for Leapfrogtown over the last twelve months…

Tell me about Leapfrogtown, what’s new for the band and have there been many changes in the past year?

The main change for LFT this last year has been the recruitment of Andrada on keyboards and BVs. The atmosphere and dynamics her playing brings to live performance are the missing pieces in the jigsaw.

The other major change has simply been the ongoing togetherness and vibe between the 5 of us. When we hit the road this will be as important as the music itself.

You performed in a live gig back in March; what sort of vibe and feedback did you receive on the night?

This was an in-house showcase gig, with a fantastic crowd. We recorded and filmed the whole show, and the energy totally translates. It was proof that the keyboards work and the band has its own unique vibe. The feedback was heartfelt and genuine and provided terrific momentum going forward.

You have recently added new songs to your set, what was the inspiration for them?

Yes, new songs both with the band and as an acoustic duo with Florin. The Lie Song contains the line “Lie to me if you have to baby, Lie to someone else, But for god’s sake baby don’t lie to yourself”. That’s what it’s about!  When You Made Me is about the love my parents must have felt for each other in the good times when I was conceived, and the tragedy that ‘tore us all apart’ and wanting to ‘go back to the start’, a return to innocence. It starts with the line “I’m bored, I’m bored, I’m really fucking bored…” cos there’s nothing more frustrating than being ignored by people who used to love you! I Need to Hate You is a great line Andrada quoted to me from personal experience…it just had to be a song. It has a Cobain sort of vibe and is about the hypocrisies of trying to get out of a relationship painlessly.

What’s coming up next for you all?

Currently we’re recording and mixing some of my songs for Wendy Morgan’s ground-breaking new movie ‘Mercy’, coming to festivals in early 2018. There are also plans for a live premier, with the band playing some of the music live to picture. I’m also honoured to be sound and vision supervisor on the movie.

What do you hope the future will hold for Leapfrogtown?

The next step would be to hit the ground running at festivals in 2018. We’re particularly interested in playing alternative events, with edge and political sensibilities. Meanwhile Florin and I plan to play some intimate venues as a duo…and I may even pitch up solo from time-to-time too.

What’s your advice for budding songwriters?

Well, my daughter Tallulah is one that’s for sure…and she just tells it like it is. She works hard, absorbs a wide variety of music, old and new, and is always playing and honing, learning to edit and nuance her material until it is immediate yet somehow mysterious. Write about what you know. That would be pretty good advice for anyone really. And don’t be afraid to ditch things if they’re not sending shivers up your spine. Remember…no two days are the same. Ideas may come in a torrent one time, so fast you can’t keep up, then vanish the next. Learn to be patient with your own imagination. Nurture it like you would a child, and gradually lead it home to somewhere we all can share. Starting with a title is a good idea. It becomes the quintessence of what the song is about. Then all roads – verses, pre-choruses, whatever – are feeding into that core idea, like rivers to the sea.

Thanks to Chris for chatting to Break A Leg again – and here’s a flavour of the live in-house gig… ENJOY!

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