Interview with Deana Carter
J.A. - Hello Deana, I appreciate your music from the beginning of your career even if the sound is different today. So, how many records have you recorded, and have you collaborated for some tribute albums?
D.C. I have recorded 7 albums total, and collaborated on several as well....including the Anastasia Soundtrack, the Bruce Springsteen tribute, and various other compilations.
J.A. - I guess the album including the hit "Strawberry Wine" was released first by EMI U.K. How do you feel about the period you recorded for Capitol Nashville and what is the reason of the split?
D.C. I felt much more support in the UK from the EMI family than I did at Capitol Nashville, after the departure of Jimmy Bowen. He signed me originally and was a true believer in me. The split was inevitable after over 5 label executive changes in less than 3 years (at Capitol Nashville) and a lack of focus musically from the label, much less their ability to properly market an (already successful) artist.
J.A. - The hazard of life. I passed by you in the parking lot of the BMG building the day before the CMA awards 2002. Reading the US country music news, I learned that you had projects with both BMG and Rounder records, and 2005 is the year of The Story Of My Life CD on Vanguard Records. Can you describe and explain your relations and decisions with Music Row during this period.
D.C. My relationship with Music Row has always been, from my end, optimistic and hopeful that there is more than one way to approach the writing, recording, and marketing of an album. I'm still hopeful, that those people will take an open-minded approach to allowing an artist to create and produce.....and not get in the way if they don't need to. Bearing in mind, that they sign 'artistes' and not 'acts'. There-in lies the difference.
J.A. - Everybody in Europe knows your father is also an artist. But what kind of music, and which artists did you listened to when you grew up?
D.C. My father, Fred Carter, Jr., is definitely an extraordinaire. He gave the music out of America a certain 'sound' that no one else could from the 50's to the early 80's. Most of my influences from my past are: Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, The Who, The Band, Bread, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Three Dog Night, Carol King, Dolly Parton, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers, and lots of the classic rock from the 70's. THAT'S my vibe!
J.A. - The Story Of My Life mentions Kurt Cubain and Elvis. The sound of this CD is more rock and you write and produce all the songs on it. Could you explain which influences and reasons has made the sound more rock for this CD?
D.C. I never listened to country music growing up. I had many other influences from rock, folk, gospel, pop, r&b, and others.
J.A. - Many pop and AC artists and producers have left Los Angeles to Nashville in the 90's. So, why did you leave Nashville to live in Los Angeles?
D.C. I went to LA because it's been a childhood dream, to live in a city where you can do television, film, and music.
J.A. - I don't want to disturb you speaking of your private life, but I think you feel better now to create your own music, to evocate your experience of life, and you feel less pressure being far from Music City, is that right?
D.C. I've been in LA for 5 years now, and it's been very freeing creatively. My son's birth this year was another level of that as well. Life is good right now.
J.A. - How did you choose the musicians for the new CD?
D.C. James Michael and I played everything on the album, then brought in the guys in my band to add their spirit to it with solos and specific parts. It's a very special creative venture!
J.A. - I saw the long line of fans waiting to meet you at the Tower Records booth at the Nashville Convention Center in June. You took time with each of them. Were you afraid you might have less exposure in the media since you signed on an Indie label?
D.C. I think signing with an 'indie' label has actually given my MORE exposure in the public. They've spent their $'s promoting me properly, as opposed to 'hyping' the industry suits.
J.A. - Are there some differences between the themes of your songs from when you started and today?
D.C. I think the themes in my songs are very similar from the first album to the newest one. It's all about the human condition and how we are all trying to learn to live with each other and survive love and life. With a smile, at that.
J.A. - What are your hobbies, how do you take a break when you are on the road?
D.C. I rarely have time for 'hobbies', but I enjoy outdoors...hiking, running, just about anything outside. I also love real estate and decorating.
J.A. - Have you ever played in Europe?
D.C. I toured in Europe first, before I did ANY touring in the US. It was with Jimmy Nail and others.
J.A. - You will perform at the Country Night in Gstaad in Switzerland, the famous European festival, in September with other major US country stars. Could you explain the process for being scheduled in Europe. Is it a wish from yourself?
D.C. It's been so long since I've been over-seas that I'm looking forward to it. I'm still not sure who is playing the festival with me. It really doesn't matter.....we will all have a good time.
J.A. - Have you already planned your set list? Will you accommodate the choice of songs for the European public or will you make no variations from your concerts in the US?
D.C. Our 'set' will remain the same as usual. We play for fun, with LONG guitar solos. Our live show is a definite experience, since it's an extension of my albums. Just be prepared........IT'S LOUD!!
J.A. - I have had the occasion to photogtaph you several times on the CMA awards red carpet. With respect, you are a very charming young woman with beautiful dress even for the pictures in the booklet of your CDs. Teenage girls may take you as an example. So, are you glad to have an impact on the dressing of your fans?
D.C. I don't think I have that much of a stylistic influence, other than just embracing who you are and not worrying too much about the formalities in things. I LIKE casual.
J.A. - If you want to say something to the European public or anything else, go ahead now!!
D.C. To the European public: I look so forward to coming and touring again as soon as possible. I've been urging my people to arrange a tour for me over there and it's never happened until now. I'm very excited and hope you enjoy my brand of 'different' music. I've been influenced by many of your artists over the years and hope you can hear it in my sound. Please come out and join us for a show and prepare to have fun and rock!
See you soon.
Peace and Love, Deana
On the Web: www.deanacarter.net
Jean Agostini is a journalist and country music lover in France. He also contributes to the French country music site, www.HighwayFM.com.
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