Each month GoGirlsMusic.com spotlights an artist or band from its community, asking a series of questions. This month we feature Sabine Litschka, the fiery front woman of the highly charged Austrian rock band SONORA. She gives us a fascinating glimpse into her musical world. Enjoy!
Well, I started writing at the age of 13 (= 1991), probably to ease the (teenage) pain and filling up my lyrics and poems with my deepest emotions. After starting playing bass in the school band I eventually had a magic moment… when the singer got ill and I had to try to sing my song…….that was the moment when I found out that my singing need not to stay in the bathroom
Founding SONORA (in 2000) happened to be the right way to calm down my mind from permanent search for something. I tried a lot of different bands the years before but with SONORA I got the background that I needed to go further this path – not only considering the music techniques the others brought with, also the emotional human factor of having a band with musicians who are your buddies, also beside the band. So being authentic and experimental gets really easy in a familiar atmosphere. This is beyond price.
Describe your music style and name three musicians you have been inspired by and why.
My music style is a mix of rock and roll strength and singer/songwriter sensitivity . I am most inspired by Gerry Rafferty. I still listen to several albums of him when I am stuck in my own music. His tunes are inspirational and calming at the same time. He puts me straight back to my roots…probably because my dad played his songs all day long since I was a child. Maybe for me there is some kind of innocence coded to Gerry’s music.
Hm, second musician…well, I love folk and country music. There is no musician I want to point out. It’s the whole genre that seems to give me the drive and the mood to write my own stuff. I don’t know why, cause my songs don’t really have country-based lines … But I accept the fact as it is… Well, and I am also inspired by former albums of the Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge. I like the authenticity in their first recordings…
What’s your ideal venue atmosphere?
Hm, I like club gigs but probably I would love stadium atmosphere too – who would not
Describe how your music career has evolved since you first started performing.
I started playin’ in the local school band. At that time this was amazing and fulfilling. Now, approximately 21 years later I look back to stony and sometimes hard times… There were several crossroads where I had to decide what to do next…and well, I am still on the road heading to the big bang in music career. One big step on this path was definitely the decision to found my own indie record label “RollDog Records” in 2006. Since then I do not care about “appropriate mainstream music” anymore and am able to release my music as I want it to sound like. That’s kind of comforting, also having my own recording studio here in Vienna to be able to experiment at low/no costs. Being on the GoGirls Compilation 2010 was also a big thing for me…we all are very proud being part of this all American compilation.
Playing live in London (UK) this summer is also a milestone that I can’t wait to finally happen.
As I think about it, there are millions of moments that made me the way I am and the music the way it is now. But this would go beyond the scope.
How would you describe the music scene in your area?
The music scene in Vienna, Austria is very limited. Audience here is not familiar to listen to upcoming artists on a daily basis. Simply because there are not many possibilities for local bands/musicians to present themselves. The art of music itself and the local artists are not so pushed as they are f.e. in Germany. That’s sad but true. But with the invention of the world wide web this local situation is not that bad anymore as it was 15 years ago. Now we are able to connect with people all over the world. Big advantage – not only for Austrians.
Well, and the Internet made it possible to even get interviewed by you
What was the inspiration for your latest release?
The Album “Eleven Ways To Remind The Past” is a collection of eleven songs dealing with my emotional experiences.
The title is a play on words. …. ’cause I believe we can remind the past as we also are able to see demons, hear butterflies laugh, command paradigms and taste the clouds. Who the hell is the past? A person? A feeling? An attitude? Or just a phrase? Maybe we’ll all find out, perhaps not. Words are words – not less, not more. Make them your piece of reality. That’s how I see it. That’s my style to write lyrics and poems….I don’t care whether this has to be like “X” or “Y”. I love playing with words. I do that in German too Some people say this is just stupid, some people like exactly that part of me. Well, that’s the way it is.
What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?
I recommend a pre-production, meaning playing all songs as good as possible at the rehearsals, then recording the best version with a mic (keep it simple) to have all songs nailed down to exactly that basis you want them to be in the end. 1) This pre-production helps to rehearse your parts at home or somewhere else before going in the studio. 2) With that work in mind it is much easier to reproduce all songs in the studio and you need no extra time to get the take right the way you want it. So the biggest mistake is to rehearse in the studio! 3) This procedure saves time, time you’ll need for overdubs and other effects… With the tapes you recorded at the rehearsals you also had the time and chance to try overdubs and stuff….ideas will pop up simply while preparing yourself for the studio. I don’t know if this works for everybody, but for me it definitely does. Music is a process. So it’s very important to let the music go and experiment with your words and tunes before recording it in a final version… this process won’t ever be possible in a professional studio (at our stage) as time is money and money is the thing we don’t have… my 2 cents….
Well, you have to have power of endurance and should never lose the love in what you are doing. And you shouldn’t expect too much while being on the journey. In my opinion we all grow with the path. Just focusing on the end of the line, namely “being a grammy-winning artist” destroys the present moment and the authenticity of your music and yourself. Do what you love, the rest will come with the time.
Describe your toughest moments in your quest for a music career and tell us how you overcame them.
What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don’t give up?
Hm, there were some tough moments in the last 21 years. To overcome this feeling of frustration, helplessness and the times when your head spins like hell, I always try to get back to myself. I take some time off and gather my thoughts, needs and emotions. I do this by listening to music I love, sitting somewhere silent and calming (for me this is a place in the nature) to read a book that inspires me and that again adjusts my mind. For example Herman Hesse’s “Siddhartha” is one of the books helping me getting thru bad times. Whenever you get the chance to read it, do it …. So after turning myself inside out and after re-ordering my mind I always come to the same conclusion – to go on – cause music is a big part of my life – it’s simply me. I wouldn’t ever be whole without it … so my advice is… stay true to yourself and take the time to redefine yourself. What to do next will then be easy to answer.
Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.
I am an emotional chaos, a seeker, a curious lover, a sad one and a gadabout – but happy.
What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?
I learned a lot about music business. I met very interesting people, with some I am in permanent touch. I even work with some GoGirls members. This wouldn’t be possible without GoGirls. GoGirls made it easier to discuss music stuff in a group of “birds of a feather”.
It is a brilliant way to connect and with you (Madalyn Sklar) on its top we all get many useful advices to boost our careers. Thank you!
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