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One on One with Laura Carbone

 Laura Carbone
Laura Carbone Unrated Dan: Tell me about your background.  How did you get interested in Music? How is the German music scene?
I always liked music even as kid but the first milestone was when my dad gave me the album „Never mind” of Nirvana. I had never heard anything like that before: The sound, the aggression and the loudness. That was the moment when I felt like I needed to know more about this kind of music that never happens on the radio. I got an acoustic guitar from someone and started to work on own songs. But it took me years till I found my partner in crime „Bonassis“ with whom I founded my punk band „Deine Jugend“ and went really for own songs and own style. After a lot of touring and two releases with this band he encouraged me to start my solo project. Ever since he’s my Producer, Co-Writer and a very good friend.
German music scene is great if you can ignore the mainstream acts. You find amazing acts like Atari Teenage Riot, Kadavar, Gurr and L’aupaire.

Unrated Dan: Did you play any instruments while growing up?
Yeah… My parents wanted my brother and I to play at least one instrument. Why they chose the Flute for us is kind of a mystery as I hated it. Every lesson and concert were reasons to cry. I quit after a few years and wanted to play something more harmonic so I talked my parents into buying me a keyboard which I loved. Unfortunately I kind of developed a dislike against music teachers so I went for the autodidact thing. But it would have made more sense to have had somebody to show me how things work. Anyway - I then discovered the guitar and stick to it.

Unrated Dan: What was the first band you played with?
I played in a bunch of School Bands – which allowed me to cover stuff (music) and play in small bars. I saw it as a „job “to earn bit money to pay my rent while i studied. Then I got kicked out of two of those bands because people said I am not good enough to be a singer. 

Unrated Dan: How were you discovered?
Bonassis looked for a singer on Myspace and my sister saw his bulletin and forwarded it to me. I wrote back to him and he invited me for a coffee. That was when my real music career started.

Unrated Dan: Who are some of the bands you have open up for?
Back in the Punk band days we have opened up for our heroes of „DAF“ (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft) on a couple of shows which was an amazing experience.
I haven’t opened up a lot with my solo band - „New Model Army “was probably the biggest band.

Unrated Dan: What can you tell me about your new record? What do you want people to see in your music?
"Sirens “is a very romantic but rough record. It was written with blood and I want people to feel this passion and emotion. I hope people associate and connect a lot of intense moments with the music so the songs might become a soundtrack for certain experiences. Whether good or bad - it would be amazing if people connect to it.

Unrated Dan: Since the release of the record have you gotten any new fans?
Yes! Definitely!
I still send out my merch on my own, so I see where the people come from and trust me, it’s an amazing feeling to send away stuff to places you’ve never been before. Like Australia, or Russia.
Plus it’s great to see where people are from when they like your Facebook-Fan page.

Unrated Dan: Did you have anyone special helping you get the record finished?
I consider Bonassis to be very special. So, yes!

Unrated Dan: Why did you pick the song “Swan” for your latest video?
Swans is one of my favorite songs and I was happy when my team suggested it to be a single. 

Unrated Dan: Any plans to tour?
I just came back from our first short US Tour and it was a great experience. Really, I can’t wait to get back there and play a few more shows across the country. It would be great to be back this year and we’re starting to work on it.

Unrated Dan: What is the Genre of your music?
 I always say „alternative“  because it leads in an interesting direction and it gives people the freedom to associate the music with stuff they are used to. 

Unrated Dan: What is you’re feeling about Vinyl?
Vinyl is my favorite medium to listen to music though my collection is small but selected. It was my wish from the first song I recorded to put the album onto vinyl and I made sure the „Sirens “vinyl will be the most beautiful in my collection. When I received the boxes of vinyl I was more than proud to be able to hold my work and dreams in hands.

Unrated Dan: What are some of the some of the bands which Influences your music?
The Cure, PJ Harvey, The Sisters of Mercy, 90s 4AD Bands like Breeders and That Dog but also Chris Isaak and Chelsea Wolfe.

Unrated Dan: If a person is discovering you for the first time. What five songs should they listen to and why?
Silky Road, Swans, Innocent, Heavy Heavy and Stigmatized.
They are my favorites and show the bitter sweetness, roughness and dreaminess of the record.

Unrated Dan: What instruments do us on tour vs. the ones you record with in the studio?  Year make and model?
 Actually I am not too fancy about gear. I use what sounds good and feels good. My Guitars are Fenders, one Telecaster and one Jazzmaster - both are perfect for single notes, surf sounds and Chris Isaak’s chords. We use the same ones in the studio but love to work with digital effects.

Unrated Dan: What is the biggest crowd you have play for?
I played at Christopher Street Day in Berlin at Brandenburger Tor which was amazing. There must have been around one billion people.

Unrated Dan: What direction do you see your music heading in the next 2 years and your long term goals of your music?
I am currently writing on my next album and I am half way through but I don’t want to pressure myself in finishing the record too soon. 
I learned that things can happen very fast and very spontaneous in music industry and I want to be able go with the flow. Despite it was one of my biggest wishes to release „Sirens “in the US I didn’t plan it in the first place. It just happened. I’d be happy if the record sees the light of day in a few other countries. Of course it would be great to tour a lot, to be able to perform live in other places, to learn more about foreign countries and cultures.

Unrated Dan: What fest would you like to play?
I’d love to play Coachella and Glastonbury!

Unrated Dan: How did you get picked for SXSW?
Stacey, the booker of SXSW happened to be at my show at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg last year. The liked our set and sent the invitation a few hours after it.

Unrated Dan: How was SXSW for you?  Was it everything you hope for?
I can’t put down in words how SXSW felt to me. Surreal is the word I used a lot in the last days and maybe this describes the atmosphere, the city and the vibe in the best way. I am amazed by how fast things can happen here, there are surprises in every corner and people appreciate if you deliver good work.
SXSW turned out to be so much over my expectations. I always try to be realistic and was blown away by everything that happened.

Unrated Dan: Who would you like to be a support artist for? Dead or alive.
Nick Cave

Unrated Dan: What artist would you like to perform on stage with and why?  Living or dead?
Nick Cave. 
Would make sense if we tour together, wouldn’t it?

Unrated Dan: Are you BMI or ASCAP?
In Germany we do have the German version „GEMA“ and I am more familiar to what they do. 
As recording and touring Artist it makes a lot sense to be in GEMA. They collect your money from performing your songs live and on radio and take care of your rights.
I know that some musicians here in Germany hate GEMA but I consider most of them not to be professional Artists that want to earn money for their Art. It’s kind of a thing here - some see it as ‚Betrayal of Art‘if you are able to get money back for your work. Very strange.

Unrated Dan: What is on you iPod right now?
I just downloaded the new Iggy Pop Record because I heard a lot about it and I am a big fan of Josh Hommes work.

Unrated Dan: If you could pick any cartoon character who would it be and why?
Elmyra of the Looney tunes.
Not that I want to be her but I guess I am like her when I see animals. 

Unrated Dan: What music do you listens to relax?
Mazzy Star, Bon Iver, Junip


- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

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