Kickacts interviews Anja McCloskey

Special thanks to James Lowe of Transmedia World Wide!

 

Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and your band and were you can be found at on the web.

I am a German-American singer-songwriter and accordionist signed to Sotones Records. I spent the last 10 years in the UK, but am currently touring the US. You can find me here:

www.anjamccloskey.co.uk

www.facebook.com/anjamccloskey

www.myspace.com/anjamccloskey

www.twitter.com/anja_mccloskey

www.anjamccloskey.blogspot.com

anja_n

 Who are your musical heroes, influences & why?        

I think my influences are a mad concoction of the music I was exposed to when growing up in 80s Germany, when studying in the ever so eclectic London, and when spending time in the American Mid-West. I was a teenager before the internet was popular, so it was very hard to find underground or alternative music. When the internet finally did come along and I moved to London, it was almost overwhelming. I worked with many different bands and musicians, and I am sure that their approach to songwriting has influenced me somehow. But I was also influenced by other artists who chose the accordion as their main instrument. It showed me that accordion could be cool and interesting.

Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in playing music? Any pitfalls they should avoid?

I think gigging is the most important element of starting out as a musician. Play as many concerts as possible, build up your audience and your confidence. And always be polite! You never know when you will meet people again.

Do you have a greatest gig story you’d like to share?

When I released my debut album “An Estimation”, we had a homecoming gig in Southampton, England, for which we hired an old castle ruin in the city. It was so beautiful. We ended up playing under the stars and it was such an intimate and special experience. I wish I could do it again some day.

On the same token as the above question. How about a “worse gig” ever story.

Every musician will have stories like these. I have played in many peculiar venues and sometimes under difficult circumstances, but I won’t name and shame J

Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music? Collect stamps? Collect hats from off the side of the road? Draw pictures of boobs?

I collect match boxes actually… But apart from that I am also into photography and writing and I love going to the theatre.

What do you think about the present music scene or lack of? Care to address that?

I have had a very positive experience. My label Sotones Records is a very collaborative label and the musicians signed to it are encouraged to work together and share skills. I have made fantastic friends on the label and you just feel that people have your back. We always play on each others’ records and do concerts together and I am lucky to have such a supportive network of fellow musicians.

Tell us something about each of your band members that we wouldn’t expect to hear… Like their hobbies or something like that…headn

Well as a solo performer I will have to talk about myself… Hm, I am generally a little bit peculiar, so there are many things I could tell you. I once wrote a letter to Kenneth Branagh, after seeing him play Edmond at the National Theatre in London. He wrote back and I have kept the letter to this day!

Hypothetical situation. You’re stranded on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the girls… Is it Ginger, Mary Ann or Mrs. Howell and why?

You know, I have no idea. I am not much of a TV person and I have to admit, I have never ever watched Gilligan’s Island…

Our last question is called “Shout It Out Loud”. It’s were you get to talk about whatever you want to talk about. So go ahead and “SHOUT IT OUT LOUD”!

You should take the time to check out some of my label mates at Sotones Records. They are all wonderful. In fact, my label mates Etao Shin and I released a joint Christmas single in December, which you download for free here: https://soundcloud.com/anjamccloskey/eato-shin-anja-mccloskey-red

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