Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Artist Of The Week: Q&A With Kurt Gentle

Welcome everyone to another Artist of The Week Q&A series.

Hope you are having a great week so far.

Thank you again for showing your outstanding support to this special series, it means the world to me and to the artists who I have interviewed.

Keep spreading the love and support for these amazingly talented up and coming artists.

Ok back to the entry!

Kurt Gentle who hails from Melbourne Australia is a blues-roots/alternative rock singer songwriter who is now based in Portland, Oregon USA.

One of Melbourne’s most loved singer-songwriters, Kurt is a seasoned, though young, solo musician amongst the Australian Blues-Roots scene.

Gracing the stage with humility, Kurt delivers a beautifully crafted set full of high energy stomp, overdriven lap slide guitar, old school fingerstyle shred, all within an atmosphere of soul-baring song-writing.

Kurt plays a variety of instruments that he blends into his unique sound – numerous guitars, harmonica, stompbox, tambourine, and vocals. Kurt will get your toes tapping with his stomp and bold, overdriven riffs. But he will also strip back the layers to sing from his heart, where his lyrics are clearly formed. Kurt has just finished up the completion of his new full length studio album 'Heart's Fire '.

This new music sees Kurt play with a trio and move into heavier blues-roots alternative rock. Fat, overdriven, upbeat modern blues-rock tunes that'll get everyone dancing. Think White Stripes meet John Butler meet Stevie Ray Vaughan. Kurt is currently performing and living in the USA.

He has gigged, played festivals and toured extensively all over Australia and parts of the Pacific North West in USA over the past 6 years.

Kurt has been the winner of many music festival performing competitions, and been the recipient of numerous songwriting and guitarist awards (all are named on website).

His new single “Only I Know” is a unique but catchy tune which can be found off his latest album “Hearts Fire”. The album consists of 7 tracks including new single along with “Tame & Stain”, “Seize Your Day”, “I Need Your Love”, “Away With Song”, “With The Waves” and “Tell Me”.

You can purchase the complete album now on Bandcamp.

And you can hear the songs on SoundCloud.

Only I Know (Audio)

The song has a feel of John Butler Trio especially when you hear the riffs, love it!!!
When you hear the song you can hear different sounds of instruments that all complement each other which fits perfectly with Kurt’s vocals.

What I love about this artist, is not matter what you hear in each track off the Album is that they are different from one another and tell a story.

Someone who can tell a story in their songs is a true artist in my books.

Keep an eye out for this guy as he is the real deal and has what it takes to become big in this industry.

I would like to say thank you to Kurt for sparing some of his time to do this exclusive interview with me. It was a pleasure and wish you all the best in what’s to come now and in the future.

Please welcome my special guest Kurt Gentle.

Please tell the readers who you are and where you’re from?

KG: My name’s Kurt Gentle and I am a blues–roots/alternative rock musician from Melbourne, Australia. Currently based in Portland, Oregon in the USA.

When did you know that you wanted to become a singer-songwriter?

KG: That’s a good question. I have always played the guitar, since I can remember really, and it has always been something that is life-long.

But the want/intention to become a singer songwriter didn’t really eventuate until I was around 18 years old. It was around VCE exams time, when everyone’s supposed to be studying hard and striving for that glorious ATAR score.

I was really fed up and frustrated with all that business, (amongst other things like girls and...well yeah, girls). So I spent most of my study periods jamming down in the music rooms.

I don’t know how it happened or when it was exactly, but within the space of two weeks I had written around 10 songs with lyrics, and I was singing out loud and playing them to my mates.

I had never sung before, or written a fully-formed it was a big step for me, and it kinda hit me all at once. I spent the rest of my VCE year performing at open mic nights and playing gigs around Melbourne and writing more music.

I remember sitting in my exams completely unprepared with no study hours up my belt thinking, “I know I’m gonna fail. But it doesn’t matter because I’ve already figured out what I’m going to do with my life”.

Who was your inspiration in pursuing a singing career?

KG: Well there’s a few aspects to that I think. I mean, all the music I grew up listening to since I was a kid, and all the music from a whole range of artists who I listen to at any given time, all have had a big impact in that gradual process of inspiration.

People like Eric Bibb, Cat Stevens, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, James Taylor, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, to name a few.

But if I had to pick an individual person/moment in time that really motivated me and inspired me, it’d have to be meeting John Butler, Nicky Bomba and Byron from

JBT. I met the guys with my dad backstage at one of their Brisbane shows, and we had the awesome experience of being on stage and watching them play.

John also gave me a signed 12 string guitar, which really was a huge inspiration for me to keep doing what I’m doing. It was one of those funny things where in the back of your mind, in those very moments as they are playing out, you’re aware and you know that what is happening right now is really important and is fated to you as a person in some weird way.

Throughout your music career to date, what has been the highlight and what has been the most challenging?

KG: There have been too many highlights playing music, and so many challenges.
To pick one of each is pretty hard actually haha.

There’s nothing quite like playing a gig and hearing the audience singing along to some of the songs. Those gigs haven’t happened very often, but the few that have were probably the highlights thus far.

Playing music festivals is probably the most fun thing a musician can do reckon...festivals are the shit. Everyone’s there for the music and for a good time. (Plus the CD sales are through the roof)

My biggest challenge has been putting up with the voice in your head that is always there telling you that you ain’t all that much. It’s putting up with the shit gigs when nobody is listening, or when no one is there. It’s playing your heart out and sharing it with everyone in the room and having it ignored.

Those times are the worst. But for every shitty gig, there is always a really awesome gig that makes everything worth it.

Your new single “Only I Know” & album “Heart’s Fire” which by the way I love, what was the inspiration behind writing this track and what was the process in producing the album?

KG: The track ‘Only I Know’ is mainly inspired by that personal intuitiveness that everybody has and knows within themselves and that no one else can possibly know or tell you. It’s about listening to yourself and knowing what feels good and right to you, and keeping whatever that is, close to you and ensuring it’s a part of how you want to live your life.

There’s too many people and systems in today’s society telling you what to do, how to be, how to feel, how to think, how to act. And it’s really easy to get swept up in all that, so I guess ‘Only I Know’ is a reminder to stop and think for yourself, because everyone knows who they are and what they want, but we sometimes forget and let others decide for us.

In regards to the new album ‘Heart’s Fire’. It is a really exciting bunch of new music for me. It’s a slight change in sound from my usual rootsy stomp. I play with a trio –

Josh Brandon on bass guitar, Marty Richmond on the drums. This new music is heavier and has more grit and blues compared to my older stuff. Lots of bluesy, rootsy overdriven riffs and some pretty funky jams here and there. It feels good to play with a band and let loose a little.

Production wise – we recorded all the instruments live together, then added the vocals and extra guitar parts. We recorded the album at Echidna Studios in Victoria, with the help and expertise of Greg MacMillan. The majority of the base recording was complete within a few sessions, and the rest was spent mixing and adding bits here and there to complete it. We sent the tracks off to Mozu Mastering in Atlanta USA to be mastered by Morga Sizer.

If you could give advice to an aspiring artist, who are wanting to get into the music biz, what would you say from your experience?

KG: Hmmm, advice to’s hard because everyone is different and will have a different experience.

But just going from what I’ve learnt so far, I guess the main piece of advice I would give is – to just keep playing. Take every opportunity that presents itself. Every gig, every networking offer, every recording chance, every competition, every and anything that’ll get your music heard.

Don’t compare yourself to other musicians and don’t forget why you started playing your music in the first place. It’s because you love it. Don’t let yourself fall out of love with your music...

What should we expect from you in 2017?

KG: 2017 is expected to be an exciting and scary year for me music wise. I’m starting from scratch in a new county, a new city and a new music scene. I have big plans to play lots of shows and tour Oregon, Washington, California and Canada, playing new music with a band and also solo. I don’t know what to expect, but it feels good.

In the words of Jim Croce, “Hey tomorrow, where are you going? Do you have some room for me?”

And what would you like to say to your new and current fans?

KG: To my current fans – I can’t wait for you all to hear the new record ‘Heart’s Fire’! I hope it’s been worth the wait and worth the generous support in making it happen.

To my new fans here in the USA and Australia – welcome, I hope you get something out of my music. That’s all I can ask for.

Thank you so much again Kurt in being a part of the series.

Hope you all enjoyed this one on one interview as much as I enjoyed sharing with you all this truly talented artist.

If you want to know more about Kurt Gentle, head on over to his website for more info and where he will be playing at a city near you.

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Thank you for stopping by and come back soon for my next entry!!!

Wow what a great series so far am I right??
Hope you like all the three artists who have been featured so far. Truly proud of them and can’t wait to see what’s next in store in 2017 and in years to come.

What I love about doing this series is that I get to share with you in depth on who the artist is, their experiences and to share what we all have in common MUSIC!!!

Look forward to sharing my next 3 artists in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned!!

Have a lovely day/afternoon/evening and talk to soon :)

Much love and ciao for now!
Hanan xx

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