ECLECTIC ARTS

Friday, August 7, 2020

VALLEY OF THE GODS Film Review August 7, 2020



Valley Of The Gods

Well Go USA
Reviewed: 8/6/2020
US Release: 8/11/2020

Rating: 2.5 / 5


(All Assets Provided by WELL GO USA)




I consider myself an artistic type of person. I appreciate any form of artistic expression, from small to large. I would never say that I understand every form of art because I don’t. I am learning, however, and that is the most important thing.


“Valley Of The Gods”, as directed by Lech Majewski, is a confusing tale of the Navajo Nation, a trillionaire, and his biographer.


The film is stunning visually and some of the concepts (the opera scene where the performers were standing in the water at the palace) were absolutely inspired. The outdoor locations were rich with color and saturation while the indoor locations were at times grandiose and breathtaking.




But the screenplay was a jumbled mess that, for me, was nearly impossible to understand. Perhaps the art-house approach to the story kept me in the dark but I was basically confused for most of the film.


The performances by Josh Harnett and John Malkovich were exactly what you would expect from both actors. No issues there whatsoever. The supporting cast also added weight where needed to the various scenes throughout the film.




By the end of the film, I wasn’t sure what I had just sat through. It was pleasing visually but the substance in terms of the storyline was lacking.


“Valley Of The Gods” delivers on the visuals and performances but it comes up short in the story department. If the story had matched the visuals, this would have been an excellent film. However, as it stands, it is only average at best.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links HERE!








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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

CHRISTY ANNA WU Written Interview August 4, 2020



Greetings,

Below is the written interview that I was working on before I was invited on the virtual tour with AL1CE. She’s since been on the show three times. Get to know her better in written form - here’s Paper Nova singer Christy Anna Wu!

Cheers!
Mark
EA

Connect with EA:  HERE!



(All Images and Assets Provided by Christy Anna Wu)



Eclectic Arts: Hi Christy Anna! How are you doing during this worldwide pandemic?

Christy Anna Wu: Hi Mark, thanks for having me! It’s been interesting following the many artists who’ve had to change their plans; it’s oftentimes relatable and inspirational. The pandemic hasn’t left me unscathed either. With each day, I’ve been trying to heal and re-discover creative routines, which I’ve been woefully lacking.



EA: Tell me about your background please. Where were you born, raised, school, early music involvement, etc,

CAW: I was born in South Seattle, raised in a suburb (Federal Way, WA), and attended the local grade schools there. I grew up learning classical piano since I was 6, and dabbled in the school orchestra as a violinist. I was used to recitals and talent shows, but that didn’t stop me from having sweaty-palms/heart-racing stagefright. Classical music and some oldies were all I knew up until my friends introduced me to basic mainstream music. I remember making a conscious effort to record songs off the radio on my cassette tapes, so that I could introduce myself to the different styles and branch out.



EA: I know you have your hands in many different artistic endeavors. Musician with Paper Nova, artist with Caveglow, movie set designer, screenwriter, producer, and director, etc. What started first? How do you balance all of these projects? What projects are your priority right now? Tell me everything.

CAW: Looking back, it was a solid mix of music, drawing, and writing. I enjoyed all three equally. I always rotated through the trifecta in my early years between the rest of my studies and activities. I do believe one of my early dreams at the time was to become a horror/thriller writer.

As I progressed through school, one of my weaknesses was in public speaking. To help combat that, I joined Speech & Debate in high school and participated in both dramatic and debate categories. I would say that those experiences significantly helped my articulation. I also gained an appreciation for those in performance arts.

Over the years, I felt inspired and compelled to bring the arts together. A great format for that is through filmmaking, which includes screenwriting, visual aesthetic, music, and performance -- storytelling through many mediums.

I find that each medium helps to inform and support each other. When I’m drawing, I’m feeling and listening to music. When I’m writing, I read my work outloud for flow and rhythm. When I watch a movie, I’m engrossed by the details, such as the sets and costuming.

It’s difficult to juggle multiple projects at a time. I’m limited by … well, time, skill, and oftentimes finances. I spend most of my off-hours working on art, so I guess you could still say I’m always on. It’s very exhausting. Music is fairly regimented in that we (used to) practice once a week and schedule gigs in advance. For film, after I’ve done a sprint (say I work on set every weekend for three weekends), I need to take a break or else burn out. Everything else like writing or visual art fills in the gaps if I have the energy for it. What keeps me going is the ultimate satisfaction of being creative.

And with each project, I hope to enjoy the process more as I drive it to completion. So what am I prioritizing right now? Currently, I’m working on my first feature-length screenplay. In parallel, I’m trying to navigate film festivals for my first short film, “Alvin”. In addition, I’ve been more experimental with music since we are unable to practice as a band right now.






EA: How is the music community in your area? Is it a supportive network of artists? Are there a lot of places to play music or show independent films (pre-pandemic)?

CAW: In Seattle, I would say the music community is mid-sized. We’re big and small enough to where certain touring acts will or won’t visit during a certain leg. And we have a ton of local musicians. Groups of musicians will get to know each other and build each other up as they gain a footing in the music industry. There are pockets of other musicians who tend to feel more comfortable within their smaller circles and local venues. I would say that the overall community is very supportive of new or veteran artists.

Unfortunately, we have a limited selection of venues for both music and film. I truly miss The Mix that used to be in Georgetown, and I just heard about Cinerama shutting down. It takes incredible dedication to break into either scene here. For music, if you don’t put yourself out there 3-5 times a week, people will hardly know who you are. For indie film, it’s all about connections.



EA: What have been some of the toughest parts of being a musician? Ditto a filmmaker, an artist, etc. Do your endeavors pay the bills or do you have a day job as well?

CAW: The toughest part of being a musician is that it’s secondary. Same thing with being a filmmaker. It’s difficult to find enough work full-time as an artist to pay the bills. We’ve made a little cash from certain gigs but it’s nowhere near enough to pay our expenses, especially in Greater Seattle. I work a day job to help fuel my artistic endeavors -- so do my bandmates. But we’re usually tapped out by the end of the day and put our outlets on the backburner. It’s a catch 22.







EA: There have always been issues with persons of color and lack of representation in the arts. What are your thoughts on persons of color in the arts?

CAW: I agree that there is a lack of BIPOC artists in the public eye. We certainly have supportive diasporas here and there, but it has been uncommon or uncomfortable to promote diversity for the sake of diversity. I’ve seen line-ups that are very homogenous. I’ve seen local shorts that frankly were racist or played to stereotypes. And this isn’t just locally, it’s internationally. With the recent turn of events, more of the disparities have been brought to light, and I think that’s a good thing. When we can clearly identify issues and maintain awareness, we can work to address them, even if progress is slow.



EA: Staying on the topic, how about female representation in the arts. What are your thoughts?

CAW: In relation to the previous question, I’ve seen gigs call for women musicians or crew, where the original poster was roasted for discriminating against men. I think that we are starting to see more women in male-dominated fields, but again, the percentage is disproportionate depending on the role. There’s even a smaller percentage of BIPOC women as well as non-binary people being represented. We often encounter bias and miss out on opportunities.



EA: When you look back on your artistic creations (all of them), what stands out - good and bad?

CAW: For one, I’m really proud of our latest EP, “V.V.V.” because it carries a different sort of energy than our previous EPs. This was recorded pre-pandemic and embodied more empowering and hopeful times. I still am proud of our other music though, as those were quite introspective. For another, I’ll mention “Alvin” again, because that was a culmination of a lot of emotions and experiences that were realized by professional cast and crew members. It was cathartic to produce that movie and nerve-wracking at the same time.

I won’t go too far into bad creations, but it’s usually when we’re underprepared. I tend to hide those from my online portfolio, haha. But, we’ve got to learn somehow right?



EA: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

CAW: I’d ideally like to be surrounded by creativity and art. I want to work with all creatives whether they’re musicians, photographers, writers, choreographers, etc. I would hope that in five years, I will have had the opportunity to produce and release a feature film, release at least two music albums, and have a plethora of collaborations under my belt.



EA: Thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview!

CAW: Thank you again for asking these great questions. It’s helped to remind me of my trajectory -- that wherever I went, creativity was there to nurture my soul. 



"ALVIN" OFFICIAL TRAILER








OUT STEALING HORSES Film Review August 3, 2020



Out Stealing Horses


Magnolia Pictures
Reviewed: 8/3/2020
US Release: 8/7/2020


Rating: 4 / 5



(All assets courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)




It’s interesting how many films use flashback sequences to emphasize and explain the modern day portion of the story. In the case of, “Out Stealing Horses”, the majority of the film is delivered in flashback and to great dramatic effect.


Stellan Skarsgård ("Good Will Hunting") plays Trond, a 67-year old man who meets a neighbor Lars (played by Bjørn Floberg) whom he then realizes he knew many years ago as teenager. This realization forces Trond to replay the events from yesteryear in his head that ultimately changed his life forever.



(Stellan Skarsgaard and Bjoern Floberg in OUT STEALING HORSES, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)



“Out Stealing Horses” is unbelievably beautiful visually. The sequences throughout the film are mesmerizing, almost dream like at times. The natural scenery is breathtaking and it really creates an atmosphere of both small and large proportions. The backstory between Trond and his father, their relationship with their neighbors' family (which includes a very young Lars), and the urges of human desire, all come together in an intimate but believable way.


The story is subtlety sophisticated. I loved how the interplay between father, son, husband, and wife created an unusual dynamic that ultimately is heartbreaking for 15-year old Trond.



(Tobias Santelmann and Danica Curcic in OUT STEALING HORSES, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)



The loss of life at a single digit age is another subplot that really adds emotional weight to the proceedings. How any family deals with such a tragedy is beyond me.


Most viewers may not know Stellan Skarsgard by name but you will certainly recognize him one he appears on screen. He is a master actor and has been in some of the best films over the years. Here his performance is understated and complex. His narration of Trond’s past events just echoes how troubled he has been as an adult. 



  (Jon Ranes and Tobias Santelmann in OUT STEALING HORSES, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)



“Out Stealing Horses” is a compelling film that isn’t easy to digest at times. And it isn’t meant to be so. It deals with serious issues that are universal, regardless of the era, the country, or the people involved.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  HERE!


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Monday, August 3, 2020

THE TAX COLLECTOR Film Review August 3, 2020



The Tax Collector

RLJE Films
Reviewed: 7/28/2020
US Release: 8/7/2020

Rating: 4 / 5


(RLJE Films)



I worked with what would be considered urban youth, street gang youth, etc. and their families for over ten years. So, when films depict the gangster life from the street, I’m always curious as to what they show and how right or wrong they get it.


“The Tax Collector” goes for more of the Hollywood version of gang families. The money, the influence, the power, and the consequences of course. Director David Ayer (writer of “Training Day”) knows how to write the subject matter but as a director his storytelling was up and down.



(L-R) Shia LaBeouf as Creeper and Bobby Soto as David in the action / thrillerTHE TAX COLLECTOR,an RLJE Films release. Photo courtesy of Justin Lubin)



Bobby Soto plays David as the central character - a “tax collector” - who collects protection money from the local gangs for his big homie shot calling relative The Wizard who is locked up in prison (Jimmy Smits). Shia LaBeouf is the enforcer who works for the family. David’s uncle (played by George Lopez) is also in on the family business.


The first half of “The Tax Collector” is rather mundane. I think at least one action scene was needed here to hit home just how seriously deep David and his family are in the gang life. But in the second half a strong and dangerous protagonist is introduced and everything becomes a blood bath.


The action scenes in the second half are worth the price of admission. They are brutal, scary, and entertaining in this type of film. There is no mercy from either side of the fight and the film depicts just that.



((L-R) Shia LaBeouf as Creeper and Bobby Soto as Davidin the action / thrillerTHE TAX COLLECTOR,an RLJE Films release. Photo courtesy of Justin Lubin.)



I enjoyed Bobby Soto’s performance. I think he was cast perfectly as the lead. Shia LaBeouf does well as the enforcer but at times his character of “the Creeper” seemed a little out of place. I think if they had given Shia more to work with to develop some more layers to his character, things would have worked better.


Cinthya Carmona as Alexis Cuevas was a great addition to the cast. As David’s wife, she works in the family business but also knows that their immediate family of four is what comes first. She was very believable as a mom, wife, and someone stuck in the middle of the gang world.


“The Tax Collector” was entertaining and at the end of the day that’s what movies are supposed to do - entertain. The level of violence may be off putting to some - but if you enjoy modern day gang tales, “The Tax Collector” will hit all the right buttons.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  HERE!



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DAY 13 Film Review August 3, 2020



Day 13

Breaking Glass Pictures
Reviewed: 7/22/2020
US Release: 8/4/2020

Rating: 3.5 / 5

View Here!



(All assets provided by Breaking Glass Pictures)



Horror, occult, thriller - these are all words that will grab my attention when I see a press release. “Day 13” is a modern day thriller/horror film that is reminiscent of a few films from the past.


Colton (played by Alex MacNicoll) is a high school student who is home babysitting his younger sister Rachel (played by Meyrick Murphy). A once abandoned old house across the street now has new neighbors. Colton meets the daughter Heather (played by G. Hannelius) as he is snooping around the property.


Heather’s father is very mysterious and Colton starts to spy on them to see what’s going on. This is the basic premise of the film without spoilers.






I couldn’t help but be reminded of 1985’s, “Fright Night” - one of my favorite genre films. Young Colton looking across the street just like Charlie did in the 80’s film, the nostalgia factor was actually a plus to “Day 13”


The film at times also reminded me of a more adult version of a young teen horror series of books. Again, this was not a bad thing at all.


The story flowed well and the actors kept things interesting. I would have liked more exploration of the Colton and Heather relationship but no spoilers here. G. Hannelius stood out in her role as Heather. She needs her own film spin-off. Alex MacNicoll did a solid job as the lead Colton as well. 



 


I for once had predicted the ending correctly of a horror movie. I really wish they had opted for practical effects instead of CGI as this was the only let down of the climax of the story. Having Martin Kove as Heather’s father was a nice casting decision - and no - he did not say sweep the leg at any time.


Overall, “Day 13” was a good popcorn thriller/horror film.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  HERE!



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BEAST NO MORE Film Review August 3, 2020



Beast No More

Level 33 Entertainment
Reviewed: 7/28/2020
US Release: 8/7/2020

Rating: 3 / 5


(All assets provided by Level 33 Entertainment)



A horror thriller is the description for “Beast No More” an Australian film that caught my attention via Level 33 Entertainment.


A family experiences a traumatic event. The mother Mary Jane (MJ - played by Jessica Tovey) - works as a biologist and goes out in the backwoods bush by herself to conduct research and to escape reality.


Her husband (played by Dan Ewing) goes out to find her, along with MJ’s visually impaired sister (played by Taya Calder-Mason). The trio soon learn that someone is watching them.


Without giving too much away, the film treads the matriarchal line for MJ. Her loss and what she finds in the bush becomes a huge issue of transference and it runs throughout the remaining scenes in the film.


I love a good horror film and “Beast No More” has horror elements but I found it more of a thriller. Jessica Tovey was wonderful as MJ. I really enjoyed her performance and would love to see what she works on next. Dan was a bit harder to believe for me. He looks like a superhero so for him to be this distant family man that doesn’t support his wife or son didn’t quite work for me. Being a jerk to his family and the other characters did work, though.








The story line was also all over the place in the beginning. Once Dan and Taya’s characters showed up in the bush then things became more cohesive.


The finale was again a nod to the matriarchal struggle for MJ. What she knew she had to do was emotional but I thought there could have been more of an epilogue after that scene.


Overall “Beast No More” was entertaining to a point. Jessica Tovey’s performance was the best part of the film.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  HERE!



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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD Film Review 7/28/2020



House Of Hummingbird
Well Go USA
Reviewed: 7/28/2020
US Release: 8/4/2020

Rating: 4.5  / 5



(All assets provided by Well Go USA)




I’ve been looking forward to reviewing this film ever since it was mentioned to me a few months ago. “House Of Hummingbird” is a South Korean coming of age tale that is stark, bold, and compelling.




The main character is 14 year old Eun Hee. She wanders through her complicated life like an invisible woman. Her parents ignore her while they deal with their own problems (infidelity in a patriarchal society). Her brother physically abuses her when her parents aren’t home. And her other sister rebels against her parents wishes with the help of Eun Hee.









Eun Hee daydreams at school, flirts with her boyfriend, explores a lesbian relationship, and becomes infatuated with her calligraphy teacher. She is clearly looking for acceptance, love, support, and a healthy relationship from someone, anyone.




“House of Hummingbird” is a day to day drama that is hard to stop watching. It is evenly paced and it never really leads to a climax. It is a stark reality of a film that depicts life for the average South Korean teenager that doesn’t quite know what she wants from life.










Her parents are terrible role models - with their own assorted problems. Park Ji - Hoo gives one of the best performances from a young actor I’ve seen in a very long time. The audience lives Eun Hee’s life through the breathtaking performance by Park Ji - Hoo. She is lost and in need of attention one minute, determined and confrontative the next.




The drama level in “House of Hummingbird” isn’t as necessarily high as you might expect. It is depicted like a slice of a life in need of a major shot of positivity for this young teen. 





 




Director Kim Bora has crafted a film with a delicate but firm hand. She clearly has control over the vision of the film and she got the best out of her actors. In lesser hands the film could have become a snooze fest. Director Kim kept the pacing just believable enough to keep the audience entrenched in the world of Eun Hee and her hummingbird like exploits.




“House of Hummingbird” has garnered a lot of attention after it’s debut - rightfully so. It is a beautifully executed film that remains with you days after watching it.




Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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Monday, July 27, 2020

THE FIGHT Film Review 7/27/2020



The Fight

Magnolia Pictures
Reviewed: 7/22/2020
US Release: 7/31/2020

Rating: 4 / 5






The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) boldly states on their website - “The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union — beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.”




“The Fight” follows four ACLU attorney’s after the inauguration of 45. Each attorney has an area of expertise that they work in.




Brigitte Amiri is a deputy director at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.




Joshua Block is a senior staff attorney with the National ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Projects.




Lee Gelernt is the deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project and director of the project’s Access to the Court’s Program.




Dale Ho is the director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project and supervises the ACLU’s voting rights litigation.





(Brigitte Amiri and Dale Ho in THE FIGHT, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)




The documentary follows each attorney as they learn about potential cases, the frantic pace in which they try to assist each client or situation, and everything in between.




Of course this is a timely film with the Black Lives Matters movement, the protests, and the very recent unleashing of federal agents in Portland, OR (and potentially more democrat run cities like Chicago and Seattle).




The cases are very much David VS Goliath. What’s truly troubling is that these cases in the film are just a small, minuscule example of what is out there today.





(A scene from THE FIGHT, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)




There are small moments of levity in the film but not much. Family breaks and things that happen while on the job during high stress moments. For example - Mr. Ho forgets he was talking to someone on speaker phone when he leaves to pick up a document he thought he printed at the office print station. When he comes back to his office to hit “print” (since he forgot to) - the person on the other line starts talking to him and he completely forgot he was talking to someone. Mr. Gelernt can’t seem to work a mobile phone charger when his phone dies. These are somewhat funny but also very real if you’ve ever been in a high stress situation or career.




The ACLU is not without controversy over the years (they were founded in 1920). They are staunch supporters of the Bill Of Rights and free speech, period. The film briefly shows that this sometimes includes Nazi’s, white supremacists, terrorists, and other unseemly individuals. When the ACLU states they will protect free speech they mean for everyone. This is where the debate begins for many.





(Lee Gelernt in THE FIGHT, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)




But, “The Fight” is not about that issue. It is centered on the free speech and rights of others within the categories of the four ACLU attorneys and their teams.




I found “The Fight” interesting, compelling, disheartening, and questioning. It makes the audience consider their freedoms, the abuse of those freedoms at the hands of some politicians, and the current landscape here in the U.S.




Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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THE SHADOW OF VIOLENCE Film Review 7/27/2020



The Shadow Of Violence

Saban Films
Reviewed: 7/22/2020
US Release (in theaters only): 7/31/2020

Rating: 4.5 / 5







I am a sucker for a film when it drops the audience immediately into the world of the characters from the start of the movie. In this case “The Shadow Of Violence” delivers some violence right out of the gate.




Douglas “Arm” Armstrong (played by Cosmo Jarvis) is a former boxer that is now working for the much feared Devers family in Ireland. As the enforcer he is expected to do as he is told which he does. But, then a situation arises where he must make a decision between following orders or following his conscience.




((L-R) Cosmo Jarvis as Douglas “Arm” Armstrong and Barry Keoghan as Dympna Devers in the thriller film “THE SHADOW OF VIOLENCE,” a Saban Films release. Photo courtesy of Saban Film.)




“The Shadow Of Violence” is much like a mob or gangster film without the glitz. It is down and dirty with a compelling story to keep the audience engaged throughout the film.




The performance from Cosmo Jarvis is understated and it completely works. With his menacing physical size it would be easy to play Arm like a brute but Jarvis does so much more with the character. His journey with his special needs son and former girlfriend as a subplot is equally compelling.




The friendship between Arm and his best friend Dympna (played by Barry Keoghan) comes across as naturally as can be and is a testament to both actors' performances. 





(Cosmo Jarvis as Douglas “Arm” Armstrong in the thriller film “THE SHADOW OF VIOLENCE,” a Saban Films release. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.)




Nick Rowland makes his directorial debut with a bang as does first time screenplay writer Joe Murtagh, who adapted the material from a short story by Colin Barrett.




“The Shadow Of Violence” works on every level. This film is absolutely worth seeking out.




Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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Friday, July 24, 2020

SHINE A LIGHT Summer Interim Shows TOUR REPORT/JOURNAL with AL1CE! 7/24/2020


Greetings all - here is my report/journal that I was writing as these interviews were completed.  I left it the way it was written.  Come take a look inside.

Best,
Mark
EA

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Thursday June 25th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Max Zaleski - Without A Cause


I’m writing this entry a few days after this first interview took place. I had never had a conversation with Max - in person or online. I only followed him via socials and our mutual interest in wrestling.

I go in and out when it comes to my interest in wrestling. I am not a lifer nor am I someone that grew up watching it. I do, however, have a healthy respect for what the wrestlers go through to entertain the fans. I always will.

This was my first interview that fit under the “Eclectic Mark” umbrella in some ways. Wrestling is considered sports entertainment. The peek behind the curtain happened many years ago, unlike the early days when wrestling was secretive and only presented one aspect to the fans.

As I said in the interview, I had watched how Max publicly went about his business with his indie wrestling promotion. He was forthright, humble, but also direct. I will always support a certain ratio of local guests when I have this sort of platform that AL1CE has given me.

Max was a terrific guest. He clearly has a passion for what he does, speaks well, and carries himself in the right way. Sometimes when I “roll the dice” on guests I don’t personally know or have had an interaction with in some capacity, I get a tad nervous. But I trust my gut instinct and so far (knock on wood) it hasn’t failed me.

I felt really good about how things kicked off with this interview.



Sunday June 28th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Brad Cerenzia - Centerstage Theatre


I woke up late on Sunday and checked my emails. I saw the one from Nigel (Glockler) of Saxon and thought he was just confirming the Zoom link I had sent him the night before. But, then he explained that his internet was out, the company had said 24 hours to fix it, and that he couldn’t do the interview. I suggested we test out his cell service and do a Zoom call right now to see if that would work. His cell service was spotty at best as it was only giving him one bar so my backup idea wasn’t going to work.

Also, keep in mind - he was perfectly fine with doing the interview at 7pm PDT - which is 3am his time! I told him initially we could look into doing it earlier and just recording it so he didn’t have to stay up so late but he said no it was really fine to do it at 3am. So, we went with it.

Anyway, he hoped that maybe the internet would be back on earlier than the company said but I didn’t want to wait just to find out it wasn’t going to happen. The plus of him letting me know (from his time zone) was that I had 7 hours or so to figure something else out. If he had told me minutes before the show was supposed to start, I would have had to pivot (there is a contingency plan in case a guest bails at the last minute in case you were wondering - the band and I discussed this before the tour started in May - and no I won’t tell you what it is - some things need to stay private). ;)

I got back to him and told him let’s look at a new date to reschedule the interview. During that time, I went on my socials and announced his postponement. He and the band had promoted his appearance so it was critical to get the word out as much as possible. Thousands of people had viewed those initial Facebook posts so I wanted to do what I could to let those fans know. Clearly the other issue was that I needed to figure out if there was someone else that could be my new guest on Sunday night.

As I told the story in the show introduction, sometimes the Universe just hands you one. I had a few open slots on purpose for the month of July. I wanted to wait before I invited every guest as this wasn’t really necessary. The grind of booking the tour interview slots was vastly different than these interim shows. So, I had a list with guests on it that I wanted to interview once we actually hit July. Not all of the dates, just some. Brad Cereznia was on the list. I immediately messaged Brad and lucky for me: 1. He was online. 2. He accepted the invite. 3. He could do it Sunday night. Bingo - problem solved without having to go to the contingency plan.

I told Nigel this and he was very happy and relieved that I was able to get someone to do the Sunday slot and I offered up the 12th of July for his reschedule, and it worked. So, everything fell into place. Yay!

For these interviews (so far) I’ve been approaching them a little differently. They are more loose - I don’t have a set thing I say when I go live. I have show notes but I haven’t been reading them. I don’t plan on doing them/reading them for the rest of these shows, either. Now, guest introductions - yes, I will always write those out. Guest topics to discuss - ditto.

I do my best to pay attention during the pre-show minutes to how a guest is interacting with me. This in many ways dictates where I’m going to go with the actual interview once we go live. Right behind that is once we start talking about the first topic (usually the pandemic), I then decide “does this guest need time to air things out” or can I move on to something else.

From the tour interviews, my approach to the second Eva Tavares interview changed because of the pre-show talk. The first Zarah Mahler interview also changed because of the pre-show talk. I won’t divulge what was said during those pre-show chats but some of those were the best things I had done during the initial tour in my opinion. There were other interviews where I changed course before going live but those two stand out.

In the case of Brad, I honestly had no idea he would bring up so many topical things after I asked that first question/topic. As he was talking I was thinking to myself “do I continue down this road he started on or do I steer things back to my topics I had to discuss”? It was clear we should travel down this road together and have a frank and honest discussion. I didn’t think it would go 30 minutes but I’m very glad it did. It was important. And it needed to be done.

Let me tell you - if you think doing interviews is easy, you’re a fool. Straight up. I went into detail about this in my other Tour Report but suffice to say, speaking only for myself, I give a piece of myself to each and every interview that I conduct. Some interviews more than others, but, rest assured, after every interview I feel the need to breathe and to clear my head. And I’m trying to find a way to get that piece of myself back.

When I go to a personal space, it drains me. It would be like John Coffey in, “The Green Mile” or some superhero movie where the person who saves someone’s life and loses some of their own life force in the process.

Of course I bounce back from this, we’re not talking about saving someone’s life here, but I’m just trying to illustrate that it does take a temporary toll on me.

So, with this interview, the toll was perhaps the highest of any I’ve done so far on this tour/these interim shows (it clearly was - Mark on 7/23/20). And it was worth it because my gut told me to go there and the end result was an interview worth viewing more than once.

I was all set to go into the Tea Time that night before the interview. But, honestly, after it - I needed time away to process, decompress, and to get that part of myself back that I had used up during the interview.



NON ENTRY OBSERVATION

This format is really hard for me to adjust to. The starting and stopping with two interviews a week is great in terms of scheduling and getting other work done, but in terms of getting into a rhythm, man, it’s really tough. I’ll be interested to see if I still feel like this once these ten shows are done.



Thursday July 2nd, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Vanessa Campbell - “A Thousand Miles Behind”

It’s Sunday right now - so I will be writing about both guests this week. I felt good about the interview with Vanessa before it ever happened. She was timely with her responses and her tone was very positive. And sure enough - she was a great guest!

I had had zero interaction with Vanessa other than scheduling the interview. My gut told me she would be a certain way during the interview (meaning positive and easy to interview) and thankfully my gut was right.

She had a lovely energy to her and she was actively listening during the interview (she even asked me a question which was a new one). Her personality definitely helped shape the character of Tracy that she played in the film, “A Thousand Miles Behind”.

I am so fortunate to not only review new films but to also interview some of the actors as well. It trips me out sometimes when I think about it. I just saw this actor in this film two weeks ago and now here I am interviewing them. So grateful!

She absolutely stood out in the film and after interviewing her, you can see why. She was a delight and I would have her back on for another interview in a second.



Sunday July 5th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Margarita Monet - Edge Of Paradise


I was scheduled to review and interview the band back in 2017. Their vehicle broke down on the way up to Seattle - and they were literally walking on the side of the road trying to get to the nearest business, etc., in rural Oregon I believe. Margarita actually posted a video when it happened on her Facebook. She also immediately got a hold of me to let me know they wouldn’t be making the show - which I really appreciated.

So, I’ve known about the band since that time. And they have most definitely grown musically and in terms of their fan-base. They were absolutely gaining traction when “Universe” was released this past fall - and then COVID19 struck. Their subsequent tours were cancelled and everything, like for all arts folks, was up in the air.

I think she was great during the interview. Talkative, sweet, and came across well. I on the other hand was off my game if you ask me. I talked way too much. I ended up editing myself out of the interview before putting it on YouTube. That is a first. I’ve never done that - ever. But I knew as soon as I was done doing the actual interview that I would need to do some edits. So a normal 41/42 minute interview got cut down to 30 something minutes. That’s how much extra I talked. Yikes!

I veered off my topic list and that was a mistake this go ‘round. Sometimes that works for me but in this case it didn’t. There was no flow to the interview from my end and I will be sure to fix that for any upcoming interviews.

She/they logged on like 4 minutes before we were to go live - which if you’ve read any of my earlier reports - then you know that always makes me nervous. I just take deep breaths and just let the chips fall where they may. Some folks that do a lot of video interviews (she had done at least one in May that I saw) I worry about less, ditto those that are timely with their communication. So, I figured she would log on before the show started - which she did - so no worries. And again, everything turned out fine, other than me gabbing too much.

And I was stone cold sober, too. I could see if I was a little buzzed where I would ramble more than usual but damn Mark …



Thursday July 9th, 2020
“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Stephanie Mae

Stephanie and I talked about this pre-show - but I wasn’t sure where I knew her from. Then after doing my research earlier today, I figured it out. She was on a bill with Tobias The Owl in January of this year - it was the week it snowed up here. Now for you back east or other cold winter places, Seattle isn’t prepared for snow conditions in the cities as we don’t get it that often. So, when we do, we basically go into panic mode, and stay home. Well, most of us do.

I was planning on going to the show as a fan since I had not seen Tobias The Owl perform in a long while. I remember looking up the other two artists on the bill and Stephanie Mae was one of them. I liked her voice and her work so I thought this would be a good show. Then the snow came and, with my car that is crap in the snow, I said “oh well” and stayed home.

So this was the first interaction I’ve ever had with Stephanie. As you heard, she knows Tobias The Owl and is good friends with Heather Edgley = both of whom were on the show during the first leg of the virtual tour.

I really enjoyed our chat. Now this was an interview where it felt ok to talk more than normal as it reinforced what we had in common, and in some cases, what she had in common with AL1CE.

I found her very open and in some ways a kindred spirit. I definitely could relate to many of the things she spoke about and that made the interview flow in a direction that I was very comfortable with.

Based on the comments in the Twitch chat as the interview progressed, others enjoyed getting to know Stephanie as well. I would have her back on in a heartbeat.

I would love to hear that voice - live. Damn you pandemic!



NON ENTRY OBSERVATION

I actually have a loose idea for the second leg of the virtual tour surrounding returning guests. I’m not sure if I’m going to go through with it as there aren’t as many dates on this second leg as there were on the first but we’ll see. I already have two guests from the first leg that I am having back on for the second leg - regardless of any ideas, etc. (edit - make that one guest from the first tour - Mark 7/23/2020). I also have at least two new guests that are pencilled in for the new tour as well. So, I don’t want to go all repeat guests (which I won’t) but I’m sure I’ll find a happy medium. Maybe.

Also - remember what I wrote earlier - that it’s hard to get in a rhythm with these interim shows/interviews? Yup, I was right. It’s like starting over every time I do an interview. But, it’s good practice having to feel like I'm starting all over again each time.



Sunday July 12th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Nigel Glockler - Saxon


I’m not really sure what prompted me to reach out to the publicist/manager for Saxon but I’m SO glad I did. Nigel got back to me once he was forwarded my email quickly. His communication was great and everything looked good for the interview for late June. Then technology over there in the UK decided to be a poop and we had to reschedule the interview to the 12th.

Nigel’s initial email to me said that he had no problem doing the interview at 3am his time on a Sunday (Monday morning for him). I initially offered to tape it so he didn’t have to stay up that late but he assured me he was fine with doing it then.

He decided to go to sleep early, set his alarm to get up to do the interview, and then go back to sleep. I think the word is dedication, folks.

It was a bucket list moment for me to conduct a 45 minute interview with him. I grew up with his drumming and hold his playing in high regard.

He was funny and informative during the interview - it was a bit surreal to me at times and I am SO glad that everything worked out on Sunday. One of the highlights of the year for me.



Thursday July 16th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Saskia - LA Guinea Pig Rescue


This was clearly my biggest departure in terms of guest interviews. But, in many ways, it made perfect sense since I love piggies and they’ve been mentioned by members of AL1CE more than once - and this lady is doing great work - so it’s not really that big of a departure - maybe just on paper.

I wasn’t sure how to go about this interview - I figured I would let Saskia determine where we would do the interview and I would just go with it (office VS the rescue area with the piggies). Since my general info sheet that I send to each guest stresses quiet areas, she picked the right place so we could hear and see her well. In hindsight I should have asked if we could see the rescue area for the last 15 minutes of the interview. But, no biggie - there’s plenty of videos on her channel that people can watch to get an overdose of piggies in action.

As of today - which is only two days after the video interview was posted - her interview has the most views out of any interview on YT - summer series OR first leg of the tour. I may have to do all animal guests for the next tour. ;) (as of tonight - she clearly has the most views - Mark 7/23/2020)

And don’t forget to check out the M/V for, “Blame It On The Rain” - I did. Hah!  :)



Sunday July 19th, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: Alexandr Misko

I have been fascinated by Alexandr’s playing ever since I saw him perform, “Billy Jean”. I don’t even remember what prompted me to reach out to him about doing an interview but I’m sure glad I did! There’s some sort of pattern developing here. And it’s alarming that I don’t know why I reached out to more than one guest on this set of shows.

He talks about his playing like it’s no big deal and, trust me, it’s a big deal - any musician would tell you that. He is a walking phenom and I’m so very fortunate to have gotten a chance to speak with him for 45 minutes.

Due to the time zone issue (10 hours ahead of us here on the west coast) - it was decided to - gasp - do a pre-recorded virtual interview for the very first time. It would have been 5am his time - so that wasn’t going to work. So now you all know ... ;)

I’m bummed that the live song didn’t translate over Zoom or what have you. I thought it sounded odd in my earbuds when we recorded it earlier in the day but I thought let me see how it sounds when it’s aired - and yup - it still sounded odd.

I figured I would have to edit the whole performance out. I sent Alexandr a 1 minute snippet so he could tell me what he would like me to do and he agreed to remove it . He suggested adding the M/V there instead so I put the video in its place - and through some slick editing - you can’t really tell that he did a live performance (unless you watched the stream of course). I caught the parts where I talked earlier about an upcoming live performance from him as well as several other parts. Overall, it works - the interview itself was still very good and Alexandr was understanding - so no worries.

I must mention I hate it when right out of the gate I get some information wrong about a guest. In this case where he lived. I figured out where Moscow came from in my head - I was thinking Moscow TIME - since that had been a hurdle to overcome when scheduling this interview. I actually didn’t know where he was living - only that he was a college student (or possible graduated) studying linguistics. Anyway, can't win them all. I much prefer when a guest nods in agreement or says, “yes, ‘that’s right” to something I say. Then I know I not only did my homework but I also got the information correct.

For you super behind the scenes folks - we recorded this at Noon on Sunday. So it was 10pm his time. I usually get out of bed at noon on Sunday’s.  Just kidding...  sort of.  ;)



Thursday July 23rd, 2020

“Shine A Light” Summer Virtual Interview Sessions

Guest: I Ya Toyah

This was the last show of these summer interim shows. There was the option of a #10 interview/show but it would have just been my interview with no AL1CE content as they’re busy getting ready for the next tour - so it made sense just to end things tonight with this series.

I’m editing the interview right now and this interview is a perfect example of listening to the artist and going down whichever path she chooses. I only looked at my notes once and that was for the name of her doggie. The rest of it - she steered. I wasn’t going to go to the suicide prevention/dog rescue work until much later in the interview but she went there fairly early in the interview - so I went with it.

It was very clear that everything she does is important but the art collection for the auction coming up in August for the suicide prevention foundation was front and center. I really liked how passionate she is about her work. She has a drive to her and a really pleasant quality that absolutely came through in the interview.

I rambled during this interview but I left most of it in because it added to the discussion and it also gave I Ya Toyah a better idea of who I am and that I was listening to her. I watched/read a few other interviews where they glossed over her answers about the suicide prevention and dog rescue work which was unfortunate.

I’m glad the things she brought to the table resonated with the AL1CE family (band and fans alike). As I mentioned when I started booking these summer guests - I wanted to shine a light on some folks that most people wouldn’t be familiar with - but would enjoy hearing from. Her music background and outside work was pretty much a no brainer to me. The fact that she was super sweet was just a delightful bonus.

BTS snippet: During her music video we talked about tattoos - hers and mine. We were still talking about them when Scott mentioned we were back live…. :)



EPILOGUE

Well, folks, that’s it - sort of. We all know Chapter 2 of the INSIDE/Out Virtual Tour with AL1CE is less than a week away so there are no goodbyes or see you laters. It’s see you on Wednesday. :)

I enjoyed doing these interviews. The nine guests were quite diverse and the longer format afforded me time to dig a little deeper (and in some cases still “run out of time”). If you read my tour report - or were in that Tea Time I attended on the first leg - then you know I was very intentional with who I invited on the show. These summer guests were no different.

I clearly have to like or at least have an interest in what the guest does. They could check off each box in my head but if I don’t like what they do, they’re not being invited on the show - period.

But if you look at each guest - you’ll see many boxes got checked. Music being the biggest group this go around. Film/Theatre/Acting being the second group. Female representation. LGBTQ+. BIPOC. All got checked off at some point, too. Topically the addition of indie wrestling and guinea pigs (PEEGS!) worked out well, too.

So for the upcoming tour - I’m pulling from any area I so choose. No limits. Some will of course be familiar areas but some won’t be - including the format for one of the interviews. Stay tuned as I’m still working the details out on this one.

Thank you for taking the time to watch these interviews - live or on YouTube (or both). I really appreciate the support. Thank you and see you soon!

Until next time,
Mark
Eclectic Arts

BTW: It was interesting that we started with Max (who is of Polish descent) - ended with I Ya Toyah (who is from Poland). This was not intentional - pure coincidence.

In between we “visited” Peru, Mexico, Armenia, The Philippines, England, The Netherlands, and Russia via the guests - this was somewhat intentional. Did anyone pick up on this?   ;)

THE SOAPGIRLS Written Interview 7/24/2020

Greetings,

The SoapGirls completed this fantastic interview for me while I was on the first leg of the virtual tour with AL1CE.  So that would have been in May of 2020.  I waited to publish it until things were a bit less frantic around here.  The SoapGirls have been putting on pure punk rock live-streams on Facebook live - with different cities and themes for every show during the pandemic.

They were so awesome to interview and are definitely worth checking out.  If I can arrange a virtual interview with them in the future, I surely will.  Read on!

Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts
Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here!


***

(All Photos Provided by The SoapGirls (c) Andrew Ball)



Eclectic Arts:  Hi Millie and Mie!   Are you back in South Africa right now during this pandemic? How are you holding up?

The SoapGirls:  Hi Mark and everyone out there - we are currently on lock down in Cape Town South Africa.  Interestingly enough last night the government added even more insanity to the current situation we are living in a Nanny state that speaks the language of dictatorship and it is not going down.  We abhor politicians and any government that renders people into a voiceless mass.  Right now we can say that there is nothing democratic in the country - freedom of speech, freedom of movement , freedom of choice and even the freedom of being able to work has been cut off. It’s a very worrisome state of affairs and we cannot wait for the first opportunity to get the fuck out of here…We are very outspoken against the government and civil rights and human rights abuses which in turn creates a lot of stress and challenges as it is we cannot afford to be arrested as we want to get the fuck out of here as soon as is possible…….Cake and Anarchy that is what is needed right now!



EA:  What are you doing with this unexpected "down time"?  Are you working on new music or other creative projects you didn't have time for earlier?

TSG:  We don’t see this as downtime at all in fact more than ever is the need to work even harder if possible!  Prior to this “house arrest bs” we had just managed to record half of our new album so we will have lots of singles we hope to release soon.  Since we are unable to tour physically we have taken to live streaming and started a ‘virtual tour’ courtesy of crack airlines doing themed shows X-3 a week.  Although it's quite challenging since stationery among many items are deemed now illegal by the government so we are pushing our limits on a creativity level to always recreate new themes. It's keeping us alive in many ways we are lucky to have such an incredible fan base who ‘buy’ tickets in the form of donations but more than this just being able to keep our fans engaged and occupy them to keep their heads out of the ugliness we all globally are having to try to live beyond.



EA:  I understand your third full-length release; "Charlie Brown" is in the can and ready to be released. What can you tell me about the process of writing and recording it?  Also, where did the name for it come from - why "Charlie Brown"?

TSG:  We ended up changing the name to "Elephant in the Room" as it was more reflective of where we were at when we wrote most of the tracks as many of our tracks were bringing into focus the Elephant in the Room so to speak.  All of our songs are written from personal experiences we have lived through and after a long grueling tour we had a lot of emotions to get off our chest.  The recording was very difficult and at times bordered on near impossible as we were having to record with multiple power outages every day due to rolling blackouts in South Africa.

The day we started recording we were thrown into the pits of Hell by an individual who was blackmailing and harassing my sister Mie and absolute psychopath.  It was so bad that we would be recording and have to stop because the shock was so overwhelming and both my sister and I were crying so much!  In fact when Mie could not record because she was in such a state I wrote "I Stand Alone" in the middle of the night and went into the studio the next day to record it.






EA: What the fuck?  This asshole was blackmailing your sister?!  What the hell is that all about?

TSG:  A married man working within the UK music scene exploited his position to try force his way into my sisters life with very bad intent and tried for years unbeknownst to us to ruin our reputation and to get my sister to leave the band.  Being double her age he manipulated her into sharing private moments and tried to instigate a situation where she would have to leave or he would share her personal information.  He was very threatening and aggressive and the hatred I felt after seeing his threats to my sister which, again, inspired our track, "I Stand Alone".  It taught us more now than ever how important it is to be very wary of who we let into our personal space.



EA: I came to know The SoapGirls music from the Wolfman (Alex Story - the mighty Cancerslug (SlugCultRISE) and Doyle).  What was it like playing some shows with the band Doyle?

TSG:  We were completely blown away and had such a great time meeting them!  They are larger than life and fearless as well as being animal rights activists which we respect hugely and they are unapologetically themselves!  We were so ecstatic to get to interview them at the festival, play with them onstage and seeing them live is mind blowing!  They are ferocious onstage but the nicest people you could hope to meet in person.

EA:  Indeed they are!



EA:  The band name was derived from your childhood sales of soap when you were ages 8 and 9 (correct me if I'm wrong).  I understand you got to see the best and worst in people from all walks of life during this time.  People spitting at you, saying nasty things, stealing from you, etc - how did those formative years affect what you do now as a band?

TSG:  We started out selling home made soap for charity and street performing from a young age 8/9 yrs old.  It taught us early in life to grow an extra thick skin and never allow the hatred, disdain and disbelief of others to change who we are nor to stop believing in ourselves.  It certainly taught us to not give a fuck about other peoples opinions/perceptions and to believe in ourselves to the point where nothing felt impossible anymore.

We met some absolutely amazing human beings from all walks of life and even to this day we meet people that bought soap from us years ago at our shows and they are so proud that we never gave up. Even as kids it wasn’t always easy being the ones standing out and unfortunately we were targeted by the community, kids at school, parents, and even teachers!  We were bullied relentlessly, mocked, ridiculed, and attacked for daring to be different but that only fueled our fire more.  It also made us aware of how many people have no voice and aware of the need to create a platform in which we could share with others and encourage them to live life beyond themselves.  Also, to take to task any injustice from animal cruelty to human abuse to human trafficking and also embrace the fact that they don’t fit into society and even more importantly keep questioning their governments/politicians!  We understood from all the years on this journey that to be a misfit is actually a joy and the biggest form of self freedom!  We are glad that we can inspire others to embrace everything they are and to live life on their terms!






EA:  You've described your music as "Revolt Rock".  You've made it clear that there is always something to revolt against when you're The SoapGirls.  What topics are front and center today?

TSG:  As long as the Governments are fucking people over with their endless changing of laws and pushing the senseless slaughter of animals and people alike all in the name of greed and censoring our freedom we’re going to have something to say!  We’ll never stop being the voice for the voiceless, right now especially in South Africa there are so many human rights violations going on all under the guise of so called protective measures.  The fact that in 2020 people are being beaten to death for speaking out against and asking the government questions is insane!  If we give up revolting against the “system” then we become the system.  The same goes with society at large in particular the so called ‘punk’ of nowadays who seem to belittle anything that does not come from a well commercialized ideal ‘punk past’.  Where are the punks now when they should be standing up now more than ever instead of agonizing on how “not punk” others are or agonizing over what is long past?  We try to create as much awareness as we can and remind people that the government should be working for the people NOT the people working for the government!



EA:  I've seen in every live photo both of you have writing on your arms and legs.  What do you write on your bodies for live gigs?  You also wear headpieces.  What do those represent?  How important is image to The SoapGirls?  Does the band discuss how you're going to present yourselves on stage?

TSG:  Mille writes the set-list on her body as well as anti political statements, and animal activist group names, the all seeing eye represents looking beyond what society teaches you to see.  Our headdresses are somewhat ironic as they are beautiful to look at but the topics and messages we sing about are not, some people get a big wake up call as after the first song it wasn’t what they were expecting, which is important especially in today's cookie cutter society.  Everyday is a new day and depending on how we feel and the available materials we have to work with will determine what we wear onstage.  A lot of the time we will just be body painted which is hilarious as we're essentially naked, but because people can't see skin or nipples then we’re less threatening as opposed to us wearing bikinis onstage.  Sometimes we get fans to give us t shirts or pieces of material so we can make outfits out of - everything about us is DIY.  The stage that we play determines the shoes as not all of them are stiletto heel friendly and snapping a heel on stage ain't that fun, though that’s actually how Mille got the idea to take her shoes off mid-set as her heel broke and she just let loose, plus no shoes makes for better jumps!  It's always funny gauging how clean the stage was by the color of her feet after the show.



EA:  I know it was looking like you were going to be playing the US for the first time in 2019 - then that got pushed to 2020.  And, well, we know what's going on now with live events - especially for bands from overseas.  Do you think a tour will finally happen in 2021 in the US?  If so - will you change anything about your live performances to fit the more conservative US clubs and venues? (Btw: please make sure Seattle, WA is on the tour itinerary! ☺ )

TSG:  We are definitely coming to America in 2021 and it’ll be the right time.  It’s been a dream of ours for years to get that side of the world and no we won't be changing aspects of our show.  Maybe a good dose of raw uncensored and unfiltered punk rock is what America needs right now.  We’re met with a lot of hostility for how we choose to express ourselves but conforming and censoring ourselves has never been an option.  Of course we hope to keep growing our platform in America so that we have the support base to achieve this.






EA:  If you had to describe one another - what would you say about each other?

Millie:  She’s the most fierce and loyal person and friend you could ever have, super talented, doesn’t suffer fools, is determined and passionate to a fault.  If you’re lucky enough to be a member of the audience you’ll be amazed at her energy and fearlessness onstage.  Everything she does is done with heart and is 100 percent honest in her craft and in herself.

Mie:  Is insanely talented and one in a billion, it’s great to be in a band with such a brilliant artist and person.  There is never a dull moment with her around and its always a joy to be onstage with her.



EA:   Both of you are The SoapGirls but live you have a male drummer.  Have you thought about getting a female drummer?

TSG:  We’ve played with both male and female drummers over the years and gender is never something we think about.  It’s more about the energy and synergy we feel when we are playing together than the gender.



EA:  I caught the majority of your virtual tour gig this morning (well, morning here in the US).  I missed the troll comments that you put on blast later during the show.  Is this the sort of shit you have to deal with online, etc?  Trolls with nothing better to do than to harass you?

TSG:  Since we started out street performing as kids we have dealt with a lot of love and a lot of hate!  It has given us a thick skin and has kept us highly motivated to keep on going.  Social media is great for artists and bands but its also unfortunately used by bullies that enjoy the safety of anonymity and the distance a screen provides to hate and attack strangers for no reason!  We are so used to it we laugh because if you allow that kind of hatred and negativity to get to you mentally you will never feel happy again.  We take it as a good sign that we are such a threat to people highly indoctrinated by society’s rules and we want people that don’t fit in to society to take strength from our resolve to stay true to who we are!  Hater’s add fuel to our fire and it is pretty funny having a rant back at some of the serious haters.  It's all mad though because they are hating on us for living our lives and playing our music but they will never stop us!






EA:  What are some of the biggest misconceptions about The SoapGirls?

TSG:  We get judged a lot based off our appearance from being told we’re too blonde, too skinny, too pretty, not punk enough, etc.  We’ve heard it all.  Also, that we don’t write or produce our own music and that we come from a privileged background and that everything's been instant for us which is insane as we’ve been on this journey for years.



EA:  What do you want people reading this to know about The SoapGirls who know nothing about you?

TSG:  That we’re a band that is predominantly about humanity that fights fiercely for what we believe in, what you see is what you get, we are completely DIY.  We’ve been out in the public fighting for causes from a very young age and we will continue to do so.  Musically we are very diverse and our songs are always honest and reflective of the situations we find ourselves in and every song comes with a story behind it.  We are a band who has a message and we are unafraid to deliver it!



EA:  Thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview.  I really appreciate it!

TSG:  Firstly, thank you Mark for the opportunity to spread our message and music!  People need to encourage themselves and everyone around them to stand up for freedom and fight censorship and to never stop being true to yourself and to keep fearless!  One life you need to live it true!



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