As promised here is our first interview of a series featuring Eve’s Apple, a global community that supports and promotes female artists. Today we begin that series featuring Los Angeles songwriter and singer VK Lynne.
VK Lynne is a songwriter and singer from the L.A area that has created music and art since she was a little girl. By now she had recorded three full length albums her latest called ‘Whiskey or Water’, She had put her music on movies that are in current rotation through the film festival circuit, and she is currently working on three different projects (Vita Nova, The Spider Accomplice and Glittermortis).
VK Lynne is also one of the founders of the Eve’s Apple along with ex- Xandria‘s vocalist Lisa Middelhauve, at the moment VK Lynne is working on the pre production of her new solo album, and she will be performing an Eve’s Apple acoustic set with fellow apples Mary Zimmer, Lindsay Schoolcraft, Grace Meridan, and Melissa Ferlaak at the Dame-Nation festival in Chicago this August 15th
The Age Of Metal: To begin with, I understand you are one of the founders of the Eve’s Apple community. Please tell us how this idea came to be? What represents to you be part of this community? And if you ever thought it was going to get as big as it is now?
VK Lynne: Eve’s Apple was just a seed in Lisa Middelhauve’s mind one weekend, and it’s grown into an entire Orchard! She and I had met when I applied to sing for Xandria and Lisa heard my tracks. She was amazingly supportive. (And she has encouraged me for the last 3 years in so many ways!)
Lisa had this idea to form a group that would have a multi-disciplinary approach to our goals- Educate the public about our music, which is often considered “niche”, through articles and promotion, and encourage/support other women in music through a group dynamic that would foster connection rather than competition.
She reached out to 4 of us, and we all agreed that it was a great idea. We weren’t 100% sure how things would progress, or what that progress would look like, but we were enthusiastic!
And here we are now! 50 women, 3 years, 1 compilation, (working on) 2 Metal Female Voices Fest appearances as a group, and our first appearance at the US fest, Dame Nation! Who knows what the future holds from here!
For me, Eve’s Apple has been the birthplace of so many friendships and artistic partnerings…It’s difficult to really quantify what it’s meant to me.
TAOM: You are a singer and a songwriter. What is the most rewarding thing of being a solo artist? And the thing that sucks the most?
VK Lynne: Being a solo artist has its beauty in the sense of the autonomy that you feel. The creativity that comes out unfiltered is undiluted by other writers/musicians input, and so some of the most piercing, intense songs have come from those moments when I’ve sat down with just me and my guitar and wrote exactly what was scratching at the inside of my heart to get out.
However, there is also a great weight of responsibility and accountability that goes along with that. Finding producers, players, and visual artists all lies on your shoulders, and communicating your vision effectively, without being a tyrant, are all challenges. However, finding funding is probably the biggest challenge in this current economically tumultuous climate. Altering the way we think about the “business” in general is mandatory.
TAOM: You also have 3 projects going on simultaneously. Vita Nova, The Spider Accomplice and Glittermortis (with Mary Zimmer of Luna Mortis) Lets talk about each one of them:
What is Vita Nova? What is the inspiration behind it? What is the status of Vita Nova now?
VK Lynne: Vita Nova is what happens when you are forced into a corner! They say necessity is the mother of invention…well, that was the case here. I wanted to make a symphonic metal record; however, I was struggling to find musicians in Los Angeles who were even aware of what that was. I co-wrote a song with Lisa (that will see daylight someday;) and in the absence of the ability to produce it ourselves, to the level we desired, I posted on Facebook. Enter Federico Salerno from Milan, who is basically as insane as I am, and who was game to jump on board.
We worked very well together, and so I threw another song his way that I’d written about a month previous entitled “Vita Nova”. He worked on it, and what he sent back was the sound that I’d heard in my head, but had been unable to create. We polished it up and released it as a one-off, but then realized we had sort of a “lightning in a bottle” situation, and who were we to get in its way?:)
We put together an album’s worth of material, and I gathered up some of my Eve’s Apple compatriots who were willing to take a chance on a CD that would be created, recorded and mixed entirely through sending of files via Dropbox and email. When all was said and done, 13 artist from 6 different countries participated in Vita Nova (the name of the CD now) and we felt that we had something truly unique in our hands. Each song has at least one guest artist on it. I sing with Kerstin Bischof, Gogo Melone, Maxi Nil, Iliana Tsakiraki, Grace Meridan, Babis Nikou and Helen Vogt over the course of the record. We will be releasing it (FINALLY!) this summer, so we are very excited to share the results!
TAOM: What is The Spider Accomplice? What lead you to create this project? What is the current status of The Spider Accomplice?
VK Lynne: The Spider Accomplice is an idea that I had when looking at my notebooks and talking to my friends- both were full of material, but without production. My musician friends kept saying “I just want to make music!”, so I thought, well then, put your ability where your mouth is. I started The Spider Accomplice as a hub for the puzzle pieces to find each other…an island of misfit songs, so to speak! We started with two songs that were written and had vocalists attached, but needed players and producers. Anyone could volunteer and post their name on a project to be considered. They were asked to submit some previous work, and if they were up to professional standard, they were brought on. Right now, both projects are coming along slowly, because this is, of course, in everyone’s free time, since there is literally no budget for these songs. But I believe that the possibilities are endless, and that some really wild collaborative efforts are going to result from this!
TAOM: How Glittermortis came to be? What is the idea that Mary and you have for Glittermortis? Where is the project as now?
VK Lynne: Mary and I have known each other since Eve’s Apple began, and we’ve ALWAYS wanted to work together, but the timing was never right…either she was busy or I was. Finally, one night, I had written a song that almost SCREAMED Mary Zimmer, and I messaged her, and she said, you know what, it’s a good time right now! So we decided to document the whole thing via webisodes and then release the song as a single.
We got 3 episodes in, and much of the recording done, when things got extremely busy for both of us (which is a good thing!) but we had to put Glittermortis on the back burner. However, we hope to have it out sooner than later and…for those who are going to be at Dame-Nation, we may just have a preview for you;)!
TAOM: Last year you and the rest of the apples put a hell of a show at the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium, and this year you are also scheduled to perform on the opening night of the festival. If you can tell us, what the public assisting to MFVF can expect for the Eve’s Apple show on this year’s edition?
VK Lynne: Thank you! Last year was wild and woolly, haha! Maxi and I planned as much in advance as we could, but, in the end, 15 women who’d never all even been on the same continent got together, had a one-hour soundcheck, and then performed a full acoustic set in front of 1,000 people. I had literally gotten off a plane after 14 hours of flying, grabbed a shower, picked up my guitar and went…So for me, it felt like a dream; I was so spacey! But it was magical.:)
For our second outing, we wanted things to be bigger and louder and crazier! We have a full band this year, and we’ll be rocking pretty hard. In keeping with Eve’s Apple’s mission, we’ll be performing in duos, trios, and groups, so it will be something very unique and not to be missed for sure!!!!
TAOM: I also know that you and Mary Zimmer are running an Indie Gogo campaign to go to Belgium this year. What are the perks people can get by helping you girls?
VK Lynne: Yes! As one of the European Apples pointed out, we’re coming from the other side of the planet, so the flight costs for the Americans are frighteningly steep. The idea was hatched that if we could do a fundraising campaign to at least even up the amount that all the Apples, American and European, spent, it would be a good show of solidarity and fairness.
Perks include CD’s, lyric sheets, Skype calls, online concerts, and the big one, for a $1,000 contribution, the donor receives my black electro-acoustic guitar, signed in permanent pink glitter!
Honestly, the Eve’s Apple fans are such an amazing and supportive group, we believe that we’ll get our funding in no time, and be able to share a beer with the whole donor crew in Belgium!
This is the campaign link: http://igg.me/at/evesapple
TAOM: Where VK Lynne sees herself in five years?
VK Lynne: I have given up trying to make predictions beyond tomorrow…Life is mercurial, and so many things have not gone the way I planned. But every turn, every corner, has led to something that I never could have imagined, and I’m fortunate to NOT know where the road goes. I have a strong faith that the good Lord won’t take me anywhere that I wasn’t meant to be, so I try to trust and follow!
When I came to LA 10 years ago, I never thought I’d count most of my dearest friends as those I could only reach daily by Skype…but I’m grateful for all of them. I never imagined that I’d have one of the most gratifying musical partnerships I’ve ever had with someone that I’ve never been in the same room with. But Vita Nova has been such.
I will keep writing, playing, singing, and learning, and in 5 years…I’ll give you a call and we’ll see where it’s all led.;)
TAOM: What is next for VK Lynne
VK Lynne: The release of Vita Nova! And…I am in pre-production for my next solo record! Another turn in the road I hadn’t seen coming! I met a producer here in LA (who I cannot name just yet;) who I hit it off with, and the next thing you know, we’re making a record! We’re sorting through my songs now, and getting the players in place!
Performance-wise, in the immediate future, I will be playing/singing at Dame Nation in Chicago with my Eve’s Apple sisters, and this fall, it’s back to MFVF! I hope to see you there!!!