How is it that you started playing music? My grandparents gave me my first music lessons (mainly guitar). They were/are accomplished musicians and a great influence on me. Then it escalated from there. I began classical piano lessons at age nine and formal vocal training at twelve.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? Well, I am Tiffany Apan and my primary instrument is vocals, though I also play keyboards, pianos, and a little guitar. I also work with my musical partner in crime, Jason English on songwriting and have worked with other talented musicians including Chuck Owston, Jim Puskar, Csaba Domos, Mark Kapsha, along with several others.
Have you had other previous members? I typically use musicians on a case by case basis depending on what a particular piece calls for. They usually rotate and I tend to work with a lot of the same people, though new talent is definitely welcome. :)
Did you make music even when you were young? Oh yeah. Like I stated above, my grandparents started teaching me from a very young age, and I did write some songs of my own when I was as young as five years old. Though I'm not sure I would share any of those songs publicly. :D
Where are you from? The United States.
What year did the band form? I started officially performing my own music live and recording it in late 2006/early 2007.
What's your style of genre? I definitely have a strong World and Folk music vibe, particularly Celtic and Native American. But I also mix in some rock, metal, and gothic sounds.
What inspires you? Well as of now, I'm definitely interested and being inspired by history, especially events that rarely ever are acknowledged and talked about. History as always been an influence, but once I started writing my novel series, The Birthrite, I've delved much deeper into that uncharted territory. Not only has it influenced my stories, but now it's seeping into the newer music as well. So life and history are my greatest influences now.
How have you developed since you started with the music? I think any endeavor can hopefully increase a person's developement. As for myself, I'm always looking to further my own developement, whether that's with making music, writing, cooking, filmmaking, reading, traveling, whatever. I think music has allowed me to study it in its different forms and through that, I feel I've connected with other cultures on a deeper level. Of course with each project, I hope to improve and develope more than the last.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I love writing, filmmaking, hiking, traveling, going to concerts, theater, reading, antiques, cooking and blogging.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? Not at the moment. I think that in some cases a label can be a good thing, but for me, I do not think it is the right path. I have my own label and production company through which I opporate and I love the creative control that comes with it. Of course, you do have to work harder at promoting every new project (whereas with a label they do that for you), but in a way I do like being at the business end as well. Even if it is a little extra work.
What made you decide to make this music? I feel that much of what I do is an extension of who I am. That, and I would go stir crazy if I didn't do it!
What are your songs about? Whatever happens to be grabbing me at the moment. My first album, POET was taken straight from poetry I wrote in certain points of my life (hence the title). For my Living Room Sessions on YouTube, I tend to collaborate with other artists in doing more traditional folk music. Now my new album ANTIQUITY is heavily influenced by the historical research I did while writing The Birthrite Series.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? I write the lyrics the vast majority of the time, but sometimes another songwriter will present me with a song they've written. If it speaks to me I will do it.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Either one. It depends on what the song calls for.
Do you compose in a certain enviroment? Usually at my keyboard in my office.
Have you done any covers live? Usually traditional folk songs but there are a couple Deep Purple songs I'd love to do.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? I've played well-attended festivals and I have a select list of clubs we typically play at because there is a draw. As for private events, they can vary: you can play for an intimate group of seven or an entire party of hundreds. No audience is too small in my book. As long as they enjoy themselves.
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? Well, this year it's more about getting projects done, though we will be playing a couple shows. One will be in Pittsburgh, PA in July and the other is in my hometown area in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Information will be at my website.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? I started merchandise in 2008 and over the years I've been revamping and seeing what sells and what might need to go back to the drawing board. Right now, I have my music (physical CD and digital download), books and ebooks available.
Where can people buy your merchandise? Visit my website: http://tiffanyapan.com
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays? If they download it legally from a site like CDBaby, Amazon, iTunes and the like, it is fine. Now as for illegal downloads, of course I'm not at all for that. When you buy music (or any art), you are also getting the hours and work the artist put into creating the work they do. Plus, stealing our work takes money out of our pockets, therefore making it difficult to create and put out more product.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Definitely different from the days of the brick and morter record store (and I'm happy to say that several of those stores are still around and surviving). Though I have been seeing a return to vinyl as of late, so we shall see.
Do you have any role models or idols? I have many, but I'd say my greatest influence is Loreena McKennitt. I love her views and approach to music and the world in general. She also draws much of her influence from history and mythology as I do and because of that, her work is very relatable to me. She also is very articulate and intelligent in her interviews, which is definitely a plus. I did listen to her quite a bit while writing the Birthrite Series books.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Both, though I tend to gravitate toward the old.
What have been your biggest obstacles? I tend to get 'stage fright' as I am right on the verge of completing a project. But you know what? I push through, get it done and release it. Why? Because in the end, it is far more painful to not have followed through with something than it is to take the risk and release the project to the world. There is nothing like that feeling of accomplishment once an album, book, film, or whatever you have been working on reaches its journey's end.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? I could sit here and spout out all the advice in the world. But at the end of the day, actually DOING it instead of just talking about it far exceeds all else. Learn how to hang out with your fears and never stop working toward improving your craft. And remember: there is ALWAYS room for improvement.
How do you get psyched for a gig? I warm up a little, but for the most part, going on adrenaline works best for me.
Do you have any new material? I have a couple new Living Room Sessions scheduled this year for my YouTube Channel. Also, look for some new material from my upcoming new album, ANTIQUITY very soon. I have a few new film and book projects out this year as well.
What are your web sites?
Official Website: http://tiffanyapan.com
Official Blog: http://tiffanyapanwritingproject.blogspot.com
Facebook (Personal): http://facebook.com/tiffany.apan
Facebook (Artist): http://facebook.com/tiffanyapanfanpage
The Birthrite Series Website: http://thebirthriteseries.com
I am also on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Spotify, Last.fm, and Soundcloud.
How can people reach you? Through any social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). And of course my email address through my website and blog.
What are your plans for the future? Right now, I'm focusing on all the projects I'm working on done and released. Feel free to follow me for updates and thank you for the interview!