by Daryle Dickens
She grew up in a small town in Colorado. Scored a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. And before her last semester she just spent the summer touring and playing gigs around Colorado (as well as being a river guide). Her name is Gabrielle Louise and this is what she had to say.
ZAF622: So your website mentions you grew up in a small town in Colorado but does not say which one. So where do you hail from?
Gabrielle Louise: Well the reason we did not put a specific town is because my parents moved me around to 9 or 10 small towns in Colorado. Because they were musicians. The town I spent most of my time in is Cotopaxi. It is really really beautiful but there are only like 500 people there. It is like a school, a church, and a liquor store.
ZAF: Do you write everyday?
GL: I try to yes. We were on the road last night from a gig in Denver and my guitar player, who is from Tokyo Japan, we were talking about haikus and we got stuck in traffic on I-25 for like 2 hours so we wrote some haiku. But my answer is that I try to write some, maybe not a full song everyday but I definitely try to keep the brain juices flowing.
ZAF: So is there a momentum that you have to keep up when it comes to writing?
GL: Definitely. I find that I may write a lot of stuff that is crap but that fertilizes my mind to write really good stuff.
ZAF: What are your plans after college?
GL: That is a hard question to answer. The record that I am just releasing is called Journey. And I would like to find a distribution deal. Somebody to help me get the word out about that. I only have one semester left. I get done in December so I can see just booking gigs where ever I want to travel and pushing the record.
ZAF: What about the business side of music. Do you like doing that stuff?
GL: No, I absolutely pretty much don’t like that part of it at all. That part of the business I wish I had somebody to help me with. At this point my mom is helping me out and I have a representative, David, who’s helping me out. Between the three of us stuff gets done but ideally I would like to be able to just focus on the creation of the music. Because I have found out that when I do get into that stuff I stop playing my guitar and I stop writing everyday. It seems I can do one or the other but to do them simultaneously is a really difficult thing.
ZAF: I’ve heard you mention you’re into photography. Is that something you’ll ever pursue?
GL: Absolutely. My friends get sick of me because I’ve always got my camera with me. There are a lot of things I would like to get into if I ever have the time. I also make my own jewelry, I’d want to do more of that. And I just recently bought a canvas, some supplies and a beginners book as well as a friend to teach me so I want to get into that.
ZAF: Talk about playing a full room versus playing to a few people.
GL: Well we played a show in Carbondale and there was 3 people in the audience at this place called Steve’s Guitars and it is like a really renowned listening room. And the people that come don’t say a word they just listen to every lyric. It was the best gig we played all tour because we totally had the ability to just play our music for them. Then we played this place called Loaded Joe’s in Avon and it was totally packed, like playing Bongo Billy’s, it was totally packed. Because I am from that area. I’ve been playing there since I was 12. But it wasn’t quiet. So it was not as gratifying as playing to a few people listening.
ZAF: Tell me more about Journey.
GL: Journey is my first debut CD. Before that I had Gone Again, a demo. And before that I released Amber in Black which was like an extended demo. So this is my first actual record. My way to say “hey guys, I am here.” I am really excited about it. It goes through a lot of different genres, like a journey through different musical genres and flavors. There’s some Argentinean instruments, a bandonian which is the instrument of the tango. We’ve got the Celtic harp. It is just a really versatile record.
ZAF: Is it being produced through a label?
GL: No we did it all ourselves. Co-produced the whole thing with this engineer who between the two of us handled the musical production and the engineering production. My bass player came in and gave a lot of advice. Between the 3 of us we did it all on our own. And now we are looking for someone to represent it.
ZAF: So one last cheesy question. Would you ever audition for American Idol?
GL: That is such a good question. You know why that is a great question? Because everybody asks me that. I think because America has been so consumed by that show that anytime anyone finds out that me or anyone else signs, that is the first question that comes to mind. And the answer is no. I think the whole reason for that is because that show steers away from creativity and encourages people to kind of fit a mold.