Saturday, February 20, 2010

Interview: The First Place

>> I did this interview back in December, but for some reason it was never posted on this site, just as a note on the fan page. So here it is, posted just as it was a few months ago :)

I recently sent some questions to Steph from The First Place. These are the answers she posted in her MySpace Blog :)

Tell us a little about yourself- name, age, where you're from:
My name is Stephanie. I’m 23 and I live in Upstate, New York. I used to live about 2 hours south though.

If you could meet any person (alive or dead), who would you be & why?:
This is too easy, haha, Billie Joe Armstrong.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up?:
Well, the funny part about this is that I listened to bands like Green Day, Silverchair, Bush, Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, Soundgarden, and other similar bands, but I also listened to Hanson and other boy bands. Weird, right?

Who would you consider to be your biggest influences, musical and otherwise?:
Green Day has definitely been my biggest influence, but other bands have inspired me as well, like Jack’s Mannequin/Something Corporate, and sometimes it’s just a random song that I hear that gives me chills that makes me want to write.

When did you first start writing music?:
It started out as poetry, I think, when I was about 12. As I got older, I’d say by 14 I was writing songs, but only the lyrics were actually written down, the melody was in my head. It took a lot of time for me to officially put a song together completely, but I’m just glad it happened!

How long had you been writing before you thought to record it?:
About 9 years actually. I only started recording this year. I recorded my first song at the end of January (’09). (“The Things You Say, The Things You Do”)

What made you decide to record it & share it with the world?:
I figured that if I ever want to do this musician thing as a career that I needed to get moving. I really want to teach people, in a sense, with my music. I want people to feel the way I’ve felt when I hear certain songs; that feeling of someone telling you, “I understand”. I can’t see myself doing anything other than music and being happy, so this is my way of trying to achieve my lifelong goal.

For those who haven’t heard it yet, how would you describe your music?:
It’s definitely pop/rockish, but I’d like to think of it as different sounding, as well as a different message being sent. There are a lot of songs about love and hate, and a lot of songs are very blunt, but I feel like some of my lyrics that apply to certain things in my life, can also be related to something in someone else’s life. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s music with a different kind of message

Have you been compared to other artists? If so, who?:
Well, the obvious, Paramore, but I have been told that people can hear the Green Day influence (whatever that means, hah), but that, of course, made my day. I’ve been compared to some female singers that I’ve never heard of in other countries too.

I hear your EP was recently released. Tell us about it.
Name: A Change of Scenery
# of songs: 4.
who played on it (band-wise): Me and my boyfriend, yup, that’s it.
where it can be purchased:, iTunes, and hopefully more soon.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment so far?: Finishing my EP and getting on the radio… twice (so far)!

Have you ever played your music live? If not, would you like to?: Not yet, but I plan to this spring/summer.

What are some of the goals you hope to accomplish with your music?:
Pretty much the same as most bands; get signed, get famous, all that fun stuff, except I want to go beyond that and use any sort of exposure that I get to make a difference in the world by making people aware of some of the problems that people tend to sometimes unintentionally ignore, like animal cruelty.

Do you go to shows a lot? If so, who would you like to see/who have you seen recently?:
I use to go to tons of shows, but since I’ve been in grad school, working, and doing this whole music thing, I haven’t had as much time. The last show I went to was Green Day in July and it was the most amazing concert ever (besides the last Green Day show I went to in 2002). I would like to see Blindside again, actually. They put on a heck of a show and their music is awesome. I would also like to see Linkin Park, since I have missed all my opportunities to see them years ago. Oh, and of course, I wish I was on the west coast to see the Something Corporate reunion at Bamboozle. *Daydreams* Okay, next question.

Who would you want to collaborate with?:
It would make my life to collaborate with Green Day. Period. Haha.

Where would you want to play in the future?:
Anywhere and everywhere. Maybe I can sing for the Queen someday. You think she’d like “Wide Awake”? Haha.

How do you find new music to listen to?:
It’s usually pretty random, but I usually find new music on the radio when I’m driving.

What have you been listening to a lot lately?:
Different songs that I would want to cover, but I won’t tell because I’ll be covering at least some of those songs at some point, and I want it to be a surprise. :)

Fan Submissions:

What inspired you to make music? (question from the Jordyn Mallory CT Street Team):
Well, that “Basketcase” story in my profile def sums it up. After I saw that video, I became the Queen of rocking out in my bedroom, and pictured myself up on stage and the whole bit. Yeah, picture a younger version of me doing that. Haha.

Any reasons behind "The First Place" name? (question from Aurelia Tenissa):
Well, the name “The First Place” came after a lot of debate. I really had no idea what to call myself. I had a huge list of ideas, but then I thought, how can I incorporate my love for sports with my love for music? Then I looked back at some trophies of mine and saw “1st place” on them, and it got me thinking. So I tried it out, and it turned out pretty well. I’m still not used to it 100% though, is that weird? Haha. I do feel like it’s pretty unique, or at least I hope it is.

Spiderman, Batman, or Superman? Why?: (question from Aurelia Tenissa):
Ya know, I like Superman because I have this tanktop that has the Superman logo on it cause of my name, but as far as the character, hmm… I’m going based on recent movies here, so I’d probably say Spiderman, because Tobey Maguire is cool.

Do you think your music has got what it takes to triumph over Taylor Swift? (question from Joshua Moreno):
Well, we are two different genres, and she seems like she’s really sweet, but I still think I can beat her on the Billboard charts. ;-)

What is the weirdest thing that ever happened to you? (question from Aurelia Tenissa):
Weirdest… hmmm… I’ve had a lot of weird things happen to me, but I can’t think of the weirdest right now, so I’ll just say a random one. I went on a writing that led to the song “Stuck Being You”, there was something going on in my life that was quite obnoxious, and I wanted to write a song about the person that was being obnoxious. Vague enough for ya? ;-) Basically, some crazy lyrics came out during that time period.

Do you wish to have an eternal life? (question from Aurelia Tenissa):
Only if the world becomes a better place to live in.

You seem to be an Army of one; Who is in your band live? Are they the same players that back you on your terrific "A Change of Scenery" EP? (question from Matthew Mac Haffie):
As I mentioned before, I haven’t played live yet, but when I do, I will have a band that will be the people that I play live with and record with.

Bonus Rounddd:

Movie?: Hard to choose, but most John Cusack movies and Rambo are up ther
Book?: The Bell Jar
Musical artist? (if you can’t choose just one, pick a top 3 or something to that extent): Green Day
Thing to spend money on?: I like to spoil my kitties with toys and comfy beds.

This or that:
Singing in the shower or in a studio?: Both. I wrote “Wide Awake” while in the shower. I kid you not.
iTunes or Purevolume?: iTunes, because I can sell my songs on there and raise money for animal cruelty prevention. :)
IMing or texting?: Probably IMing because it’s a bit easier than texting.
Physical CDs or digital downloads?: For me, I like to have physical CD’s for the most part, but they’re too expensive to make. Don’t worry, though, my full length CD will be both digital and physical.

Behind The Scenes: What else should we know?:
Special talents?:
* I type super fast.
* I remember numbers freakishly well.
* I pitch almost 60mph and serve a volleyball really fast too.
* I cut my boyfriend’s hair once, haha, (I did a good job for the record).
* I can dance better than Britney (when I can use both feet).
* I’m a pretty convincing actress. I played a drunk woman who talked to a goldfish once.
* I’m probably the most organized person you’ll ever meet.
* I juggle the music part and the business part of this whole shindig.
* I always do well in school, is that a talent?.
* I helped the mother cat of my kitties while she was giving birth.
* I can twirl a basketball on one finger.
* I’m a master at Wii sports, especially bowling and tennis.
* I multi-task like nobody’s business.
* I manage to get 4 year-old’s to do math and reading where I work. I think that’s a skill and a half!
* I suppose I should list singing, writing, and playing instruments on here, right? :)
That’s what came to my mind first. ^^

Pet peeves?: Ignorance, unnecessary rudeness, double standards, people who have no boundaries, bad drivers, when people get ahead solely because they have money.
Nicknames?: Steph, Stephy, Buf (that’s what my best friend calls me), Duke girl, rock star (the last 2 are my favorite). Haha.
Hobbies?: Well, I don’t consider this technically a hobby, but watching Duke men’s basketball religiously. I also like watching movies, certain shows on TV like Will and Grace and Family Guy, playing with my kitties and being like a mom to them, random Walmart trips with friends (even if we don’t buy anything), dancing, even if it’s just my upper body in the car, haha, handing out flyers about animal cruelty and how to prevent it, the list goes on.

Thanks to Kate from for putting together these questions and to those of you who contributed questions. I wanted to get this up as soon as possible so you could all get to know me a little better, so if I forgot something in one of my answers, I’ll edit it later. :)


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