Sarah Miles talks about her first full-length album “One”

Sarah Miles is a singer/songwriter who has just released her first full-length album via Rock Ridge Music titled “One”. Media Mikes had the pleasure of talking with Sarah recently about the new album and what first drew her to music.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what first interested you in music?
Sarah Miles: I grew up in a pretty musical family. It was something I was always surrounded by starting at a very young age. I sang in choirs and a cappella groups all through high school and college. In high school was when I got my first guitar and around that same time is when I started writing music as well. I also started doing some performing on my own. The more I started doing that the more I started to realize that music was something that I wanted to do full time. I went to college while still doing music on the side and after I finished college I moved to New York and have been doing music ever since.

AL: What was it like working on your first full length album?

SM: It was an awesome experience. I had released two EP’s prior to this on my own which was a lot more difficult as I didn’t have a fan base yet so the music was just kind of there. With this new album I have been around now for awhile doing shows and I got myself a manger to help with things as well. I released the album through Rock Ridge Music so I had a lot more support and backing with this release which was very exciting. The actual recording process for the album was really cool as I worked with a great producer by the name of Dave Pittenger. The recording took almost a year and I had been writing for about two years. It was a very long process but totally worth it because I was able to pick out my favorite songs. Everything was really cool and I got to meet a ton of great musicians along the way.

AL: Having taken so long during the writing process was it hard to pick out or reconnect with some of the songs during the recording process?
SM: It was definitely tough. Even while I was recording the album I was still writing. You are always changing as is your music so it was certainly a challenge. I tried to pick out songs that all worked together and which had similar themes which made things a little bit easier. Things were certainly tough but I am happy with the choices I made.

AL: What is your standard approach for writing a song?
SM: Usually I start on the guitar. I will pick out some chords I really like and just play them over and over again. From there I may come up with a melody and then the lyrics come second. There are times when that can be different though. If I am writing about a specific thing that happened to me or was something I saw things may be reversed. Typically I start with the melody and go from there.

AL: You have a quite a few YouTube video. Do you plan to make any for songs off of “One”?
SM: I am going to be doing a video for the song “Standup” which I am super excited about. I am shooting it this month along with a video for a cover song as well. There is certainly going to be things to check out in the near future.

AL: Can you tell us about some of the live shows you have coming up?
SM: I have a few shows booked right now and I am hoping to book some more in the New York area soon. I live in New York so I do have a couple NY and Philadelphia shows already booked. I will also be doing some college shows throughout the east coast which will be a lot of fun. I am also looking in to doing web shows. This is something I am really excited about doing. I just did my first one a few weeks ago and I the idea of my fans being able to watch me from wherever they are is really cool.

Miles Elliot talks about working on “The Amazing Spider-Man”

Miles Elliot plays the role of Billy Connors in “The Amazing Spider Man”, the son of Spider-Man´s arch nemesis, Dr. Connors aka The Lizard. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Miles about the role and what it was like behind the scenes of the film.

Adam Lawton: How did you become interested in acting?
Miles Elliot: I had done some work with a music theater group where we put on “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat”. I was just part of the ensemble but I started talking to other people in the production who had appeared in various films and television shows. I asked them how I could start doing that and then I asked my parents about it. They told me if it was something that I really wanted to do I could go ahead and do it. I have been acting now for about two and a half years.

AL: What was it that interested you in auditioning for “The Amazing Spider Man”?
ME: At first I didn’t even know what film the role was for. The movie was only listed as a teen action film. I did a scene where my characters dad gets mad at me. After that we found out they were casting for “The Amazing Spider Man”. As things got bigger and bigger I realized that I had gotten into a really big movie. Things just kept getting more exciting as they went on.

AL: What was the audition process like?

ME: I had to do a couple auditions. After the first one the lady who was running it chased me down after I left and asked me if I would talk/meet with another casting person. When I went to meet with this other lady she was on the phone and told me we would have to meet a different time. I said “that went well”. When I went back I ended up reading with director Marc Webb and I got the part.

AL: Can you tell us about your character?
ME: I play Billy Connors who is the son of Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard which is played by Rhys Ifans. I have about 3 scenes in the film and I am just your normal everyday kid whose dad is a lizard.

AL: What was it like working on the set?
ME: When I got there I thought everything was really big. There were just trailers all over the place. I was amazed that there was even one for me. This was my first time ever experiencing that. Even the catering was big. I remember one night they had lobster, crab and there was even an ice sculpture. I got to meet Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone which was also really great.

AL: What was it like being able to watch such a great group of actors work?
ME: It was cool! On one of the nights I got to watch them shoot a scene where Spider Man jumps off a parking garage. They had all this stuff going on to make the scene happen and it was great to be able to watch that. Another night I was on set they had a bunch of green scenes set up to shoot Andrew swinging back and forth.

AL: Can you tell us about some of your other work?
ME: I recently finished a project in May titled “Camp”. The film is about a camp for troubled kids and my character Eli gets paired up with a reluctant counselor who is there just for the money. It was a fun shoot as we shot in the Sequoya National Forrest for three weeks. I will also be on an episode of Disney’s “Austin & Ally” as well as “The Mentalist”.

 

DVD Review “95 Miles to Go”

Directed by: Tom Caltabiano
Starring: Ray Romano, Tom Caltabiano
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Video Services Corp.
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Running Time: 79 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

With a tagline like “1000 Miles. 8 Days. 7 Cities. 2 Friends. 1 Car. Never Again”, the film sets itself up for a wild ride. Well it delivers for the most-part. The film definitely feels aged, since it was original released back in 2006 and premiered on HBO back in July of 2007. I am a big sucker for Ray Romano though, I am not sure if it is his unique voice or sense of humor but I have always liked his work. This behind-the-scenes documentary on his comedy tour delivers some good laughs, though I actually enjoyed the special features much more than I did the feature itself.

This film follows Ray Romano and Tom Caltabiano as they travel for through eight-day drive on a stand-up comedy tour. The film is a raw look behind the scenes at Ray’s road to bringing his comedy to the stage and Tom being featured as his opening act. We see the real aspects of touring dealing with Ray’s obsessions, phobias, and insecurities. Since this a filmed a long time ago, it is a dated since Ray’s career has survived way past his days on “Everybody Love Raymond” though it is still for the most part entertaining.

The special features is where this release really shines. The film only lasts 79 minutes but there is tons of great additional footage. There is a full 30 minute set for “Ray’s Kansas City Stand-Up Show”. There are two Q&A sessions from South by Southwest. There is a video commentary with both Ray and Tom. There are two commentary tracks included from director Tom Caltabiano, composer Adam Gorgoni, cinematographer Roger Lay Jr. and editor Cheyenne Pesko. There are a bunch of deleted and extended scenes included as well, definitely worth checking out. Lastly there is a photo gallery and theatrical trailer also included.

Interview with Robert Miles

Robert Miles is an Italian musician and DJ of electronica and alternative music and is known best for his track “Children” from his debut album “Dreamland” in 1994. Since then Robert has “23am” in 1997, “Organik” in 2001, “Miles_Gurtu” in 2004 and his latest “Th1rt3en” in 2011. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Robert about his career, his new albums and his plans for what’s to come.

Mike Gencarelli: Before the internet was the internet, I remember hearing your track “Children” in 1995 and being blow away; how do you feel the song would be received if it was received today?
Robert Miles: Probably in the same way it got received back then. The new generation is discovering the track now and many think it’s a new tune and are surprised when they get to know that it was produced 17 years ago (amazing how time goes so fast!).

MG: Why the 7 years span between “Miles_Gurtu”, your 4th album and your latest “Th1rt3en”?
RM: I have been involved with more soundtracks work.  I opened a studio in the heart of Ibiza in the Balearic Islands, became father and worked on a big remodeling project (a 500 years old ‘finca’ aka farmer’s house) in Ibiza) designing and managing it myself…very time consuming!

MG: What has been your primary inspiration for “Th1rt3en”?
RM: After “Organik” and “Miles_Gurtu”, I wanted to explore more the nature of alternative rock and use mainly electric guitar…I got in touch with Robert Fripp (King Crimson) and Dave Okumu (The invisible) as I really like the way they play their instrument and asked them if they wanted to collaborate…they accepted and we put together the parts in various sessions. I usually get inspiration from everyday life experiences …and try to convey those experiences and my feelings through my music in order to be able to connect with the audience. I am so pleased when people send me a message saying that they felt the same emotion/energy while listening to the music…it is so rewarding. Makes you think…I want to do more.

MG: How long did the album take to complete from beginning to end?
RM: The composing process 6 years…as I was working on it during my spare time (from fatherhood and all the other projects I had going) in various cities (Mainly London, Berlin, Ibiza and Los Angeles)…the recordings were done in London within two weeks from when we started.

MG: I love “Voices From a Submerged Sea”, tell us about creating that song?
RM: It’s the track with most downloads, funnily enough. A live strings orchestra was used to record it. It’s a very cinematic track and refers to the ‘voices’ that one can hear from within…An introspective piece I have done in a moment of peaceful solitude in Ibiza during the winter. A new video has been released for it (each photogram is hand made and drawn simply with a Bic pen) and you can watch it here:

MG: Is there a track on the album that you favor over the others?
RM: Maybe “The Wolf”. For its simplicity and what it conveys.

MG: Your music videos are very artistic and well designed, specifically ‘Miniature World”, what is your involvement in their creations?
RM: Thank you. I am very much involved with the artistic side of my videos, especially since I have control of my music (that’s since I have opened my own label Salt Records in London, back in 2000). It’s very important for me to deliver quality videos together with my music. Something that hopefully will stand in time and will be seen more as a art form than a promotional tool by the future generations.

MG: How do you approach remixing your songs so soon after just releasing them?
RM: Not an easy task if I have to be honest. Especially because you have listened to that track so many times already (when producing/mixing it) and you just want to move on to the next thing. But in the end I always come up with an idea, or more than one, and ‘sculpt’ the original version into something totally different. Challenging.

MG: Tell us about your reason you chose to blend alternative and progressive rock with ambient and electronic soundscapes?
RM: I come from the electronic side of the music spectrum…and since I have moved to London in 1996, I have tried to incorporate other genres into my productions…as I wanted to achieve a more ‘human’ sound (and less computer sounding) . “Organik” had world and rock music elements, while “Miles_Gurtu” had jazz influences. I am a big fan of blending electronic together with acoustic sounds. I think it’s a great combination.

MG: Tell us about the film soundtrack you’re working on for “The Turn of this Century”?
RM: It’s going to be a pretty cool project…60 minutes of music and images…and a voice over….three elements working in tandem and creating a real audio sensorial and visual ‘journey’ through the events of the last 100 years on our planet…featuring the photography of LIFE magazine….mind blowing. The ‘ journey of your life’…literally speaking! Coming soon…everywhere!

MG: Are you planning to tour at all for this new album?
RM: Unfortunately it would be almost impossible as most of the musicians that have been involved have their own band and touring constantly…So I am currently DJing and run several radio shows on different station around the globe…that displays the more electronic side of Robert Miles here: