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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Via Tania
Monday, March 02, 2009

With breathy vocals, poetic lyrics and a slowed down, and oftentimes smoothed out, pace, the unique mix of downtempo and pop that is the music of Via Tania was an unexpected surprise for me. I honestly had no idea what I was in store for when I put on her latest album, Moon Sweet Moon, but by the time it was over I was in a totally different head space; chilled out, relaxed and at ease. Intrigued, I wanted to know more about Via Tania and her work. This week I caught up with her to make that happen and we discussed her background, what it was like touring with the likes of The Breeders and Bikini Kill in her teenage years, and where music ranks among her numerous artistic passions.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with the Via Tania story. How did Tania Bowers become Via Tania? What were some of the events and happenings that helped make you who you are today?
Via Tania: Before Via Tania there was “Sunday.” I had to change that name as it wasn't quite right. It was a running title that ended up being used for the first EP. That was the first thing I recorded around '97 when my band broke up, or rather we just called it a day. The band was a really fun way to spend my teens and early 20’s, but I had always written songs by myself that didn't suit the band at all. It became a natural thing to record on my own. The first idea of the music would be in a very nature heavy setting in a big house overlooking Seven Mile Beach on the South coast of NSW Australia. It was a bit of a magical place and Tony Dupé, the engineer, had such a chill way of recording it informed a lot about how I wanted to make music in the future.

Adam Bernard: How did opening for such huge acts as The Breeders and Bikini Kill as a teenager affect and influence you both as a musician and as a person?
Via Tania: It wasn't that I thought “anything was possible” at a young age. I didn't even think about whether things were difficult or impossible. We just took everything step by step, a simple attitude I keep trying to get back to! Most things suck when you're a teenager but when you are ballsy enough to meet people you really admire and have something in common to talk about, the confidence is unstoppable. We were probably really annoying to family and friends but it's sort of like, you do anything to overcome your situation and circumstance and we were creative kids living in a boring town with not much around us to aspire to. As a musician I think I had my eyes opened up to a lot of different types of music, and to see live shows and then to ask these musicians we would go and see, “how do you play that,” or “what is that artist you talked about on the radio the other day?” It made it all make sense that it was what I really wanted to do. As a person, all I can think is I have some funny stories, some real adventures of being a kid. Getting high or drunk was such a waste of time to me, I was like, dudes come on, there is so much out there!

Adam Bernard: The things you’re seeing and experiencing now are all as a soloist. Your latest album, Moon Sweet Moon, mixes elements of downtempo with elements of pop. Where did the inspiration to put these styles together come from, or do you even feel you're putting these style together?
Via Tania: Mmmm. Yeah, I guess I just like both elements and I never want my stuff to be just one thing ya know?

Adam Bernard: Do you feel your music sets a mood? If so, what kind of mood does it set?
Via Tania: I don't know about that because different people tell me it makes them feel different ways, so I guess it's what mood you start off in. Maybe it's just MSG.

Adam Bernard: If you were putting together a radio station playlist, which artists would you sandwich your music in-between?
Via Tania: Interesting question. Geez, that is like saying who do I think I'm like, right? I have no bloody idea about that.

Adam Bernard: I know you partake in other forms of art aside from music - yes, I checked out your blog. Talk to me about what you like to express through music versus what you like to express through your other artistic endeavors.
Via Tania: Every other artistic thing I do seems a lot simpler to access, make and complete, actually. Probably because I don't care about the outcome as much. I am trying to do this with music, in a way. I have always been very visual. As a kid I would draw like crazy and then sew things and make costumes and later I went on to do some graphic design and then photography. Now I am having fun making crude prints, but none of those things express my deepest ideas, they are aesthetic things. I don’t make art pieces anymore. That part is taken up by the work I put into lyrics and musical ideas.

Adam Bernard: You also have some very unique makeup jobs in your photographs. Is this another element to who you are?
Via Tania: I am a makeup artist! I discovered it in the last couple of years and really enjoy it. I really like working behind the scenes and being part of a team. I love image making and have a feeling I'm heading for art direction. It's just a feeling, though.

Adam Bernard: Finally, a two part question; what's the best thing anyone's ever said about your work, and what's the strangest thing anyone's ever said about your work?
Via Tania: Someone once said I have a deep voice. That is the best thing, because I love deep voices, and the strangest thing, because it's not true.

Related Links

Website: viatania.com
MySpace: myspace.com/viatania


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:34 AM  
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