Interviews – TEA Artists

guitar-pedalYou can read portions of the most current TEA Artist interviews right here or visit our network partner SRN Mediaworks website portal TEA on More TEA artist interviews can be found here and at Fab Indie . If you are a TEA artist and would like to be interviewed please contact us and we can set you up for a scheduled interview. If you have a completed interview and would like to link it to this page, just send us the link and we will post it. Please be patient when waiting for interviews since they take time to complete. Thank You.

TEA Artist Interview Links

Drive Faster Interview

Phillip Hong
August 5, 2010

Rock has morphed into rather a cluttered, heavy sound that seems to be quite emotionally imbalanced at the end of the day. If you don’t believe me, try to remember the last mainstream hit you remember from five years ago, and then figure out the lyrical meaning of the music. Exactly. It simply isn’t substantial enough to be poetic.

In a world where a genre is reliant on screaming and instrumental disasters, Drive Faster is rather a breath of fresh air. Originating in Alberta as “Supernal”, without the cowboy hats, they provide a sound that’s energetic and inspiring. The lyrics actually make sense. And you don’t need earplugs to enjoy its rebellious feel.

Thus begins an interview with lead singer, Angela, who adds the right amount of “up and at ’em” to each wonderful creation.

PHIL: How was “Drive Faster” formed? Was it fate that brought you together?

ANGELA: Drive Faster was born out of the band “Supernal” that we were formerly known as for several years; a rock band with two crunchy guitars and a heavier sound. With the name change we decided to try and find a keyboard player and go for a more dance/rock vibe. The idea was to go up-tempo all the way. When we couldn’t find the keyboardist we envisioned, we decided that maybe I should lose the guitar and try playing keys instead. And… here we are.

PHIL: Your music contains elements of rock along with the use of synthesizers and plenty of enthusiasm to boot. Does it require a lot of effort in order to keep a uniform sound with all these different features?

ANGELA: I think the use of the synth in the band works to create the sound, making it easier to sound uniform. We definitely have elements of rock in our sound, with our history of playing heavier rock, but that being said, we consciously strive for a specific vibe and tempo.

For “Frame of Mind”, each song we wrote had to sound good next to the last one and have a common thread somewhere. That was a bit of the goal when we started as a band writing from scratch: songs that don’t sound too “rock” that you can dance to and hum along.

Read the rest of this interview at TEA on and Fab Indie

Sean Peori – TEA Volume 14

Phillip Hong
March 23, 2010

An emotional, intense journey

It’s definitely a very special experience when one becomes a musician, and for Sean Peori, it is also an exciting journey that has taken him to quite a few places within this country, working with dedicated people who have been associated with big names such as Randy Bachman, Bob Dylan, and Blue Rodeo.

This is the sort of music that is built to be enjoyed by a wide audience, and it’s due to a creativity that is the result of bearing one’s soul – and this artist easily shows his identity through musical means.

With plenty of emotions and elements that easily reflect him, Sean makes his tracks an extension of who he is as a person, and this journey is quite pleasurable to hear as a result.

PHIL: You have had an interesting journey in regards to getting into music. What really sparked your interest in this field?

SEAN: Melody and groove, originally anyway. I can remember my parents playing bands like the Doors and The Beatles on vinyl. The way sounds and rhythm made me feel was incredible. Like a giant surge of energy and emotion. I would dance around the room singing along with the songs, it was like a release. Next, in adolescence, it was the attitude and style. It gave me someone to be, an identity. Standing behind the mic on stage with a guitar in hand felt like the right place to be. The audience was my muse and had the opportunity to affect how they felt and thought, I liked that.

Then it was songwriting. I absolutely fell in love with the creative process, the craft of song. It became a mission, a continuing mission, to create great original melodies, arrangements and grooves. My songs caught the attention of Tom Hooper (The Grapes Of Wrath) and Matt Johnson (54-40) when I began to perform on the West Coast.

Their guidance gave me the fuel I needed to keep working as a musician, even though it wasn’t paying the bills. I recorded a CD with Tom which sparked the interest of Grammy award winning producer Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Emmy Lou Harris). I ended up recording a new CD at Malcolm’s home studio in Kingston, NY. This was great incentive to stay on the path of music.

PHIL: Your music has been described as “beautiful” and full of depth and colour. Would you say that your tracks paint a picture for curious minds?

SEAN: I have always loved music that affects me emotionally. Naturally this has led me to try and create music that takes the listener on a journey or stirs something inside of them. I do believe my music paints a picture for the listener.

PHIL: Tell me about your latest release, “Find Our Place”. What should we expect in this vivid creation?

SEAN: You can expect a collection of intense heartfelt songs. I put a lot of my soul into my songwriting and I believe we have captured this on Find Our Place. The album was produced and engineered by Andy Bowmer (Randy Bachman, Harry Manx). Andy was emotionally invested in the project. He loved the songs and really wanted to capture the essence of each one. Also, the musicianship on this album is fantastic.

Read the rest of this interview at Fab Indie

Locus Interview – TEA Volume 14

Phillip Hong
March 2, 2010

Locus Interview

When I think of Chinese pop music, it’s usually this melodramatic mess with digital instruments that seem to spit out quite a cheap sound, combined with lyrics that are created for no other purpose than to entertain to the lowest possible common decimal. In fact, I believe there is a lack of soul in music that is created for the language, because a lot of that market is focused on selling albums as a Olympic sport out of all things.

Locus provides a very different, a more profound point of view into this otherwise failed genre. For those who don’t understand the Chinese language, they have also given equal footing by being bilingual with their material. It’s a form of pop that isn’t corny or ridiculous at all… in fact, a number of genres take an influential role in their music, and that’s probably their biggest draw.

I should brush up on my own pathetically amateurish knowledge of this mother tongue before I say anything else. My ridiculous questions have been answered by bandmates Jason Chu and Kaila So.

PHIL: How was the band formed in 2006?

KAILA: We actually didn’t think about forming a band at first. It started when Jason and Kelvin began writing music ten years ago as a duo. I came on board in 2005 when Jason and I met while still playing for another band. Eric joined shortly after he began collaborating with Jason in late 2006. This led to a string of collaborations between the four of us, and in a very short time, we discovered we had written about 30 songs! Then we realized it would make perfect sense if we all joined together to contribute to each others’ musical journey. Now, here we are, a songwriting group and best friends for life.

PHIL: How did music in general come into your life?

JASON: Kelvin and I started studying piano when we were four years old. Eric is self-taught in guitar and drums. Kaila has previously fronted other local bands and contributed vocals for local acts XYL and Daddy Chang.

Read the rest of this interview at TEA on

James Ashberry Interview – TEA Volume 14

Phillip Hong
March 7, 2010

Honest, Experienced, Simple…

There’s a very nice feeling involved when you base yourself as an artist with the most abstract of descriptions. Some artists revel and lavish themselves with elaborate tales from tours and sophisticated set ups that rival rocket science, and that sort of identity is well deserved in many instances.

But James Ashberry is the ultimate antonym to that sort of description. In fact, simplicity seems to be the core of his music, travelling to other places with just an acoustic guitar and a good voice. A wealth of experience seems to be a catalyst when it comes to telling his story as it is, at least with an instrument.

If only someone could explain the term “simplicity” to me because I presume that my introductions seem to be the exact opposite of trying to get to the heart of the matter. But that’s another story…

PHIL: How did you get into music, in general?

JAMES: I grew up in a musical environment, My grandmother’s brothers performed in a vaudeville act in the early 1900s complete with washboards and jugs.

She herself has a wonderful singing voice as does my father. My uncle taught me guitar at the age of 10 and I sang in the choir in public school. It’s in my blood!

PHIL: You have performed along well known artists such as Kim Mitchell and April Wine. What is the best part of performing alongside fellow talent?

JAMES: Honestly, the best part of performing along side well known artists such as these is the validation you feel just being part of it. Oh, and being able to tell your friends and family that you met Kim Mitchell.

Read the rest of this interview at TEA on or Fab Indie