Graham Reid | | 3 min read
Former Australian of the London-based rock band Howling Bells, Juanita Stein, may not be a name familiar to most locals here and her second solo album Until the Lights Fade, recorded in Austin, of late last year probably went past just about everyone.
But when she opens for Bryan Ferry and plays here own show in Auckland (dates below) she will get a chance to prove herself and her songs which have come from the vortex between the Pretenders, Patti Smith, alt.rock and some classy nods towards melodic Fifties pop.
Time then to ask her a few songwriter-type questions . . .
The first song which made you think, 'Now that's a well crafted piece of work' was . . .
Most probably a Beatles track, maybe ‘Cry Baby Cry’, stands out as a moment for me. My dad gave me a huge Beatles songbook and I challenged myself to get through every single track. Fumbling through the chords was a good way to appreciate the craft. Also, hearing Innervisions by Stevie Wonder for the first time was a stand out moment in my life.
Complete this sentence: The first song I wrote was . . .
Called ‘Waves’, about falling in love with a surfer boy.
The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?
Hendrix. Not every songs a banger, but he’ll always take me home.
As songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; kd lang or Katy Perry; Madonna or Michael Jackson; Johnny Cash or Kris Kristofferson?
Lennon-McCartney/KD/MJ and Johnny.
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are well crafted are . . .
You Only Live Twice - John Barry
As Time Goes By - Herman Hupfeld
Blue Bayou- Roy Orbison
Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
Heavier than Heaven - Kurt Cobain
Just Kids - Patti Smith
Please Kill Me- Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil
If you could co-write with anyone it would be . . .
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
I bought a Duke Ellington record, i downloaded the latest Deerhunter album.
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be . . .
One line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold winner is . . .
Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents. No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain't got no cigarettes.
Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?
Yeh, best ones are 90/10
Ever had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?
A few times yes. Most recently actually, I experienced that. Hopefully we’re talking about it in a years time:)
And finally, finish this couplet in any way you like: “Standing at the airport with an empty suitcase at my feet . . .” (You are NOT allowed to rhyme that with “meet” however)
Hope I’ll be gone this time next week
JUANITA STEIN IN NEW ZEALAND
MARCH 5 - WELLINGTON, NZ, TSB Bank Center (supporting Bryan Ferry)
MARCH 6 - AUCKLAND, NZ, Whammy Bar
MARCH 7 - AUCKLAND, NZ, Spark Arena (supporting Bryan Ferry)