KEVIN INTERDONATO TALKS ‘BAD FRANK’ AND UPCOMING PROJECTS 44

Perhaps best known for playing Dogsy in The Sopranos, Kevin Interdonato has been winning over fans and critics alike thanks to his latest role in the film Bad Frank. Influenced by the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Daniel Day Lewis, Kevin chatted to ThisIsTheLatest about first auditions, his former career in the military and his thoughts on social media.

TITL: As a former soldier, at what point in your life did you start seriously considering as a career path?

Kevin Interdonato: I began studying when I was 20. I bounced around college classes after high school and was a little lost at that time in my life. I joined the Army National Guard when I was a senior in high school, and I enjoyed those years serving. It gave me the freedom to pursue my passion in this business, play with tanks and shoot weapons at the same time. I made many lifelong friends in the military.

TITL: Can you remember your first audition? What advice would you give those about to have theirs?

KI: Yes I actually do. It was for a student film at Montclair University and I think my mom still has that laying around somewhere – I should go blow the dust off it and have a good laugh at myself! My advice is to be yourself, and make the role yours. It’s so intimidating, the audition process – still is. But if you direct 100% of your focus on the reader and audience and NOT worry about yourself, then you’ll always be safe.

TITL: In terms of influences, which actors do you most look up to?

KI: There are too many to list. I respect an actor’s talent, and I also admire the career of others – the choices and how they handle their business. Mark Wahlberg and Sylvester Stallone are machines. Those guys are always working, creating projects and jobs for people, and it’s inspiring. From Sean Penn, Daniel Day Lewis, John Cazale, to Vera Farmiga, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi…my list of influences goes on and on.

TITL: How if at all do your National Guard days impact the roles you take on?

KI: Not much really. I know how to handle myself for a military role more than most, but I find myself not sticking to that aspect of my life because it binds me. I’m not free for anything that comes my way if I think of my time as a soldier. It’s robotic, systematic…and those are aspects of my being that I disregard for my work…unless a role calls for it.

TITL: You’re perhaps best known for playing Dogsy in Season 4 of The Sopranos. What impact did having a role on such a hugely popular show have on your career in terms of auditions/work offers?

KI: Believe it or not, not much. I didn’t have an agent at the time, so I wasn’t being handled as maybe I should have been. It was a great thing that happened, and the novelty of it was wonderful. Who didn’t want to get on that show at the time, you know? I really enjoyed it too. But the career thereafter came from hard work and persistence.

TITL: Who or what ultimately drew you to Bad Frank and what would you say the films’ unique selling point is?

KI: I was approached by the director and producer early on, before the script was finished. When they were telling me about the character and story which wasn’t fully fleshed out yet, I just had a gut feeling about Frank. Something clicked – I felt like I could tap into him, and I was in.

I think the sell of the film is how the film captured the reality of the man, and the extreme lengths he goes to. People like seeing people ‘snap’. But I tried to play Frank as honestly as possible to justify all his behaviors, and let people believe that this could be a reality.

TITL: The film has some pretty big names attached to it including Tom Sizemore and Ray Mancini. What was it like working alongside them and what would you say each brought to the film?

KI: Sizemore is a great guy. He was there long days, rolling around in the mud and rain at 2am, and was all about it! It was inspiring for everyone to watch him perform, and come in like a pro.

Boom – Mancini – is a wonderful man; everybody loves him. He played my father in the film with such conviction and sensitivity, plus we look alike. We were really lucky to have him.

TITL: Bad Frank has won several best film and best actor accolades at events and festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. Does praise like that mean much to you or are you more the kind of actor who is more concerned about taking pride in their work and the roles they choose, despite what critics might say about it?

KI: It’s funny. I’ve heard some great theories about Bad Frank from critics, and gotten the same – sometimes better – insight on the film from regular movie-goers. So I take it all in my stride, the good and bad, and leave it at that. Everyone’s got their right to an opinion, and so be it. Fortunately most of the press and reviews for Bad Frank have been pretty damn good so I’m happy that people are responding well to it.

And yeah, you hit it on the head. It’s all about the movie and the role for me, and I tend to stay focused in that world. The accolades are wonderful and humbling, but my focus stays with moving forward and doing the best I can. It’s always about the movie.

TITL: Can you recall the nicest and worst things a fan or critic has said about your work?

KI: Not really. I lucked out by not getting my ass handed to me, from the ones I’ve seen anyway. It’s nice to hear that reviewers were receptive to my work. But I am open to all, I always want to improve, and welcome feedback.

TITL: The film is one of a growing number of successful indie films in recent years. What do you think it is about independent movies that has suddenly caught everyone’s attention?

KI: Bad Frank blowing up is a combination of a good movie, and smart guerrilla marketing. There was really NO money for either, in comparison to other films. I think those 2 qualities are crucial, if you don’t have the benefit of having stars in your film. People want to see GOOD movies, period, and because of the VOD platforms, little films like Bad Frank can stand up there right next to the big studio films.

TITL: How do you feel about social media, both personally and professionally? Do you think it’s been a positive tool for the industry or have you seen down-sides to it as well?

KI: Well I miss the days of handling boredom by reading a book or throwing on some good tunes. The ability to keep in touch with old friends and family is very important to me, as well as giving fans a direct gateway to say hello – and vice-versa. Keeping up with news, getting good laughs at funny videos – it’s not that big of a deal anymore and I’ve accepted it, but I do find myself weaning off and remembering ‘life’ lately.

For the industry, it’s made its way into entertainment as the tangible source for relativity and popularity per movie or person, and it’s not going anywhere for those reasons alone. I used to view it as a necessary evil… now it’s just necessary.

TITL: What’s next for you? Are there any upcoming projects you can tell me about?

KI: Thanks for asking, yes. Dirty Dead Con Men will be out in this winter. It’s a cool film I also produced and wrote. I think fans are really going to enjoy it. Peter Dobson’s Asbury Park will be filming this October, very lucky to have been cast in this epic alongside Joe Pesci and other greats. This one’s a game-changer for many; I can’t wait for it myself.

TITL: Finally then, what’s your ultimate goal in life, both as an actor and an individual? What would you like to have achieved 5-10 years from now and what would you like your legacy to be?

KI: As an actor; to be the best, and be able to say I always gave my all. To be in movies that stick with people for a long time. Personally…I guess I just want to make my old man proud.

For more information and to keep up-to-date with Kevin Interdonato, follow him on Twitter.

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DEAF HAVANA TALK THEIR UK TOUR & RE-WORKING ‘ALL THESE COUNTLESS NIGHTS’ 43

Having recently released a reworked edition of their latest album, All These Countless Nights, and after spending time in Australia as support for Placebo, UK alt-rock band Deaf Havana have returned home and are about to embark on an extensive UK tour. Before heading out on the road, front-man James Veck-Gilodi spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about career longevity, fan favourite tracks and the bands’ future plans.

TITL: Having formed in 2005, what do you think it is about yourselves as a band that’s enabled you to remain a fixture of this ever-changing industry when several of your counterparts have fallen by the way-side?

James Veck-Gilodi: Persistence probably – we don’t give up. Being in a band isn’t easy unless you’re incredibly lucky, and without wanting to sound harsh, I think a lot of bands aren’t cut out for this business and what it can and does demand of them. A lot of them can’t cope with living in a van, touring round for like two years; it can be really difficult, and I think that’s why some of them give up – because it’s not how they thought it was going to be. I guess we just have a lot of persistence, and we came from like the shittiest little town ever (Kings Lynn) and for us, anything was better than staying there, so we just always wanted to get out of it.

TITL: You’re recently released a reworked edition of your album All These Countless Nights. Why did you decide to release such a collection and how did you get producer Adam Noble and The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra involved?

JVG: Adam Noble recorded the original version of the record so I was already friends with him. Our label were like “We should re-release the record” and I was like “I don’t want to just re-release it…” because, really, what was the point? So we decided to re-record it. I just get bored easily – it was really because I just wanted to have fun because I get bored super easily and I wanted to experiment with different instruments. As for the Prague Orchestra, a guy at our record label – the other half of their music is like, music for soundtracks and stuff, so they know all these classical musicians – put us in touch. Adam Noble and I wrote the score and they just recorded it – it was pretty awesome.

TITL: You’re also heading out on a huge UK later this month. How excited are you to be getting back out on home country roads again, especially having been in Oz recently supporting Placebo?

JVG: Incredibly excited. We’re incredibly excited to be doing our own shows in the UK. Australia is and was really cool, but it’s hard when you’re on tour with another band who you don’t necessarily…the people that went to those shows were there purely for Placebo; they didn’t care about us. It was a cool experience, but I’m so happy to be playing to our own fans again. I literally can’t wait.

TITL: How did you come to decide on Black Foxxes and Decade as tour support?

JVG: They’re just really good bands. Black Foxxs I’ve been a fan of for ages and we asked them to do a previous tour but they were busy so they couldn’t do it, so I think we just kept asking them until they said yes. And Decade…we were in Sweden at the start of the year and we had a day off. There was a show on which I went to and Decade were one of the bands playing. I basically asked them there and then if they wanted to come on tour with us later in the year because I just thought they were pretty fucking good.

TITL: Is there any particular venue on this tour you’re most excited to play or do you just enjoy the thrill of stepping out on stage every night no matter where you are?

JVG: I’m excited to play all of them to be honest. There are a lot of places on this tour we haven’t played in ages, but I can’t say I’m excited to play any one more than any other. I just love, love playing music in front of people that actually like our songs and know the words.

TITL: For anyone who hasn’t seen you live before, what can they expect from a Deaf Havana show?

JVG: Just fun, I guess. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We don’t speak in weird voices on stage or anything like that – you know how some bands have a stage persona? That’s not us. We’re very real I guess. Our shows are a good laugh; it’s just five guys who like playing music to fans who like such music and want to have as much of a good time as we do.

TITL: Which of your songs do you find are fan-favourites on tour? Do and can they vary show to show and do you find audiences differ country to country?

JVG: You can kind of guess by looking at lame stuff like Spotify plays, but there’s a track on our latest album, the last track, “Pensacola”, which seems to be popular – the last time we played it, it got like the BIGGEST sing-along; and we haven’t released that as a single. There are a couple of weird album tracks that fans like, but I think the biggest one is “Anemophobia” off our first record.

My favourite shows are always here in the UK. I’ve lived in London for years and years, so the shows in London are always the best, think. But it’s nice to be able to travel, and the audiences do vary of course. We’ve been concentrating on England quite a lot and we have an okay following here, but everywhere else is a bit different. It was amazing to go and play in Australia because it’s literally the other side of the world, but I do love coming back and playing here, especially in London – it’s like coming home.

TITL: I ask almost every band or artist I speak to this question, so I’m intrigued to hear what you say. I’d like you to create your dream-show line-up, featuring five bands or artists who can be living or dead. Who would they be and where would you play?

JVG: There’s a festival in Norway called Slottsfjell. It’s on the top of a hill, on the top of a mountain, overlooking a massive lake and there’s a castle behind you. That’d be the setting. As for the line-up, that’d be…oh God….Nirvana headlining….this is going to be completely random and none of these bands are going to go to together. Nirvana headlining, The Smiths second, Bjork third….I have no idea…Jeff Buckley and Elliott Smith. The most depressing line-up ever.

TITL: You mentioned Spotify earlier. Do you think you’d have the following and the support that you do without the power and influence of streaming and social media?

JVG: I’m not sure to be honest; it goes two ways. I’ve always been a fan of streaming and stuff – although we get less money it does allow more people to listen to our music. But if we went back to the 90’s, or the 80’s, we would probably be doing a lot better as streaming etc. didn’t exist back then. People would physically actually have to buy records and we’d be rich – not that that’s what matters. Nowadays, I think it’s pretty essential because it’s pretty much the only way people really listen to and discover music. It’s essential I think.

More personally, I only use Twitter occasionally. I use Instagram to promote stuff and make myself laugh; I’m not really a fan of social media if I’m totally honest, but I understand that if you’re a band or a business, you need it now.

TITL: With the end of the year fast approaching, looking back, have there been any stand-out moments for you and what does 2018 have in store?

JVG: There’s one particular period of time that was stand-out. We did a headline tour in Europe that was about a month long, in March, I think and we shared it with this band called Dinosaur Pile Up who are now like our best friends. I don’t know, for some reason that tour was just like…you know the tour that EVERYONE goes on about, where they say to anyone and everyone “Oh my God, that was incredible!”? I’ve never had that before but that tour was just…I’ll never forget it and I don’t think we’ll ever be able to top it; we’ll never be able to have a friendship as good as that with another band. So yeah, that European tour we did with Dinosaur Pile Up was the best thing about this year.

Next year, we will release another album I think. I just need to get writing and demoing so for me, 2018 will consist of a lot of studio time.

TITL: One final question, then. Given your career longevity, what advice would you give to bands and artists just starting out and perhaps struggling to make their mark in this ever-competitive industry?

JVG: It’s hard because when we started out, things were completely different; we had a different set of goals and things we wanted and needed to achieve, in comparison to what today’s bands and artists need to strive for. I think the main piece of advice I would give is to just do it because you love it. Don’t do it because you want to be famous; do it because you love playing music. In the end, if you do it for any other reason, you’re going to hate yourself and you’re going to resent it. Don’t lose sight of why you started in the first place.

Deaf Havana kick off their UK tour on November 9th. Tickets can be purchased here. For more information on the band, visit their website, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. All These Countless Nights (Reworked) is available now.

KIM CAMERON TALKS “BURNING”, SOCIAL MEDIA & TOUR PLANS 54

There are, it could be said, very few artists who have had the career longevity that Kim Cameron has. Having started out performing as part of a band in the 90’s before going solo, she’s since gone on to perform to thousands upon thousands around the world. As she continues to experiment with musical styles and with a greatest hits collection due out in January, Kim Cameron’s career continues to go from strength to strength. Here, she chats to ThisIsTheLatest about her new single “Burning,”, her favourite shows and her advice for new and upcoming artists.

TITL: For those perhaps unfamiliar with yourself and your music, please sum both up in a few words?

Kim Cameron: I am a singer/songwriter who is mad about creating new sounds and music. I have a deep house love that is mixed with pop vocals for more of an electro-pop feel.

TITL: Did you always know you wanted to make music or did you have any other career ambitions before embarking on this journey you’re on now?

KC: I did not always want to make music, or I guess I should say, I did not know I could make music until one day, I was inspired to write a song that changed my entire life, career. I have been involved in music since the 2nd grade, when I learned how to play the clarinet.

TITL: You’ve been a staple of the industry now for many years, having first started out in a cover band in the 90’s before releasing your first solo record in 2008. How do you think the industry has evolved/changed during that time and do you believe things have changed for the better?

KC: Loaded question! In 2008, people were more receptive to new music projects, originals. Then, 3 years later, American Idol took over the scene. The economy tanked and the world thought if they sang in front of Simon Cowell, they would be a star and make a million dollars. The cover band scene took over, and I think original projects have been struggling to regain control ever since. I have only recently seen the thirst for new music amongst the crowds.

On the electronic distribution side, indies have the advantage for selling anything, everywhere, but that has created so much noise that it is difficult for people to ‘discover’ you or your new sounds. I am not sure things have changed for the better or worse since 2008. The market has created a lot of actors in the industry – which is shame for new indies who do not know better. But, it has also created a community of indies who figured out they needed to work together in order to get their music heard.

TITL: What impact did American Airlines picking up four songs from your debut album have on your career trajectory from then on?

KC: I believe it made me creditable. As a fresh new original artist, I needed something to show the world my music was worthy. American Airlines has the name and brand to make it count.

TITL: Tell me a little about your latest release, “Burning.”

KC: I wanted to do something different. I know my normal dance fans will say, “huh?” But, I was inspired one day, and when inspiration hits, you really have to go with your gut. If I were an R ’n’ B artist, this would be a slam dunk, so I know I am taking a big risk releasing this single, but it just felt like I needed to test the waters. When I was recording, I kept hearing horns, so when Ted Zimmerman came along with his magical touch, I knew why I kept hearing the horns. This song was made for his fingers.

TITL: How would you say “Burning” differs from the many other singles you’ve released?

KC: Besides being completely out of my dance market all together…..probably it does not differ a lot…only kidding! It is true, I am a hopeless romantic who writes about love and relationships, and this song is no exception to that rule, but, I like that this one has a unique sexual feeling that I have not done in a song since “3 Seconds” which was more cheeky than sexy. It came naturally to add that extra emotion into the vocal.

TITL: How did you get Ted Zimmerman involved on the track?

KC: I have known Ted for about 3 years. He is one of those legends down here in Miami, performing with all the big acts. I always wanted to involve him on one of my tracks, but just didn’t have the right track for him….until now.

TITL: You’ve also got a greatest hits album due out in January. What made you decide that now’s the right time to create and release one?

KC: I wish I could tell you that my crystal ball lead me to that decision, but for the music side of my business, I go on gut instinct. I always wanted to try something new with a greatest hits, re-releasing singles with a new direction, and adding a few new originals along the way. I also wanted to feature some musicians on the album that I have worked with over the course of almost 10 years.

TITL: How easy/hard was it to choose which tracks to include?

KC: That was pretty easy for the most part. I just looked at my sales/YouTube views. Those were the winners.

TITL: Having won several awards including Silver Medal Best Dance Song for “Moon on The Water” and Best Emerging Female Award at the 2017 Indie Music Channel Awards, do accolades like that hold much importance to you or are you more concerned by what your fans think?

KC: It is always always, always nice to be recognized by your peers. That never ever gets old. But, honestly, my fans will always hold the most weight if I had to pick.

TITL: How do you feel about social media and do you think this industry, and society in general, is perhaps too reliant on it? How have the likes of Twitter/Facebook etc. impacted your career?

KC: I have a love/hate relationship with all social media. I love to mass distribute information because fans love to see what I am doing. But, I hate the gaming of the media. How does one judge whether a song is good or not by the number of likes? I mean, a song is subjective. What one person loves maybe a song another hates. And, that is the whole point about different music – there is something for everyone. Facebook will never dictate by their ‘likes’ if I love a song or not. I suspect most people believe that as well.

TITL: You’ve toured the US, UK and the Caribbean, but of all the shows you’ve played could you pick your three favourites?

KC: 1. Baz Bar in St. Barths, 2. New Year’s Eve in the DR and 3. Dubrovnik Music Wave Festival

TITL: What are your upcoming tour plans?

KC: I just got back from Germany, Amsterdam and Croatia. I am doing a few shows in Miami then I’m off to Switzerland, and then in January, China. So, looks like a bit of world travel for me. I would not want it any other way!

TITL: If you had to pick one stand-out moment from your career so far, which would it be?

KC: Singing the National Anthem for the Giants NFL game in front of 78,000 people – thank goodness it was well before all this kneeling controversy!

TITL: Finally then, what advice would you give to anyone starting out in this industry?

KC: Never say never…don’t give up.  It’s hard. It’s never easy.  But, if you love it, you must do it.

Check out the video for “Burning” below and for more information on Kim Cameron, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.