JENNINGS COUCH CHATS “STAY OUT”, MSG & ‘MAKING IT’ 172

Edgy and somewhat alternative singer-songwriter Jennings Couch first came to considerable attention thanks to his previous single “Serotonin” and is kicking off 2018 in similar style thanks to his new release “Stay Out.” With an EP in the works, which he’s remaining considerably tight lipped about, and dreams of playing MSG, Couch spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about social media, his USP and what it’d take for him to feel like he’s “made it.”

TITL: First of all, who exactly is Jennings Couch?

Jennings Couch: I’m an alternative singer-songwriter born in New York City in 1995. When I was 9 years old, I moved to London where I’ve been ever since. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been wanting to make my own music. I remember in one of my guitar lessons when I was 6 or 7 years old, I asked the teacher if he could stop teaching me other artist’s songs and to start teaching me how to make my own.

TITL: What would you say makes you different from all the bands and artists around today? What’s your unique selling point?

JC: I think what makes me stand out as an artist is the way I write lyrics. I’m not afraid to take a subject I enjoy like astronomy, physics or philosophy and turn it into a relatable song. I’m also not afraid to try out new sounds when I’m working in the studio. It’s important to have a consistent sound but, at the same time, a little experimentation here and there is what gives a song character.

TITL: Growing up, which bands and artists were you most influenced and inspired by? Have those influences changed much over the years and how big of an impact do you think they’ve had on the music you make?

JC: Growing up, I was into alternative rock bands like Green Day, Hoobastank and the like. In my early teens I was into heavy metal. I mean REALLY heavy, like Suicide Silence heavy. Then in my late teens I got really into folk music like Ben Howard. More recently I’ve been really enjoying Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons and Grandson. I think my you can find influences of all these different genres in my music. I simply make the music that I enjoy listening to.

TITL: You’ve just released your new single “Stay Out”. Is there a story behind it and what ultimately made you decide it’d be a good track to share?

JC: The inspiration for ‘Stay Out’ was all the stupid, immature arguments you have with your partner. It reminded me of how a kid gets angry at his parents and puts a sign on the bedroom door saying ‘Stay out of my room!’ I thought it could be cool to write a modern break up song represented through those sorts of childish tendencies. As my first release of 2018, I wanted to kick off with a strong, punchy and energetic track and this one ticked all those boxes!

TITL: Is there an EP or album in the works and if so, what can you tell me about it?

JC: There is an EP in the works and all I can really give away is that there are going to be some real anthems on it! I’m actually shooting the music video for one of the tracks in the next couple of weeks.

TITL: Do you have any tour/performance plans in place for the next few months?

JC: I’m busy applying for festivals and hoping to tour the UK or Europe on a support tour. Before that, I’ll be playing the Half Moon Putney on the 26th of February and I’m also booked to play Lechlade Festival in May!

TITL: If you could play any venue in the world, which would it be and why? What is it about that venue that means so much to you?

JC: If I could play any venue in the world, it’d have to be Madison Square Garden in New York City. I’ve only been there once in my life, and I was 6 years old and it was a Duran Duran concert. There’s something quite nostalgic about returning to your place of birth to play their biggest venue.

TITL: How do you feel about social media and do you think there are any downsides to the power it can and does have in terms of the impact it makes on an artists’ career and ability to reach an audience?

JC: Well… I find social media very hard to keep up with. In all honesty, I’d rather just enjoy my dinner rather than take a picture of it and share it with everyone ‘I think’ cares. I always find myself forgetting to post or forgetting to share something. In the end, I need to get on social media more as I know it will help expand my audience and get my music heard, but it just doesn’t come naturally to me. Social media is so saturated with people doing exactly what I am doing, so I think it’s important to be different and really portray yourself as an individual.

TITL: Finally then, what’s your ultimate career goal? At what point, and what would you have to achieve in order to say to yourself, ‘Yeah, I’ve made it’?

JC: When I can pay the bills!! In all seriousness, if I switch on the radio or walk into a shop one day and hear one of my songs – that will be the day that I say ‘I’ve made it’.

Check out “Stay Out” below and for more information on Jennings Couch, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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BEAR WITH ME TALKS “AFTER ME”, UPCOMING PERFORMANCES & FUTURE PLANS 36

Having started out as part of the Danish Aarhus underground scene, vocalist, keyboard and bass player Thorbjørn Kaas AKA Bear With Me has just released his debut single and has plenty of ideas about where he’d like his music to take him in the future. He spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about where in the world he’d most like to play and what his ultimate goal as an artist is.

TITL: For anyone who hasn’t heard of you or your music, how would you sum up Bear With Me?

Bear With Me: It is about having fun, experimenting and see where the moment will take you. I’d like to think of it as very personal, current music with an analogue feel or just danceable melancholia.

TITL: Which few bands or artists would you say you’re most influenced by and how do those influences come across in the music you make?

BWM: I find a lot of comfort listening to various dream-pop and shoegaze bands, such as Beach House, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine to name a few. I seek that swirly vibe but in a more upbeat manner. Hopefully people will enjoy listening to the music on the dance-floor, but also under more chilled circumstances, too.

TITL: Is there one band or artist you most commonly find yourself being compared to, and if so, do you mind such comparisons?

BWM: Since ”After Me” is the first single there hasn’t been that many comparisons yet. But Röyksopp, Tame Impala and Air have been mentioned. I think they sum up the vibe in good way, and even though their approaches to music are different Bear With Me could easily be described as a mix of those three.

TITL: Tell me about your debut single “After Me”. Is there a story behind the song and what do you want listeners to take from it when they hear it?

BWM: It’s about losing someone who were once close to you. Even though it is hard to say goodbye and let go you can always hope that the person can stay in your thoughts and still be a part of your life. I would describe the song as both melancholic and hopeful. It’s an homage to any kind of close relation between people, but also an acknowledgement of how delicate and changeful such bonds can be.

TITL: Have you started thinking about what your next single might be and are there plans for an EP/album in the works?

BWM: There’s a recording session planned in August with some great guys. It’s not decided whether it’s gonna be an album or an EP yet.

TITL: Do you have any tour/performance plans lined up, and if so, for those who haven’t seen you live before, what can you tell them to expect?

BWM: We are playing with our friends in Moon Loves Honey on the 27th April at Radar in Aarhus. It’ll be the second time we’ve played the music outside the rehearsal room, so I guess people can expect something unheard.

TITL: If you could perform with any three bands or artists, who can be living or dead, who would you choose and where would you play?

BWM: 1. I would love to play with a big jazz glitterati at the time where things went down. For example Thelonious Monk at Village Vanguard or something. 2. I guess a lot of people would want to be any of the performing artist at Woodstock festival 69’. In that case I would prefer to play the tambourine. – it’s not so demanding. 3. I have a feeling that I would enjoy to play the bass in Mac Demarco’s band.  I’ve always wanted to play at Orange Scene at Roskilde Festival – the largest scene on the largest festival in Denmark – so I think that would be a fitting location.

TITL: Are there any other plans or projects in the pipeline for the coming months you can tell me about?

BWM: I’m arranging a one-day festival the 16th of June. Besides Bear With Me, the greatest acts of Aarhus will be present.

TITL: Finally then, where would you like to see yourself five years from now and what’s the ultimate goal?

BWM: I’d like to see myself, and my band, a long way from Aarhus, in a bus, touring all kinds of places. The ultimate goal is to make an album however we want, whenever we want and to perform wherever we want. We want success and hopefully, freedom is a by-product of that.

Give “After Me” a listen below and for more information on Bear With Me, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Instagram.

 

 

LISA LINKE TALKS CURRENT PROJECTS, DREAM ROLES & FUTURE PLANS 31

With roles in Modern Family and This Is Us among others already under her belt, as well as her regular appearances on the webseries Successful People, Lisa Linke has earned herself praise from fans and critics alike in recent years, and earned every positive word that’s been spoken or written about her. While her career shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Lisa to chat first auditions, dream roles and her advice for aspiring actors.

TITL: When did you first realize that you wanted to make performing a career? Was there any particular show or film you watched that made you think: “That’s who I want to be…that’s what I want to do?”

Lisa Linke: I think I realized I wanted to make it a career after I was already living in Chicago, studying improvisation and seeing people perform on stages and actually make a living doing it. I don’t have any artist role models in my family – everyone is business or education (or both) and so the idea of being an artist was really scary and challenging. So, until I saw people doing it and doing work that I found fun and engaging, then I could allow myself to really entertain that as a possibility. I don’t think it was as much as a particular show or film, but more being surrounded with people that I knew and liked and saw them doing this awesome thing.

TITL: Whose careers are you most inspired and influenced by? How do their careers impact your own?

LL: I’m always inspired by people who create their own content. They really take ahold of their own path and just start making art that demonstrates their style and voice. I like doing that. I think whenever anyone makes a successful series that is specific and authentic, it gives permission for everyone else to try and do that, too. And when it’s successful, it shows studios and networks that people are craving that kind of content, so they go looking for it to buy.

TITL: Can you recall your first audition?

LL: Ever? Nope. I always did plays in school growing up. I can remember my audition to join the improv group in grad school, which made me fall in love with improv. I knew nothing about improv, but I’d seen a show in Atlanta before I moved back to Illinois to go to grad school, and I absolutely loved it and wanted to learn how to do it! We did this warm up game and I was so excited, I physically pushed the person next to me, and the woman leading the exercise jumped in and was like “don’t do that”. But in a nice way, because she hadn’t said we couldn’t, and I was legit so excited.

TITL: Which of your auditions are you most proud of and why?

LL: I’m most proud of auditions where I did what I wanted to do in the room. It’s really easy to get thrown off throughout the day, traffic sucks or you can’t find parking, people are rude or it’s hot or you didn’t get the material as early as you wanted or whatever happens – life happens – but your job is to get in the room and deliver. The job is booking the job, and when I do a good job, and get good feedback in the room, or get a pin or check avail or a booking then I feel really good about what I did. I can feel good about what I did in the room even if I get zero feedback, too. I know what I did in the room and what I wanted to do.

TITL: Prior to auditioning for a part, how much research/background do you do in terms of the broadcast company/the show itself/other members of the cast, and do you find that such research helps?

LL: Oh, it helps immensely! You have to know your stuff. You have to know what show you’re going in for – what network it is on, what tone the show has and what the writer has written before. All that stuff just makes your audition more accurate. I didn’t know any of this before I started studying out here in LA, but I am a real research geek now the minute I get an audition.

TITL: You’ve starred in hit shows including This Is Us, Modern Family and the Netflix series LOVE. Of all the roles and characters you’ve played so far, do you have any particular favourites and do you have any fun memories you can share from time on the sets?

LL: Well, Modern Family was really amazing because it was a special day on set. They were on location, and Chris Martin was on set that day. All the crew was kind of twitterpated with him and it was easy to see why – he is literally the nicest person on earth. He was so cool to talk to in the hair/makeup trailer, and then so kind and funny on set. He entertained everyone in between takes with his guitar. Everyone was having a great time! For me, being on This Is Us was amazing because they moved so fast and it was being directed by Ken Olin and I’ve always been a fan of his, from way back in thirtysomething days. So, to see him direct was just fantastic. LOVE was incredible because Nisha Ganatra, the director, loved to improvise and I got to improvise a ton on set. That was wonderful, and to work with Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust, Ed Beagley, Jr. and Kathy Baker was a total dream! I love working, period. Everything else on top of that is gravy.

TITL: What’s your dream role and which TV show would you most like to star/guest star in? Are there any actors or actresses you really want to work with?

LL: I do comedy and love it, but I watch a ton of drama! I think I’d love to be on something super tense like The Americans or Homeland. I get so hooked watching it and the acting on those shows is amazing. I love working with everyone because I like learning from everyone – but to work with someone who has made their own content, like Melissa McCarthy, Issa Rae, or Amy Schumer would be amazing.

TITL: What made you want to be a part of the web series Successful People, and do you think there will be many other such series being made in the coming years, due to the boom in and power of technology and the internet?

LL: Yes! There are so many series being made right now, it’s so easy to create content on a small scale.  I did the first season because Artie & Theresa – the creators & stars – asked me to, and then when they invited me back with a series regular role for the second season, I was thrilled! That character is seriously the most obnoxious in the world. I loved playing her!

TITL: You’ve won a number of awards including Lead Actress at LAWebfest and overall web series winner at the Chicago Comedy Film Festival. How much do accolades like that mean to you, and would you say you’re more of an individual who cares more strongly about what your fans/followers think and that you can and do take on projects you feel passionate about?

LL: Thank you! It’s always nice to take a piece of work you’ve created and have it be recognized. Festivals are a great part of online content life. I like making content I’m proud of and want to do. It’s a lot of work to do – so usually I have to be really interested in the project and want to make it and get it out there in the world, or be asked to work with people that I adore and have a blast working with.

TITL: The entertainment business is cut-throat and competitive. With that in mind, and given your impressive resume, what advice would you give to those just starting out? What three traits would you say people need in order to survive in this fickle industry?

LL: Ah! You’re very kind. I’ve been told that you need two of the following three: luck, talent and perseverance. You can’t work on luck, but you can work on the other two. I say get your butt in a class and stay there! And create your own content.

TITL: Finally then, are there any projects or plans in the pipeline you can tell me about? What’s next for you and what are your goals for the remainder of the year?

LL: Yes! I just released Dog Therapist with my friend Gwen, and it’s a super short web series – all episodes are under a minute! We had a blast and I hope we do some more like it. I have a guest star on a Disney show coming out sometime this spring/summer, so I can’t wait for that to be announced! And of course, I’m creating more content. Do you sense a theme!?

For more information on Lisa Linke, visit her website or you can follow her on Twitter. Header photo credit: Birdie Thompson.