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In Words: Indigo Dying

- Gisa Vatcky - Mar. 2008 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Gisa Vatcky promo photo
© Frontiers

Gisa Vatcky - March 2008 (by email)

When I got Indigo Dying I was quite surprised, especially as Gisa Vatcky is a great singer, but I haven't heard about her before. Time to learn more about the Chilean singer!

Please tell us about how it all began! How you got in touch with Serafino Perugino?

Well, I have known Fabrizio for a while, he produced my old band's album (Oliva - Just Don't) and we became friends. He told me bout Serafino's idea and I thought it was great so we did it!

How much influence did you have on the selection of songs? And musicians?

I didn't have any influence, the project was totally Serafino's idea.

What about the lyrics? Did you write them?

All the songs with lyrics were chosen before I got in the picture.

Which song from Indigo Dying is your favorite? And which presents your album best?

I really liked Superman from the beginning, the lyrics are very strong and well written! I don't really know which song represents me, in fact I can recognize myself in each one of them!

You have two guest singers on the album. Did you know Michael Kiske before as a singer? Was Mark Boals a singer you always wanted to work with?

I knew of them and that they were great singers, but their participation in the album was another part of Serafino's plan.

Can you imagine to work again with one of the guys?

Of course, I think they are brilliant!

When did you realize you want to become a singer?

I was born knowing I loved art, theater, music, dance... So singing was just part of me. I have been singing since I was a kid.

What are your main influences? And who inspires you?

I guess my influences are too many to name them all, but the Beatles as musicians and singers were the first! Italian, Latin, Chilean folk and pop music were always present, classical music and eventually rock!! Led Zeppelin was love at first sight! Robert Plant is amazing as a singer and performer, all the 70's and 80's rock - mostly men like Plant, Steve Perry, R.J. Dio, even Paul Stanley from Kiss, Freddy Mercury.... I also love Ann Wilson from Heart, she is one of the most incredible rock singers ever! Pat Benatar was another mentor, I was lucky to have been exposed to the best!
I can go on forever naming singers and even longer naming musicians, my inspiration is any artist that is honest and true to his/her art, creative people that go beyond the boundaries of the obvious and repetitive. I like many styles of music, but I guess rock music is what I know best.

You worked a lot with well-known artists, but they are all from different genres. How was it to work with them?

Actually most of the time you don't meet the artist unless he / she is very involved with the actual production of the project usually you work with the producers, but it's always fun and interesting to do different styles, you learn a lot every-time even if you don't get to see the artist. On the other hand when you meet the artist, you never know how the experience is going to be and that is also pretty interesting.

And who you would like to work with, but haven't had the chance to yet?

Too many !!! And I think most of them don't need another singer!!
I don't get to choose when I am called to work for somebody, they just call me to sing, and I show up! The same happens for touring, in the end everybody knows everybody in the musicians circle. I think working with R. Plant would be a dream come true or with any of my childhood 'heroes'. So many times I have seen a show that I loved - like Radiohead, Bjork, Tool... - and I have thought how amazing it would be to work with artists like that and learn from them and be inspired... We all need that after all!!

Somewhere I read that you took part in Pi Gamma's Bandage - The Rock Opera. To be honest I never heard about before.. So please tell us a bit about it!

It's a BRILLIANT rock opera (a rock musical) here in L.A., totally underground for now, but it's creating a big buzz and growing!! It's been around for a couple of years in clubs, you can check their web page or the MySpace page. It's like a mix of the Little Shop Of Horrors with some of Jesus Christ Superstar and Spinal Tap!! We recorded the album with some amazing guests like Sheila E and other well known artists here in L.A. it turned out amazing!
We are doing a show in March with a super surprise star singing the lead part of BANDAGE!!!!

You are from Chile, but you are living in the USA. Where did you live in Chile? And how was living there?

I lived in Santiago, the capital city. Chile is very far from the rest of the world and things are very unique -at least years ago! -, there is a big Italian and German communities. I am Italian /German.
We had a dictator for like 15 years, so I think in many ways I had a different life than most people, it really left a mark, we weren't very exposed to a lot of foreign cultures so a new breed of artists surfaced from that oppression.

When you first moved to the US, was it a huge change? Are there things from Chile which you still miss?

The change was drastic, but I had imagined it would be. The cultural shock is impossible to imagine and difficult to explain, but definitely worth experiencing!! I remember going to clubs to see bands, it was amazing, sooo many bands and musicians. I loved it!!

Usually we don't hear much about music from Chile. Do you think the music world should give more attention?!

Definitely, there is a lot going on musically in Chile and in South America people have to do some research too, nowadays record labels don't offer the real deal. The A&R that goes and finds new artists doesn't exist anymore ! The way to find and get exposed to music has changed and because artists are finding new roads to show their music, we have to search. I think the internet is a huge an amazing tool, I tell the same to listeners and music journalists, don't settle for the obvious, go, discover! There are a lot of artists yet to be discovered... Remember, Van Gogh was never discovered while alive!!!!!

Can you recommend a band(s) / artist(s) from Chile? Or some other underrated band / artists from anywhere else?

I love some 80's bands from Chile like Electrodomesticos, Viena, Los Prisioneros Congreso, Fulano. They marked a big generation of musicians in Chile - there is a lot of social contest! -, some other bands like Los Jaivas, left due to the political situation. We also had a big influence from Argentina, they kinda modeled the 'rock en español' - Soda Stereo for example! - a band that was very good and made it big. I did background vocals for them too, was La Ley, and one of my favorites is Silvestre - they are still underground, check their web page! They are awesome!! A great solo singer is Nicole she has a new album out and it rocks! She rocks!!! Of course there are more, these are the first I can think of.

How important is internet these days? Or MySpace for you?

A LOT!! I have a MySpace page and I hope you guys check it out, I believe the music world is going cyber!!!

Is my information right, that you been a singer at Dancing With The Stars? If yes, how came? And tell us about bit more about this experience!

Well I just finished a tour of almost 3 months! It is basically a TV show - almost every country has one - and then they take some of the big celebrities, a big band with 4 singers - we each do leads and solos depending on the style - and they make it into a 2 hour Broadway / Vegas-type of show. It's really impressive there are like 12 buses with people and I dunno how many trucks with gear, including the stage.
It's been great to do this, the level of talent is awesome so you are challenged to do always your best!

Back to Indigo Dying... I guess you got some response already. Are you satisfied with the reviews?

Very much, people have been really cool about it- I wish I could understand all the reviews!! I feel honored by the attention it got.

I guess it's too early to tell, but is there a chance that we will see you on tour?

Well as you know, this was a studio project so touring is a totally different 'monster'. It's a big enterprise. Hopefully people won't forget about me and if I tour later they will support me... That's all the artist needs!!!

Last, but not least... What's on your schedule for the next months?

I am on this other tour for now and as soon as I finish I head back to L.A. to start the big rehearsals with BANDAGE!!!!!! It's gonna be hard work, I am in charge of the background vocals - hiring and rehearsing - and who knows what more, ha ha!!

Finally I want to thank you and your readers for taking the time to find me and listen to the album. Hope we keep in touch, you can look into ...

I have to thank Gisa for answering me questions while being on tour! I really appreciate it, coz on tour you have other things on mind then sitting in front of a computer answering questions.
Looks like Gisa will be quite busy this year, but I hope that it won't take too long til we hear from her again and that she one day will hit the roads with her own music!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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