Micah James LaVasseur is a 17 year old musician from Minnetonka, Minnesota. Besides being a musician he enjoys activities such as watercoloring, drawing, and playing basketball.
In this interview we will be going in depth about his inspirations, concerts, and advice for young musicians.
Q1. What inspired you to start playing guitar?
Micah- “My dad was into classic rock so I thought it would be sick to play. And I mean it looked dope to play.”
Q2. What excites you about playing guitar that doesn’t make it boring?
Micah- “First off, 6 strings, 23 frets, well on my guitar at least. I don’t wana do the math but that’s a lot of things to do. So many combinations and its impossible to find every combination. Also, there are so many different styles and ways to play so you can always be learning”
Q3. Which guitarist inspires you the most?
Micah- “Jimmy Paige from Led Zeppelin, watching him play, his fingers look like water. He knows scales and everything so well. Also, David Gilmore because you wouldn’t think he’s amazing but his style is so amazing. Playing guitar is much more than scales, its also about pedals and sound too”
Q4. Now that you have gone on stage in front of others, mainly performing with Claire, what was it like and do you have any planned?
Micah- “It was a new experience because I am a shy person. It was crazy to step outside of my comfort zone. I love playing music and showing people how much I love music so I think its great I have the opportunities to show them. Yeah I’m trying to fill out a form to play at the Starbucks I work at.”
Q5. Where do you see your love for music and especially guitars leading you?
Micah- “That’s a hard hitter man. I wana pursue music for a career but the whole music scene is so saturated so the music scene is 90% connection, so it might not be the best idea. If I could make a living to support a family I would.”
Q6. If you had one piece of advice for someone playing guitar what would it be?
Micah- “In the very beginning, practice basics like correct technique like how you hold the pick and place your fingers. Also, don’t give up because the beginning is super hard but the more and more you understand it the more and more you can be creative.”
Interviewing a young artist and long time friend of mine was a joy. I believe everyone should find something they are passionate about and pursue it like Micah has. Hard work and creativity will definitely lead you places. I will be announcing the next date for a concert Micah will be doing when it is announced.
Huge shout out to Micah for being willing, it was a blast
All interviews made and originate on VSCO.
Caleb James Plummer, aka Calebi, is a 19 year old from Prior Lake Minnesota. When not at work as a Valet Attendant he is often making music or chilling with his homies.
The following questions are meant to take a deeper look into his music, process, and who he is.
Q1: What genre of music has inspired you the most?
Calebi- “Well obviously hip-hop, [because different] aspects of hip-hop are rooted in Jazz and nowadays classical music. I love 90’s samples too but mainly hip-hop”
Q2: What is one thing you can take and learn from your musical inspirations in order to better your music?
Calebi- “Working with flow is definitely a big thing because [some] 90’s samples have vocals so [one] has to learn how to rap over it. It’s a huge style difference from nowadays compared to the 90’s”
Q3: Is there a quality of yourself you try to implement into your music?
Calebi- “Realness... I implement stuff I am going through. Im not gonna talk about doing stuff I am not gonna have like gucci or supreme [and so on]. I keep it as real as possible. Spit facts and not tell people a life I’m not living”
Q4: In your first single on Soundcloud titled: “Today Was Good”, you talk about a lady figure throughout the song... is she based off of a real person or life experience?
Calebi- “No it’s a generalization. She’s like someone people can relate to. Like [you’re] at a party and think she’s cute.”
Hence the line from “Today Was Good”: “Shortie looking bad, got me in the mood”
Q5: Can you open the door to some of your favorite instrumentals/samples/effects in your music?
Calebi- “There is uhh, I don’t know if you’ve heard of the intro by XXXTENTACION... [but there are] lots of fan made covers, that’s a REALLY good beat. I love instrumentals from today like “Poundcake”. You hear some instrumentals and are like ‘I’m gonna DESTROY this beat’.”
Q6: What are some struggles behind the scenes in the production of your music?
Calebi- “Often times [this] past year [I’m] trying to put music out and it’s hard to chose which songs to put out. [When recording,] this little Ableton is sensitive so it’s a process to find the right balance. When it comes to music I’m a perfectionist so if I mess up one word I redo the whole thing. Recording [makes my] mouth get really dry so [sometimes] you just choke, and that’s the worst.”
Q7: Lets say music was destroyed and everyone was mute and deaf... are there other ways you would express yourself?
Calebi- “The way I go about living. I like to think I’m crazy [and] outgoing. [I’d] make people laugh and smile because people are mute and deaf”
“If I can get something I like and People like... that’s a W”
Talking with Caleb really made me think about something. Whether its music, photography, an art project, and so on there are always behind the scene struggles that people face and have to grind through and people do. The difference is the outcome. Caleb is a perfect example of someone who wouldn’t produce some low quality song with basic beats or lyrics; he would go above and beyond to the limit of perfection in his mind to create a master piece. Hopefully in doing this the song he is left with is both pleasing to his ears and ours.
Announcement: “Glamour” By Calebi will be released JUNE 8th
If interested in a possible interview please contact me.
Alex Fadell has lived his life in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Out of the 18 years he has lived so far I have known him for 5 years. If Alex isn’t with friends, playing TF2, or chillen somewhere... he’s probably sleeping.
The following interview is Alex’s thoughts on technology, social media, and what is to come.
Q1: In the past 15 years what has been the best piece of technology to be released?
Alex: “Definitely smart phones, specially iPhones. Because when we were little kids, we used pay phones. Huge convenience difference, but also lots of downsides.”
Q2: What has been the overall outcome of technology: good or bad... both?
Alex: “Overall... yes and no. I really think there are massive conveniences but there are huge debacles like Mr. Zucc and Facebook where they can sell information. I stayed up until 4am Frankenstein-ing two androids to keep a snap streak.”
Q3: What is the true purpose of social media?
Alex: “Well being the big brain Eagle Ridge Academy student I was, the true purpose of social media was for creators to connect people.”
Follow up question: Do you think it is used properly?
Alex: “No... it drives people apart in some ways. You know everyone will talk over social media instead of meeting up. It’s a half way ridge.”
Q4: Do you think people should take breaks from social media?
Alex: “It entirely depends on usage. Because it depends like some people get caught up but you’ll have some people who don’t. When I took a break all I did was think about social media”
Q5: If stuck on an island and had to chose between a 1st person shooter, stage game like Mario, a battle royale, or free roam game which would you chose?
Alex: “Definitely 1st person shooter with a multiplayer. I really enjoy death match. Battle royales have so many different factors where 1v1 in a death match game are based on skills.”
Q6: What is the future of Virtual Reality? How will we use it in 25 years?
Alex: “Not huge in the next 10 years because it’s too expensive for the household. Virtual Reality is different because it’s a head set and creates an environment. Where Augmented Reality adds to what’s around you so there is more practical use. Virtual Reality is more entertainment.”
Q7: What is the most nostalgic video game to you and on what system?
Alex: “System is Wii. I played so much Wii and it helped connect me with friends when I was younger. I can’t decide between Lego Star Wars the Complete Saga and Mario Kart...”
In my interview with Alex and now looking back I have come to a conclusion: Technology is what you make it to be. Like Alex, you can have fun playing video games with your friends or seeing what an old buddy is up to or even social media is the best way to contact someone. We all know there is a downside which is the addictive nature to it... so is there a fix? Is there a limit to how much technology is good? Is there a right way to use social media? I don’t know but in time we will see.
If you see someone hiking around with no shoes on, it’s probably Eric. Eric is a graduate of the class of 2018 from Shakopee, Minnesota and will go into Basic Training for the Army this summer. In this interview I ask Eric questions on topics about hiking, the Army, and other related topics.
Q1: What are your top 3 National Parks and why?
Eric: “I’m gonna go three best in no specific order: Olympic, Rocky Mountain, and Glacier. They all have amazing forests, lakes, waterfalls, and mountains... and all west coast-ish”
Q2: What are a few supplies that are essential to survive on a long excursion?
Eric- “1) Water/Water Filter means clean water. 2) Highly dependent on what time of year but a way to make fire. Lighter, magnesium stick, anything that can give fire. 3) Good footwear, ankle support, and good socks.”
“Might not be the most enjoyable hike, but you’ll survive. You might hate being out there”
Q3: What is your opinion on protecting landmarks such as the Boundary Waters?
Eric: “100% on side of preserving everything at all costs. Nature is to complex to be recreated after it has been perverted by human intervention. You can re-introduce stuff but it won’t work out as well.”
Q4: Is there a certain part about Basic Training you expect to be the hardest?
Eric: “Well I’ve heard there is a stage in training called ‘The Forge’ which is supposed to be the last, most taxing, physical exercise.”
Q5: Are the military branches looking for people with certain traits?
Eric: “Someone built to be physically fit, well minded who can think clearly when stuff happens (calm and collected), can’t be afraid of blood or squimish on the trigger.”
Q6: Where is the current state of the relationship between our country, its citizens, and our armed forces?
Eric: “In 2001 when extremists flew jets into the pentagon and world trades center everyone freaked out and there was a call for blood like every tragedy. For example Pearl Harbor [because] when somebody pokes America everyone [Americans] want revenge. Sending 18-30 year olds is the tradition, being patriotic was ‘trendy’. After 15+ years of [fighting in the] Middle East... First of all, people are tired. Secondly, people learned WMD info [Weapons of Mass Destruction] was not credible. Thirdly, people look at America to be involved in foreign polotics. [Many people believe] we shouldn’t be the ‘World Police’ so... there was a poll this year ‘How proud are you to be American’ and it’s at 49%. In [comparison] the 70’s it was 70%-ish.”
My question to you, the reader is where does this leave us? Is it our role to be involved or be the “World Police”? To what extent do we involve ourself with other countries?
After interviewing Eric it is evident that he is well versed in the areas of the outdoors and current relationships between the military branches, the U.S., and its people. Whether you agree with his views or not is up to you, but it is important nowadays to have knowledge of the happenings between different parties, cultures, countries, and so on. Similar to the second question: “What are a few supplies that are essential to survive on a long excursion?” knowledge before a decision is essential for survival. Coming to conclusions with out adequate information can be costly for minute decisions or grander scale decisions.
My wishes and prayers go out to all who serve in every branch of the Military.
As always, Thank You
Graham Davis Anderson
Graham Anderson will be an incoming freshman this fall at Stout University in Wisconsin. In the past year he was an in a printmaking internship, worked at a bakery, and does full time landscaping. On his free time he dabbles with music, printing, drawing, filming, and made a short film. This interview will be highlighting the movie scene and its future along with discussions on art.
Q1: In the past 10 years or so what is the one aspect of a movie that has changed the most in its creation?
Graham: “I guess I’d say... movies are always changing specifically in the past 10 years movie production can make movies look practically real. For example, the Planet of the Apes movies with their capture suits. There is a downside because people rely too much on special effects. There can be a lack of creativity or passion for the story of the movie because it looks fake. CGI can seem so cheesy and fake.”
Q2: What movie genre has changed the movie scene the most?
Graham: “I think you probably see the most change in horror but like a lot follow a formula and there are so many styles like gory, psychological, and thriller. There is something special about horror because the main purpose is to scare people while most movies are about a complex idea. Which is kinda funny and goofy to me.”
“There has been a huge change in censorship and purity since the 1950’s where what is shown has changed [that’s where CGI and practical effects come into play]. Also horror as a genre has been around forever in different mediums. It’s definitely not my favorite genre but it’s so interesting and so many different ways it can go.”
Q3: In the last 100 years movies have been one of the primary ways to tell a story, in the next 100 years will movies stay relevant or will something new take the spotlight?
Graham: “I mean probably which is kinda sad. People love movies but sometimes I wana watch one but my attention span isn’t long enough. Movies now are crazy and so much stuff goes on. I love going to premieres with my brother Noah and it’s totally cool and will always go to them. Movies have been a way to escape and go to another world.”
Do you think a movie with Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality is the replacement for movies?
“I could see that happening but it seems weird. It’s like 3D movies would be weird for 1920’s people.
Q4: What is the perfect length for a movie?
Graham: “No I don’t. It totally depends on how compelling the story is. It solely depends on how engaging it is. My cut off is 4 hours.”
Q5: While at Stout, are there different art mediums you are excited to try or work with?
Graham: “I’m excited for animation and more film making. I guess more digital work. I’m excited for editing since I’ve done so much 2D classic art forms.”
Q6: Who has been the most influential artist of all time?
Graham: “Probably Marcel Duchamp but I hate him. He convinced people that anything can be art. There is no creativity or passion. It’s anti-art. He just pisses me off.”
“Art is powerful... people care when artists assign value which is funny because some artists make millions of money off of people.”
Q7: If you were on a desert island and had to chose between a handful of movies, 10ish albums to listen to, or 3 different art supplies to use what would you chose?
Graham: “That’s a tough one... probably art supplies because I can always make something new. I’d probably get sick of music and movies.”
I think it is safe to say that in the years to come whatever the current art or movie scene may look like that the quality of creativity and content will always be clear. Like Graham said in Q1 CGI and modern day animation can cause “a lack of creativity or passion”. I believe that it’s important to support small artists and their works because often times they are the most original. This applies to art, music, movies, and so on. Like movements in art each artist/creator will have movements of different mediums and content which is leads to a beautiful journey that a viewer can look back on and be apart of. Looking back at Graham winning multiple art awards on mediums varying from gouache, oil pastels, 2D, 3D, linoleum block printing, screen printing, and so on I am, and you should, definitely be excited for Graham’s future works in whatever medium he uses.