Robonzo performs on acoustic guitar and vocals. On Top Of The World, Out Jan 5 2021.

This episode features a conversation with singer-songwriter Lara Price. In this experimental episode, Lara interviews me about the release of On Top Of The World (out today, Friday January 8, 2021). Lara is an amazing singer, performer and songwriter, making this conversation a big honor for me. We met in San Jose, California some 18 years ago. Lara is currently based in Austin, Texas.

Our conversation includes some dissection of my new song plus: publishing, marketing, sync placement, collaboration, collaborating, the art of storytelling and creating a bridge. Lara also shares many of her experiences and thoughts on songwriting and publishing. This turned out to be an informative and inspiring conversation. I hope you enjoy!

Mentioned in this Episode

Robonzo 0:02
This is The Unstarving Musician . I’m your host Robonzo. This podcast features conversations with indie music artists and industry professionals, and me, all intended to help independent music artists better understand the marketing, business and creative processes that empower us to do more of what we love. Make music.

Robonzo 0:26
Happy New Year 2021. We made it. Although there is still a tough road ahead. I’m looking forward to it. Many have said, you know, fuck 2020. Maybe you’re one of them. Like, I don’t feel that way for some reason. And it wasn’t an easy year for me. I lost a couple of close friends to cancer. And a couple other friends became very ill with COVID. A third friend became very ill and turned out to be a long hauler. So that sucked. So yeah, it wasn’t an easy year. I know some of you lost people close to you. And you know people that have gotten sick. So yeah, I’m not, I’m not denying 2020 was a tough year. My wife and I and our immediate family have been lucky, and I kept thinking (last year), we’re, we’re here to see another day. As my friend, my Chilean friend Dagny says, with her endearing English as a second language accent, “It’s okay.” So here we go.

Robonzo 1:27
But before we go, I would like you to please help other independent musicians and indie music fans find this podcast by subscribing on your favorite podcast service. That is if you enjoy this podcast if you love it. If you love this podcast, please consider supporting it by joining the Unstarving Musician community. You can do so by visiting UnstarvingMusician.com. It’s free to sign up. And as part of the community, you will receive occasional emails from me with tips and insights for your music journey. And it’s not just me giving you tips and insights based only on my many years of experience as a gigging musician, but also stuff I’m learning from the now hundreds of songwriters, musicians and industry professionals that I speak with as part of this podcast. And I’ll also fill you in on the latest and upcoming episodes of this podcast. If you’d like to become a producer sponsor of the show, you know up your support game, visit UnstarvingMusician.com/crowdsponsor for more info about exclusive producer sponsored content and perks.

Robonzo 2:37
So yeah, here we go. Man today as you are hearing this, which is January eighth if you’re hearing it on the day of this episode release, my new single my first ever single On Top Of The World was released today on all the digital platforms. So as of today, you can find it just about anywhere. And thanks to the many of you who pre saved it, thanks to Chris Raspante and Steve Strom who performed on it with me. And Chris, who mixed and mastered the track, and basically helped bring the song to life. Those guys are great, phenomenal musicians and fun to work with. Look forward to working with them some more. I already have been.

Robonzo 3:19
The conversation with this episodes featured guest. That featured guests is Lara Price, Lara price. It’s a discussion about my song and some other stuff. She’s an amazing, Lara is an amazing singer, performer and songwriter. We’ve been acquainted for about 18 years, I can’t believe it. We met in the Silicon Valley and she’s now based in Austin, Texas.

Robonzo 3:45
Okay, but before we get to Lara, it is a new year right? So many of us are saying thank God for that. Some of you still may not have your artist or band website, or the one you have kind of sucks. This is the year, if that is the case, that you should let Bandzoogle help you create a beautiful website that’s unique to your music. It’s really, it really is the easiest all in one platform for pro musicians and band websites, and Bandzoogle features selling tools that enable selling directly to fans with no commissions. Bandzoogle also helps you see how fans are using your site with interactive visitor reports. And with Bandzoogle you don’t have to worry about software updates you can just focus on your music. You’ll get a fast, reliable website with Bandzoogle, with best in class hosting technology and fantastic customer support. My artists website is on Bandzoogle and I love it, but see for yourself. Go to Bandzoogle.com to start your 30 day free trial. Use the promo code Robonzo to get 15% off your first year. Again, go to bandzoogle.com and use the promo code Robonzo R O B O N Z O, to start your free trial today.

Robonzo 5:05
So yeah, I asked Lara and a couple of other friends who are songwriters to record an interview with me, in a format that would have them interviewing me about my song. And it was an experiment that brought forth some really nice conversation. And this is one of them. It was an experiment for me to create some content to help you guys learn about the song and just kind of do that whole creating buzz around it, right. So we do talk about On Top Of The World, my new single. We talk about publishing, the marketing components of creating music and releasing a song, the importance of sync placement, licensing slash licensing, my plans for a video. We also talk about collaboration and collaborating. That’s an exciting prospect for me collaborating with Lara price, possibly, we’ll see. The art of storytelling is something we also cover and creating a bridge, a musical bridge, Lara confessed, she loves a good bridge. And she was, she had nice things to say about the bridge in my song. So made me feel good. Laura shares many of her her own experiences and thoughts. And we talked about several other topics that are basically informative, and inspiring discussion. So I hope you enjoy. Oh, yeah. And don’t forget to go to Spotify or iTunes or wherever you listen to your digital music to check out my new song On Top Of The World by me, Robonzo. All right, here is me and Lara Price.

Lara Price 6:44
So I was reading your email, and you would like me to interview you about your new song, right?

Robonzo 6:48
Yeah, I had this idea that I could use it for audio clip content for the release. So…

Lara Price 6:53
Yeah well, it’s really good. And you’re singing sounds excellent.

Robonzo 7:00
Thank you. That means a lot.

Lara Price 7:02
Yeah, so I was gonna ask you just since we’re talking about that, do you, have you taken any voice lessons?

Robonzo 7:08
No, you were on my, you’re on my next next list. You know, I had one. Sorry, I had one before I re tracked the vocals. I think it helped a little bit. But you know, by that point, I was just so close to wanting to get it done. And I thought I’ll, basically when I retracked them, I thought it’s really not that much better. I just fixed a couple of tiny little things, which maybe that’s what it’s about.

Lara Price 7:36
That’s good. [Yeah.]

Lara Price 7:38
Yeah. Well, that’s awesome. And who did the harmonies? [Those are…] Sounds like you used it a falsetto or or a female?

Robonzo 7:45
No, you know what, what those are? It’s me. It’s my voice. So the bass player who, it’s funny, the bass player who put the bass on there, he sent me back some backing vocal ideas. And it was two harmonies, and a two part harmony. And I guess that makes it three part. Right. And I they sounded nice, but there was something about them that sounded odd. I couldn’t figure it out. One of them was explained when he explained to me that it wasn’t him singing, he took my voice. And I guess pitch changed them.

Lara Price 8:21
And made it happen.

Robonzo 8:23
Yeah. Now, there was always something else that was bugging me, and I wasn’t sure what it was. I’d have to, I’d have to look at an old message from Chris Raspante, who did the mixing on it.

Lara Price 8:35
The engineer?

Robonzo 8:36
Yeah. He said, I finally figured out why this was bugging me. And by the way, I was I decided I was going to go ahead and sing a one part harmony.

Lara Price 8:46
Mm-hmm, that’s like a third, a third above type thing.

Robonzo 8:50
Yes, yeah, I was gonna sing the higher one. [Yeah.] But we were getting, you know, I wanted to get it finished. And the track I sent him was distorted. So I think I’d over driven it. So he already had the, he already had the manufactured one. And he said, You know what, I think I can make this sound really good. But he said, I figured out what was bugging me. So the lower one was conflicting with a chord he was playing. And he explained it like a music theorist would and I’m like, oh, wow, I knew something was bugging me a little bit, but I would have never figured that out. I probably would have just said, I guess if somebody told me it sounded good, like my wife liked them both. And you know, Steve…

Lara Price 9:24
It was always singing issue then.

Robonzo 9:26
Yeah. Steve, actually the guy who the bass player who did the tracks, he’s got a great ear, and he’s very good with theory, and he/it didn’t even occur to him. So yeah, so it sounds good like that to me.

Lara Price 9:37
Yeah, I didn’t notice any issues.

Robonzo 9:40
Well, he just didn’t use the lower part and it was resolved.

Lara Price 9:43
Yeah, there you go. [Yeah]

Lara Price 9:45
I love that. Um, so we’re all your tracks flown in, like flown in.

Robonzo 9:50
Metaphorically. Yeah, that’s a good yeah. Yeah, so I did the drums live here, right behind my screen and the vocals, and did the original acoustic demo here, sent that to Chris Raspante and asked him if he’d play the guitars for me. [Cool.] And I knew that he could probably I knew he could mix it. And so we just we kind of hit that impasse, well “impasse.” We talked about that as we went along. So he did that. And then I’m just going to use um another friend that lives in Arlington, close in Arlington, Texas, close to Chris, that I played with a lot. And he’s a great, great musician, but he just had timing issues and some family things going on with him. So I called on my other buddy, who I didn’t even know was able to record at home. I wasn’t sure. Consequently, he the one who ended up playing bass. He had sent me some stuff and said, Hey, would you be interested in putting some drums on this? I’m like, ah, you’re recording at home?

Lara Price 10:47
Yeah, so you did a swap? Yeah. So… [Nice.]

Robonzo 10:51
So um, yeah, they and Steve and Chris have never even met, to my knowledge never met.

Lara Price 10:58
I love that. How do you know these guys then? Just Just from from are they both Texans?

Robonzo 11:05
Steve Strom is a bay area guy. So I played a bunch of gigs with him. He played he’s a he’s the bass player for House Rockers. They were Silicon Valley House Rockers. So

Lara Price 11:14
I might know, I might know some of those people.

Robonzo 11:17
Yeah probably so um, and then Chris Raspante I actually. He was my first podcast guest. And the reason I asked him on was a.) I was looking for someone I knew to, you know, try this out on. And I had been invited, when we were visiting Texas, Dallas Fort Worth, to participate in this Christmas holiday, you know, multi musician thing at Broncos Sports Bar there. It was really fun. I got to see a lot of great musicians, got to play with several of them. And I saw this guy, Chris Raspante, and he just blew me away. And then I learned, you know that he played guitar on the theme track for True Blood and worked with that guy that that recording artist and a lot of people in Nashville and some other guys that I knew so yeah.

Lara Price 12:07
Wow. That’s cool. So this is your first song. [Yeah. You know] I this the song that we were talking about last time?

Robonzo 12:15
Yeah. Yeah.

Lara Price 12:16
All right! Way to go!

Robonzo 12:18
Thank you. Yeah. Yeah, like

Lara Price 12:19
That’s a big deal.

Robonzo 12:20
It is. Yeah, thank you. I was telling someone yesterday that it’s been more than 20 years, I wrote lyrics to two songs that got demo’d, but never did anything with them. And that was the end of that. I never did it again. And in fact, I also was playing a little bit of guitar back then, and and had a lovely Takamine 12 string for the better part of two decades, which was in California with me, came from Texas to California. But I I left in California, I sold it. And then a friend here knew I was interested in playing again. And he basically gave me one of his guitars, he fixed up this. It’s a nondescript instrument. But he fixed it up for me, I put a pickup in it and started doing some gigs around here. But it’s I’ve only been back on the guitar for less than a couple years. But it gave me enough to write a you know, write a song.

Lara Price 13:07
Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. What was the what was the inspiration for it? On Top Of The World.

Robonzo 13:17
You know, I just early this year, believe it or not, before the plague, I decided I wanted to start recording. I’ve been putting it out there for a really long time and thinking about it forever. So I, you know, went to work with some of my friends. So I bought some gear. So this is my first foray in recording to at home. And I’ve been playing guitar. And I also decided early in the year, probably sometime late last year, that I want to start writing music. And that’s why I’m playing guitar again, right. And so I think around January, February, I just had been sitting down with the guitar a couple different nights, and came up with this riff that I liked and, and work through an arrangement eventually. And I had been writing at a workshop at a place called Tranquillo Retreat here close to me, it’s a really special place I love, I love going there, right to write prose. Basically, it’s a fiction writers workshop. But the, the the person who runs it knows I’m a musician and knew I had songwriting aspirations. So whenever we talked about what I was writing, she always has, always talked about it in the perspective of a song. [Nice.] And so I had a short list of, I mean, less than a dozen pieces, I’d worked on that were just sitting around. So I went and looked for one of them and said, this is the one, and so I started using that for the basis of the lyrics.

Lara Price 14:35
Hmm. So, um, do you want to talk about the song a little bit, or you want would you like your hands to put their own story together? [We can] You do mention, uh, she’s, uh, you know, “acutely aware” and you and then you kind of end the song with this kind of hanging question. You know? What’s that about?

Robonzo 15:00
Yeah, I’m happy to talk about it.

Lara Price 15:01
“Compartmentalize”

Robonzo 15:02
Yeah, somebody told me I don’t think I’ve ever heard a song use the word compartmentalize.

Lara Price 15:08
I, it could be, it could be, could be, could be the first for me too.

Robonzo 15:13
Maybe for me, I couldn’t think of one. Um the, I’m trying to think of the origin of a story of the story. But I’ve been doing some reading I know, it came from there, and the Writers Workshop, and I imagined a person who was it’s probably pretty evident from the lyrics, you know, this person is kind of struggling to answer that question. You know, when they did have a moment like that, and uh, the

Lara Price 15:43
Counter clockwise

Robonzo 15:44
Yeah. So the image that I’m trying to paint at the beginning is sitting in a room of people that are, you know, going around, like a group therapy room. And the question has been posed, and it’s coming around, coming around and coming around. And so that’s where it begins and, and On Top Of The World was, just seemed, was a natural chorus for me. So I went to that. And yeah, from there, I guess I was just trying to paint a picture of, of that room, that situation and then also eventually the personality of the person and the, the, the reference to color and music is something I thought about. I heard a long time ago about Sarah McLaughlin. And I’ve since read of other people who see colors when they write, when they make music, and actually have had a podcast.

Lara Price 16:30
Pharrell.

Robonzo 16:32
Oh, really? Yeah.

Lara Price 16:33
There’s, there’s actually a word for that.

Robonzo 16:35
Yes. [And I don’t it’s,] It’s in one of my podcast episodes, I forget. [Has multiple syllables] Yeah. There’s, there’s a guy in Austin actually who I asked him about the name of the Oh, he calls it, he calls it Shape Scenes, but that’s not the word but he told me he has it. So that’s what that’s a reference to in the compartmentalizing was just an escape thing with with her art.

Lara Price 17:00
Synesthesia? Let’s see synesthesia.

Robonzo 17:06
Yes. One of those big words.

Lara Price 17:10
I could be messing that up. Yeah.

Robonzo 17:12
Something like that. That sounds familiar. I would have never remembered it. I think that’s it’s in my podcast post for that episode. Maybe I would have found it there. But yeah, so that’s what that was about.

Lara Price 17:21
Wow, they can see colors without dropping acid good for them. [Right.] Dang it. Can we? You know, maybe that could be part of the vaccine, have that kind of component in there. Hey, man, can you guys? Can you guys make it so that one I do more sit ups. And two? When I listen and do music, I actually see color. That’s what I would like them to do with the vaccine.

Robonzo 17:45
That sounds super fun. I mean, I’ve never heard anything to the contrary, but it sounds like a gift, you know, that? I wouldn’t mind having.

Lara Price 17:53
I know, what does this not like? And then it’s like

Robonzo 17:56
looking at the background of your Zoom.

Lara Price 18:00
Right? Yeah. And here’s the thing. What if it’s really dark music? Is it dark colors? Like if it’s some scary movie dark with the you know, a really dark theme? Would it be?

Robonzo 18:11
That’s a great question. I I always imagined it was something that’s based on melody that drives the colors.

Lara Price 18:18
You know, you just gave me an idea. I’m gonna put it out there. Hey, if you have this, when you’re a musician, I would like to interview you.

Robonzo 18:26
There’s a guy local to you. I’m gonna send you his name.

Lara Price 18:29
Okay. Anyway, I wanted to also know what’s your, what’s your intention for this song is?

Robonzo 18:39
Well, um, you know, this is first, like you said.

Lara Price 18:43
Yeah. World premier.

Robonzo 18:43
So yeah exacly. I’m, I’m now working on a video for it, which, sadly, that feels like starting all over, and now I have to create this other thing. I have a videographer, a local guy that’s done some music videos, I love his work. And I had this in this thing in my mind when I asked him he was gonna be all like into collaborating with me. But he’s basically left me to do that. And he’s waiting for me to you know, I, I cast one person to be in it. I’ll be in the intro, if it all works out as I scripted it, but

Lara Price 19:14
Playing drums or guitar or both?

Robonzo 19:15
Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no performance in the video.

Lara Price 19:18
Being a person.

Robonzo 19:19
Yeah, just at the beginning. And then I’ll have a young woman in there for the rest of it. And so yeah, it’s just like, Oh, wow. You know, I’m trying to do something a little cinematic. And

Lara Price 19:29
Yeah, [it’s, you know] Do you have a storyboard?

Robonzo 19:33
I have a script. [Yeah.] Yeah.

Lara Price 19:36
Wow. Look at you with a video. I’ve never done a video.

Robonzo 19:40
Really?

Lara Price 19:41
I don’t think so. I think I’ve been in, I’ve been in videos, you know people’s music videos, but I’ve never I’ve never done my own video.

Robonzo 19:47
That surprises me.

Lara Price 19:49
Well no, that I guess that’s not true. I guess I do little mini videos all the time, but not not like not like with script. And if there were, if people were in it, they didn’t know they were in it.

Robonzo 20:01
Well, you know, there’s a guy I’ve had on and you know, several people I’ve had on do this, but there’s this one guy I think of a lot because he does these great videos. He’s based in Oak Cliff, I think I might have talked about him once with you, but he has all these people in his videos, and I’m like, how do you pay those people? He goes, Oh, they don’t get paid? Because like, hey, one guy. Yeah, I pay one guy. [To shoot.] Yeah, but he talked about how he does that. And I thought, well, yeah, who has? I’m thinking, like, I didn’t even think that I’m like, sure you have a bunch of friends. What are they’re gonna come hang out with you for a day or two to do this? But anyway, he just talked about how that works. And I always remember that. So I’m not going to have so many people. So that will be good. But I guess the point of mentioning him is he does these great videos. And, you know, when I started thinking of people to talk to, yourself included about, you know, what do I do to release this thing, right? [Yeah.] And he goes, I’ve never had much luck without a video. And I was thinking I was going to do one anyway. So. So yeah.

Lara Price 20:58
Are you gonna do Vimeo? YouTube? You know, did you get another platform?

Robonzo 21:02
I haven’t even gotten that far. That’s a great question.

Lara Price 21:06
I would recommend both.

Robonzo 21:07
Yeah. Okay.

Lara Price 21:08
Have you shopped around any kind of distribution? Or are you just gonna do one offer for like an EP?

Robonzo 21:14
You know, I, something interesting happened when I shared it with a friend who’s been in the business a long time, he had some, some fame and fortune as a, in a band. And he’s just short time into his own solo career. But he’s on a, he has a label venture, he’s partnering with a good size label. And he heard it and said, Do an album on I’ll put it on my label. I’m like, Really?

Lara Price 21:39
That’s nice.

Robonzo 21:40
Yeah. So I’ll, you know, I’ll at least try and do a half a dozen tunes, but I’m my intention is to do 10, so

Lara Price 21:46
Does, does he have people in his wheelhouse that he would be sending that to? Because that’s the record deal that I had, it really was more distribution. So they had, they have the, the list of radio stations and festivals. They weren’t trying to shop me as a way to get a gig, but just to play it. [Yeah.] So you know, a friend has that.

Robonzo 22:15
Yeah. You know, that’s a great question. I am, you know, he owes me a call when he has time. But I said, you know, can we can we talk a little bit so I can understand what this means. This is all new to me. Right. But But thank you for sharing that because it’s, I assume, yes. But I don’t know what he’s getting into.

Lara Price 22:31
Being on label doesn’t mean what it used to.

Robonzo 22:33
Yeah. Well, and I’ve gathered that much.

Lara Price 22:34
I meant it does help.

Robonzo 22:35
Sure. Yeah. Yeah.

Lara Price 22:37
It’s helped me.

Robonzo 22:38
I know, I know that. I think it’s a partnership with the same label he’s used, but I know that they do that stuff for him. So I presume that that’s kind of the model he would be doing. But you know, beyond that, I haven’t, I haven’t set myself on the digital distribution aspect of it, but I thought I should probably do that pretty soon. I don’t think I realized like, I don’t know what the the lead time is for doing that. Yeah.

Lara Price 23:06
BMI? ASCAP? Have you registered it?

Robonzo 23:10
Mmm mmm. No.

Lara Price 23:11
Yeah. That, see, this is the stuff that I’m not a fan of when it comes to writing, you know, releasing a record is all this stuff. It’s not my favorite, but you got you have to do it. I mean, you know, yeah, you’ll get paid if it gets played. So that’s what you’re looking for.

Robonzo 23:26
Yeah, that’s a good one, too. Thank you. Well,

Lara Price 23:29
Yeah, like I just received a check for like, 100 bucks, I’d probably get like, $100 check every month for people downloading my stuff. And it’s like at point o one cents, but whatever. It’s $100 later.

Robonzo 23:41
Yeah, sure. That’s great. That’s great.

Lara Price 23:44
Yeah, so get it on Spotify. Get it played on Pandora, make sure it’s on iTunes. You know, everyone’s big thing now is Bandcamp. Have you heard that one? Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Robonzo 23:55
Yeah, we talked about it briefly last time.

Lara Price 23:58
I think I need to get on that train too. Maybe I can sell some of my older records because it’s like just suggest your own price right?

Robonzo 24:06
It’s an, that’s an option. Yeah.

Lara Price 24:07
Yeah, I would do that for my older stuff for sure. It just gets the music out there like whatever you know,

Robonzo 24:15
Totally. You know, it’s like they say about podcasting, have it in as many places as you can.

Lara Price 24:19
Mm hmm. Yeah and you’re not your Nashville friend you need to you need to pick her brain about getting it into some kind of like into some kind of songwriting groups, so that you can submit it for like movies or tv or whatever.

Robonzo 24:31
Yeah, that’s definitely on my laundry list and I yeah, I intentionally very intentionally had a lyric-less, Well, I have all this all the tracks for it. So that’s, so I got two mixes of it to final mixes one without the lyrics for that reason.

Lara Price 24:45
Mm hmm. Awesome. I mean, that’s a it’s a lot of work. I mean, you write a song and then there’s then the work actually begins.

Robonzo 24:54
Exactly. And here I am with the you know, decided I need to do a video like feels like I’m doing another song.

Lara Price 25:01
It’s heavy, it’s heavy. That’s a heavy load. I mean, like a video. That’s why I’m not, I do my own videos, and they’re really they’re not produced like what you’re doing. So that’s kind of exciting though.

Robonzo 25:11
It is. I haven’t told anyone this, you know, imagine my wife might notice I’ve trash talked about it. But I’ve always kind of had this fantasy of doing some sort of independent film work. So I’ll go and get my feet wet with a music video.

Lara Price 25:25
Yeah, but hey, you know, if you’re an artist, you’re an artist, you know, dip your toes in all kinds of creative venue.

Robonzo 25:32
Right? I wouldn’t be the first who didn’t know anything about it.

Lara Price 25:35
Right? Well, yeah. You can pick the brains of all your friends that do know.

Robonzo 25:40
Exactly. So, yeah. When are you going to record another song?

Lara Price 25:46
I know, I know. It’s, it’s, I know, I’ve been on this weird thing where it’s like, oh, it takes me five years to record a record.

Robonzo 25:54
That’s life man, that’s life.

Lara Price 25:58
Yeah.

Robonzo 25:58
That reminds me. And this is not a question to answer, but just something I’ll throw out there. But you know, one of the things I thought in trying to put together 10 songs is I should probably look at, you know, collaborating with some people. And I would love to do a blues tune and, you came to mind in terms of perhaps penning some melody for me for that and working with on it. So anyway, keep in the back of your mind. And if it’s something of interest.

Lara Price 26:27
If you had some kind of, you know, chord progression or use some kind of thing. What I’ve been doing, you know, and I can’t remember if I told you, so I apologize, is that I’ve been working with already baked in tracks in GarageBand. Basically, already written songs, chord progressions and whatnot. But you can change like the instrumentation, you can have an acoustic guitar versus a electric guitar, and you can make it yours in that way. So I’ve been just writing to what’s already there. And it’s been really good for me, too. And I’ve been putting all kinds of backup vocals to the maximus. [Cool.] I’m just like itching, you know, that scratch that I have for harmonies?

Robonzo 27:09
Yeah. So how does

Lara Price 27:10
So that’s helpful.

Robonzo 27:10
How does that work? When you’re, you know, can you take those baked in tracks and actually write something and tool it so that it’s an original piece?

Lara Price 27:18
Yeah. [That’s cool.] I’ve written like 12 of them.

Robonzo 27:21
Very nice.

Lara Price 27:22
And they’re all like under a minute 30. So like, I call it Laura’s mini songs. So to answer your question, the short answer is I do plan on releasing my mini songs, like, this is what happened in COVID, these.

Robonzo 27:34
Yeah that’s cool.

Lara Price 27:35
And then um there, like, all a minute and a half, you know. [Yeah.] And [Why?] written specifically for fans, because I really didn’t want to write, like, you know, 4 million verses. And I wanted to keep it to the point I wanted to bridge in there. I wanted a couple verses and and some choruses. That’s it, you know, no, we’re not going on for five minutes on a song. Get to the point, and so I didn’t want to commit myself, you know, if they’re paying me 30 bucks a song to like five hours worth of work, which actually became anyway, because I was having fun with it. So, you know, like, monetarily, it really wasn’t paying me, right. But it did help me just kind of have a purpose. And I wrote him for fans about their friends or whatever they told me to do. Yeah. So I guess that’s what I’m saying to you. Like, if you have an idea or some kind of thing, then just send it over. And I’ll see what I can do with it.

Robonzo 28:30
Yeah, cool. Well, we’ll talk we’ll talk offline about it. And so I know where your sort of comfort zone is, in terms of how you how you write what you write on [Process.]. Yeah, yeah. So I know, because like, I was imagining, you know, you, I don’t even know, but I imagined us like, Oh, you write songs on piano sometimes and I didn’t?

Lara Price 28:48
True.

Robonzo 28:49
You do?

Lara Price 28:49
True. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And guitar. But this, this, I kind of really gotten to the GarageBand thing, because it had some, so much more than I couldn’t do myself. And [It’s a good idea] for efficient, you know, and there was some, there were some cool things in there. And I guess it’s no longer available, because I was super old Mac. So the upgraded the dated version of GarageBand doesn’t even have this feature called Magic Garageband. But they have six different genres to choose from. And endless amounts of infinite amounts of combinations for every genre.

Robonzo 29:25
That’s interesting.

Lara Price 29:26
There’s even a reggae genre that you can like, manipulate all the instruments suited to whatever you want. Pretty awesome.

Robonzo 29:34
You know, there’s something else for like, I don’t know if this would appeal to you, but maybe it would, and you’d be really good at it, I’m sure. But there’s this app called Humtap. [Mm hmm.] And it’s an it’s an, it’s an AI based app, but what you can do with it, So if you’re somebody that doesn’t maybe play guitar proficiently, but you have this great melody idea, you you literally hum it out, and you can learn literally, you know, tap the drum progression that you think you want on your desk or whatever. And it records that. And then you, from what I understand, you feed it information like genre, and whatever else you could use for that, and yeah, and they they give you something back that they think, you know you’re going for with it [Yeah] I mean, their basically building a song off your hum. [Cool] Yeah, I thought you might like that. And you probably be super good at because you have the great you know melodic voice and you know, all that. So, yeah, well, you understand how things should, you know, progressions should work. So that’s a big help. So

Lara Price 30:35
Well, I just know what I like to hear. I don’t know that it’s always good. But I just know that I like songs that have those three pieces in it. And I was really glad to see a bridge in your song.

Robonzo 30:45
I love, you know, that’s gonna be one of the things that’s gonna be the hardest for me, because I love a certain type of bridge. I love a good bridge. And like, that’s the hard part, isn’t it? You know, to learn to do those things?

Lara Price 30:58
Um, I don’t think that especially the hard part. For me. What’s hard about? Well, the hard part about the most challenging about a bridge for me is that, in my through my eyes, a bridge holds a lot of tension. And it resolves in a place that’s, and it resolves with a with a chorus usually, or, or, or, usually. And my challenge is always like, lyrically, what do I want to say right there? Because it’s so important. Like, it’s a key moment in the song that’s usually pretty memorable. I don’t know, but that could just be me projecting my love of bridges.

Robonzo 31:39
Yeah, it’s the way, it’s the way you love them, too. Like, for me, it was like, Okay, I need something that I don’t know, I wanted something that is a little, seems dramatic to me, you know, I was more focused on trying to find the right melody than I was the lyric. Which is not

Lara Price 31:56
Both, it’s both.

Robonzo 31:57
Yeah,

Lara Price 31:57
Definitely. Especially if you find a great melody, and you’re like, Oh, my gosh, that’s a great melody. What am I gonna say on that? I have, I have one of my mini songs. It’s mostly written except for the bridge part, because I just can’t, I just put it put on pause, so I could just pontificate on it for a while and let it marinate around.

Robonzo 32:15
For the lyric or for the melody?

Lara Price 32:17
The lyric. But sometimes you’ll change the melody of the lyric allows it like, Hey, this is a great lyric, why don’t we change the melody to fit that? How can we do that? Yeah, it’s just a puzzle.

Robonzo 32:28
Well, my experience on guitar, Lara, is like, I gotta find lyrics that fit in this because I’m gonna go create a lot of variations. So it worked out.

Lara Price 32:38
Well your lyrics, your lyrics are great. I mean, you tell a nice story. And I think what I’ve, what I’ve learned is like, is just, you know, to let’s tell a story. And before I was just, I wasn’t really thinking about stuff like that. Maybe I had something to say, but I don’t know I’ve been songwriting is a lot more fun than it used to be. That’s for sure.

Robonzo 33:01
That’s good. I didn’t, I didn’t even focus too much on telling a story, although I know I did, or I hope I did. But, you know, I would love to develop the gift of just writing a terribly catchy lyric that can mean so many different things. But maybe, I don’t know, you know, it’s like, my first one, but maybe I’m just gonna be, you know, constantly grasping at stories. And that’s okay. People like stories, right? And as long as the

Lara Price 33:28
They love stories, so they really love stories. I didn’t. I didn’t get that till later. Like, five CDs in I was like, Oh, I should probably maybe tell a story is better.

Robonzo 33:41
You know that’s one thing I’ve learned from talking to so many songwriters is, that is where I learned that through the podcasts like wow, these people are really, there’s a lot more storytellers out there than I realized. And it’s usually it’s usually like the, you know, well, in my case, where I learned that from it was the like a full guitar player or songwriter. Now, you know, I’ve had this guy on somewhat recently met Matt James with Black Top Mojo, and they’re just a heavy band and I, when I listen to their music, I don’t usually, it takes me a long time before I ever latch on to any story of a song. I’m usually even all the lyrics. I’m listening to the melodies and the, the musicianship, and when I hear their songs is like a lot of, you know, aggressive, cool riffs in in his vocals, or, you know, they’re not like, you know, Pantera vocals or anything, but you know, he’s really getting after it. [The Rock] Yeah, really getting after it. So I don’t know if he I haven’t talked to him about that, you know, developing stories, but maybe he does. Yeah, I would think anybody wants to.

Lara Price 34:45
In the past when I written I, it was a lot of vocal, vocally driven, like, what do I want it, what feels good to sing, because I could sing so many different types of things. And there’s certain notes that feel really great in a song. And it’s like, Okay, what do I want to say right there with that note, you know, or this riff. So a lot of my stuff has been melody driven also, like your song was more for me, I was paying more attention to like the melody and like the guitar playing sounds excellent. And those are the things that stood out to me, you know, and and how well it was mixed. Like you can break a song with the wrong mix. So kudos to your friend Chris there.

Robonzo 35:25
He’s amazing. I’m, I was already thinking, oh, gosh, I hope I can get him for the other ones. You know,

Lara Price 35:32
Yeah because, you know, his mixing style is gonna need to be consistent. Yeah, you know, so you probably should get the same guy.

Robonzo 35:40
Yeah, I suppose. But yeah, I mean, hey, if he can’t? Well, I don’t know. We’ll see. I guess it depends on what I send him. Right. If he likes it. So we’ll see if he likes it, and I can pay him. [Right.] Right. Oh, I wanted to ask you about singing lessons. Are you still doing them? And how did they work? Because like I was telling you, I’ve had one. So I don’t really know what different people do. We talked about this. Once you were asking me, you were actually you were asking me about the experience. And I was telling you that I wasn’t as well prepared for the, the, you know, the virtual lesson experience. So I killed some time. And that was my fault. I don’t think, you know, but how do you do them? I mean, what do they like?

Lara Price 36:24
Well, I’m 10 weeks in, I’m glad you’re asking me that I’m 10 weeks into teaching on zoom voice lessons, which is incredibly challenging.

Robonzo 36:32
Really?

Lara Price 36:33
Oh my gosh, because you can’t be there, you can’t be there to, you know, to sing together. Um, a lot of my students, we’d sing together, and then we, you know, like, take off the training wheels, which would be me, and they would do it. So but I’ve, it’s a back and forth, it’s a back and forth. Basically, when she’s singing I’m not singing. I I’ve managed to make it work. This this night, this 10 year old little girl is learning songs on on, you know, singing through zoom somehow, and we’ve made it work. You know, yeah. So we do like a half hour every week, and we do a warm up. And it’s more like, I sing and then you sing, I sing and then you sing. And then if you have something to say to improve or critique, you know, some kind of like the the way you’re singing then I’ll stop. And we’ll and I’ll say, well, why don’t you try to sing it like this. Or if that’s too low, why don’t you do that. And so it’s just back and forth, you know, which is, and I have a piano at home that I’ll either sit in front of, or I’ll pull up a digital keyboard on the computer, and we’ll do skit, we’ll do exercises with that, so that we can know that we’re in pitch. And as far as learning actual songs, it’s more about like, Well, what do you want to work on, you know, and so in this case for you, I might, you know, listen to this song again, and pick out some parts that I think that maybe I could help you with, or and I definitely would want to see you sing it, so that I can say hey, okay, so right there. Maybe if you open your mouth a little bit more, you can get that note out a little bit stronger, if that’s what your intention is, you know, so it’s, it’s, it is highly visual, visual two, so if I can see you doing it, then I can see what your your habits are that you’ve created for yourself, you know, over the years with singing, and there’s, there’s it’s incredibly physical. So that was kind of the long answer but

Robonzo 38:35
No, it’s alright.

Lara Price 38:35
It is possible. It is possible and

Robonzo 38:40
Sure. And the young girl does she have like much special gear or she just doing it on an iPad or?

Lara Price 38:48
She’s just doing it on her laptop? [Okay.] We don’t have special gear. She’s actually a foster child now adopted child.

Robonzo 38:56
Oh, you’re working through the organization? That guy? Yeah. Brian Wolf.

Lara Price 39:05
Yeah, yes. Brian Wolf, right. Yep. Yep. Yep. So it’s a great program.

Robonzo 39:11
That’s nice, Laura, that you’re doing that?

Lara Price 39:13
You know, just as an adoptee myself? I know. I can relate with these kids.

Robonzo 39:18
I forgot. Yeah.

Lara Price 39:19
Yeah I mean, it’s just like a really good match. [Yeah.] And why not? You know, why not? It’s it gives back as much as much as it gives to them. So

Robonzo 39:29
That’s cool.

Lara Price 39:31
Being a musician’s hard. So somebody, if I had a mentor at 10 years old, telling me Yeah, sing, do it. You know, it’d be nice.

Robonzo 39:42
Yeah. Honestly, I wish I had somebody encouraging me more when I was younger, cuz I didn’t start trying to be more serious about it until maybe the last well, it when when I was in the Bay Area, you know, as being working with people that you know had good vocal abilities. And here I’m wanting to seeing and, you know, trying to up my game, but then approaching these last couple years, I’m trying to be more serious about it and

Lara Price 40:11
Yeah

Robonzo 40:12
So certainly wish I’d have had it more from the beginning, you know from longer. Never too late.

Lara Price 40:18
Yeah, well, if you want if you if you’re interested in voice lessons, I’d be happy to take you on a student. I, I don’t it originally, I didn’t want to take on a lot of students even in person, because I didn’t want that job of babysitting kids.

Robonzo 40:34
Sure.

Lara Price 40:34
So I would often take on like an adult, you know, somebody really wants to learn. So, yeah, I’d love to work with you. I’d be happy to, you know, do a lesson with you and you can see what you think.

Robonzo 40:49
Cool, yeah, yeah, I want to get better.

Lara Price 40:52
Well, I was operatically trained. So I can I can teach you the good stuff.

Robonzo 40:56
That’s right. That’s right. That’s a plus.

Lara Price 40:59
It saved my ass for like my whole career.

Robonzo 41:01
Oh, I bet you have a beautiful voice. All right, I’m not gonna keep you any longer and I get to go I get to go chat with my heroine for the video for the first time.

Lara Price 41:09
Okay, awesome.

Robonzo 41:11
So yeah,

Lara Price 41:12
Do you think you got a, do you think you got what you need there?

Robonzo 41:14
Yeah, I think I got at least a couple of good snippets for sure.

Lara Price 41:18
Well, if you if you go through it, you’re like, we need to do this again. Because we kind of started you know it backwards. There was actually questions I had in, you know, in store for you, but we did them all out of order.

Robonzo 41:29
It’s okay, we’re we’re too well acquainted.

Lara Price 41:31
Well, I can’t wait to hear it.

Robonzo 41:33
Thank you.

Lara Price 41:35
All right.

Robonzo 41:36
Talk to you later.

Lara Price 41:37
Bye, have a great weekend.

Robonzo 41:38
You too. See you later.

Lara Price 41:39
Thanks, bye.

Robonzo 41:40
This episode was powered by Bandzoogle, the easiest all-in-one professional website platform for musicians and bands. With Bandzoogle you can create a beautiful website that’s as unique as your music. Bandzoogle websites feature selling tools so you can sell directly to fans on your own terms, with no commission sales. Bandzoogle also helps you see how fans are using your website with interactive visitor reports. You can Choose a free custom .com web address and get a blazing fast reliable website with best-in-class hosting technology. Bandzoogle takes care of the technical details so you can focus on your music. My artist website is on Bandzoogle and I love it, but see for yourself. Go to Bandzoogle.com to start your 30 day free trial. Use the promo code “robonzo” to get 15% off your first year.  Go to Bandzoogle.com, use the promo code “robonzo,” R O B O N Z O, to start your free trial today.

Robonzo 42:38
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Robonzo 43:29
Did you know you can help other independent artists find this podcast by subscribing on Apple podcast or wherever you are listening to your podcast these days. It really does help, so I hope you will consider it. And if you have feedback, please go to UnstarvingMusician.com to get all my contact info, you can text me call me email me leave a voice message right there on that page, just go down to the bottom of the page and you’ll find everything you need to know I really would love to hear any of your comments, suggestions, questions, whatever you’ve got. And you can find links to just about everything talked about in this episode at UnstarvingMusician .com/Podcast. All right, I’m peacing out. Thank you for listening and sharing with your musician friends and fellow indie music, fans. Peace, gratitude and a whole lot of love

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