THE EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT TERAMI PAGE!!!

I’m sure that you get asked this all of the time: How do you pronounce your name?

Terami (rhymes with Jeremy),  growing up, people called me “Ami”-basically, the last half of Terami, but pronounced like “Amy”. Now it’s weird if anyone other than childhood friends or my family calls me that.  I’m much happier having my full name.

Birthday?
March 1/Pisces

Do you have any family (brothers or sisters)?
I have a younger sister. We look nothing alike!

What was your family life like (growing up as a child)?

Hard question to answer. I feel it is hard to tow the line between honesty and censorship.  I don’t want to hurt any feelings if I say something unflattering. So, the best way to explain is that I was the peacekeeper. I was quiet and reserved and sensitive.  Unfortunately, there was an underlying war in my family and that caused me a great deal of stress. My parents separated when I was 17.and were finally divorced about 2 years later.. Family life has never been easy.

Favorite books?
The Princess Bride, 1984, A Clockwork Orange, Alice in Wonderland, The Harry Potter series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics,  I’m your basic escapist junkie.

Favorite foods?
Chocolate, cheese, root beer floats, pasta primavera

Favorite TV shows?
Buffy, Angel, Alias

Favorite movies?
The Princess Bride, Memento, American Movie, Stand By Me, Sliding Doors

Favorite musical artists?
I had a spiritual experience when I saw Lexaunculpt perform a few years back.  Also, although I’ve only seen video footage of her, I’d have to say Sarah Slean is AMAZING!

Any musical artists (or others) who have inspired you?

I’ve been inspired by Bob Dylan & Paul Simon for their storytelling, Kate Bush for her flawless voice, Tori Amos for making the piano cool, Aimee Mann for BEING cool, Bjork for being Bjork, and Robyn Hitchcock for making me laugh and squirm.

But here are the REAL inspirations cuz what they do,they do without the fanfare and fortune...they do it for love:

Jennifer Terran (http://www.jenniferterran.com)
Mia Doi Todd (http://www.miadoitodd.com)
Mary Timony (http://www.marytimony.com)
Charlotte Martin (http://www.charlottemartin.com)
Vienna Teng (http://www.viennateng.com)
Idaho (http://www.idahomusic.com)
Two Loons for Tea (http://www.twoloons.com)
Imogen Heap (http://www.froufrou.net)

Outside of music, I’ve been inspired by Andy Kaufman.  He had his own rules.

Any favorite/funny memories that you could share with us?

One of the strangest things that ever happened to me: I was traveling between Dublin and Paris. I ended up hitting my head on an iron pillar (don’t ask) in the Dublin airport parking lot and ended up with a bloody forehead, a concussion, and a massive headache. I spent my only week in Paris with a bandaged head.  Not sexy.

Long story short, when I arrived at my hotel in Paris, it turned out to be in the red light district and I was solicited by about 5 people in my first 10 minutes walking down the street to the phonebooth.  Then, I saw the phonebooth, didn’t realize it was glass (thought it was open) and RAN smack into the glass wall which bounced me back in the street-and into oncoming traffic.

The good news was that because of this whole incident, I met a nice frenchman who took pity on the bandaged, clumsy American and gave me a tour of the city.

Any favorite/funny memories of past musical performances?

One of the craziest shows was at a small club in LA. We were expectiing a good turnout (it was on a Friday night), but for some reason NO ONE showed up!  It was humiliating. We finally started playing to the sound man, and then a few drunk couples stumbled into the room.  They stayed for the whole set and ended up heckling us the entire time. But I had a BLAST! Toughened me as a performer and forced me to laugh at myself and my prissy nature. Of course, I’ll never be welcome to play at that club again.

What are your hobbies or favorite activities?
Writing in my journal, listening to music on headphones, watching Buffy (RIP), reading music business publications, surfing the internet, working out, taking naps.

Any current pets?
None.  But I love bunny rabbits!!

What was the first album/cd you ever bought? First concert ever attended?

The first album I ever owned was Michael Jackson-Thriller. It was a gift. I don’t know the first album I ever bought myself... hmm...maybe it was the soundtrack to Stand By Me.  The first famous-person concert I ever attended was a Tori Amos perfomance in 1994.  The tickets were a birthday gift from friends who paid an extreme amount to a scalper and then hid the tickets in a box of cornflakes and handed it to me.

Your thoughts & feelings about learning piano as a child?  Did your parents have to “force” you into taking lessons?

From about the age of two or three I showed an interest in piano.  I actually BEGGED to learn how to play and would perch on adults’ laps when they would sit at the piano so I could watch their hands. Sometimes, they let me put my hands over theirs so I could feel like I was playing too.

So, from my perspective, giving me lessons was probably the most supportive thing my parents could have ever done for me. They “forced” me into other things (sports) and that didn’t turn out so well.

In terms of practicing , I would only play my rehearsal pieces for 15 minutes each day.  I was supposed to play for an hour, but I learned the music very quickly and got lazy. Any other time I spent at the piano, I spent writing my own dorky songs.

I think parents should pay attention to their childrens’ interests and encourage them. I also think if a child doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in anything, a parent should still encourage lessons in different things, but they need to be willing to let it go if the child doesn’t enjoy the work.  Hopefully, perseverance will pay off and they’ll stumble onto something the child can feel good about. The key is to give children something to make them feel powerful and GOOD. If they feel that, then they’ll be able to motivate themselves.

What is the typical songwriting process like for you?

Sometimes I’ll be walking down the hall or in the shower or something random, and I’ll get a nice hook. I’ll run to the keyboard and plunk it out. But unless the hand of god strikes my fingers, my songs tend to come while I’m sitting at the piano and doodling around.  I never know what the song will sound like or what it will be about until I start writing. After the first gush of words and melody, things start to get a little harder and I begin to slave over every syllable and beat. Some of my songs are written in less than an hour.  Most of them are written over a period of several months. It just depends on how generous the gods are.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

As a nerdy teenager, my best friend and I tried to switch bodies.  Apparently it freaked her out, but I thought it was cool.  We created a little ritual and everything.  As a kid, I liked creating rituals.  I was very into potions and things, and my mom said I was always in the backyard making “witches’ brew” in the mud.

Any thoughts on the talents, sexual exploitation etc.of artists currently going on in the music industry?

Maybe it’s surprising, but I’m very lenient in my opinion about talent.  Sure, there are a lot of artists who are in the public right now that I don’t get excited about. However, I can look at some of these artists and really appreciate their strong ability to ENTERTAIN. I’m not going to comment negatively on talent unless I’m damn sure I could kick their pants in a talent contest!

***I have to add my little comment in here: I would bet that all Terami fans agree that Terami could kick the whole “lot” of top 40 artists into oblivion!!!***

The sexual exploitation issue...well, I feel any inappropriate image for young talent is repugnant. I feel as strongly about sexualizing young artists as I do making them into kiddie gangsters.

The sad thing for me is that it sends a message to the artist  that their image is more important than their talent. I can see where it would give a sensitive artist a real complex-not to mention the complex their image is giving to all the fans!

What are your feelings on being an independent artist vs. having a record label?

At this point in my career, being independent is just a function.  It’s not so much a choice.  I LOVE that being independent has given me some flexibility, choices, and creative freedom. Unfortunately, being independent doesn’t give me any financial or career support, so everything comes out of pocket and I wake up most mornings thanking the stars that I can do what I love for one more day.

Right now I’m trying to find some professional help, whether it be with management or a label in order to get more exposure and support for my work.

INTERVIEW UPDATE/March 2005

Any idea of a release date for Entropy 29?

Summer 2005.  

How is E29 different from your previous CD's?

 This is the first project that has consumed my life.  I learned how to produce, engineer, and mix an album on this record.  Besides the guest musicians who graced my songs and the mixing engineer who made it sound snappy, I did everything else myself.  I’m extremely proud of how it turned out.

In terms of music, I think it’s much darker than what I’ve written before.  We’ll see how it’s received, though.  Maybe someone will exclaim they’ve never heard a more summery record – which would floor me, but would not be surprising.  To me, this album is every season EXCEPT summer.

Were there any musicians or CD's that influenced you in the writing or recording of E29?

TONS.  While I was almost finished writing, I discovered Noe Venable’s music.  Her albums “Boots” and “The World is Bound by Secret Knots” continue to inspire me greatly for their sheer force of expressiveness.  And then just when I was finishing the production, I heard Bjork’s “Vespertine” for the first time.  To me, it’s magical, twinkling, and absolutely devastating.

During the whole project, I made sure to constantly fill my ears with a wide range of artists – really, too many to list – but some of the more listened albums were “The Dreaming” by Kate Bush, “Family Album” by Faun Fables, “Graceland” by Paul Simon and “Lullaby for Liquid Pig” by Lisa Germano.  And thrown into the mix were armies of songs by Radiohead, Idaho, Eric Metzgar, Sigur Ros, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, The Pixies, Jeff Buckley, The Dresden Dolls, Jennifer Terran, Odessa Chen, and Christine Fellows.

Also, I was greatly inspired by the poetry of Louise Glück, especially from her collection “Vita Nova”.  There was also the requisite readings of Alice in Wonderland – a book that has inspired me from project to project.  I doubt I will ever tire of untangling it’s meaning.

What was your songwriting process like for this album?

 At first, I just wrote songs.  Many, many songs.  As the list of pieces grew, I began to edit which ones I wanted to put together.  Then, I took notice of the common themes.  From there, I began to develop how I wanted to glue everything together.  The first batch of songs were celestial...but then they began to descend and become terrestrial songs with roots and gravel.  From there, I realized that almost everything was written from the perspective of recollection – instead of from the perspective of action.  

So the process was on – pulling from each territory to create a landscape with it’s feet on the ground, its head in the stars and its fingers trying to bridge the two.
 
Are the songs on E29 about a particular subject?

 It’s about science fiction and childhood.  More or less.

The song "Time Machine" is the perfect ending to Entropy 29. Why will it
not be on the official release of E29?

When I wrote Time Machine the one thing I knew to be true was that it
would be the opening song of the album. The original last song was supposed
to be Back to the Start. There was a whole cycle that was meant to happen
so everyone would know the album as a trip of time travel.

However, for melodic reasons I decided that Back to the Start shouldn't be
on the album. And once I cut the track, the narrative became lost and Time
Machine appeared unbalanced and too obvious. The rest of the tracks remain
- so it's still an album of time travel, but in an obscure, less direct sort
of way.

Will we get to hear any of the songs that were rejected from E29?

 I’ve already released the songs from (3 of X) - “Astronaut”, “1984”, and “Coming Around” - they were the first three songs we produced for the album, but I decided to change direction after I lived with them for a while.  We’re less electro now.  So none of them make an appearance on the album.

Also, I have the songs from Reject Ballads - “At the End of the Year” and “What if it All Falls Apart” - which are two piano/vocal demos.  I knew the songs didn’t belong on the album when I wrote them.  They don’t represent Entropy 29 at all, but they still have their own charm.  

And a few versions of “Intoxicated” have been floating around my website for a while.  

Will you be going on tour to promote E29?

I’d love to, but right now I don’t know how or when it’s going to happen.  I have all sorts of big plans, but a very limited view.  It’s always a balance, I’m afraid.
 

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