I have become a huge fan of music and not the stuff on the radio. Even though I do have a pop culture whore status. I like taking the time to find bands online or in bars that haven’t  made it to the airwaves. These are the bands that keep the music industry alive. This is the first I’m With The Band. We will be interviewing independent, local and undiscovered bands from all across the country. Our first interview is with the lead singer of the band, Broken September, Amber Newberry.

TBZ: Amber, How are you doing? 
AN-Great! Spending a lot of time at work (but that’s the way retail is around the holidays, haha)

Who are some of your musical influences? 
Nightwish and Sonata Arctica are two of the biggest, but I draw a lot of inspiration from Judas Priest, Stratovarious and epic soundtrack music and musicals. I like anything that sounds dramatic and theatrical.

Before we get to the meat and potatoes of this interview, What was behind the idea for Kandi Hart?

Kandi Hart was a project I worked on with Austin Doral (lounge Musician). The theme was meant to be a sort of joke on the 80’s female pop icons; Debbie Gibson, Madonna, Cindi Lauper and Tiffany. However, the lyrics had a dark comedy to them. Instead of writing songs about love and shopping and such, we wrote about drug addiction, politics, zombies, slashers… you get the idea. Even though the songs were all about very dark subjects, the music was ironically very happy and peppy sounding. It was the contrast which made the Kandi Hart franchise funny. Unfortunately, there was some turmoil between the writers and Kandi Hart became a thing of the past, the last song was a remix known as “Spaceship of my Love: Black Hole Mix”, which was completed around 2005. Oddly enough, several years after Kandi Hart was a comedic musical project, the pornography business usurped the name (spelled exactly the same, too). 

Can give you the readers a link to Kandi Hart and not the porn star?
The old website has been removed at this point, but I recently posted a myspace page with some of the music for the few fans who still exist, it can be viewed at the following address:

The main reason we are here, Broken September. For readers not familiar with Broken September, how would you describe your music?

Sure! Broken September is a mixture of many types of music but I would say the most prevalent genre would be Melodic Metal. There is a classical edge and sometime a Celtic feel in the music, as well. Some would call the style Neo-Classical Metal or Shred.

What type of people does your music reach?

All kinds of folks! I’ve heard of people who just like your usual radio-friendly music listening to Broken September, but I know others who have only the strictest Heavy Metal sound diet who also have a taste of our music. So I guess there is really no limit, music is all in the ear of the beholder.

Who besides yourself make up the band?
The band consists of myself (vocals, lyrics and sometimes keyboard) and Sebastien Gabriel (guitars, bass, drums and composition), who is an extraordinary musician from Lausanne, Switzerland. Sebastien has been making music for a long time and spent some time on mini-tours in Switzerland. He recently began work on a resurrection of a band he had been in several years ago, called Chess. (http://www.myspace.com/chessfromSwitzerland)

Describe to us the writing process and music composition for one of your songs?

Generally, a song will begin with Sebastien composing a piece of music, which he will then e-mail to me. I will listen to the piece and see what it makes me feel. I come up with an idea for the story of the song and begin to write my lyrics. Once this part is done, I record my vocals, sometimes several layers of them (which can be seen in the song “The Nightingale” which has about 9 harmonic layers of vocals in the chorus). Then I send the song back to Sebastien for critique, then I fix anything that needs fixing and send all of the vocal parts back to him in pieces. Sebastien then puts them all back together, like a puzzle, masters the song, adds any little extra parts or guitar solo’s and at this point the song is complete! It may sound like an exhausting process, but since there is a small language barrier and the issue of distance, it is the easiest way for us to work together. To be honest, Sebastien and I have never met or even spoken over the phone. Our correspondence has been solely through e-mail and snail mail!

What has been the biggest obstacle so far?

Definitely the distance. However, in 2003, I lost most of my musical recording equipment and have not been able to replace it since then, which has made it incredibly hard to keep up the project. But that doesn’t stop us from trying. I am hoping to have new and better equipment available to me in the very near future.

With bands like Evanescence, Paramore and Halestorm having huge success with a female lead vocalist, Do you think that we will start seeing more women in the Rock Genre?

Absolutely. To be honest, though, women have been in the Rock Genre for a very long time, it’s just didn’t become all that popular until recently. Remember the legends, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Heart… the list goes on and on. Then in recent years bands that had a big emphasis on the symphonic metal genre: Nightwish, Epica, Xandria, Within Tempation. And more recently, Evanescence, Paramore and Halestorm. There is a very rich history of women in rock music, it just didn’t become popular until recently.

What is Broken September long term goal?
-There are lots of goals. The main one is to start making new music again, get back on our feet as a musical group. Then release a new album, and I hope that someday Sebastien and I will finally meet face to face. It would be cool to jam with him, especially since most bands have the luxury of “jamming” together whenever they want, it would be an interesting experience for us.

Do you have new music on the way?
-There are 2 songs in the writing process, at the moment. They have been on the table for a long time, but only recently did I have the ability to begin work on recording and writing for these new pieces. So, yes, there is certainly some new material on the way!

Can you give us a link to all things Broken September?

Amber is there anything else you would like to add?
I’d like to say thanks to all of the fans who’ve been waiting for new music to emerge from Broken September, there’s certainly more of you than I initially realized as I have been receiving many messages recently asking about 2nd albums and news. Hang in there, guys! We’ll have new material ready for your listening pleasure, soon! 

A big thank you to lead vocalist of Broken September, Amber Newberry. Check out the Broken September page, you will not be disappointed. That wraps up the first edition of I’m With The Band. Stay tuned to The Buzz Kill Blog for more entertainment comedy and info.