Tag Archives: Coldplay

the 10 things that were rejected by david bowie

Rock legend David Bowie performs on stage at the Forum in Copenhagen late 07 October 2003. == DENMARK OUT == AFP PHOTO NILS MEILVANG/SCANPIX NORDFOTO (Photo credit should read NILS MEILVANG/AFP/Getty Images)

As a musician on board, david bowie very selective in choosing a co-worker, duet, and everything. Reported by The Guardian, following the 10 things that were rejected by david bowie

1. Dave Grohl
News broke this week that David Bowie refused the offer to work with Dave Grohl, making him one of the few musicians ever not to have collaborated with the Foo Fighters’ leader. To be fair, nothing has emerged featuring Grohl performing with Father Abraham and the Smurfs, either, though we’ve heard rumours there’s a bootleg on the internet of the Foos performing The Smurf Song with Father Abraham at the Amsterdam Paradiso, but without any actual smurfs on stage. Grohl approached Bowie two years ago, asking him to sing on a piece of music for a film. Bowie’s response: “David, I watched the movie and I got to be honest, it’s not my thing … I’m not made for these times. So thanks, but I think I’m gonna sit this one out.” Grohl replied, and received a response from Bowie: “Alright, well that’s settled, then. Now f**k off.” Perhaps Bowie was worried that him plus a hard rock guitarist might have resulted in Tin Machine 3.

(Since publication of this article, many of you have alerted me to the fact that Grohl and Bowie did in fact work together on Heathen and at Bowie’s 50th birthday concert. I am going to listen to The Smurf Song on repeat all weekend as penance. Apologies.)

2. Coldplay
You want your hero to appear on one of your songs. The natural thing to do is to send them a recording and then wait. Your preferred response would be an email a couple of hours later with a vocal already recorded and attached. Failing that, you’d settle for a note saying: “Schedule’s busy, but let’s try to find some studio time.” You could probably understand silence – after all, heroes are busy people. What you might want least of all would be for said hero to respond: “It’s not a very good song, is it?” Which of those do you think happened when Coldplay approached Bowie?

3. Scottish independence
The Brit awards are famed as a platform for hard-hitting political campaigns. Remember that time in 2004 when Liberty X used winning best British single to call for a thorough investigation of HMRC’s complicity in allowing major corporations to minimise their tax burden? But Bowie’s words at the 2014 ceremony still came as a shock. First, there was the fact that he wasn’t speaking them, delegating that task to Kate Moss – you don’t think Bowie would have contemplated turning up to anything so vulgar as the Brits, do you? Then there was the content of them. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, consider yourself rejected. “Scotland, stay with us,” intoned Moss. And, lo, Scotland did indeed vote to stay part of the UK.

4. A knighthood
Bowie had already turned down a CBE in 2000 – “I seriously don’t know what it’s for,” he said – but Buckingham Palace doesn’t give up easily, what with the Queen being a huge fan of Bowie’s early-70s albums (she went off him a bit with Station to Station, but loves Low and “Heroes”). And so, in 2003, Bowie was offered a knighthood for having made “a major contribution to British life”. Again, he said no: “I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. It’s not what I spent my life working for.” Imagine how Chris Martin would have felt if that was how Bowie had rejected the Coldplay song.

5. A Danny Boyle musical
Like all good and sensible musicians, Bowie was prone to saying no to requests to use his music. You have to, if you don’t want to see Life on Mars being used on confectionary ads, or The Jean Genie advertising Gap, or Always Crashing in the Same Car soundtracking Top Gear. But what if someone who is respected in their own field comes to you, saying they want to make a movie about you? Maybe a hugely well-regarded film-maker like Danny Boyle, who has a script by the equally well-regarded Frank Cottrell Boyce. You still say no. Boyle said Bowie’s rejection left him “in grief”.

6. Doctor Who
Peter Capaldi said last autumn that he wanted David Bowie to be a guest star in Doctor Who. He had no chance. Doctor Who composer Murray Gold told Den of Geek in 2013 of his encounter with Bowie at an ice cream stall: “I said, ‘I write music for Doctor Who,’ and he said, ‘I’m not doing it.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ and he said, ‘They want me to do it.’ I don’t know what it means, to this day, but that’s what he said. I don’t know in what capacity, as an actor or as a musician.”

7. Flight of the Conchords
The New Zealand comedy-music duo were longtime Bowie fans, having written the song Bowie in Space years ago, and when they began their own series for US TV, they wrote an episode in which they were to be visited in a dream by Bowie. And who better to play Bowie than Bowie? Through intermediaries, they approached him. As the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement wrote in the Spinoff: “The someone we knew talked to the someone they knew’s friend of someone who represented him and possibly approached him about it. And he (or quite possibly merely a representative) said that he’d just done Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s Extras and didn’t want to do another thing acting as a version of him. He’d rather just continue being the actual him. Fair enough, so would we. We wouldn’t be meeting our hero. Through the disappointment I was extremely relieved. As exciting as it is to meet your hero, the relief of not having to meet them is another, quite different and pleasant feeling.”

8. Red Hot Chili Peppers
The world’s premiere funk-metal band with socks on their penises revealed earlier this year that they had repeatedly asked David Bowie to produce them. “In the beginning we would call him, and he would say no, respectfully,” singer Anthony Kiedis said. “Then, later, we would write long emails explaining everything, and why it was time for us to really get our ships on and he always respectfully declined.” He said no “two or three times” Kiedis said, though Brian Eno has turned down the group eight times. Fellas, take a hint.

9. A Bond film
Bowie was a man with a firm appreciation of his own talents, and while he doubtless would have been able to bring suitable villainy to the role of Max Zorin in A View to a Kill – a role eventually taken by Christopher Walken – it was the downsides that turned him off. Not the prospect of acting opposite Roger Moore, who was 57 and distinctly unactionlike by the time the film was released, but the idea of whether it was the best use of his time. “I didn’t want to spend five months watching my stunt double fall off cliffs,” he said.

10. Puss in Boots
Bowie, famously, learned a great deal from Lindsay Kemp – the dancer, mime artist and choreographer. He studied with Kemp in the 1960s “I taught him to express and communicate through his body,” says Kemp. “I taught him to dance. I taught him the importance of the look – makeup, costume, general stagecraft, performance technique. I gave him books to read and pictures to look at. We talked about kabuki, avant gardists, the world of the music hall, which we were both attracted to.” They worked together on many projects, but some didn’t come together. As Kemp told the Guardian earlier this year: “One Christmas, I asked him to play Puss in Boots in Musselburgh. His agent came back and said that £10 a week wasn’t really enough – could I get it up to £15? Management said no, we couldn’t. What Musselburgh missed!”

Source : www.theguardian.com

Tips for winning the audition for the voice


Yes, former contestants and winners have gone onto (or continued their) successful music careers, but if you’re doing this to be a star, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Hell, if you’re in music for fame and fortune, you might as well give up now. Music ain’t about that. And people see through false motivations and can sniff out inauthenticity a mile (or iPhone screen) away.

That being said, yes, The Voice has given many musicians’ careers bumps. You still have to be the one to drive your career. And you cannot (and should not ever) rely on others to run your entire career for you. Even if you win the whole damn show, you better surround yourself with people who believe in you, the artist, and want to stick with you for better or worse. Because, yes, right after you place well on the show there will be trophy chasers pounding down your door. You don’t want them. You want a manager that says “I’m not working with you because you were on The Voice, I’m working with you despite it.”

And you definitely can’t expect the labels to help you out.

“In that time, we do so much great shit for these singers, and then they go to a record label that I won’t mention. But they go to a record label that f**ks it up. Record labels are — our business is the worst right now. No one knows what they’re doing.” – Adam Levine

So, with all that said and you still want to audition for the TV SHOW, (yes, it’s a TV show, not meant to make musicians famous, but meant to increase ad buys during said TV SHOW) then here is what you need to do to win your audition.

These points are taken from many conversations I’ve had with former contestants who were bound to secrecy by the show for fear of a $100,000 fine. No joke. So, obviously, I’m not mentioning names here.

Pick The Right Songs

For the open call auditions, they want you to prepare two songs a cappella. No tracks or instruments are allowed. Open calls move quickly because they’re just trying to weed out all of the crap “talent.” For the callbacks/private auditions you can have accompanists (or accompany yourself) and they want you to prepare three songs – at least one song without your instrument (you can sing to a track).

Pick songs that have been popular in the past 5 years. The reason for this is at the callback audition they require it. So you might as well prepare these in advance and hope you get a callback.

And make sure that at least two of your songs are up beat. If you’re going to the open call, make them both up beat. At the callback/private audition, you can have two up beat and one chill tune. But it’s best to keep them all upbeat. However, if you can sing “Hello” like Adele, then go for it.

The casting directors (judges/producers) are looking for authenticity. They’re looking for artists. Not musical theater performers. They are looking for, yes, strong voices, but this doesn’t mean you need to be a belter or have vocal acrobatics. Just show what you do best. Some of the top 10s of previous seasons didn’t sing like Christina Aguilera or Brian McKnight. They sang like themselves. If you sound like Ray Lamontagne, Lorde, Halsey or Norah Jones, great! Pick songs that work in your vocal style and range.

One of the contestants I spoke to said he made the mistake of choosing “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga for the prerecorded track to sing to. He used the karaoke version (which sounds just like the original). He bounced around singing Lady Gaga after he just finished a Coldplay song on acoustic guitar. The judges loved his Coldplay song, but the Lady Gaga threw them and they stopped him and said, we love you, but we’re going to pass because you’re too inconsistent.

You have to have an established understanding of who you are as an artist. Not just a good singer. Home in on your style and your sound. Then show it off.

Dress The Part

It should go without saying, but you should dress like an artist. If you aren’t a working musician, this may seem awkward for you. If you work a 9-5 corporate job with a dress code and hang out with only your non-musical, non-artists friends, this will feel extra uncomfortable. Don’t go in there looking like a soulless corporate hack. They will judge you based on your look long before you open your mouth. Go in dressed like an artist. One that fits your personality. Your sound. Your style. If you don’t have an outfit in your wardrobe now, go shopping. Look up your favorite artists and study their wardrobe. You can use that as inspiration, but of course, make it your own.

Ladies, don’t show up in your tight, short clubbing dress. It’s unoriginal and this isn’t a beauty contest. Dudes, don’t show up in cargo shorts and Birkenstocks. Unoriginal.

Remember, they are looking for artists. Be an artist!

Own The Room

The show isn’t just casting good singers, they are casting good personalities. They are casting characters for their TV SHOW. Ok, I’m done hitting you over the head with that.

When you walk into the room, you want to OWN the room. You’ll have a bit more time at callbacks to shoot the shit with the casting directors/judges and you definitely should. And you want to initiate conversation. Don’t go in polite. Don’t go in like an arrogant asshole either. Go in confident and say something to them right away. It should feel and seem off the cuff. It should fit your personality and showcase what makes you special (aside from your voice of course). If you’re boisterous, be boisterous from the moment you walk in. Crack jokes, talk about what you just experienced in the hall. Be different. Be unique. If you have a dry sense of humor, tell a joke, quietly in the mic that works with your personality and the situation. Make them laugh. If you’re goofy be a goddam goofball. If you’re a tortured artist, then, you get the point. Don’t say the same boring thing everyone else is going to say “uh, thank you for your time.” Bleh!

You want to bring in good vibes with you. Relaxed vibes. You may have those butterflies raging battles on 3 fronts in your belly, but you want to project an air of confidence. It’s almost just as much how you carry yourself as it is how you sound. Of course confidence can’t replace a crappy voice, but it will help.

At callbacks/private auditions there will be mics, stands, keyboard, monitors, cords for you to plug your guitar in. Your gear should work. Triple check it the day of. Replace you batteries in your guitar. Change your strings. Make sure the pre recorded song you have (for callbacks or the private audition) is pulled up on your (charged) iPhone and that your phone is in airplane mode or Do Not Disturb so you don’t get a phone call that interrupts your performance. Don’t Snap the 4 hour waiting process only to drain your phone to its death – unable to play the track you’re supposed to sing to. Maybe bring a battery pack with you just in case.

Know Your Story

If you make it past the open call and past the callbacks, you will be sent to “casting” directly following your callback vocal audition. This is where they will bring you to a room with a camera and a casting director and they will ask you questions about your life. This is for them to find the most interesting people with the most interesting stories. You know all those backstory montage intros before many of the contestants’ blind auditions? These come from the casting session. Make sure you have at least one really interesting thing about your life: Tragedy, things you’ve overcome, interesting family history, current job or volunteer organization. Something that sets you apart. What is your “story.” Because they want to know. And if you don’t have one it will be that much more difficult for them to justify bringing you on the show.

Are you a working musician? What’s the most interesting show you’ve had. Best? Worst? Why are you a musician? What kinds of shows do you play? How long have you been performing?

Is your great uncle John Coltrane? Is your husband Andy Grammer (shoutout to Aijia!). Is your daughter autistic? Do you work 3 jobs to support your family? Are you a teacher? A camp counselor? These are all interesting things to talk about. Come up with the most interesting thing about your life before you get to the casting room and you’ll have a much easier time talking about it and winning over the producers when they watch the tape.

The Private Audition

Most of the working musicians I know have been invited to a private audition (as have I). I believe it happens in every city they hold an open call. The way the producers find musicians to invite to the private auditions is mostly through YouTube. And they aren’t just looking for YouTube stars with millions of plays or subscribers. They’re just looking for good talent. It should go without saying, but if you’re a working musician you need some great videos of you performing on your YouTube channel. It’s also helpful to have a BandCamp profile (easiest way to search for artists in designated locations) and of course a Facebook Page.

How To Rehearse

Now that you have the logistics of your audition worked out, you still need to prep! You should rehearse your songs until you can sing them in your sleep. You should film yourself performing them and critique your video. Setup two cameras (phones), one close on your face and one pulled out to see your entire body. If you’re not a veteran performer, it will take a bit of work to look and feel natural performing. So you’ll need to work extra hard at this.

Don’t fake the performance, though. The judges will be able to tell. Feel the music. Be the music. Get to the core meaning of the song. You should ooze personality when you’re performing. Whatever your personality is.

What’s the old joke? How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice practice practice! Same is true for Team Adam!

Source : http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/