Lynn Ann & Gate 18
MSN
2nd March '05
   
This month being SkidMark's anniversary always makes for an exciting time featured artist-wise, as we always try to organise an artist who means something special to SkidMark - and this, our 4th anniversary, is no different! We're happy to be joined by the "Queen of Queens" (NY!) Lynn Ann Witting (AKA Nutty Broad) a long time SkidMark favourite who has been involved with, and supported SkidMark since her band Gate 18 joined the listed artists right back in our first month online, March 2001…

SkidMcSkidder: Hi Lynn! Thanks for being the very first "Virtual Interview" on SkidMark.org!! It's a great feeling knowing an artist who was there at the start with skidmark-multimedia.co.uk, is still with us and still rocking the planet! How you doin'?!

Nutty Broad: I'm great, thanks. It's so nice to be back for an interview, Mark, and to have the chance to chat a bit with you after all this time. It's been awhile! You're so busy!

SkidMcSkidder: You too! You're right - It's been a long time since we had a really good chin wag on the instant messenger, in fact if I remember you were just about to go into the studio with some hot engineer (Rich Blakin?) to record a new album… How did that go? ( is it really that long since we talked on the IM last?!!)

Nutty Broad: I actually recorded not one but TWO CD's with Rich and his associate, Mario Salvati here in NYC. It was a great experience and I was very, very lucky to have had the chance to work with Mario. He's an incredible engineer who's worked with Bob Dylan and all kindsa other hot-shit people.

SkidMcSkidder: I guess they'd be your CD's "World gone blue" & "Smooth Six-Pack" yeah?

Nutty Broad: That's exactly right. You do your homework. I'm so proud of you.

SkidMcSkidder: I'll admit it - I did have a butchers through my email archive earlier, but to be honest I did remember the titles from memory as A) you sent me the original idea for WGB's cover art because it shows your cabin in the wilderness and B) I've heard tracks off of both CD's on Bumpskey's radio show and discussed the stuff playing on the IM with him (and it was all good!)

Nutty Broad: Thank you, that means a lot coming from you. I'm proud of those records, of course. Just wish I had slightly more time to work on both of them - but I feel like that all the time. With every record. My next bunch of recorded songs are gonna be a solo project - no band. Just me, with Chris accompanying on bass during some numbers. So that should be really interesting and fun. And introspective, I would think.

SkidMcSkidder: Which leads me to my next question: Tell me about your "stripped down" solo record project you're currently discussing with an L.A. film production company…

Nutty Broad: You read my mind!

SkidMcSkidder: Yes... hang on... you can't think that you mucky pup!! LoL

Nutty Broad: Well, Mark - FIRST OF ALL - I see you have not changed a bit. And secondly, yes, a film production company in LA has expressed tremendous interest in my song "The Very Best Thing", off my WORLD GONE BLUE CD. It so happens to be the ONLY "solo" song I have ever professionally recorded, believe it or not. - in that I am playing alone, live, without a band. Just me and my guitar. And now this company would like to hear some of my other material - but ALSO recorded in the "stripped/solo" format. No drums. No lead guitar. Just me. Which is very flattering, I have to be honest. It's exciting because it's like going completely back to my roots - almost like the days of me sitting on a park bench, smoking a cig and serenading my friends and various passers-by.

SkidMcSkidder: Cool! I didn't know you used to be a vagrant! ha ha!

Nutty Broad: Oh, yes - I was a very classy vagrant. (I will email you a picture RIGHT NOW of me on that park bench if you like, when I was 16.) Anyway, this is something I have always kinda WANTED to do - a solo record - but I've always put it off for whatever reason. And now, I have an actual REASON to do it.

SkidMcSkidder: So, this company, what exactly is the purpose of their interest? What I'm trying to say is: for what purpose will these songs be used for? A Film sound track??

Nutty Broad: Yes! AND... JUST TODAY….A different company in B.C. contract me about 2 OTHER songs. FAIR SARA JAYNE being one of them. So it's kinda exciting. I mean, with this kinda thing, there are never guarantees until the "money is in the bank", so to speak...But it is a very nice thing to know that my material is being CONSIDERED by someone.

SkidMcSkidder: Excellent!! Where's B.C. though? (I am an ignorant limey remember!!)

Nutty Broad: British Columbia. That's Canada, no?

SkidMcSkidder: Ah... the almost-Americans! LoL (No offence meant - I've just watched too much Southpark in the past!)

Nutty Broad: Right! Hey - Neil Young is a Canadian, man! He's one of my gods!

SkidMcSkidder: Sure - It's the aim of every indie musician to get their work recognised...

Nutty Broad: Yeah, and it came at a time I wasn't really expecting anything... so, that's always the best way, isn't it? I just keep a positive attitude and rock on. Like you!

SkidMcSkidder: Too right. Also, You've lost your drummer & lead guitarist since we talked last - how has that affected you playing live, as you've always been into the live scene…

Nutty Broad: Well, it was an amicable parting of ways. After recording the last record (Smooth Six-Pack), I have to admit that I was feeling burnt out from trying to keep a full project going. Keep in mind that I have had a full band situation going since 1992. (And that's just with GATE 18. Before GATE 18, I worked in other bands - covers mostly - for many years.) There have been many alternating musicians, but there's always been a BAND. Which can be great fun, but for me - especially lately - it's felt like a lot of stressful work to coordinate schedules, and to juggle the different personalities, etc. Also, the thing about being a songwriter and having a band work with you...it becomes draining because of course these other players do not have the same intense feelings about my music as I do. And I guess, why should they?

So by the end of the "Six-Pack" recording sessions, I was feeling particularly joyless…like music was beginning to bring me down and almost make me doubt myself on a professional level...which is not a good place to be. So I knew something had to give. Something had to change.

SkidMcSkidder: It's not just the feeling either sometimes - I had a crack on the collaboration front with a friend of mine who plays kick ass keyboards but he just couldn't capture the melancholy "vibe" of the tracks I got him to work on - you need to be on the same wavelength for it to work (and that's a pretty fucked up frequency where I'm at!)

Nutty Broad: That is so right, Mark. And as much as I appreciate everyone who I've worked with and their fine efforts... there are some songs that I listen to now and I kinda cringe... They could have sounded better, but certain player's hearts were just not in it. And only I can hear it. Other people tell me that it's fine. But for me, "fine" is just not good enough. The fact remains that I can hear that it's not as kick-ass as I would have liked it to be.

SkidMcSkidder: Hey - that's 99.9% of my back catalogue LoL!!

Nutty Broad: HAR HAR. BUT ON A HAPPIER NOTE - Let's just say that I feel quite liberated at this point, and my material has never sounded better. I am soooo ready to get back into the studio. I am proud of my voice - especially since quitting the cigs over 2 years ago, and I'm truly very satisfied with my progress as a pianist. I'm excited again and that's all I can ask for, whether working alone or with Chris accompanying me on bass. I want to emphasize again that Chris continues to be one the most talented and supportive musicians I have ever known, so of course he will accompany me often on the new record. I don't know if it's because we're a long-time couple or what, but our musical connection has always been smooth, effortless and enjoyable.

The good news is - ya live and ya learn. I'm in a very good place. I hate that expression, by the way, being in "a very good place" … but it happens to be true. And it is very nice to be able to chat with you about it all.

SkidMcSkidder: Can't say I've ever heard a gate 18 track that I've really hated (although I'll proved I'm not a total butt kisser by saying I'm not a big fan of the stuff with a hint of Country in it)

Nutty Broad: If I ever get rich, I'm flying you over here for a pint and a smoke - FUCK Bob Dylan!

SkidMcSkidder: I'm always up for a pint! You started smoking again??!! Tut tut!!!

Nutty Broad: No, not tobacco….Winky winky

SkidMcSkidder: Heyyyy! now we're cookin'!!! LoL

Nutty Broad: Silly me. You'll be on the next flight, paid for or not!

SkidMcSkidder: No - I'm bloody swimming!

Nutty Broad: Ha! Backstroke!

SkidMcSkidder: I gave up the ciggies last month

Nutty Broad: Good for you, Baby-doll - it's been over 2-1/2 years since my last cig.

SkidMcSkidder: Yes, I remember your pains!

Nutty Broad: The pains were bloody palpable. (I love pretending I am British) Bloody! Bleedin'! Smoke a fag! Brilliant! Howz tha'?

SkidMcSkidder: You know it sister! (I like to pretend I'm a yank!). Hah ha

Nutty Broad: Very very impressive. As usual.

SkidMcSkidder: I bet you say that to all the boys! We digress!!

Nutty Broad: DO NOT GET ME IN TROUBLE I AM A MARRIED FLOOZY.
I mean woman.
Ahem.
Must these interviews always head for the terlit?

SkidMcSkidder: Hey - how did the live radio one go?

Nutty Broad: Oh - that was great. That was really fun... I got a lot of CD sales from that one. That was nice.

SkidMcSkidder: Way cool!

Nutty Broad: ARTIST FIRST I believe they are called. Yeah, It was good. They asked me so many freakin' questions... my head was spinning.

SkidMcSkidder: Ahh.. I'm a poor substitute for the real thing then...sob!

Nutty Broad: Get lost, you rock

SkidMcSkidder: Okay if you say so! LoL

Nutty Broad: Ask me about the New York music scene.

SkidMcSkidder: Hey Lynn - how goes the NYC music scene ?!

Nutty Broad: The New York Music Scene blows.

SkidMcSkidder: Is that good? (Remember me no speaky the Americano!)

Nutty Broad: Seriously, it has been totally blowing as far as I am concerned. I hate it. It's depressing. It's a downer. It's a greedy trash-pit. But I guess I will have to venture forth into it once again this spring.

SkidMcSkidder: the venues? Or agents?

Nutty Broad: The venues; The club owners.

SkidMcSkidder: They take a big wedge?

Nutty Broad: They take it all, pal, they basically take it all - unless you can guarantee like over 100 people or some shit. Personally, I do not know ANYBODY who can do that nowadays. At least not indie performers.

SkidMcSkidder: No way! So basically, if you don't hit a certain door number you don't get paid?

Nutty Broad: Yeah, that's right. It's really something... everyone complains about it but nobody DOES anything about it. These clubs are getting FREE ENTERTAINMENT with DRINKING CUSTOMERS 7 NIGHTS A WEEK. When the hell are the musicians gonna boycott these fucking clubs and get these places on the ropes?

I know - it just won't happen. I'm showing my age now because I sound jaded. But that's because I AM jaded. Shit, when I worked in a cover band for nearly 6 years I made a lot of money. I hated it, but at least I got paid.

SkidMcSkidder: Jeez! And I thought it was bad pay in small towns like here in Shrewsbury! At least a band gets paid ~£120 per night at most pubs!

Nutty Broad: New York is Fuck You City. They should just call it Fuck You City.

Everyone I talk to tells me I should go check out the Midwest. Maybe I will one day soon, because I do alot of CD sales out that way.

SkidMcSkidder: Hah ha! I like it!! I guess you're more at home at your cabin then?

Nutty Broad: I love our cabin. Right now the copious snowfall is preventing our ability to access the place, but I give it another month and we'll be up there once more.

SkidMcSkidder: When you're up at the cabin does "getting back to basics" help your song writing?

Nutty Broad: It does. Where we are, it is utter solitude. It opens up my mind and my spirit is revived and that does wonders for my creativity. I wrote "Fair Sara Jayne" in about 20 minutes one evening on that old front porch. It was like a gift.

Sounds cliche`, but I was like: "Where did THAT come from?"

SkidMcSkidder: I can't remember the last time I got a change to "knock it down a couple of gears" and relax enough to write a complete song! It usually takes a few goes here and there in between everything else over a couple of days now! At least I'm still writing - will eventually get "Painted Cage" the album finished someday!!

Nutty Broad: Good - the main thing is to just do whatever you feel like doing in the creative sense... you can't put pressure on yourself. It's self-defeating. Some might disagree and say: "Oh, no - you must FORCE yourself to be PRODUCTIVE with your CRAFT!!!!" But, you know - blah blah blah - I feel that there's a dishonesty to that. It has to come from the heart, and I sincerely feel that if you need a break from it all - TAKE that break. Your talent isn't going anywhere. Leave yourself open and relax and you'll be creative again, probably sooner than later.

SkidMcSkidder: let's talk about music and the net....

Nutty Broad: Ahhhh.....your 2 greatest obsessions!
Or at least 2 OF your greatest obsessions!

Let me tell you - thank GOD for MUSIC AND THE NET

SkidMcSkidder: Your music has & is extremely popular on the big MP3 sites such as garageband.com, MP3.com.au, etc, where some of your tracks have held #1 positions for over a month+ !! How good does that make you feel??!!

Nutty Broad: Well, what do you think? It's terrific - altho' sometimes it feels like: "Is this REAL? Are these sites making this crap UP?" But then I get CD sales from these types of things, so it is indeed real. And that's fabulous of course. Because without the internet, honestly, how would these people in Australia and Colorado or Japan know of me or NIKKI'S TITS or...you know?

SkidMcSkidder: Without the net I'D never have got to "meet" you and I couldn't picture a life without Lynn Ann & Gate 18!! I can't count the man hours I've spent with the sound of your voice caressing my ears!

Nutty Broad: And I feel the same of you, Mark! You know, I started in this music thing, professionally, when I was a mere 16 years old. Never could I have imagined the technology that we have now, and how it can be utilized for something like independent music. I'll say it again - it's a miracle, and not a small one. (You smooth-talking scoundrel....say more...) Hahahah.

SkidMcSkidder: You've always gone down well on Bumpskey.com's "live in the livingroom" webcast radio show - any plans to pay Jerry a visit in the near future?

Nutty Broad: Yes, I have every intention of jamming at Jerry's one day soon. He is due a phone call from his old pal, Lynn. I actually would like to get him up to the cabin this summer. I have a big piece of plexi-glass up there for him, from when his glass coffee table shattered into a jillion pieces during our last visit - loaded down with beer bottles, such as it were.

SkidMcSkidder: Hah! I remember hearing that live on air!!

Nutty Broad: Yeah, that was capital. Have you spoken with him recently?

SkidMcSkidder: Ahhh. memories!! LoL

Nutty Broad: Too, too grand.

SkidMcSkidder: No - I feel bad - I had a couple of emails back & forth from/to him about a week ago but I got bogged down with the site re-launch to keep the communication flowing. I must tune in to the show regularly again, problem is due to the time difference it's past midnight here when the "live" section of the show starts and I'm able to talk to him in "real time" - due to little 'un waking us up at anytime between 2am and 5am lately, I tend to hit the sack earlier, i.e. before Jerry goes "live".

Nutty Broad: Right. Well, I have to tell you that the Skidmark re-launch does look excellent, Mark.
And you have been working so hard - you should get some shut-eye.

SkidMcSkidder: Who's the smooth talker?!!

Nutty Broad: I guess that'd be ME!

SkidMcSkidder: Heh heh okay one more question then: When are you coming over to the UK to play some gigs??

Nutty Broad: Christ. This would cost money, right? You know I'd love to... 3 years ago I said in my interview with you that I hoped it would be soon. and I'm still hoping. But I won't give up hope, no I won't. As soon as that licensing deal comes through, I'm on a plane. Me, Chris and Ellie Jane. (The doggy)

SkidMcSkidder: Ditto. Sarah and I said we'd be back to Vegas for our 5th anniversary and that was last year - it'll have to be tenth now…

Nutty Broad: Hey - maybe it'll be 8th. Ya never know.

SkidMcSkidder: If I win the lottery I'll knockin' on yer front door tomorrow to git me some "Live Lynn Ann"!

Nutty Broad: Wouldn't that be a trip?

SkidMcSkidder: Ohhh - sounded a bit pervy didn't it??!! LoL

Nutty Broad: It all depends on who is saying it. Since it's YOU, Mark, yes.

SkidMcSkidder: At least I'm consistent!

Nutty Broad: You are - you never let me down. It's very comforting! You know I adore ya.

SkidMcSkidder: It's reciprocated. 8-)

Well I'm outta Q's - anything else you wanna talk about Lynn?

Nutty Broad: Not really - that's about all the news. And again, it's really great to chat with you online and spend some quality time. It's an honor to be your Fave Artist for March, especially in view of the Skidmark re-launch. It's a privilege and I appreciate you asking me very much.

SkidMcSkidder: No it's my privilege. Well, now the new site's starting to take shape I can kick back a little and actually turn my IM on without worrying about falling too far behind!!

Nutty Broad: Great! Congratulations. Before I go, I have to tell you something else that is really kinda trippy….

SkidMcSkidder: Yeah?

Nutty Broad: For the past week, my computer monitor has been giving me nothing but problems. It has been blurry. The picture has been "splitting up"... And during tonite's interview - NOT ONCE have I had one problem. And it has been CONSTANT. So that's a little cosmic. And why am I not surprised?

SkidMcSkidder: Ahh.. it's those SkidMark ambient thought rays sorting it out!

Nutty Broad: It's amazing. It's that alien head. Hahahahhahaha… I'm gonna run now.
I'm leaving you, Luv. Be brave.

SkidMcSkidder: I'll try… (sniff!). Thanks once again for making the first edition of SkidMark.org such a great one Lynn and best of luck with your new project!

Nutty Broad: Thank you, Mark - I will keep you posted and all the best to you and your upcoming recording and website work. You are a true pioneer in indie musician promotion and we love you!

SkidMcSkidder: Catch you later Lynn! BYE!!!

Nutty Broad: C-YA~!

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Virtual Interview conducted using MSN instant messenger 02-03-2005
SkidMark Multimedia Productions MMV