Interview with Andrea Simler-DeGolier from Chakras

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Andrea Simler-DeGolier, Chakras
Andrea Simler-DeGolier from Chakras

Interview by Scott Preston

Chakras lineup formed in 2006 with a desire to create music that grasped onto an eerie , ethereal, rock vibe. Influences range from Tool, Tori Amos , Lacuna Coil, Faith No More to old school Black Sabbath but are not limited to these influences. The sound can take you somewhere heavy and forceful then yank you back to a dreamy flowing place. Band members are diverse in experience ranging from metal, punk, roots rock and main stream pop. With members from local bands such as Hollowpoint, Spiff, Pale Beneath the Blue, Backseat Virtue, Kohai and Buffalo based Kama Sutra . The diversity creates a sound all its own.

Cincy Groove: How long has the current lineup of Chakras been together?

Andrea: Only about 5 months. Steve the drummer came on board about 1 1/2 years ago. So he has been around the longest. Patrice then was next and she suggested maybe Jeff Conner would be interested in playing as well. Bill joined the band about the same time that Jeff joined. Then Mark came in this past Spring.

Cincy Groove: I know about a year ago you were working on a new Chakras album, is that project still on the boards? or do you have some new material?

Andrea: No, those songs were done with the other lineup. The songs we are working on now will be a reflection of this lineup. We will probably keep 2 old songs, hopefully that won’t disappoint anybody.

Cincy Groove: What was the name of the first band you were ever in?

Andrea: The name of the band was Predator. The guys in the band came up with the name, I had little say (laughing). I think it was about the same time Predator the movie was out. We would do some originals, then we would do old Heart, Jefferson Airplane. The band would play teen centers and places like that.

Cincy Groove: What kind of music did you listen to growing up?

Andrea: When I was really young I listened to Janis Joplin, Carly Simon, Kate Bush, Jefferson Airplane, Fleetwood Mac. Then as I got older I started to get into Tori Amos, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Bunnymen, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin. As you can see a little bit of everything.

Cincy Groove: I know you are from New York state, when did you move to Cincinnati and what was the first band you sang in when you got here?

Andrea: It was about 1996 – 1997. The first band I sang in here was Tornado Green, it was Jen Schmidts’ first band. I came in right after Jen left. I didn’t know anyone in town at the time and I was excited to sing in a band.

Cincy Groove: So tell me about the Toys for Tots benefit concert that you organize each year.

Andrea: Its usually held the first weekend in December. You can bring a toy or just pay to get in and the barrels of toys are collected at he end of the night. The US Marines then take the toys and distribute them.

Cincy Groove: Do you play any instruments?

Andrea: I play flute, just not good enough to get on stage with it. I also have been messing around with the violin.

Cincy Groove: I just realized that your current lineup for Chakras has quite a few years of stage time behind them.

Andrea: When you have a good band of people that all connect, it makes it all that much more relaxed and fun. Everyone respects each other and works hard, its just really refreshing. What I really like is that Bill and Steve came from a pure metal background. Then Patrice, Jeff, and Mark come from a similar background that is a little more pop oriented. It nice because everyone in the band now sees what the end mission is.

Cincy Groove: What would you say to someone just starting out in the music business?

Andrea: Never think that you are good enough, always try to improve yourself and get better. Just be sure to keep your eyes and ears open to new experiences and ideas.

Chakras:
Andrea > Vocals / Lyrics
Patrice > Keys , Cello, Vocals
Steve Klosinski > Drums / Percussion
Bill Menke > Guitar
Mark Szabo > Guitar
Jeff Conner > Bass

 

Upcoming Chakras tour dates:
For complete show details visit – http://www.myspace.com/chakrassounds
Aug 30 2008 The Southgate House Newport, Kentucky
Sep 6 2008 Whiskey Dicks / FALL FEST Columbus, Ohio
Sep 20 2008 Dirty Jacks Elmwood Place, Ohio
Oct 3 2008 20th Century Theater / Supernova Showcase Oakley, Ohio
Oct 18 2008 The Southgate House / 9th Annual Witches Ball Newport, Kentucky
Nov 8 2008 Dirty Jacks / Katie Reider Benefit show Elmwood Place, Ohio