By Joel Anderson (Art and Poetry Editor)
When you think of Youngstown in terms of music scenes, you’re mostly to think of either a rock or a punk scene. But the folk scene is growing stronger and one of the artists leading the way is Katianne Timko. Timko headlined a show at the Lemon Grove recently, I sat down with her to learn more about her roots and what she’s has going on in the future.
How long have you been playing?
I started playing the guitar when I was 18, but I wasn’t good enough A, and I didn’t have the confidence B to play. My first gig was when I was 20 in Kent a J.B’s, which a total whole in the wall but it was a good show. I was so nervous I had to sit, and even though I could play the guitar, I had my friend play all the songs for me. Coz I was just so nervous I thought I would just tip over and I thought I’d screw up. So it was one of those weird shows. But I’ve improved a lot since then.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
I was just talking about this the other day, I have a big three. The first is Alanis Morissette. Because of her lyrics, I think she is so amazing. I take lessons from her. I have her lyrics tattooed on my arm. So I really appreciate her songwriting style. June Carter Cash. I absolutely love, she was hilarious and she always said; because I’m not the best guitar player in the world, but I don’t really try to be; but she always said she was the least musically talented in the Carter family, so she overcompensated by working on her stage presence and her humor. She had these jokes that she would use when she played. And she was just really good at putting on a good show. So I try to learn that from her, but I’m still working on that part. I really appreciate her for that. And Katy Perry is one of my favorites. You saw the lights I had tonight, and I have the big picnic basket merch table. And it’s like an experience. I had flowers at the foot of the stage tonight. And she taught me you can experiment with it and you can have fun with it. And just because I’m singing a bunch of songs, I can decorate it, I can make it cute, I can make it whatever I want. So those are my three biggest idols I would say.
Do you have any influences outside of those three?
Yeah I totally do. I love alt country right now. I love the Foo Fighters. It’s mostly out of respect out of Dave Grohl. He’s such an inspiration because he’s from Warner. I really love Patty Griffin; she’s got really great lyrics. I’m a lyrics girl. So if you write thoughtful lyrics that keep me on my toes and open up my mind a little bit, I love you.
Do you have any projects in the works?
Well we’re looking to make a music video pretty soon. But, with that aside, with the new songs we premiered tonight, I don’t think I’m going to do what I did last time, even though it was great. We recorded the last album in four days and it was done. I think this time we’re going to take our time with and perfect it a little bit more. Come up with a more unique sound we didn’t use on the last record. I’m probably going to go into the studio, ideally, twice a month. And just really hack away at something, and for the rest of the month just think about what I want to do next, so it can be really thought out. Definitely this year there is some major studio time in the works.
Will it be a full length or an EP?
I don’t think it would do me too much good to have a full length right now. I think having an EP works for me. Because I want to send it out to radio stations, I want to send it out to people who can help my music. Producers, booking agents, stuff like that; they don’t listen to more than three songs. I’d rather have a shorter album were everyone knows all the songs and gives them the attention they deserve.
What will the overall sound of the album be?
For the next record, we’re going to try to make it sound like and old Kitty Wells album. She was the first woman Honky Tonk singer. So we’re going to be using a lot of the old microphones the she used. I can’t sing about traditional country music because it doesn’t apply to me, even though I love it.
Are you working on anything other songs for the EP?
We have another song we’ve been working on, but we didn’t want to blow our load all at once. We wanted to keep working on it and maybe play it at the next show. But I’m trying to focus on writing.
For information and future dates, visit www.katiannetimko.com