Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: April 16th, 2005
Sabrina we would like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us. I want to start with your early days. Did you sing in the school choir?
Yes, I joined the choir in fourth grade and within weeks I was assigned most of the solo parts! I had a great choir teacher, and that made it soooo much fun! I couldn’t wait to get to the school every morning at 7:30am to sing my heart out! …now if only I could remember how I did that…
Do you play any instruments?
I started taking piano lessons at the age of five, and studied with the Royal Conservatory of Music for about ten years. Then I switched over to Jazz piano, which allowed for a lot more creativity. I also played the flute for three years in the high school orchestra. I’m a bass player as well. I’ve been playing the guitar for a few years now; my guitar and piano are my main writing instruments.
Did you collect anything as a child?
Koala bears! Pictures, posters, toys, stuffed koalas… They were EVERYWHERE! –on my wall, my bed, my clothes… I was obsessed with koalas! They are sooooooo CUTE! (…but don’t worry, I took the posters down... ahem... yesterday...)
I also collected lots of sheet music. I took advantage of every chance I got to drag my mom into the local music stores and buy a bunch of music. I wanted to play everything I heard! I still have it all in a stack on a bookshelf somewhere.
What was the first concert you attended?
The first show was a Bryan Adams concert! …at which I got pulled up onto the stage to sing a duet with him! THAT was one of the most amazing and memorable experiences of my life.
What was the first record you bought?
“So Far So Good” by Bryan Adams! …can you tell I’m a fan? Ha-ha!
What was your favorite song during your school days?
Oh, I had many! In elementary school, I started out with all of the Bryan Adams hits like “Summer of ‘69,” “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Everything I Do,” “Heaven”… I LOVED love songs! Elton John (both his older and newer work)… and keep in mind that I was a classically trained pianist AND vocalist, so I was working with a lot of classical music. Therefore, I listened to a lot of it.
Then high school came, and I began writing my own songs. My musical taste branched out a lot as I was exposed to bands like The Cult, The Stones, Guns N Roses, Aerosmith, U2, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Skid Row, AC/DC, etc.
Some of my favorite songs were (and still are!):
- “Who Made Who,” “Money Talk,” and “Back In Black” by AC/DC
- “She Sells Sanctuary” by The Cult
- “I Will Follow” by U2
- “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N Roses
- “Piece of Me” by Skid Row
- “Dy’er Mak’r” by Led Zeppelin
- “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
- “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard
...and the list goes on...
At the age of 13 you were brought on stage to sing with Bryan Adams. Can you tell us the feeling you had at that time?
Surreal… it was like an ‘out-of-body experience’, which was different because my life seems to be an ‘out-of-mind experience’! Ha-ha!
Seriously, I remember walking up to the stage without even thinking about the next moment – the fact that I would be standing up there with the rock star. Then, all of a sudden, I was being pushed up onto the stage by everyone in the front row. When I stood up on stage, it was as if I were a different person. Someone flipped a switch without warning, and then BOOM! -PERFORM! Ha-ha-ha! I knew the song, and Bryan is a real sweetheart so it was an amazing experience. Also, the audience was very warm and receptive, and that always makes a difference!
As a female artist, tell other upcoming female artists, what to beware of?
Always try to surround yourself with people who will look out for you. Keep people around whose best interests include your well-being, and keep them close.
For the most part, I have been very lucky in that I’ve been treated really well by the people I’ve worked with. I say ‘lucky’ because one-half of the battle is being smart about the situations you enter. However, the other half is luck because you don’t always know the intentions of the people sitting across from you. You know?
We did take a lot of risks. I started out very young in the business, but I was never naive. A lot of stuff could’ve happened, and I was aware of that. The main thing I noticed was the difference between my under-18 years and my 18+ years. Once you become legal, it’s a new day. Ha-ha-ha!
Sometimes, people just assume that if you’re in rock n roll, and you’re single, you might be interested in ‘more’ than work… if you know what I mean. ….and you might be! I just never was. But I’m just saying that as a female in rock, you have to beware of that. Stand your ground.
What were your earliest recordings?
I was 13 when I began recording my first demo. They were pop/rock songs with a variety of influences. There was the piano ballad, the pop guitar songs, the experimental progressive rock stuff, guitar solos… just a big mix of everything. It was all over the place, and that’s just how I wanted it! It was a huge learning experience for me, and I loved every minute of the writing/recording process! Not to mention the dudes I was working with on it were super talented and great guys to boot.
Tell us what a day of being on the road having a show that night with Sabrina Korva is like?
Well, first thing’s first: COFFEE! I’m a coffee freak! …so you’re allowed to speak to me after that. (This is most likely sometime after 10am.) I usually hear some loud banging on my door (no names mentioned!) …but SOME band members are very impatient!
The phone doesn’t stop ringing, as there’s always details to work out with interviews, sound check, etc. Luckily, people on my team take care of a lot of the phone calls as I try to rest my voice in preparation for the show.
Lunch usually ends up being a protein bar, as there’s not much time when you only have a couple hours in the afternoon to shower, squeeze into pleather pants and pile on the makeup and hairspray.
Sound check always comes waaaayyy too soon… ha-ha-ha! However, we bust our butts to get there on time, as it’s the one place it’s not appreciated if you’re ‘fashionably late’. After sound check, we hang around the venue to chill out and party it up ‘til show time! Maybe we’ll squeeze in an interview here, if it’s short.
After the show, I try to talk to as many of the fans as I can. I love to know my audience, because it makes all the difference in the world to me, anyway, to have that personal connection with them. Usually the band is pretty hungry after the show, so we’ll find a decent pizza place and hang out there for a while. (If we’re in LA, the restaurant of choice is definitely the Rainbow!)
By then, it’s usually pretty late… or early… ha-ha… depending on how you look at it! I’ll usually head back to the hotel… where the phones will be unplugged and/or turned off until at LEAST 10am! ….unless I have a scheduled interview early in the morning, of course! THIS is when caffeine rules my world!
What female singer do you admire?
Ann Wilson, Pat Benatar, and Joan Jett!
Do you read fan mail?
Of course! I LOVE getting feedback on what I do… and I’ve gotten a lot of support from people all over the world. I might not be able to reply right away, but I do get to all my mail. It just depends what I’m doing. If someone takes the time to write to me, it’s only fair they get a reply.
I do log onto my official web board every week at www.sabrinakorva.com and reply to questions and comments. Another interactive site is www.myspace.com/sabrinakorva -you can email me directly through Myspace!
The new CD is independently released. Are you looking for a record label at this time and have you got any interest?
We are exploring a few different options at this time. There is always label interest, but we are more seriously looking at another funding opportunity from venture capitalists. With the way labels have downsized, this alternative route may be the wave of the future.
How do you come up with your songs?
It’s different all the time, actually. Sometimes, the lyrical concept will come first. Other times, I’ll come up with a riff I like while just messing around on the guitar or piano. If I just go with it and jam it out, it will likely write itself. I will either finish it myself or bring it to a co-writer with whom I’m collaborating. Usually, the idea will bring a specific co writer to mind, which is really cool because every songwriter has their own flavor that gets injected into any song they work on. …and I love variety!
I see that you will be playing at the Cruefest Hollywood show on July 30th at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. How exciting is that?
We are absolutely stoked!!! It’s going to be such a blast… and the other bands playing are totally awesome! All the proceeds go to a really great cause: the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund. Also, this year is especially unique as Motley Crue are reunited and taking on the world, again!
We were honored to be invited to play, and you have our guarantee that it’s gonna be an ass-kicking, rock n roll experience!
What is the wildest thing that happened at a Sabrina Korva show?
During the last song of this one show, some dude -wearing only his boxers! - jumped up onto the stage and gave me a gigantic hug! The thing was he didn’t want to let go! …and it took two of my band members to pry him off of me! I guess he was a little excited, eh?
What are the future plans for the band?
We plan to do a bunch of shows, including Cruefest, in the LA area over the summer!
We are presently writing a bunch of new material for the album. The plan is to have tons of songs from which to choose when it comes time to go into production. After the album is released, we will tour.
If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
- Ummm…. World peace, man! …That would be rad.
- The release of Chinese Democracy!
- To be able to maintain a successful career as rock musician!
I am going to mention a few words. Tell us what comes to mind.
“She’s Got Looks That Kill!”
Don’t let it get in the way!
Yes, I like ‘em!
Slaughter has a song called “Up all Night, Sleep all Day!” The hours are long sometimes, but it’s still a lot of fun when you love the people you’re working with. At the end of the project, you have a huge sense of accomplishment because if you think about it, your life really revolves around the process. For me it does, anyway. It’s like falling in love… you’re so wrapped up in it. When I’m in the studio, it’s like there is no outside world, there’s only the music and us.
I love ‘em, and want to meet all of ‘em!
RAIN! Hahahaa! …trees… and lots of good memories!
My BC Rich Warlock, baby!!!!!!!!!
If it’s too loud, you’re too OLD! –so turn it up to 11!
Sabrina would you like to say anything in conclusion?
Thank you so much for taking interest in my rock n roll madness!
I can’t wait to rock YOU! ROCK N F’N ROLL, MOTHERTRUCKERS!
Thanks again for the interview and check out Sabrina at http://www.sabrinakorva.com/