This past Friday, I sat down with the fabulous and enthusiastic Stella Mahler of the BMF band, Electric Home Fries. She was kind enough to share some of her thoughts with me about being in a band at BMF, feeling music versus thinking music, and most importantly, her favorite animal of course.
P: Thank you for being our very first kid interview!
P: Lets start out with the most important thing first. This is really really serious. I hope you are ready for a very serious question.
S: I am
P: What is your favorite animal?
S: I like all of them personally except for cockroaches and bugs
P: Do you have on animal in particular that you really like?
S: I like cats because my best friend is one.
P: What is your cat’s name?
P: Awesome. Glad we got that out of the way- it’s very important. Now for more music related matters. Which BMF band are you in and who are your teachers?
S: I am in Rock, Write and Record on Fridays. My teachers are Rob and Kelly.
P: Does your band have a name?
S: We were the Electric French Fries but now we are the Electric Home Fries.
P: I like that! What instrument or instruments do you play?
S: I play the piano and the guitar. I sing at the very end with Aviva, who is a girl in the band.
P: What is it about music that gets you excited?
S: I just find it really fun and it can be really moving.
P: Do you feel like you play music more from your head or from your heart or both? In other words, when you play, are you thinking or feeling or both?
S: It depends – if I’m practicing I’m basically just thinking, but if I’m actually doing a recital or a show, that’s when I’m feeling. (Stella exclaims) I’m feelin it!
P: When do you start going into the feeling part?
S: When I’m reciting it for people or when I’m reciting it for myself. When I’m really like, this is it!
P: Do you feel that they are both the head and the heart are equally important?
S: I think they are both equally important but I prefer the ‘this is it!’ part.
P: The feeling part. So you like that better?
P: What do you feel are the top three things you have learned by being in a BMF band? In no particular order.
S: Lets see – I’ve learned how to have the best after school in the world. (I laugh) This is serious! This is the best after school I’ve ever been to!
P: I like that answer.
S: Thank you!
P: Do you feel like you’ve learned how to get more in touch with the heart or the head?
S: Yeah- I feel like I really got in touch with the heart more. I also feel what it’s like playing in a band. It’s much different than playing on your own because you have to be exact with the timing and you don’t have to be exact when you are just playing by yourself.
P: So you have to work more as a team?
P: That is an important thing to learn. Is there something special you can share with me about your teachers?
S: They are really fun, tolerant (I crack up), and they are really good music teachers!
P: You are in Rock, Write and Record. Which do you like better – playing covers or writing original songs? Why?
S: I like writing original songs because we can really own that song and we can do it in any fashion that we like. But with the one that we don’t make up we have to do a certain one thing.
P: Can you give me a sample of what one of your original songs has been about?
S: This one that we are doing right now – we are not sure what its named yet – but it’s about joy cause it’s like, carefree and joyous and happiness.
P: What was the inspiration on for the song?
S: Not quite sure. We usually make a list of words and we take the certain ones that we like a lot and we put them together to make lyrics. So, somehow we came up with joy, and carefree and Jeremiah – I don’t really know where that came from.
P: And then it started to blossom into a song?
P: Can you give me one of the lines?
S: Well the first line is “joy in the water blazing brightness of freedom”
P: Wow!! That’s amazing!! What does that mean to you?
S: When I say that line its sort of like saying, be joyous and be free. It kind of makes me think of standing by a lake on a nice evening.
P: So it paints a picture?
P: Do you think music paints a lot of pictures?
S: It does
P: Very cool. Close your eyes and picture yourself making music as a grown up. What do you imagine? What is your wish?
S: I would imagine me as a pop singer – and I wouldn’t be like one of those crazy ones who got their hair all dyed. I’d be one of those mellow ones more like Taylor Swift. Except, she’s country. Maybe I’d have my small little band, and it wouldn’t be one of those bands where there’s one main person and all those people you never heard of. It would be one of those bands where you know every single one like The Beatles.
P: And is this the kind of thing that you are doing just for fun or is this something you imagine it as a job?
S: Maybe just for enjoyment, maybe I would play small gigs. It wouldn’t be my main job – I would be an artist.
P: Very cool. Do you think that BMF is helping you to make those dreams a reality?
P: In what way?
S: Well it helps me get outside the realm of just jazz and classical. That is what my piano teacher teaches me. It’s not a bad thing- she’s a good teacher – but this helps me get outside the realm of that and really gets me into rock and pop.
P: And do you feel that making music as a team is in some way shaping that?
P: In what way? Have you always made music solo before this?
P: So in what way has making music as a team changed you?
S: It’s an advantage because you have all these fun people. And also if you do make a mistake you have someone to cover up for you. But you are also more likely to make a mistake cause there are so many beats going around. When you are solo if you make a mistake it’s hard if there’s no one to cover, but you are less likely to make a mistake.
P: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself, BMF, or music in general?
S: I think that BMF is awesome. I love it so much and you should try it if you are listening to this! That’s basically it.
P: Thank you Stella! You rock!!