Wednesday Sep 11, 2013

Maroon 5 Tells (Almost) All

Oracle Appreciation Event headline band Maroon 5 members talk in depth about their life in music and the musical life.

You probably get this all the time, but can you tell us the story behind your band's name? 
We do get asked that all the time, but unfortunately we’re still keeping it a secret. Sorry!

How does the collaboration work when you jam? Who starts, who lays down a structure, who changes the structure as you play?
The way we work has changed over the years. When we started working on songs for "Overexposed" we started accepting tracks and songs from other writers and multiple producers for the first time. We brought in a couple different producers on that album and now we’re doing it again while working on new songs for the next album. They made us approach the collaboration process on a song differently; now we’re all getting more involved in writing and production, where Adam used to do a lot of that. So, now it varies: sometimes we just jam by ourselves and bring in something we laid down to try out with the other guys, or someone submits something to us that we go into the studio and rework and change the way we like it for one producer or another. There’s no specific method to the process, we’re open to any way that we can create a hit song.

Which comes first: lyrics or melody? Discuss.
Again, like as mentioned above, it varies. Sometimes, Adam or one of us has some lyrics pop into our head that we have to put down on paper immediately and start building a song around. Or we get a melody in our head we start playing out and then build the song and lyrics around. But, as mentioned now that we’re getting more song submissions from outside that have both melody and/or lyrics already down, we take what we like and add to it.

Which is more fun for the group: recording or playing in front of a live audience? Why?
Definitely playing in front of a live audience because the energy is so much different when you’re on stage. In a recording studio you have the presence that’s where you are. When you’re on stage performing live everything goes away and you’re in a different state of mind—you just go to a different place and everything fades but the energy from the crowd. It’s the best feeling.

The video of your hit "Moves Like Jagger" has been played on YouTube more than 165 million times—that's more views than there are people in Russia! Why do you think this song/video was such a smash?
We took a risk with that song and went in a new direction with that style pop that we hadn’t really done before. I think the combination of bringing on Christina, debuting on The Voice with The Voice’s success at the time, all caused a perfect storm and we hoped it would have that reaction but couldn’t believe and still can’t believe it’s become as big as it has.

What other past musicians/groups influence your sound? How about current musicians/groups?
Prince, Police, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, the Beatles, the list could go on with past influences. Currently, can’t say we pull influence from what’s out here now, but Mumford & Sons is a big favorite of ours.

What keeps you mentally enthusiastic, engaged, and energized while you're on the road touring?
The fans, 100% the fans have always been there for us and supported us every step of the way for the past 10 years. And since "Moves Like Jagger" we’ve brought on a whole new demographic of fans and we love being able to go out and play the new songs they love and introduce them to the old ones that the fans since Day 1 love so much. So, that’s what keeps us going throughout a long tour is getting out there every night playing for them.

Did you ever think Maroon 5 would be as successful as it is?
Well you hope it all goes this way when you start as a musician, I think every kid who picks up a guitar, or drumsticks, or sings wants to imagine themselves as successful performers one day. But, it still is a shock when we go out there and play sold out arenas or get a #1 single that we’ve actually made it here and have been able to stay up there as of recent.

Are you musicians first, or entertainers? Or are they one and the same?
Musicians first, they are one and the same but we definitely love to play first and foremost for the love we have of music. Started out playing to entertain ourselves because we loved what we heard from others entertaining us with the music they loved to create and play. So, we’re home playing around on instruments and working on new songs because we love music and being musicians. But, we love entertaining others with the music we love to make.

Do you most prefer playing in a large venue, or in a more intimate setting? Why?
There are pros and cons on both of those. Large venues are amazing because there’s nothing like performing in front of that big of a crowd with the noise and energy you feed off the crowd on. But, intimate venues and shows are great because it reminds you of what it was like to first be starting out as musicians and trying to make it winning people over in a small room. We like to get our fair share of both to balance it out.

Sunday Oct 02, 2011

Sting Celebrates 25 Years as a Solo Artist and his 60th Birthday with a Charitable Concert at the Beacon Theatre in NYC to Benefit the Robin Hood Foundation

Saturday October 1, on the eve of his 60th birthday and right before Oracle OpenWorld commences, Sting will perform a benefit concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. Then he'll perform at the Oracle Appreciation Event on October 5! The benefit is for the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. He'll be joined by special guest performers including Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Will.i.am, and many more. Sting said, “The show is both a celebration and chance to give back.”

[Read More]

Thursday Sep 29, 2011

Dave Wakeling & The English Beat Ready to Rock Treasure Island

Get Ready to Dance to 2 Tone Ska at the Oracle Appreciation Event

The English Beat emerged into the post-punk music scene of the 80s, headed up by Dave Wakeling on vocals and guitar. Wakeling played with The English Beat through three hit albums and with General Public, which produced two best-selling albums. And now he's going to rock the Oracle Appreciation Event Wednesday, October 5.

[Read More]

Wednesday Sep 21, 2011

Where the Bands Played On

By Tom Caldecott

Rock Out at the Site of the 1939–1940 World’s Fair

When you step onto Treasure Island for the Oracle Appreciation Event on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, you'll follow in the footsteps of audiences who started visiting the island for entertainment some 72 years ago in 1939. The island was built for the Golden Gate International Exposition, also known as the San Francisco World's Fair, the theme of which was the "Pageant of the Pacific."

That pageant included entertainment by Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Edgar Bergen and his Charley McCarthy, Tarzan legend Johnny Weissmuller, swimmer/entertainer Esther Williams, and the King of Swing, Benny Goodman. In less than a month, Benny Goodman played to more than 1 million people on the island. Visitors could also stop by "The Gayway," an amusement area with rides and shows such as the famous fan dancer Sally Rand and Sally Rand's Nude Ranch, Follies Bergère, and Robert Ripley's Believe It or Not.

The Pageant of the Pacific came and went, but some of its buildings remain, now converted into sound stages. During the Oracle Appreciation Event, the performers will play in and around the buildings used in the making of movies such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Robin Williams' Flubber and Bicentennial Man, as well as The Parent Trap, The Matrix, and Caine Mutiny.

Rock to the history. Rock to the music.

Thursday Sep 01, 2011

Sting: Q&A Part Two

His Thoughts on Innovation and the Future

With Oracle OpenWorld only about a month away, we decided to check in with Sting, who will be performing at the Oracle Appreciation Event on October 5. Earlier this year, Sting was kind enough to answer some of our questions, and now he answers a couple more:

How important is innovation in your career as a musician?
I feel as though constant exploration keeps me from being pigeonholed into any one type of genre or sound. For me, music is all about the element of surprise. It's crucial for me to constantly grow and adapt as an artist. I remember working on the album Nothing Like The Sun in the late 80’s, and it was the first digital recording I had done. I was asking the machines to do things that hadn’t really been invented yet and think I gave the engineers white hair! But in the end, I was quite pleased with the outcome.

What’s in the future for Sting?
It’s hard to believe that this year marks the 25th anniversary of my solo career and to commemorate this, we’re putting together a special box set comprised of material from the past 25 years. I felt like an archeologist in a way, sifting through 25 years of music, photos and memories. It's been a very reflective process and I’m excited to share the end result with my fans.

In terms of what comes next, I think it’s important that I continue to learn and take risks. My audience has come to expect the unexpected, and I like to keep them guessing. I’m a very curious person, open to all possibilities.

Wednesday May 18, 2011

Sting to Perform at Oracle OpenWorld 2011

Untitled Document

Grammy-winning musician appearing live at Appreciation Event

Sting photoOracle is excited to announce that world-renowned musician Sting will perform live during Oracle OpenWorld 2011. Sting took a few minutes from his busy schedule to answer our five questions:

Q: When were you last in San Francisco and what do you love about the city and California?
Sting: I was last in San Francisco a couple of years ago (May 18, 2009) to perform at a benefit concert for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. It’s a great city and one I truly enjoy visiting. Like so many who grew up in England under the rain clouds, coming to California is always a breath of fresh air for me.

Q: What excites you the most about playing live and what kind of experience do you want your audience to have?
Sting:
All I ever wanted to be in life is a musician. I love being on stage and seeing the audience enjoy themselves and most importantly, be surprised. The element of surprise is really the one essential in music. I think every time you perform a song you have to breathe new life into it, especially with a song like “Roxanne” that I’ve performed thousands of times. It’s my job to discover something new or some alternate meaning and to present even the smallest variation each time I sing it.

Q: Why are you passionate about protecting the rainforest—what's the one thing that everyone could do to help?
Sting:
I see what’s happening in the rainforest as a universal problem that affects us all. I was fortunate enough to travel to the Amazon and meet with indigenous peoples, and that really gave rise to a passion in me to help protect these natural resources for present and future generations. Trudie and I are very proud of the work we’ve done in the Amazon and with The Rainforest Foundation. I think the most important thing to do is raise awareness and try to stir a desire in people to do whatever they can to help out.

Q: You've got a busy summer planned, capped off with your performance at Oracle OpenWorld 2011. What do you like most about touring?
Sting:
There’s no way to describe the feeling of going on stage in front of thousands of people who are pleased to see you. That’s something you can’t be blasé about. I also feel as though I’m probably at my most free when I am singing, and touring gives me the opportunity to experience that honesty and candidness almost every night.

Q: How can fans follow you via social media?
Sting:
Follow @OfficialSting on Twitter and visit the official Sting Website at Sting.com.

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