1. First off, who are you and what genre of music do you make?
My name is Sophie Negrini, and I am the lead singer and rhythm guitarist in a band called Janelane! We make garage pop 🙂
2. If you had to describe your music with a color, what would it be?
Red with gold glitter.
3. What’s the biggest struggle you have when it comes to creating?
The biggest struggle I have when making music is definitely stopping halfway through writing lyrics when they don’t feel as honest as they could be. I guess it’s kind of a good thing- I won’t ever finish a song if it doesn’t feel like it is coming 100% from the heart. It drives me absolutely insane if i have a melody i really love and can’t find the perfect words.
4. If you could play any show in the world, what would it be?
Drumming for Oingo Boingo at one of their Halloween shows in the early 80’s…if I drummed better.
5. What do you consider your biggest musical success?
It wasn’t exactly a success of myself or my band personally, but putting on “Save the Smell Fest” with 3 of my friends has got to be my biggest music-related accomplishment. 50 bands from the LA scene played throughout the course of 12 hours, and we raised $15,000 for The Smell, a beloved Los Angeles venue that is going to be demolished this summer. We didn’t have a permit (LA Times didn’t seem to mind) and I cried a lot, but it was one of the most rewarding times of my life. To see well-over 600 people gathered together in support of a place that, for so many fostered their love for music at a young age, was an invaluable experience that I will hold onto for years to come.
6. What inspired you to start making music?
I grew up in a musical household; my parents were opera singers and my father still currently teaches voice. It was such a natural thing to start singing, and I didn’t really have a specific moment where I decided I would try to make it my career. However, one of the first moments I knew I wanted to play rock music was when I watched one of my sister’s VHS tapes, called “The Rolling Stone’s Rock and Roll Circus”; it felt like I had stumbled upon some glimmering ancient artifact. I didn’t give a shit about The Rolling Stones, but on that tape The Who performs this 9 minute song of theirs called “A Quick One While He’s Away”, and it has got to be one of the greatest rock and roll live performances documented of all time. If I ever feel disillusioned and sad about music, I find that video on youtube and it always reminds me of why I picked up an (electric) guitar in the first place 😉
7. If you could hear any person living or dead sing to you, who would it be?
Peewee Herman when he sings “the stars at night, are big and bright” in Peewee’s Big Adventure. Or The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show circa early 60’s singing “All My Loving”, after which Paul would present me with a single red rose from behind his back. All in black and white.
8. Who, aside from any band or musician, is your biggest influence?
That’s hard, I feel like all of my influences are musicians! I guess it isn’t a person, but my exploration of the 90s Riot Grrrl movement as a young teen definitely shaped the way I view my relationships with others, especially women. I learned early on that all humans have faults, and that we are all ignorant to an extent larger than we can possibly fathom. Riot Grrrl taught me the importance of having tolerance with my peers, and that we should be cheering each other on rather than tearing each other down.
9. What’s your favorite book?
Just Kids by Patti Smith.
10. What do you like to do other than music?
11. Who is your favorite musical artist?
Danny Elfman is always the first that comes to mind. He is so versatile when it comes to composing movies and rock music that it makes my head want to explode. He also plays a million instruments, has one of the most beautiful, powerful, pitch-perfect singing voices, and has the energy onstage of someone that eats bath salts breakfast (yet he doesn’t do any drugs). Master of all trades, that man is.
12. What’s one piece of advice you have for young musicians?
Be patient when things don’t seem to be going as planned, and in the meantime work as hard as you can to perfect your art as to make yourself ready when opportunity presents itself. At the same time, don’t be afraid to give life a swift kick in the butt to move things along.
13. Lastly, what’s your lucky number?
Be sure to follow Janelane on Instagram at @janelanemusic and check them out on Soundcloud.