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Carleton Stone
Carleton Stone is quickly rising from the indie club scene to the center of Canadian music.  His latest selt-titled album was produced by Hawksley Workman and he recently toured with Blue Rodeo.  He is a playful, sensitive, edgy rocker with a sometimes naughty attitude that is nothing less than fun and energyzing to watch and listen to.  Carleton will be participating in an upcoming NBC network series called "Budweiser Presents The Big Time".  Check out hte teaser for the show here!  For more information about this artist and tour dates, visit CarletonStone.com  
Interview by: Valerie Bastien

Valerie:  Give us a little bit of history about who you are and the music that is close to your heart.

Carleton Stone: I'm from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I was born into a musical family so music was a big part of my life from a very early age.

Valerie:   What other artists would you compare yourself to?

Carleton Stone: I draw influence and inspiration from Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan.

Valerie:  You have received a very positive response to your self-titled album produced by Hawksley Workman.  What is the overall vibe of the album?

Carleton Stone: The album has an alt-country/pop sound. It was created in a very organic way with most of the album being tracked live off the floor with the session musicians. We tried to make an authentic and smart record with real instruments, while maintaining a strong pop sensibility and I feel that we achieved that.

Valerie:   What did you learn from working with Hawksley?

Carleton Stone: I have been stealing tricks from Hawksley since I first saw him live as a 16 year old avid music fan. Specifically during the album process, I learned a great deal about how to make a professional sounding recording, and a lot of technical recording techniques. Also, learned the intense amount of work that the producer takes on their shoulders during the recording process, from keeping the work moving forward and keeping the mood positive in the studio.

Valerie:   My favourite song on the CD is Sheets. What can you tell me about the topic of this song?

Carleton Stone: I wrote this song with my good friend Emma-Lee. We set out with the intent to write a catchy, upbeat song. Instead of trying to write around the topic of love (the world is saturated with enough love songs), we decided to write a "sex-song" with a cheeky, cute point of view.

Valerie:   Tell me about a song on your album that wrote itself up really fast in a moment where you felt really inspired.

Carleton Stone: The song Looks was written in about 40 minutes with my friend Morgan Cameron Ross. We had already written half a song, when we decided to leave it and start something else. Looks was what came out. It was the dead of winter in Toronto and we were daydreaming about a summer road trip with a beautiful woman.

Valerie:   Is there a song on the album that is contrasting in style to the others that you would like to discuss?

Carleton Stone: Bad Decisions is a song that definitely contrasts with some of the other songs on the record. It was a song I had written myself a couple years ago and was really trying to write something that didn't follow the normal verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure and was more about capturing the mood I was feeling when I wrote it.  I feel that it's important for me as an artist to balance songs that are catchy and connect with the audience immediately with ones that may be more obscure but represent an emotion that I was feeling in a moment of inspiration.

 Valerie:   What is your favourite song on the album and why?

Carleton Stone: It's really hard to pick a favorite song on the album because I feel like I'm trying to pick my favorite child. However, Never Felt a Thing is a really special song for me. I co-wrote that with my friend Molly Thomason (17 year old songwriting prodigy) and was at the beginning of my work as a co-writer.  It was written on Ingonish Beach in Cape Breton during the first day of Gordie Sampson's songwriting camp and it just felt like we were capturing something really special with this song.

Valerie:  You were recently one of 12 finalists chosen from over 3000 applications submitted from around the world to participate in an upcoming NBC network series called Budweiser Presents The Big Time.  This is very exciting.  Tell us about your participation on that show.

Carleton Stone: This was a very surprising and exciting piece of news when I found out. It was an application that my manager just put in on a whim and a week later I was getting calls from Santa Monica asking for me to fly down a few days later for auditions. I ultimately didn't make the final three participants who will get to participate in the episode but it was a great experience (and a free trip to LA!), made a lot of great contacts during my time there and already have my next trip booked for writing in February.

Valerie:  Where can we hear your music and see you play?

Carleton Stone: You can hear my music all over the internet, from my website CarletonStone.com , iTunes, Facebook, NoiseTrade, etc. Just finished a bunch of shows in Ontario over the past few weeks, and I have a bunch of East Coast dates booked in October and November.

Valerie Bastien is a vocal coach, teacher, musician and freelance journalist.
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