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Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Jann Arden chat transcript

Jann Arden: Hi, its me! Talking to you from my couch watching Rosie O'Donnell. Destiny's Child is on.

lola jabbnna: Hi Jann!! I would like to ask if you have any before-concert routines or rituals that transport you into a performance mode.

Jann Arden: I don't do one single thing. I don't warm up, I don't drink tea. I show up, I say hi to the band, we have a few laughs. I've never done anything. I don't not speak before my shows like some people do. I usually come from the van and I go onstage. It's very strange but I absolutely have no routine. The only thing...I won't eat at least 3 hours before I go on and that's because I don't want to be burping and farting.

Gabby: Hi Jann, hope you are well. Here's my question..I read that you have been playing music for 25 years now. You must have paid your dues playing smoky bars, when did you feel like it all paid off?

Jann Arden: It payed off when I started the chat! It always did, I can't think of a definitive moment. I think payment for the job that I'm doing in life is that its an enjoyable thing to do. Every day that you choose doing something that you enjoy doing...you really have to make your way whether your a teacher or a doctor, with perseverance comes a great deal of satisfaction and money can't buy that for you. Doing it because it makes you feel good. I just really want to reiterate, choosing something that you enjoy doing [means that] everything else will fall into place.

Amy McLennan :): Hey Jann I'm getting ready for a few performances at school and I'm just at the point where I'm facing my fears of singing in front of a massive crowd. I'm also a perfectionist when it comes to music and if it's not done right in my books, I've failed. How do you get over your fear (if you ever had one)? Do you always critique your shows and are you hard on yourself?

Jann Arden: I don't think you ever overcome..I think you just learn to incorporate them into the show as a source of energy. Obviously breathing is paramount and not really addressing the audience personally, not addressing the audience and individual people, that'll scare the hell out of you. You're best to look at an exit sign or lights being shone on you. I rarely make eye contact with people because it scares people and I think I'm making people uncomfortable by looking at them. Part of the joy of being a performer is the nervousness, it does turn into something really blissful after about 10 minutes.

Shannon Burris: Have you ever considered putting out a "live" album...you are so amazing in concert, I think that would be a great album to have!!??

Jann Arden: We will do a live album. I am going to be recording symphony dates in Feb. where I'm going across Canada doing selected cities with symphonies, we'll be recording all those shows and our hope is to release an album with those shows cause I think that will be really special. Live recordings have to be special, they can't be of just any show, the band has to be right...but definitely live albums are in the future. DVD? We're still thinking about that Universal talks about that all the time. I would fully expect something like that to be available sometime next year. Maybe outtakes, special interviews, compilations. I myself would really like to see that happen in the next 12 months.

Mary O'Hara: Jann: Have you ever considered co-writing any songs with Terri Clark? I know she's sung her own version of your song Good Mother and you've appeared in her bio documentary called "Real" earlier this year and given that you are both great songwriter, I just wondered if you had ever considered it?

Jann Arden: If we ever get a chance to be in the same city for a day it would be fun to try. I don't really co-write, I work with my guitar player, I don't have any other experience. I don't know if I have the patience or the desire to co-write. I don't know if I'd be of much use to anyone. I think of songwriting as a personal endeavor. I know that seems selfish but it's the way I've done it for the better part of 30 years. Terri is so personable, she is a great songwriter and maybe it would be fun cause she's my friend and we do have a bit of a history so it would be different then entering a room with a complete stranger, I think that would do me in.

Angie Schuetz: You're a terrific actress, I would love to see you up on the big screen. Have you thought about doing movies? P.S. Love your singing and songwriting too.

Jann Arden: I if someone were to offer me a role that I could manage I don't think I'm Meryl Streep by any stretch, I think movies really interest me, especially the indie, wacky ones that are character driven, I definitely could see myself attempting those. I've done a fair amount of acting in the past few years, I did a small part in a movie this past year "White Lies", it's playing somewhere, anywhere but here.

Sharon Lummiss: Hi Jann! Is it true that you were up for the job as cohost on 'Canada A.M.' with Lisa Lafambroise along side Rob Black??? Will you be touring here in Ontario next year with the symphony or will it just be out west??? Any chance of a video containing either 'Live At Last' or a collection of ALL your videos???

Jann Arden: Ahh, my old friend Sharon, Hi Sharon! How is A.J.? I will definitely being doing some eastern city dates, they're just dealing with it now. I will be with my band as well as the symphony. That's why the show will be interesting. Live At Last..I would imagine that would be available someday, I don't see why something couldn't be sorted out. I'm sure in a year they'll be good and sick of me and want to unload it. Canada AM? I don't think I was ever up for host of that show. I had friends call me saying they'd heard I'd taken the job. I think you've been on Canada AM too many times when they think you're hosting. Couldn't live in Toronto, my family is here, here I am still living in the prairies. It's nice to come home here.

Gloria (glogirl): Jann, your song "Good Mother" is very moving, especially because I lost my mother 7 years ago and still miss her every day. Jann, will you ever have a child or is your career your "baby"?

Jann Arden: I have no idea. I think that's an intangible question. I realize my window of opportunity is becoming diminished but you just never know. I think most women probably in my position and my age...every day is an adventure. You want a baby one day and the next you're thinking "I'm too God-damn old". "Good Mother", when I wrote it I thought it was the silliest song I've ever done, the simplicity of it made my think it was silly. Having had literally thousands of letters about that song, I realized that people just really wanted to find themselves in a song and I think that's what Good Mother does. I love the song. I've very grateful for that piece of music has changed my life.

casandra: I'm a singer/songwriter who is also a school teacher. I want to be give up my day job and take it "on the road". Do you think that 40 is too old to begin a serious recording artist career?

Jann Arden: I don't think any age is too old. Obviously people in their 40s realize they have to be practical which means you have to support yourself, paying your way for hotel rooms, guitar strings. If you're going to seek fame and fortune, I think that's the wrong reason. If its to fulfill inner desire, that's the right reason. So just be very careful about your motivation, that's what you have to keep in check at any age. I want to be a school teacher, that's the great irony. We should trade.

Alison Harrison: Jann - Do you plan to continue to write and sing into your senior years, or do you have others plans ahead for your future?

Jann Arden: I think I will always write, it's what I do, it's my way of documenting my own life. Whether I'm singing in front of people is anybody's guess but I'll certainly be writing at home, it will always be a huge part of my existence. I love prose, I love fiction. I love reading. Any form of expression is really healthy and I think important for all human beings to have an outlet and to express themselves and to be heard. That's a very old and distinguished human characteristic.


Jann Arden: I worked there for ten years. I don't think I said I'd be famous. But I was always singing in there. I had a little guitar. I rented movies out in between...my parents owned that store and they were the only fools in the world that would give me a job and let me sing. It was more of a hobby.

MIKE's not afraid of Jann: why is your meatloaf so expensive at your restaurant? Don't get me wrong it's tasty and all ...but it's meatloaf..

Jann Arden: Cause we're trying to make money and we have bills to pay and it's Alberta beef. Next time he comes in I'll give him 3% off.

Jessica: Hey Jann my question was if you could change your life in any way what would it be and why? I would really like to see you live a your concert again so please come back to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Thank you!

Jann Arden: If I could change my life...that's a good question..I have days where I wish I could start all over again but unfortunately it's not allowed. I would have liked to have gone to university I think. I would have liked to have maybe 15 year old kids by now. I would have liked to been able to join a baseball team and play in a summer league. I would have liked to have taken a night class and learned Spanish. Just so many things people have the opportunity to do when they're in one spot. But I love what I do, don't get me wrong. Can you imagine me with like 16 or 17 year old kids? wow!

Ryan: Jann, who are some of the "modern" musicians that you enjoy listening to?

Jann Arden: So many but I love Radiohead, Travis, Tori Amos, new artists...a country artist Jamie O'Neil, I love Jo Dee Messina. I love Cole Porter and Gershwin. I love Filter. Coldplay is wonderful. I guess I like the U.K./Scottish stuff that's going on over there, it's so fresh and so melodic. Really bringing melody back to rock & roll.

Amy's Sister: Hey Jann! My sister and I both love you and I'm wondering, who is your favourite singer of all time?

Jann Arden: I think they know that if they're a fan of mine...it's Karen Carpenter. She was simply magical. The tone, the resonance, her voice, the way she held a note with such dignity. Just something that would seep into your bones. You believed every word she sung because she believed it.

Jann Arden: I just wanna thank everyone so much and really my heartfelt thanks for everyone's support of my music. It means a lot to me.

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