Hattie Lewis Band indie music“A huge challenge for all of us. We all wear so many “different hats”. In one day anyone of us can be playing the role of 12 people. ” – @HattieLewisBand

Episode #283 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax

by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Interviewing: Jodie Jean (aka) “Hattie”
Hattie Lewis Band

My personal definition of success is.. to be a better person tomorrow then I am today

My over all goal for my life & career is…
To someday move from starving artist status to paid artist status. Boy would I love it if my art could be my career!

Name one success story that you are particularly proud of….
I would have to say being a nominee for our local Sammy Awards Show has been a huge eye opener for me. It was the Hattie Lewis Band’s first big jump into the music scene. And a big one at that. Syracuse NY is one of the biggest cities around our area and to be placed in with the top 5 best country bands for our area was a huge accomplishment for us. It was our first push at putting ourselves out there among hundreds of bands and we actually turned some ears. We didn’t win but it definitely opened our eyes to what we have in store and what we have to work towards. And I even think it showed we have something good, we’re not just a garage band. Not that we don’t like playing in our garage, its the coolest place to hang your hat in town.

3 Ways that I challenge myself …

1)As a band we try to stay self sufficient. We are able to stay true to ourselves, and it shows through our music.

2)Constantly trying to learn new instruments. I feel some songs come from the melody and each instrument creates its own story through its sound. It gives me a wider variety to play with and in return a wider variety of stories to tell.

3)Balance. A huge challenge for all of us. We all wear so many “different hats”. In one day anyone of us can be playing the role of 12 people. We all have separate lives from the band, that each of us have to prioritize. Families to raise, regular 9-5 day jobs, second jobs, homes and yards, kids and grandkids, soccer, swimming, you know, the everyday importance that needs constant attention. The one good thing that all this balance gives us though, is more songs that connect us all and an even bigger appreciation for our love of music and what it takes to be the diamond in the ruff.

Music business…
You know when anyone puts business in the question, I cringe. I couldn’t even tell you what the music business is let alone how I feel about it. Being able to write and compose music with the band, recording, meeting great people, learning what talent we have around us, have all been amazing experiences. I don’t think any of us in the band have ever really tackled the whole business aspect yet. With every one of us living everyday lives, and still fitting in our love for music, the business aspect sometime hits the back burner, but I think as long as the music never does the rest will fall in line. “One day at a time and all will fall in line” .. sounds like a song.

Social media…
is a great way to keep all our Family, friends, and Fans in the loop. I think the biggest challenge with it though is keeping everyone engaged. There is so much out there for them to look through, it’s easy to be shuffled by. Especially when half your band is from a generation that is used to picking up a rotary phone. I still don’t think my Daddio even knows how to use facebook. haha

Singles vs an album…
Talk about the differences in your marketing strategy to support your preference.
You know that’s a toss up for me. I’m a variety girl, I love making a album that has many different songs to choose from. I just wonder sometimes would our music be more noticed if we pushed one single apposed to a full album. We are still so new to the marketing aspect of things at this point, that we tend to wing it. I figure this works until we find our Knack. One thing we have going for us, is we are always willing to learn and we never back down.

Being current and trendy…
In my opinion, I think all music is current and trendy. It doesn’t have to be written today, it could have been written years ago, but if it connects with me in my life now, then it is current to me. Music is loved by all, and is forever being changed and then found again.

To be honest, Family and a great group of friends that are like family first inspired me to get into music…
They all inspired my love for music. You didn’t need money, you just needed a guitar, some bottles, sticks and the knowledge to play a few major chords and a beat from the soul.

is about knowing your own worth.

Being an Army wife I met some pretty amazing people, and we all had something in common, we were lonely half the time. Our soldiers would deploy, which seemed to be every other year, and there was always the worry of whether or not our relationships could make the long road of being separated from the one’s we loved. There were some that just couldn’t be true and in those moments you saw some pretty brave people find their own worth, then the ones who lost them, realizing they were unreplaceable.

Prepping to record this song was a blast. The whole process of building our second CD was a blessing. I actually made a video that shows our behind the scenes grind time as we were working out the kinks before recording. We will always cherish it, because my Daddio’s sister was fighting her battle with cancer and she skyped in every Tuesday for band practice with us. You can hear her on the video, always chiming in with her witty comments. It’s been just over a year since she passed and it’s nice to hear her wit now and again. She was our biggest fan.

I hope you can expect a sound that all generations can love…
I hope we leave our listeners with a simple, honest, and raw emotion from our music. When I wrote these songs, I wasn’t thinking anything was great or special about them. I was just getting some life off my chest. It’s wasn’t until I brought them to the Hattie Lewis band, did they become great and special. Because as we all learned them and tweaked them, I got to hear how the music and words meant to all my band mates. Different stories but the same emotion, same conclusion, they were moved, they remembered something, they felt, “hey that’s how I felt”, they connected to the music and it always feels good to know you are not alone. Then when we started to release our music, fans started to have the same reaction. If our music can accomplish that, then my wish for our music has already come true and it’s all up hill from here. We’ll keep putting it out there for any and all! We tend to be a little under educated on the whole business aspect of Music but one day at a time, some dedicated band mates and a prayer seem to be our best marketing skills yet. We’re still learning, but having a great time doing it!

As my Daddio would say, “We live in Sterling NY, a town that consists of 7 including the dogs….
He exaggerates a little but it sure does feel like it’s that small sometimes. The music scene is a little different when you live in the country compared to the bigger cities. You have what I call diamonds in the ruff. You tend to get to know them by the neighbors bonfires or the local bar’s open mic night. Places to go you ask… Well that won’t be a long list but it’s a fun one. We tend to play a lot in Fair Haven NY. Little Sodus Inn is always a fun place to hang your hat in the summer. It’s right off lake Ontario. The American Legion in Hannibal NY is another great place to hang your Hat. They put on a great Halloween bash every year and they do a great job putting on the Vet fest, for our veterans and their families. The I.O.O.B club is a local favorite and there is a new venue Turtle Cove that is serving up some great grub and of course your local talent.

There are a ton of fun things I like to do, so picking one is a little tricky, but the one thing that stands out the most to me is, I like to laugh. My youngest son and I love to play laughing. We start out fake laughing and it doesn’t take long for us to be busting a gut at each other. Laughter is the song of love.


I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Jesus, he gives us our blessings, strength, stamina, knowledge and love for life. My Daddio always says, whether you believe or not, you can at least agree, that those Ten commandments are something to stand for. If I can love, be honest, kind, and understanding, I can live a happy life.

I am most afraid of…
a world with out music. That would be a very drab way to exist.

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