Q&A with Vienna, May 2004

Chat and sip. Beret optional.

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Derek
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Postby Derek » Fri May 14, 2004 9:28 pm

Vienna wrote: I probably won't be able to buy a house and squirrel away much for retirement in the next few years, like I would if I'd gone to graduate school or stuck with engineering. 

quick comment re: retirement -- engineering: yes you would have squirreled away some funds if you stayed an engineer. but i'm sorry to say, i know from experience you wouldn't have saved much away if you went to grad school (the route i took). then again, what little i could put away did end up helping out in buying our house since i was fortunate to invest in the stock market during the "boom years."

Anyway, i digress: my questions:

1. Are you ever going to release Signal Fire (i think that's the name)? i've heard your perform it twice live and absolutely love it.

2. What was it like to play with Joan Baez? Is it as wonderful and as easy (ie, Joan is very friendly and laid back) as I have heard it can be (from Dar WIlliams at the start of her career)?

3. Is life on the road making its way into your creative process? (ie, will your next album/songs reflect a lot of your experiences of living a life away from home?) am i guessing correctly that Harbor is a glimpse into this influence...???

finally, it was wonderful to see the footnote that you are donating proceeds of your album to Amnesty International. you have shown time and time again that you are a generous spirit through and through. thanks for taking the time to interact with you fans both here and after the shows.

Steve J
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Postby Steve J » Fri May 14, 2004 9:39 pm

First of all, thank you for your hard work. Even in the short time most of us have known you, or known OF you, your inspirational works are already touching lives, brightnening days, and helping many people to use their thoughts and imaginations to take them places which are often difficult to reach. Don't worry about the fact you are not saving now for retirement or buying a house. A house is merely a large inanimate object, the possession of which PALES in comparision to the gifts you now possess. Use the gifts now...the houses and retirement will be there when their time arrives. Tell your parents no worrying is allowable... hehee.

My question revolves around children. Several of your songs refer to a child, children, daughter, unborn children, etc. Do you have any particular thoughts regarding having children someday, and if so, how that may impact your music (possibly with both positives and negatives)?

And, thanks for spending time with us. :)
Steve
Loyal fan/groupie/friend/ETC. of Vienna Teng, Kyler England & Taylor Roberts Music (Now "Glorydive").

ballegre
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Postby ballegre » Fri May 14, 2004 10:11 pm

Business:

Hows the new album selling?

How does it compare against Waking Hour?

Can I ask for real numbers (like how many sold) or is that company confidential?

Are you overwhelmed yet with this forum?

Thanks and keep making music.

Fan for life,

Bob

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Postby ballegre » Fri May 14, 2004 10:14 pm

Derek wrote:
Vienna wrote: I probably won't be able to buy a house and squirrel away much for retirement in the next few years, like I would if I'd gone to graduate school or stuck with engineering. 

quick comment re: retirement -- engineering: yes you would have squirreled away some funds if you stayed an engineer. but i'm sorry to say, i know from experience you wouldn't have saved much away if you went to grad school (the route i took). then again, what little i could put away did end up helping out in buying our house since i was fortunate to invest in the stock market during the "boom years."


more like you would have squirelled away a small fortune on paper and then, like me, promptly watch it disappear...

tarheelboy
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Postby tarheelboy » Fri May 14, 2004 11:38 pm

Hello Vienna,

My 5 1/2 year old daughter loves your music. She saw you at Borders at Santana Row. She would like to know what is your favorite animal? Also, what is your favorite color?

Thank you.

Dad and Stephanie

Sandy
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Postby Sandy » Sat May 15, 2004 12:50 am

Inhales....exhales.

An absolutely outstanding set of answers, Vienna.

This was a wonderful gift to your fans, here. Thanks.

Vienna
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Postby Vienna » Sat May 15, 2004 1:42 am

Ah, there comes the torrent. Easy ones first...

Have you reached a truce with Mission Street?
Mission Street won. I'm moving this month, to a quieter part of San Francisco. :)

Since I spend most of the day staring at Microsoft Visual Studio, I would like to know which Cisco Systems location you worked at, and what you did there.
San Jose campus, network management for the Catalyst 2950 and 3550 series of LAN switches. Oh, here, you can look at the <a href='http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/cc/pd/si/casi/ca3550/prodlit/cclms_ds.htm' target='_blank'>data sheet</a> of the product I worked on. On the off-chance anyone reading this actually uses CMS, I am not available for tech support. ;)

Although you were born in America, are there Chinese letters for your name?
For my given name, yes. I didn't think to come up with a "literary name" in Chinese, so whenever the Chinese newspapers publish anything about me, they print the name my parents gave me. If I knew how to type Chinese characters, I'd show you.

I just wanted to ask a quick question or two about the upcoming shows with Mason Jennings. Do you know how long you'll be playing, and also, will you be around for chats and autographs afterwards?
Hi Penny :) Did you see I'm finally coming to Cincinnati, with Over The Rhine? I'll probably be playing a standard opener's set, between 25-40 minutes. I'll definitely be around to say hi afterwards!

Heard you're in a movie. True? What's the name of it?
What kind of movie are we talking about? Hidden camera stuff? I don't *think* I'm in a movie...

Have you gotten your luggage back yet?
Nope. I'm currently wearing borrowed underwear. Very sad.

Are you gonna go to the Tori DVD screening at the Metreon?
I'm actually a very base-level Tori Amos fan; I buy all her albums, I listen to every song, and that's about it. I don't even own the special edition of anything.

The amazon.com exclusive thing is over, can we get nicer quality versions of those tracks up somewhere?
That's in the works, yes.

When are you gonna play the Fillmore?
It's all about numbers— when I have a shot at selling it out, basically. Unless the powers that be at the Fillmore think I'm the worst thing to come along since weapons of mass destruction, in which case: never.

Are you ever going to release Signal Fire (i think that's the name)? i've heard your perform it twice live and absolutely love it.
Signal Fire will have her day, I think. An appearance on a studio album is getting less and less likely, as she's been left off of two already, but we might be able to capture her live. If not that, then as a "rarity" studio recording.

How's the new album selling? How does it compare against Waking Hour? Can I ask for real numbers (like how many sold) or is that company confidential?
Very well, better, and company confidential. :)

What is your favorite animal? Also, what is your favorite color?
I can't pick favorites, but I will say that I have a most wonderful stuffed polar bear named Thelonious, and I like wearing dark red.

Are you overwhelmed yet with this forum?
Not yet. Any fatigue is offset by ego inflation. ;) I have no idea how politicians deal with a negative barrage of questions...

Vienna
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Postby Vienna » Sat May 15, 2004 2:04 am

on the timing of deciding to go into music:
I don't think there's any other way it could have happened, to be honest. Or that I would have wanted it to happen. Going to college gave me time to mature as a songwriter; I'm glad I didn't put out the first album I'd daydreamed of making, which was a handful of awful pop songs I penned in high school. If there's anything I'd consider changing, it would be what I majored in — English, maybe, something in the humanities, something that would have taught me about people instead of algorithms. And it would have been nice to take my musical training further, which is something I still intend to do. I'm currently limited in what I can do as a musician.

It wasn't clear for a very long time that I would take music this seriously. There are a lot of amazing amateur musicians out there, and a lot of pretty talented songwriters who never make an album or get up on stage. It was a long journey to arrive at committing myself to the work required. There was a strong pull in other directions, valid questions that people asked me about whether this was a good idea. It took a long time to find the right answer.

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Postby Michele » Sat May 15, 2004 2:12 am

What kind of movie are we talking about? Hidden camera stuff?  I don't *think* I'm in a movie...


No, it was a drama of some sort. I'm wondering if the person who saw it got it mixed up with something else...

I don't even own the special edition of anything.


Guess it's good I never asked what charm you got in the Scarlet's Walk box. :lol:

Kay
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Postby Kay » Sat May 15, 2004 3:00 am

I've been lurking on this forum for months, and seeing this Q&A finally spurred me to register.

Hi Vienna!

1) How do you choose which songs to cover? Do you pick songs that specifically have sentimental value for you or simply ones you feel you can place a different spin on?

2) Will you ever release "Boy at the Piano"?

Thank you so much for taking time out to do this! This is such a gift to your fans.
Last edited by Kay on Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:07 am, edited 4 times in total.

mizar
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Postby mizar » Sat May 15, 2004 6:03 am

Thanks for this great Q&A session. Really enjoyed reading your responses.
I recalled seeing a nicely made music video of your Green Island Serenade song. The visual backdrops really matched well with the song. Where was the video shot? What did you think about that experience? Are you planning to make another music video with any of your other songs? Also, is there a zipped up video file of that music video for sharing (I didn't remember to record it ).

PS. You may have answer some these in the interview but my mandarin is too rusty and my adorable translator was dozing.

johnny
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Postby johnny » Sat May 15, 2004 7:57 am

Hi! Like everyone else, I'd like to offer my thanks and gratitude for you to answer some of our questions :-)

I always like asking musicians what music they're currently listening to. It's always great for inspiration within myself to find something new to listen to :D So, what are you currently listening to?

One other question I wondered was if you actually know Glen Phillips? I was a huge Toad fan which transferred over to a huge Glen fan (which transferred over to a huge Nickel Creek fan and so on, due to what I said earlier) I noticed the thank yous to him in the liner notes. I'm also seriously excited about the news of a tour with a few other artists including Teitur, one of my favorite new artists (whom i learned from glen!).

Thanks and keep doing what you're doing :) seeya at the montgomery show
-johnny

kazzie
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Postby kazzie » Sat May 15, 2004 8:53 am

Hi Vienna

I think you are awesome ... I live in Sydney, Australia and my American friend Illif got me into your music ..I have both your albums and you write such amazing songs. My favourite is Anna Rose but there are many others too.

Firstly I would love to know if you would ever think of coming down here to Australia to promote your music?

Secondly I was wondering, if you could have any artist/band cover one of your songs who would you want it to be?

Thanks and congratulations on your success so far hope it keeps on soaring

Best wishes
Karen

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Postby Ginny » Sat May 15, 2004 2:34 pm

Hi Vienna,
I'm having fun reading everyone's questions and your responses. Thanks for doing this for us! Here are my questions:

1. How you feel about fame? Obviously you want to get as many people into your music as possible, but what about fame itself? Do you want fame and everything that goes with it, or do you see it as a possible downside to your career choice?

2. When you were growing up did your family go on yearly family vacations, and if so what is your favorite family vacation memory?

~Ginny
"I'm going crazy a little every day. Everything I wanted is now driving me away." ~Sheryl Crow (Home)

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Postby hiro » Sat May 15, 2004 5:38 pm

Hi Vienna,

Pleasure having the chance to see you perform live within an hour after I first found out about you and your music, and only 4 blocks away from where I was so I didn't even have to worry about parking! That was an awsome day! :D

I am wondering: 1. what kinds of food do you like, and 2. what kind of teenager were you in your rebellious years, and 3. did your parents make you go to Chinese language school on Saturday mornings, and 4. that night when I saw you perform, didn't have enough cash to buy a CD. Could I send you a CD, with an SASE, for you to autograph?

Thanks for taking us on on the forum. This is fun!


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