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Interview | Five Times August

March 26, 2007
By: Elizabeth Brower & Megan Washington

• Five Times August is one man. What made you decide to use that alias rather then your real name?
I chose to go by a band name for the ease of promotion really. My last name is “Skistimas” and I knew nobody was going to remember that easily, so I decided I needed to promote my music with a band title. My birthday is August 5th, so eventually I came up with Five Times August.

• Where does your musical inspiration come from?
Mainly relationships. You can’t go wrong with a good love song. I write about my own personal experiences. Though it’s not always about love. They are real emotions though, and that might sound obvious, but there really isn’t that much music out there today written with real emotion.

• You’ve had several songs featured on MTV programming. How does it feel to have your work being played over a very popular television station?
It’s been an amazing boost for my career, and very surprising as well. It’s amazing for as corporate as MTV is that it has helped out an unsigned artist like me in such a huge way. I’m very thankful for the opportunity.

• The main medium that you have been using to promote yourself is the internet. Do you feel like the internet has helped you grow as an artist, or do you feel that it has possibly hurt you with fans illegally downloading music?
I go back and forth on it all the time. What it really comes down to is who the listener is. Are they the kind of person to download something illegally just to preview the band, and eventually get the CD if they like what they hear? Or do they just want to download the songs they like and now they have them for free, so who cares? It’s great for exposure, but for those listeners who just want free music and have the “gimme gimme gimme” attitude, I don’t think they realize that being a musician and songwriter is an actual job, and their stealing the music doesn’t help out any of the up and coming artists if they don’t support it the right way.

• During a live show, what is one thing you hope to get across to your audience?
I’ve realized lately that concerts can kind of be hit or miss with audiences. Some audiences are amazing and will sit and watch the show, clap, cheer, request songs. Then there are those that talk the entire time and wait until I play “Better With You.” I just want everybody to have a great time, sing along, but be respectful. It’s not just about coming to hear the “hit song” and leaving afterwards. It’s about the entire performance, from the moment it starts, to the second it ends.

• What can we expect out of the new record that you are going to be working on later in the year?
I am really excited for the next year. It’s going to be a lot more grown up and I feel like my song writing has matured a lot. The record itself will have a lot more production. I really want to aim for a great “headphone” record. Something you put the headphone’s on, close your eyes, and really enjoy the sound of the music.

• This question is a long standing, very random, tradition we have. Do you like pineapple?
Absolutely. However, I am very much a fan of Strawberries.

• Given everything that you’ve achieved thus far in your career, what is one thing that has still eluded you to this point that you would like to see happen?
Main stream radio airplay. It’s very unlikely to happen being an unsigned artist. But the majority of people still find out about music from what they hear on the radio. The reason it’s so hard for me to break in is because the corporate music world likes to buy their hit singles. I don’t have the money to bribe radio program directors. So until then, then internet will still remain a good friend of mine.