Broken Poets

The principle question I always look to in any set of XXQ’s, is probably the one in which we ask, “So… what do you sound like? What’s the takeaway from your music?” Sounds like a simple question – but it certainly isn’t easy to answer. Some artists can provide some guidance to us concerning what it is that makes them stand out in the crowd (so many features are still maturing as artists, of course), and some artists can tell us exactly what it is that sets them on another level, whacking the proverbial nail right on the head. Without a doubt, the latter describes our latest feature, Broken Poets. The mastermind behind the project (Tim McDonald) tells us what his songs sound like with great precision: “Imagine if the Edge went on a three week bender and hallucinated he had a jam session with the spirit of Chopin, who intern sent a telegram that arrived two weeks later to the cottage of Eddie Vedder’s long lost ancestor, Heinrich Von Van-Vedder the first requesting his vocal an lyrical assistance, who then rode by horseback writing lyrics as he traveled through outer reaches of the Edge’s intoxicated subconscious; that’s our sound.” AWESOME.

The NYC born but Phoenix-based Broken Poets also boasts the very talented Svetlana Antropova, and between McDonald and the Russian-born songstress, they’re developing a new EP, following up on several other works from McDonald. This collection is especially personal – “These songs came out of the blue over the past few years, and I realized they were similar subject matter to some dreams my friend, Dustin Essary, had before he died. This all happened when I was very young, and Dustin’s death is what actually lead me to music as a way to cope. So the last song on this EP, ‘For the Death of Dustin Essary’ I wrote as a tribute to my old friend, and the EP itself is just a precursor to a multi-media project we are now working on that these songs will also be a part of.” Keep an eye for this work – it’ll be some hard hitting material, to be sure. For now however, keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Broken Poets

PensEyeView.com (PEV): With critical raves such as “soulful poetry turned into song, rock & roll and introspection all in one,” how would you describe your sound ?                                                      

Tim: Imagine if the Edge went on a three week bender and hallucinated he had a jam session with the spirit of Chopin, who intern sent a telegram that arrived two weeks later to the cottage of Eddie Vedder’s long lost ancestor, Heinrich Von Van-Vedder the 1st. requesting his vocal an lyrical assistance, who then rode by horseback writing lyrics as he traveled through outer reaches of the Edge’s intoxicated subconscious; that’s our sound.

Lana: don’t listen to him; he’s an idiot. This is the same word for it in Russian; idiot.

PEV: New York City bred but based in Phoenix, what kind of music where you both into growing up?

Lana: Growing up in Russia, the USSR at that time, I was just trying to get a hold of anything American, old, new, punk, pop, rock, whatever I could.. Also a lot of the European pop bands were an influence like, Modern Talking, Boney M, and, ABBA of course….

Tim: I was force-fed all the 70’s singer songwriters by my brother and sister, then rebelliously turned to 80’s rock which set me back a few years.. Ha

PEV: An energetic and unique duo what can fans expect from a live Broken Poets show?                      

Tim: Lana plays Piano and keyboard and operates a kick drum all at once which is fun to watch.. I remember a show we had last year when a guy came up afterward and said,, “ it looks likes she’s flying a frigin helicopter up there”. Which was a great description really.. ha..  Plus we have interactive video to go with our show which make things more interesting, and I run my amps in stereo with delays that make us sound much fuller than a duo. But with all that going on, and with just the two of us, something always gets f-ed up and that all becomes part of the show as well. But we usually pull it off somehow. It’s like musical improv.

PEV: How did the name “Broken Poets” come about?                                                                         

Tim: I was thinking of how everything about myself as an artist reflected some broken part of myself or my life.. Either working out some personal emotion I was frustrated with or something going on around me I wasn’t happy with that I wanted to speak out about. So the fact that art (something good – hopefully) comes out of a struggle of some kind was the point I guess...

Lana: Then just the fact we’ve gone through so many lineup changes through the years, and now it just being the two of us, it seems to be even more fitting.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for this particular EP?                                                               

Tim: These songs came out of the blue over the past few years, and I realized they were similar subject matter to some dreams my friend, Dustin Essary, had before he died. This all happened when I was very young, and Dustin’s death is what actually lead me to music as a way to cope. So the last song on this EP, “For the Death of Dustin Essary” I wrote as a tribute to my old friend, and the EP itself is just a precursor to a multi-media project we are now working on that these songs will also be a part of.

Lana is also an artist and I’m also writer so we’ll be adding this all together into one creative expression. It should be pretty interesting once it’s all completed.. a few more years maybe? ha 

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the Broken Poets?                                          

Lana: That we are both pretty happy for the most part, even though our music is melon collie.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?                   

Tim: We hope to make it over to Europe soon, if they’ll have us.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

Tim: Lana has a firing range in the back yard where she shoots her vintage 58 cal smooth bore Kalesnikoff, while taking shots of Vodka,  and I’m actually going to start cage fighting soon, very soon.. as soon as I bulk up a bit more… not really, We both travel when we can and watch good shows like, Dexter, Breaking bad, Mad Men, etc…

Lana: But I do like Vodka.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

Tim: U2 , for their longevity combined with consistently making good music. Lana: Nina Simone, because of her amazing piano and vocal work.

PEV: So, what is next for Broken Poets?

Tim: We’ll be working on our new project “For the Death of Dusting Essary”