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Claudia Schmidt

Photo of Claudia Schmidt

How would you describe your music?

A hodge-podge of all I've heard. .folkish in the instrumentation, but blues, jazz and poetry are a big part of what I do (it's almost more like a one-woman show. It's been hard to market because of its eclecticism.

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

I am the leader.

Describe your gear.

Guitar, dulcimer, me. .a small sound system when I need it, one spreaker and 4-channel mixer. .usually my venues have sound or I don;t need it.

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

Yes, always and forever. In the beginning, pay differences, (yes!) a club would hire 2 male musicians but not 2 woman musicians (unless it was 'women's night'. .give me a break) Guys can be old, fat slobs and look that way on the poster and no one thinks twice about it. .if I did that, people would say 'what a shame, she's let herself go'. .)guys alway have their wives or girlfriends to sell CDs. .not so women. .it's always been clear to me. A huge double standard in the biz.

Related Themes: Onstage

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

I think a lot of the women now are forced to think even more about packaging (themselves, I mean) than in the past. Cleavage and legs, even the folkish artists. There's a lot more pressure to be young and sexy, I think. Who said we're 'post-feminist'?

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

My friend Bryan Bowers said, 'remember, no matter how far they build you up, that's how far they'll have to tear you down later". So. .take your work seriously, but don't take yourself seriously. Maintain a sense of humor. And I think of the words mentioned in West With the Night (words of wisdom from her dad, I recall) "Work and hope, but never hope more than you work."

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

Just the right sound! I was in my first choir at age 5, the rest followed. .

Related Themes: The First Time