Tony Taylor is Director Industry and Artist Relations, HorizonVU Music. Tony has been involved with the music scene internationally since his teenage years. He has written for several music publications, most notably the Country Rock and American Lifestyle magazine, Dreamwest, for which he spent five years as the International Artistic Director. His ambition now is to help to bring together the Music, Film, and Fashion scenes in order to spread the message about the dangers of Climate Change.
Patricia Vonne is an American singer and actress. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Vonne, moved to New York City 1990-2001 to pursue her artistic ambitions. She has worked extensively in Europe and America and has been featured in international commercials and film work. She formed her own musical band and performed the New York circuit from 1998-2001 before relocating to her native Texas where she currently tours extensively in US, Mexico and Europe. She toured as a member of Tito and Tarantula in 2002 (band featured in the film “From Dusk Till Dawn”). Her song, “Traeme Paz”, was featured in the film “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”.
Her most recent album, “Rattle My Cage” is a collaboration on songs with some of the most distinguished Texas musicians that have inspired and informed her music; the late Doyle Bramhall, Alejandro Escovedo, Rosie Flores and Johnny Reno alongside some of her other favorite musical talents.
TT: What was it like to grow up in San Antonio in a multilingual/multicultural household, where music and movies became the backbeat for you and your siblings?
PV: It was a nurturing environment in that my parents always encouraged music and the arts in the home. My dad was a drummer in college and a travelling salesman. My mother was a nurse and a home maker. They sacrificed everything for us and put us all through private school. For special occasions they would invite the Mariachi’s to our house which gave us a taste of our musical heritage. My mother would play Spanish guitar and have us sing and harmonize on her favorite Mexican folksongs. This childhood memory inspired all my albums to be bilingual because it’s who I am and I’m proud to be Latina…plus she taught me how to play castanets! My mother would also take us to the movies every week to watch MGM Musicals and Hitchcock double features as well which inspired a love for film. Since there was always an infant, we would sneak in a diaper bag stuffed with hotdogs, hamburgers and soda pop for the ultimate movie experience! hahaha!
TT: You have produced some great albums in your career, but many critics agree that your current album, “Rattle My Cage”, is the best to date. Can you describe the circumstances that led up to the recording of this great album?
PV: I had co-written the title track with Johnny Reno who also plays my leading man in the music video! It was filmed during the hot rod fest in Austin, Texas. I was then on tour in Germany with Del Castillo and the lead singer Alex Ruiz and I started to write “Tequileros” after the show about my grandfather. While on tour I started writing “Dark Mile” and I sent a version of the song from Zurich Switzerland to Doyle Bramhall in Alpine Texas. When I returned from tour we completed it together. “Ravage Your Heart” was also being written on the same tour and I strongly felt Alejandro Escovedo attached to the melody and the mood of the song. I presented it to him once I returned and he agreed to write it with me. While in Paris recording a TV performance, Rosie Flores sent me the rockin’ title to “This Cat’s in the Doghouse” and I began writing it on the spot. We had two days off in Holland so I recorded a demo for “Que Maravilla”. These were the songs I had to get started on the full length album. It was my European tour that allowed me the freedom to pen these songs and to be inspired to write them with these amazing song writers.
TT: Listening to the 10 tracks in the album, it feels that not only do the lyrics tell stories, but, that many of the songs could form the basis for movies in their own right. When you create a track, do you vision its lyrics and music as if it were a film scene?
PV: I have to credit my musicians for the epic sound. Robert LaRoche on lead guitar, Scott Garber on bass, Dony Wynn on drums, David Perales on violin. Guest musicians are Rick Del Castillo on Spanish guitar & Alex Ruiz on vocals on “Tequileros”, Joe Reyes on lead guitar for “Dulce Refugio” and “Paris Trance”, Michael Ramos on keys for “Ravage Your Heart”, Carl Thiel on piano on “Bitter Need” & “Que Maravilla” and Johnny Reno on sax and Ian McClagan on piano for “This Cat’s in the Doghouse”. I always try to start with a song title and it seems to write itself. I usually like to start with music first then lyrics to paint the canvas… but my musicians are tremendously responsible for the ultimate result and I am extremely fortunate.
TT: With the album, “Rattle My Cage”, you have included some amazing collaborations with folks such as Peter Kingsbery, Rosie Flores, and your brother Robert Rodriguez, to name but a few. Did you find that each of these artists had a very different approach to the creative process of making a song come to life?
PV: Yes. Rosie brought me that incredible title of “This Cat’s in the Doghouse”. I used her as a muse for the music which is spitfire and a bit cowpunk rockabilly-esq and we wrote it fast as fire. Thanks to you Tony, I found Peter Kingsbery! We tracked him down in France thanks to your help in finding his manager. He went to college in Austin and grew up there and he’s one of my favorite songwriters. I sent a request that I would love to write a song with him and in 24 hours we were in contact with each other. He was scheduled to fly to Austin, Texas the very next week to visit family so we met on his last day. What were the chances of THAT?? I sent him a demo which was initially a rock version and in five days he sent me lyrics to the entire song and an added B verse with just his piano and vocal track. I used every word of his contribution and I replicated his sparse piano and vocal style to keep it faithful to his vision and it sounds so heart breaking. I recorded a rock version as a bonus track on ITUNES. My brother Robert had given me a Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Stratocaster for my birthday and for this album I decided to write an instrumental with him on the very guitar he gave me. This turned out to be “Mexicali de Chispa” the final track and I play the lead guitar on the recording to let my fans know it’s never too late to learn a new instrument!
TT: Although I love all the tracks on the album, I have to admit to being completely blown away by “Rattle My Cage”, “Dark Mile”, “Ravage your heart”, and “Tequileros”. What was the inspiration for these tracks in particular?
PV: “Rattle My Cage” was a full blown rock anthem about steel metal cruisers and mad love running you down like a high speed chase! Reno was the perfect collaborator because he rattles all kinds of cages! haha. “Dark Mile” I used Doyle Bramhall as my muse for the pulsating music and since he was a drummer I wanted the drums to sound powerful and epic. He was a beautiful kind soul. “Ravage Your Heart” I felt Alejandro Escovedo would be perfect collaborator for this romantic tune with the melody and dynamics. We met during his two hour break between a radio show and his performance that night and completed the song. I was so grateful! “Tequileros” was written for my grandfather Valentin Rodriguez. He was a ranchero, curandero, carnicero and a tequilero! He loved to make his own moonshine much to my grandmother’s chagrin so hence the title! It’s a fun sing along!
TT: We have a clip we’d like to share with or readers. Patricia Vonne and “Rattle My Cage” live at Antone’s in Austin, Texas!
TT: As HorizonVU Music is based in Paris, we couldn’t overlook that dreamy French gypsy rhythm that’s found in Paris Trance. Would you say you have a special place in your heart for the French capital?
PV: OUI!!! I love the film “AMERICAN in PARIS” and when I was on tour with Tito and Tarantula, our opening night was in PARIS, FRANCE and I’ve been aching to return. It’s a magical city that fuels my imagination and makes me believe in true romance and ardent love.
TT: Besides writing music for the films of your brother Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, you are also a dab hand at acting and have had roles in the films, Sin City, and Machete Kills, and play the character of “Zorro Girl” in the recently released, Sin City 2 : A Dame To Kill For. How do you manage to juggle the two worlds of music and film and still find time for a private life?
PV: I’m also a rock ‘n’ roll Realtor in Austin, Texas so I feel like I am three people sometimes. But in order to do music and pursue the arts I know it takes hard work to finance everything and I don’t like waiting for investors…so I work twice as hard to forge ahead and do what it takes to get to the next level and to make the next project. My parents have a strong work ethic and they taught me well. Last year I was one of the top salespeople at my realty firm and I was able to go on my spring tour which included the Montreux Jazz Festival, a fall tour and my “Rattle My Cage” CD Release. I felt like Zorro Girl by the end of the year!
TT: Can you share with us your plans for 2015?
PV: I’ll be returning for a European Spring tour and working on a summer tour as well. I’d like to make more music videos, write short stories, do more animation, write more instrumentals, visit friends and family and enjoy each day as if it were my last
TT: Patricia, thanks so very much for your time. It’s always a pleasure to chat with you and we and we hope that you’ll let all of us at HorizonVU Music know when you’re next in Paris.
Visit Patricia Vonne at http://www.patriciavonne.com/