Log for The Artist Shop/Talk City IRC Chat with Annie Haslam on Wednesday, November 11, 1998


WotanCCC:    Annie is with us now folks....we'll be starting soon.

WotanCCC:    We will be starting in a few minutes folks...

WotanCCC:    Todays Featured Artist conference is with Annie Haslam, of Renaissance.  We will be talking about the past present and future and the "Live Under the Brazilian Skies" CD.  Get your questions in early using the following format; Type /msg AskAnnie Your question here.

Annies writing career began when she met producer Tony Visconti who encouraged her in this new medium of expression.  Borne from this came the album, Blessing in Disguise, where the majority of the songs were co-written by Annie and Tony. Her more recent collaboration with Yes guitarist Steve Howe has taken her to new heights in her musical career.  Now available is Annie Haslam Live Under Brazilian Skies!  The CD contains 70+ minutes of the best performances from Annie's tour of Rio de Janeiro and PetrŪpolis in March of 1997, including your favorite solo Annie Haslam tracks, some classic Renaissance songs, and three brand new pieces of music.

WotanCCC:    ******************************
WotanCCC:    .
WotanCCC:    . Welcome to todays
WotanCCC:    . Artist Shop
WotanCCC:    . Featured Artist Conference
WotanCCC:    .
WotanCCC:    . An afternoon with
WotanCCC:    . Annie Haslam
WotanCCC:    . of
WotanCCC:    . Renaissance
WotanCCC:    .
WotanCCC:    . Presented by
WotanCCC:    . @Music and TalkCity
WotanCCC:    .
WotanCCC:    ******************************

WotanCCC:    As the lead vocalist for the British group Renaissance, Annie Haslam has been acclaimed as the nightingale of progressive music.  In addition to the ten albums she recorded with  Renaissance, she has released four solo albums and collaborated with such renowned musicians as Roy Wood, Justin Hayward and Steve Howe.   One of the highest achievements of her career was her live performance with Renaissance accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and also recording with the orchestra on her solo CD, Still Life.  Annie, thank you for joining us today.

GaryArtistShop:    Good evening Annie

AnnieHaslam:    Good evening! It's 9:00 here. :-)    LOL LOL!

AskAnnie:    randomtask says: How would you define your music? What styles would you say your music encompass?

AnnieHaslam:    Well, I think that the music I'm doing now is similar to the music I did with Renaissance, which has a grandeur, classical feel to it. If I had to put a label to what I'm doing now, I'd have to say contemporary art rock. :-)

AskAnnie:    bobafett says: I saw Renaissance perform with Gentle Giant at the Shrine auditorium in L.A. and it was one of the finest musical performances I've ever seen. Do you have any memories of that tour?

AnnieHaslam:    Yes, I do. I remember we had an argument with Gentle Giant!  There was a falling-out one night between us - something silly happened between the bands. I remember that tour.  I've done altogether maybe 70 tours of America, so it's difficult to pin them down.  It's over 20 years ago too! :-)

GaryArtistShop:    I remember seeing Renaissance and Gentle Giant together in an old opera house in Akron, the Civic theater. The ambience was perfect.

AskAnnie:    gentlegiant says: I seem to remember that Renaissance at one time had a connection to the group "The Yardbirds". Were you involved with that version of the band?

AnnieHaslam:    No, when I joined the band, Keith Relph and Jim McCarthy were still involved with Renaissance, but they weren't actually in the band. They were still involved with writing and watching over it generally.

AskAnnie:    long-time-fan says: What is the status of your reunion with Renaissance?

AnnieHaslam:    Well, I went back to England in the summer and recorded 10 new songs. I wrote the lyrics, Michael Dunford wrote the music. Terry Michael and myself played on all of them.  We had another keyboard player called Mickey Simmons who joined. He played with Mike Oldfield, and played with Fish's band. Roy Wood played bass on a couple of tracks.  We're trying to get a record deal set at the moment.   If we get a record deal and it's feasible, then we'll take that band on the road.  It would be a tour, the first time with Renaissance, since we broke up in 1987. I haven't worked with Terry since 1979. It would be very special.

AskAnnie:    aboxofrogs says: Is there anyone that you would really like to collaborate with that you haven't worked with yet?

AnnieHaslam:    I'd like to work with Jose Carreras, the opera singer.   I'd like to work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra again - I love to work with orchestras. I'd love to perform in Carnegie Hall again, in my own right.  I'll have to sit down and think about it. :-)

AskAnnie:    _quito_ says: What happened to the rest of "Carpet Of The Sun" lyrics?

AnnieHaslam:    About Carpet of the Sun, someone asked me about that before, that it was printed on an album sleeve, but we never performed it. I'm going to look at the sleeve as we talk.

AskAnnie:    jetgalt says: Annie What are your favorite progressive gbands?

AnnieHaslam:    Progressive bands... um... I'm not really familiar with any progressive bands from now. I like Yes - one of my favourite bands.  Genesis, although I don't know whether you'd call them progressive. Caravan, and a band called Sacrilege. Another band called audience, but I don't know if they ever came over here. They were another incredible band.

AskAnnie:    electrosquonk says: Hello Annie :) , Can you tell us , is there a release date for 'Tuscany' yet?

AnnieHaslam:    I don't know what you mean by Tuscany. That doesn't mean anything to me, sorry! :-)

Oh, I've just found out what you meant about Carpet of the Sun!  There was another verse that we didn't perform. Maybe it would have meant it ran too long and we were told to save it that it would be a possible single. :-)

AskAnnie:    elfstone says: Annie..4 years ago you had some health problems...how did they figure into your song writing for this CD

AnnieHaslam:    The CD I've just done is a live CD of some Renaissance songs - material that I've been doing for a while.  I did write a song called Blessing in Disguise, about my bout with cancer. It's the title track, and also available on CD.

AskAnnie:    gg says: When did you first know that you wanted to be a   singer? Did anyone inparticular influence you or your style?

AnnieHaslam:    I think the first time I knew I wanted to be a singer, I must have been about 5 years old. My mother and father took me to see my Auntie Joan and her whole family in light opera, as players and singers.  I remember going along as I was a little girl, I think they were doing Gilbert & Sullivan's Rudigore. And I thought,  "oooh, I like this - maybe I'd like to be a singer".  When we played at the Lyceum in London, I looked out from the stage, and the boxes and lights were just like when I was a little girl, and I had a flashback to when I was that age, and thought that I'd made it, just as I'd dreamed. I was very influenced by my mother's family.

AnnieHaslam:    My biggest influence as a singer was Joan Baez, and when I got to meet her it was very strange. She knew who I was and it was a wonderful feeling to realize that this woman I had idolized knew me as well! :-)

AskAnnie:    electrosquonk says: Have you used any orchestra on the new Renaissance album ??

AnnieHaslam:    No, no orchestra.  I do love classical instruments, and the way they sound.  It's just a sweeter sound than electric instruments, and they just seem so suitable with my voice. I just feel so comfortable working with them, and working with a choir as well. It's incredible.

AskAnnie:    aboxofrogs says: Is the entire Renaissance catalog available on CD?

AnnieHaslam:    Pretty much so, I think. A lot of it is, yes.  If you can't get it in the U.S., you can get them as an import from Germany, and some from Japan.

AskAnnie:    darbyccc says: is there any style of music you have'nt done yet...that you'd like too??

AnnieHaslam:    No, not really.  No, I lie. I think I'd like to do an album of standards.  There are so many wonderful standards out there. I'd like to do that with an orchestra, like Natalie Cole did!  I'd love to do 'When I Fall in Love" - oh, I'd have to sit down and think!

AskAnnie:    nemo says: Can you tell us about some of your collaborations with other artists? Any favorite experiences?   I think one of the most interesting and fulfilling is what I'm doing with Steve Howe, which is ongoing for the last three years. We've written this new music.  When he's been available though, I haven't been available, and it's very difficult to get it finished. The guy's a genius! What a wonderful thrill, just to sit and watch him.

And Tony Visconti. He came into my life just before I got the breast cancer, and we were writing Blessing in Disguies.  I'd drive up to New York for my chemotherapy, and then go to Tony's and start working. I felt so bad, and yet it felt wonderful to be working. It was so encouraging. I'm hoping we'll be able to do something together soon - it was a good collaboration there.

I've just started getting down to writing with my band, and coming up with new music. We've just written a brilliant new song, and I'm hoping we'll be able to get down and get this album done, from the four of us.

AskAnnie:    paruncoach says: i have to say that, although i love your recent studio projects, your live performances of these songs are simply unmatched! the recent live cd release from Brazil is just outstanding from start to finish!! Are there any plans to release a live video??

AnnieHaslam:    Not of that show, even though I do have a video of it. I have got a video that we did for a TV show, for a cable network that is no more. We may release that, but I'm not sure yet. It's on the cards, but it's not happened yet.

AskAnnie:    electrosquonk says: The Still Life album was Wonderful. Was it difficult to produce?

AnnieHaslam:    You know what, it wasn't. That's why I love working with orchestras so much. It was my kind of concept, even though it's been done before. I remember calling Betty Thatcher up and asking if she's like to write some words to Air on a G String. That's when we contacted Lou Clark, and he put up the money. He did all the Hooked on Classics recordings, and he's responsible for the sound of ELO - they're really worth going to see; they're absolutely brilliant. We did it in Abbey Roads studio - some of it in the Beatles studio.  It was really easy to do, it was so exciting.

AskAnnie:    gn54 says: What prompted the Renaissance shift from art-rock to pop rock?

AnnieHaslam:    John Camp. That's why he's no longer in the band. He really was the main influence who took us away from the classical sounds. He lead us away from the classical direction, but looking back on us, we went too far. It was too radical a change.

AskAnnie:    katrina says: Do you have a special interest in other kinds of  music.. are there other styles that influence your work?

AnnieHaslam:    No, not really.  I think even with the early Renaissance music, we were really influenced by classical music more than anything else.   The guys I work with now have different backgrounds. Joe my drummer, and one of my keyboard players, have more of a jazz background, whereas the other keyboard player is more of a gothic version. They're the ones who generally write the music, although in this new composition I played a big part in the composition for the first time. It's not fair to ask just me, since I'm usually the one who writes the words, and they have their own influences.

AskAnnie:    zither says: Annie, do you have a website? Can I hear any of your tracks there?

AnnieHaslam:    Yes, my website is www.anniehaslam.com, and there are some soundbites there of the new CD. I know there were some from the Blessing in Disguise CD, and you might be able to find them there, if you go deep into the site.  The Brazil CD is only available through The Artist Shop, and we've been selling them at shows.

AskAnnie:    doktorj says: how is the project with Steve Howe progressing?

AnnieHaslam:    It's progressing along, but very very slowly, because of the touring. It's been hard to move forward on it because he's so busy with the Yes thing. We haven't forgotten it and it is very special and unique. One day it will happen.   Oh gosh!

AskAnnie:    czarina says: how many albums have you put out in your career?

AnnieHaslam:    I think there's about 18 all together. All the Renaissance compositions and things, there've got to be about that many. It's all listed on my website. I have five solo albums.

AskAnnie:    w477bb says: Any tips for coaxing a good vocal performer when recording? How do you prepare?

AnnieHaslam:    Every time I perform, whether it's in the studio or before a show, I always gargle with white vinegar and warm water, in equal parts. It strips your throat of any mucus or anything that might be in your throat.  That clears my throat up for singing. And then I do some breathing exercises.  I just do it. It's so natural for me that I don't have to do anything. It's so natural and I love it so much that I just jump in and do it. It's like a sixth sense to me - maybe some people do have to prepare more mentally.

AskAnnie:    electrosquonk says: Have you ever thought of writing an autobiography?

AnnieHaslam:    No. I've been asked many times, but I would have to put everything in there, and it would upset some people I'm sure, because I would have to write what I felt.  I think there's too much about that, writing and upsetting people's lives to make money. I don't want to do that.  The past is the past. It was wonderful; I had some great times, and I think it should be left alone now.

AskAnnie:    elfstone says: You have your own label. As label owner/artist, does that give you more freedom to experiment or does it limit you because now it's your money if the CD doesn't sell?

AnnieHaslam:    Well, I've only just done this...  The reason that I started White Dove Records was that I didn't have any other way of putting products out. I knew that as soon as I put my own money into recording it, that was a chance I took. With the help of a friend of my drummer, Joe, a man called Hal, who helped us take the steps to have it released. It looks like it's going to be. It has been released in England, and there's hope that it will be here.  It's not my intention to do this every time.  Everything's been paid back, but I don't want to take that chance every time. Hopefully if this one does well, when we do our next album, we won't have to put it out on White Dove, and that won't be a risk we'll have to take. It's a lot of work though! Oh my! Without the help of friends, it would never have happened.

GaryArtistShop:    Annie, you were definitely one of the rare women in progressive rock. Can you comment on how that effected your role in Renaissance in the 70's and how that's changed in the 90's.

AnnieHaslam:    Well, when I first joined Renaissance, there were very few female singers in bands, and I was voted, in 1978, in the top 10 British female singers - I got to number 5 or something like that. It was great, it was very special.   Of course now there are so many women singers around, and they're so brilliant! I'm still going because I'm a trooper, and I'll sing until I drop! I still have a voice that's unique and different, so now it's just getting out to the masses, which is hopefully something that will come soon. There's a lot of competition out there, but I have to remember that I've been there, I've done it, and I've done some incredible things in my life: played Carnegie Hall and the Albert Hall. It's harder, but I've got faith that if I keep going, I think that something's going to happen to take this band and the music I'm doing now to a different level.

WotanCCC:    Annie has told us that she would be glad to send an autographed copy of a Renaissance CD to an audience member tonight.  What we are going to do is clear the question queue and when I say so, everyone that would like to win a copy please send in a question for Annie.  The first one to get a question in, will not only get that question answered, but an autographed copy of a Renaissance CD.   I'll wait a sec to make sure we all digest that.


WotanCCC:    Send in your questions now!   /msg AskAnnie Your Question here!  It must be an original question folks.  Not a retread.

AskAnnie:    electrosquonk says: Which of your solo albums are you most proud of/feel was your highest achievement?

AnnieHaslam:    I think Still Life. That was the one with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and it must be because that's what I want to do again. It just seems so natural for me to work with an orchestra. It was an idea that came to me one day, and we saw it through from start to finish; I'm really proud of that.

AskAnnie:    w477bb says: Is there a story behind the "Annie" necklace you always used to wear, aside from the obvious?

AnnieHaslam:    That was bought for me by Roy Wood, who was the founding member of the Move. We were engaged, and he gave me that for our first Christmas together. That was one of my Christmas presents.

WotanCCC:    And we have a winner folks!   long-time-fan.   And now for the winning question.

AskAnnie:    long-time-fan says: Are you planning a US tour soon?

AnnieHaslam:    Well, I've been doing dates on the east coast, and I'm talking to people about management, and hopefully with that will come an agency which will take me further away from the tri-state area, which I've been doing for the last few years. Hopefully there will be something coming up.

GaryArtistShop:    Yes, definitely want to see you in Ohio!

AnnieHaslam:    Oh,I've just been told that Joe, my drummer is in the audience. Hi Joe. Have you eaten your brownies yet?   :-)

AskAnnie:    catsup123 says: just wanted to say that the new song "man in a box" is GREAT!"

AnnieHaslam:    Oh good! Thank you! This is the song that the four of us wrote together. We all love it - it's a great song; very vibrant. Stimulating and unusual. :-) 

AskAnnie:    brandao says: What did you think about Brazil , and the show in Rio Annie

AnnieHaslam:    We went down in August, and we played in Sao Paulo and Rio, and it was absolutely incredible.  There were 3000 people there in Rio, and the people were great! I just loved Brazil, and we can't wait to get back there! We had a great time; it was wonderful.  It's great performing for such a big audience - I think it was the largest audience we've had with this band. And they came to see US, it wasn't like there was somebody else on the bill. It was loud, it was great. :-)    One of the earlier shows with Renaissance was in front of 65,000 people, in an open stadium, with Crosby, Stills & Nash.  I don't think I'd like to play for crowds that size again though - I like the more intimate size.

AskAnnie:    paruncoach says: have yu been approached to do other work, such as soundtracks or commercials??

AnnieHaslam:    I actually did do one commercial, for Nikka Whiskey in Japan. 29 seconds, I think it was, and Betty Thatcher wrote the words. It won 5 awards! It's the only commercial I've done, but I haven't done any sound tracks. It's something I'm looking at now.  Renaissance was approached to do the sound track for Amityville Horror, back in the '70s, but we didn't get it.  Same with The Last Unicorn. We nearly did it. :-)

AskAnnie:    clickr says: any special plans for this years Christmas shows

AnnieHaslam:    We were hoping to get a Christmas CD out, but unfortunately we haven't been able to get it ready, because of me going to England and out in the country.  It's going to be a great show - we'll be doing Christmas carols again, but some different ones this time.

AskAnnie:    brandao says: Did you personally chose the musics for "Still Live" Annie?

AnnieHaslam:    Lou Clark and myself chose it together.

AskAnnie:    jetgalt says: When is the new renassaince album coming out?

AnnieHaslam:    We don't know! We don't have a record deal yet, but it's actually in the hands of several people. Hopefully by the end of the year, but it's not like it used to be!

WotanCCC:    Is there anything else you would like to mention before we conclude today?

AnnieHaslam:    The Christmas shows are coming up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania - if you can get there, I suggest that you do try to make it. They're going to be very special. :-)  Thanks to Gary for getting this together - spread the word! :-)

GaryArtistShop:    Your quite welcome.

WotanCCC:    Looks like our time is up...    I'd like to thank everyone for joining us tonight.  Annie, we appreciate your taking the time to come and chat with us today, and hope you'll come back to Talk City again soon!

WotanCCC:    To purchase Annie Haslam's "Annie Haslam Live Under Brazilian Skies", or for information on other Artist offerings, please visit The Artist Shop Online at:


Finally, thanks to the Artist Shop for working with us on this conference. We especially appreciate the efforts of Gary Davis in giving us the opportunity to speak with Annie Haslam.  And thank you all for coming. 

GaryArtistShop:    Our next chat will with Peter Hammill on Sunday. Check http://www.artist-shop.com/irc   for full details as well as http://www.talkcity.com/atmusic

WotanCCC:    The transcript of this event will be posted within a few days on the @Music discussion boards on Talk City http://www.talkcity.com/atmusic and on the Artist Shop web site http://www.artist-shop.com

WotanCCC:    ===========================================
WotanCCC:    .
WotanCCC:    Next on our Featured Artist Series:
WotanCCC:    .
WotanCCC:    . Sunday, Nov. 15th at 12:00 noon pt / 3:00 pm et
WotanCCC:    . Peter Hammill
WotanCCC:    .
WotanCCC:    . Stay tuned for more fine
WotanCCC:    . Artist Shop / @Music productions
WotanCCC:    .
WotanCCC:    ===========================================


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