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There are a lot of reasons for people to damn the music industry. You can turn on the radio or maybe  catch a music video at six in the morning on VH-1 (the only time they ever play music videos) and come to the conclusion that it's all cookie-cutter music with tunes that sound vaguely similar to each other with a few sexy pouts thrown in for good measure. As a matter fact when anything music-related is newsworthy, it has something to do with MADONNA's divorce or BRITNEY shaving her head.  Singer SAMANTHA GIBB ( daughter of the late MAURICE GIBB of THE BEE GEES) had reason to believe that all music was created equal by that same cynical, chain-smoking music executive, rendering the whole creative process behind music making obsolete. However it was a fateful venture to Nashville, TN - a city exalted by red states everywhere as the home of country music - where GIBB and her band M.E.G. got the shot in the arm that they needed and from there on began churning out song after song. After meeting numerous fellow songwriters, GIBB called up some friends, got  a camera crew set up, and started filming everything that they saw. The end result is a documentary film entitled A NASHVILLE STATE OF MIND which shines a light on an exciting alternative music scene from a town that is better known for it's twang.

ROCKWIRED spoke with SAMANTHA GIBB Over the phone regarding the documentary. Here is how it went.

I understand that you're time is spent going back and forth between Los Angeles and Nashville. Where are you now?
I'm out here (in Los Angeles) for just a little bit. My fiancee and I are packing up and moving to Nashville on December 15th. I came out here to live with him for a while as he was working and now we're going back to Nashville.

You are the executive producer for the film. How hands-on were you in the production?
I had everything to do with it. I went Nashville with my band M.E.G. and saw what was going on. It needed to be captured on film and I thought that making a documentary was the best way to do that. From there, I called up my friends who have a multi-media company in Miami and they flew out and set up and they filmed it. My friend JOHN VOGEL was one of the directors on the film. He and I went back and forth on different points and how to focus and what ways to go around certain things, but otherwise, I was involved with both the post production and pre-production. So, it was my baby.

So the film documents your band specifically going through the whole Nashville experience?
It taps onto us just because it was when we moved there but it really focuses on all of the other artists and their performances and what they do and what they go through and about the songs and the community and juggling work with doing shows.

What prompted the move to Nashville in the first place?
My band is an alternative rock band so in the beginning we didn't think anything about going to Nashville. We had been working with the MCGHEEs (DOC and SCOTT MCGHEE of MCGHEE ENTERTAINMENT). They managed KISS and they've been friends of mine and my family for a while and my band. My partner and I would always go in and have meetings with them and just kind figure out what to do next with the band. They were kind of guiding us. I spoke with DOC about wanting to go and play out and he had mentioned Nashville. He had been going out there a lot and SCOTT had been living there and suggested that we check it out. So we decided to do a month, so we got there and after just a few days, we fell in love with it.

Other than the obvious, what drew you to music in the beginning?
I obviously grew up with it. I was lucky enough to be around music my whole life so it really set a high standard for what I wanted to do if I were to be in music and what I thought was good music because I would watch my dad and my uncles and my dad would be on the piano and the level of harmony and the level  of music; everything was just up to par. It was just the best. I knew that for myself going into music, I loved it no matter what and it just came naturally to me. My Dad helped guide me along in what I loved to do and put me in some good directions. Me and the band were actually working with him right before he passed away and that was probably about a year and a half before we decided to go to Nashville. Things kind of stopped, at least for me, because we were in the studio almost every day with my Dad. It was a very difficult thing for me to go through, and even for my partner because we were all very close to him. As far as music was concerned, we kept trying to write and come up with some songs. I was writing as much as possible, but I was feeling really uninspired. Nothing was pushing us. Then we went to Nashville for a month and we thought that we would do as many shows as possible and see what happens. When we went there, all of a sudden, I'm playing more guitar and the writing was just coming out of us. As soon as we arrived, the inspiration was instantaneous. It was amazing! Two days in, we sat around with a group of guys and girls who were all musicians, and everyone is passing a guitar around and passing a bottle around and sitting in a living room and harmonizing and singing songs. It was just unbelievable. With every single person, it was like 'Who are you? Where did you come from?" Their voices and the music that they were playing was unbelievable and they were writing it themselves. It was inspiring and that gave me and my band a huge burst of energy when it came to writing and to music and it got us back on track from where we were left.

In making this documentary, what was the biggest surprise for you?
I think that it came out exactly how I imagined. I remember talking with by business partner and my co-writer about these artists that we were meeting like JEREMY LISTER, RICKY YOUNG, and AARON WINTER and how they were just amazing artists and I remember thinking that they needed to be seen in the right light. As I was listening to them and watching them, I thought that they had this aura about them like they should be on VH-1 or something like that. These people looked like they had been in the music business for years yet they are young and so incredibly talented. The only thing is that when you see them at these clubs, people are talking or the lighting isn't right on them or the sound isn't good and with this documentary, the idea was to show them in that light that they should be seen in in order for your average MTV viewer to watch or else they'll change the channel. The fact that the documentary actually came out exactly as I had envisioned was surprising to me. I grew up with things like MTV, so before going to Nashville and before working on this project I didn't realize that there were still artists that lived and breathed music. I was watching this movie recently called 'THE FESTIVAL EXPRESS' and it's got JANIS JOPLIN, THE GRATEFUL DEAD, and BUDDY GUY and they are all on this train that was rented by this producer that wanted to put this tour together for two weeks and set up all of these dates. This was before these guys really became famous, and to watch them together in this little cabin on this train and just jamming and hanging out is phenomenal. That was exactly what I saw in Nashville. It's inspiring to know that this spirit still exists. You don't need your manufactured pop and rock bands that are out there right now. The real musicians are in there in Nashville and they are not getting any work. They are real and they are raw.

Are there any additional things you are working on in getting the film released?
At the moment, I'm working on getting all of my clearances together and making sure that everything is all in order. I'm also working on the distribution as well.

What's your reaction to critical acclaim that your film has received?
A lot of stuff was written following the first film festival that we had entered into. A lot of it was exactly what we wanted. What we captured was just a piece of those artists and musicians and just a couple of them. Our friend JEREMY in the film states that when people ask him to give them some artists and bands in Nashville that he thinks are good and he literally gives them a list of forty people. There is so much amazing talent there.

What is your hope for this film?
I would love someone to want to go and investigate the music of Nashville. Not just Nashville - I would like people to keep their eyes and their ears opened to so many amazing artists out there that are making really great music. All of these people coming together to make music is so significant and I think that it is important for people to want to investigate it and see more. I would like people to come away and say 'I've got to see more!' and become fans of real music and not just what they see on television.


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