Astrid Young Interview
"Sacred Child" is certainly one of the better hard rock groups to emerge from the world of L.A. in a long, long time. Their debut album is simply titled "Sacred Child" (Target Entertainment Group). We talked to "Sacred Child's" lead singer, Astrid Young, who just happens to be the kid sister of famed superstar Neil Young.
Q. "Sacred Child" was put together by Chuck Kosa. Is this a studio band that doesn't perform too often?
A. We play out a lot. We play all over Hollywood and Southern California. We're going to Texas soon, and hopefully, if the record's doing real well, on the East Coast, in the middle of the summer or the late fall. We're playing around clubs like the Troubadour, the Whisky, the Roxy, and a lot of clubs in Orange County like Joshua's and Jezhebel's. We did a big outdoor festival in San Bernardino last week. So, we play quite a bit. It's just that it had taken us so long to finish the record, that we didn't start playing until around Christmas.
Q. You're working a day job, is that right?
A. It's an old job that I just came back to. Don't let this leak out.
Q. Do you have to work?
A. Not really, they kind of wanted me to come back. It's something for me to do. It's extra money.
Q. May I ask what it is you do?
A. I'm a pharmacy technician. It's not something that your average kid on the street cares about I suppose. '
Q. Did you know that Ronnie James Dio studied to be a pharmacist too?
A. No. You're kidding. I didn't think that would be interesting. However you can mention it if you want.
Q. How did Chuck Rosa hear about you?
A. I moved to Los Angeles from Canada in June of '86, maybe it was July, and I put an ad in a local publication, out here called the Music Connection, that I was available. And they phoned me, and I went down to the audition, and got the gig-
Q. What did you put in that ad?
A. Something like metal glam vocalist just moved from Canada, available, pros only please. I got a lot of response from the ad, but that was the only one I considered going for. It seemed to work out really well, I've met some of the best musicians I've played with through ads, believe it or not. There's something good to be said about stuff like that,
Q. You were fronting, what, Top 40 bands in Toronto?
A. I've never done Top 40. It's always been metal. I have been in a lot of cover bands before, but it's always been metal cover bands.
Q. Did you have any money saved before you ventured to L.A.?
A. I came here with absolutely nothing. I came down here with a friend and passed through Chicago and had every thing I owned ripped off in Chicago. So when I arrived in L.A. I really didn't have anything. I got lucky 'cause I do have a lot of friends here and they kind of helped me out until I got myself back on my feet again.
Q. Chuck Rosa is well connected in the music business.
A. Yeah, he is.
Q. Why accept a deal from an independent label as opposed to a major label?
A. If a major label will sign a previously unsigned act, sometimes, that will give them leverage over an act. They will say, well, what have you done before? You don't have anything going for you, so that entitles us to take so much of your publishing and pretty well own your life. An indie label won't tell you how to dress, or cut your hair, major labels have that kind of attitude towards new bands.
Q. How long have you been in bands?
A. I've been playing music since I was 6 years old. I've been playing in bands professionally since I was 15, just about 10 years.
Q. Having Neil Young as a brother, did you really have to struggle as long and as hard as you have?
A. Everybody's got to pay their dues. A lot of people expect me to lean on him for connections. I don't really think that's right. Part of it is a pride kind of thing, you know what I mean? I don't know how anybody could expect to accomplish anything or feel like they accomplished anything when they know somebody else did it for them. My reasoning is, he's got the same blood in his veins, man, if he did it, I can do it too. He didn't need to lean on anybody.
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