They call themselves Steel Blossoms and they are a duo of two young ladies that have that country music sound and the amazing capability to capture a story that makes that song extra special to listen too. Sara Zebley, who is 26-years-old and Hayley Prosser, who is 24-years-old have written and played music together for a while. If you have not listened to them, please take a moment and check them out. Their words are written with such passion that they could be writing about you, a loved one, a friend or anyone that you know.
The byteclay.com caught up with Steel Blossoms and they were kind enough to give us an interview early this morning, Sunday February 7.
John DiTirro: Where do you currently reside?
Sara Zebley/Hayley Prosser: Nashville, Tennessee
JD: Is this where you grew up?
SZ: No we both grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our hometowns are about 45 minutes from each other.
JD: What got you involved in the genre of music you are in? Were you influenced by anyone in particular?
HP: We both grew up listening to 90’s country, back when all the songs told a story. Those stories have definitely influenced how we write our stories through song.
JD: You have an album out call “Year Number One”. When was the album released? And is this your only album so far?
SZ: Our latest album, “Year Number One” was released in October of 2015. The whole album was 100% funded by pre-orders on pledgemusic.com. We were extremely lucky to be able to involve fans in every step of the recording and printing process. Yes this is our only album so far. But there will be more to come.
JD: How many tracks are on the album?
HP: There are 6 tracks.
JD: How long did it take to make the album?
SZ: 2-3 months.
JD: Do you have a specific song or songs that you are pushing for singles to be played on radio stations?
HP: “Love, Love, Love” seems to be the stand out song for Steel Blossoms, but we’re not currently pushing for radio play.
JD: Who produced it?
SZ: Sal Oliveri, with Grand Central South.
JD: Did you write all the music or who are the writers, co-writers?
HP: We wrote two songs individually and 4 songs with each other. We are the only writers on the album.
JD: At what age did you start playing music and what instrument was it?
HP: I started singing at age 2 and by 5 or 6, I was performing in public. I took 9 years of piano and later picked up the guitar and started writing songs.
SZ: I started piano lessons at age 7 and violin at age 8, later adding the guitar and singing harmonies.
JD: Which instruments do you currently play?
HP: I play the guitar and piano.
SZ: I play the guitar, piano, and fiddle.
JD: Is your family musical?
HP: Not particularly but both our families have a pretty good musical ear and can sing on pitch!
JD: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
SZ: Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves- Taylor is a great role model and engages with her fans more than any artist has ever done. Kacey is so true to herself and doesn’t change what she’s doing to try to fit into what is expected of her. It’s refreshing.
JD: Which famous musicians have you learned from?
HP: Artists like Loretta Lynn and Kacey Musgraves have taught us that it’s okay to be different and go against the grain. Taylor Swift has taught us that kindness and community really goes a long way with fans. Artists like Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood and Faith Hill have taught us that as women musicians, it’s possible to “have it all” and keep your morals and values while having it.
JD: What are some of the venues you have performed in?
SZ: Tootsies, Rippy’s and Honkytonk Central on Broadway Street in Nashville. The Row, Back Alley Diner, and Homegrown Taproom are some other regular spots for us. Schmitt’s Saloon in WV and Jergel’s and Club Café in the Pittsburgh, PA area are also some of the larger venues we’ve played. We now mostly perform house concerts.
JD: Do you get nervous before a performance and how do you handle if?
HP: We don’t get nervous often but when we do, it’s usually butterflies because we are excited. We reassure each other and share words of encouragement if we are nervous.
JD: Do you attend sessions with other artists? In your opinion, what makes a good session?
SZ: We write with a lot of different artists. A good write happens when everyone in the room is able to open up and be honest and respectful when it comes to other people’s ideas. It also helps when we are writing a song that we find ourselves either laughing or crying most of the time. That means we are on to something good!
JD: How often and for how long do you practice?
HP: Honestly, we don’t practice very often. We are very “on the spot” performers meaning if someone wants to hear a song and we don’t normally do it, if we both know it we will happily try it. I think being on the spot people helps us to connect with our fans because they can see that we are real people just trying to make a living doing what we love to do.
JD: How do you balance your music with other obligations – family, friends?
SZ: A lot of our friends are musicians so we write a lot and play together a lot. We see different friends a couple times a week though whether we are playing together or not. The hardest part of being away from home is being away from our families. We try to go home as often as possible and we try to fit PA into our travels whenever we can.
The byteclay.com would like to thank Steel Blossoms Sara Zebley and Hayley Prosser for taking time out of their busy schedule and speaking with us. We wish you the best of luck in your music career. As you can hear from some of the links associated with this interview, they are off to a fantastic start.