Interview: Jean Cabbie & The Secret Admirer Society – Paper Doll

Jean Cabbie & The Secret Admirer Society is an alternative rock group based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “Possession”, the band’s new single, was recorded and produced by Jean Cabbie & The Secret Admirer Society and Jacob Rodriguez at Back Door Studio and currently promoted at online radio stations, radio shows, podcasts, interviews and live performance.

Jean Cabbie & The Secret Admirer Society have recorded three cd releases including “Anthem”, “Good Things” and its latest titled “After Hours”. This album marked a new direction for the band as they captured its live sound on record in tracks such as “Red Blue Skies”, “Everything”, “Do” and “Ride On”. “After Hours” is comprised of fourteen songs which reflect musical influences ranging from alternative, classic rock, power pop and roots rock. “After Hours” was produced by the group and Jose Vila at Spellbound Recording Studios. As part of their promotional campaign, the group has promoted tracks from “After Hours” and recent single releases to a great variety of internet radio stations and radio shows including: Museboat Live Channel, Belter Radio, Indie Scene Radio, Lucky Star Radio, CBJ Radio, Spiderwebradio, XRP Radio, Radioactive-Radio and Twister Road Radio along with featured interviews, music videos and specialty radio shows.

Currently, the band is promoting its new track “Possession” as follow up to the “Breathe”, “Even Close”, “It’s Gonna Be Alright”, “Oh Donna” and “Paper Doll” single releases and look forward to do additional recordings and live shows during the following months. Jean Cabbie & The Secret Admirer Society is comprised of Jean Cabbie (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Eric Cabrer (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), Jacob Rodriguez (Bass/Backing Vocals) and Marcos Rivera (Drums).

We had a chance to interview Jean Cabbie & The Secret Admirer Society on their latest released song Paper Doll

I started playing music on my teens. This happened on a period of my life between 13 and/or 14 years where I started to listen to rock groups and suddenly entertained the idea of becoming a musician and songwriter. At that time, I did not know anything about playing a musical instrument so I picked the guitar and started taking lessons. My first attempts in writing songs started right away at this stage. I still have the folder binder where I used to keep all the songs that I have written during that period.

I play rhythm guitar, bass and a little bit of piano.

I always been a very goal-oriented person regarding all my projects. I would like to have a very successful musical career in the next 10 years.

My favorite instrument is the guitar. That is the one I use mostly to write songs.

If I have one to mention that would be a xylophone. I never liked it as a musical instrument.

My greatest strength would be persistence and discipline to follow through. Many times, a lot of careers failed to pick up due to these factors. It is very important to keep persistence in mind because there is good and bad in every venture and business. The discipline is necessary in order to make effective plans and be able to accomplish them.

I have been reviewing a lot of our live videos and the one thing that I want to improve is to become a better entertainer and showman. At this point I don’t move that much in stage because I am very aware that it could affect the actual song performance. It is something that I working out right now.

The Beatles are my main favorite musicians. They accomplished so much in a seven-year span. I also look to other rock bands such as Queen, The Who, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones amongst others. All these bands had great live acts and music releases that left their mark.

To be able to promote the band’s music at radio stations, online radio shows, podcasts, interviews and the whole lot has been one of my greatest accomplishments. Also, the fact that not only one but several songs from past releases are still played in radio have proven to me of the songs staying power.

I read a lot of books and watch movies, documentaries and rock concerts.

The song always starts with the music first. I usually come up with the melodies in the top of my head which are recorded on my phone and then I pick up the guitar to work out the chord sequences and structure. After I am done and happy with the results, then I sit down and write the lyrics so for me the songwriting is a two-fold process. Most of the band’s songs are developed that way.

We did a series of performances at Handlebar, a local rock club located in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which were very successful where we even did encores at several shows. It brought me great satisfaction since this is a venue that usually books either tribute bands and/or cover bands. Nevertheless, we brought in a great crowd who got in the music and liked it a lot.

As a band, we usually do several rehearsals of the song and then, along with the rest of the group, start throwing out ideas in and out in order to see what can make the track special. The first thing we do is do a basic track (guitar, drums and bass) and after doing that we start building it layer by layer until it is ready to be recorded with the main vocals. Everything is rehearsed beforehand we start doing any recording since it saves time in the studio.

I would like to collaborate with live music-oriented artists and/or bands. I am not that enthusiastic with programming or sequencers. My approach, including the band, is more organic or “old school” as I have heard people referring to this term.

Who has been your most influential teacher or mentor?

My singing lessons teachers have given great advice in how to develop as a stronger singer and people that have been in the music business have given great advice about the ‘”do or don’ts” so I will not do the same mistakes as other artists/bands have done. Specially dealing with record labels, booking agents and club owners.

Have you ever taught or mentored another musician?

I have done several jams with upcoming musicians and have given advice to them in reference to the music business and the importance of keep going at it regardless of the circumstances.

What was your worst performance?

I have not gone through that experience. Mostly of the problems faced by me and the band are in relation of technical problems that develop during live shows. This is nothing new as I know a lot of musicians and singers which have gone through the same situations.

How do you deal with disinterested or unruly audiences?

If they are disinterested, I keep doing the show regardless of the audience reaction. If they become too unruly in a situation where the band or myself are in personal danger, I stop the performance. In order to avoid this, it is always good to check out the place vibe and speak with the manager and make clear this condition. After all, it is entertainment we are bringing and it is important to be safe.

Do you prefer to work alone or collaboratively?

Collaborations are good with me. There are always new ideas that come up during the arrangement process and it makes it better to do it as a collaborative effort.

What are your favorite venues to perform at?

I don’t have a favorite venue to perform as each one is different. Preferably, I like good stage area where everyone fits and most important a good sound system.

What inspires you as an artist?

The ability to create and to see what comes up next in the process is my main motivation. You see how the songs changes and start developing its own sound along the way.

How do you nurture your own creativity?

As mentioned before, I read a lot which is good for developing good lyrics and writing resources. As for the music I try my best to be as open minded as possible. There’s a lot of good music out there that can serve as inspiration when you get to write your own material.

Do you have trouble with performance anxiety?

I had at first on the early days. I think is a problem that many artists have. Down the road it all goes away as you get used to perform regularly it becomes normal and the nerves go away.

What are your favorite musical genres, and are there any you dislike?

I like rock music, blues, classic rock, alternative rock, Brazilian music, classic music and pop. Not too much into urban music and/or Top 40 radio these days.

How do you differ from most other artists?

We are unique as we take a lot of influences and infused them with a modern spin. There is a lot of stuff during the almost 60-year-old rock era that still have a hold on a lot of people. The job is be to make it accessible to a broad audience.

How do you think of your previous song comparing to this newly released?

I aim to do a lot of variety of musical styles for the singles we have released. As an example: “Paper Doll’ is on our rocker mode and “Possession” is a dark ballad with rock overtones. As an artist/band, I try to release several types of songs which showcases the different musical styles I was brought up to and the challenge for me , as a songwriter, is to make it relevant to today’s audiences.

Don’t forget to show some love to Jean Cabbie & The Secret Admirer Society by following them on facebook: jeancabbie on twitter: @JeanCabbie on Instagram: jeancabbi

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