Recently Roughstock had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Cold River Records recording artist Katie Armiger about her career, who inspires her, the inevitable Taylor Swift comparisons (since Katie's about a year younger), and her song "Bleed" and how it came about.
MB: When did you know you wanted to sing?
Katie Armiger: I've always known that I wanted to sing. My mom always tells a story of how I got kicked out of preschool because I would just sing in time out. I would make up songs about how much I loved being there and it was always what I wanted to do.
MB: What singers inspire you?
Katie: There are lots of singers that inspire me but one of the biggest is Martina McBride. She's my idol and I recently got to meet her.
MB: So didn't you sing one of her songs in a contest in Houston a few years ago?
Katie: I did. When I was 14, it kind of got this whole thing started. I did "best country singer in Houston" contest and sang "What Do You Say."
MB: That's not an easy song to sing...
Katie: Yeah, it's not that easy but it's definitely a lot harder to sing now because I've developed my own range to sing in now. I also sang "Where Would You Be" a lot back then.
MB: Some people may think that you're 'making it' due to the Taylor Swift's success and that you're getting your chance at success because of her, even though you came out about the same time?
Katie: To be honest, I'm actually really, really thankful for Taylor Swift. I think she opened a lot of doors for younger, teen artists to come in to country music. She was one of the first, in a while, to break through. So, I'm thankful
MB: What about the songwriter comparisons?
Katie: I think that every songwriter has a different style of songwriting and that it all depends on who you're writing with and how the song goes. I think she's a good songwriter though.
MB: Yeah, what I meant was that she helped open up labels to younger songwriters. Like your songs often have a mature 'slant' to them...
Katie: Yeah, age doesn't matter because no matter your age, you have things to say. Even though I'm not 30 or 40 years old and I'm not there yet but I think there are things in life that every teenager goes through that you may still relate to them at the same time. As you get older, there are more things that will come at you and youll grow as a personand the songs will reflect that. I think I'm growing so much now so I think my songs relate to any age group.
MB: How does it feel to have the new record out?
Katie: It is awesome, it's an amazing feeling. We worked really, really hard to get the record out on time and by our deadline. I'm just so happy that it turned out the way I wanted it to. I love it.
MB: From reading the liner notes of your record it seems that you're good friends with Ashlee Hewett (of Nashville Star)…
Katie: I am...
MB: How did you guys meet?
Katie: Actually, when I first started coming to Nashville, we had the same producer and for my first album we lost three songs we had on hold for it. My producer then paired us together, thinking; maybe we should try to write together. She flew down to Texas and we wrote three songs together for that record.
MB: She now produced a song on your record as well...
Katie: Yeah, she produced my song "Bleed," which is her first time being credited as producer.
MB: You had to be excited for her to be on Nashville Star?
Katie: Yeah, I was because she's the kind of artist that deserves to be a star.
MB: The internet has opened up things for some artists, how has it helped your career?
Katie: It really helps every artist, because there are so many people on line. They go to Youtube, MySpace, Facebook, etc. They can Google your name and a thousand things come up. They can look at pictures, listen to music. I love being able to talk to people because when they come to a show, it's hard to meet with everyone so it helps a lot.
MB: How do you handle juggling being an artist and school?
Katie: It was pretty difficult at first because I've always gone to Public school. So having to do everything on-line and do it by myself; it was definitely a shock. It definitely teaches you how to juggle things.
MB: Like a crash-course in the music industry…
Katie: Yeah, a crash-course for many things...
MB: What are your favorite tracks on the CD, if you have any?
Katie: I love "Trail of Lies," "Something Better" and "Gone" and "Bleed." Because the last two are the first songs I've wrote everything, including the music by myself.
MB: With "Bleed" I sometimes think that it's a song that's like an Amy Lee track...
Katie: (excited) Oh! My! God! When I wrote the song, I called my manger up and said "I have a really good song that I wrote. But upfront you have to tell me I'm never gonna record it." He was like, "o...k..." I worked up a demo on and told him I wrote it for Evanescence. I can picture her singing it and it's who I wrote it for. He heard it and said "We cannot give this song away. It's too good." And then I recorded it and I now don't think I could give it away
MB: That's a cool story to end the interview on. Thanks for talking with Roughstock,
Katie: Thank you.
Ed note: Recently Katie Armiger scored the first Top 20 of her career when her third single from Believe (click to read) hit #19 on the Music Row chart. This is the first time in the history of the chart that an indepdendent female artist managed to break into the Top 20.