The Green Room with Tiana Speter

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Episode 27 | Sam Nelson Harris (X Ambassadors) | 12-11-2021

Season 2, Ep. 27

CONTENT WARNING: This podcast contains discussion of mental health. If you are suffering from any of the issues that have been discussed or need assistance, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. 

 

A musician, a composer, an actor and now a podcast creator: Sam Nelson Harris, aka the frontman for American pop rockers X Ambassadors, has many strings to his creative bow.

Now in 2021, armed with a brand new release, a third full-length X Ambassadors outing titled The Beautiful Liar, Harris has simultaneously now also branched out into the land of podcasts, with an accompanying audio drama series also titled The Beautiful Liar detailing a gripping coming-of-age-meets-superhero-origin story, as well as a heartfelt accompaniment to Harris and his brother and bandmate Casey Harris' experience growing up devouring supernatural radio dramas.

 

The road to a podcast was uncomplicated in terms of concept; The Beautiful Liar itself embraced both the Harris brothers’ real life experiences, including Casey’s experience having been legally blind since birth. But despite the inevitable hurdles both have traversed and overcome in the lead up, The Beautiful Liar, both podcast and album, offers a raw and relatable insight into life in general.

 

Join Sam this week on 'The Green Room' as he chats storytelling, concept albums & the stories behind this new podcast series.

 

IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:

  • The role of storytelling and the eventual evolution of both the X Ambassadors recent album The Beautiful Liar and the brand new accompanying narrative podcast of the same name - and how the podcast was briefly nearly going to be a musical
  • Embracing ambition, authenticity and affirmation in a variety of creative settings - and why they are included in these latest projects
  • The importance of sharing messages of empowerment and inclusivity, and how the underlying themes of The Beautiful Liar podcast connect personally for Harris, his brother Casey and the rest of the band
  • How X Ambassadors hit their most ambitious sonic territory yet for The Beautiful Liar, and the intention behind creating the album
  • Why Harris declares himself as a "psycho", his realisation that he didn't have everything in life sorted, and how these things ultimately impacted his songwriting for the new album (and lent some comedic tinges to the new podcast)
  • How Schitt's Creek starlet Emily Hampshire became part of The Beautiful Liar podcast, and how her character Shadow was conjured
  • The moment(s) that Harris got to embrace a lifelong love of dance with the clip for My Own Monster, why he's officially a "dancer" now, and how performing and being outside his comfort zone informs and inspires his passion in all creative pursuits
  • What it's been like for Harris to finally be able to get back onstage since the COVID-19 pandemic kicked off - and a trip down memory lane to the first ever official X Ambassadors shows (and why a keyboard flew into the audience at one gig)
  •  Who some fictional and real life superheroes are that Harris most admires (tune in X Men and drama class fans)
  • And Harris reveals what he always has with him in his green room backstage - and it's a handy tip for all the singers out there!

 


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12/16/2021

SPECIAL: The Green Room End Of Year Wrap 2021 Part 1 | 17-12-2021

Season 2
2021 is a year that most won't - or desperately will want to - forget. But for host of The Green Room podcast Tiana Speter, it's been a year of change, including her stepping into the role as host of the podcast following the departure of founding host Neil Griffiths back in May of this year.What has followed has been a rollercoaster of laughs, learning and lots of chats, with Speter clocking up 31 regular episodes in just over six months at the helm, including majority of those episodes taking place remotely due to the extensive Sydney lockdowns starting not long after Speter took over the show. Add in two COVID-19 music industry specials, which collectively totaled just shy of three and a half hours worth of content, and an extra bonus today: a "Best of 2021" special to take a look back at the year that was - and it's safe to say The Green Room podcast has had an eventful but ultimately enjoyable year despite the odds.Today, join Tiana Speter reminiscing about some of her favourite (and most memorable) Green Room moments during her tenure, as well as some from earlier in the year, including an array of musicians, actors and comedians who continued to tell their stories during what eventuated as an extremely trying year for creatives around the globe.Grab your AAA pass and come backstage - we're entering The Green Room.PART ONE:When Tiana Speter stepped into the role as host for The Green Room podcast, little did she know she'd be undertaking much of the series remotely during substantial lockdown, while interviewing some of her heroes & new friends along the way. Today in part two of this two-part special, we take a look back at actors and comedians who joined The Green Room in 2021, as well as a look at the two-part COVID-19 music industry special released back in August, and a rapid fire round of some of Speter's guests sharing what they like to have in their very own green rooms when they're on the road.
11/26/2021

Episode 30 | Amandla Stenberg | 03-12-2021

Season 2, Ep. 30
Actor and activist Amandla Stenberg may be young in years, but her legacy is already overflowing.With a breakthrough performance as the young tribute Rue in the Jennifer Lawrence-led flick The Hunger Games back in 2012, Stenberg's ascension as a Hollywood fixture has been lined with film roles in The Hate U Give and Where Hands Touch, TV stints on Drunk History and The Eddy, and even an appearance in Beyonce's epic Lemonade music video back in 2016.Now at the age of 23, it's not just shiny Hollywood appearances that has ricocheted Stenberg from young up-and-comer to industry powerhouse; Stenberg also gives voice and strength to a variety of cultural, political and social justice issues, named in 2015 as the Ms. Foundation for Women's "Feminist Celebrity of the Year", while also going viral that same year for her playful yet though-provoking cultural appropriation video project titled Don't Cash Crop My Cornrows.Balancing a burgeoning career alongside public scrutiny for her stances on racial and gender equality, Stenberg also has yet another string to her very powerful creative bow, playing violin and singing, making her official music debut in 2015 with the folk rock duo Honeywater. And her music chops are on full display in 2021, with the impending release of her brand new film: an adaptation of the Broadway smash-hit musical Dear Evan Hansen.Featuring a stacked cast including Stenberg, Ben Platt, Kaitlyn Dever, Nik Dodani, Julianne Moore and Amy Adams, Dear Evan Hansen follows the titular anxious and isolated high schooler Evan Hansen as he struggles to belong in high school and the social media age, with an array of Grammy winning songs including You Will Be Found, Waving Through a Window and For Forever. Stenberg joins the cast in the role of Alana Beck, an empathetic overachiever with a pivotal role in the film and musical, with Alana's role also expanded for the film to include a brand new song for the character, penned by Stenberg herself alongside writers Ben Pasek and Justin Paul. And to unpack the Dear Evan Hansen experience and also gift a brief insight into her other music endeavours, Amandla Stenberg joins The Green Room for today's episode.