Stiletto Survival PT. 1
Fiona Lee Maynard is an artist perpetually fascinated by all forms of music and is only truly happy and satisfied when stretching and exploring new musical terrain. Once known for the Pop/Metal/Rock of Have A Nice Day, then for the Blues/Heavy Pop Rock of In Vivo, she has spent the past decade exploring the benefits of music and dance with overcoming learning difficulties in children, simultaneously learning flamenco rhythms and developing her songwriting to tell some very interesting, and sometimes dark, life stories with an inspired survivor tone. Along the way, Fiona embraced some amazing musicians and integrated their enormous creative sparks into her songs. She developed a musical partnership with (Australian) Victoria College of the Arts Classically-trained violinist and violin teacher Emma Rodda. They formed an acoustic duo, Femme Royale, based on Fiona's simple song structures and Emma's desire to improvise. After mutually agreeing to shelve a duo recording, suspecting that further instrumentation was needed, Fiona worked towards finding the right musical combinations to bring on board. All musicians had to have a flair for improvisation. When Fiona is inspired by the music she steps back from the normal song structure and allows "it" to happen. James Lomas (guitarist with Australian bands; In Vivo, Kids in Cults, Tijuana Souvenirs, Lowdown Dirty Shames and guest guitarist for Johnette Napolitano's 2009 Australian Tour) was an obvious choice for guitar duties, his collaborative ability long established with Fiona, and with Emma they had an uncanny ability to listen to each other and weave their parts together "just so". Reave Maloney, a Victoria College of the Arts Jazz double bass player, bass teacher, and session player with World & Folk artists such as Kobya Panguana and Penelope Swales, was next to step into the mix. Reave relieved Fiona of bass duties she had preciously guarded in all her other bands, effectively freeing her to concentrate on singing and performing. Finally, a song-sensitive drummer with a jazz background was required and that's when Jim Moody appeared. Stiletto Survival (Part 1) is the culmination of more than a decade of musical exploration and represents the first instalment of a full-length album statement over two parts. These songs have been described by critic Jeff Jenkins as "Pop Noir". They are aurally rich and visually stimulating. Fiona Lee Maynard has created with these musicians a musical work that could have come from anywhere in the world, but absolutely sprung from Melbourne, Australia.