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INTERVIEW: Senator

Hi Howard, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been better to be honest. Trump just got inaugurated today so he is officially our president, which is an embarrassment. Let’s just hope he doesn’t do too much damage while he is in office. But he’s done kind of a lot of damage already, so my hopes aren’t that high. Sorry, that was kind of a downer way to start this. Let’s try again…I’ve been great! Hope the same goes for you. Haha

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Breathless”?

Yeah for sure. “Breathless” is the first single off my upcoming EP, “Tiny Monsters” being released March 10th. It’s a dark, bass driven song with some cool dual octave vocals that I feel help set a pretty ominous tone. It’s one of my favorite songs to play live.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Yeah, two actually. The song is about rape. It tells a story of a girl who gets attacked and raped and then has to face her rapist in court. I was inspired to write the song after two different conversations I had with two different girls who had been raped. Only one of them decided to pursue charges against her attacker. The other one just wanted to put it all behind her and not have to repeatedly deal with the trauma, among other things, which is what you have to endure if you do decide to pursue legal action. It’s very sad, because that is a big reason why many people decide not to press charges against their attacker(s). They were both very heavy conversations and both left me with a lot of thoughts and emotions to process. I decided to write “Breathless” not only as an outlet for what I was feeling but also to try and raise a little awareness about the subject and to try and spark up a conversation about it as well.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I would really like to do a video for this song eventually. I already know exactly what I want the video to be, it’s just a matter of being able bring it to fruition. So we’ll see if that ever comes to be. I have high hopes though.

How was the recording and writing process?

Writing for me is kind of a long process. There are very few times when I’ll ever sit down and write something start to finish. It can take me days, weeks, or even months to finish a song. The recording process for this album and song was an awesome experience. I got to work with some great musicians and some long-time friends. I recorded everything at Studio West in San Diego. Two friends of mine, Hunter Levy and Kyle Kuiper were my main engineers and producers on it. They are also both very talented musicians and are featured on every song on the album. I’ve known Hunter since I was like twelve. He was a big musical influence on me growing up and showed me most of the music I still listen to today, so it was really great to be able to have him be part of this process.

How did your upbringing influence your music?

I come from a VERY musical family, so I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life and have been performing, in one form or another, since I was very young. I always tell people that I get my musical taste from my dad and my talent from my mom. Although, my mom was and is way more vocally talented than I’ll probably ever be. So because of that I feel like it was only a matter of time before I started writing and performing my own material. My family also loves to watch movies, so I’m a pretty big movie buff. I never really knew how big of an effect that had on my music until after I recorded this album and started playing stuff for people. I always get the comment that my songs sound very “cinematic,” which I actually take as a big compliment.

What roles do Kurt Cobain and Beck play in your music?

When I was a kid I wanted to be Kurt Cobain. He is one of the main reasons I got into playing the guitar and music in general. I still dress like him. I’m kind of trapped in the 90’s, which apparently is cool again so it kind of works out haha. Musically though I think Beck has had a much bigger influence on me. I started off as a solo act and I used a lot of looping pedals and I still do a lot of my writing that way as well. Beck uses a lot of the same type of looping techniques. He’ll have one basic pattern that he’ll repeat or “loop” throughout the entirety of a song and basically add and remove different layers to that loop to give the song movement and changes. I always loved that style and do the same thing on most of my songs. “Loser” is my all time favorite song and sometimes I think my sole goal as a songwriter is to write a song that even remotely comes close to that haha.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

I haven’t been doing any writing recently. Mainly just focusing on this upcoming album. But I am going to be releasing three more singles off the “Tiny Monsters” EP before its release. The next single is called “Lost Again,” and that song will be available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, etc., on January 27th. We also made a video for it which will premier shortly after the song is released, so keep an eye out for it.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Yeah, I think I mentioned it earlier but the EP is set for a March 10th release and is titled “Tiny Monsters.”

Any plans to hit the road?

I hope so. I don’t have anything set right now but it is definitely something I have in the works to try and do sometime this year.

What else is happening next in Senator’s world?

Oh man, I don’t know. I’m just really looking forward to finally having an album out for people to listen to. It’s my first album and it’s something that I’ve wanted to do my whole life, so right now I’m just enjoying taking this next step and being able to cross this off of my bucket list. But of course I would love to eventually record another album and tour and all that good stuff, so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how everything goes with this and go from there.

Listen HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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