Who’s Bob Simpson?
I ask myself this all the time. I’d say he’s a sportsman. He’s actively pursuing what he feels he’s made to do. Bob Dylan once said something to the affect of only you know what your destiny is and if you share this with anyone, it’s bound to be broken. I’d like to think that anyone who knows Bob Simpson knows or has an idea as to what that destiny is. But all in all, he’s an artist.
How did you get started in the music scene?
I started out by writing songs and learning as much guitar as I could. I used to listen to guys like Neil Young and James Taylor who I thought this is what I want to do. I want to write great songs. As a teenager, I used to sit on my bed and come up with lyrics and chord changes and make stuff up. Not much has changed. Then in college, a friend gave me a 4-track tape recorder, a used Tascam, and I started to demo everything I had finished. Then I started passing these tapes around to show promoters that I knew who were bringing indie artists around and they liked my songs and invited me to open shows. But it wasn’t until I met Gary Laney that I really started actively pursuing it more than just a hobby. Gary was this cat from Nashville who had seen me play on this live radio show he had attended and wanted to work with me. He liked my songs and truly believed that I had something. So he ended up buying all this recording equipment and we recorded my first record in his house. We released it on his label, Wayfair Records, and did a small tour and really pushed everything. Gary has an amzing track record so it really helped knowing I was in good hands.
What are your music influences?
What or who? As far as the ‘what’ goes, really anything ahead of it’s time that doesn’t sound like everything else. Be it Beck or Radiohead or groups like Queen or the Beach Boys. No one sounds like they do. And the best part is that they’re only out there making the best music they’ve never heard. Same for me. Music is art. It’s about creating and expressions. That concept is covered up sometimes I feel. Now as far as the ‘who’s’ go, I’m influenced by Ryan Adams, James Iha, Damien Jurado, Richard Buckner, Mark Kozelek, Neil Young, Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard – guys like that.
What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
There’s always a method to my madness. I guess that’s really for any artist. I usually start with a melody and then a line. Then I kind of tap into that emotion and just let my imagination go from there. But I like to read so sometimes I refer back to something I read over something I saw or heard. Sometimes my songs are about people and sometimes they’re about nothing at all. What matters to me is what does the song mean to the listener. In the end, it’s very rewarding to hear how something I’ve written made them feel over how much they like the song.
Odd Man Out. How was the recording and writing process? How you came out with the album’s title? Any release date yet in mind?
The writing process started in Nashville several years back. I was out there visiting and networking and learning a lot. I sat in studio sessions and just got real creative. Then it kinda just kept coming to me after I came back home to Texas. I felt like I was growing as a songwriter and still do. So the songs on Odd Man Out are a collective of the past 4 years.
When I went in to record the record, I had a plan as to what I was going for. I wanted to make this alt-country record and ride the whole Texas scene just to get noticed in someway. I knew all the right people and how it worked. But as I got into the groove of things, I realized that I was doing it all for the wrong reasons. Yeah, I wanted to be noticed just as any other artist does but that’s not what was in my heart. It was all about making music and making something that was mine, an offering. This was my Pet Sounds. I’m almost ashamed of thinking what I thought in the beginning. That whole Texas country scene is not me. I like country music and everything but I can’t be pinned as this one thing. I’m not this or that. I’m an artist. I write songs. I make music. Not this kind or that kind. I just do it. The majority of that Texas country stuff I can hardly stand. Then it occurred to me that even if I belong to a particular scene, I’ll still be the odd man out. So that’s where the title comes from. As far as its release date, that’s to be determined. I’m an independent artist so it depends on the funds I raise to get the record pressed and in everyones hands.
How was it to have your music in an independent film Dead In Love?
It was kinda cool. I mean, think about it. Your music in a movie. I’ll never see a dime of it but that’s just the thing. I could care less. I was honored to be thought of for a project such as a film. Indie or mainstream – whatever. People are watching it and then they hear your music in it. It’s just cool. I was happy to help.
What’s the message you want to spread with your music?
I don’t know if I have a message to spread with my music really. I think that anyone making music should be true to themselves in the process and not worry about genres and money and “making it”. Do what you love and keep pressing on. Work hard, network, learn as much as you can and be prepared to be screwed every now and again.
What has been one of the funniest moments you have been or took part while touring?
I did a gig in San Antonio once with Nicolette Good. She had arranged for me to go on air at a college radio station there. I got lost and ended up on a high school campus right next to the college that the station is part of. I was told to go in this one general direction. As I was about to open the door to this school, I was stopped by the San Antonio schools superintendent who told me one more move and I would have been tackled and arrested. They don’t mess around in that city! Stupid me, the station was located right across the street. It made for good on air conversation.
Are there any plans for the future we should be aware of?
All I can say for now is to be on the look out for the new album coming out this year. I’m playing a few festivals but that’s really about it. Trying to book more gigs and get out there more.
Where can we find more about your music?
Follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook, visit Reverbnation.com, my website, I’m hoping, will be under construction soon so that can kinda keep everyone up to date on things. Go to soundcloud.com to listen to the new album for free.
Do you feel you’re moving on the right direction?
Absolutely. There’s only so much you can do as an independent artist but also sky is the limit. I just gotta keep pressing on and continue to write songs.