INTERVIEW: Jason Andrew Brown
Hi Jason, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Things have been going very well thanks! It’s an exciting time for me with the new EP out and I’m making connections with new fans and fellow musicians in Indianapolis and elsewhere.
Can you talk to us more about your song “Make Time”?
Make Time is the song I feel I was born to write and perform. It’s a manifesto on essentialism in a world that grows more distracting and filled with information every day. All of us face so many demands for our time and attention. We’re left with no time for ourselves unless we create that time by reclaiming it back from the world. At first it may feel like WASTING time if we choose to disconnect from our devices, jobs, and even relationships for a moment. But for me, creating space to think and to explore music is the source of my inspiration as a writer. It helps me balance the creative part of myself with all the other roles I play in life. I suspect this applies to anyone whether their thing is music, excercise, meditation, reading or anything else. No matter what, we will HAVE time for what we MAKE time for.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I was in the middle of a particularly stressful day. I was in the car, supposed to stop home, grab some things and then drive across town to another obligation. I remember thinking to myself “This whole day has been spent doing things I HAVE to do. I want more time to play some records, play guitar, relax, but I don’t have any time for that right now!” Just then the lyrics for a chorus spontaneously popped into my head “You don’t get MORE time, you MAKE time”. Just then I stopped feeling overwhelmed, and took charge. I re-scheduled my later commitments and when I got home I grabbed my guitar, turned up my amp, and the chords flowed out over my lyrics. It was the most fun I had had in several months.
Any plans to release a video for the track?
Yes! I’m working on the concept for the video now with the same production crew that I used on my video for Shine Sun Shine. These guys are very very good. It should be an epic video. I’m looking for release some time in late June/early July.
The single comes off your new self-titled album – why naming the album after yourself?
This record is an introduction to what I’m all about and most people’s first exposure to my music. I’m proud of the songs and consequently I wanted to put my name right on the front of the collection. The same as putting on a name tag at a meeting where people are meeting you for the first time.
How was the recording and writing process?
Sometimes I work on a song over several years. Recording demos, playing it live, seeing what feels right with a particular band arrangement. Other songs seem to write themselves and I struggle to write as fast as the words come into my head. You’ll get a taste of both kinds of songs on the EP. Icarus and Emptiness Is Forever were recorded alone and by myself and in just a few takes. Stranger is a relatively stark band arrangement that was recorded in a friend’s project studio, and Shine Sun Shine and Make Time were recorded with more ‘production’ work happening in the mix and I took longer getting them just the way I wanted. That’s one of the things I like best about this EP; I hope people will find themselves in a different sonic landscape on each song with my voice to tie it all together into a cohesive collection.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are playing on a band than when you are playing alone?
Performing solo is an entirely different discipline from fronting a band. When it’s up to just one person to make all the music and give a compelling show, things like vocal dynamics, well-crafted lyrics, and storytelling become the key differentiators of pros from amateurs. Aspiring to be a pro, I’ve been hard at work on my lyrics, singing, for a few years now. Focusing on those aspects of songwriting is the reason I do solo-acoustic performances and defines the song’s foundation. From there I get deeper sonic atmospheres when I perform with my band live or record in the studio.
What direction did you seek for this EP?
I wanted to accomplish 2 things…
1) an introduction – to me as an artist, demonstrating my range of subject matter, vocal dynamics, and musical textures.
2) an invitation. I sing my songs in hopes that the words and music will resonate with others and they’ll tell me about their experience and reaction to listening. I would still write and record music even if it were only for myself, but when listeners react, things get interesting. I’m trying to start conversations with songs.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Inspiration comes from anywhere I’m open to receiving it. It can be the way the year’s first sunny and warm days make me feel (Shine Sun Shine), or concepts on how best to approach modern life (Make Time), or reflections on paths not taken and opportunites missed (Stranger), or a eulogy for a beloved friend who committed suicide (Emptiness is Forever), or a tribute to Jonathan Briley (aka ‘The Falling Man’) who was photographed falling from the towers on 9/11 and the thoughts he must have been thinking in his final moments (Icarus).
Any plans to hit the road?
I have no ‘world tour’ booked at this moment. I’m open to the idea of some touring if the opportunity presented itself and it made sense, but my focus will remain on creating the best songs I can and seeing what opportunities arise from the conversations those songs inspire with others.
What else is happening next in Jason Andrew Brown’s world?
More writing, more recording, releasing more music! I’m already working on a follow up collection of songs that builds on what’s been established with this debut EP. I’m loving where I am. In the moment for the first time in my life. May it continue.
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