INTERVIEW: Jonathan Wolfe’s Vespera

– Hi Jonathan, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi! I’ve been quite well, and thank you for the welcome! I’ve been keeping my head down, working hard, and staying optimistic during this new chapter in my life. I hope all is well over at VENTS!

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

Absolutely! About two years ago when I still lived in California, ESP Guitars was kind enough to supply me with two seven string guitars in preparation for a tour I was heading out on. It was my first time using seven strings. Naturally, if you hand me a new instrument, I’m going to play around and try to write something. I was just recovering from reconstructive surgery on my collarbone after a snowboarding accident. I really couldn’t do much, so I just sat around with this new instrument all day and eventually wrote the skeleton for a song that was first titled “existexpire.” It would stay untouched for over a year. After a stressful and short-lived tour, I moved up to Seattle, went on a musical hiatus, and focused on writing poetry again. When I finally found the inspiration to start writing music again, I eventually fell upon the file for this song and completed the instrumental. During my time at the studio, I had the most trouble finding the proper lyrics for this song. That’s where poetry came into play. I found an untitled poem that I had previously written, I locked myself in a room for nearly 20 hours, and I wouldn’t stop working until I was content with the first draft of the song. It was really cool getting a chance to combine my songwriting with my Wolfespeak poetry material. Simply put, Bloom is a song about going through enduring times and coming out stronger than ever before.

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

Oh man, yeah… several events and experiences. There was one pivotal moment that truly inspired this song. Bloom was a reflection of all the hardships I had endured ever since I had moved out West in 2010. I went through a lot of crap that would stop people dead in their tracks and make them run away, but for some reason I always found the strength to carry on. After seven years of continual stress, I finally reached a point of clarity in my life where I truly felt centered, focused, and content. It was shortly after, that I met someone who became extremely special in my life. This person would inspire a point of reflection that would eventually be known as “Bloom.” We both worked for countless years in the entertainment industry, sacrificed large bits of our childhood to focus on our craft, and found ourselves feeling unfulfilled after so many years of constant opposition and disappointment. The lyrical content of this song showcases my desire to rid that person of the pain and suffering they’ve endured in their life so that we could heal and grow together, stronger than ever before. That line in the bridge has become a mantra for me, and I hope it will become a mantra for others. “Through all the hell that we’ve endured, we will bloom.”

– How was the filming experience?

Filming was definitely fun but extremely stressful. This was the first time I had to play the role of “producer” in the film world, and I had to do it for six videos in just one week. It was also the first time I would write the storylines for all six of our music videos. I’m actually working on a few more videos in the upcoming months, and I’m looking forward to diving in deeper into the film world as Vespera continues moving forward. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface, yet I’m so excited for every future opportunity to create more videos with my team.

– The single comes off your new album The Thoughts That Plague You – what’s the story behind the title?

I have a goal with this album, and it’s to connect with listeners at an extremely visceral level. I’ve felt that music has been lacking a connection to the human soul for quite awhile. “The Thoughts That Plague You” is not only a point of reflection for me, but is also my first true attempt to reach out to others who might feel cornered in their lives. It’s almost comical to me how so many of us go through similar struggles, but are downright mortified to talk about any of it in fear of being judged or ostracized. My intention with this album is to start an open conversation with our listeners and let them know that they are not alone in their sentiments, trials, and tribulations.

– How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was honestly exciting for me. I went through a severe writer’s block for a long time. When I started writing again, it was as if a flood gate opened up and I was literally drowning in ideas. As I was creating, I was constantly learning, and as I learned, I wanted to create even more. If I had it my way, I would’ve probably released a 30 track record. There is a genuine bliss that I feel when I can just sit in a studio and create with zero distractions. Living out of Bethesda, MD for four months gave me that opportunity.. That’s not to say I didn’t have my low moments, but that’s normal. On the overall, I had a wonderful time creating this album, and I cannot wait to start working on the next.

– What thoughts did you get to explore on this record?

I think listening to the album and reading through the lyrics will help summarize that to an appropriate level. I will, however, share the one epiphany I had during the creation of this record. I first walked into the studio stressing out about writing “good” music. I was hyper focused on every single detail and it actually caused a small speed bump of a writer’s block while I was trying to write vocal melodies and lyrics. I paused and eventually realized that a true artist doesn’t focus on what’s considered “good” or “bad.” A true artist creates honest art. The second I was no longer afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve, I wrote the lyrics and melodies to half of my record in a day. Our obligation as artists is to create honest and heartfelt art. How others perceive your art should be irrelevant. The words “good” and “bad” will always be contingent on the taste of your audience and it would be an exhausting endeavor to please every single listener.

– Any plans to hit the road?

Eventually, yes. I want to focus on building the band up to be truly prepared for years to come. First impressions are lasting impressions. I want to rehearse to near perfection, create a live show that will truly resonate with others, and inspire everyone who attends. I’m hoping to start in 2018, but I’m receptive to head out earlier if the proper tour offer comes around. I really miss performing, so I’m trying to get back out there as soon as possible while still maintaining a realistic sense of responsibility.

– What else is happening next in Vespera’s world?

In the coming months, I’ll be releasing more music that tells the story behind “The Thoughts That Plague You”. We’ll begin showcasing how the album bends around the rock genre, we’ll be filming more music videos in the coming months, and we’ll eventually prepare to release our first album! This is only the start to our journey and I’ve barely scratched the surface on what I want to do with Vespera. I’m hoping we continue to move forward at such an amazing pace. Everyone has been so welcoming, and it’s truly been exciting and inspiring.

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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