Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Open Highway, Head Start”?
It’s the first song that Jennifer lent her vocals to so for that reason alone, it’s very special to me… She was drawn to the track after hearing it through the walls of a studio where it was being mixed as an instrumental (I always try to write tracks that would work either with or without vocals). She got in touch to ask if she could sing over it and even though her enthusiasm for the music was wonderful and heartfelt, I was at first very hesitant as I didn’t know her, had never heard her voice AND I wouldn’t be there to produce it so, as the writer and producer of the music, VERY unusual for me to let go like that… the only reason I did let go was the fact that my mix engineer Steve Hardy, who I trust absolutely, would be engineering the vocals for me… so with that in mind, a weird sense of excitement started coming over me in that I would be hearing what this total stranger would be adding to the track for the first time, as a listener, and not the writer/producer, if that makes sense? …. like waiting for Christmas morning to come when you’re a kid and you hope that the present you wanted would be under the tree.. and boy was it ever!!!! When Steve sent me the track, very late at night, I put my headphones on and went for a walk through my little town… I could not believe what I was hearing.. overjoyed and very emotional for me to be given this gift of her voice and performance… I just walked and walked back and forth through town and listened and listened until a police car actually pulled up and asked if I was ok!!! Jennifer’s voice…. as world class as is out there… I could go on and on talking about her….
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Sad to say and sorry to be boring but no, nothing in particular… I simply pick up a guitar and move my fingers around until something sticks and then the fun begins with building a complete song… having said that, all of my music, starting with the chord progressions, is inspired by the same thing though.. love, longing, loneliness, hope, journeys, landscapes, etc etc… I have had, like most of us, tons of experience with all of that stuff!!
Any plans to release a music video for the single?
No plans but I do have a really cool (at least I think it is!) idea for a video so I’m trying to see if I can put something together… it is a very challenging idea to produce so we’ll see if it comes to fruition… I’ll be asking a lot of favors from friends and we’ll see if they return my calls!!!
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing and recording process is what I live for… It starts with me and a guitar in my house, starting on something that I like, and ends, when I feel I have something worthy, in the studio with good friends who also happen to be some of the best musicians and engineers on the planet. I LOVE starting by myself and ending with this amazing group of people and hearing the song go from one guitar to a multi instrumental finished piece of music.. incredibly satisfying…
You brought some special musicians to back you up – how did they come on board?
All thanks to my best friend Lyle Workman. Lyle and I go way back and are on very, very different levels of musical success. He has a ton and I have NONE! He has always been supportive of my songwriting and production and years ago, while recording and touring with Beck, he introduced me to a few of his closest musical collaborators, who luckily for me and due to their friendship and respect for Lyle, agreed to lend their incredible talent to my music.
What have they brought up to the table?
They literally brought everything to the table. We recorded basic tracks in Zac and Joey’s studio in Burbank which is like a museum of vintage gear and instruments.. HEAVEN… I am not a famous artist or even a signed artist but was treated by these guys as such…they are who they are not just because of their unbelievable talent but also because they are some of the most professional, cool, fun, funny, hard working guys EVER.. they took a very basic arrangement and one guitar track and turned it into something, in my humble opinion, very special.. those guys are truly the heart and soul of the music and that heart and soul is what eventually inspired Jennifer to do what she did.. Zac Rae added SO many overdubs to the music (for well over a year!) without EVER complaining and doing the last few requests from me in a hotel room while on the road with Death Cab For Cutie…unbelievable… Justin didn’t bring one bass to the tracking sessions, he brought four! Lugging them from a hot car by himself… amazing… Joey didn’t play one snare, he played the right snare for the song at hand and set the tone with well thought out rhythms and vibe, not just the simple same old beats… it’s all about the music for these guys, no matter if the artist is famous or not ..
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
YES! Cold Arizona has ten complete songs and the next single does have a beautiful video that will go along with it…written and shot by director Eva Midgley on remote islands off the coast of Baja Mexico…
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
No release date yet… the title is “On a Hill”
Any plans to hit the road?
I wish there were but due to economics, none yet…
What else is happening next in ColdArizona‘s world?
Doing our best to get this music heard and during the late hours of night, ALWAYS writing!!!!