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INTERVIEW: James Rose

Photo credit: Mickey Esdaile

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

Hello!  Thank you for having me.  I have been very well, thanks.  Very busy too!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Head for the Coast”?

It’s a boisterous little tune with two different electric guitar tones including distortion and a chorus effect with a peculiar drum part. I wrote the song while coming to the decision to move back to my home state of California after roughly ten years in New Orleans.  It is a song describing the turbulent and desperate need for change and transformation. It is also about not following the crowd and to live life on your own terms.

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

My lifestyle was a becoming a bit jagged and unruly in New Orleans and I was growing more frustrated with what I was doing in life. I wrote some songs as I usually do when feeling distressed and I started to really think about what needed to be done.  I was reaching out for a fresh start and decided to find my roots back on the west coast. I wrote this particular song in that process of decision making. It helped me clear my mind and focus on the positive move forward.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I am definitely thinking about it! I may wait to do a video for the next single release before the EP is out on July 27th.

The single comes off your new EP Lullabies To The Ocean – what’s the story behind the title?

It’s a collection of songs dedicated to the Pacific Ocean and the West Coast. It is written with feelings of change and reflection. I didn’t really realize how much I had missed California until I moved back. I wrote some of the songs while deciding to move and then some were written after I returned. I have been back in Los Angeles now for two years and it’s been great!

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote the songs during the time spent moving back to California. Before, during, and after. I get very isolated and withdrawn when I record but it is the opposite for writing. I usually like walking around or writing at the cafes of whatever town I’m in. Some of the songs were written while moving around different places in LA. I went back to visit New Orleans for a week last summer to pick up some of my equipment and I started the demos when I got back at a friends. I then moved into a new apartment in the Little Armenia neighborhood of LA and got to work on my trusty Tascam 388 8 track. I recorded the drums at a rehearsal space and then everything else was tracked at my place (with the exception of some vocals done at a friends).

What role does LA play in your music?

It brings back a sense of nostalgia for me as I am originally from Pasadena. I moved around the northeast area of Los Angeles growing up and then to a ranch in Santa Barbara county. I’ve always had an interesting relationship with LA and I love it for many different reasons. Lots of things are happening here and it keeps me on my toes creatively. My number one goal is to try and write good songs. The competitive nature and constant hustle here inspires me to put my all in and write to the best of my abilities.

What aspect of the ocean did you get to explore on this record?

The ocean is always changing and is such an amazing wonder. I feel terrible as a representative of the human species in regards to the damage caused by mass pollution worldwide. People need to become more aware of what they are throwing away and the damage it may cause various ecosystems. I just wanted to dedicate these songs to the ocean and try to bring more awareness about these issues. I spent some time swimming in the water up the coast north of Santa Barbara to further answer your question.  A seal came to hang out for a little while when I was out there. It made me a tad nervous to be honest but everything was cool, hah!

What made you want to touch on these themes?

I was pretty desperate for change during my last few months in New Orleans. I tend to get restless when in one spot for too long and it makes me more anxious as time goes on. I wanted to express that feeling of internal chaos in these songs. Changing as a human being is very important to our growth on this planet. It is also important to become more aware of our place in the puzzle of life and to tend to our surroundings in an appropriate manner. I wanted to share my existential questioning in hopes that it may help others in whatever way they need.

Any plans to hit the road?

I have been playing a lot of solo shows for a while so now I am getting a full band together for the EP release. It’s pretty rocking so it makes sense to get a group together.  a west coast tour is in the works and hopefully beyond. It can be challenging being solo in terms of financial obligations so we shall see. I do plan to tour extensively in the future. Not yet though.. I have too much to do here in the city.

What else is happening next in James Rose’s world?

I am just trying hustle around odd jobs for a while and save for the next project. I started walking dogs and may be getting some work in agriculture…I am writing tons of new songs for the next project. Demos for that starts soon!  Other than that, I am just thinking a lot about life and trying to find the balance. I have been getting back in touch with California and doing some major hiking and exploring.  It does wonders for the creative process. Cheers!

Listen here

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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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