Hi David, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Pretty good, thanks!
Can you talk to us more about your upcoming single “In Springtime”?
It was kind of a last minute joke song. It’s kind of weird and creepy. It makes me uncomfortable, which is the key to a successful single.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I was in the studio waiting for the drum mics to be set up for another song that we were going to record and I just statred playing this riif. My producer, James Jones (no relation) started singing over it in this ridiculous falsetto voice. We thought is was really funny so we ditched the song we were going to start that day and built this song. It was very spur of the moment. It was kind of a joke but it turned out to be pretty catchy.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
I had to be out of town during the shoot, which wasn’t originally the plan. Myself, Jake Bayless, (writer, DP), and Christopher Owings (director) had spent a few months brainstorming ideas, adn we somehow landed upon a story of a kid who falls in love with a mannequin. Well, in reality she is a mannequin, maybe, but he sees her as real. He’s a good. Or he has some issues.
The single comes off your new album Occult Years – what’s the story behind the title?
The time between my last release, Comfort Creatures, and this one, was filled with a lot of crazy changes and life lessons, which were not always easy lessons. I kind of retreated from the path I was on during this time and was a little lost with what I wanted to do and what I should be doing. I was hidden from myself. So it’s more the actual ‘occult’ versus the occult that my parents warned me about. Aliester Crowley, listening to Ozzy records backwards and all that cool stuff.
How was the recording and writing process?
I usually have 30% to 50% of an idea for a song when I go in, and use the pressure of being in the studio to make me finish the song on the fly. I played all the instruments, except for the horns, pedal steel, and a guitar solo on one song, so I tried to be as fast as possible. I ran out of money a lot, so that slowed it down. But it was a lot of fun. That’s the whole point, right?
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I wasn’t going in with anything intentional but the over-arching theme is about being stuck in a rut, or living under a cloud, and not knowing how not get yourself out of it. The inspiration was frustration.
What role does Austin play in your writing?
There’s great musicians here and some of them, like Zeke Jarmon from Batty Jr., Jason Frey from Black Joe Lewis and The HoneyBears, and Justin Douglas, who plays with Abram Shook, played on a few of the songs. Other than that, none.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with other musicians than on your own?
I don’t collaborate as much as I’d like to, but when I do I like the results. I like to see what other people bring to a song. It’s usually something I wouldn’t have thought of in a million years.
Any plans to hit the road?
I didn’t write them with perfoeming them live in mind. I like to play trashier, more aggressive stuff if I’m fronting a live show. Maybe I’ll do that next time.
What else is happening next in David Thomas Jones’ world?