INTERVIEW: Johnathan Rice

Pic by Silvia Grav

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

I’ve been well. I’m alive, which is more than I can say for a lot of people.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Meet The Mother”?

This song is an outlier in my catalogue because it’s my attempt at writing something funny. I always wanted to write a song that had a cyclical refrain, kinda like ‘You don’t miss your water till your well runs dry.’

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

 I ended up in a conversation with Bill Murray one night about relationships, and he told me, ‘Well, you’ve got to meet the mother. I carried that phrase with me for years. It felt totemic. I don’t necessarily think that we are just facsimiles of our parents. Real life is way more nuanced than that. But songs aren’t real life. Songs are shorter.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The video was  directed by Kevin Hayes and stars his mother Lilli Hayes and I.  She is one of the most infamous mothers on Instagram, so it felt like a perfect fit for the song.

How was the recording and writing process?

The song is written in a pretty traditional style, but Tony Berg [(Phoebe Bridgers, Aimee Mann)] and Mike Viola [(Ryan Adams, Panic! At the Disco)] kind of went for a Suicide meets Nebraska thing with the production.”

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along? Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I have a whole record done and ready to go. It’s called The Long Game and it’ll be out in 2019.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yeah, I plan on touring this record as much as possible.

What else is happening next in Johnathan Rice’s world?

The place I live has an orchard, and I’m learning to take care of it. There are some gophers that are interfering with the health of the trees. I plan on fighting back against those gophers with everything I’ve got.

Watch the video for ‘Meet The Mother’,  starring 69-year-old viral sensation Lili Hayes: Or listen on Spotify.

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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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