Photo credit: Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee

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

Pretty good, thanks.  Just busy, which means I am staying out of trouble… for the most part.

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

Sure!  It was written during the release campaign of my last EP, Lullabies to the Ocean, and basically reflects knowledge gained from positive change and self observation.  I recorded a demo on my Tascam 388 in my Los Angeles apartment. I then went into 64 Sound in Highland Park to track with Tyler Karmen producing/engineering and some friends.  I recorded two tracks a few days before leaving Los Angeles to spend some time working in New Orleans and a visit to the U.K. Now I am preparing for the release and touring back to LA.

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

My journey over the last few years has been pretty brutal in terms of self growth and breaking the habit of destruction.  I have made significant strides in my state of mind and this song reflects the chaos of life and finding beauty. It’s about searching for a certain light not seen before.  Overcoming defeat from oneself and re-embracing the spark of existence.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Hopefully!  I am talking with a friend about it.  I am fully self funded by working two jobs, though I am not sure I can swing it all.  It may be within range and I am really trying to make it a reality. Think skateboards.

How was the recording and writing process?

Pretty satisfying.  I loved writing this one and it is really fun to play.  It’s quite upbeat with some snazzy jazz chords. Writing is a form a healing; a way to process major mental battles and this one went pretty deep.  I try to write in an aloof manner so it may not be about anything in particular but the listener can make it their own. I think what makes a good song to me is if it can be molded by the listener to fit their personal situation.  I’m quite proud of this recording and had a great time recording it with Tyler and everyone at 64 Sound. I usually record alone, but this time I went into the studio and asked some very talented friends to play on it. Emily Retsas plays bass, Joey McDermott on drums, and my old pal Jacob Cole on electric guitar.  You can hear some wurlitzer in there too! Gotta love the wurlitzer…

What role does California play in your music?

California has always been a sense of inspiration for me and I am proud to be from the golden state.  It is so diverse and eclectic in terms of nature and various ecosystems. I am very inspired by natural studies and try to look within the meaning of nature in music.  The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” comes to mind as a great example of the California feel. Pet Sounds, surf rock, garage bands, and other sounds of California have all leaked through in some way or another.  It’s only natural.

Having lived and getting to meet different cultures – how has these experiences influence your writing?

I think travelling in general is one of the best things a human being can do.  To open the mind with new experience, culture, and adventure makes the soul grow.  Add creativity and a craving for knowledge to the mix and you are good to go. My goals in music is to simply grow in creativity while becoming more aware and in tune with the vibrations of the universe.  That sounds a little too new-agey, but you get it. It’s important to understand that we all walk the same road but it’s up to us to open the gate and find something outside the realm of what we are told to believe.  I have gained immense focus and a sense of enlightenment by traveling and talking to as many different people as possible. Being an introvert makes that a challenge, but the payoff is well worth it. More experience equals more things to write about.  Artists observe the world and record the emotional capacity of the personal experience, which reflects in us all. Travel more.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

I have so much material I don’t know what to do with it.  I’m planning to record a full length or at least another EP once I get back to Los Angeles.  All of my equipment is out there so I can’t even demo. Songs are piling up!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Definitely 2020.  Not too sure on a title or even the subject matter.  I just have a pile of songs on hold at the moment.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’m touring back to Los Angeles from New Orleans starting July 17th and dates will be announced soon!  The tour kick off goes hand in hand with a vinyl release of the single. I’m heading up the east coast and then over to the great lakes.  From there I head down through Kansas to Colorado and then up to Washington, ending it down the west coast.

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

I’m currently spending time in New Orleans working and preparing the single for release.  I’m working on new songs and making some moves. I am looking forward to being back in California.  Depending on a job opportunity, I may stay or I may move to Glasgow in 2020. There are a few options on the table and I am very grateful for everything in life at the moment.  Thanks for having me.

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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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