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INTERVIEW: J. Graves

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

Hiya Vents! Jessa Graves here from J. Graves. So excited to be answering some questions – thanks for having me!

There’s a ton going on right now in preparation for our next single release, upcoming performances, and a record release so I’ve been working on staying focused and productive and grateful.

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

“New Favorite” is my darling. It brings me so much joy – you can see and sense a physiological change in me when we play it. The song was originally called “Attached”, but was given the nickname “New Favorite” in practice and it stuck. It’s the first cut on our upcoming record releasing in September.

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

I wrote this song when my girlfriend and I very first started dating. I was grasping and hoping and felt like I had no semblance of where we stood. The reciprocity of vulnerability.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Damn yeah. I’m very excited for so many reasons. This will be my first and I have a pretty cool last shot in mind that alone will make it worth the watch.

How was the recording and writing process?

This song poured out of me. My friend and drummer Dave Yeager and I were having a music hangout and I just started playing the opening riff and everything followed so fluidly, it was as though I had been fluent in the song, or at least of conversational proficiency, for years.

We recorded this song and our entire upcoming record to tape on a beautiful Studer tape machine in an analog studio in Portland, Oregon called the Map Room. Stan Wright of Arctic Flowers engineered the record. The reverb you hear is from an actual reverb tank – like how special is that? Amy Dragon, who mastered the record, also cut the lacquer masters on a lathe from the 60s. The whole process from tracking, to the vinyl being cut was unique and impermanent and precious.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?

I’m the sole songwriter for J. Graves. I bring mostly complete songs to the table, solicit feedback, maybe make some arrangement tweaks and iterate if necessary or if something really serves the sound and emotion and purpose of the song.

I love the ideas my bass player Barret Stolte and drummer Aaron MacDonald bring to the table and cannot wait to hear their thoughts while we work through new material.

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

OH YEAH. We have an additional single dropping in July and our record is releasing in September.

Plans are in motion for a 2020 release as well for which I am so incredibly ready.

Our record coming out in September called “Marathon” is my first full-length. It’s symbolic, it’s a chapter close, it’s change, it’s truth, it’s consequence, and there’s no more edge left on my seat for the new writing that is to come.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Marathon, releasing Friday September 13th, 2019.

Any plans to hit the road?

Certainly – some west coast dates in the fall to be announced!

What else is happening next in J Graves’ world?

Everything is happening. Forward motion and momentum. New muses, inspiration, styles. New people, new rules, no rules, rodeos. This is my first project that I’ve taken this far and I’m not looking back. Expect more music, captivating performances, pleasing visual design, meaningful memories, super cool videos, and really great photos from my ever present disposable camera! J. Graves is just getting started and I’m so very thankful to be doing what I love most in this world.

Listen here

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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