INTERVIEW: Jordan Lewis

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

I wrote the song after a breakup that was just absolutely awful.  I think like most people going through a really painful situation, my emotions were all over the place.  One day I would be really angry, the next too upset to do anything.  I wanted it to end! I think I wrote the song out of desperation really.

How was the recording and writing process?

The song came together really fast.  I was trying to show my friend Spencer Burnham (who also directed the video) how my first mentor in LA, Tricky Stewart, would use only a few sounds to make his beats move in really cool ways.   It started without a guitar but pretty quickly I picked one up and the verse riff was the fist thing I played. That got us all excited and I think I wrote the verse and pre chorus in like 30 minutes.  Spencer then left the studio and I had this moment where I was like, “the chorus needs to be like this elevated thing” and I heard the riff in my head and the lyrics just came out with no filter.  From my experience, songs that are written the fastest are usually the best.  The rest of the production tweaks took forever as usual for me. I think I re-recorded the main riff on the verse like 100 times with different amp sounds until I found that one.  One day, I was working with producer Connor Waine and I played him the song and he got really into it.  He added the kick in the chorus which totally brought it all together, the wild hi hats in the verses and a wiggle pad in the chorus (thats what I called it at least).  The guitar harmonics and stuff like that were last minute additions when the song just had to be finished because we were filming the video.

What role does LA play in your music?

I have a real love-hate relationship with LA.  I owe so much of the career I’ve had to just being here and being around so much of what goes on but I don’t know if it’s really the best place for me to be creative.  It’s very easy to be influenced by the type of music that is popular here at the moment and to get lost in sauce.  When I set out to be an artist, my goal first and foremost was to be as un-LA as possible to be honest.  I wanted to be loud, raw, confrontational – pretty much everything LA is not these days. When I play my music for people who knew me really well back in New York they definitely say my stuff has an “LA” thing about it, which I find funny and didn’t really expect to hear.

How did your musical perspective change as you move from Long Island to LA?

Coming from Long Island to LA felt like getting a blindfold ripped off. There were so many things I was exposed to right away that went against everything I had known back home.  I got a full-time gig engineering pop and r&b records which was miles away from the prog rock band I was playing in at college.  I think working as an engineer in pop and eventually in rap taught me a lot about what works in songs and what doesn’t and taught me about simplicity.  I started to see a song as it’s own little world where before I was really only concerned with playing my guitar and coming up with cool sounds with my pedalboard.

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

So much more music!  I think I have at least an album and an EP already in the can and it’s now just a matter of finding the stuff that feels the most authentic and running with it.  I’m going to be putting out songs for a long time.  I also think people will be very surprised with the type of stuff I will be putting out after Back To School Again.  I see my music as a way to totally be myself and because of that I refuse to write songs that sound alike.  I absolutely hate the idea of genre-music and I think it’s really outdated and plays to the lowest common denominator.  People are much smarter than that now.

Any plans to hit the road?

I can’t wait!  I actually left engineering because I wanted to play live shows again, and playing live music in front of people is really what this is all about.

What else is happening next in Jordan Lewis’ world?

I’m going to be putting out a lot more music and playing a lot more shows. I’ve already felt a shift in the way I’m writing things just following one show and one release and I’m really excited to see where things lead in that department too.

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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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