INTERVIEW: Jarod Grubb

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

So great! Things are happening.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Tiki Bar On The Beach”?

Yes! This song is about one of my dreams of having a house on the beach somewhere hot and tropical and if you want to find me, chances are you could catch me at the nearest Tiki Bar. More than that, though, it’s about not being afraid to daydream and visualize yourself being where you want to be and taking a risk to get there. It’s actually the very first song I wrote in Nashville after moving, so it’s kind of special in that way. I’m such a believer in chasing your dreams regardless of your current circumstances or where life has put you. I feel like it’s just a really simple song, lyrically. I didn’t really write it to get listened to (it was more of a writing exercise to get in the swing of things after I moved) and I think that makes it even cooler. If you can look past the daily grind, the bills and the challenges, and cut through your own excuses, I think it is simple, that is, to take a risk. Not necessarily easy, but simple. So that’s why I think it’s cool this will be my first significant release.

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

As aforementioned, it was the first song I wrote after moving to Nashville (5 years ago), which was definitely a bit of a risk. So that Nashville leap and life change certainly was fresh on my mind.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track? 

Absolutely! We finished editing the video a few weeks ago and it’s ready to go with the audio release.  We filmed it down in Tampa – of course at a Tiki Bar on a beach. It was an absolute blast!

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was a little different from my usual style. I remember that I really was just doing sort of an ad lib or lyric flow exercise. Usually, I don’t finish the song when I do that, but I did this time, and I didn’t think much of it until I played it at a gig for the first time and the listeners really seemed to like it – especially the musicians I was playing with.

As far as the recording goes, I was lucky enough to be introduced to the legend Ron Cornelius and have him produce it. He eventually produced four more of my songs (the rest of my EP), but initially we just worked on ‘Tiki Bar.’ After the first session the song had more of a bluesy or John Mayer feel. It sounded amazing but didn’t quite fit the laid-back Tiki style it needed. So, Ron was gracious in hearing my idea and we re-worked it.

What was it like to work with Ron Cornelius and how did that relationship develop? 

I was introduced to Ron by an artist and great friend Tom Sexton, who has cut a few of my songs (two of which have made the Country Billboard Indicator Chart!). I came in with ‘Tiki Bar’ on the tail end of one of Tom’s recording sessions at Ocean Way Studios on Music Row. Ron has been a Nashville producer for a long time. Before he started producing, he played guitar on multiple Bob Dylan albums, as well as Leonard Cohen and many others. He really is a Nashville legend. So, for me to have the chance to work with him was a complete honor. And as we spent time working together, we really developed a friendship – more of a musical family-ship. He calls me “Little Artist Guy” or “LAG” lol. 

How much did he get to influence the song? 

Quite a bit! He did his thing with the session players at first. But, after I asked him to re-work the song to more of an acoustic feel, he heard me out and we had a great conversation on how to make it work. Then, he called up the talented guitarist Danny Parks and we mixed and matched ideas. Ron, of course ran the show and made the decisions, but he made my ideas come alive and fit. As a studio rookie, it was so nice that he worked with my musical thoughts and so valuable to learn from such a consummate professional. I just can’t say enough about how much I love and respect Ron. When I think about how that happened – it’s just a real bright spot in my musical journey!

What role does Montana play in your music?

A huge role! The weird thing is I grew up in the Rocky Mountains but I’m just a total beach bum haha. It doesn’t make any sense. But, the Montana of my youth is full of fly-fishing, hiking and wild frontier. My grandpa George was a logger so we would frequently camp near his logging camps in the Flathead National Forest. Our family did everything outdoors and that sense of freedom you get by being amongst the overwhelming beauty of a huge wilderness rings true in my outlook on life and, of course, songwriting. My parents were the ultimate encouragers for their kids too and taught us that opportunities can be limitless with the right dream and hard work. Also, I grew up sailing on Flathead Lake (the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi), which definitely planted a seed to someday sail the ocean and, I think, fostered a fondness of the open water for me. You don’t really think of Montana as a sailing destination!

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

Oh, absolutely! I have so much material in the tank that I can’t wait to get out there. ‘Tiki Bar’ will be the first release from my EP. Next, my song ‘What She’s Drinkin’ On’ (TBD). Additionally, I plan on releasing a bunch of acoustic stuff in between. Short answer: yes, there’s a lot coming! And that’s not including the songs that have yet to be written. 🙂

What else is happening next in Jarod Grubb’s world?

My world is full of playing shows here in Nashville at Margaritaville on Broadway and Margaritaville Hotel, promoting my upcoming music and writing and recording more tunes. That, and dreaming about the Tiki Bar on the beach! 🌴

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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