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Jason Reeves Interview

Aug 13, 2008

By: Sindy

Sindy: Hey Jason, this must be a pretty exciting time for you.

Jason: Yeah, it’s overwhelmingly exciting really.

Sindy: Now that you’re starting to get a lot of attention as a musician, can you tell us a bit about your musical background?

Jason: Well, I started playing piano when I was five, kind of unwillingly (laughs). So I played piano for five years and then I took up the drums. Maybe because I was a frustrated and angry teenage boy, and I just wanted to hit stuff, I guess. That lasted for a couple years and when I was 17 I got a guitar for my birthday and started discovering Bob Dylan and James Taylor and the whole ‘60s thing, and that made me want to make songs, to go beyond just playing an instrument. I needed to write I guess.

Sindy: And from then on you were focused on your music career? Were you always interested in writing or English in school?

Jason: Yeah definitely, that was always something I could stand about school, the writing and the reading part. Even before I started writing songs, that was one of my goals to be a writer, and I still have that goal. I’ve just gotten sidetracked for a moment.

Sindy: Not a bad sidetrack. You mentioned Bob Dylan and James Taylor, do you have any other musical idols or influences?

Jason: Sure, speaking of idols, when I was really little I wanted to be Michael Jackson real bad. It got kind of absurd probably. (laughs)Going along with those songwriters would be Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Gilmour and Waters, I really like a lot of new stuff too, but there wouldn’t be enough time. Like Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine, John Mayer, anybody. All of those people are incredible.

Sindy: You co-wrote two of Colbie Callait’s biggest hits including Bubbly and Realize, how did you end up connecting with her?

Jason: Yeah, it was kind of random but when I came out here to LA to record, I didn’t plan on staying. I was going to go back home to Iowa, but I realized that once I got here, I probably couldn’t leave. So I had to make connections and meet new friends and luckily she was one of the first people I met through the producer I was working with. Then we started writing music together because that’s what we love to do and whatever else happened happened.

Sindy: Once those songs became really successful, how did that feel?

Jason: It feels really good, it feels surreal, and it’s something that maybe I don’t even understand because it’s going on right now. Maybe one day I’ll look back and really freak out, I don’t know. Everything is brilliant, it’s amazing. I can’t complain.

Sindy: How important is it for you to write your own songs, considering how much over-produced music is out there?

Jason: Well, it’s the most important thing for me, to sing songs I wrote, or wrote with somebody else. I mean you have to sing the songs so many times, even to sing a song more than once, I’ve got to feel it, I’ve got to mean it. I think it would be hard to get into a song someone else wrote unless it really connected with your experiences.

Sindy: Can you tell us how you go about writing a song?

Jason: Well, each song is different, I don’t have a set of rules. Usually I’ll just pick up my guitar and play a few chords and the songs sort of come out. I’ll start singing a chorus and I think a lot of songs kind of exist somewhere out there, and I’m just lucky to find them. Sometimes you can get stuck on a word and try a million different words and none of them are right, but once you find the right one it seems so clear, it seems like it’s the only way the song can go.

Sindy: For people who haven’t heard of you before, how would describe your style of music, your performance?

Jason: Hmm, I don’t know, it’s acoustic music for the most part, I might call it new-folk. It’s not folk, but it has some elements of that in it, I hope. Other than that I don’t know what to say except maybe it’s honest. It’s honest music. I’m not trying to build it up to be something it’s not. I’m not trying to fake people out.

Sindy: It’s funny that you mentioned honesty, because lately singer-songwriters have been getting a lot of attention, as opposed to the major label pop acts. Why do you think that is?

Jason: I really think that people are getting fed up with the computer generated music. I think it had a little time where it was new and it kind of worked, but it’s so overdone now that people are getting sick of it, and are turning back to real music. I think there’s only so much of that stuff you can take.

Find out more about Jason and hear some of his music on his MySpace.

  • Click here to find out about Jason’s new album and his upcoming tour.

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