Interview With: Jason Reeves

I was recently lucky enough to catch recording artist Jason Reeves on the phone for a quick chat about television, touring, and how technology has altered music. Our conversation, which lasted somewhere around fifteen minutes can be seen below:

Joshua/PopWreckoning: Hey.
Jason Reeves: Hey! Is this Joshua?
PW: Sure is. I actually expected Allison (Jason’s Agent) first, so the male voice kinda threw me off.
JR: (Laughs) Sorry man.
PW: No worries. Anyways, I guess let’s just get this started, if that’s okay with you.
JR: Works for me.
PW: Killer. Let’s start by talking a little about your national tour with Colbie Caillat, whom you assisted in writing ten songs on her newest album, Coco. These songs would eventually include the number one smash hit, “Bubbly.” So, in your words, why do you feel our readers should buy a ticket to your concert? What makes this show worth seeing?
JR: Um… firstly it’s the first tour that Colbie and I have gotten to do together, which is exciting for me. You know, it’s just really rare that we get to play together now, so if people want to see those songs that we sing together, you know, you’ll only really get to see them at these shows.
PW: That’s cool. I didn’t realize you guys would actually end up on stage at the same time. That’s a pretty good selling point.
JR: Yeah!
PW: Your album, The Magnificent Adventures of Heartache (and other frightening tales) features quite a mouthful of a title. Where did the idea behind this title stem from?
JR: (Laughs) Really, I don’t now. The craziness of my mind, I guess? But, um… the record is a story. It’s a fairytale about a relationship and so the title, I wanted the title to sound like a fairytale in a way, ya know? I guess to get the idea across a little more. That it’s more of a story than a record.
PW: Well, I certainly thought that it was a creative title. One of the most creative titles I’ve seen in 2008.
JR: Well, thanks man.
PW: You were recently named as a 2007International Songwriters Competition semi-finalist among a handful of very talented artists. Furthermore, your name has been dropped in the same circles as James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. That’s not a bad group to be in the company of.
JR: No… James is, with him, he’s one of the main reasons I started writing songs. He’s one of my favorites so, that’s pretty crazy.
PW: Baby James is very cool. To what do you accredit your recent success and exposure to?
JR: I guess a lot of it has to go to MySpace and Facebook the whole internet-crazy world, ya’ know? All this, um…I don’t even know how to describe it, it’s just a huge, um… all the quality of stuff is huge. And “Bubbly” getting on the radio has been huge for both of us.
PW: Very cool man. Along the same vain, I noticed that you don’t sport a web page, only a MySpace. MySpace seems to allow every band their very own, do-it-yourself way to market themselves, free of charge. Now this can be somewhat of a slippery slope. So, answer the following question for me: MySpace: brilliant marketing tool, or soapbox for awful bands to gain unearned exposure. Please explain your answer.
JR: Um… I would have to say that the answer to that is maybe both? Because it is a brilliant marketing tool. It’s incredible what it’s done for us. It’s just insane. And for a lot of people too. But at the same time, I guess you are right, that anyone can put their music up and there is a lot of stuff that you might not want to listen to. so, I guess you might have to wade through it a little bit or sift through it. But i think it’s worthwhile in the end.
PW: You handled that well. Very good answer. Moving on. On March 11th, your track, “You In A Song” appeared in an episode of the CW’s “One Tree Hill.” Thanks in part to shows like “Scrubs,” “Gilmore Girls” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” television is seemingly becoming as vital in musical marketing as radio. How do you feel that this new direction enhances the music industry?
JR: Um…I think it’s great. I was just talking about this too with somebody. The shows too, but even the commercials on TV now, instead of having like the cheesy jingles that use to exist, all the commercials now have these really cool songs. You know, a lot of people are getting broken in not even from a TV show, but a commercial. Like iTunes or any of those commercials.
PW: Yeah, I feel you. That’s actually how we found Landon Pigg. He was in a car, or phone or ring commercial. Something like that. And we were hooked. It’s funny, I don’t recall the product at all, but the song stuck.
JR: Yeah.
PW: It’s pretty amazing what television has been doing.
JR: It’s great. The fact that there’s this whole, alternate radio thing on the TV now, there’s just that much more space for music. And the best thing about TV is that you don’t have to be signed or all that to be on a major TV station like you do on radio, ya know? You can’t really get pushed on the radio without being signed to something pretty big.
PW: That is a very good point. And speaking of labels, my next question mentions them. You’re currently unsigned. Barring the obvious Big Four, which indie label would you choose to call home if you could pick from any of them?
JR: Oh wow. Um… that’s a really hard question. The only reason I have a hard time with it, is because I don’t know very much about them; I haven’t really had any meetings with indie labels so far. So I guess the only way I can answer that, because there are a lot of really good artist that I like on them would have to be Sub Pop.
PW: That’s awesome! Sub Pop has been really good to us. They’re very cool people.
JR: Sub Pop seems like such a cool place. There are so many great musicians there.
PW: What do you feel is the major difference between being a signed artist and an unsigned artist?
JR: Wow. Well, it’s getting easier and easier to be an unsigned artist. There use to be a whole lot of differences, but they’re now disappearing. The major difference to me is that playing on TV and stuff you can’t get unless you’re signed.
PW: Yeah, it would make it much harder.
JR: I guess the reason to be signed would be that. You would get a much wider market thanks to their ability to advertise.
PW: Exposure. Good call. Let’s end things simple. Who are you currently listening to?
JR: Oh, ya man. Alright, this is tricky. You have to take this answer with the knowledge that I would never ever be able to give you the right answer unless I sat down and thought about it for a while, but Sufjan Stevens. All of his stuff. The new
Jack Johnson record. I’ve always loved Jack, but his new album is insanely amazing. I don’t know if you’ve heard it yet but…
PW: I haven’t actually.
JR: He recorded it with solar energy in a this hippied out studio with a solar roof and it’s all done live and organic and on tape rather than with pro-tools.
PW: That sounds outstanding.
JR: It comes off very real, not to mention brilliant. Okay, so I’m going to do a couple more because I can’t leave it at that. Okay, I’m trying to go through my head. Brett Dennen, right now. Um.. Onerepublic, I love those dude. Those guys are my friends man but I still listen to them everyday. Um.. Bob Dylan and James Taylor. And I guess well leave it at that.
PW: Yeah, it’s such a hard question. I don’t know if I could do it. Anyway, this has been fun! But I’ll let you off of here, as I’m sure you’ve had a pretty busy day. And, thank you for your time, and good luck on your tour. I’ll see you in May, when we cover your Kansas City show.
JR: Cool dude, looking forward to it.
PW: Alright, have a beautiful day.
JR: You too.

You can catch Jason Reeves with Colbie Callait on their upcoming US tour and check out his sound through the following links:

Jason Reeves’ MySpace
Buy the Album Here

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One Response

  1. […] Reeves: nyspace | interview with | stream “You In A […]

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