Jake Walden: The OUTmusic Interview

-by Jeremy Gloff
-appeared on OUTmusic’s Myspace Page
-September 1st, 2008

IT’S TIME AGAIN!!!!!! OUTMUSIC PRESENTS….
THE FEATURED ARTIST OF 9/1/08: JAKE WALDEN!!!!!

AREN’T YOU EXCITED?????

First of all, check out the 3 rad Jake Walden tracks playing right now in our OUTMUSIC MYSPACE player!!! If you like Jake’s stuff after reading this please move along to Jake Walden on Myspace or Jake Walden on You Tube.

So now that you’ve heard his music let’s get to know Jake. Jake was kind enough to answer ten questions for us. Here goes!!!

1) tell us about your latest project

“Alive and Screaming” is my debut album. Truth is, as are most freshman efforts, it is very personal and a mesh up of all the philosophical questions of my life so far. And in all honesty, it was written for someone who I loved and lost, who opened my eyes to my purpose and capacity to love, but ultimately taught me more about the darkness of a life lived without risk and hope.

2) what is your favorite song you’ve ever written, and why??

Ahhh, the hardest question of all. I think it is “For Someone”. In those 15-20 lines, within the words and where my voice rests, I feel like I captured the essence of who I am, what I believe in, how I see the world, and the perennial sense that love in all it’s forms is never black and white, but instead a color I don’t believe one can ever fully understand. Also, unlike any other song I have written, it came from me without thought, in an hour, and was recorded as one live take.

3) you live in LA. is that a good place for an out performer to make as his/her home base?

I actually live where my feet find me now. My folks live up north, my manager and friends in L.A. and New York, so I have freed myself from the notions and constraints of what “home” can sometimes mean. As for the “out” thing. All I have to say is that I speak of honesty, so I am honest. I am not about being “gay” as a label that seperates me or anyone from what really matters. I am interested in what connects us. My crowds are VERY mixed, 18-70, gay, straight, whatever. It is always a tapestry that reflects my own life, and that’s how I hope it continues to grow.

4) how often do you tour on average?

Four years ago I locked myself in an apartment for two years with my bare feet on a wooden floor and a dirty old piano beneath my fingers, and I wrote. Then one day, ready, I stepped on a stage and everything changed. This last year has been a shuttle between L.A and NY, I have played maybe 10-15 shows so far this year, and it looks like finally I will be playing other cities and states throughout the fall. If people find me, I hope they will get the album and care… and I will come…I await anxiously the chance to play for as many people as possible.

5) how old were you when you started writing songs?

I can remember the first song I wrote when I was 18. Then I wrote a song when I was 22, and two years later I opened the floodgates and have been writing ever since..and not just alone. It is only through the gift of mentors and musicians who inspire me that I have learned and grown. In fact, I think the new material brewing for album 2 is evolving to be even deeper and more layered.

6) who are you biggest influences musically?

I am inspired by so many artists. Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Cat Stevens, Bruce, Carole King, Fleetwood Mac…recently David Gray, Dave Matthews Band, Jeff Buckley, Brandi Carlile, Damien Rice, Sarah McLachlan…honestly, these are musicians I love, but where MY music comes from is a mix of these musicians and the people and experiences around me.

7) if you were a peanuts/charlie brown character which one
would you be?

I played Linus in the musical “Snoopy” when I was fifteen. I sang a song about a magic pumpkin, and everyone else, all the peanuts thought I was crazy….but I believed. And in the end, the world is how WE see it. P.S…Charles Shultz is from my hometown, the museum is 15 minutes from my folks house.

8) tell us a bit about your songwriting process?

I always write at the piano, with papers all around, and the lyrics and melody normally come together at the same time. Maddening, euphoric, time consuming, surprising. For me, every nuance of every song, how the lyrics and melody fit, themes and images, they all have to fit like perfect pieces of a puzzle. This puzzle needs to make sense to me first ( I have learned to trust my instincts and ears) but also have meaning for others. I write from a personal place, but rarely without thoughts of all who I know, and all I have known ultimately informing what it is I say. I am a crazy person in this process, so best to leave me alone….people know this now.

9) any advice for other OUT performers?

Being OUT to me is a state of mind. People in life and especially in music through instinct alone can sense truth. The job of an artist is to open themselves up layer by layer for others to see, without smoke and mirrors, without thought. In the end, this is your life, and we are in a time like no other. Would you rather through fear be a cog in the wheel, or take a chance and be a part of a revolution? And which one do you think will make you happy, which will last?

10) Favorite Madonna song?

I don’t listen to Madonna….(gasp)…I did listen to that “hung up” disco album and admit I smiled every time it came on…. but come on “ring ring ring goes the telephone”???
Oh, I loved Evita. Madonna is genius on many levels…I do, however, have great respect for her as an artists, a visionary, and business woman

Well thank you Jake Walden, and thanks to JD Doyle for assisting with our featured artist spotlights. (Be sure to check out JD’s fab site queermusicheritage.com)

Once again, Jeremy Gloff here repping OUTmusic from the dirty south in Florida. Everyone, get involved…share your music…share your thoughts…communicate. That’s what it’s all about!

Love and Peace til next time!!!

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