Jupiter in Velvet Interview

How did “Shut Off Your Mind” move from initial thought to finished effort?

Well “Shut Off Your Mind” is not so much a concept CD as much as it is a group of songs that speaks to my emotional life in the past year, though there are threads of themes that tie certain songs on the CD together.  I write songs continuously and as I rehearse and develop these songs certain ones strike a deeper chord within me as they develop than others.  This CD pulls together those songs from the past year along with a few older ones that fit my state of mind.  The title song ‘Shut Off Your Mind’ has a multi-layered meaning referring both to people’s inability to understand me for so much of my life because of their need to always categorize me, and from a larger view, that what is essential in life is not grasped with the rational mind, but with the intuitive mind which speaks through the heart.

How does the album fit into the larger tapestry that is Jupiter in Velvet? How has your style evolved and changed over the period since you first started?

The songs on this CD expand the song & sound styles that I put forth on my debut CD ‘Screaming the Love Behind the Scars’.   I am a person of great energy and I let that permeate my music on this CD even more than the first.  I not only want people to feel my music but I want them to get energized by it.

My style just keeps expanding all the time.   I love the craft of songwriting and I work at it every day, not only on my own songs, but I study the song structures & chord progressions of great songs that really move me.   I try to ‘absorb’ other styles & aspects of people’s music that I really like, and thus always challenge myself to not fall into writing ruts, use predictable chord progression or lyric lines.  Though sometimes simple is truly best, I love it when I hear a song that sticks in something unpredictable into their arrangement or chording that works and makes me go ‘wow, what was that?’.   That is what is so fabulous about music in general and songwriting in particular.  There are no rules or limitations other than what someone places on them self.

Why should readers buy “Shut Off Your Mind”? What are your favorite songs on the album?

Readers should buy “Shut Off Your Mind” because there is a great positive energy that permeates the CD that is very uplifting.   And I know once they start listening to it and become familiar with my unique musical style, they will definitely find songs on the CD that they will connect with on a deep emotional level.  And, there are other songs that are just a lot of fun!

My favorite songs on the CD are ‘Shut Off Your Mind’, ‘Make Out’, and ‘My Special Place’.

What other artists are you listening to right now?

I listen to a huge swath of music, though I try not to ‘over-listen’ to anything.  My ears are taking in everything current in the alternative, indie, rock & pop realms, even some metal & hip hop.  I am open to all music and when I listen, my ears search for something in the music that I like – a lyric line, a beat, a riff, a melody, a cool background part, etc.  My listening habits gravitate to music from every decade, and I just flip around until I find something that really intrigues me and has an affecting quality on my emotional state.

Who would you sing alongside in a dream concert, and what artists have you most liked playing alongside?

In a dream concert, hmmm… that is a tough one!  If I had to pick one I would be singing with the Beatles.

How did “Shut Off Your Mind” move from initial thought to finished effort?

Well “Shut Off Your Mind” is not so much a concept CD as much as it is a group of songs that speaks to my emotional life in the past year, though there are threads of themes that tie certain songs on the CD together.  I write songs continuously and as I rehearse and develop these songs certain ones strike a deeper chord within me as they develop than others.  This CD pulls together those songs from the past year along with a few older ones that fit my state of mind.  The title song ‘Shut Off Your Mind’ has a multi-layered meaning referring both to people’s inability to understand me for so much of my life because of their need to always categorize me, and from a larger view, that what is essential in life is not grasped with the rational mind, but with the intuitive mind which speaks through the heart.

What goals do you still have left to accomplish in your career?

Well, I have much yet that I wish to accomplish!  But one goal of mine is to write a song that Is not only a big hit, but one that becomes a classic and is played for decades to come.

What has provided more of your fans – Facebook / Twitter or traditional word of mouth?

I have been able to build a fan base quicker with Twitter.  Jupiter In Velvet has not delved into heavy touring yet, there have only been very selected shows, so word of mouth hasn’t been as prominent so far.  But I think that my music has its most compelling impact in a live format and thus when the touring really starts, word of mouth will become a much bigger help.

How should people find your music and the latest news about yourself?

My music is available pretty much everywhere digitally including:

iTUNES:    http://ow.ly/qDoCx

CD Baby:    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jupiterinvelvet3

Amazon:    http://ow.ly/r3EFS

Jupiter In Velvet website:    http://www.jupiterinvelvet.com

 

For the latest news – my website, twitter, facebook or Reverbnation are best:

Jupiter In Velvet website:    http://www.jupiterinvelvet.com

JIV Twitter:    http://www.twitter.com/jupiterisvelvet

JIV Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/jupiterinvelvet

JIV ReverbNation:    http://www.reverbnation.com/jupiterinvelvet

Also, the physical CD’s are available on Amazon

What does 2014 hold for you? Do you have any thoughts for our readers at NeuFutur?

2014 is going to be an incredible year for Jupiter In Velvet – I can feel it!   We are working now on putting together a short tour later in the spring in the UK and parts of Europe and then hopefully some US dates in the summer.  In addition to that new people, new songs, new sounds, new places, videos, a new CD and who knows?   Anything can happen!

 

 

679819

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *