Hello, Joseph. What’s happening musically in New Jersey this December?
A: December has been quite enjoyable so far. I’ve had some low-key gigs around my hometown, performing in front of a lot of family and friends, which is always nice. With the the cold weather moving in, it’s been nice motivation to stay indoors where it’s warm and work on some new material. Something about cold weather and acoustic guitars just doesn’t mix too well.
Your debut was released in 2015, containing 12 tracks. Any favorites?
A: I do thoroughly enjoy every track on Late Night Song. Most of those songs came from a pretty low-point in my life so it’s interesting listening back to the album now and being somewhat relieved that it’s true; time heals all things. “Don’t You Say” definitely sums the whole album up in one song, to answer your question.
You released a video for Whiskey. Can you run us through the video-making process?
A: I had a really great time making the video for Whiskey. I worked with a really great producer/filmmaker named Austin Hein (Austin Hein Productions) who’s actually from Ohio as well. I became aware of his work from the folks at PonderRosa Studios where I recorded my album. It didn’t take much for me to want to work with him after viewing some of his credentials. We set a date and booked a location at one of the local watering-holes in my hometown. I simply invited friends to “go out to the bar” because that’s what the theme of the video was going to be. We had a script, my band, a core group of my friends playing characters, and last but not least, a gorgeous woman playing the unspoken role of the heartbreaking “Whiskey.” After about 7-8 hours of filming we got all the shots we needed and the video was completed shortly after that to be viewed on YouTube.
Were there any efforts during the songwriting sessions for Late Night Song that failed to make the final cut on the album?
A: Absolutely. My plan from the start for this album was to have 12 tracks on it. I don’t know why that is, but since this was my first mark as a new singer-songwriter I wanted listeners to get as much as they possibly could from me. There was one track that I’ve always wanted to professionally record and put on an album. I wrote this song when I was in high school and I always got good feedback from it, but unfortunately it didn’t fit in with the rest of the aesthetic of the album when listening back. It did end up getting recorded and I do have the MP3 stowed away somewhere. Maybe someday it will make it’s way onto one of my future albums. The song got replaced with “Garden State.”
What sort of role does a title’s name have in regards to the music you create?
A: Well in reference to the title of the album, I chose “Late Night Song” because majority of the songs were written way passed most people’s bedtimes. It just felt appropriate. When I’m choosing a title for a song, I usually try to find the importance of it and if a certain word or phrase jumps out at me, that’s what I’ll usually choose for the title.
Let’s talk gear and technology. What does your current recording and music production set up look like?
A: I’m currently writing and playing out with a Martin D-18 and have been running it through a Bose L1 Compact system, which for any solo artist is an amazing piece of equipment to own for both sound purposes and convenience. For recording, there is a beautiful retreat recording studio located in Lafayette, NJ called PonderRosa Studios. It is managed by Tom Askin, a seasoned vet in the music business. Tom and his staff promote a friendly environment, professionalism and a vast knowledge of recording. It’s always a pleasure when I get to work with the folks at PonderRosa Studios.
What sort of upgrades do you want to add in the future?
A: I recently did a little holiday shopping for myself and purchased a Taylor 712e and a Fender Acoustic Pro amplifier. I decided for smaller dinner performances this was a more practical combination in terms of sound and intimacy. I definitely won’t be in the market for any other equipment anytime soon, at least until after a few gigs.
How can listeners find samples of your music and additional information about your act?
A: Anyone who’s interested in my music can find me on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and any other digital music platform. I also like mailing out physical copies of my album (I just charge a little more for shipping). My website iswhere you can find out more about me and also my tour information.
What sort of plans do you have for the early months of 2017?
A: The day after New Year’s I’ll be temporarily moving to Nashville, TN for a little over a month for both business and pleasure. I have friends who live down there who are also singer-songwriters that will be showing me the ropes a bit. Nashville has always been a place where I can see myself moving to on a more permanent note, but I figured I’d check it out first. All I keep hearing is a how there’s a really great independent music scene happening down there right now, more or less shying away from the commercial part of Nashville and I definitely want to dip my toes in the water a bit. I have a really good feeling about it.
Thanks for speaking with us tonight. Do you have anything else that you would like to tell NeuFutur readers?
A: Thank you for reaching out. All I can say for the readers is that hopefully you get a chance to listen to my music and hopefully you dig what you hear. Independent artists appreciate any little help and recognition they can get, so please pass it along!