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Articles Home » Music Talk » Watch Me Breathe Interview with Jake Aaron Ward By Kaylee Rogers
Watch Me Breathe Interview with Jake Aaron Ward By Kaylee Rogers

Watch Me Breathe

Interview with Jake Aaron Ward

By Kaylee Rogers

Boston Rock Radio

 

With a metal bend and a songwriters grin this Santa Cruz musician has come full circle to telling it like it is; it is Pop Alt Rock. Jake doesn't hold back on his thoughts of what he senses has made him become the musician, writer, producer he is today. It is his mold and he is making Watch Me Breathe worth taking note of.

 

 

​BRR: What’s the music scene like in the Santa Cruz area?

JAW: It’s pretty rad! Not particularly huge or varied, but as far as independent bands are concerned, there’s definitely a friendly little scene here.

 

BRR: In the time span you’ve been writing and performing, what have you noticed in the music scene that has left you either in awe or perplexed?

JAW: Great question! An important question too - I try to always reflect on this regularly. I think the most persistently awe-inspiring thing for me has been connecting musically with people many miles away. The internet is amazing. The fact that I can hear from people so far away, who I would never have otherwise come even remotely in contact with, who are listening to my music and connecting with it, is just a really astounding and unique experience. For me it’s really the thing that makes it all worth it.

 

BRR: Seems I came across this somewhere but weren’t you in a metal band prior to Watch Me Breathe style, which leans more alt Rock Pop?

JAW: That’s right! I started a band called Skypark (now called Anever) with my friend/former schoolmate Soul Kerr after he and I graduated high school. I left in 2016 to pursue solo material, but in the couple years I spent immersed in the metal scene I was exposed to a lot of music that shaped my songwriting and guitar playing considerably. Bands like Periphery, ERRA, Invent Animate, Novelists...hidden in a genre notorious for ugliness and anger, there are actually some profoundly high-brow composers creating ridiculously exciting stuff.

 

BRR: Are you finding the influences of your former genre working their way into your music now?

JAW: Yes, absolutely. The rhythmic elements of a lot of metal, particularly progressive metalcore, djent, etc. seriously got their claws into me as an artist. So did the melodic choices of guitarists like Alan Rigdon and Jesse Cash from ERRA, or Keaton Goldwire from Invent Animate (who I got to see live a couple years ago in Santa Cruz and it was unforgettable). Lots of dissonance, lots of unexpected progressions bouncing around the scale...I could geek out about it for hours, but it’s definitely an important phase in my life as both a fan of music and a creator of music.​

 

BRR: Long singles and album title... why?

JAW: Total accident! Our single “Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It” is just one of those things.  I couldn’t think of another name for it that would work. That’s what the hook is! I thought about just “Don’t Think,” and internally we’ll call it that sometimes in emails, on setlists, etc., but I decided against it because 1) it’s not the full hook, and 2) the whole point of the project is not caring what anybody thinks anymore, so I wasn’t about to start! As for the album name, it’s a specific reference to a Rumi quote: “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”​

 

BRR: Who’s your songwriting muse?

JAW: I think I’m the type of songwriter whose songs are actually repeated attempts to understand what my muse is in the first place. In short, I don’t know! But there’s something that keeps drawing this stuff out of me.

 

BRR: Most songwriters have a deep bank of written songs. What process did you go through to choose these tracks on this particular album release?

JAW: I actually don’t really have that. I used to, but now I’ve so incorporated the recording studio into my songwriting process that it’s really easy for me to tell when something isn’t coming together and I just ditch it partway through. I think instead of a huge back catalogue of songs I’ve never recorded, I just have a ton of unfinished Logic projects on my studio computer! The songs that made it to the album are just the ones I believed in enough to finish, I guess.

 

BRR: I understand that producing is also apart of your creative repertoire. Are you too close to your own works? Do you have to step away and allow other ears?

JAW: I’m sure I’m “too” close to my own works, but I’m very glad to be! What’s the point of letting some other asshole mess with your vision and then not be as “close” to what you created because it sucks more? The more I’ve withdrawn from outside input, the better my music has become​.

 

BRR: You’ve released 3 single/videos in total and now the album. Can we expect a tour this year? Possibly next year?

JAW: I’m a firm believer in low expectations, so don’t expect it! But definitely this is a goal for us, and the way our Spotify numbers have been recently, it may be sooner on the horizon than we previously thought.

 

BRR: Best social media outlet for your fans to stay in touch with you?

JAW: Definitely Instagram.

 

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