I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. ~Jesus

Monday, January 8, 2018

An Interview With Jared Shotwell of Loud Bird

Every now and then (rarely), I discover a band that sends shockwaves through the Christian musical spectrum by being different and going totally against the flow. Jared Shotwell of Loud Bird has done just that. His musical genius can be heard on his debut EP titled Tree. I was able to get an interview with him to get a better picture of the man behind the music. Check it out.

What made you decide to get into music?
I can't really remember a time when I didn't love music, which I guess isn't that unique. But when I was younger I tried a lot of different things like sports, skateboarding, drawing cartoons, acting etc... Music was the one that came the most naturally and the only thing I've ever been consistently into.

I found your record on Noisetrade and it's so different. I'm really enjoying it. How has the buzz been about this album?
Thank you for checking it out! To be honest, there really isn't any buzz at all. Haha! Which i guess isn't very cool, but I'm happy to say that it doesn't really bother me.

Are you the sole writer in Loud Bird or do you collaborate with other artists?
I'm actually kind of the only member. I wrote the songs and then had some friends come in a play bass and guitar.

Your music sounds a lot like the 80's/90's period in music, and is easily as good as some of the best of that time. How influential are those years to you as an artist, or are they even at all?

I'm so glad someone has noticed this, and I appreciate the compliment! It gets old having to explain to people that the vocals are not supposed to be clear or up front in the mix. I love a lot of different kinds of music, but probably listen mostly to underground artists from that era or that sound. Sonic youth, My Bloody Valentine, yo la tengo, blonde redhead, etc...

It seems like your music has several layers of instrumentation, which gives it a rich and interesting texture. When you write music, do you usually start with lyrics or composing the music parts first?
I start with the music first. The only instrument I play is drums and percussion. So my process is kind of backwards. A lot of times I just start with a drum part and then layer everything else on top of that.

It's hard because every one is really good, but I’m thinking my favorite song on Tree is Tired. Tell us about how that one came to be and what it's about.

When I wrote tired, i was feeling very pressured to perform a certain way in order to feel loved by God. Then I was reminded that God already loves me and has chosen me. Christ already paid for my sin. My works are to be out of gratitude and love. Not fear.

On this record, was there any track that you personally felt strongest about creating?
Hmm... Probably people. It's just a very honest statement about how so many people go through life dead, and they don't even know it. After being shaken awake by God's love, I couldn't imagine going back to that life of slavery.

Have you learned anything from making this record that you could share with aspiring artists to help them make better music?

I think in a lot of situations an artist has to worry about what listeners want in a song. When I do Loud Bird,  I think about what I want to hear in my songs. I don't worry about other people thinking it doesn't sound "professional." I just go for it. None of the bands I love have good singers, and I think that's awesome. I intentionally left imperfections because when I listen to my favorite bands, the wrong notes or other flaws become a part of the art. A piece of history, captured in time. I'm not sure where the perfectionism came into art. I don't think art should be perfect. Unless the artist is God himself. But even his perfect word doesn't leave out human imperfection. Now, I'm not saying don't strive for excellence... Just don't beat yourself up when it turns out you're still human. And don't be afraid to do something crazy.

What would you say is the best and worst part of being an independent band?

The best part is that I can literally do whatever I want. The worst part is just kind of feeling like I'm on my own sometimes. A little too independent. Ha.

What do you enjoy doing outside of music?
Running, watching movies and tv with my wife, being around friends and family. Taking naps.

What can we expect to see or hear from Loud Bird in the future? A new record or possibly a music video?
Definitely a lot of music. I'm just going to keep crankin em out as my time allows.

How important is faith in Jesus Christ to you?

It is the absolute number one most important thing ever. Of all time. But seriously, without faith in Jesus, I'm completely hopeless. And so is anyone else, whether they know it or not.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. My readers and I appreciate it! Any closing thoughts?

If anyone likes my music, send me an email or something! You can find my info at loudbirdmusic.com

Interview Date:  November 2013
Interviewer:  Cory Enderby

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