An Interview with Jagged Jaw

We are not gonna lie, Jagged Jaw is one of our favourite artists, an epitomy of songwriting. Don’t take our word on this though, go ahead and see for yourself.

  • Describe your sound in 3 words

Off Kilter Pop

  • What is the main topic of your lyrics? 

Nothing really. They’re usually abstract and super vague word poems about anxiety or love

  • You are based in Chicago but I feel that you are mainly influenced by the British sound. Am I right? 

I’m from Chicago but have lived in NYC for 4 years. The British sound is so much of my DNA – for me everything flows from The Beatles, The Kinks, The Zombies, etc.

  • What’s Your Favourite Album Of All Time?

This question is so hard to answer, it changes from time to time. I think I’m gonna have to say, right now, Elliott Smith’s Figure 8.

  • You still use synths extensively. If you had to choose one synth (analog or digital) which one would it be?

I used to have a studio in Chicago where I had 5 or 6 synths laying around, but since moving to NYC I’ve pared that down to 2: a Roland HS-60 and a Roland JX-8P. The HS-60 is my main synth though, and my go-to. It has the exact same guts and features as the famous Roland Juno 106, but is much uglier and has built in speakers. I also have dozens of different software synthesizers that I use extensively.

  • Is songwriting a talent or a skill? Considering that songwriters know their strengths and weaknesses, have you identified yours?

I think songwriting is a talent, a skill, AND hard work. I think I have a strength for coming up with vocal melodies, and I’m strong with production and mixing. Conveying feelings and anything cool through lyrics is the weakness for me.

  • What do you enjoy most? Writing music or performing your music live? What would be your dream performance venue?

I prefer writing and recording and producing music. That whole process of experimenting and making things is why I do it, I really enjoy that. Playing live was always kind of a necessary evil for me. I haven’t done it so much over the last 5 years, and obviously, not at all anymore. I once played The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Not sure I could think of a much better venue than that.

  • What is the best concert you have ever been to?

Either Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field or Radiohead in Chicago in 2005, shortly before In Rainbows had come out. They played “All I Need” on the bus that day and played it. I was smiling ear to ear at that show, which I never do.

  • If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be? 

I’d just like to encourage people to be weird and do their art for art’s sake, rather than try to hit some kind of formula for what’s going to make them successful. I think they way the industry is set up kind of engenders that, but it’s understandable.

  • One last thing we should know about you?

I very much love and miss baseball.

  • Thanks Jagged Jaw!
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