(N): So far you have released 5 albums. Could you talk to us about the concept behind each album?
Warmer: This wasn’t really ever intended to be released. I had put up a collection of songs on myspace (that site NO ONE uses anymore) and someone e-mailed me one day and asked if they could release them on their record label. At the time I had no serious intention of Warmer being a real project. I was the vocalist in a band called “Diffuse” at that time. We were pretty successful where I lived but it wasn’t my own music so I needed an outlet for that. Warmer was my way of pleasing my own creative needs because I didn’t write the music in Diffuse. I simply wrote the lyrics and vocal melody as the rest of the band had a boat load of instrumental songs with no singer. So to be perfectly honest there really isn’t a theme for this album.
1. to become, in some respects, different;: That is the first definition of the word desensitize in the dictionary I had at the time. It’s not a complete thought but it encompassed what I felt at that moment. I used to do an exercise where I would open a dictionary to a random page and put my finger down and what ever word I landed on was the word I was going to make a song about. It just happened that that word fit very well with my life at the time. I had just made some significant changes in my life and was trying to figure out how to deal with them. Becoming apathetic and pretending I didn’t feel the sadness was the way I dealt with it. The songs encompass a lot of what I had dealt with leading up to that moment.
1.1: It might seem obvious to think this is an extension of “1. to become, in some respects, different;” but it’s definitely not. This was my first true “I’m setting out to make an album with a concrete theme” attempt. “1.1” encompasses the concept of the world using earthly resources faster than the Earth can replenish them. I had read a study about this and was obsessed with this fact. What are we doing?! Using things up faster than they can be made anew seemed like an obvious recipe for disaster. The first track “Ethanol” is a prime example of that.
Rocket #009: The key on the album cover I actually found hanging from a nail in a telephone pole in Portland Oregon. I had always wanted to be an astronaut growing up as a kid. More than anything that was my ultimate “when I grow up I’m going to be” job. I kept that key on my key chain and would look at it from time to time and imagine what kind of rocket that went to, and where that rocket was supposed to go. I eventually came up with the concept of a man who had access to a set of keys to a bunch of rockets and he decided to hijack one to escape to Mars because he was fed up with the problems here on Earth. The songs are examples of what he ran from and what happened on the journey and when he finally arrived.
The Tragic Evolution of Desire: This is a very personal album to me. This is about falling in love and all the things that happen to you that make you fall out of it. The songs are the steps in the process. Without getting too specific I lived much of what I wrote about. Artistic liberties were taken, but it is very much a real portrayal of what I’ve been through. The name came from the album cover photo which was also the inspiration for the album in many ways. The album picture is two slugs I found in my garden mating. Slugs are hermaphrodites (both male and female genitalia) most often they become entangle with each other and one slug has to literally chew the penis off of the other slug in order to break free. If that isn’t “The Tragic Evolution of Desire” I don’t know what is.
(N): One of the things I like about your music is that you always seem to experiment and try new things. Is experimentation something you aim for or does it depend on the project you are working on?
(J.G.): I’ve been an audiophile since I was very young. Certain sounds seem really interesting to me. The texture of a sound might be all it takes to inspire an entire song. Sometimes when I write I feel like I can see the movie that this song belongs in. It feels like a place. Like a space where you could walk into me. I’m not really conscious of a decision-making process. If it feels right to me I go with it. I go on “feel” much more than I go on, “is it correct according to music theory”. Music theory is my last concern. I know enough of it to be effective at what I do, but I don’t use it as a crutch like most radio friendly music does. I am much more interested in getting an emotional response from people who listen to my music, and if a sound or song doesn’t do that for me I simply don’t use or finish it.
To go back to one of your earlier questions, being a one man band enables me to do things I would never try playing with a group of musicians. I have no one to tell me “I shouldn’t” but myself. I think that is a large part of why most radio music sounds so similar. We have a huge machine involved in getting music from the artists’ head to the listeners’ ears. There are lots of gears to work through and if those gears don’t turn, you don’t get your music out there. Luckily for artists in today’s age, the internet have severed the tie between artist and listener. We can do what ever we want. I feel like most musicians don’t have the courage to differentiate themselves, or they simply aren’t as inspired by what’s new and different as I am. I think that’s why I might come off as experimental at times. With no one to please but yourself, there are no rules to break.
(N): I would like to ask you about your new -still unreleased- album- “The Decisions”. What is the main idea behind it and what should our expectations be?
(J.G.): This is about all the aspects of life that are crossroads. The moments that, you might not realize at the time, come to define who you are as a person down the road. I explore a lot of different styles in this album. Some very stripped down acoustic guitar and piano songs, and some full on nightmare rock orchestra stuff. I cover a lot of ground in this album. To say more would be letting the cat out of the bag prematurely. For the first time I feel like I’m able to accurately get what’s really in my head to come out of a set of speakers. I’ve taught myself everything I know so the journey to get here has been a long one. Something I’d like to add about teaching yourself music is you find your style in a much more authentic way because you decide what you like. There is no one telling you that what you are doing isn’t “correct”.