We recently had a chance to talk with Joshua Radin and discuss his upcoming album, Wax Wings (which hits stores May 7th).
"Underwater" came out in 2012, and "Wax Wings" is coming out only a year or so later -- very short turn around, which is very rare in the music world. What brought this about?
Well, that's a good question. I guess I don't see the point anymore in waiting for labels (machines) to get their ducks in a row. The people want their entertainment faster these days. And I have been feeling slightly prolific in terms of musical inspiration. A few years ago I may have waited to put this album out, but in 2013, it seems like the public is ready to devour new music at a much quicker pace than in previous years.
The self-release has become a bigger trend in recent years … how have you found it as an artist? Something you'll continue to do in the future?
Let's wait and see shall we? It's my first self-release and it hasn't even happened yet. I'll answer that a year from now when the dust settles.
Touche. In my opinion, your music is the kind that suits itself perfectly with the "full album experience" - where you put on the album, and listen to it front to back. Do you think about these kinds of things when putting an album together? Is it difficult in a very ala-carte and single driven music landscape?
This is something I think about quite a bit. I grew up on the LP. I now create music in a time where singles are what drive the music industry. I often wonder if a backlash is coming. Only time will tell.
The album is coming out as the weather starts to get warm, and for whatever reason I've always associated your music with more of a "winter atmosphere" … although a warm summer night may just be perfect for this release … was there a particular theme when writing this album?
Yes, this album is the story of the love of my life. A great romance. It lasted more than a season. Many moons have come and gone. Yet, I continue to find inspiration within the many stories of this love. Some are cold, some are hot, some are caught between.
Do you have a personal feeling on how artists should handle the "we want you to sound like your old material, but you better not just release the same album again" dilemma?
I have no feeling about how other artists should handle their respective musical output. I can only speak for myself. Sometimes it feels like the public wan ts the same thing over and over again. And other times it feels to me like they want something new. I just put out what I feel and hope people dig it. It's all an artist can do at the end of the day.
Life changes -- we grow older, get married, maybe have some kids … where does the lyrical inspiration come from? Does it come in waves
all at once, or small doses?
For me it comes in waves. I'll go months without writing and then in a short burst, I'll write like five songs. I try to be a lightening rod and hope that inspiration strikes, and when it does, I try my best to harness it.
What are you listening to now? Any recommendations for new music to check out?
Kathleen Edwards is an amazing songwriter. And completely undervalued in my opinion by the masses.
nice interview! i've loved his music for a while now and he always has a great consistency with his albums (like you mentioned with the full album experience). by the way, jason, i agree about most of his records being "winter" music but his last one (underwater) was a fantastic listen for late summer nights and long drives with the windows down.