Getting To Know ... Justin Lamb (2014)
Upon Justin Lamb's return in 2006, old fans and new fans were exited to hear what had come from this 26 month stint on the west coast.
Opening his return with a show at the Blue Note Cafe, Justin roped in his fans once again with songs about loves come and gone, anger, and a small amount of relative regret we can all listen to and understand.
Justin then began fine tuning some of his California work, deciding what songs to keep and what wasn’t working. It wasn’t long before he recorded his next album, a small seven track acoustic album, Living Room Sessions.
The name was as self-explanatory as it could be. All the tracks were recorded by himself or his friends in a living room somewhere. Whether it was on the west coast or in Michigan, there were friends, guitars, and conveniently placed furniture that made this album more successful than the previous.
Drums - Rob Shannon
Bass - Billy Perkins
Lead Guitar - Dustin Kring
Guitar and Vocals - Justin Lamb
After countless shows, Justin calmed down a little and went back into writing mode. Indeed, this past 2013 he released his brand new album entitled Songs From Within via a very successful Kickstarter campaign.
Chatting one-on-one with the great man himself, I first wondered at what age did a Lil' Lamb know he was born to be a musician? "Well, even though my mother can show you pictures of me holding guitars and singing into microphones when I was 2 or 3, it wasn't until I hit junior high and started writing songs about girls I liked and singing to them. That's when I realized that even though I was embarrassing myself, I really enjoyed doing it."
And, given your last name, what have been some of the best nicknames you've grown up with? "This is a fun question! There have been TONS! There's the ever popular "Lambchop", the less popular "Lamb Monster" (I've been 6'3" for a long time), but my favorite and what I even wrote on my papers in high school was "Lammy". People still call me it, but often misspell it as "Lambie", which forces me to think of Bambi. The B is silent, people!"
If you could choose one band / one album that still today you admit steered your musical path, who / which one would it be? "Hands down, August and Everything After by the Counting Crows. Adam Duritz has a way with words and a unique vocal styling that I could only dream of having. Within a year of playing guitar, I found the songbook for that entire album and learned it the best I could. It's still my all time favorite full album to this day."
What's the one most interestingly-indepth thing about you that you are willing to reveal here today - hopefully for the first time, being that we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing?! "As a child of divorce and with my father never being around, I grew a father-like attachment to my grandfather a.k.a. 'Pa', who my family lived with for most of a decade. When he passed, it was really hard. A few years later I decided to write a song about it. Bad idea. It is, to this day, the only song I can't get through without crying, and therefore, it essentially never does and will never be performed."
Your new album, Songs From Within was funded late last year by a KickStarter campaign. Why KickStarter though? "I don't think it's any secret that recording in a proper studio, and not just in some friends basement with Protools, is expensive. As much as I enjoy what I do, it's not paying the bills. Everyone always asks me if they can buy an album, so I essentially crossed my fingers and said "Put your money where your mouth is". I can assure you, $5,300 later, they did."
Will you be using KickStarter again for your next album, perhaps? "My Kickstarter campaign went so well, I get an itch to use it for every creative idea I have. That said, I don't know if I could subject my friends, family and fans to as much harassment as I did the first time around. Besides, in a perfect world, won't my future imaginary record deal pay for my next album?
And talking about Songs From Within, please explain more about the true origins of these tracks:
'Figuring It Out' - "This song is one of the very few that started as a guitar part. The lyrics fell into place naturally and almost as an improvisation matching how I was feeling about my life at the time."
'Younger Everyday' - "There's a possibility of this song originally stemming from a hangover. As you grow up, you occasionally have that "I'm getting too old for this shit" feeling, and this song is about the complete and utter refusal of that statement."
'Should Have Been Famous' - "Listening to a lot of bands, I came to realize that the song that made them famous was a song about becoming famous. While I thought that was oddly ironic, I decided to take a stab at it. It just started with the "What happened to my dreams", which launched a frustrated lyrical reality in which I was literally asking myself "What happened to my dreams?!?"
'Running' - "This song is came from a couple different places. I wrote the music with very strict timing out of some new founded perfectionist attitude I had taken up with my own music. The lyrics came out on paper and at times I thought sounded too cocky (i.e. "I made a lot of empty promises. I promise that will stay the same". Of course, when I considered changing them I said "Screw it, I don't care", so maybe the cocky was more true to life then I thought."
And with regard 'Should Have Been Famous,' you muse that, well, you SHOULD have been famous, of course! So, in all honesty, do you think you should indeed be bigger and have more entertainment-based exposure than you currently do today? "I really do. I know what that sounds like, but I feel like I have the talent and have put in the work. Today's industry isn't about playing random shows and being discovered. You can't send a demos anywhere. Radio stations are so limited as to what they can play. It's all just music scouts and 'right place, right time' situations. I guess I could have called it "I Should Have Gotten Lucky and Been In the Right Place at the Right Time By Now". That title seems a bit obvious and too long, though. :-P"
What would be your porn star name using the internet-based theology of: a) The name of your childhood pet + b) the street you grew up on combined = _________________ ?! "I have two. We moved when I was six months old and the first one is too good to pass up. So if you want to address me by my god-given pron star name, you may call me either Muffin Brooks or Sadie Snowapple!"
Finally, we here at Exclusive Magazine love Penguins - do you have any love or thoughts about them also, perhaps? "Penguins are adorable and how they mate and interact is pretty crazy. However, I had a friend that was obsessed with penguins and I had to stay the night in the "Penguin Room" in her house and it was over-the-line creepy, so I'm on the fence on my true feelings."
If you would like to WIN a Songs From Within new Justin Lamb CD just answer this question about the man (and set by the man) himself: When I visited West Virginia I found myself on a cliff with my guitar. I performed one of my own songs from a previous album that really captured the situation. What was the name of that song!? [HINT: It is called out in the song 'West Virginia' on my previous album.
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win a FREE Justin Lamb CD! Just send us an e:mail here before October 1st, 2014 with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: JUSTIN LAMB CDs to: firstname.lastname@example.org
And click here to check out our review of Songs From Within right now!!
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