'Being Bad Never Felt So Good'
Country music has a new bad boy in town. Jace Everett’s instantly recognizable hit song “Bad Things” can be heard as the opening theme song for the popular HBO show “True Blood”. Bayou back-country guitar riffs and rhythmic drums backup Everett’s deep, sexy voice as he conjures up a wicked scenario of uncontrollable lust.
With the sorrowful tone of Johnny Cash and the alluring swagger of Chris Isaak, Everett brings a new kind of country to the table -- one that’s racy, seductive and dark. The new album “Red Revelations”, which was released June 2009, is an equally brooding and twangy mix of N’awlins naughtiness.
Exclusive Magazine recently caught up with Everett and asked him about his recent rise to fame, the newest album and where he’s headed next.
Your music has it’s roots in rock, blues and country. Who were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? "I first was inspired to play by Willie Nelson, more than anyone else. The heroes I always go back to are Willie, Waylon, Tom Waits, U2, Van Morrison, Chris Whitley, Chris Rea.… tons more. I don’t really sound like any of those guys, but I steal from them all as often as possible!"
As an up-and-coming artist, how would you describe the sound and style of your new album Red Revelations? "The new record is a synthesis of all that’s come before it in my career. I’ve been making music for 20 years now; blues, rock, country, soul, rockabilly. It’s all mixed up- just like me! The record is pretty cinematic and dark throughout, but there are some little points of light and lightheartedness peppered in there as well."
HBO’s True Blood features the song “Bad Things” from your debut album as it’s opening title. How has this helped to gain exposure for your music? "There was a huge debate going around in the music world on whether or not I was dead or had just never existed; True Blood ended the debate! It’s been great for me."
'Red Revelations' was recorded in a somewhat unconventional manner, as a live show which was also broadcast via the web on the eve of the album’s release. Tell us a little about this experience "We performed the album as a live show, yes, on the eve of it’s release, but the record is a full length studio recording in a very traditional sense. I think you may have been misinformed or I don’t understand the question properly. Please clarify and I'll give a better answer."
You’ve now produced three full-length albums; Jace Everett, New Old Borrowed Blues and the most recent release, Red Revelations. Which album do you feel says the most about you as an artist? Well, 'Red Revelations' is the best representation of my artistry at present. "Old New Borrowed Blues" is a great live acoustic performance of the more country-blues side of my writing and performing. The "Jace Everett" record has some great songs and performances, but the only thing I perform live from that record anymore is "Bad Things". I've just kinda moved on."
You became a father at the young age of 23. Tell us a little bit about how this important life event is reflected in your music and what hurdles or inspiration it has presented during your rise to fame "Well, having a child has given me a sense of purpose. Realizing you’re not the center of the Universe is a good step to take! It can be difficult financially and time-wise. You’ve got to work a lot for a little to make it in this game."
How easy or hard is it to create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderments and accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "How would I know! It’s always a challenge, but only if you want it to be. Very few “artists” are looking for a new sound. Most just want a saleable sound. I’m one of those bastards that wants both. A boy can dream can’t he?"
In addition to your own musical career, you’ve also helped other artists to success, such as serving as the co-writer for country music star, Josh Turner’s, number one hit “Your Man”. Are you currently working with other artists on some side projects? What can fans expect from Jace Everett in the future? "I wrote that song for myself actually! My label didn’t think it was radio ready. It was #1 for two-weeks and helped Josh sell 2 million units. A&R brilliance at it’s finest! I’m looking at a couple of different artists to produce this next year. We’ll see."
You’ve recently become the number 1 independent Americana artist on Myspace with almost 4 million streams of your music. How do you feel the internet, including social media sites like Myspace, have helped you in building a loyal fan base? "It can be a fantastic way to reach out to a lot of folks at once with little or no real expense. However, it can also become an unbelievable time suck. I’ve always maintained my own presence on the web, but as time passes that is becoming more difficult."
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today and why? “Fool if You Think It’s Over” by Chris Rea. Or maybe “No One Is to Blame” by Howard Jones."
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins, do you? "I like Penguin with a crème sauce over linguini and a Napa Pinot Grigio ;)"
Interview: Erin M. Stranyak
For more information on Jace Everett, check out his website or find him at his Myspace page. Be sure to catch HBO’s True Blood Sundays at 9 PM to hear Everett’s hit single, “Bad Things”.
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