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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN ARTIST JACOB ROUNTREE

What made you decide to become a soloist?

I started my musical career as a solo artist, where I began writing, recording, and performing. After 4 years of solo performing, I wanted to take on the full sound of a band and learn all necessary skills to communicate and work together with multi-instruments. After going through a few variations of a band, I found it best to maintain the solo act as a majority of songwriting, recording and performing, while making special events and tours with the full band

Introduce us you and your musical history?

After four years of solo performing, I formed my first trio with drummer Marcus Bendon and vocalist Leah Dobby. We performed together for nearly three years, but parted ways due to the ongoing recall of live music due to covid. I returned to solo performing where I got to open for many regional acts including Future Islands. I recorded my album with many talented artists around the nation including cellist Leslie fox-Humphreys (Bandit Queen of Sorrows) as well as Percussionists Alex Platt and Andrew Tumason. I have since rebuilt a four piece band including percussionist and vocalist Cole Thorne, guitarist Alex Speed and bassist, Andrew Olivo.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? 

Unfortunately, my engineering background keeps my pretty grounded and most of my imagination goes to creating music and photography. 

Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?

Fortunately, I was in the midst of starting up a company as well as recording my new album during the pandemic which took up all of my time and didn’t allow for much frivolous spending.
What useless party trick do you have? 

I can open a bottle with most anything handed to me. I’m most proud of my use of a large pot or a phone book!

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

I got to play the music for an outdoor earth day festival where I could feel the energy and excitement of 2000 people in the crowd dancing and cheering on such a beautiful day! 

What was the worst experience on stage?

Early on in my career, I had a guitar with a terribly loose input jack where my cable fell out twice during one set, completely disrupting the music making it challenging to play it off!

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about? 

Each of us are from vastly different states. My group is comprised of New Mexico, Wyoming, New York and Oklahoma!

If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it? 

My music consists of multi-dimensional sonic textures guaranteed to hypnotize you in the life passion of romance, community, introspection and history.



What makes you stand out as a artist?

As someone that, from a young age, fell in love with modern indie music far beyond the classics, my music is guaranteed to have a brand-new uniqueness, an integrity of poetic lyrics, all with the roots and function of the classics!

Right now, what pisses you off the most?

As a very laid back individual, I don’t find a lot affects me too strongly, however, I constantly find the narrow mindset of people looking for artists to play for exposure only. I have played my fair share of exposure-based events in my early days, but after pursuing music full time for three years, and nearly losing live music during covid, I am surprised people still take the arts for granted.

What’s your favourite song to play live and why?

I love to play my original, “Walk a Mile” live due to the playful nature of performing it with my band mates as well as the consistent crowd engagement. It’s always a treat as a primarily singer songwriter type performer to get the crowd up and dancing!

I hear you have a new album, what can you tell us about it?

This Album has been three years in the making. It is extremely diverse and takes the listener on such a beautiful journey. There is a song for everyone on it! The album is named, “As I See It” after Einstein’s book, “The World As I See It” as way to bring together my engineering passions and artistic passions!

Talk me through the thought process of the album?

Many of these songs were written as original one off songs, until I had a collection of them that approached album length. At this point I began tying the album together with intentional moods and productions to make thee album more cohesive. I recorded the album with my original trio, but after some time off during covid, I revisited the project and started over from scratch! I made sure to include a combination of original band members as well as current band members all while maintaining personal input on all instruments, recording, mixing etc.

What was the recording process like?

I had a great time recording this album, because I got to build out my own home studio where I began treating the recording like a 9-5 job. I started recording one song at a time, one layer at a time until all the foundation was recorded. I then began getting to toy around and play with the various levels and tools of production! Last came mixing, final production and final cleanups all done in my own house by your truly!
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the album?

A large learning curve was found with expanding my vocal range, guitar complexity as well as the musicality of the album as a whole. However, I found the most growth in the production and mixing side of the album. I found patience when learning to continuously add layers upon layers and learning to avoid clashing sounds or getting the mix too distracting. I am beyond excited about the clarity and ingenuity of these recordings and productions!

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

There were some very minor elements I would have loved to have tweaked such as a little more volume to the auxiliary percussion. That being said after months of tweaking it is an endless chase and I am happy that nothing major is left. 
If there would be anything moving forward I would focus on more of my songs becoming shorter to gear towards more radio based plays as well as making them more efficient songs!

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

This next year, I plan to initially put a lot of focus on rebuilding the band and our live presence. I have various regional festivals and tours planed to follow up this release. On top of the live focus, I also aim to shoot a couple music videos, as well as finish writing a few singles to release as a way to keep the momentum going.

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