THE SCREAMiNG JETS
|ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS CARY JUDD
SO URGENTIn a career spanning six years or more, singer-songwriter CARY JUDD has finally released an album that has come out exactly as he had imagined it. GOODNIGHT HUMAN - an album where JUDD makes his debut as a producer Ė is a rock solid effort that runs the gamut of the pop psychological barometer from the first single HUAN SAN (THE AH-HA SONG), the jangle-y yet timely THE APOCALYPTIC LOVE SONG, the power-pop perfection of ANGEL WITH A CIGARETTE, and the deeply personal A TIME TO LIE. Aside from showing off his chops as a first time producer, JUDD is quick to stress the ďurgencyĒ of the work Ė a word not heard in the same sentence as ďpop-rock musicĒ since the late nineties. ďIn the end, it was (making the album) a lot more satisfying as opposed to having a producer filtering me.Ē Admits JUDD. ďI understand that in some cases that I s probably a good thing but this album felt really urgent and really real because there was no producer.Ē
CARY JUDD TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST CD GOODNiGHT HUMAN
AND THE URGENCY OF THE MUSiC
iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH
ROCKWIRED spoke with CARY JUDD over the phone. Here is how it went.
Now that GOODNIGHT HUMAN is out there for everybody to hear, what is all going through your head at the moment?
Iím just really excited. Iíve made a few CDís in the past but this is the first one that Iíve produced on my own and I think that what ended up on the CD is so close to the vision that I had in my head. Itís just so exciting for me to have my music out there in a way that I want it to be heard. My vision has been realized as much as it possibly couldíve been.
How did music begin for you?
Music was in my life for as long as I can remember to be honest with you. I remember my older sister driving around town listening to U2 on her tape player when I was barely old enough to have a memory. I was probably like four or five. I think from there I always assumed that that was what I was going to do. I never really had anything else that I planed or thought that I could do.
At what point did the listener become the singer, songwriter, and guitarist? When did that start?
I started playing guitar when I was thirteen years old. I immediately started writing then and started playing bands shortly after that. Iíve been in bands since I was fourteen so its been about ten or twelve years now.
You touched on this a few seconds ago but what is different this time around as opposed to some of your previous releases?
The main thing again goes back to realizing the vision that I had for this album. In making this album, I did all of the demos and took it to two different friends who play drums. We did that in the studio and then I took the tracks home and recorded everything else in my home studio. I had all the time in the world. I was never in a studio where the clock was ticking. I was able to take my time and experiment a lot more. My previous albums were a little more acoustic based and I was able to do more with things like keyboards and electric guitar. This album is more multi-layered. Itís definitely the most full complete sound that Iíve ever released.
Love the cover by the way?
The photo was taken by a guy in Australia. I had a concept for the cover so I just started searching throughout FLICKER.COM to find a suitable photograph that would go along with it. It was funny because this friendship between me and this photographer in Australia has been formed because of this album cover.
How does songwriting work for you?
(Laughs) Thatís a tricky one! Iíve been trying to reflect on the state of mind that Iím in when I write my ďbest songsĒ Ė the songs that receive the most attention Ė And I think that I need to be in a state of mind where Iím at peace and I donít have any distractions and am not worried about anything. That way, I can be uninhibited and just write. It usually starts with musical idea and with the best songs, the lyrics come immediately after the musical idea. Most of the time, an initial songs is written within an hour and then I go back and make edits. I rarely have song that I spent days or weeks on. I find that when a song comes out more urgently, it tends to be a better song.
From this album, what songs stand out for you the most and why?
Probably not the song that most listeners are listening to. I think the last song on the album A TIME TO LIE is probably one of my favorites and it is probably one of the most personal songs for me. That song is kind of an artists achievement for me. That one really, really soars for me. I donít know what else to say about it. Like I said, itís just a really personal song for me. I donít really like talking about what its about for me. Iím sure itís about different things for different people.
Youíve got quite a few players on this album of yours. Which players stood out for you throughout the recording process?
It is a long list but most of those people contributed a little bit on one or two songs aside from the drumming. One of the players on the album was SCOTT who is the bass player for the band DISHWALLA. I had a few songs on the album that I could not play simply because Iím not an accomplished bass player so he came in and rescued and me played on the album. Other than that DANIEL KUNZ who is my full-time guitar player now plays on the album more than anyone else has on my albums to far.
How have these songs been received in live situations?
Really, really well which is always very reassuring because you come out with a new album and youíre playing it live and after the show people are always going to ask about specific songs. I play a long set and half the songs are from my older albums and half the songs are form the new album. This time people are asking about songs from the new album mostly. At least from my point-of-view it seems like the songs are being received rather well.
In putting this album together what song or songs came easily.
There is a track called ANGEL WITH A CIGARETTE. The entire album was done when I wrote that song. I had been really frustrated because I was having a hard time nailing this guitar part. I literally ripped off every string on my acoustic guitar in frustration. Thatíll give you a little bit of an idea of what happens when Iím in the studio. So I decided to set that song aside and I had this riff from that song that I was working with and I decided to have go at that while I was working on this other song. It just flowed out onto the paper. That song was written in about 25 minutes and then we started recording it later that day.
Which one was the most difficult?
The song FLICKER and that was the one that ended with my guitar having broken strings. I couldnít make the guitar part fit with how I was producing the track. Itís funny because Iíve gotten a lot of good feedback on that song, but from my standpoint, Iíve got a sort of bitter taste in my mouth over that song because it was difficult to get everything to sit just right. That was another one of those songs wee I tried to put down a bass line but I couldnít do it and when I couldnít come up with a guitar part - that was when I became completely upset.
Youíve talked about this album being your first self-produced work. How easy or difficult was it to move from producer-mode to singer-mode?
I was absolutely difficult. There were times when I was the engineer on this album as well so would record and then run over to the microphone a lot of times on this album. That definitely took up a lot of time but in the end, it was a lot more satisfying as opposed to having a producer filtering me. I understand that in some cases that I s probably a good thing but this album felt really urgent and really real because there was no producer.
What would you like someone to come away with after theyíve heard this CD?
There are times when I hear a new CD by a band and itís like a door in your mind is opened up and you have a slightly different perspective than you did before. And I hope that when someone listens to this record that it opens up their perspective and their worldview.