“…this is how AVP was supposed to always sound” – Artist Vs Poet speak of new beginnings and their new sound on their upcoming album Sake of Love. Though you may think the camp has been pretty quiet on the AVP front in the last couple of months, but like a duck paddling in water, the motion is in full swing and shaping up to be the year of Artist Vs Poet, as Jason Dean explains.
Substream Magazine: Your album Sake of Love is released this month, what can you tell fans about the album?
Jason Dean: This is how AVP sounds now. In a way this is how AVP was supposed to always sound once Joe, Dylan and myself took over. It’s just been a longer journey getting there than we expected. Going from being on a label, a booking agency, and back to being independent creates a lot of obstacles that we now have to overcome on our own. This album is short. It’s only seven songs, but that’s because we felt like anything extra would have been filler. This album does not sound like any other Artist Vs Poet album to date. This is new for us and will be new for fans as well.
SM: How did the writing process start for SOL, was it a spur of the moment direction for these songs, or a planned one?
JD: It was definitely an interesting process. Living in LA and being independent causes things to be done a lot differently. We write songs all the time. Sometimes they are meant for us and sometimes they are meant for other artists. Either way, we are constantly writing. The main goal of every song is to stay true to that song. So to answer the questions, no it wasn’t spur of the moment, and no it wasn’t planned. We essentially wrote lots of songs, and sorted them accordingly. Obviously seven of these songs were sorted for Artist Vs Poet. That’s how Sake Of Love was born.
SM: What do you think are the stand-out tracks on the LP, and why?
JD: “React” and “Sail Away.” “React” is probably the most unique song on the record. The song structure isn’t normal for us and the production behind it is very simple, but the track remains to feel like one of the most powerful ones on this album. “Sail Away” is more reminiscent of our acoustic records Remember This and the Sleep EP. It’s probably the most endearing song on the album and has already taken off as a fan favourite.
SM: Are there any tracks on the new album which fans may be surprised at?
JD: There is actually a hidden track on the album that will probably surprise lots of fans, but I’m not allowed to disclose exactly where it is.
SM: What would you say is the most difficult thing to partake in when going through the album process?
JD: All the cooks in the kitchen. Sometimes we fight with each other. “It’s too fast,” “it’s too slow,” “those lyrics are fucking stupid dude!,” “What? These lyrics are fire bro.” Just back and forth, and back and forth until the song is completed. At the end of the day we are brothers and brothers fight. This is how we write songs. It’s several different passionate minds colliding together. Sometimes this can make writing an album difficult. When all is said and done though there really isn’t anything difficult about writing an album for us. We love doing this and not all things loved come easy, but difficult is not really a word I would use.
SM: This is your 4th studio album, how do you feel Artist Vs Poet has grown as artists through these years? (Whether it be matured lyrically or just mastered your craft in any way)
JD: During the early years of AVP it was typical to come up with a riff idea, or a chorus idea, and then take all those ideas to a producer who charged $30k and have them help us fix it. The demos sounded like shit and we relied heavily on other people to help polish the song. This just is not the case anymore. Call it necessity, if you will, because we don’t even have the option of paying high-end producers these days. We work with friends and people who are hard workers in the music industry. TJ Routon produced the majority of this record and he was one of the essential pieces that we found in LA. He’s a young up-and-comer who has the skills and ability that many of the more established producers have. Teaming up with him was a life saver for how the sound of the record developed. We have essentially become better at our craft and we rely less and less on other people as we work harder and harder to be able to accomplish everything on our own.
SM: Do you feel AVP have reached their full potential yet, or do you feel there’s more growing to be done?
JD: What real artist ever thinks they have reached their full potential? There is always room for growth. There is no ceiling for something like this. There is no ceiling for most things in life. Everyone dies and nobody ever reaches their full potential because potential is limitless. The goal is to spend your entire life fighting, climbing, and dying for higher potentials. This is what makes creating music so enjoyable.
SM: You recently completed a tour with William Beckett in Japan, how were the shows?
JD: This was the second time that AVP has gone to Japan and all the shows were once again amazing! We had never met William Beckett prior to this tour and he turned out to be a super rad dude. Being in another country automatically creates an unique bonding experience. That tour without a doubt will go down as one of our favourites. The Japanese culture and way of life is a beautiful experience. Always.
SM: How does Japan differ from shows in the US?
JD: The most noticeable thing is crowd participation. Clapping after every song or going crazy isn’t a custom to Japanese kids. They tend to be very respectful, which can sometimes make the show interesting because we are usually looking out for that side of the room that turns up and goes crazy.
SM: Are there any places you would like to tour that you haven’t yet?
JD: We are happy and excited about playing just about anywhere especially when it is a place we have never been to before. I’d say Australia and London is at the top of all of our lists. The list could go on and on though…
SM: What’s on the bucket list for 2014?
JD: Pressing forward with everything. We are very unconventional. We just don’t do things or see the need to do things like most bands. We will continue to expand and evolve Artist Vs Poet as we see fit. We will also keep moving forward as songwriters. This is just what we have become.
SM: What can fans expect from you guys in 2014?
JD: We have a couple of live studio videos coming out for “Close To You” and “Made For Me,” as well as a music video for our song “Sail Away” and possibly one other. You can find all of these as well as other videos on our YouTube channel. Touring is always a big question that comes our way from fans all over the US as well as the world. However, it’s just not really something that we are pursuing too much at the moment. We are already working on putting out another “acoustic” album. So that should be released sometime this summer. Music is what we enjoy the most and music is our top priority.
Interview by Nicole Tiernan