"Except for the sax, pedal steel, and a guitar solo on one of the songs, I played all the instruments. I don’t think I’ll make an album like this again. Not sure what the next one will be like." - David Thomas Jones.
David Thomas Jones is an indie-rock artist based in Austin, Texas. "Occult Years", which is due November 13th, is his first release in six years! During that time, he kept busy with with several projects including writing music for and acting in the film "Mr. Roosevelt (starring SNL alum Noël Wells. The fictitious band from the film, The Leeks, a collaboration between Jones and Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World), and is featured on the Mr. Roosevelt Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. He has also performed with Noël Wells’ own band The Marys."
David's music is beautiful and after hearing his latest single, "In Springtime", it transported me to a few years back. It has a very mid-200s nostalgia factor, which makes it even easier to fall in love with. "In Springtime" also has a very thought-provoking video. It can be interpreted several ways, but it made me think that it all ties up with the new album's name, "Occult Years".
I recently got to talk to David and this is what he had to say:
Desert of My Eye (Pao): Please tell me about "In Springtime" and the writing process behind it.
David Thomas Jones: The song was really a spur of the moment thing. I was going to be recording a different song that day, and while everything was getting set up I just started playing the guitar riff. My producer started singing over it in a falsetto voice and we thought it was funny. That kind of spurred us forward and we started recording this instead. You can kind of hear one of us laughing on one of the backing vocal tracks. We were just entertaining ourselves.
D.O.M.E: I would also love to know the idea behind the music video. It's such an interesting story and I would like to know your take on it.
D.T.J: I think it’s open to interpretation a bit. Someone I showed it to was convinced that it was about the boy, Max, renouncing his father’s mysogynistic views. I like that the best. The idea came from a few brainstorms between me, Jake Bayless, and Christopher Owings. They have a production company called Fall Hard Films and they’re amazing. Jake wrote and shot it and Christoper directed. I think we just wanted to tell the story of a loveable, yet possibly delusional kid.
D.O.M.E: It's been six years since your last album. How was making this album different than the previous one? Was there anything different about it or do you have a certain way about making your work?
D.T.J: Hmmmm. I don’t know if the writing and recording process was much different. I was pretty depressed during the first one. My producer, James Jones, saw me at the store looking all gray and mopey and he was like, ‘Dude, let’s record an album.’ So it may have been happenstance that the first one came about in the way that it did, or came about at all. With this one, I had a lot of personal stuff going on and I ran out of money a lot, and I was also probably being lazy a lot. Some of that time was spent writing and recording a couple songs for an awesome movie called Mr. Roosevelt, which I had a small role in. So I wasn’t being totally lazy the whole time. You should check it out in Netflix.
D.O.M.E: Austin is such a great city with such vibrant music. Do you find yourself inspired by it? Does it reflect on your music?
D.T.J: I don’t think so. I’m more inspired by ideas and interactions with people. I think the biggest influence being in Austin has on me musically is KUTX 98.9. They play all sorts of cool stuff and sometimes a song I hear will spark the urge to create.
D.O.M.E: Who are your biggest influences lately?
D.T.J: I would have to say PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding, and Liz Harris AKA Grouper. I’ve been listening to them a lot over the last year. I couldn’t make anything that sounds like them, but what they do influences how I’ve been thinking about music. They’re all very moving in their own way.
D.O.M.E: What else would you like people to know about Occult Years?
D.T.J: Except for the sax, pedal steel, and a guitar solo on one of the songs, I played all the instruments. I don’t think I’ll make an album like this again. Not sure what the next one will be like.
D.O.M.E: As a final question, what are your top five jams of the moment?
D.T.J:The Community of Hope by PJ Harvey, Call Across Rooms by Grouper, Imagining My Man by Aldous Harding, A Spoonful Weighs a Ton by The Flaming Lips, and Awake by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
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