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We’re gonna ROCK this Country! Part 2


Here you have it, part two of my interview with Jared Blake, sit back and enjoy the show!
Susan: What was it like touring with your label mates, Saving Abel?
Jared: We are doing another show with them coming up in August, and they are great. The only band I know that can get that drunk and still play that good.
Susan: I've heard stories.
Jared: They're interesting, they are a lot more southern than what you'd expect them to be. Like we showed them to the green room, it was like pork rinds and a gallon of Jack Daniels.
Jenn: They also had sweet tea, lemonade, and pork rinds.
Jared: They are redneck as can be man.
Susan: They put some rocking good tunes out though.
Jenn: Did you get their new CD? It's out now.
Susan: No.
Jared: Tell you what, one of the reasons that you're digging my stuff and you dig them is because their producer, Skidd Mills, is also my producer. He is the guy that wrote all of their stuff for them. He is the guy that writes all of my stuff for me. He has done all of their albums, look him up, he's worked with everybody. He's got a ton of Dove awards, three Grammys. He's worked with Ozzy, ZZ Top, basically everybody if you look into rock. We were the first country act that he ever took onto his label. So Rick James, Saving Abel, and I are the only people he has ever signed and developed.
Susan: What is your favorite place to play live?
Jared: I think it probably changes, it changes depending on my mood but right now it's the Children's hospital, that's the coolest.
Susan: How did that go?
Jared: It went great. I have done a lot of stuff in Nashville with the hospitals and stuff. That was the first time I ever did one outside of Nashville. I came back and told her immediately we need to start booking these in every town. It's starting to be like what you were talking about, the healing power of music. We started working with their musical director and they are sending me information so we can sign a show. You have your arena type shows and your bar scene show. You start to realize that you want to develop something that's different for the kids. One of the things that we really dug about it and they dug it too. Everybody that comes to the hospital sings shorter songs or plays sensitive songs but not us.
Susan: That's not what these children want.
Jared: What the kids really dug was that we came in with a rocking beat. It was a sound that wasn't€™t played in a hospital. It felt like a concert rather than a....


Susan: Than a sterilized hospital feel.
Jared: Right.
Susan; I understand that, because music is healing. When you were on THE VOICE, when I saw you perform, the person singing has to move me. The minutes you started singing it moved me to tears. I then said to my friend that man has the most beautiful voice.
Jared: Thank You.
Susan: I thought you should have won THE VOICE, but that's fine because you get to do your own thing now.
Jared: The only thing that is bothering me about that is they keep you going all the time and you wait around a lot. While I was on THE VOICE, there was a couple of the contestants that they felt were a little sterile on the stage. Blake actually took them to me trying to show them emotion on stage. That is one of those things that Blake taught us on stage. It's pure emotion all of the time watching his performers, watching what your doing. We didn't think all of that on stage I tell you.
Susan: Yeah
Jared: What ever is coming out comes out.
Susan: But see to me that's a sign of a musician. You're putting that emotion out there, and your touching people. You don't even realize what your music is doing to them until you meet some of your fans. You don't realize the impact your music has on peoples lives.
Jared: Absolutely Not.
Susan: Tell me about this new video for my favorite song of yours "Countryfied".
Jared: We just finished recording it yesterday. We where in Pennsylvania on Thursday, then came back and shot the rest of the video yesterday. Then we came back up here today. There is a kind of mix of several things. It started out with the kids making videos in the house for fun. Then we started noticing they are always on you tube looking stuff up. We showed them music videos and there where bored watching the videos. We asked them what they wanted to see in this video. That's what led us into asking the fans what they wanted to see. We started to incorporate all of this stuff we gathered from everyone and rolled it all into one video. I have no idea how its going to turn out. I know that the video people are really psyched, and the company we hired are really psyched about everything as well.
Susan; When you're out on the road, what do you do to pass the time?
Jared: There is none, sleep probably to try to catch up on because that's it.. We end up doing a lot of weird things, like on this last trip we found a bocce ball court. You've heard of bocce ball ? We'd never seen one before.
Susan: I have heard of it, but never have seen one either.
Jared: This is a good one for you. It might be that nobody will catch onto this, but my guitarist ,Will, loves the blues and we go into clubs as a blues band. I'm the manager, and my name is Eric. The band goes as Thunder jack gravy. Will is the front man for that. We bust into blues jams and play. Every once in awhile they'll have me as the manager come up and sing. Everyone is like Wow, you are amazing for a manager.
Susan: Do they not recognize who you are.
Jared: No. That's what is great about it. Its all about Thunder jack gravy.
Susan: You already kind of touched on it , but can you tell me a little bit about what your experience was like on THE VOICE.
Jared: It taught us a lot. I think the best information we got was from Blake Shelton. Blake was completely all about his fans all the time. That was something I think he really tried to drive home with us each night. Remember that our fans are all we have. Take care of them, and the will take care of you. It was extremely fast paced too. We had basically three days to learn any of the songs we did. We only got one rehearsal with the band, and it was 15 minutes before we went live and that was it. So to learn the songs, we had nothing but an I pad and those speakers to use. You try to listen to your songs, learn it, play it in front of the mirror. What ever you had to do to learn the song. It was no doubt the most high pressure thing you ever do as a musician. Because we were given no information, you're given it and you act on it that's it. Other then that, we got to stay in a hotel for six months, and not allowed to leave. (Laughs)


Susan: What did you think about the fans voting you back on THE VOICE.
Jared: I don't think we ever did talk about that. I have thoughts on it, I don't know. I think seeing isn't always believing. It's TV.
Susan: Who are your favorite artists or bands.
Jared: Obviously Bob Segar, Johnny Cash, Guns N Roses. Country wise Travis Tritt.. As far as new guys goes, Randy Houser would be my favorite out right. Lee Brice and Eric Church has done an amazing job out there. Most of my inspirations come from the old guys you grew up with in the south. You couldn't help but be a Lynard Skynard fan. A lot of people don't know Todd Snyder, Scott Miller, and Will Hogue.
Jenn: He comes up with bands I've never heard of. He introduced me to a lot of new people when I came to Nashville. Song writers and people that have hit songs out, even though they may not be singers, but they wrote the songs. People hear them and hear a whole other side of the song than what that artist puts out.
Susan: For any of us fans or any of us that love your music, how can we spread the word about you? Is there anything we can do to get the public more aware of your music.
Jared: Well right now we got the new single to the radio on the 24th. So it should be released to be on air of the 1 st. It will be released to I tunes on the 24th also. They can say something on face book, email, send out information about the band to a lot of people. What a lot of people don't realize is the major labels is that any artists still happen the same way. It's still fans spreading the word getting to people to download the song and getting people to call into the radio stations. The radio stations that have picked up the song and will be spinning it , we will list them on our website so you'll know what stations to call and request us. I think fans in general don't realize how much power they have to constantly give out. Radio cares about money for commercials, and money for sponsorships. They get that by being popular because people are listening to them. They don't care about what fans want to hear. People can be more active by calling the radio stations and let them know what they want to hear. They keep doing these things over and over they will put them into rotation. They wont have a reason not to. They are in the business to make money, so they want to play what the public wants to hear. I think the public has forgotten that, and just kind of go off and listen to whatever they want not realizing how much power they have.
Jenn: A lot of people don't have time to call, but if they are on face book they can write in a request to the stations that way.
Jared: The radio stations as questions constantly, who do you want to see or who do you want to hear. Having that name heard over and over again.
Jenn: A lot of times what ever bar you go into, go and talk to who ever books shows and say hey I would really like to have this person play here and they'll check them out. Once somebody with talent comes and does a show live, its like a community you're building. You come to that town a couple of times on your way through then people have to see you. They enjoy the show and call the radio station. It's a lot of work for some people to do, and they might just go listen to their I pods instead of the radio. But it's a lot easier to download a song, and that's still good because they can listen to it whenever they want. But the radio stations playing your music helps get more people to your live shows. The more people come to the shows the more people to request it and download it.
Jared: Downloading a song as well is an issue that I don't think the public realizes what is happening. When you are not paying its not so much about the gig, because the artist sees very little of that money anyway. So you're not really hurting in that sense, but radio is still watching I tunes and seeing what's going on.. They see that those are people they want to play, because that's what the public wanted. What the public doesn't pay for, the download, that just bleeds money that would help the band get further. With out that nobody knows anything about you, and radio is watching what's going on all day.
Susan: Well one last question, but its not really a question... What is one final thing you would like to say to your fans?

Jared: I'd just like to thank them. We wouldn't be able to do this without them. I don't think I could put it into words. You asked me about my attitude. I think it's the most humbling thing in the world. The fact that so many fans are out there telling me, or sending me pictures of them, drawing on sidewalks just to see your name.
Susan: You'd be amazed by some of the stuff we've done.
Jared: It's mind blowing people showing up at shows, it's the talking, and everything they do. You play shows after show playing these clubs. You have these die hard fans that helped you out, you continue to play that club because they wanted you to come play there.

It was a fun journey doing this interview. I want to thank Jared Blake and everyone that helped make this interview possible. It was a pleasure and an honor to interview you. For those not familiar with his music, you can download his new single "Countryfied" on iTunes. You will love it. For more information of Jared Blake please go

~ Susan Graham

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