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A Dirty Dozen with JAKE AARON WARD from WATCH ME BREATHE – September 2019

| 3 September 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Progressive Pop-Rock Band WATCH ME BREATHE has released the lyric video for their newest single, “Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It.” Produced by Designs By Shifted, “Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It” is available to stream and download NOW! From the very beginning, Watch Me Breathe has been all about honesty and authenticity. Lead singer Jake Aaron Ward formed the band in 2017 purely out of frustration. “As a solo artist, I just got fed up with trying to write music only to please other people. Watch Me Breathe is really an experiment that says: what would I write if nobody else was listening?” We get the Jake to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Well, the cool inside story with our latest single, “Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It,” is basically just that it’s true. I wrote the song a while ago for a close friend of mine that I just couldn’t hide my feelings from any longer – and it worked! We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary a couple months ago.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I was the toddler who just sat on the kitchen floor banging on pots and pans and singing gibberish, so the instinct has been there since before I can remember. I grew up in a really musical household with two music-obsessed parents, so I don’t think there was ever a transition point where I went from not wanting to be a musician, to wanting to be one. I always felt like one and I always at least tried to be one, even if that meant just hitting stuff and yelling. My dad got me a little electronic drum set when I was 6, and drums became my first instrument. Then I started playing guitar around 9 or 10, and I’ve picked up other instruments along the way. I think I wrote my first song when I was 9, and it was about Harry Potter!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

For sure the Goo Goo Dolls are a big one. I discovered them in middle school and it just completely inspired me in a more serious way than ever before. In general, I’m just continually finding new and exciting music that inspires me and guides my tastes and aspirations. Openness is a big value of mine – that means being honest too. I discover a lot of music that I don’t like as well, and that helps me zero in closer and closer on what it is that is most important to me. It has no genre barriers or era restrictions, but there is that same mysterious magical something that I’m hearing and feeling in all my favorite music that keeps me inspired and motivated to create my own.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Oh, jeez! That’s hard! It changes over time. I think right now, Switchfoot has got to be my number one. Jon Foreman is my hero and the standard by which I measure success as an artist. Number two might be Peter Gabriel. Three, even though they’re not my most played artist anymore, I’ll say Goo Goo Dolls. Four, Sting! Five, I’ll say Imogen Heap. But there are so many more…

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Ooof. Jacob Collier! It would be humbling and maybe even humiliating, but what a ride it would be.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a  reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Peter Gabriel meets The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus! Sound weird enough, right? I’m not really sure if I’ve had any cringey comparisons yet – at least not that I’m aware of. I mostly just think it’s interesting to see what different people say. Old people watch us live as a trio and say “You sound like The Police!” Young people say “throwback to my emo phase.” Recently I’ve been informed that I look like Logan Paul, which is also interesting. It’s all just interesting and fun! I love that people are out there receiving and sharing their interpretations.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Hearing from people thousands of miles away that you matter to their life in some mysterious invisible way. That is an adventure so dope that I am incapable of stopping my journey into it.

8. When the band is all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Ryan, Ryan and then Ryan. Our bassist is an animal. He works two jobs, one as a bartender and another as… another bartender! So he’s the perpetual expert on which beer to try, which food is the best choice, and he also happens to be by far the most jam-crazy, whip-out-the-acoustic person in the group. He’s also the best guitar player, but don’t tell anyone cause I don’t want to be out of a job haha!

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I finally saw Imogen Heap live for the first time a few months ago, and I was definitely starstruck. She’s one of my biggest influences and my musician crush since like 5th grade.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Incredibly, against all odds, my side passion is even less profitable than being a musician: being a magician! I love magic. I’ve been practicing and performing for friends and family and strangers on the street since middle school.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a  single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do-over”,  even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Not really – I know it’s cheesy to say, but I really do look at failure as an essential component of my career and life. Especially as a self-taught musician, the only way I’ve gotten better at anything is by sucking at it over and over again, year after year. I’ve also continually seen how just pursuing what is interesting and stimulating has led me to where I am today. It might seem random and unclear at the time, but it all makes sense at the endpoint. So, yeah, no regrets!

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose –and what does that record mean to you?

There’s an album called Augment by one of my favorite bands ever, ERRA. It’s progressive metalcore – highly underrated, incredible music. Incredible production too. I would love to just watch those guys’ whole process and how they compose everything. It’s really a masterpiece.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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