I interviewed my favorite Montreal troubadour, Jason Bajada, just in time for his new album to drop today. The sound your life makes is a truly enchanting folk-pop record blessed with divine melodies and outstanding, heart-wrenching lyrics. See what Jason has to say about his life and work right now, and order the music on iTunes now !
LF: It’s been two years since your first big break, the really sad and beautiful Loveshit. The new record shows that you’re evolving simultaneously as a stronger man and songwriter. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since the first album – about music and / or about love?
JB: I’ve learned that writing the best pop songs is quite the task & yet the easiest thing in the world. I’ve also learned never to throw away a “work-in-progress” tune. I’ve been collecting bits & pieces over the years. Some of them were going absolutely nowhere, yet, ended up as key tracks on this new album. I’ve also learned that time heals everything. I mean, I knew that already as a cliché, but it’s good to know that those clichés exist for a reason. History repeats itself in comforting ways sometimes.
LF: Describe the new album in three words.
JB: Salade – De – Fruits
LF: On track 5 you say: Pain’s a pet that I won’t feed anymore… (so good!). How much of your inspiration comes from from the hard times at this point? Does the songwriting process bring you relief?
JB: The songwriting only brings relief if the result is satisfying. That song is definitely a focus point of this album but it’s also a little bit of a lie. Writing about painful experiences is inevitable. I definitely felt that I had had enough of the “loveshit pain” when I wrote that song. You just have to be careful not to become a caricature of yourself & be able to get your shit together. I still enjoy a good cry.
LF: You live in a very creative city, Montreal. Can you tell us a little bit about how it is to live and work as an artist over there?
JB: Montreal is home. It feels good to be in such a creative environment. I used to be intimidated by the talent all around, but now it just feels great & I’ve made so many friends along the way. Painters, photographers, songwriters whom I all respect terribly. I also feel it’s very mutual with most and that’s when you evolve & get better. Rent is cheap(er) than most cities which really helps.
LF: What was your first concert?
JB: R.E.M.’s Monster tour in 1995. Luscious Jackson was opening. We were 5th row at the old Montreal Forum. The band walked onstage and opened with “What’s The Frequency Kenneth?” & stupid amounts of strobe lights. Michael Stipe is a God. Fucking cool man.
LF: What are some other artists that you’d like to tour with right now?
JB: I’m not really picky. Just something that would be a good fit. We played a couple of shows last year with good friends Ladies Of The Canyon. That was just epic because they would join us onstage for lots of tunes and just make me sound better. The dream tour would be opening for The National. Imagine getting to see those guys every night? Heaven!
LF: Name one song you wish you had written.
JB: Not fair. I’m picking 3.
“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” by The Lemonheads
“Hummingbird” by Wilco
“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
LF: Three things you can’t live without:
JB: The interweb, good coffee, mind-blowing sex… absolutely NOT in that order.
LF: Your fave track on the album, and why.
JB: How’d My Heart Get Caught? I’m just really proud of that one. 4 chords & the truth. Maia Davies (from Ladies of The Canyon) just slays me with her guest appearance in the 2nd & 3rd verses. I feel like this song already exists and someone is about to sue me big time.
LF: How do you LIVE FAST?
JB: I don’t. I need my beauty sleep. I like taking my time. I do take fast showers though, does that count?
LF: Fashion Talk: How would you describe your style? Favorite brands / designers?
JB: I’m not as huge on fashion as I’d like to be. I did however treat myself to a gorgeous Philippe Dubuc suit for my birthday last year. I feel like I should go back for a jacket in the fall.
LF: Sex Talk: What gets you off? Literally or figuratively?
JB: I’ll keep it classy and spare the details, but let’s just say I’m extremely satisfied in every aspect of my kinks & thrills.
LF: Travel Talk: Favorite destination or travel stories that you want to share?
JB: Chicago, New-York, Berlin, London, Paris, Brussels, Los Angeles, it’s all good. Bring it on!