Q&A: Local musican Gideon Grove comes to Fairfax's Jammin' Java
Whenever I begin interviews, I never start with the first question. Instead, the interview starts with research. In this case listening to Gideon Grove’s new album “Wildfires” (available on iTunes) which was released in November 2012 was my research. Grove will be performing on Friday, January 25 at Fairfax’s Jammin’ Java at 8 p.m.
Music has the great ability to connect you to it, no matter who you are. Washington D.C. native, Gideon Grove spoke with Connect2Mason over e-mail on his musical influences, his first studio album, songwriting, and his future music plans.
C2M: How did you get started in the music industry? What inspired or motivated you to pursue a career as a musician?
Grove: I was pretty much born into music. I come from a large, musical family. My older siblings were pursuing piano and stringed instrument lessons so naturally, I wanted to follow suit. Making music, writing and creating songs is just in me. To not pursue music would be very hard to do. I honestly felt called to music because I think it is what I am best at and I have a real love for it. I am terrible at a lot of other things so it was an easy decision.
C2M: You just released your first album, how has the reaction been?
Grove: So far it has been great. Honestly did not expect the overwhelming response I have received. It is definitely humbling but also motivating for me to keep putting out more music.
C2M: What was the inspiration for the album?
Grove: A lot of it came from loving a woman. It didn’t work out but the lingering effects of that connection/love naturally translated into songs. I think the other inspiration from the record comes from hearing stories from other people and also just taking a step back and looking at life in general.
C2M: What is your favorite song off the album and why?
Grove: Probably, “Walls”. I wrote the song on 33rd floor balcony of my hotel overlooking Waikiki Beach. The sun was setting and I was just overwhelmed with the love of God. The song is both personal and fictitious. I pulled from my own experiences/life and the words of others I knew. It is really a song of being at the end of your rope and being honest that you can’t live life the way you have been.
C2M: You are a DC local, are some of the songs about the area or do you tend to draw on more emotional inspiration for the music?
Grove: I have yet to write a song about DC. Although I could probably write one about the traffic! Most of my songs come from hearing and listening to the world around me, regardless of where I am geographically.
C2M: Where did you go to college and what did you study?
Grove: I started out at Catholic University on a music scholarship and then transferred to University of Maryland and studied Public Relations
C2M: Your website bio says you come from a musical family, how did that impact you growing up?
Grove: It had a huge impact. I have very talented siblings, way more talented than myself. I grew up playing in a string quartet with my three brothers. We performed all around the DC area. Practicing two hours a day, every day; growing up, really taught me discipline. I also was fortunate to be surrounded by very talented teachers. One of those teachers, was a 90 year old man named Oliver Edel, who had a way of communicating how a piece of music was to be played, that really transformed how I viewed performing.
C2M: How have you been promoting your new album?
Grove: Mostly I have been promoting through social media. I am excited to be teaming up with Crate and Barrel and Apple iTunes in March to offer my song “Beside Still Waters” as a free download in their online and retail stores nationwide.
C2M: What do you want your audience to take away from album?
Grove: I want the album to be something listeners see as a friend. To me, a good record is just about how much you feel when you listen to it, as it is about what your ears hear. I hope the album would enable people to listen and feel as though the words sung are exactly what they are currently feeling or have felt regarding something in their life. Songs have a way of bringing comfort and communicating what the heart feels and I hope my music does that.
C2M: How was the recording process for your first album? Did you learn anything new about the song writing process?
Grove: It was exhausting and exciting at the same time. I can tend to be very hands-on and OCD when it comes to parts and development but I worked with a great friend, musician and producer who was very patient with me. We worked really well together and had a lot of fun making this record. With regards to the songwriting process, I definitely learned to trust my gut. Also, to be open to the song changing once it enters the doors of the studio. A song I write on my guitar, in some cases, will change drastically once I put drums and electric guitars behind it. It is a fun creative process.
C2M: You are performing at the Jammin’ Java Friday Jan., 25, who is opening for you?
**In its original post, Gideon Grove's album was posted as being entitled "Wildflowers." However, his album is entitled "Wildefires." This correction has updated on January, 29 2013.**