The guy I m sitting with today fits right into the group of guys I surround myself with on a daily basis. Coming from the genre of what most call singer songwriters, he brings a certain mystique to the stage. He has a very polished image, his online reputation is spotless, and his music is quite frankly incredible. He brings a classic sound to the microphone and it reminds me so much of the great Tom Petty. His lyrics are from real life experience and beg for more at the end of every single track. If you have not heard of him you will. Sit with me today as I introduce you to an incredible talent in Jay Nash.
Is that your real name?
How long have you been playing the guitar?
Since I was a little kid…almost 20 years now.
When did you decide to make a run at this?
During my senior year of college. I studied engineering at the University of Vermont. I spent way too much time in the computer lab and decided that I didn’t want to spend my life that way.
Do you have a job outside of music?
Where are you originally from?
Upstate New York…the Syracuse area.
Do you write all your own lyrics?
Yes. Occasionally, I do collaborate with other artists to write and record. Recently, I have been working on projects with Jeff Trott (played guitar on and co-wrote many of Sheryl Crowe’s hit songs), Caitlin Crosby and a producer/songwriter, Chris Keup.
Where do you get inspiration for a new track?
That depends on what is going on in my life. Could be anything…
Who designed your MySpace page?
Jenny Begin from Star Mile Designs. She rules.
What are your thoughts on MySpace for that matter?
It’s an easy way for people to gain access to music and tour dates. I try not to spend much time thinking about it though.
Are you on Twitter?
Do you have a favorite venue?
I played the Troubadour last night. It was a super rainy Tuesday in Los Angeles, so I think that we lost a good part of our crowd but I loved the room. I think that it might be my favorite place that I have played so far.
What is the largest crowd that you have ever played for?
About 3,000 people.
Ever been booed off stage?
Do you ever forget the lyrics to your own songs?
Yes; I have a good excuse though. I have a lot of songs and sometimes an audience member will call out a song from the audience. I’ll go for it. If I haven’t played it for a long time, sometimes the words can escape me.
How many full-length albums do you have?
5 full length studio albums, 3 EPs and a soundtrack.
Tell me about the new one.
The newest release is an EP called ‘All the Stars in Copenhagen’. The songs were mostly written on the road in 2008 while touring in support of the full length ‘The Things You Think You Need’. Copenhagen was recorded in Denmark in two days in November of 2008, with overdubs in Berlin and then finished up in Los Angeles. A global effort of sorts. The previous full length ‘the things you think you need’ was record in October of 2007 in Los Angeles. The stars really aligned for the making of that record. It was produced by Chris Seefried. We recorded live to 2 inch analog tape with some amazing legendary musicians – Charlie Gillingham and David Immergluck of Counting Crows. Don Heffington (drums for Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams and many others).
Describe your genre in one word.
Your beard seems like a signature part of your image. Ever thought of shaving it?
(Laughs) It comes off from time to time. If you do some digging on the interwebz, you’ll find some photos of me without it. I never really gave it that much thought. I think I have one a lot of times because I spend a lot of time on the road and it’s easier to maintain the bearded look than the freshly shaven look. Also – most of my heroes have beards.
You are too good to not be on a label. What is the hold up?
Thanks dude! I guess I’m just waiting for the right one. Until then, it’s nice to be able to point my music and career in the direction that I want to go in without having to wrestle a giant corporation.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
The Band, the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sam Cooke, and Greg Brown.
How many instruments do you play other than the guitar?
Most of them.
How did you react to the death of Michael Jackson?
MJ is a tragic story. He’s kind of like Benjamin Buttons. It seems like he was the most in control of his life and his music when he was a little boy. I think everything went south from there.
Who would win in a pillow fight between Keaton Simons and Cary Brothers?
Good question. I think that Keaton might have the edge on Brothers in terms of brute strength. But then again Brothers is from the south, so he probably knows how to throw down. He’s also quite a crafty fellow.
If you were told you only had a week to live how would you spend your last seven days?
I would spend 3 days Heli-skiing in Alaska, 3 days surfing in Bali and 1 day writing letters to all the people that I care about to let them know just how much I love them and why. I would use a lear jet for transportation. Evenings would be spent carrying adult activities with the woman of my dreams.
What connection do you have to Barcelona?
I spent some time there in 2006. I was in the middle of some tough stuff relationship-wise. It was the perfect juxtaposition of being completely moved and inspired by my surroundings and at the same time utterly lonely (though I was surrounded by beautiful people.)
What are you drinking on stage?
Room temperature water. I do like to have a sip or two of whiskey before hand, but I have found that I put on a better show if I wait until afterwards.
If you could be any cartoon character whom would you be and why?
Garfield. He’s lazy, cared for and somehow content.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
The same thing that I’m doing now except that I will be better at it and the rooms will be bigger.
What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?
Connecting and inspiring people with music and compassion. also – my beard.
I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
Use your turn signals, people.