Bill Jr. Jr.

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Bill Jr. Jr.

Where are you currently based?

Vancouver, Canada.

How did you first start playing music?

Around the house as a lad, borrowing my stepdad’s guitar (much to his chagrin).

What’s been happening recently and how has your Covid experience been?

Right now, I’m on a little west coast island trying to get into a songwriting headspace. I noticed that I wasn’t sitting down to play or write much at home this past year. For whatever reason, I’m sure Covid has something to do with it, I haven’t felt that inspired to write any music. One thing that is missing as a result of the pandemic is getting to play with other people, which can be a major source of inspiration for me.

Your new album ‘Homebody’ came out recently, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

The sound of the record had a lot to do with my other collaborators, namely the producer and bassist Daniel McNamara. I compose on guitar and write the lyrics and sing so we built around that foundation but he did a lot of the heavy lifting. The Athens crew of musicians and Daniel really helped give ‘Homebody’ it’s flare and colour.

I tried to write songs about my home (Vancouver) and about the people and places I was connected to there.

 How did you go about writing the album?

I started by setting up a schedule to practice regularly and just stuck to it. I try not to really worry about each day’s productivity but rather trust that as long as I keep showing up, things will come to completion in time. That’s how I approached ‘Homebody’.

Where and when did you record/produce/master and who with?

Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, Georgia is where we recorded and the record was mastered by CPS Mastering in Vancouver.

How did you approach the recording process?

We scheduled everything really well because recording studios cost lots of money each day that you rent them. We went into tracking pretty well rehearsed so that was helpful. After the beds were down, we brought in other musicians for keys, back up vocals, etc. At this point we were happy to express what we wanted them to do but were also open to their unique style and interpretation of a part. I think that this approach helped ‘Homebody’ sound so full.

What did you find most rewarding and challenging during the creation of ‘Homebody’?

Geez…all these people coming together around an idea that I had for an album was very rewarding. Them being onboard felt great and was so so necessary. Challenges arose for me when I had to let go of being in control of something.

How has the reaction been from fans?

Pretty good I think. Everyone I chat with about it has nice things to say. It’s certainly my biggest effort to date and I think fans felt that leap from the previous two records. Although, any song or album you put out, no matter the budget or effort or scale, has its own magic.

Your new single ‘Blue’ is out now, what did this single mean to you?

I like this song because musically speaking, it’s a good example of an “off” take on a traditional style. The weird twangs and the bridge and the chords kind of make it strange enough to feel interesting to listen to I think. Plus it’s personally interesting to me because it’s about wandering around my neighbourhood, thinking thoughts and feeling feelings, two things I do quite often. So, it felt great to write a tune that captured my own subjective experience of something that is wholly regular and benign.

How did the concept for the ‘Blue’ music video come about?

I wanted to make a video that looked and felt different than the other videos I was seeing. Parameters can help me focus so I applied this logic to the location of where we would play: my van. In the van we could only do so much, which felt comforting and I think we all felt pretty loose as a result. And, any musician will tell you that the best music comes when you’re feeling loose.

Where and when did you film and who did you work with?

November 2019. It was kind of cold actually, we may have run the vehicle for heat in between takes. Matt Sawatzky made the video, he did a great job.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Aofie Nessa Frances, John Fahey, Cian Nugent, Rex Orange County.

What do you like to do away from music?

Body movement stuff, cooking, chit chatting the day away.

What’s planned for 2021?

We’ve got three more tunes from that same recording session in Athens that couldn’t fit on the record. So expect some more videos in unique settings.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Chips, my couch.

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