J Fernandez Talks About His New Album [Artist Spotlight]

By (Artist Post)

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On June 9th, Joyful Noise will be releasing J Fernandez’s full-length debut album, “Many Levels of Laughter.”  Make sure to grab a copy and throw it on the turntable while you sit back and chill (or, while you work on spreadsheets).  J was kind enough to answer some questions about his music, his inspiration, and his techniques.

Q:  “Many Levels of Laughter” was recorded alone.  What is your process for piecing everything together?  In what order are the instruments recorded, and do you always approach each song with the same method?

A:  Most of the songs start with a melodic idea recorded on my phone.  It usually happens on my way to work in the morning.  Then I start recording with guitar or keys, add bass and drums later.  I’m not great at playing drums so I have to record each drum on an individual track.

Q:  After the inspiration for writing a new song first hits you, how long does it usually take before you have it completely written?

A:  Things don’t come to me that easily.  I have to force the ideas out.  I can write the basic outline of a song in a day.  But I usually end up rearranging and trying out different sounds for months.

Q:  When writing, what usually comes to you first—the music, the lyrics, or both together?

A:  The music comes first.  I keep a different notebook with ideas for lyrics.  Then I try different combinations until something matches up.

Q:  Before settling on the 9 songs for the album, how many other songs were you working on that you decided wouldn’t make the cut?

A:  There were two songs that didn’t make it on the album.  I’m still working on them.  They just didn’t fit for this one.

Q:  On the new album, which song do you feel is your best one, and why is it the best?

A:  Probably the first track, “Between the Channels.”  It went through so many different versions.  I’m just totally surprised by how that one turned out.

Q:  Which song was the most difficult or frustrating to complete?

A:  “Souvenirs.”  I like it now but it still feels like it’s not complete.

Q:  Thinking back to your earliest musical memories, what band/artist/song/album made the first significant impression on you… possibly the first thing that made you begin to realize that music meant more to you than just a hobby?

A:  I can’t really think of one specific artist or album.  I remember there was this phone service, “1-800-Music-Now.”  You could call it and search for different albums and it would play a 30 second clip of a few tracks.  When I was about 11 or 12 years old (before I had internet), I started calling it and searching for songs.  That definitely changed things for me because I heard so much new stuff.

Q:  As a writer, who would you cite as your primary musical and lyrical influences?

A:  Burt Bacharach, Ennio Morricone, Robert Pollard.

Q:  How would you describe your album to a person who was completely unfamiliar with your style?

A:  Great music to listen to while working on Excel spreadsheets.


Check out “Read My Mind” from the forthcoming album:

2015 Summer Internship [Announcements]

By (Staff Post)

Interns Wanted

It’s time once again to welcome curious and passionate music lovers deep into the mysterious world of Joyful Noise Recordings. Wanna know what goes on behind the screen of this website? Wanna know what it takes to get your music heard by thousands, nay, millions of people who just listen to the first ten seconds then skip? Wanna know how to pay your rent and utility bills with a career in music and have another job on the side?

If the answer is “WTF?” to any of the above questions then you are a perfect fit to come help us out this summer!

We’re currently accepting applications for the 2015 Summer Internship here at the Indianapolis HQ of Joyful Noise Recordings. Starting with an orientation on Friday May 15th and ending with a party on Friday August 10th, the 12 week internship is guaranteed to make you sweat! Guaranteed to make you bleed! You must commit to a minimum of 8 hours per week of volunteering in our Indy offices to learn about music promotion, distribution, and revolution.

It’ll be fun! Apply below….

Artist Photo Gallery: Reptar Live in Indianapolis 4.8.15 [Artist Spotlight]

Graham Ulicny performing with Reptar at The HI-Fi in Indianapolis Photo: Roberto Campos

Graham Ulicny performing with Reptar at The HI-Fi in Indianapolis Photo: Roberto Campos

Reptar has recently released they’re new record, Lurid Glowwhich is excellent. Reptar is known for its live show which are: electric, dynamic and makes the audience dance. Reptar’s show in Indianapolis was a homecoming of sorts since Joyful Noise’s headquarters is in Indianapolis, so of course for such an occasion, this show would have an underlying sense of sentimentality to it.

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SXSW 2015: Joyful Noise Brings Its Roster to South By Southwest [Artist Spotlight]


Jad Fair’s broken guitar laying on the stage at the Joyful Noise 2015 SXSW Showcase (Photo: Roberto Campos)

I couldn’t help but be shocked as Jad Fair began to break his guitar in the middle of his performance, snapping it at the base of the neck in a similar way that you would snap a stick over your knee. I was attending the Joyful Noise 2015 SXSW Showcase to take photos, and as I missed taking a photo of this candid moment, I felt my jaw drop, camera at my waist, and began to look around, questioning if this destruction supposed to happen or if Jad was actually down a guitar. I was in awe, and kind of kicking myself for not taking a photo of a moment that was truly worth 1,000 words.

The Joyful Noise 2015 SXSW Showcase was unique in a couple of ways: it was the first SXSW showcase for Joyful Noise Recordings, and a majority of the line-up are on the Joyful Noise release schedule for spring. Yonatan Gat, Reptar, Surfer Blood and Stranger Cat, the showcase brought fresh music to the ears of SXSWers as well as staples of the label like Jad Fair and Sedcairn Archives (formally DMA).

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Son Lux, moving on… [Misc / WTF]

By (Staff Post)

The rumors are true: Son Lux has been signed by Glassnote (a subsidiary of Universal). We love Ryan and will always adore his music. We are saddened to lose an artist we feel such kinship with, but we are also happy for him and will always support the growth of his music.

We signed Son Lux back in May of 2013, and in the two years we’ve known Ryan his popularity has grown exponentially and he’s become a close friend. We would like nothing more than to continue working with him, but we as a small independently run and self-funded label we cannot compete with the major-label-dollars being thrown around.

We have heard there is a possibility we might be involved in some future limited vinyl releases, which we would welcome, but details are sketchy and bureaucracy-laden. We’ll keep you informed. Thanks ya’ll.