Friday, May 12, 2006

Interview with Jamie Rowe

How did you get started in music?

By hanging around my older brothers band practices. I also found out I could sing by recording in one of those "you can be a star" recording booths at Six Flags theme park. I was 15. I didn't really sing in front of people til I was 17.

How long have you been performing professionally?

I was in Tempest and that band got signed when I was 17. So I wouldn't say my talent level was professional at that point..but I was in the recording business at least. Ha! A funny story-Tempest actually got signed by accident, the label thought they were signing another band called Tempest and found out AFTER we started recording.

What is you motivation for playing professionally?

I have a love for it. I have been blessed to be able to make an income from it a good amount of the time, but there is also the lean times(especially now)... And I just want to be a good steward of the gifts God gave me.

Can you describe your music style for us?

I like powerpop with worship oriented lyrics. That's what I'm writing of late.

What are some of your musical influences?

Growing up, it was Kiss, Cheap Trick and Van Halen..then in the teen years it started with pop like Duran Duran and ended with hair bands like Poison, Warrant and Stryper. Some modern writing influences are Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall, American Hi-Fi, and still Cheap Trick.

What inspires you when you write music and lyrics?

I usually start with a good, memorable chorus. I try to make it as catchy as possible. I usually write the main lyric lines for the chorus then with a general idea I want to convey. The build the music from there and finish that, then fill in the lyrics. My inspiration is to write something that is relevant and comes from a Christian perspective no matter if it's a song about Sushi or a direct and open letter of praise to Christ.

What can people expect from a live performance?

Well, to be clear, I haven't played more than a handful of "shows" the past 2 years. But when I do, I try to keep them fun, meaningful, and packed with songs they wanna hear.At the moment, My main live activity consist of playing in the worship band at church 3 times a week.

What will someone walk away with after hearing a concert you perform?

Moderate hearing loss! Nah, hopefully a smile on their face and they are encouraged in their faith.

What can you tell us about your current projects?

Well, right now I am awaiting the FED-EX guy to bring me my artwork for my last solo disc so I can re-release it. I have some Guardian activity on the schedule which needs to happen. I'm excited about tha, but also looking forward to some closure. I'm also writing for my next solo disc which will embrace worship themes more so than anything I have done to date. And I'm always doing one off work for someone it seems.

what do you think of the current state of the music industry?

I think we are in a serious transition phase. I'm seeing digital music formats blow up and CD sales dwindle down. I work in the music industry in marketing. I can tell you that it's tough for a label right now. The "tried and true" ways of doing business no longer work. If we want to survive, we must adapt or we will be left behind. I had a conversation with a very well known and HIGHLY successful record executive from the early 90's. He admitted that he has "no idea what works anymore". On a musical level, I like things, I am hearing stronger hooks now than I did a few years ago. But I am far more apt to buy a single via iTunes than purchase an entire cd. I would like to hear more "albums" worth buying.

If someone is interested in booking you for a performance, what do they need to do?

Email me at

Do you have a web presence where people can check out your work?

I have a general website which is really a splash page that leads to a messageboard, myspace, and now my video blogs. Come by and chat.