celebmix.com Interview with J.R.

In 2015, J.R. launched a Pledge Music campaign, to fund the making of his latest albumHonore et Amore. The campaign was a roaring success, and fans were subsequently treated to both Honore et Amore and an acoustic album called Stripped.

Earlier this week, we got to chat to J.R. Richards on the phone. During our conversation we covered a lot of ground, including his latest albums, the Pledge Music experience, working with his wife Min, and the transition from being in a band to being a solo artist. We also had the chance to ask a few fan questions! Check out the full interview below.

 

Hi J.R., how are you?

I’m doing well thanks, thanks for calling!

I’ve got a few questions for you, and some fan questions too if that’s okay!

Yes of course, go ahead.

Well, my first question is, what inspired you to carve a career in music?

Gosh that’s a good question. I just started writing songs when I was 6, 7 years old and I don’t know why to be quite honest with you, I just did. I think probably because my father and grandfather were songwriters. They’d talked quite a bit about writing songs and what makes great songs, and why good songs are so important, so I think that as a very young child I just wanted to write meaningful songs.

As a singer-songwriter, can you tell us a bit about your songwriting process? How do you go about writing a song?

I don’t have a specific way of writing, I think that any part of a song can come first. It could be a melody, it could be a chord progression, even a rhythmic structure or a lyric or a phrase. Anything goes, it just has to be something that inspires me to want to work on it further.

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Buildthesong.net Interview with J.R.

Twenty years have come and gone since J.R. Richards and his band, Dishwalla, tore up Billboard charts with one of the most memorable singles in “Counting Blue Cars.” Since then, J.R.‘s days as a front man are behind him, but he’s stayed very busy in the music biz as a solo artist and producer, honing his skills and giving fans even more substantive music to enjoy. Now he’s heading back into the studio for a new solo album and inviting fans to join him through a new Pledge campaign, in which the fans get to contribute to the album in different ways and be a part of the production of the album through funding.

We at Build The Song had the honor of sitting down with J.R. to discuss his experience in songwriting, his methods, and his intent when trying to create a great song.  Here’s the interview.

 

BTS: What was the reason you started writing songs?

JR: I started writing when I was 9 years old, and had been playing piano and singing since I was 4 or 5 years old. My Father and Grandfather were songwriters and I wanted to start writing my own songs instead of just singing other people’s songs. I love songwriting now, it’s become very cathartic for me.

BTS: What was the first song you ever wrote about?

JR: I was eight years old and it was a song called “Diesel” about a truck or something like that. It seemed cool at the time. (laughs)

BTS: What is your most current song written about?

JR: I’m still working on a song called “Gorgeous”. Its kind of like a dual thing, its about my wife, who is obviously the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever met, of course, she’s a very visually beautiful woman but she’s more beautiful because of the things that go on inside, its basically about that.

Read More at buildthesong.net

J.R. Richards Discusses New “Uplifting” Solo Album

Twenty years have come and gone since J.R. Richards and his band, Dishwalla, tore up Billboard charts with one of the most memorable singles in “Counting Blue Cars.” Since then, J.R.‘s days as a front man are behind him, but he’s stayed very busy in the music biz as a solo artist and producer, honing his skills and giving fans even more substantive music to enjoy. Now he’s heading back into the studio for a new solo album and inviting fans to join him through a new Pledge campaign. We recently asked him about the time between solo releases and how he feels about playing such a mega-hit night after night.

Nearly 20 years have passed since “Pet Your Friends” came out. Are you planning any special celebration?

Two decades… it’s extraordinary how time flies in one way, yet in another, so much has happened and I am extremely grateful! Since the release of “Pet Your Friends,” I’ve been fortunate enough to have released six records. So I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to release my new record! Although things have definitely changed since then. I’m a lot more lined and this time, no label, no record deal. But I’m extremely lucky to have solid fans that have kept on listening. And now with social media the way it is, I now have an option to include fans and friends in the making of a record. Very cool.

Some veteran artits admit to getting tired of playing the hits over and over, but many more are actually thankful that a song connected at such a level. Do you fall in one camp or the other when it comes to “Counting Blue Cars?”

I am definitely in the thankful camp. In fact I have pitched a very large tent and build a large fire there every night. Still, I understand why many artists start to tire of their “Big Hit” as it can overshadow their other material. I myself feel that I have written better songs, but I will always be thankful that I have had songs that connected on a large scale. I’ll continue to sing “Counting Blue Cars” at every show as long as people want to hear it.

A few years have passed since your last solo record. Do the songs on the new album span that entire length of time or do they come from a specific season?

The songs that I have written for the new album were all written in the last two years. The three years before that were spent either producing other artists or touring to promote the last solo record. Still, I am not done writing yet and will be working on new songs all through the record-making process for I know that some of the best songs can come in the 11th hour.

Thematically, are there specific threads that you can see woven throughout the songs?

This record is turning out to be the most uplifting one I have written so far. In fact I have written my first ever love song! I think that I have been at times quite melancholic in the past. Always hopeful, but still a bit sad at times. Life is good though.

You’ve got a lot of great exclusives from personal release party shows to some of your own gear. Do you have a personal favorite among the lot?

My favorite is most definitely the BMW M Driving Experience in their newly opened Palm Springs professional race center. My wife Min and I have done it once before in South Carolina, and it was an absolute blast! I love to drive and own a rare 98 BMW M3-4. Good fun! There are quite a few other items that are close to my heart, and hard to part with, but I know they’ll be going to a good home and the money is recycled into the new album — a very good trade and a very good time.

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J.R. Richards Working On Next Album, Enjoying Life Away From Dishwalla

aaIn the last five years JR Richards has gotten married, lost a close friend to cancer, produced several other artists, written songs for TV shows, started a music and film production company with his wife Min Reid-Richards and fell in love with Scotland. No wonder Richards hasn’t had time to release a follow up to his first solo record (2009) titled A Beautiful End. The former front man for Dishwalla set out on his own after the band disbanded in 2008. A Beautiful End produced some of Richards’ best works. In addition to the title track, songs like “Far end of the Black” and “Never Forgotten,” showcased his skills as a vocalist and songwriter. But Richards now feels like the time is right to put out a new record, which he plans on finishing by the end of the year. “I’ve been writing and recording and my plan is to put out a full length record. I’d say I have about half of the songs written,” Richards said. “I’ll spend the summer finishing that. Most of the songs I’ve been writing are love songs and that’s something I haven’t really done before.”