Already on the first listen, Lost on Purpose reminded me of Welcome Interstate Managers. Not only in terms of sound but also in terms of theme and size. And in quality! What a load of good songs Brian Jones has written.
The comparison with Fountains of Wayne is no coincidence at all. Brian Jones himself explains why.
How did this record come together?
After our last full-length release, I planned to take a long break from writing & recording my songs to focus on other projects. Then when Covid hit in Spring 2020, and we were in quarantine, I found that time to write music was all I had. That, combined with the passing of Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, I felt that time was now available but not guaranteed. A few months later, I started making demos for what would become a 22 song album.
How great is the urge to stay creative? To keep writing songs and lyrics?
Songwriters know that it’s just inside you, and you can’t escape it. Like I said before, even when I tried to stop, the songs wouldn’t. I find that the melodies just come to me without really trying, but once they arrive, the urge to make them better each time helps you develop a catalog of songs that change and mature with you.
You want to develop “your sound” but not get stuck there doing the same thing on each album. Like Paul McCartney from “I want to hold your hand” to “Yesterday” to “Back in the USSR” and finally “Let it Be.” The same guy, same “sound,”..but with time, each song develops and adds a new dynamic.
You can pick three co-writers to write new songs with. Who? … and Why?
I love so many songwriters, but 3 I would love to write with would have to be; Mike Viola: My favorite writer, and I would love to write a movie soundtrack with him.
Elvis Costello: He would bring out sounds in me that I’ve always loved but never been able to write like New Wave and Electronic.
Ben Folds would be amazing to write with as he would bring out a “grand meet personal sound” that I’ve always admired.
Combing piano ballads, rock licks with complex harmonies with the occasional orchestral part. On our new album “Lost On Purpose“, we were thrilled to have four different guest artists add vocals and/or keys, which was something we’ve never done before. Daniel Brummel (Ozma), Bill McShane (Ultimate Fakebook), Brendan Lyons (Toledo), and Sam Black (Modern Amusement, helped to make these songs even better than we could’ve imagined.
Lyrics are too often taken for granted. What is the line of text, or are the lines of text that you hope listeners will remember? And why?
In the spirit of taking risks and developing each new song into something different, I really tried to write more “stories” and develop characters without allowing myself to be the focal point of each song like I have done in the past.
When you’re writing from a character perspective that challenges you to say what they are thinking, the song “Mississippi” chorus repeats “I don’t know what you’re going through” over and over again. This deals with someone in their profession, expected to have all the answers but really doesn’t.
The song “Beach Singer Man” says, “He doesn’t mind if you’re not kind and just talk over him cause there will be a day when his ship will come in.” This is sung from the struggling musician’s perspective. “Fast Ones” says, “I want one sad refrain. We all have one past mistake we keep repeating. Flowers need the rain and I need it eighty eight beats per minute”.
There, of course, are many lyrics from my perspective like “Get Lost On Purpose, you might find that you’re home”, from the track “Learning To Drive,” which is about taking risks and failing to find the right path hopefully.
You can’t control the way people ‘hear’ your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects, you think, set your songs apart. What would they be?
I’ve always enjoyed songs that are timeless and real. I hope listeners relate to the lyrics and find themselves instantly hooked by the melodies and can appreciate the songwriting craft as I do. We even released the new album on Vinyl so listeners could sit down and enjoy it without the impulse to shuffle. Take it all in. Get Lost on Purpose!