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Interview:
Mason Jennings Pumps Up The Volume On Latest Album
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Mason Jennings went into the woods of Minnesota to write songs for his latest album, “Blood of Man.” And that quiet isolation produced the loudest and hardest rocking set he’s made since he started releasing music in 1997.

“My last tour was incredibly quiet,” notes the Hawaiian-born Jennings, 34. “I had a really quiet band with me. That record (2008’s ‘In the Ever’) was really introspective and quiet. So after a year of that, this is kind of a reaction. I needed to make some noise.

“And just being out there in the woods was great. You can make noise and nobody is going to hear it. You can make a lot of mistakes and have the freedom to work on that stuff. At the end of the winter, I listened back and said, ‘Y’know, I think this might be a record ... ’ ”

Jennings was, however, apprehensive. “I didn’t know if people who liked my music would like” his creative turn. And he worried that his label, Brushfire Records — co-owned by fellow singer-songwriter Jack Johnson — would even want to put it out.

“I thought I was going to be dropped,” Jennings notes, “ ’cause most of what they do is pretty peaceful and mellow. But they called and said it’s their favorite (album) of mine. It’s awesome they’re willing to stretch out what the parameters of the label are for this.

“But they’re like me. They know that if you start to do stuff based on what other people might think, your art is going to suck. I had to be sure to follow my gut and follow what moves me and trust everything will take care of itself. That’s the only way to do it.”



Mason Jennings and Anni Rossi perform Saturday (Oct. 24) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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