Recently I caught up with solo artist, and guitarist for Fountains of Wayne, Jody Porter. Working with everyone from Albert Hammond Jr. to Jesse Malin, Porter is one of the most well known names in the rock and roll world.
MM: How does working with Fountains of Wayne and being solo differ for you personally, when it comes to writing songs, and crafting a piece of music?
Porter: I think my songs have a bit more flexibility while being cut in the studio. I like to allow things to happen spontaneously after bringing the song in see where it goes. A lot of times happy accidents can lead to some cool moments. Maybe my approach is less conventional than our approach in fountains,but there is still the same goal of making the song live up to what you hear in your head.
MM: You’ve worked with the likes of Albert Hammond Jr., Jesse Malin, Ivy and Juliana Hatfield. How did you decide to work with each of them? Are there any more collaborations you would like to do in the future?
Well they’re all pals and I’m not that hard to find around the village. Albert and Jules have my digits so it was really just guesting on some friends’ records. I’d like to work with Jesus if he ever shows up.
MM: Already being known for your work, before you released your solo material, does that put any pressure on you as an artist?
I don’t feel any pressure. I’m not trying to do repeat what I’ve done before musically or professionally. I just do it because I’ve been doing it all my my life and can’t help it.
MM: What inspires you to write a song? Not only musically, but lyrically.
Anything really. Some of my songs come out of personal experiences but I don’t think of myself as a “story teller”. There are enough boring songs out there about boring people. The best ones pretty much write themselves.
MM: How has your music personally evolved over the years?
I think the stuff I wrote in England with my first band was more complex. I was into the idea of making progressive music that wasn’t prog rock.Might’ve actually succeeded if I wasn’t so lazy but I think over the years I’ve realized simplicity in a song always wins. It’s what you can do in that 4 minutes that gives the artistic license to go outside of the box.
MM: What is your favorite part of being in the studio?
Like a second home to me. Being able to experiment with different places to take the song keeps things interesting.
MM: What is your favorite part about playing live?
I love the interaction with the audience and I like the girls at the after parties.
MM: How did you get involved with playing the Northside Festival this year?
Engine Room folks are cool and said how bout it.
MM:What is up next for you?
Making more hits. Another solo record is in the works as is staying around for a while.