John Amadon

I've debated moving to Portland, Oregon - a walkable town with clear headed folks and a great emerging music scene. Seriously - it's a wonderful place. You can check out guys like John Amadon and hear tunes from his latest record, "Seven Stars", any time you want! Its awesome!

John says of the new record, "A bulk of the songs on 'Seven Stars' are about a very intense and prolonged infatuation I had with a person I hardly knew. It disturbed me. I was really vexed by it. So without going into specifics about that, let’s just say it’s a record about a girl. Listening to it, I think the intensity of the experience really translated into the recording. It’s an honest and emotional record."


He continues, "None of the first group of songs that I recorded ended up on the record. There is a lyric in one of those songs pertaining to seven stars. It was basically a meaningless lyric, but it resonated with me for some reason and I provisionally titled the project 'Seven Stars.' Then over the course of the next few months the phrase kept popping up in a bunch of different contexts. When I learned that 'Seven Stars' had all these mythological and astronomical associations that I hadn’t really been aware of, I came to like it as a title even more. It’s one of those 'it just feels right' kind of things." Check it out. And keep an eye out for the next record. Read on now, for all the answers to the XXQ's.

XXQs: John Amadon

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others?

John Amadon (JA): I write folky, melodic songs and lush them out with various musical textures, especially guitars, piano, and organs.  The songs are very lyrical and vocalcentric, and almost always colored with harmonies.  I don’t think about how or whether I stand out over others.  I just try to do what I do the best that I can.

PEV: Based out of Portland, Oregon, what kind of music where you into growing up?

JA: Growing up I was a huge Beatles fan. The Beatles and Neil Young are definitely my main influences.

PEV: What was it like for you when you first started out in the music business and trying to make a name for yourself?

JA:  I just had a lot of fun playing music.  There was the opportunity to travel with your friends, and meet lots of people.  I learned a great deal about performing, writing, and recording. Of course I also learned that the music industry is a very mysterious beast, and that one person’s guess is as good as another’s as far as for what it takes to “make it “ in the music business.  For what it’s worth, I’m still trying to make a name for myself.

PEV: Do you remember the first time you thought to yourself – “I am really onto something!”?

JA: I’ve always felt that way, but I’ve never been sure that I’m right.

PEV: With that, what can fans expect from a live John Amadon performance?

JA: They can expect to be very surprised to see me there.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?

JA:  Firstly I think to myself that I hope I didn’t drink too much to pull off the set, and then I remind myself that I’ll be less nervous in 5 minutes, that my fingers will work better when I relax.

PEV: Any preshow rituals before you take the stage or do you just wing it?

JA: Have a couple and pretty much wing it.  Let the preparation kick in.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

JA:  Inspiration is one of those things that you take wherever you can get it. I draw from any source I can. I have written a lot from personal experience in the past, and I still do. But nowadays I write more about moods and states of mind than about specific events. Obviously a person isn’t running around inspired all the time, and as a writer you still have to find content to write about.

So a great deal of the writing process for me is rooting around in my head to see what can be extracted. I am always listening to my mind’s ear for a melody to work with or some lyrical phrase that has a little mystery to it. My favorite songs are the ones whose meanings I myself am unsure of.

PEV: Tell us about your latest work, “Seven Stars”- what can fans expect from this work? Why this title?

JA: A bulk of the songs on “Seven Stars” are about a very intense and prolonged infatuation I had with a person I hardly knew. It disturbed me. I was really vexed by it. So without going into specifics about that, let’s just say it’s a record about a girl. Listening to it, I think the intensity of the experience really translated into the recording. It’s an honest and emotional record.

None of the first group of songs that I recorded ended up on the record. There is a lyric in one of those songs pertaining to seven stars. It was basically a meaningless lyric, but it resonated with me for some reason and I provisionally titled the project “Seven Stars.” Then over the course of the next few months the phrase kept popping up in a bunch of different contexts. When I learned that “Seven Stars” had all these mythological and astronomical associations that I hadn’t really been aware of, I came to like it as a title even more. It’s one of those “it just feels right” kind of things.

PEV: Do you ever find yourself getting writer’s block and if so, how do you get over that?

JA: Writer’s block is always hovering around. The best thing to do is not to stress too much when it catches up to you. It comes and it goes. Playing guitar while watching TV has a funny way of making something happen. It’s the fruit of not really paying attention. That’s probably the only “trick” I use to overcome writer’s block.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about John Amadon?

JA: Considering that I’m a virtual unknown, I guess everything you hear about me will surprise you.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew you wanted one day for music was going to be a career for you?

JA: I knew very early on, say 16-17 years old, that music was more to me on a personal level than a hobby. I only hope I can say it’s a career someday.

PEV: What one word best describes John Amadon?

JA: Pergola.

PEV: What do you feel to be the hardest part about being a musician?

JA: Staying positive in a sea of cynicism and indifference. Not getting too caught up in the game of it.

PEV: Is there one area you really want to play? Why?

JA: I’ve never played in Europe. I’d love to because for one thing, it’s Europe, and secondly I think they really like singer/songwriter types over there.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

JA: By and large they’re all quite supportive. My family is very proud. They think I’m big stuff. Obviously they’re very out of the loop.  I’ve never played in my hometown, and truthfully I think I would go out of my way to avoid it.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

JA: Reading, working on other writing projects, hiking on some fabulous Pacific Northwest trail, boring some friends at a bar or coffee shop.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

JA: Yeah! Charlie Maxton. He’s a superb songwriter with a golden voice. He’ll be releasing his debut record in a couple months.

 

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think you would be doing as your career?

JA: I’d very likely be bartending or working in a bookstore.

PEV: So, what is next for John Amadon?

JA: I’m about halfway through another record.  I hope to have it out next spring or early summer. It’ll be the same, yet different.  There could also be some bartending or working in a bookstore.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)