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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Artist Of The Week – Jim Wolf
Monday, January 29, 2007

Setbacks. They happen to everyone, but Fairfield, Connecticut’s Jim Wolf had one few artists can relate to, he lost almost his entire first album, No Sleep What-So-Ever, due to a tree branch. “It fell on the main line to the power supply of the studio,” he remembers, “and no surge protector or back up supply could save the hard drive from being fried.” The silver lining for him is that he feels re-recording the album helped make him a better artist. Fast-forward to today, Wolf is readying the release of his second album, The Stars Never Lie, and this time no tree limbs have been involved in the recording process. Wolf sat down with me this week to discuss what has been involved, which includes a lot of growth, a lot of inspiration, and finding a few ways to deal with the constant comparisons to longtime friend John Mayer.

Adam Bernard: The new album, The Stars Never Lie, is due out January 30th. What are some of the differences this time around from your previous effort, No Sleep What-So-Ever?
Jim Wolf: I didn’t try so hard and got so much more in The Stars Never Lie than my previous release. I didn’t over do it, it’s acoustic. The writing and meaning haven’t been cut at all. It’s much more mature and has much more depth to it. It’s quite a bit darker, talks about everything from love and fate to societies obsession with it’s newest and largest growing religion, celebrity worship. Overall it’s more intimate, it takes you back to the singer/songwriter era, very personal, and very non-cookie cutter. The cover has a very (David) Bowie-esque attitude. We used Lite-Brite around the edge to give a nostalgic childhood feel to it, as if we were spelling our own name in the marquee lights when we were young. Let’s see if some one tries to steal my cover art this time.

Adam Bernard: I’m sure there was a lot of personal growth in-between albums. What are some of the events that helped shape this record?
Jim Wolf: Break ups… what did you expect me to say? I originally wanted to have three albums, almost like George Lucas films, such as Indiana Jones. Part One: Finding and trying to get the girl. Part Two: Being with the girl and keeping her. Part Three: Losing her and trying to get her back. Then I realized there’s more that I’m writing about, more heartfelt, but also strong society related, stuff. Those songs are for album four if it comes to it, like the way that they’re adding a fourth Indiana Jones movie to the trilogy.

Adam Bernard: Inspiration is a tricky thing. What settings or environments most inspire you? Basically, when and where do you feel you get your best ideas, and why?
Jim Wolf: Four in the morning is usually when I write my best stuff. In most cases, I am still awake lingering on an emotion I can’t explain. I definitely write best when there is a conflict in my life, usually relationship related. I think it’s because I am a songwriter and I when I date and it gets serious it’s always the same problem, they like you at first because you are a songwriter and then they can’t be with you when they realize “oh my God, some of these songs really are about other real girls.” They start making complaints to me like “I will always be second to your music” which is an unfair thing to say. So I get stuck running around in circles that always come to the same end result, me sitting with my guitar contemplating what really happened. I do believe environment also has a great deal to do with songwriting. Like we have the changing of the seasons here in the northeastern part of the country, I know this affects us. We get cold and lonely and this can seriously depress those who are alone. I figure Jack Johnson writes mostly upbeat happy music because he is in the sun surfing on the beach all day. I can see why he is such an upbeat artist. Lately my songs have been about the struggle between lost loves, social pressure, and trying to adapt to change. I tend to write better songs in the aftermath than I do while trying to get the girl.

Adam Bernard: You’re going to be doing a small US tour this February. What are your goals for the tour and what are you hoping to experience during that time?
Jim Wolf: Promoting The Stars Never Lie is the key objective. I have the shows and now it’s time to do it the old fashion way, playing my tail off and showing people I can perform. Getting the name out is the most important thing, well next to the music. I also hope to network and experience things and places I have never seen.

Adam Bernard: Finally, being from Fairfield, CT, and being a singer / songwriter who plays the guitar, the inevitable John Mayer comparisons will come up. What makes you different from Mayer?
Jim Wolf: Ever since I first played in front of an audience I have gotten these comparisons, they are the most flattering thing I can get. I am a guy with an acoustic guitar, there are only so many ways you can dance with the thing, but if you could see John Mayer play guitar up close, you will never make that comparison to me or want to attempt picking up a guitar yourself ever again, he’s that good. I am in John’s acoustic genre, which he re-designed. Due to the foul taste left in self-made musicians’ mouths by corporate pushed music such as American Idol there will be more and more singer/songwriters every year pushing through the door that pioneers like John Mayer opened. He's also in the blues genre, I am not, although I like it. I bought my first guitar with him and my brother, it was a Fender Stratocaster, back when I was 16. I’m sad to say one of my old friends pawned it for drugs.

You can check out Jim Wolf this February in a city near you. For his complete tour itinerary head on over to jimwolf.com or myspace.com/jimwolfmusic.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:05 AM  
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