Room For Squares
Interviewer: The songs from Room For Squares are hook filled. They could be any number of different things. You know, they have lots of hooks, classic pop hook type material!
JM: My tendency is to only work on songs in which the hook keeps me up at night. I have a very low threshold for blandness. And that just sort of comes with being my age I think. I think the age that I’m at, a lot of people my age sort of need this super saturation of something to hold on to. Before, that classic rock thing is a little more blues oriented, a little more sort of like—I’m not a rocker, you know, I don’t rock. [imitates rocker sounds]
Like, I acknowledge that that’s the sound of the times but I gravitate more to, like, a super saturated colorburst sort of melody, and as melodic as you can possibly get. I was totally inspired by, like, Dave Matthews Band at the time. They were the only group, for me, that were completely innovating advanced concepts in hookery.
Just like eight hooks in a song. Why the hell not? I’ve got four songs I’m working on, let’s try and make it one.
RY: What would you say is the biggest obstacle you've overcome in your music? Also, what would you say has been your biggest obstacle career wise?
JM: The biggest obstacle musically is not being cheesy and not being cliche. It's always hard, especially now. Every song on Room For Squares is different from another song. I'm still struggling to find songs that are not like any other ones. I think it's kind of natural coming to terms with having a pattern. Everybody's pattern repeats at some point. I'm kind of excited by it, but at the same time I'm still holding out.
RY: What do you feel to be your biggest accomplishment thus far in your life?
JM: Room For Squares coming out on Columbia is my biggest accomplishment. It sort of feels like a transition, it's a little piece, but a big piece. I am definitely going to take an evening out when I get home to celebrate. It's something I'll give myself the freedom to do.
CM: Room For Squares does seem to have a couple of songs that could be "breakthrough" types but the album sounds more like something from a career artist.
JM: That's cool. I hope so. I think everyone around me, myself included, is hoping to shape it that way.
CM: So how did you hook up with producer John Alagia, who's also Dave Matthews producer?
JM: I met John Alagia through a girl who helped me out incredibly at ASCAP. She actually handed my CD of Inside Wants Out to him and he loved it. We started hanging out. It's just sort of a coincidence that John works with Dave Matthews.