10 Questions with ... Jerad Finck
October 17, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
The Spokane singer-songwriter, Jerad Finck recently released his new single, "Criminal (Stripped)" produced by David Hodges (Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry, Avril Lavigne, Christina Perri) through Kobalt Music.
In 2011, Finck released the powerful and provocative anthem, "Runaway" a song about not giving up on your dreams, no matter how hard things get, and dealing with his issues head on instead of trying to escape them. "Runaway" was the #1 independent song in the country, peaking at #3 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, #42 in Hot AC and #25 on the Hot AC Indicator Chart. While inspiring popular remixes by Ajax and DJ Lynnwod (that appeared on later editions of Jerad's Anthony Resta produced EP "Stuck In Your Riddle") the song was used by the NBA and NHL as the backdrop to videos created for each league's finals that celebrated wins by the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Bruins.
Since releasing his self-titled, Jerad's been on the road opening for and/or touring with Daughtry, Christina Perri, Edwin McCain, DADA, Vertical Horizon, Parachute, One EskimO, Ingrid Michaelson, Matt Hires, Red Wanting Blue, Ron Pope, Cracker, Ingram Hill, Tony Lucca and many others.
The singer's special performances include Live In The Vineyard, Hotel Carolina, SXSW, Indie Week Toronto, The Rock Boat XII, and Balcony TV. Jerad has also been featured in over fifty newspapers and magazines; including CMJ, Skope, American Songwriter, Amplifier and Acoustic Magazine. He and his band have performed on performed on dozens of morning TV shows on NBC, CBS, ABC & FOX, and his songs have been featured in films and TV shows on HBO, ESPN, Discovery, CBS & NBC, among others.
Learn more about Jerad in the following All Access interview:
1. Now that we are more than half-way through 2016, what are some words you would use to describe the year? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you and your music?
2016 has been the year of renewal and emergence. I spent the most of 2015 recording and preparing to launch all of this material, and now it is finally here. It is a bittersweet moment as I have been working on it for so long, with the most talented people I've ever had the chance to work with, and releasing it is quite the emotional process. Ha! Ha! But it is very exciting to finally get it out there.
2. Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I honestly can't remember a time when I wasn't playing music. I remember fingering melodies on the piano that I would hear on TV at my grandmother's house as my earliest memories. I think it all changed though when my grandfather brought down their old trumpet that they had in their attic. I took it and became obsessed with it, which led to many years of playing and jazz that I followed through until college. Then I found my first rock band, I started as the drummer actually (which I was garbage at) which eventually evolved into writing and singing.
3. How do you think you have grown as a musician through the years? What has stayed the same since you started?
I like to think that I constantly am evolving as I challenge myself to always do better. Music is such a living entity that when the artist becomes stagnant, so does their craft. For me, I know I can always do something better, something that connects deeper, and that drive of personal exploration is the coolest part for me.
What has stayed the same I think is my love and appreciation for the craft of songwriting. I am constantly blown away by the creativity of people, especially when you hear something new or novel, and it just connects immediately. The ability to connect to another human in such a deep way has always been fascinating to me.
4. Please tell us about your tour with Parachute and Jon McLaughlin this summer?
The tour with Parachute and Jon McLaughlin has been an amazing experience. Both bands, crew, and fans are such a special group of people. Both Parachute and Jon have very loyal fans, and they accepted me with open arms and embraced me in an immediate and amazing way. The talent level of Parachute and Jon is remarkable, and really telling to their dedication to delivering a unique experience for their fans, and that is a passion I share as well. We all felt it was something special together on the road.
5. What do you think makes the perfect show for you?
The perfect show for me is one where I feel that connection. When the fans wait after to tell me their stories, and how they related to a song, or how it impacted them in a positive way. That is what makes it all worth it. Those little moments.
6. What is the inspiration for your newest single, "Criminal" Please tell us how it all came together?
"Criminal (Stripped)" is a song that I had the honor or writing with David Hodges and Steven Solomon. They both are two of the most talented people I've ever had the chance to work with, and am honored to call them friends. We wrote the song, and did this huge fantastic production that we are all very proud of.
The idea for "Stripped" came because we are all songwriters at heart, and there is something special about stripping a song down to its core, its soul if you will. This song is very special to all of us, and we wanted to let people hear it how we wrote it, three guys, in a room playing instruments, sipping on drinks, and enjoying the craft of creation.
7. Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music?
My absolutely favorite is The Beatles. I know that's such a generic response, but its only generic because they were so great and have impacted so many people. I truly am a fanatic, and am constantly listening and learning from their structure and creativity. As to my favorite current-ish bands, I love One Republic, The Killers, GreenDay, The Gin Blossoms, The Script and Tom Petty just to name a few.
8. Who would you love to work with in the future?
If I could work with any one person today, I would love to write with Ryan Tedder. I think he's brilliant.
9. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I spent a lot of my early career as a social worker and case manager before I made the switch to full time musician, and that deep empathy is just a core part of who I am, and a main ingredient in everything I do. I hope people can get that after diving into my world, because it's very much who I am, and what I strive to be.
10. At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
My one message that I think is a consistent thread through it all, is that it can always get better. No matter how low, or how bad it gets, there is always hope, always a ray of light to chase, always a way to move on. I think that comes through.
*Special thanks to Leah Adams who conducted this interview.