An interview with…JW Paris

DSC069002 copy
DSC069002 copy

JW Paris joined the Anara Publishing roster in September 2019. Here we chat to the band members Danny and Aaron about their creative process and their thoughts on the importance of music publishing.

Tell us about how you started making music together as JW Paris?   

Danny: We’ve been developing our love for music from birth, with Aaron (Vocals/Bass) and Danny (Vocals/Guitar) knowing each other like brothers, as our Dad’s were in the band Choke throughout the 90’s and who had a dalliance with EMI. It was hard for both of us not to be surrounded by guitar-based music, which in turn influenced everything we’ve done today.

Initially we reconnected over old rock ’n’ roll and blues music after University when we were both in Luton, just hanging out on Friday nights with guitars and whiskey made us think – let’s play loud and get out there. We played our first gig in Luton in 2016 on Christmas Eve, neither of us can really remember that show….

What is your typical songwriting process? Is it the same every time & Do you have any routines to get you in the creative frame of mind?

Danny: This is a tough one, song writing and creativity can come at any random moment in the day, however, on the flip side we have to shove both of us in a situation that forces us to focus, without distraction. For example, we saved up for a whole year to take a road trip across California, in the quest to write the next EP worth of songs. This took us to Santa Monica beach where we wrote ‘Royalty‘ (our first single in 2020), to SanFrancisco, then a house party in Bakersfield to getting lost in the Joshua Tree desert. That’s where, in the desert we started to write ‘Favourite Thing‘ and ‘That’s Why‘ (2nd single of 2020) on a beat-up old guitar we got from a second-hand store. Also, we decided to shoot a music video for our track Radio whilst out there, which features us smashing the very guitar we wrote ‘Favourite Thing’ and ‘That’s Why’ on. 

Aaron: Just to echo Danny, there doesn’t seem to be set structure to writing. Some days/ weeks, I feel we can smash out ideas/ riffs and even full songs. Some weeks , just nothing. These things can’t be forced but the ‘just throwing both of us in a room with guitars and a pen and pad’ usually gets us going.

Can you describe a pivotal moment in your career? 

Danny: For me it was the release of Favourite Thing back in December 2019, granted that seems like only 7 months ago BUT it was our first proper, real single release through Blaggers Records. The support we saw from Blaggers and everyone else really blew us away. Within a few days we were picked up on BBC 6 Music where our mates would send us videos of them hearing us on Lamacq – it was phenomenal to think our music is being played on a national station. Then we got plays all the way over in LA to New Zealand – for me that’s the most pivotal moment.

Aaron: Favourite Thing release was HUGE for me as well. As Danny said, a proper release with great traction from radio stations across the world. I would say though, to vary the answer to this question, it was also our first gig in Paris. Our first show abroad. I drunkenly organised this with our good friend Malina  at Camden Rocks Festival 2017 I believe. Low and behold 1 year later we, and our good friends Scary Lemons packed up two cars and drove to Le Truskel in Paris for a show. It was an insane turn out as well considering it was our first show abroad. The whole journey with friends was a real bucket list. Just bloody hope we can do that again!  

How important do you think publishing representation is for artists and composers?

Outside of the collection side which is obviously very important as this is a steady stream of our income, its having a partner working alongside you pushing your music through their network as well as the kudos of having serious backing/support/believers in your music.

Who would you say has been the greatest influence on your music? 

Danny: Everyone from Bowie, Iggy, Lennon to more contemporary artists like BRMC, Dandy Warhols, FIDLAR, Jack White and Gary Clark Jnr. A lot of the music we write really starts with stuff we would like to listen to and see live – we base quite a lot of our songs on experiences found in life and the eccentric people we’ve met and taken along for the ride. Looking forward, we are currently working on a bunch of new songs that we feel are taking us in a newer exciting direction. 

Do you have a favourite use of music in TV or Film? 

Aaron: I’m a filmmaker alongside the band. Ive shot a few videos for the likes of Yonaka, White Room, Skinner Brothers & Boy Kill Boy. I’m a huge fan of heavy hitting music to a fast paced edit. In terms of TV the use of music in Breaking Bad was incredible. They really linked the songs with the overall synopsis of the episode, capturing the mood perfectly, in my opinion.When it comes to film I thoroughly enjoy a song that really encapsulates a scene. Almost reminding you of “That scene” whenever you hear it. Few examples;

Apocalypse Now – The End by The Doors

Reservoir dogs – Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel

Inception – Time by Hans Zimmer

Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters/composers? 

Danny: Write music that you want to listen to, as soon as you write for someone else you’ll lose that passion, meaning and intent behind what you’re trying to say. 

Aaron:  Listen to music that f***ing moves you. Physically and emotionally. Pick up an instrument and just get to know it. You could be there for days/ weeks, stick with it. Something will hit.