Jared Putnam has been a rather busy man. In late 2014, he released Billions to critical acclaim such as that written by Greg Shaw of Nanobot Rock Reviews, “…the development of the emo/post-punk sound that has given The March Divide wings soars to new heights.” While continuing to write songs, Putnam embarked on a month-long tour which included stops in Texas and New Mexico. In February, Putnam released an EP of music entitled +1, which he vehemently proclaims are not B-sides by explaining that he did not want them to get lost in the mix of Billions.
Recently, the Great Beyond Music Blog traded emails with Putnam to get his an idea of what was happening with the band and himself.
GBMB: Let’s start with a few silly questions that will hopefully give people better insight into who Jared Putnam is.
FAVORITE CARTOON CHARACTER.
JP: Brain, from Pinky & the Brain
GBMB: FAVORITE MEAL YOUR MOM MADE:
JP: She didn’t really cook, so Mac & Cheese, I guess…
GBMB: FIRST CAR YOU OWNED:
JP: 1984 Toyota Tercel!!
GBMB: COKE OR PEPSI:
JP: Coke, for sure.
GBMB: RED OR GREEN:
GBMB: WHAT’S THE STRANGEST EXPERIENCE YOU’VE EVER HAD AT ONE OF YOUR CONCERTS?
JP: This isn’t from a show, but the coolest tour story that comes to mind, is when I was on tour with my old band, The Conversation, around ten years ago. We were out on Bourbon St., in New Orleans selling cd’s & promoting our show in town for the next day when we met Dave Brokie of GWAR! He bought a cd from us for $40 & put us on the guest list & backstage passes for their show that night. Awesome guy, it’s sad that he died.
GBMB: The lyrics on +1 run the gamut from anger to love letter. Who are you writing to? Is there a story that threads through the music? If so, tell me a little about that story.
JP: While there are a few songs written to certain individuals, most of the songs from these releases are written to myself. I stopped playing music full time in late 2005 with no intentions of ever going back to it. The common theme to a lot of these songs is reflection on why I’ve come back to it & all the ups & downs that come with that. While it’s all personal, I’d like to think that others can relate to what I’m saying in the songs. I think we’ve all been there in one way or another.
GBMB: You’ve said you were in a “GOOD PLACE” as you were writing this music. When does a writer know they are “in the zone” or is that simply left up to the music buying public?
JP: I think that’s probably different for everyone, & the music buying public definitely has the final say. What I meant by saying I was in a “good place” writing these songs, is that they were easy for me to write. I just feel like I was on a roll.
GBMB: Describe your writing process. Which comes first, music or lyrics? Do you have a special place where you often go to write?
JP: I almost always start with the music & a melody, with the lyrics hopefully following soon after. I don’t really have a special place that I go to write, I guess my couch is where I come up with most of my song ideas. I’m constantly noodling around on my guitar, until something I think is cool, comes out.
GBMB: You’ve talked about your love of emo music. In your opinion, is emo still relevant? Why or why not?
It’s certainly still relevant to me! And, I honestly don’t think it ever went away. With the access that everyone has to everything, all the time, these days, I think all music will remain relevant, as long as someone out there is seeking it out.
I didn’t set out to write an emo record, & I’m not sure that it really is, or that I ever will again. But, I’m proud that it’s perceived that way, because that whole era will always mean a lot to me.
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The opening track, “Forward Thinking” is about opportunities lost. Putnam writes, “..distracted by what could have been / or what I might have lost.” Here is a lyric video for “Forward Thinking,” which was recently premiered by Diffuser.fm.
This video is from the EP, Four, which was also released in 2014.
Finally, to whet your appetite a bit more, we bring you one more track from the +1 release. Here is “You Saved Me.”
For upcoming March Divide shows, click HERE.