…is a song by John Anealio on his new album.
John Anealio performs geeky anthems for writers, librarians, lovers of Sci-Fi, Best Buy customers & robots. His music sounds like John Mayer, Weezer & James Taylor playing Dungeons & Dragons together on their iPhones. You can download his music at www.johnanealio.com
I met John a year and some ago but had known of him before that. I don’t normally do interviews here but John’s new album is coming out next Tuesday, September 18, and that gives me a fine excuse to ask him some questions. So, open his site in another tab, listen to some of his music, and read our conversation.
Jonah: Do you remember what led up to you making the move away from traditional song subjects and into scifi songs?
John: I had been performing in folk venues and coffee shops for years. My songwriting was becoming more and more character focused and story driven. I’d spend a lot of time developing characters that would have to fit into a three minute pop song. The desire to write more complex characters led me to take a crack at writing fiction during National Novel Writing Month. That experience got me thinking about the relationship between novels and music. Those thoughts eventually grew into the kind of music that I’ve been making for the past 5 years.
Jonah: What was the initial reaction from your family and friends when you started going in the new direction?
Actually, they were happy to see that I combined the two things that I loved so much and finally found my niche.
Jonah: You’ve been a vocal proponent of releasing singles rather than albums. What is this album about?
John: This album is a collection of the various singles and E.P.’s that I’ve released over the past two years plus 9 bonus tracks (remixes and acoustic takes). I’m in my late 30′s and I still think in terms of albums. That form just feels right to me. However, with the world that we live in today, if you are only releasing one album every year or two, then you aren’t going to be interacting very much with your community.
I release a new single every month or so. There are several benefits to this strategy. First, it gives you a way to stay in the mind of your audience. I give my new singles away for free in exchange for the listener’s e-mail address. I ask the nice folks who are already on my mailing list to download the new song for free and to share it with their friends via Facebook, Twitter and their blogs. My mailing list has grown exponentially in the past year by doing this.
Jonah: How do you feel about CD’s vs a digital future?
John: I haven’t purchased a CD in years. I know that there is still an audience that wants to have a physical object to possess, but I think it is the minority and shrinking every day.
I’ve become a heavy user of Spotify. Having access to so much music is truly miraculous. Whether it is Spotify or a competing service, everyone will be streaming music within the next few years.
Jonah: Do you have a long-term goal that you are working towards, music wise?
John: That’s a tough question. Musically, I just follow the muse. I follow whatever idea inspires me the most. In terms of where I’d like to see myself, I’d like to continue making music for the people who dig what I do and to continue to have the opportunity to play my music for more and more people.