West Australian, Jason Ayres, releases his brand new EP titled ‘Got My Heart’ on April 1 and is set for a series of launch dates in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Having released a string of EP’s since he began in 2007, Jason’s forthcoming EP titled ‘Got My Heart’ delivers a unique brand of alternative country. It is a new style of music that he’s dabbled in for this release but insists that he maintains his grass roots.
“It’s the first time I’ve got the full band back together after seven years of being a solo acoustic artist,” says Ayres. “I’m finally feeling free enough to write what my heart feels and this time it feels alternative country”.
Having performed to sold out crowds in iconic music venues around the country, his intimate live show and eloquent stage presence have earned him spots supporting international chart toppers like Anastacia, Rick Astley, Hot Chocolate, Manhattan Transfer, Dionne Warwick, Blood Sweat & Tears, Leo Sayer, Steve Poltz, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap and Midge Ure (Ultravox), as well as Australian icons like Russell Morris, The Whitlams, Thirsty Merc, Kasey Chambers, James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite, Mark Seymour, Jon Stevens, Ian Moss, Adam Harvey, Tex Perkins, Eurogliders, Black Sorrows, Mental As Anything, 1927, Pseudo Echo, James Cruikshank (The Cruel Sea), Wendy Matthews and many more.
Jason Ayres is hitting the road in April to launch ‘Got My Heart’ playing headlining shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart and hometown Perth.
Hi Jason, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions.
I can see by your Facebook you are just a little excited to hold your albums in your hands. Can you explain how you were feeling when you ripped over that box?
Holding a hardcopy product in my hands after months of working on it – brings a feeling of joy, excitement, pride and a whole lot of “what the heck am I going to do with thousands of these things now.”
So, it re-ignites the passion to promote and get the new music out there and into people’s hands and hearts.
This EP is classified alternative country and this is not your normal genre. So, your heart at the moment is in a different place?
There was a time early on where I believed that I needed to structure my songs in a certain way, and retain a certain amount of “pop” to gain exposure and momentum in the industry. My last record “River You Cry” saw me step out of that mould completely, trying to find my feet with a country flavour. And the latest record “Got My Heart” is me feeling free enough to create a product that my heart wants to create. Musically, I’m feeling liberated and fresh and I think my heart will always be in different places with new records.
You wrote this EP after a relationship breakdown and while on tour, did you feel that it was therapeutic for you?
At the time I had no idea that I was creating the next record or even doing anything personally beneficial. I made the choice while on tour to avoid the late nights and post show booze ups and replaced it with inner reflections and music in the hotel rooms as a way of avoiding social interactions while dealing with my demons. In hindsight, it was the best form of therapy as I rediscovered myself.
Ah why did you choose April Fools Day as your release date? Love it!
I never want to take myself too seriously. Life is about fun and learning while you’re on the journey. So, I thought I’d poke a bit of fun… Here’s a little secret for you – the release date was announced on Friday the 13th of January. I’ve tempted fate, so let’s see what happens.
Ha! You have indeed!
You have some sweet presale items, can you tell us what people can get when they pre order
Every pre-sale record is shipping out with personal notes, custom made guitar picks and a big fat autograph on the front. There are also crazily discounted CD bundles when you order online via jasonayres.com
How did your collection of guitars? Do you just love them all and can’t part from them? Do you play all of them? I am a little jealous!
The passion for vintage guitars started who I borrowed a friends vintage 1960’s Gibson Hummingbird. It was then that I discovered that these old beaten up guitars hold a tone and feeling like no other. So, I started by buying one, and then another and another… They all have their own sound and personality. One of my favourites is called “Bubbles”. I bought it from a guy in the UK who accidentally wrapped the actual guitar in bubblewrap. During the trip, the bubble wrap moulded into the guitar, and to this day still has an imprint of bubbles all over it. I try to play all of them, but there are certainly favourites.
That is awesome! I want to try that with bubble wrap on my bass.
You have supported so many artists there is too many to type! Is there one band in particular that was special to you?
Oh gosh – there are so many that have been special to me. Though my tour with Anastacia was perhaps the most mind blowing as I’ve always been fan of her voice and music. So, having the opportunity to travel the country and watch her night after night was simply a career highlight for me.
I know that you love dogs, I do too. Can you tell us about your dog that gets featured on Facebook lots?
His name is Reuben. I call him Ruby, and he’s a three year Cavalier crossed with poodle , and his face is covered in freckles. He’s grown up in the studio with me, so the minute I pick up my guitar, he knows it’s time to settle in and sleep. No matter what time of day it is, If I’m playing music, he’s next to me having a nap. He’s also got his own instagram following (RubytheCav123)
My Lab, Max used to have facebook when he was young and cute, now he is older he is not bothered with such frivolities! Now onto your actual songs on your EP. My fav is ‘Note you wrote’ or ‘Got My heart’ depending on what mood I am in. I know this is like picking a fav child but is there one song on the EP is your fav? And explain why?
This answer is likely to change as time goes on, but at the moment “Got My Heart” is one of those songs that I allowed myself to experiment with, and I feel like it paid off. I learned how to play Ukulele so that I could record it on the song, and spent time developing slide guitar ideas that were bouncing around in my head. The song also came from such a pure place, all about telling someone that they’ve got your heart, and you’re happy to wait. You’re OK with that. Loving you from afar is enough.
Can you take us through each song and give us a little insight?
Got My Heart – it’s an upbeat tune about loving someone you may not be able to have. But letting them know they’ve got your heart for now.
Baby Baby – this explores the time when you know the time is right to leave a relationship or person, but perhaps you’re making sure they know it’s for the right reasons.
Note You Wrote – totally one of my favourites as it’s close to home. About finally being free from your troubles heart and being able to let go. Maybe with a little help from whiskey.
My Dear – is about exploring how time stands still with certain people. It’s also a song that took ages to find the right electric guitar sound. But I’m pretty sure its nailed.
Make Love Real – until you actually experience it, love is a fairytale. All the craziness is never understood, until you ovately meet someone who does this to you. It’s about finding that someone.
Thanks. You must be stoked to opening up for “BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS” at the Astor Theatre in Perth on March the 15th. Is there something extra sweet about playing in your home state?
One of my favourites is the audience is always very receptive and happy to have a local boy on a big stage. Something else that is amazing – is that after a massive show, you can go home and sleep in your own bed. No hotels, or buses or taxi’s. Definitely something I appreciate while I’m at home.
What is next for you in 2017? It seems like you have a busy time ahead!
2017 is shaping up to be massive year already, with a number of tours and supports up ahead. But my main goal is to get back into the writers chair, and create a new album to launch and tour in the back end of 2017. I want to burn the creativity candle at both ends and see what I can come up with.
Thanks for your time! I wish you well for 2017.
More info on Jason
An avid collector of vintage guitars having almost thirty in his collection, Jason recorded the EP in its entirety using a slather of vintage Gibson acoustic guitars that were built back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. He also wrote the EP in pieces whilst travelling the country on his last tour as he dealt with the breakdown of a long-term relationship, the result capturing his intense feelings and inevitably finding a fresh start to his life.
“It’s a record about breaking the pieces only to put them back together again. Albeit stronger, better and more uniform,” says Jason. “I came out of a ten-year relationship that was damaged and irreparable just twelve weeks before the wedding date. I hit the road with my guitar and made music for a while. With space from the chaos, and the damage dissipating in the rear view, I was able to dust myself off and focus on the future. Little did I know that the future held a new love.”
The South African born singer moved to Australia at age seventeen calling Perth his new home. It was this move that enriched his passion for music and encouraged him to first pick up a guitar.
“I arrived in a fresh country filled with strange accents, new words and zero friends. I stuck my nose into a local guitar shop I fell in love with a black acoustic guitar, and I was besotted with the instrument from that moment on.”
Jason cites Bob Dylan as one of his biggest influences: “with nothing more than a guitar and a voice, he was able to capture my imagination and made me rethink what music was and where it came from.”
With a strong focus on his music, Jason gained the support of Perth’s mainstream radio receiving airplay on the likes of 96fm and Mix 94.5 and ABC Radio. That, and his constant drive to perform live at every chance, Jason has grown a loyal following and garnered a reputation as one of Western Australia’s “hardest working solo performers” (Menu Magazine).