|ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS JiLLiAN RiSCOE
DARKLY ROMANTiCThe Kansas City-based pop rock siren JILLIAN RISCOE is on the verge of getting too big for Kansas City with the release of her electrifying debut CD ELEVEN:ELEVEN. Produced by music industry veteran DAVID PERCEFULL (DAVID COOK, PHIL MARSHAL and BOWLING FOR SOUP) ELEVEN:ELEVEN is a testament to a young singer songwriter finding both her voice and sound. Unafraid of wearing her heart on her sleeve and going for those big dramatic moments in a way that we havenít seen since BELLA DONNA-era STEVIE NICKS, RISCOE corners a soon-to-be ex-boyfriend on LIE THE TRUTH, brings romantic disillusionment down to a steady rock groove on STUCK and positively burns on ALL FALL DOWN. It was RISCOEís intention from round one to embrace a definitive sound Ė one that she has dubbed Ďdark romanticismí. ďTypically, my songs are about love.Ē says RISCOE ďOne way or another, they all end up being about heartbreak or a relationship or an ex-boyfriend. I typically write with that template in mind as a songwriter. I like to think of my music as Ďdark romanticí and that is something that I want to get across to everyone that listens to my music.Ē
JiLLiAN RiSCOE TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HER CD ELEVEN:ELEVEN
WRiTiNG ABOUT DARKER EMOTiONS
AND GETTiNG ALL DRAMATiC
iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH
ROCKWIRED spoke with JILLIAN RISCOE over the phone. Here is how it went.
I understand that recording is nothing new for you.
This is my first full-length, all-original album. Iíve got about six or seven CDís that I have recorded but this is my first full-length, all original CD where Iím really showcasing everything.
So itís almost a first time out for you despite your recording experience. Youíre first real artistic statement. Right!
Now that this artistic statement of yours is out there for people to hear, how do you feel about it?
Iím really excited! Iím really excited that people are going to get a chance to hear it. Itís a good showcase of who I am and what my musical style is. My lyrics are really personal on this record. Itís pretty much sums up who I am as an artist.
In putting this album together, what didnít you expect? Any surprises?
I donít think that there were any surprises. If anything, I was surprised by how well I worked with DAVE Ė the producer Ė and how much fun it was to write and put it all together. I donít think that there were any big surprises because I have been doing this for a while with the only difference being that I was doing all original material this time. Iíve been writing since I was eleven so I donít think that there were any crazy surprises of any sort.
Talk about working with the producer
DAVE PERCEFULL is a producer that has been working in the industry for many, many years with people like DAVID COOK and PHIL MARSHALL. He is really laid back and very creative and talented. He was very easy to vibe with and work with. He and I got along really well. When you are working on a record, I think it is very important to click with the people that you are working with.
Do you think you would ever use him again? Yeah, I would love to!
Talk about how music began for you.
Iíve been singing since I was about three and my Grandma noticed it before my parents did. She said something to my mom about it. ďI think youíre daughter has something!Ē My Grandma was a pianist and actually made a record during World War II. Her dad Ė my great-grandfather Ė was a fiddle player. Music in my family comes from that line. She felt that there was something there and then I just started performing around the time I was six or seven and it just continued on from there. I started recording when I was ten and have been writing since I was eleven.
You seem to have a lot of family support behind you. Describe that kind of support.
They are supportive! If you are doing something that you love I think any family should try to be behind it even if it is a crazy business like the one I chose. I believe if you are good at something and you have a talent and passion for it and you work hard at it, I think that anyone should be behind it. That is something that canít be denied.
Growing up, what artists spoke to you?
As a child growing up during the height of teen pop, I listened to things like N SYNC and BRITNEY SPEARS but when I was younger, my mom would listen to things like BONNIE TYLER and people like that. Now, I listen to a variety of things. I actually took my momís record collection which is an amazing stash of sixties music which is my absolute favorite era of music. I listen to everything so I donít think that there was just one artist that spoke to me but I do know that CHRISTINA AGUILERAís ĎSTRIPPEDí record helped me to realize that I could write too. She is this huge pop singer who is now doing her own thing and writing her own music and that influenced me greatly as an artist.
What kind of place are you coming from as a songwriter?
Typically, my songs are about love. One way or another, they all end up being about heartbreak or a relationship or an ex-boyfriend. I typically write with that template in mind as a songwriter. I like to think of my music as Ďdark romanticí and that is something that I want to get across to everyone that listens to my music. If you ever listened to any thing by SAVAGE GARDEN Ė and I hope that people have because they were so popular in the late-nineties. You listen to their music and it is absolutely Ďdark romanticí. Everything they said in their music is so expressive and charming and dramatic. Those things just collide in their music.
How do you think you would mount those elements in a rock n roll performance?
For one thing, it would be very, very dramatic. There would be a lot of imagery and colors Ė deep colors like purples and black and blues and grays. I never thought of this before. I love having string sections in my songs and I love minor keys. I tend to write in minor keys because itís my favorite key to write in. They are just so dramatic.
How does a song come together for you? How does that happen?
Ninety-five percent of the time, my songs come from personal experience. When it happens, I will find a will and a way to get to some form of writing utensil, but thankfully Ėdue to technology Ė I can write it down on my phone. I have a whole mess of lyrics saved on my phone. When Iím out and not in the house and when inspiration strikes, I can just start texting ideas to myself. If Iím in the house, I will run to my notebook and write it down. I try to get it out as soon as possible when Iím in the moment, otherwise itís really hard to go back and try to remember the source of the inspiration. Five percent of the time, I will write songs because I think a word sounds cool and I go ĎIím going to write a song about this!í Iíll start a song with just a title and start working from their. Itís usually lyrics first and the music gets added later, but Iíve just recently picked up the guitar and Iíve started writing with that as well.
What songs off of the CD stand out for you the most and why?
I really enjoy RUN HEART RUN because all of the musical aspects of that song are cool and it has a really strong guitar riff. A few of the riffs from the album I brought to DAVE PERCEFULL and said I wanted this riff in this song or that riff in that song. Itís got a cool electronic rock vibe which is awesome. Itís got a cool theme of being afraid to fall in love because you have been hurt so many times in past relationships. I also really enjoy the song LIE THE TRUTH because itís a really dramatic song and it is a song about acknowledging that a guy is never going to tell me the truth because the truth hurts too much. Itís obviously an ironic song with an ironic title. I kind of want him to lie the truth to me.
Any plans for a tour at all?
Yes. Iím actually on the hunt for a band, so Iím getting a band together. Once that happens, we are going to start rehearsing everything and start bookings. We want to do some Spring and Summer dates in 2010.
What would you like someone to come away with after theyíve heard this album?
After theyíve heard this album, I hope that they have a positive reaction to it and that they enjoyed the music and the lyrics and the creative aspect of the whole thing. While itís not a concept album, I would hope that they would see how each song works together and compliments the other while standing alone at the same time. Iíd like for people to have a connection with it Ė as clichťd as that sounds. Most artists want you to come away with some sort of connection to their work and Iím no different.