Well, I’ve been doing this blogging thing for more than a year now, and the difference between online friends and IRL friends no longer exists. The number of amazing people I have met in the indie music world that I am lucky enough to now call friends is uncanny. I wanted to show my appreciation for all of the awesome blogger/music writer folks that have helped me realize it’s ok to obsess over music 24/7 and made me feel like I’m a part of something bigger.
So welcome to the third installment of my bi-monthly series on GITNB. It’s my way of saying thanks to those folks mentioned above, and a chance to give back to the community that I love so much. This was also an opportunity for me to give you, the reader, some insight into the blogs that have influenced me. Consider it my own personal take on #FF (Follow Fridays). The series will consist of a five question interview with a different blogger/writer each time, along with a few word associations and of course, a list of what you should be listening to. Hopefully you’ll discover a new blog or artist you haven’t heard of yet. You might even learn something new.
Jimmy Morris of Head Underwater taught me how to be a real fan. I somehow missed meeting Jimmy at SXSW 2011, but shortly after we became friends and from day one, we realized we both loved debating, discussing and naming our musical favorites 24/7. We also love sharing music with people that appreciate it. Since meeting Jimmy he has been championing the bands he loves regardless if they put out a record last week, or two years ago. He’s what I have come to realize music blogging is all about. Support the bands you love. Go to their shows, buy their records, write them, get to know them, and keep supporting them.
Jimmy has become a close friend of mine, and we have some great chats about indie music on a weekly basis. That’s a side of Jimmy and Head Underwater that not many people get to see. I hope through this interview I am able to convey Jimmy’s passion for artists making music because they love it. I am really excited to get to share some of those moments with you here. Thanks for showing me what it means to be a real fan and to never stop supporting the music I love.
Read who Head Underwater says you should be listening to and the interview after the jump!
1. So welcome back from blog retirement Jimmy! Haha. I want to jump right into things and talk about the fact that you decided to one day stop blogging. I guess I want to know what the breaking point was, when you said “fuck it, I don’t want to do this anymore”?
Well it wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to do it anymore, it was more that I needed to step away from it. A feeling like I was stressing out about finding the newest thing and finding ya know whatever else is out there that someone else hasn’t listened to, and I was just like, “This is ridiculous. What do I care if somebody else has written about this?”
Because there are people that might not read my blog, that read it elsewhere, and vice versa. So if someone finds something on my site that they haven’t heard before, then great. And as you have said before, you can’t read the whole internet.
Also, so many blogs have A LOT of content. People are so ADD, I don’t if know they are spending hours on one blog. I mean even with Pitchfork, you’re going to miss things.
Also a lot of blogs are very niche.
Right, so you’re going to want to read a variety of blogs. It’s also pretty cool that you can be really into a scene that is on the other side of the globe.
Exactly! That’s what’s so great about this whole scene. Take Awesome Tapes From Africa! It’s these random tapes that are just sitting around in Africa, that these peoples’ friends are just sending over, and they are being blogged about.
Thanks to the internet I have discovered genres like Afrobeat, and since have bought all these compilations from these guys who go to Nigeria and Ghana and find these old records and make amazing compilations out of them.
2. We bonded over nerding out over music, because we really love talking about it. Head Underwater has been one of my favorite blogs, long before we were friends, and I don’t think you have ever told me how you got your start as a music blogger.
I’ve always been into music that wasn’t quite “popular” if you will. I’ve always had a sense for finding music that was really good, but for whatever reason, people weren’t really listening to.
It’s funny because in college I swam, and I was such a swim nerd, hence the name “Head Underwater.” I thought about doing a swimming blog first, and then I was like, “This is stupid.” One, nobody is going to want to read it, (not that is mattered). And two, I’m not that opinionated about swimming stuff. I just like nerding out and looking at stats and stuff.
So in 2008, I had all this extra time because I was sick and bed ridden on all these meds for like a year. I just started trolling the internet, and I could only bookmark so much, so I started a Tumblr as a way to kinda remind myself of what I was into.
There weren’t that many Tumblrs in 2008, let alone music Tumblrs.
Yeah I got really lucky. I did a custom theme and learned what Tumblr did. Somehow they found it. And when you would go to their homepage, they would feature designs, and they put mine on there. Then that started driving people to my page.
Nice. So thank you Tumblr. Haha. I mean not to mention, you have a really great design, and your site looks awesome. I know you just did Prtls site, which came out great as well, so clearly you are good at your craft.
3. What food/dish best describes Head Underwater and why?
A breakfast casserole. It’s the best meal of the day, and it’s like a myriad of stuff. You’ve got some bacon, you’ve got some eggs, you’ve got some cheese. Got a little mix of everything. Because I don’t think I have a very niche sound. I’ll put jazz up there, I’ll put a beatmaker, garage, pop, psychadelic.
4. You have over 25,000 followers on Tumblr. How have you managed to stay afloat? Get it?
Haha. Good one! Yeah, I don’t know. It kind of freaks me out to be honest. I’m like why are more people following me than the population of countries? It’s so crazy. I had no intention of this many people reading it. But at the end of the day, the percentage of interaction is minuscule. I’d take 5,000 of that 25,000 that are into it everyday. I’d much rather have a small group that are excited about my blog, than 25,000 that read it in passing.
I’d have to agree. It’s still pretty awesome.
It’s just wild to think about.
5. What artists should I be listening to right now?
Lands and Peoples and Secret Mountains, who I have become friends with. They both are amazing. I don’t think Secret Mountains is capable of writing a song under five minutes, and that’s why I love them.
Wisdom Tooth, which is John Andrews. He’s actually the drummer for Quilt. It’s like a quirky, indie folk sound. It’s not too Nick Drake folky, it’s just good.
Vinyl Wiliams. He makes this like garage psychadelic stuff. It’s like a pop psychadelic, then there’s this garage, it’s pretty thick.
Also my boy, Jordan Lee, from Mutual Benefit. He and Andrew make good little pop songs. Actually I don’t know how you would classify them, maybe pop songs, I don’t know they’re good.
Yeah I feel like every record they do is very different.
Yes. It’s like they evolve from one album to the next. It’ just them.
Chrome Sparks. I couldn’t be more amazed with that guy. How he transposed everything from electronic into a full band is just amazing to me.
I love that he incorporated Steffaloo into the band too.
Yes. She is like the Lil’ Wayne of the chillwave scene. Everybody wants her on their track.
Also check out Spectrals. They’ve got this British Real Estate thing going on. This lazy, surf pop music vibe. I think you will really like them. I think they are on a huge tour with Cults.
Then I’ve gotta go with your boys Abadabad. I mean that whole group writes so many good tunes. They’ve got like a hundred side projects. I don’t know how they do it.
Last one is Hundred Waters, who I just discovered. I think I saw it on IGIF. They have this song that is super catchy. Just listen.
6. Most underrated artist right now?
Levek. He’s been kind of dormant. I always forget about him, and when he comes on on shuffle, I get so elated. I think they are going on tour with Hundred Waters actually, because they are both Florida bands.
I still remember when he first sent me his music. His description said, “I’m a school bus driver and I’m influenced by Disney music.” And I thought, “Alright, that’s kinda weird.” And then I listened to his music, the single “Heave Ho!” and I was like “Wow. That is spot on about the Disney reference.” Some of the harmonics have got that Halloween Disney Special sound to it.
Levek is probably one of the more underrated bands that I wish would just start doing more stuff on the regular, and write new albums.
Finish This Sentence
More people should… see live music.
The song that always get stuck in my head is… the last thing I heard before I went to bed. Even if it was a stupid commercial.
The last show I went to was… Flock of Dimes, Other Colors, Violet Hour and Soft House
Indie Music. In two sentences or less, tell me why I should care about it.
Can they be run-on sentences?
Absolutely. It’s the only way I know how to write. Haha.
Because there is more stuff out there than what’s on the radio. That’s better than what’s on the radio.
Nice. It’s true. Love it. Just because it’s not on the radio doesn’t mean it’s not good.
I just appreciate people trying to do it. A lot of the stuff on the radio, it’s not for me.
We shouldn’t let the radio dictate what is for us.
So to wrap up, did I miss anything, or any closing words?
It’s pretty crazy and flattering that you wanted to interview me considering you have a whole myriad of way cooler people who you can interview.
Blaaaaaahhhhhh. You know you’re the coolest Jimmy Jamz!
Head Underwater says you should be listening to:
Lands and Peoples
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Read previous “Get To Know Your Neighbor” interviews below:
Ears of the Beholder