Following the release of his superb new indie rock track I Want Your Love, we caught up with artist and songwriter Justin Angelo Morey, to find our more about his creative reach, solo verses collaborative work, and his plans for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hi Justin – thanks for the chat – how are you doing right about now?
I’m doing well I suppose. Taking it one day at a time.
Congrats on the new release, a great introduction to your classic style and superb song-writing and vocals. For those who don’t know – how long have you been recording and releasing original music, and what does this particular project mean for you?
Thank you kindly! I’ve always written and recorded my songs ever since I was very young. All the song ideas are inside of my head and sometimes it takes a while for them to come out. Some have been recorded properly while others were just captured by recording with boom boxes or more recently iPhone voice memos.
This particular project however has been really amazing because I’m working with close friends. Capturing the songs to analog tape also has it’s restrictions however, I find that it forces you to become even more creative in terms of execution. There’s no pro tools rig or autotune happening. It’s all very organic and what you put in is really what comes out. All throughout these sessions I’ve been reminded of my early recording experiences. For better or worse. Hahaha!
Has live performance been an important part of your journey?
Absolutely! I’ve spent many years as a touring musician with previous bands and played rooms both large, tiny and everything in between. There’s absolutely no other feeling quite like the one created when you’re playing live to an overly enthusiastic audience. The energy generated from the audience is easily absorbed by the artist. Unless of course you’re in some kind of k-hole. But otherwise, that combination can be incredibly magical.
There’s simply no comparison. But on the other talon, I’ve always loved being creative in the recording studio. I’m most happiest in that setting. Although I’ll admit it can be quite frustrating and at times defeating. But like everything in life, it’s part of the process. In the end it only makes you stronger.
What’s the live scene like where you are for this kind of classic rock (prior to Covid of course)?
There was always all sorts of musical events going on in Jersey City.
My best friend, Herb Wiley would perform an annual Halloween event called Ghost Of Uncle Joes. He always recruits me as the bass player for the band he assembles. It’s basically Christmas in October for him and my contribution doubles as his gift. Unfortunately this year he’s not participating and I’m going to have to gift wrap a bottle of wine for him instead.
Do you play with a full band, or self-record the set-up?
It actually depends on the song and the strategy behind the recording process. Some songs I’ve started out playing the drums then I’ll go down the line adding bass, guitar/etc. If a particular idea pops up that requires something else and a friend’s available for the session, I’ll try my best to explain what i have in mind and we’ll roll the tape and record.
My main objective with going “solo” was to be able to incorporate as many of my musician friends into recording the composition. I want to capture those memories to tape. It also enables me to paint with different colors and not be restricted to a “band”. For one song that will most likely become part of the follow up single, my wife Ash sings the lead vocal. I was originally going to do it but when she was working with me on the vocal phrasings, her voice just sounded so perfect. So I cut the back-up vocals instead.
Our good friend Stephanie Cupo from the band, Fascinations Grand Chorus, played the Farfisa organ on Waving Hello. We were getting close to wrapping it all up when I thought it might be nice to have some clarinet on the 3rd verse. Den mentioned that Stephanie could play soprano sax so I asked her if she would be interested in recording that part and she came the following day. That contribution takes the song to a whole other dimension. I’m super grateful for everyone’s time and help with these sessions.
What’s your main goal when releasing your music to the world – what’s an underlying ambition of yours?
I would like to provide some sort of enlightenment or at the very least temporarily take people’s minds on a journey to a better head space. Music has healing power and I’d like to be able to contribute something positive and leave behind good memories of me.
What’s next for you creatively?
My head is full of song ideas so I plan to continue writing and recording so long as they’re ready to come out. Sometimes they literally fall out and the foundation requires very little. Then there are the long list of others that I’m still working out how to make them come together. It’s a never ending challenge but I’m always up for it.
Is there anything else we should know?
My spirit animal is a Great Grey Owl.
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Grab the release via Bandcamp.