Listen to the live interview Episode #489: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax: http://tobtr.com/10100991
GETTING TO KNOW RANDY WAYNE BELT
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
I sifted through more than 300 hundred songs to discover the right ones for this album. The songs I selected surrounded the common theme of relationships.
As a songwriter I’ve written books of lyrics, it’s part of my everyday life. Any given day, you can find stacks of books filled with pages of lyrics, chords and inspirational thoughts I’ve written down. It’s like an archive but each with a story and personality waiting to be developed into something more.
The new album..
also has a lot of romantic themes, but they are done in a tasteful way without being too encroaching or overly obvious but at the same time, striking in their approach.
“Like Destiny” is one of those…
It explores seeing the face of that one person that you at least think you might want to spend eternity with, and it goes into clouds of doubts and back again. I think you can hear the convictions in the vocals, at least I hope you do. It’s an adventurous love song in a fluidly rockin way.
A lot of my songs are written in stages. Sometimes I will just get stuck and put it away until the right inspiration comes, rather than force it to be finished and have it only mediocre. This song was kind of like that. I will revisit songs and discover something that needs tweaking or fixing. And with this one it was the bridge.
And I’m glad I fixed it because for me it’s my favorite part of the song.
This leads to our whole catalogue:
The cover photo…
of the upcoming new album is a view through the trees in this gully with swinging vines that faces the Missouri river. People used to swing on them years ago. Probably dangerous but it’s someone’s memory right?
Though it is not a concept album per se, and it certainly didn’t start out that way, once all the songs were selected I noticed they have a common thread. And that thread became how the title was decided upon and I let it go where it wanted to go.
The idea of the album title “Back There Somewhere” is the concept that we are made of memories and we can all reflect back and remember so many things that we’ve experienced or been through in life. People, places, and experiences – and every moment that passes soon become a memory. Some are good, some are not so good. There is the past, the present, and the future. This album does that exploration in a uniquely musical way. We are our memories in a real sense.
For instance, some of the track titles reflect that such as a song called “Long Ago Angel”. That should be pretty self-explanatory.
“Like Destiny” (the song you are hearing) also a look to the future type song in a sense.
A song called “Waiting” …
which is explores both the present and the future and takes the song with a lyrical twist from “waiting with you” to “waiting for you” (which was originally a studio vocal accident) and the song talks about memories in a unique way of words.
It was one of my very first songs that has just been laying around waiting to be recorded for years. I almost threw it away but an old band mate pointed out the paradoxically, complexity as well as simplicity of the simple but effective lyrics, so I kept it. When I went back to it after years went by, it suddenly came alive again when I tested it out in the studio and now is a track that, for those who have heard the rough drafts of it, the reaction has been one of amazement and eager anticipation.
I don’t bring my tracks to “yes men” either but usually to critical ears. So it means a lot when I get that feedback and on this album coming up – it is overwhelmingly positive. The reaction has been, “this is your best work yet” and “you keep outdoing yourselves”. That’s a good thing. We should always be getting better at our craft!
Each song was carefully crafted and stands on its own as a powerful song. I don’t do throwaway songs. And these songs are relatable to almost everyone in some way.
The song “Waiting” (which I’m sure you will hear at AVA Live Radio when it comes out) is actually very simplistic in many ways which gives it a certain pop appeal I guess but at the same time conveys a certain philosophical approach to time and how we spend it without ever naming how. So the song itself is a memory and about memories and looking forward or backwards.
I live in the middle of nowhere in the state of Missouri …
so there is no music scene really unless you count the numerous types of frogs, crickets, owls, and other wild animals that make noise – barking frogs, cricket frogs, bull frogs, and tree frogs. They sing a killer tune at night though!
But seriously, we are closer to St. Louis and this area is a crossroads of music and our styles and the way we move around dipping into genres and blending them gives a unique advantage and our own “sound”. The sound is a bit Midwestern, but then its not.
From inception, we have never really been very local and have always had a national and global view. We have had a large amount of airplay in Europe, especially the Netherlands. And there are huge untapped music fans waiting in Asia and South America. We really love Brazil. So I think it’s like shooting for the stars and hitting the moon is ok. If you don’t have higher goals you will never achieve the lesser goals that are important too.
So from the beginning, we focused on regional and national touring. With a bandmate just having finished his degree in Chinese studies, there’s another great market open to us and we are beginning to focus there a bit. And hey, if we get to tour there (in China) at least there will be an interpreter!
The business is always changing…
and you have to be innovative and roll with the changes.
While I think FM will still be around for a long time, it no longer has the importance it once had and there are a lot of new alternatives as there is new technology. Playlists are the new radio for sure. You know it, I know it and I know some are resistant to that (especially the radio nostalgists) but it’s the reality. Accept it or get swept away by it.
It’s a great new way for artists to break through the barriers and layers. I love Spotify. And if you ask a 15 year old what station they listen to, you will get a funny look and they will say, “I use Spotify or Pandora”. So to me, embracing the new technologies is a Pro not a Con.
While it is exciting to be played on a big FM station, and I’ve been there so I know, it is going to be better to be in a top charting spot on a major streaming service. But having said that, every bit of play counts! So at the same time, don’t discount those small stations, internet radio, even AM stations. They are all important and are often your biggest allies and can become superfans.
Cons: Well, a friend of mine in music once told me long ago, “be careful because as soon as your begin to have any kind of success you will be surrounded by people trying to make a buck off of you.” And he was right. The music industry is a minefield of people trying to profit off of other aspiring musicians and artists. So that’s the big con to me. I think there are more so-called “promoters” than there are actual bands.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
5 minutes is not enough. But Jim Henson. Why not? The guy could do multiple voices and create and run muppets that entertained the whole world. I used to do voice imitations when I was little and was very good at it. I can still do a few. The guy shaped my childhood in a sense and made me laugh.
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