“Music has always been a part my life,” said Jett Pace of Old Man Canyon. “In elementary school, every student had to choose a stringed instrument in grade 4. I chose the cello and played that until high school, so I think that probably set a lot of the foundation for my desire to keep creating music. But I’ve also just always loved to sing and create melody so it’s hard to say what drew me to it.”
His orchestral sensibilities can be heard on recent EP Phantoms & Friends. With lush harmonies and lyrics that are wise beyond his years, Pace effortlessly endears his listeners to his sound and the message therein.
Old Man Canyon will play tonight at the Beachland Tavern with local cinematic pop act The Modern Electric and international trio Baskery. He clued us in on how expanding his outfit to a full band impacts his process as well as his opinions on streaming music and the vinyl resurgence.
How long have you been playing?
I’d say most of my life. I’ve always been involved with music in some sort since I can remember. So I guess 22 years probably.
How did you meet the other members of your band?
It wasn’t until after I had recorded the Phantoms and Friends EP, that I really started trying to form the band. It’s taken a lot of time and will probably still take more time to really find the right people, but I’m happy with who’s in it right now and what they’re bringing to the sound. We all met through friends in some sort of way. It’s very random how you find people sometimes.
What inspires your writing lyrically?
Everything inspires me, I write about the things I feel most need to be brought to light, both in myself and perhaps in the person listening. I try to learn about myself and the world while writing and hopefully come to greater understandings on why I’m creating songs and what it is they need to become so that the world can hear them and learn as well.
Is the writing process a collaborative effort?
Up until this point I have been the only person bringing the material. I would like it to be a more collaborative experience but it’s hard when a band forms in the way this one has. If it begins from one person, it’s hard for it to become something that multiple people can interact with. I’m working on it, though.
What would you be doing if you hadn’t found music?
I’m not really sure. It would probably be creating art of some sort. I do a lot of drawing and painting, so maybe that?
Do you have the conflict of maintaining a day job and being a touring musician?
Fortunately things have gotten to a point where I have been able to not have a “day job” which is nice and allows for much more time to be filtered into writing and creating.
What is one of the best life lessons you have learned from touring?
Give yourself time alone. It can get very hectic when you’re touring and it’s easy to lose focus on what it is you’re trying to bring at shows, so I think it’s very important to distance yourself from the others and re-group with the inner self.
How do you think the use of streaming platforms has affected music today?
I think it has allowed for a lot of amazing things to happen. It’s given the world the ability to share music instantly with a lot of people, where as it used to take years of touring to gain those people’s interest, so I like that part of it, but with the ease of people making and sharing music it has also created a detachment from creating real art and real artists. People no longer have to really search and hone their craft to the point I’d like to see. But what can ya do?
What are your thoughts on the vinyl resurgence?
I think vinyl is awesome and I love that it’s become something of interest again. It’s because of its raw authentic tone—which is something that has been lost in the digital age. People want to feel the music again and that’s what vinyl does best.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a creative career path?
If it’s something you’re called to take part in, find your truth and your vision. When those things are in line, nothing will stop you. The world wants truth and will assist anyone that dives into bringing it through their art. Don’t have fear in your actions. Trust, and your dreams will become real.
Catch the band tonight in Cleveland at Beachland Tavern for only $10! The show is All Ages, and starts at 8:30pm (doors at 7:30pm). Tickets are available here (but they’re going fast!)