We got the chance to chat with singer-songwriter David Rosales about his recently released album Along The Way, staying motivated on the road, and the challenges and rewards of working on an album on his own. You can pick up Along The Way now and check out a new music video for David's track "Too Young To Know Better" below!
First off, for anyone who hasn't listened to you yet, how would you describe your new EP, Along The Way?
It's a good mix of American roots music with a California vibe.
Did you have any goals in mind when you started writing/recording this album? Any sort of message that you wanted to convey or feelings that you wanted to evoke?
I wanted this album to be represent freedom from self-imposed writing restraints I had previously set. I wanted to write freely without any rules or specific genre labels. I wanted the listener to get a good sense of me over the course of the album.
Do you have a set way that you choose to write your music, or is it more of a natural process?
It's a very natural process. I'm a believer in trusting the process too. I don't try to fit square pegs into round holes. If it flows, it's coming from a good place that I trust.
The thing I really love about Along The Way is the fact that every song is unique. I find with some solo acts, a lot of songs start blending into one another or sounding the same, but that definitely doesn't happen with this album. Every song is its own unique journey. Was that something you set out to do, or was it something that just sort of happened?
Thank you, that's very sweet of you to say. I'm glad you liked that aspect of it. To answer your question, It was a bit of both. I knew I wanted to write without restriction. Whether that was going to be a whole album of jazz, I had no idea. I wrote and I wrote. What came out was natural and each song happened to be a little different from each other. I was attribute that to being honest with myself during the writing and courting of ideas. I'm just like anyone else... some days I'm up and some days I'm down. I've always appreciated artists that have diverse albums. It keeps things interesting and moving forward.
Do you think it's harder or easier writing a solo album, when you don't have an entire band to bounce ideas off of when working on a new song? Did you find yourself going to friends or other musicians for advice when working on Along The Way?
You know, the writing is easy. It's being in the studio and recording that's a little daunting. It's also very exciting. Making decisions on the instruments that you don't play naturally. For instance, I am not a drummer by any means, I mean, I hear beats and vibes, but that's it. So when I go into the studio and the song is a blank canvas, I'll direct by saying "this has a laid back groove" or "like a train coming down the tracks." The musicians I work with are all pros and can pick up on what I'm trying to get across. I'm good at speaking up if something doesn't fit my vision. Like I said before though, it's trusting the process, and in the studio it's trusting the producers and other musicians with their interpretations as well. The best surprises happen in the studio. You just never know what's going to happen.
Does it ever become hard to stay motivated when you're constantly working on or releasing new material?
Not so much. I feel like life is all about balance and as long as I'm getting a good, solid dose of my family and being outside then I'm good to go.
How do you stay inspired when you're on the road or writing, especially with being away from your family for extended periods of time?
It all goes back to balance. Every new adventure on the road fosters inspiration and growth. Being away for extended periods of time is tough, but I try to focus on being in the moment and appreciating what I do have. Facetime on my iPhone is a lifesaver.
Is it hard to find that balance between being home with your wife and daughter versus touring and recording?
No, it comes pretty naturally. I've gotten to a point in my life where I've cut out a lot of the fat that used to take up time from the things I love and inspire me.
Do you have any plans for a full US tour that you can talk about?
I will be doing a national college radio campaign starting in August that will take me through the US mid-west and east coast this fall. I'd love to get back up into Canada as well.
Thanks for answering a few questions for us! Is there anything else that you'd like to add?
I just released a music video for "Too Young to Know Better" and I'm pretty stoked with the way it came out. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEJ6r3Qtncw