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> Jason Castro talks about his new single, and his upcoming debut album
post Aug 20th 2009, 4:44 AM
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Jason Castro talks about his new single, his upcoming debut album, and (not) getting the last laugh

Jason Castroís jaunty major-label debut single, ďLetís Just Fall in Love Again,Ē premiered last night and is currently streaming at his Web site, Jason Castro Official Website: Photos, Blog, Videos, Interactive, Chat and more. - Jason Castro Music. To celebrate the occasion, American Idolís season 7 third runner-up got on the phone with to discuss his songwriting process, his collaborators, and how he defines success.

What I like about your debut single is that itís really well-produced, but it doesnít steamroll the intimate sound weíve come to expect from you.

That is definitely something from the onset that I tried to be aware of. You know how some of the Idol projects can turn into manufactured pop things? From my first meeting with Atlantic, I went in there and explained my vision and played for them ó I wanted to get my deal off of my songs ó and we were all just on the same page. Weíve been on the same page since day one. We decided to do the whole album with one producer, Eric Rosse, and we put a lot of love into it.

So getting back to ďLetís Just Fall in Love AgainĒÖ

The original demo was just acoustic, and we wanted to keep that same energy but give it some extra oomph ó without losing the magic. That recording actually ended up being like a Frankenstein monster, but you wouldnít know it. We had pieces from the original demo ó the original guitar and the handclaps. We had to use the handclaps because they were really lively. [Laughs.] And when we recorded it out here [in L.A.] we tracked the whole thing, we used drum and bass from our session out here. And then we used a little organ and a couple other things from another session we did in New York.

What about the whistling that starts the track? Where did you come up with that?

Itís the melody from the chorus. It was going to be some line, maybe a guitar line ó but the whistling just kind of stuck out. It felt like that kind of song. When have you heard whistling lately? So we were like ďLetís whistle it up!Ē

Whoís doing the whistling? You?

That is not me, you would be surprised! Donít tell anybody! Everybody in the studio took turns. We can all whistle ó but it wasnít like that whistle. [Laughs.] That was the key to the project, finding a whistler.

Did someone win the whistle-off?

Somebody in the studio. And actually we brought in an outside whistler, and I donít want to say it, but he couldnít cut it. But I donít want to talk bad about any whistlers around town or anything.

Well, itís out there now. Lyrically, the song has a real sense of humor: ďWeíll fall disgustingly fast/ And weíll start hanging out with friends/ And theyíll be so offended.Ē
Itís a very playful song, and thatís kind of what itís all about. Recapturing that playful time from when you first meet and everythingís great. And for some reason every relationship gets to a little standstill. We wanted to inspire that feeling of why are you wasting time doing anything else? Just have fun. Love life. Love each other.

So letís talk about American Idol for a minute. Were you initially upset when you finished the Idol tour last year and 19 Entertainment didnít pick up their option to sign you?

It didnít worry me. I was like, ďOkay there will be other opportunities.Ē Even if I didnít get a major-label deal, I could have just done this as an independent thing. I mean, I had the opportunity to go play music and make a little living out of it ó however small or large it is.

You sound a little philosophical.

Thatís an accomplishment. I play music for a living, and thatís my dream. You gotta pay the bills! [Laughs.]

Is there any sense of getting the last laugh by signing with Atlantic Records, given that the Idol judges never quite ďgot youĒ during season 7, that they seemed to be stuck in a Celine Dion bombastic rut and didnít really appreciate your sound?

That never bothered me. Thatís just the way life works. I even thought that way myself ó ďIíll never get anywhere, I donít sing like these people.Ē But then there was something in my mind ó maybe itís about that time, maybe people would like something like me. Ultimately, the judges have their opinions. And Iím excited to show them what Iíve done ó itís not like we had something against each other ó and Iím sure theyíll be happy for me. Thereís no ďlast laughĒ thing! [Laughs.]

Iíve only heard the single thus far. Tell me about some of your other favorite songs on the album.

I worked with Greg Wattenberg (Five for Fighting) and Marc Roberge (OAR) on a song called ďThis Heart of Mine.Ē Itís a pretty cool one, and it might be a contender for a followup single. It starts out as this real intimate acoustic thing, but itís got kind of this groove, and then the chorus busts in, and the chorus is huge. This song to me is kind of an epic song, the way it builds into the chorus, and the bridge just soars. Itís a very cool progression, not like a lot of the songs I write, but this one just came out and kept on flowing and soaring to this place.

Any songs you covered from your Idol season?

ďHallelujah.Ē I never did a full recording of that and I just wanted to get one down. That song is a huge part of me, I think, even pre-Idol. I wanted to get that out to people.

Any other songs to look out for?

Thereís a song thatís on my mind right now because Iím getting ready for a show on Wednesday at The Grove, and itís one of the newer songs that Iíll be playing live for the first time called ďIt Matters to Me.Ē Itís one of the last ones I wrote, it almost didnít make the record, but it wouldnít get itself out of my mind. And it landed on the record and I love it. Iím really stuck on it right now.

Did you write it with anyone?

I wrote it with a guy named Jamie Kenney, and itís just a very intimate, sweet song that has a lot of raw emotion. Iíd gotten in a groove of writing upbeat stuff and this one brings it back down. I think this is one people will click with.

Serena Ryder does guest vocals on a track, I hear.

Yes, a song called ďYou Can Always Come Home.Ē She came in and did the vocals with me and itís just beautiful. There are two-part harmonies throughout and an acoustic guitar. That one is special.

Whatís the writing process like for you?

It usually starts with a melody. I like to get the melodies in place, and sometimes the melodies naturally have some words that stick out in them. So Iíll grab on to a couple words that fit well in the melody, and think, what does this relate to? And also, the melodies often have sentiments of their own. Then you start putting the pieces together. Sometimes a lyrical idea happens first, but thatís been more rare for me.

You have your guitar with you when you write?

Yeah, yeah, always the guitar. Heís my writing partner. Heís the one that makes me feel comfortable.

So youíre on the brink of releasing your first album. Whatís success for you?

I donít know how to say that one, really. Commercial success would be a plus, but in this last year Iíve been reading so much about the music business, and right now itís kind of being redefined what it means to be successful. If I can play shows and people are coming to Ďem, Iím happy. And if I sell 1 million records, Iím happy too. Thatís where Iím trusting the label and their people. I do the music. They do the marketing stuff. I do need to hear my song on the radio once. You hear artists talk about the first time they heard their songs on the radio. I want to have that feeling. If that happens, thatíll be my little token!

Jason Castro talks about his new single, his upcoming debut album, and (not) getting the last laugh |

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post Aug 20th 2009, 4:44 AM

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omg it's jasonnn
post Aug 24th 2009, 12:26 AM
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Great interview! Michael Slezak rocks! yes.gif

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post Sep 5th 2009, 9:40 PM
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thanks for posting this original.gif He cracks me up, "donít want to talk bad about any whistlers around town or anything." laughing.gif

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post Sep 5th 2009, 9:54 PM
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QUOTE(istersay @ Sep 5th 2009, 10:40 PM) *

thanks for posting this original.gif He cracks me up, "donít want to talk bad about any whistlers around town or anything." laughing.gif

heart.gif heart.gif heart.gif heart.gif heart.gif the new avi and siggy istersay...WOW!!

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