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What did you learn about yourself as musicians while working on the songs for The Ghost of Escondido?
Jessica: I learned never box yourself in and just do what feels right at that moment. Recording the album in one day was a huge learning experience as far as everything being on the fly. We wrote songs and did pre-production for about three months and we wanted to see if we could get it in the studio for one day, knock out all the songs, and see what happened.
You recorded all the tracks in a single day; what did that astounding feat teach you about yourself as a musician?
Tyler: Being prepared, surrounding yourself with talented people, and that once you’re in the middle of it, not taking it too seriously and just have fun. It also taught me that you can create something more special, almost by accident, if you just let it happen, and that just because something takes a long time doesn’t mean its better.
What is your most vivid memory of that day?
Jessica: The best memory was pulling it off, because we recorded 12 songs in one day. We pulled it off by showing up late after drinking into the wee hours of the night!
Tyler: I think sitting down at the end of the day and listening to the songs. Usually you’re listening to one song but this time it was an entire, finished record. I’m excited because I usually have to edit for months and you can lose excitement for the project during that process, but with this album I only had a few things here and there to do and my work was done.
What was the first song you crafted for The Ghost of Escondido? Which was the hardest to write?
Tyler: “Rodeo Queen” was the first song. Jessica was at my house to sing harmonies for another session I was doing, she was singing this song, and I thought it was a cool so we did a demo of it on the first day we met.
Jessica: I barely knew Tyler and we did this demo and it turned out exactly how I imagined it in my head. The hardest might have been “Take Me South” and it didn’t even end up on the record.
How would you describe the chemistry of Escondido and what have you learned from your collaboration with Tyler James?
Jessica: I would describe the chemistry as a special bond and it comes across in our music. There are good and bad thing about it and our music brings us back to this peaceful place and reality.
Tyler: The record is about the end of a long relationship, the lyrics are heavy and about Jessica’s struggle with love and past relationships, and I kind of represent a new phase. I was the dude who met her right at the end of that and got to be part of the new, fun part of her life.
What do you think makes for a successful musical collaboration?
Tyler: Listening to the other person’s opinion and taking it seriously. I’ve been a solo artist for a long time where I had a lot of say in what I was doing and it’s nice to be able to let go of some things and be better for it.
The Ghost of Escondido has pop, country, honky-tonk, and twang influences; do you ever find it difficult to maintain the initial thread of a song when combining different genres?
Tyler: It sounds like a comprehensive record, even though there are different genres because we weren’t trying to make the songs into something they weren’t. Some songs wanted to be a rock n roll and others wanted to be ballads. I guess a lot of the songs went in different directions but it wasn’t a struggle. The technical aspects and engineering helped keep it one record.
Jessica: I feel like the songs encompass our entire personalities and everything we are and we have different moments. The good news is that our guitar player could go from song to song with the same tone, the style might change, but the tone remained the same. It’s also telling a story and there are two sides to the record; the dark, screw you side and the vulnerable side. I’m glad we mixed it up.
What is the most challenging part of the recording process?
Jessica: Trying to explain what’s in my head to the people around me so they can understand the vibe and feel of a song. Luckily, I’ve been able to surround myself with people that even when there are moments when I don’t say anything, it just happens. That is when I knew this was something we needed to continue doing, because it’s rare to find.
Tyler: It’s always a challenge to make progress every day and challenge yourself to start working on the next thing. We’re not going to be young forever, and this is our time to do what were passionate about and no one is holding us back from doing it. I think we have to challenge ourselves to move forward and create art everyday.
Who are some artists that have influenced your music and why?
Tyler: Bob Dylan and The Beatles are the biggest influences along with Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell.
Jessica: I love Mazzy Starr, Fleetwood Mac, Elliott Smith, and Steely Dan.
What does being brave mean to you?
Jessica: Being brave is facing what you’re most afraid of and doing it anyway. Obviously, there is something on the other side that’s supposed to happen. I think that as individuals we all face fears and not a lot of people want to so they don’t move forward.
Tyler: I feel the same way. I think everyone wants to be perceived in a particular way and being brave means you’re not worried about what other people think.
What’s next for Escondido in 2013?
Tyler: We’re on our first tour as this band and then we’ll keep doing more shows and we have a great batch of songs for our next record. We also both have solo records we would like to put out this year.
Jessica: Right now, we’re focused on this tour. We’re going to Seattle and back then LA with Wild Cub, and then probably head back to Nashville and then there are a few surprises.
Where can my readers find you online?