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An exclusive interview with Jace Everett

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Three short years ago Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jace Everett never could have dreamed of the twist of fate that would indoctrinate him into the folds of vampire culture and international musical fame. When Alan Ball, creator of the internationally acclaimed HBO series True Blood, happened upon the now legendary southern gothic song "Bad Things" and subsequently made it one of the most popular television series theme songs, Everett's life was permanently changed as he was catapulted from obscurity into the mainstream spotlight. His soulful, eclectic and highly passionate style has successfully left its imprint on the country music scene, generating a fanbase of millions around the globe. Today Jace Everett is celebrating the release of a new album entitled "Red Revelations", which has garnered the respect of supporters and critics alike. I was honored when the highly-in-demand artist agreed to take a moment to answer a few of my questions, not only about his involvement in True Blood, but many of his sources of inspiration for his music.

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GF: How did you become involved with HBO’s “True Blood” series?

JE: I donated a kidney to Alan Ball’s cousin. He felt like he owed me one. If only it were so easy! To keep it brief, Alan Ball had downloaded “Bad Things” in 2006 as an iTunes single of the week. When the show came up, he gave it a whirl and it stuck.

GF: What has been the impact the show’s success has had on your life and career as a musician?

JE: Well, I’ve certainly made some money from it. Although, not as much as folks might think. In particular, my ex-wife is confused. But it has given me the chance to keep going. Keep writing, recording, performing--you know, working. That’s pretty good for a silly song in a campy show. No complaints here!

GF: The theme song “Bad Things” has become an iconic part of vampire culture as a significant contribution to the genre. What is your view of this?

JE: I think it’s great. Also, it’s kind of funny. But hey, I was a big Anne Rice fan back in the ‘90’s when Sting turned me on to her. I get the appeal. I’m glad to contribute my little bit to the cause!

GF: You mentioned in an interview with People Magazine that watching “True Blood” has inspired other songs such as “Burn For You”, which was penned after the episode where Bill catches on fire. Have you drawn additional inspiration from the show?

JE: No, not directly. But it has opened the door for me to be pretty fearless in the writing process. Nashville had kind of warped my mind about what you COULD write. The success of the show and my affiliation with it has helped free me from that narrow view.

GF: Speaking of inspiration for songwriting, what in life inspires you the most? Are there aspects of your life and the world around you that you find yourself gravitating to?

JE: The boy girl stuff is always there. I’m kind of obsessed with religion and philosophy as well. Throw in a little of my political annoyances, and you’ve got something to talk about. Whether anyone wants to hear all that is another story!

GF: What musicians have had the greatest influence on you over the years?

JE: Too many! But there’s a core group I always return to. Willie and Waylon, U2, Chris Rea, Chris Whitley, Daniel Lanois, Mark Knopfler, Chuck Prophet. So many.

GF: Tell us more about your latest album “Red Revelations”.

JE: I guess it’s the sound of me razing Music Row. The lessons I learned in Nashville were incredible. Some of them will stay with me forever. Others had to be thrown on the pyre. But it’s a swampy, dirty slice of rock and roll; which to me is equal parts country, blues, rock, and blood.

GF: What projects are you currently working?

JE: Going into the studio tomorrow morning to work on some new records. Also, we just had “One of Them” (off of Red Revelations) be used as the title sequence track to a really cool film called MindFLUX. I’m constantly writing for film and TV--but mostly for me.

GF: What is one opportunity you would love to be offered to you at some point, one you would never say no to?

JE: Hell, I can think of four! But recording with The Roots would be one I would give a digit for. Also, K.T. Tunstall. I have a huge crush on her and think she’s amazing.

GF: Outside of music, what would you say is your greatest passion in life?

JE: My son. He’s the reason I get up in the morning and the greatest joy I know. Selfishly, I really love long-winded conversations about politics and religion. Particularly if both parties have a cocktail in hand.

GF: Where can fans of your music find you on the road in 2011?

JE: I’ll be in the UK and EU in the late spring and early summer. Then, I’ll continue my never-ending quest for U.S. love!

GF: Are there any closing thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

JE: Don’t let the bastards suck the life outta ya! (Unless, of course, you’re into that!)

* * *

For more information on Jace Everett and his work visit www.jaceeverett.com or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jaceeverett.

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