Minneapolis-based band Jamestown Story traditionally releases a new album each Christmas, and this year is no exception. The new album from Dane Schmidt (guitar, vocals, drums) and Brandyn Anderson (piano), titled “A Walk Through Time,” is just that: a fresh take on some of their older, previously released tracks. Read on as Dane lets us in on their decision to revisit some early work on this new album, and what we can expect from Jamestown Story in the months to come.
Without using the words “singer/songwriter,” “pop,“ “folk,” or “alternative,” describe your sound.
Acoustic music for the heart and soul. Also, music that is great for grandparents.
Congratulations on your new release, A Walk Through Time. What was the inspiration for the album?
Thank you very much! Traditionally we release something new around Christmas time every year. With that being said, we wanted to let our second most recent CD, Find A Way, ride a little bit longer so we decided to re-record some older songs and put them out too. This would give older fans something “new” to check out, and new fans a taste of the older stuff as we would play it now.
What are some of the ways in which these new tracks differ from their original versions?
The major difference is that when I first recorded those songs, I don’t think I had hit puberty so my voice sounds quite a bit different. Through the years I’ve developed what I’d like to call “my own sound” vocal-wise, and with these re-recorded versions I was able to sing them how I would now and I think they turned out quite a bit better! The recording quality of the songs is also so much better than it is on the originals, which was what we were going for.
Tell us about your marketing/promotional plan for the release of A Walk Through Time.
Basically since we’re independent we don’t have a ton of things we can do marketing-wise but there are still a lot of ways to promote. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been our biggest ways of promoting. We’re constantly watching feeds to see who’s talking about us and we’re trying to interact with them. We spend time each day responding to comments and tweets to us and try to talk to everyone we possibly can.
What’s your songwriting process like?
It’s always changing but usually I will come up with some sort of idea in my head, and then write the music for it, then the lyrics. If it’s a song I’m REALLY into, then a lot of the time I’ll write the music and lyrics all at once and finish the song fairly quickly.
What are the advantages of being an independent band?
Being in control of your life, being able to make your own decisions, feeling the rewards of doing stuff right, and not having to be owned by “the man.”
Have you encountered many struggles as independent artists?
Most definitely. When we used to tour we dealt with van problems, money problems, show turnouts, etc… Now our struggles are trying to sell enough music each month to pay bills, and how to expand our fan base. They certainly can be struggles but I wouldn’t replace them with anything. It’s a great learning experience and really makes you work harder when it’s on you to make the sales and pay your bills.
What’s your “team” like? (management/publicity/marketing…)
My team includes myself–I deal with pretty much everything–and then Brandyn Anderson (keys) who does all of our web work, graphic work, writes, and helps out with a ton of other stuff. We have a small team but it’s very efficient
So what can we expect next from Jamestown Story?
We are currently working on our next CD. We aren’t pressured to get something out at this time so we’re taking our time with this next record. Over half of it is written so far and I’m extremely proud of how it’s turning out. I’m working very hard to make sure it’s a step forward for JS. We’re also going to be doing a lot more cover songs/videos on our YouTube page so stay tuned for that! We just did a Christina Perri cover that we’re proud of so be sure to check that out at www.youtube.com/thejamestownstory !!!