An Interview with Jared Swanson of Abbot Kinney
Jared Swanson of Abbot Kinney took time to chat with us before the Rickshaw Stop show in San Francisco. We chatted about his first memories of music, his self comparison to sea otters and upcoming 2017 plans for Abbot Kinney!
Kastania: What’s your music making process?
Jared: I think what happens is; it’s like when you have no way of expressing a feeling. There’s no possible way to talk about it. That’s usually when I pick up my guitar and go to the piano and just try it and work something out. For me, that’s what artistic expression is and no other way of expressing it and I just have to figure out what needs to be said and then it becomes very subconscious the way it comes out because it’s something I’m not even aware of. For whatever reason it’s something that has calmed me and gotten me through some sort of experience or feeling.
Kastania: The age old question, how would you describe your sound?
Jared: HA! That is hard. Colorful, triumphant, sad. Well the way I think of it is the sound that tries to triumph over anxiety and fear. The sound is always trying to evoke a sense of truth, admitting that anxiety and fear is real and hard. And let’s overcome it and go on a journey together to beat it. I’m not saying my music is curing cancer, I’m just saying I have a lot of anxiety and fears and helps me reach out and touch people and feel like I’m using my time and I’m alive. It’s a sense of, ‘okay we’re all people, we’re all anxious we all have these things, life can be crazy and difficult and messy and weird but it can also be these awesome and fulfilling moments'. When the music builds and grows. It’s affirming and rising above. Without being like, ‘yeah let’s all drink and like ‘F’ it, let’s everyone dance’.
Kastania: What’s your spirit animal(s)?
Jared: Maybe a sea otter. I only say that because I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and I watched the feeding and started to get really into it. There’s a picture on my Instagram of me standing next to a picture of one of them and I literally look like one of the sea otters.
Kastania: What's your biggest accomplishment for Abbot Kinney so far?
Jared: I think getting played on the radio was a really big deal. We got played by KXP a while when we first did our first album and that was really a big deal. I just think in your mind as a kid in the 90’s, KROQ was such a big deal and so I would hear stuff on that and that’s when CD’s were still happening and I would record the tape from the tape player on the boombox and I would wait for the song and have it ready and queued up on the mixtape and then I’d hit it. It was a big deal for me growing up. It’s not like night and day, like suddenly you hear someone on the radio and suddenly you’re a thing. It’s just the fact that someone heard us and said this is good, means a lot.
Kastania: What can we expect to see from you guys in 2017? (New music, new shows?)
Jared: We’re trying to record these 2 singles and currently deciding how and where we’re doing that and then we want to go with that ASAP. We want to play bigger and better shows. I would like to tour and go to Portland and Seattle and back down to LA and San Diego. I don’t know if we’re quite ready to be going to the East Coast but I might go over there and try to play some solo gigs or stuff like that. It’s just far! I don’t know if we’re big in the south like Austin but I feel like New York is good for us, Chicago maybe, Boston. Eventually I’d like to be on the road more and put out bigger and better singles.