My Empty Phantom

My Empty Phantom - December 2012

My Empty Phantom Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: September 9, 2012
Posting Date: December 31, 2012
Artist Hometown: Austin, TX
Links: Facebook, Tumblr, Soundcloud
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

Red Giants
After Dawn
ONE: What are the pros and cons of being a one man band?
Jesse Beaman: A plus for being a one man band is that nothing holds me back from practicing, writing, performing or touring. I always feel my music is really honest when I play alone. I’m sort of a lone wolf so creating alone is natural to me; it feels good.
All my tours have made me a more confident musician. Now I can imagine being a band leader or possibly being in another band. However, touring and performing as a solo act is like a spiritual experience to me and I need that.
A definite con of being a one man band is that when things go wrong live…which has happened before but not often, it can be rough on me with no one there to take over…like a guitarist who can just fiddle around while I fix things.
Also sometimes playing my music alone reminds me of how much of a lone wolf I really am which can be sad sometimes. When I get great news about something like a tour in Europe or performing on a big show, I don’t really have any band members to celebrate with. I just sort of pat myself on the back and move on.
It’s a challenge to implement some of my idea’s live. I’m beginning to think additional musicians could help me bring my vision to fruition.
TWO: How have your touring experiences been?
Jesse: My tours seem to get better and better every time I go out.
On my early tours, the touring experience was really intense because I started touring when I was 21. Once I was on the road, I sort of realized I was still pretty young to just travel all over the country performing alone. I used to tour by myself, driving, performing and everything else. I once did a 40 show tour and drove 9,000 miles. I don’t go out alone anymore. I always have help with me now.
Lately the tours seem more relaxing, less stressful, and natural for me to be on the road. It feels really good to have people show up to my shows even overseas in Europe. My first time in Europe, I had people tell me they came to see me perform and they’ve been listening to my music on the internet for awhile. It was surreal.
THREE: You’re about to go into the studio in January, tell us a little bit about the new record and your plans/expectations for it.
Jesse: I’m approaching this new record differently; it will not be as much of a solo effort. I’m including my voice and I’m going to have people on strings and hopefully on horns.
I don’t want to disappoint anybody or turn anyone off to my past recordings, but I don’t think my vision was fully expressed on my previous recordings. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy some of my recordings but I have higher expectations for this record as far as sound quality and ideas. I have made a lot of EP’s but never really put them in stores and currently only sell two of them on my online store.
Pinmusik (German record/net-label) will release my new recording along with a release on my own recently created record label, Little Wolf. I also have plans to put it on vinyl.
MB: What aspect of recording are you the most apprehensive about?
Jesse: For many years what got me nervous in the studio was time limit and release date. Most bands set up all at once and run through their songs a few times. Then they go back one by one and track their parts indivually. I think that would be a more fun studio experience.
For me I have to do each individual instrument and build the recording which takes a lot of time. I’ve had days where I’ve tracked drums, piano, and guitar all in one session which can be exhausting. After hours of recordings, sometimes I still don’t achieve the sound I’m hoping for.
Luckily, I’m not too worried on time limit for this recording. I have the studio booked for more time than I have ever had. I start recording in January and the goal is to finish it in February. I have yet to put a release date on it but I’m thinking spring 2013 before my next tour.
– Interview by Michael Briggs