ARTS AND CULTURE: Building Rockets

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 22, 2021

Emily Jamison – vocals, guitar; JD Thomas – bass; MacLean James – guitar, keys; Jeremy Roberts – drums; Genre/style: Alt Country Folk Rock

Genre Style: Alt Country Folk Rock

Location: Ironton

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How did the project start?
We had all previously been making music on our own. During a jam session we combined forces and it clicked.
What are three adjectives to describe your style?
Appalachian, imaginative, relatable
Walk us through your creative process. Does it vary, if so, how?
As of now, we are working up songs, I (Emily) have written in my truck (my favorite place to write). They had only been played acoustic until we started jamming. Once we take off on something full band you never know where it will end up.
How has your art evolved since you started?
It has honestly evolved more than I could have imagined. I had always seen my songs as traditionally country, even though I listen to all types of music-that is my go-to writing style. The dynamic that JD, MacLean and Jeremy bring really helped bend traditional genre lines in some cool ways. They have taken these songs that I had a more conventional approach to and turned them into these artistic collaborations that I couldn’t have done by myself.
What is your favorite creative tool, and why?
Life experience. I’m not sure if that is an answer that fits, but without living it or knowing it, it’s hard to express in ways that are relatable. A close second is my voice, close third is my guitar. Without those three things I think any musician would be dead in the water.
What about being an artist fills your cup? Why should others take interest in the arts?
Being an artist is an amazing outlet. Not only is it cathartic to be able to translate your feelings into real words, but also to have people enjoy and/or empathize what they’re hearing. Everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, should take an interest in the arts. If you are creative, please create. If you prefer not creating, please find something someone has created that you can relate to. Music. Painting. Quilts. Clothing. Once you realize someone somewhere has purposefully taken the time to create something you enjoy, you will cherish it so much more.
Any advice for new or struggling artists?
I would still consider us both of those things. If I had to say anything it’s to surround yourself with people who want the same thing as you and share your artistic vision, or maybe a different vision that elevates yours. Don’t be afraid to be confident in your work, but be grateful when it’s appreciated. “Fake it till you make it.”
What upcoming project should we look for, and where can we look for it?
Oh this is our favorite question right now: Our debut EP, Space Camp, is out now! You can find it everywhere music is sold and streamed.
What question do you never get asked that you would like to be asked? How would you answer?
We haven’t been asked when MacLean’s first tour as John Mayer’s guitar player is, but the answer is: “As soon as John hears him play.”