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Interview with Kàsh Mojo
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I have been into music ever since I can remember. My boomer father would spin his Woodstock live records and my favorites were Ten Years After and Jimi Hendrix. I used to get so into the music I’d bang my head on the floor. Which maybe explains some things about me today. While I write and record music professionally, I also practice law as my day job. I love being an attorney and am honored to be a partner at a wonderful small law firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Most of what I do as an attorney is write. I love language and it’s informed my songwriting.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I read quite a bit and listen to tons of podcasts mostly related to true crime. I love stories. I walk around a lot too and take pictures of street art and signs that I like. Whenever I hear or read a phrase I like, I will make a note of it or record a voice memo to make sure I have it. Then when I take time to write I go through the voice memos and notes on my phone and have a wonderful place to start.
How long have you been making music?
I have been making music since I was five. I started on piano. Then learned alto saxophone. I was classically trained as a singer and have a booming baritone voice. Its only on my new Kàsh Mojo record that I finally discovered how to use my real voice in contemporary music.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. This place is raw and real. It’s not pretentious. A no frills kind of town. It’s very authentic. I like to think my songwriting is earnest and honest. My recordings are similarly straightforward with integrity. I also love the space and the sky here. Plenty of room to think and grow.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I have not done any shows for my Kàsh Mojo project because all the musicians save one live in Austin, Texas and I’m here in New Mexico. I do plan to put a live band together here. My vision for a show is ideally based in a theatre. My songs are dark and lend themselves to though provoking interpretation. So I’d love to play small theatres. Ideally on the mic with no guitar and have a backing band of two guitarists, bass, drums, keys and baritone saxophone. That would bring the record to life as authentically as possible.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
The number one place I would like to perform is Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The OG Meow Wolf. It’s such a beautiful room.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I would love to play a show with Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears from Austin, Texas. I have been friends with those guys for years and always catch them when they come through. Their bassist Bill Stevenson was an assistant producer on the Kash Mojo record and had such a wonderful vision. Bill is just full of great ideas and loves music. Their baritone sax player Joseph Woullard laid down some wonderful work on the record. He’s so interpretive and I just love the layers that he adds to the songs. He plays on every track. The flute he added for October and No Longer Grey is just lovely. While the baritone sax parts are so strong and moody it just fits in so well. So I would just love to do a show with those guys.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
That it is work and insanely competitive. Work hard and do your absolute best. Then you’ll have no regrets. Don’t be afraid to approach more established musicians, producers, and engineers to work with you. They might just say “yes” as they have in my case. Be patient.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I’d have to say the song Ramblin’ from my debut album when I was still recording under my given name Evan Woodward. It’s a very sweet idealistic pure song. I cut it in Austin with just my producer Bryan Ray (Lonely Child) and Joseph Woullard. I crowd funded my entire debut record off that song. It’s very sincere and heartfelt. I think its beautiful.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorite song to play that I wrote is Let Go. Which will be the third single from the Kàsh Mojo record. It’s such a powerful positive song. A mantra even. Great tune. The one people ask me to play the most is Unwind which is the opening track on my debut when I was performing under my legal name Evan Woodward.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
Oh man. I LOVE writing music. When you create a new song it’s the best drug in the world. For me it’s a lifestyle. Whenever you step outside of your home you can step outside of yourself. If you hear a sound you like record it to a voice memo. If you hear a phrase you never heard before make a note of it. If you see some street art you dig take a photo. Then take time to sit and write with no goals. If you can’t think of anything to write about go through your phone at all the things that inspired you when you left the house. For the Kàsh Mojo record I spent hours and hours messing with chord structures in alternate tunings on my guitar. Just exploring sounds I liked. Which were pleasing to me. Don’t be afraid to edit yourself later but never stop yourself when you’re just creating. Songs are their own entities and beings. You might write a song but by the time you’re done its not what you thought it was originally. I am compelled to write music. It’s central to my purpose in life. That and doing the bidding of my rescued pit bull.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
Absolutely. The songs I wrote for the Kàsh Mojo record tackle very dark subject material. Depression, substance abuse, isolation, near death experiences and other faux pas topics not typically discussed at happy hour or Sunday brunch. My message is to embrace the darkness. Talk openly with loved ones, trusted friends, or a mental health provider about the darkness in your life. Bring it into the light and it’s not so scary. But to deny its existence is not living. So my songs directly address many of these issues.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My next single will be a stirring cover of the Sparklehorse song Cow from their debut album. They were a very fringe indie rock group in the 90’s and early 2000’s before Mark Linkous tragically committed suicide in 2010. I loved his music so much and he was a big influence on me. One thing I found unique about his music was that he always hid his voice. Sometimes behind static like on Happy Man or sometimes just singing though terrible microphones for effect. In stark juxtaposition to this, I sing the hell out of the song and perform all the guitars on the track which is this slow building post rock bliss. I cannot wait to unleash it upon the world. I will likely release another few singles before dropping the full Kàsh Mojo debut LP Buried or Replaced. It’s a great record and I was able to work with a world class team. The engineer Stuart Sikes won a Grammy Award and has worked with so many outstanding artists. It was a pleasure to work with him. I hope to assemble a band and do a West/Southwest tour with them for a couple weeks. Maybe loop up to Vancouver and down to Austin. But given my law career I don’t tour much so if I come to your town get out to see me because I might never come back through!
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
The best way to keep up with me is on my Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/kash_mojo/ or my website http://kashmojo.com/ which is getting a nice update in the near future. I love the unedited biography on my website which my dear friend and brilliant musical artist friend Bill Stevenson wrote. It gives you a great picture of who I really am as a songwriter and recording artist.