KANSAS BORN SINGER SONGWRITER TJ STAFFORD AND I CHAT ABOUT ‘ALL MY BAD HABITS HAVE PREPARED ME FOR THIS’, HIS NEW ALBUM AND THE RECORDING PROCESS!

What is your name?
TJ Stafford

Give us a little bio about you.
I was born in Kansas in a small town in the middle of the state called Great Bend. Started taking guitar lessons when I was 5. Family moved to Southern California when I was 10, and I’ve been in SoCal ever since. Went to UCLA and studied English Lit. Stayed in LA after I graduated to pursue music.

Tell us more about your music.
If nothing else, it’s honest. It’s not beholden to a genre. I try to let the content and feel of the song dictate where the production and sound of it will go, and it’s lead to some interesting, sometimes schizophrenic, places. But, I’m ok with that. Life is schizophrenic. Sometimes I’m the best person I know, sometimes I’m the worst. I’m happy one day, depressed the next, intelligent yet prone to stupid mistakes. That chaos and paradox is reflected in the music.
Your new album ‘All My Bad Habits Have Prepared Me For This’ is set to release, tell us more about out.
It’s my first truly ‘solo’ album, so my first album that’s unabashedly me. It’s essentially the story of heartbreak, mistakes, and psychological introspection I’ve experienced over the last few years.

What was the writing process like?
Very cathartic

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What was the recording process like?
There was a lot of freedom in it. I worked with Matias Mora, a brilliant producer, and our only goal was to served the song. There were no restraints what we could or could not do. Thus, if there was an idea, we would try it regardless of how outlandish the idea seemed. Then, at the end of throwing everything at it, we would edit it down to what we thought was it’s purest form.

Who did you work on with the album?
It was just myself and Matias. We wrote and played everything.

Will we see a tour this year or any gigs?
I’m an introverted studio rat, so there is no tour in the works. I just headlined the Troubadour in support of the album, but for now I’m back in the studio avoiding people.

 

What else can we expect from you?
More music, more videos, more projects with other people.

 

Are you a signed?
Yes, to Saint Rogue Records, a small indie label in Los Angeles that is good enough to let me control everything.

Who are your influences?
For this album there was a lot of influence, or I should say ‘inspiration,’ specifically from Kanye’s “Yeezus” album, Marilyn Manson’s latest, Zeppelin, and anything Max Martin writes. Influence wise, it mostly comes from Literature. The Brothers Karamazov played a big part in this particular album in the sense that it’s a very honest portrayal of all of the disparate psychological sides of Dostoevsky. It was very much an influence in how I approached the album.

 

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Good Lord, I have no idea. My life has been so full of surprises and beautifully destroyed plans that I tend to just focus on today’s dreams and goals.

When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I read a lot. I’m also working on getting speedo tan, because, well, I want to experience a speedo tan.

Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown?
Staples Center. Playing a show at the Staples Center implies a lot of great things.

Would you be up for collaborating with an unsigned artist or band? If so how can they contact you?
I’m always open to the idea. Email my assistant. Who happens to be me just with a different email address.

 

What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
David Gray’s “Shine”

 

Where is your dream festival to perform?
Glastonbury

 

What made you go in to music?
It’s the only thing I was truly passionate about and competent in.

 

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
When you’re riding through hell, keep riding. That one’s from my dad.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not just about the industry also just as an artist/band?
Work. Hard. Never stop moving. And never be above anything. If you don’t humble yourself first, this industry will do it for you and a very un-gentle way.

 

What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.

 

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Guitar, clothes, the rest of the band….that’s about it.

 

You come off Tour
1/ Where is the first place you go? My bed
2/Who is the first person you see? My girlfriend
3/What is the first thing you eat. McDonald’s

 

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
@tjstaffordmusic everywhere.

Links on my Website

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