Smoke Season Is Ready To Get Uninhibited With Us INTERVIEW+PHOTOS: SMOKE SEASON @ THE TROUBADOUR 4/4/18
LOS ANGELES, CA- Smoke Season is the LA based, electronic rock duo of Gabrielle Wortman and Jason Rosen. They recently played a short gig at The Troubadour, and gave the audience a sampling of the new pulsing grooves that they’ve been working on. It was, as their fans can attest, a performance that was filled with boundless energy and seductive dance numbers. Prior to their performance, I was able to hang out with them for a few minutes to find out what’s been going on, and what we can expect from them in 2018.
So tonight at the Troubadour, I’m assuming you guys are be doing some new music. Can you speak about that a little bit? What are some songs that you are playing tonight?
Gabrielle Wortman: Yeah, so we have three new songs we’re playing, stockpiling some… we got a lot of new songs, but we’re only going to do three of them. So we have this song called “Hot Damn”, which is fun and funky. We have this song called “Back Again” and then the song called “Sweetest Thing”.
I’ve been following your activity on social media, watching clips giving your audience some insight in your recording process. What was the song writing process like? Of the three songs you are performing tonight, is there a reason why selected those three songs to perform tonight?
Jason Rosen: ‘Cause they were done first…
*Laughter all around*
JR: Actually, we have been writing this album for 2 1/2 years, I think a lot of business stuff kind of got in the way. And then we kind of just like said screw it about 8 months ago? 9 months ago? And we’re like, we’re just doing this album ourselves. We have a great team around us. I’m like, I don’t really want to wait any longer… ya know?
Yeah, you can’t really stop the creativity. It’s not how that works.
GW: Exactly. And so, we actually went through, kind of had a vey personal event happen last year, that sort of change my life specially, but then, this whole album were just like, ya know what? No. It’s time to just finalize everything. So, we went to London, we recorded and wrote for like six weeks, and then we came back here and we kind of finalized the recording. So we’re like 13 songs deep into the album, we basically finished almost all of them. We are wrapping up the last one now. And so we picked those three because they were the one that were most finished, and we had had a chance to rehearse them.
JR: Yeah, and I think they have a good indication of what the sound of the new album is.
Is it still along the same kind of vibe as your older stuff?
GW: Honestly, I think it’s definitely evolved. So, we’ve entered a period of our lives where we are just like very in tune with our sexuality, and I know that sounds… I mean, I think it’s more just like taking ownership of our sexuality and our sensuality. A lot of the songs are very very sensual, a little less emotional than our old material. I mean, that is an emotion, right? It’s almost like you can touch them more.
Kind of like an uninhibited kind of vibe?
GW: Exactly, and then at the same time, Jay has really come into his own, in terms of his mother’s Jamaican, he’s half Jamaican, and –
GW: And so he just took the reigns, like you know what? I’m incorporating a lot more rock-steady vibes into everything, because that’s … he’s literally South Bronx Jamaican, and so he just ran with it, so we have this undercurrent of reggae influence through the whole thing…
Oh cool, and we’ll get to hear some of that tonight?
GW: Oh yeah, oh yeah, our whole set is that.
JR: Yeah, and I think it kind of naturally came about. It wasn’t the kind of thing like, “Oh, we’re going to do this and we just, it threw one of our writing sessions…” It just sort of like evolved into that. And you know, I always love you know, reggae and rock steady because it just has that like great groove and kind of backbeat that happens so, and it has this levity kind of to it and added this kind of brightness to the music in a really cool way.
GW: It was interesting because in a lyrical way, I was writing more about sensuality, and then he musically matched it with more of the reggae influences and undertones.
Kind of like dance hall stuff?
GW: Yeah, you’ll hear it!
JR: Rock-steady which has a little more of a…
GW: Makes you wanna move! And then moving is like such a sexual experience, in and of itself too. I don’t know, I also think that it’s pretty. (to Jason) It’s really noteworthy that you’ve stepped up and taken more ownership of your own identity, like racial identity, in a Trump-era. I think that’s a really beautiful thing because being mixed race in America is the experience of most people in America, ya know?
Last thing, last question just to wrap it up, so what can we expect from you guys in the coming months? So the album is almost done…
GW: Yep! So the albums coming out probably late this year. We are headlining a show at the end of May, I don’t think we are allowed to announce it yet, but yeah…
Tour lined up?
JR: Yeah, we are playing in New York City. We have dates in London. We have dates in LA. And then we are going to be doing a bunch of festivals and stuff like that late summer and everything like that.
GW: We also have a commercial, which we can’t mention.
JR: Oh yeah, Yes, We can.
GW: Ok, maybe we can mention what it is.
JR: I think we can mention it, so we are the face of this Budweiser commercial that airs in August.
Oh really? That’s big time!
GW: [A]nd it’s just about our band just preparing backstage for a big show. All that stuff, we have a really busy second half of the year. And for the first time in our career, we have kind of like incubated a minute, which has been the past year, so its nice to kind of like get out of the cocoon.
Kind of like, you’ve reached adolescence and getting into adulthood kind of a little bit…
— Derrick K. Lee (@methodman13) April 23, 2018
— Derrick K. Lee (@methodman13) April 23, 2018