Set to release his new EP ‘The Finest Somersault’ Pablo Dylan wants you to focus on the music and what he creates. After taking a some time Dylan returns with a new sound. Spending a bit experimenting with a number of musical styles Pablo and his heartfelt lyrics, and moody feel finds a home in the folk-rock genre. A new sound is just the beginning for Pablo, his stories told through music are ones that need to be heard. Listening to his music you will naturally draw comparisons to another famous Dylan within the genre with a comparable sound but this was the furthest thing from his mind as the music came naturally through experimentation.
Pablo Dylan is setting off to blaze his own trail. Combining his thought provoking lyrics, overall passion, and modern experiences illustrated through veteran storytelling make ‘The Finest Somersault.’ Prior to the release of the EP I had the chance to sit down with Pablo. Read along as we talk about the new EP, finding a new sound, coming from a family with an artistic legacy, and much more.
I’m here with Pablo Dylan at the Standard Hotel in New York, and it’s cool I know it is a big week for you with your new EP ‘The Finest Somersault’ set to release on Friday (2/8) How’s it been so far?
PD: Oh it’s good. You know, just doing a lot of stuff out here in New York playing for a lot of different people and doing a lot of interviews, and it’s been fantastic. I love being out here it’s a great city. Like just across the street is where Lincoln gave the Cooper Union speech. Which just means that this is a special piece of land right here. So there is something happening here that I cant quite describe, but there is just some spirits that live here.
What can you tell me about the EP that’s being released? I’m curious about the name and other inspiration? I knew immediately after seeing the name ‘The Finest Somersault’ that it was going to be a project i’d like based off the title.
PD: It was sort of the opposite of all the other songs subject matter wise. That song is you know about going out and all the stuff that people sort of talk about. Our culture is kind of dominated by this prevalence of gold and things that don’t really matter. So I am kind of poking fun at all of that. And I figured with these new songs that I’m writing that are more serious um you know I used to make rap music and would address that aspect one last time. Yeah I don’t think you know it was a one time thing, and since it is so opposite everything on the album I thought it would be quite ironic to name the EP after it.
And what do you want people to know about this record?
PD: I want people to listen to the music. Um you know I don’t really believe any artist really matters, it’s the work they create. I want to be judged based off of that.
As you mentioned you used to make rap music, and you have taken time away and through experimentation found yourself a new sound. How would you describe what that creation process has been like?
PD:Well I used to just be in sessions all day long, everyday. When I decided to do this I went out and I played a lot over the last two years. We have a band we sometimes play with and we would just go out all across California. Not just Los Angeles and San Francisco, but you know in the middle of the state. It started without me even having music out and we would show up at bars and say “Hey, we’ve got our guitars! Can we play?” and sometimes they would say yes. Sometimes they would say no and then we would just play right outside the bar. Sometimes in the rain until four or five in the morning. Then the next day we would just do the same thing.
That’s a cool story! Pablo Dylan showing up at random bars to play music. So what made it move from there to recording and getting it out to the masses?
PD: Well I had to learn how to do it first. All music is very similar it’s chords, and rhythm. Then the melody and words. But with this type of music I was just doing it with my guitar and my friend Jimmy playing his guitar. And again sometimes with a band. So after doing that for awhile the reason I had to start getting songs out was to play bigger shows and to do stuff like that I had to have a lot of work. I’m just gonna keep hitting people all day long with new music. The EP comes out on Friday and I’m already writing new songs and stuff like that. Yeah man it is great, it is the honor of a lifetime to go out and play for the American people.
As you are writing new songs how does it flow for you? With one of the things sticking out with you being your lyrics is it the lyrics first and chords that follow?
PD: I’ve been doing music for so long, like yes since I was a little kid but professionally at a high level that it sort of comes at the same time. At least I like it to. But it does come in all sorts of ways, the middle of the night and it wakes me up sometimes. Sometimes you’ll be in the car and it will come and I just have to be open for it when it does.
Is it something you have a like pen and paper handy at all times to jot it down?
PD: My phone. But I can keep a lot of stuff in my head too. I wont write it down until I have thought it through. Because I feel like a lot of the time once I write or type it, it becomes permanent.
With you doing music as long as you mentioned and coming from a family with an artistic legacy like yours, When did you know independently that you loved music this way and would want to pursue it professionally?
PD: Well I think any artist would tell you that it is a drive. There is no way to possibly describe it. It’s a dedication. You know Picasso why did he still love painting when he was older even though he started at such a young age? I’m not really sure. But I can relate to it, but it is impossible to put words to. It is just something that is in the air. In your blood.
What is something about you or your music that will surprise people?
PD: (Pause) That’s a good question. Um… I’m not really sure. It’s all in the music, all in the songs. Everything is just about the songs and the performances.
What is a performance by Pablo Dylan like?
PD: Sometimes I play with a band, sometimes it will just be acoustic. I decide the day before.
I took a folklore class in college and my professor taught us about folkways about traditions and it only taking three times. In my first three interviews I discovered I asked the same question in each and it is about karaoke because I love karaoke. I’m always curious what an artist playing on major stages chooses to perform at karaoke. Do you have a go-to song?
PD: (Laughs) I don’t do karaoke. I can’t sing unless I have a guitar in my hand nowadays. But you know me and Jimmy play like Robert Johnson a lot. Some Charlie Patton.
From a production standpoint how has this EP been different than some of the things you’ve produced in the past?
PD: When you produce for an artist on a label the record executives have a lot of say. Now I get to call all of the shots myself now. There is a power in that. But the difference is it’s different instruments, different rhythms, different chords, different melodies.
You talked about the power of being able to call all the shots now is there a different pressure with the accountability of it rather than working with a label?
PD: I’ve been doing this for so long again and been in the public eye since I was so young that I have developed a shell. So there is no more pressure, I don’t feel any pressure. The only pressure I feel obliged to is the pressure I put on myself to be as great as possible.
Is there any last things you would like included for our readers?
PD: I’m going to keep doing more music. I am going to be playing a bunch of shows. I look forward to seeing the readers of this there.