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5 minutes with Jip

"JIP is something that can adapt and really be anything"

Today we welcome Jim to the interview room, welcome Jim!

So, start off by telling our readers about the project you have been working on this year.

2011 has already been a big year for JIP. My name is Jim and I'm the singer/songwriter for JIP. JIP started 10 years ago as a solo endeavor for me to clear my mind and express myself. I had 5 solo albums that I kept to myself prior to releasing the 2011 album : JIP: Year X. I wanted to create a signature album that really summed up me in an album form. Something that I could give to my kids down the road so they understood who their dad was when he was younger. As we started working on the record I found that Year X was starting to become more of a platform for me. Year X is a compilation of pretty simple songs with deep meaning undertoning each track. Giving the audience something they could nod their head to, but with the hope of inspiring or making someone smile. JIP took the new and a few old songs to the studio to give us the finished version of Year X ( which is available everywhere ). Since the release in late May 2011 we have started to tour the record and promote. We've receieved some really wonderful feedback and a big push from friends / fans.

When did it all start for you? How long has music been a major part of your life?

Music was an instant appeal to me when I was younger. I'll never forget my mom telling me a story about being 3 and making up songs. In my early teens I utilized poetry as an opportunity to express myself until I bought my first guitar at 15. I use the guitar now as a guide for express the lyrics that I write. I utilize Spencer Watson for more technical guitar tracks ( Spencer is on nearly every track of Year X ).

I've been to nearly 1000 concerts since I was 15. Music has been my life for as long as I can remember. I always used going to shows as an outlet instead of going to bars and such. On the track "This Song Will Last Forever" of Year X I state that ... "I gave my life to sound". Which answers the question that music has definitely been a major piece of my growth as a person. Bands like Ben Folds Five, Tracy Bonham Local H have inspired me over the years to ultimately have my own voice and expression.

What are your plans going forward with this project? Where would you like to take it?

JIP is something that can adapt and really be anything. Year X touches on a lot of different genres and my hope is to initally grasp onto the local Chicago scene. I want to give this area something to be proud of. I look up to bands like Local H that have stayed relevant and had longevity. I'll never stop writing music and it would be amazing to have been always wanting to consume JIP music.

I have no want or need to be Bono, but pulling a career like Local H or Ben Folds would be fitting for JIP.

If you could give some advice to budding musicians out there, what advice would you give to them?

My advice would be to keep doing what you love. Don't shape your music to fit something that's popular right now. Music is ever changing so you need to find your voice. People are going to love and hate your music. It come with the territory, but if you make something that you are proud of that defines success.

What style of music is it your producing? What inspires you to make this style of music?

I usually write lyrics first and then try to find something that fits it on the guitar. My influences came from 90's alternative rock music. So JIP leans on guitars for sound and styling. JIP jumps from Singer/Songwriter music, to Rock, to Adult Contemporary. It will always jump around, but the purpose is to produce happy and positive tunes.

If you could work alongside any other artist in the world, who would it be and why?

Scott Lucas of Local H would be my first choice. I've seen Local H 37 times in concert and they are my favorite band. Scott has so much passion in his music and is so talented. I'm sure that he would be a pain in the ass to work with in the studio, but the end result would be epic.

If people want to find out more where can they go to do so?

JIP's website is:
JIP is also on facebook:!/pages/JIP/229694410374068
and twitter: @JimmOMSH

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