The following interview took place via E mail in March 2011
1. Basic bio stuff. Who you are and what you do? How long have you been doing this? Where you are from? What releases do you have available, where can people find them? Things like that.
- My name is Jesse Beaman. I'm a twenty three year old musician/artist living in Austin, Texas. I'm from many places at heart but living in Texas for over ten years. I was born in Miami, Florida and moved to New York City in 1987. After nine years living in NYC I moved to Texas with my family and have been here since. I spend most of my time writing music, playing shows, making artwork, hanging out with friends and soon most of my time will be put into recording. I also work the Austin City Limits Live shows @ The Moody Theater when I'm not doing all the other stuff. I've been playing music since I was in elementary, playing in bands since middle school, playing shows since high school, playing Austin shows since I was seventeen and touring since I was twenty-one. I guess I've been playing music for over ten years and really recording/touring/living the musician life for five years. I've only released limited editions of my recording and usually it's before I go on Tour when I will make copies of recordings. If you haven't picked up a CD at a show you probably won't have one. I've released three different Tour EP's. One in 2008, 2009, & 2010. I've always had trouble finishing the process of getting thousands of copies cause I have always picked tour funding over recording funding. But since all the touring has been great it's almost a must to make a full length that can be available to anybody around the world, which is the plan for this year. I've been doing some recent recordings here and there over the past few years. I plan to pursue some of those and new ones. Also I recently have had a few of my recent shows recorded live on audio and video + working on some more video's with music. This year should be exciting as far as releasing things go. You'll be able to get everything you need online and at local record stores in Austin soon.
2. What is your personal relationship with the natural world (or Wild places or nature and environment)? What is the relationship between your music and the natural world (etc.) How much of an influence does this have on your art?
- That's a good question. I've been living in the city for over five years now but Austin is a beautiful city that cares very much about nature and natural environments.
I'm lucky to live in a city that cares so much to keep things green and natural. I find myself riding my bike on trails here and canoeing in the Colorado River in the middle of the city. I love wild places. My grandparents and mom are all about wild places. When I was really young my grandparents would take my family to Mexico to an old log cabin they owned in a cloud forest. It was epic there. The cloud forest was beautiful, green, moist, and full of wild animals. Now my grandmother has a really great old wood beach shack on a wild beach in Texas called Boca Chica. It's on the border of Texas and Mexico across the bay from South Padre Island. It is amazing. I still go there to see my family, leave the city, and to be somewhere isolated. It's great, at night you can watch huge ships go through the bay with the South Padre Island buildings lit up in the back round. It's one of the last beaches in the United States that has no hotels and restaurants on it. Perfect place to camp. I've heard from people my music is good for listening to while being in natural places but also can work for being somewhere like a city. Nature certainly inspires me to make music. Each of my songs represent something different. Usually I imagine giving someone a chance to vision something through the sounds I create with a Piano, Drums, Guitar and more. I always see nature in my music when I try to vision things. The new video's I've been creating with people I plan to include Boca Chica Beach cause I always see that place when I hear my music or when I'm performing it + a lot more nature footage. My first foot steps where on a beach actually.
3.What level of importance does the preservation of the natural world hold in your life? Where do you rank environmental issues in the grand scheme of world problems? Are there any issues in your local community that are of particular concern to you?
- I think it's very important to protect nature and natural environments. It's how we are alive. Environmental issues are important. It's important not to ignore the way we are hurting nature in the ways we live. In Austin the people here really work hard to keep natural springs, parks, and hiking trails around for everybody to be able to experience. I've been so busy playing shows, touring, and just being a twenty three year old it's been hard to dedicate a lot of time in environmental issues but it would be great to start putting on music performances that can go towards keeping places safe in Austin and even other places around the world. I do feel bad for touring sometimes cause of all the driving but when I'm back in Austin I only ride a bike and ride the bus.
4. You have done a lot of touring, are there any places that stand out to you as particularly beautiful and vibrant? Anywhere that seems particularly fragile? What can we expect from you in the near future as far as releases and touring, etc?
- I've seen some beautiful places on the road. Almost hard to put in words how moving it was to me going through these places. Northern California going straight through the Redwood Forest was probably one of the most epic things I've done. It was so beautiful and green. The trees were enormous and the rivers were strong, crashing against the rocks like ocean waves. Before entering the forest I was driving right next to giant elk that were in large numbers running across the road like deer do in Texas. I got out of the van for a walk on a beautiful beach off the coast of Northern California to watch how huge the ocean waves were. That experience is strong in my memory. I also love driving through North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Washington. All those states have highways going through beautiful places.
As far as recording and touring goes. I plan to be very busy recording, making artwork, and taking video until Summer 2011. The plan is to release my first full length record + video's & artwork before the tour that's going to start in late July. I plan on going on a full N. American Tour in support of it all. Also my older recordings will be available online soon on a few websites. 2011 is going to be a great year!
5. Since this blog started out as a book club please list a few of your favorite books!
- Lately I've been reading Blood of Brothers. It's about the civil wars in Nicaragua and the United States involvement.
Also, I've been peaking in the book This is your Brain on Music which is great.
I was a big fan of the fantasy books Lord of the Rings when I was younger.
6. Add anything thing you'd like as a conclusion.
For More Info: www.myspace.com/emptyphantommusic