theaussieword.com catches up with US singer/songwriter Roger Jaeger.
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in music? As a kid, the first band I really listened to was the Newsboys. Somehow through them I got a crazy idea that I wanted to learn the guitar.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music? I want to move people. I want to create an experience that is relatable, but also takes people places they didn’t know they’d be going. But I also make music because I enjoy it. There’s something in me that just doesn’t feel complete without it. I often come alive when I play it. Guitar, sitar, piano, the words I’m singing- become an extension of my soul.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist? Hmm. Open for Coldplay.
Success, what is the secret to it? I suppose some of that may depend on how you define success. Is it getting signed? Is it reaching a certain position on the charts? Is it making enough money doing music that you can live on it and not work another job? For me it’s maybe largely the last one, but I think I’ve gotten there by continuing to grow. By taking risks. By being willing to fail, failing, and continuing anyway.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far? I think for me I’d say finishing this last record. It was something I went all in with. I spent more money than I’ve ever spent creating anything, and took a lot of risks.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring? One is Ryan Tedder from One Republic. He’s from from my hometown, which is exciting, but I also appreciate his approach to songwriting. The things he writes about are generally inspiring, not songs that are just about sex or that promote destructive relationships and getting revenge or a screw you attitude that I see in a lot of pop music today
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? Writing, recording, performing, touring. All the things I’m doing now but on a larger scale!
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? On one hand things are amazing. We’re in a huge DIY age, and the possibility of recording your own quality music withoutthe help of a label has become much easier. However, it’s also made it harder to land a deal with a label. They generally want to see you already having immense success on your own- lots of social media interaction, a significant amount of people showing up at your shows in multiple cities, and success in others areas, such as radio play and tv and film licensing. Talent really isn’t enough anymore. It’s a combination of talent, hard work, perseverance, and being in the right place at the right time. So all that has caused me to get a little creative. I’ve explored creating YouTube videos, following random people on Twitter, submitting my album to review sites, starting college radio campaigns, and even playing a good-old-fashioned live show every now and then.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists. Ha, I wish I knew more! The Newsboys were my favorite band as a kid. First band I saw live, in fact. A couple years back I was introduced to a singer/songwriter named Ash Gale, out of Adelaide. I had the pleasure of seeing him play a showcase in Nashville, and he was riveting.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour? My team currently has some US tour dates in the works. You can expect some YouTube live videos and possibly a couple new music videos as well!
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music? Is it weird to say I’m in love with my own record? I had the chance to work with a good friend of mine, Ryan Poole. He produced it, helped bring the songs to life in a ways I hadn’t even dreamed of. We explored how to tie the sitar into the songs without making them feel what I would call “too Indian.” And so I like to tell people that Start Over is a pop/rock record with some sitar overtones.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline? We’re currently still in a season of pushing Start Over. I’m definitely writing though, and hopefully we’ll be looking at a new project in 2017. It is a possibility that I’ll be making an Indian music record with my good friend in India soon though!
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today? Wherever you are, no matter where you’ve been, it’s not too late for you.