Review Fix Exclusive: Rod Black Talks ‘Laketown’ And More
By Patrick Hickey Jr.
Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter Rod Black, who discusses his origin in music and new single, “Laketown.”
About Rod Black:
He was born into a Canadian rodeo family, grew up in the Prairies, and broke through as the front man of rock band Jet Black Stare. Signed to Island/Def Jam Records New York, their 2008 single, “Ready to Roll”, made the Top 30 of both the Billboard Mainstream Rock and Active Rock Charts. Rod then switched to country where he had another Billboard hit – the Canada Country Billboard Top 25 single “Keepin’ On” (in 2014) – and the #1 CBC Country/Sirius XM charting single “Good Times” in 2019. Rod is currently signed to Canada’s Bristol Records, in partnership with Nashville’s Copperline.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Rod Black: When I was six years old, I was asked to take on the lead role in a Christmas musical. Everything just kind of went from there. Ever since that experience, I’ve been hooked.
Growing up, I also had music in my family. My played guitar and my mom was a singer. That definitely helped and their support was always amazing.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Black: When I’m writing alone, I sit down with an acoustic guitar and start coming up with melody and lyric ideas. It also helps me to imagine video concepts because those help give me the overall vision of the song.
When I’m in a writing session with others, the creative process is a little different. Everybody adds various ideas to help create something special.
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Black: Life in general. Stories from others and personal moments in my life are inspiring, as is the strength of people and the challenges that we all face in life.
Review Fix: What does music mean to you?
Black: I would definitely say it’s an escape. It’s a freedom to just sit back and listen to songs from my past, and take a journey down memory lane, and of course, be inspired by other artists in the present day as well.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Black: I grew up in a rodeo family, so definitely country music was in our household daily. As I got older, I got into my rock ‘n’ roll.
I’m inspired by all genres of music. I would say the influences are there in both genres that I admire so much. I tend to get the comparison of Kid Rock and even a little Bob Seger at times. I respect both artists immensely, so that’s not a bad thing when I get the little comparisons.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Black: The live show is definitely an energetic one, though I like to have a bit of a rollercoaster moment at times, and have the band take you on a bit of a journey. Overall, I just want to make sure everyone’s having a good time.
The studio is a totally different animal. It’s the creative process which involves trying all kinds of different things. Creating some thing that no one has heard yet is a pretty cool feeling, however, being on stage in front of an audience is a whole different level of inspiration..
Review Fix: What inspired your latest single?
Black: I was in a writing session during the winter with Jeff Johnson. We were talking about the summer months to come and thinking back to memories at the lake, at the cabin, and so forth. “Laketown” grew from there.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2021?
Black: To get back on the stage! I really miss touring. I’ll also be releasing a new EP in the fall, so I’m looking forward to that as well
Review Fix: What’s next?
Black: Back in the studio for more recording, songwriting, and also rehearsals to prepare myself as things start opening up for more shows.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Black: Yes, I definitely want to say thank you for taking the time, It means a lot.
Also – to everyone out there – never stop believing in yourself. Always chase your dreams, be good to others along the way, and appreciate every moment that you’re on this Earth.