While it could be argued that almost anyone can sit down and write a song with some degree of success, few songwriters have resonated in the manner that New York’s Sean Rowe has over the past few years. Born and raised in New York State, Rowe grew up with an appreciation of blues greats like John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, both of whose influence can be heard in Rowe’s unique songs.
Sean Rowe’s sophomore record for the Anti record label, The Salesman and the Shark, was released in August 2012. The album served as an impressive expansion of the ideas found on his Anti debut effort Magic.
Boasting one of the most powerful voices in music today, a voice that recalls the passion and versatility of Tom Waits, Sean Rowe performs in Toronto in March. He spoke with Here Magazine last month:
How was the process of making The Salesman and the Shark compared to Magic?
Making this latest record was a different experience for sure especially because Magic had been initially released independently and then re-released by Anti in 2010. Walking into the studio with my producer Woody Jackson to make The Salesman… was like walking into a chocolate factory for music. The studio had character and a great vibe to it.
Where Magic was recorded in a space that you converted to a studio, was the prospect of heading into a studio for your latest record at all intimidating?
Since I recorded Magic, I think that I isolated and chipped away at what I really wanted to get out of my songs. Recording has always been a learning process for me. As you do more of it over time and become more familiar with the tech aspect of things, you become more comfortable with the process.
How important is the atmosphere of the studio when it comes to recording?
The vibe of the room has as much to do with the recording as it does the people who are playing together to make the music. Seeking out the right places to make music is important. It is also about grit for me; I don’t hear a lot of modern music that has grit to it.
Article published in the February 28, 2013 edition of Here Magazine