J.D. Webb – Video & Interview – ‘The Introduction’ J.D. Webb – Video & Interview – ‘The Introduction’

Amidst the brick walls of an elusive and undisclosed rehearsal studio in L.A., each brick lovingly vandalized by artists such as Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, Pinpoint Music sat down with singer/songwriter J.D. Webb and talked about the release of his new album “The Introduction”. We asked him questions regarding everything from free music sharing to the death of Michael Jackson…y’know, the important stuff. J.D. fielded our vast array of topics with the utmost sincerity and professionalism but insisted that we keep the identity of his rehearsal location strictly confidential, and we don’t blame him. The place is as mysterious as it is legendary. Both of those characteristics have a clear symbiotic relationship and we at Pinpoint Music have no desire to disrupt it…especially since we are among the few privy to its aura.

Pinpoint: So, being from Hawaii originally, it’s interesting that the music you make is distinctly un-Hawaiian. Where does your sound come from?
J.D.: Well it wasn’t until I had left Hawaii that I actually began singing what’s known as traditionally ‘black’ music. I’d always been told that I had soul and had even been nicknamed ‘white chocolate’, but I never really understood the connotation until I came to the mainland.

Pinpoint: Regardless of the connotations it seems like people seem to respond positively to your music.
J.D.: I think people are always receptive to good music. Maybe I live in a bubble because I’m from Hawaii, but I feel like it shouldn’t matter what color you are or what your upbringing is, if you sing from your heart and you really connect with your audience I think people really get that…and let it speak for itself.

Pinpoint: You’ve been performing music from a pretty young age, tell us about your experiences and influences growing up around music.
J.D.: Well my mom and her sisters had a band, a gospel group, and basically every summer we would leave Hawaii go to the mainland and get on a tour bus. We’d go from city to city and church to church and I think I played in my first concert when I was about 3 and played drums for them, then I played piano as like an opening act when I was about 10, so music was a huge part of my life.

Pinpoint: So do you get musical talent from your dad’s side as well?
J.D.: (laughing) My dad has no musical inclination whatsoever! But he always saw that it was very important to his family. Although since our last name is Webb he’s always been convinced that I must be related to Jimmy Webb, the famous songwriter, so he wants to take partial credit for that. We’ll see! We’ll have to trace our lineage.

Pinpoint: So would you say that religion has had a role in your musical influence?
J.D.: Well, I think it all comes from God. You see God move in everything, whether it’s the sunrise in the morning or the wind that blows, it’s all part of who I am. And although some of these songs may not say ‘God’ or talk about certain things in the Bible it all talks about the journey and my life. Obviously because of growing up in church and just the huge impact that God has had on my life then and today…it all comes from God, no matter what the message is, it’s all there.

Pinpoint: So you must have had some interest from major labels in coming out with this album, tell us about your decision to produce it with IMG.
J.D.: I was definitely courted by a good number of major labels, but I felt it was so important for me to celebrate who I am and the music that I want to make. I feel like the beauty of Infinite Music Group is that you can really be your own artist. I really wanted this to be me and I didn’t want it to be something fabricated or something an A&R guy says ‘this is what it needs to be and this is what you need to sound like’. I feel like it was such a great fit to be able to be able to go ‘Well here’s what I’m gonna’ do’ and they just said ‘Alright, great. Do your thing.’

Pinpoint: From an artist’s point of view, especially one that’s about to drop an album, how do you feel about people sharing free music?
J.D.: I feel like we’re looking at the inevitable. People are going to download music and if people are downloading it, however they’re downloading it, obviously I’d love for people to buy it, but if it’s going to get leaked and people are going to download it one way or the other, I feel like – I just…I’m glad that people are listening! I mean even if people are passing around, I mean I’d love for us to figure some kind of great solution, but, y’know, it is what it is and it’s kind of the next wave of where music is going.

Pinpoint: On that note, you’re pretty web saavy as far as using social networking to reach out to your fans.
J.D.: Social networking is so important and I love just getting comments from fans and messages on how a song has moved them, so I definitely reach out on a daily basis. I try to take like an hour or two just to kinda’ try to say ‘thanks’ and ‘thanks for listening’. I feel like there’s so many artists out there and so many great artists that it’s just a privilege for them to time and listen to the album, and when they say that something moves them or touches them…it means a lot. So I just wanna’ kind of give back and say thanks.

Pinpoint: I know this is kind of already an instantly cliché topic, but I’m curious to know your feelings on the death of Michael Jackson.
J.D.: Yeah… …unless you’re in music day after day after day, people have no idea what kind of pressures are on you. A lot of times on tour you’ll do a radio interview where you have to be up at 5am then you’ll do in-stores then sound check and then the concert, and then you’re doing a meet-and-greet until late that night. And when it’s night after night after night, the kind of strain that it puts on you, a lot of people will resort to other things, whether they need medication or drugs or whatever it is that they need just to stay at that place. So a lot of people make judgments but you just never know until you’ve walked down that road, and the road that he’s walked on is on much larger scale than I’ve ever seen, but I have personally seen the pressures. But Michael Jackson, just what he’s brought in my life – the way that he wrote a song, the way that he delivered a song…he just gave everything that he had. He was all-encompassing as a musician and I think there’s going to be a huge, huge loss that we’ll all feel for a long time.

On that note we wrapped up our interview and took one last look at the Rock and Roll Time Tunnel sign and the wall made entirely of broken instruments and shattered drumsticks. One could almost see some of music’s most renowned geniuses drinking, smoking, writing and practicing the songs that defined their legacy. So, to that and to J.D., we bid farewell. Thanks for the good tunes and good times, J.D. Luckily some good-looking dude with a video camera captured J.D.’s rehearsal and found it in his heart to grace Pinpoint Music with his footage…check it out.

5 Responses about “J.D. Webb – Video & Interview – ‘The Introduction’”

  • Anonymous says:

    Amazing. Loved him before, love him even more now. Thanks!

  • Anon says:

    Great interview- one of the best answers I’ve heard to the Michael Jackson question.

  • Pam Mayo says:

    Way to go Jd….This is fabulous!! You are more than AMAZING. God has gifted you so. Glad to hear you give Him the credit. So glad we are friends. Keep up the GREAT work.

  • Liz says:

    In such a short interview, JD said what it took famous artist years to say. For an artist to even mention church or God, thats not “KOOL” JD I give u credit!! May God carry as far as u want to go with ur musical career.

  • anonymous says:

    What a great interview and rehearsal footage! Really lets you get to know JD.