A non-Sunday Conversation with Roll Acosta

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

Jake: I usually have musical epiphany’s randomly. Sometimes I’m at work, in the shower, and most appropriately during a practice or jam too. But I’ve accepted inspiration is everywhere. Not just black and white.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Jake: To be honest, most of the songs I write are usually based off of a riff first. However, every once in a while, I just start writing words and take that route.  Everything works itself about after about the third time I play/revise everything

Who has influenced you the most?

Jake: This is a tough question. I have so many influences in soo many different ways, songwriting wise- Glen Hasnard, voice-Robert Plant, stage presence- Freddie Mercury, the list can go on and on really for days.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Jake: Most new inspiration comes from simply listening to many different types of music. I like hearing new ideas or just an arrangement of a song I’ve never heard before. If I can’t find a different source of stimulation, creatively, I’ll actually vehemently seek out new music.

Genre's are so misleading and such a way to pigeonhole bands. Without resorting to labels, how would you describe your music?

Jake: I’d say we’re a new age soft rock alternative. We have elements of folk and indie because of the way we work and write, but overall we use pretty simplistic raw instrumentation to create a bigger sound.

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

Jake: My musical intention is really to be able to give the audience great music, write that music, and perform that music to eventually live full time. Don’t really need to be rich, just want to play my music.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Jake: We definitely have some secret practice tracks where I mumble words, or really get off topic.  For example, a song that we play called “Armistice” was originally dubbed Carburetor Song, because I kept mumbling those words.

 What makes a great song?

Jake: This is very open to interpretation, but I think a great song is a song that can connect to more than one audience and usually span across at the least a generation of satisfied listeners. I’m sure not all would agree, but most classic rock and soft rock tends to fall into this category.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Jake: I’ll tell you that it was not as interesting as what I write now. I definitely wrote some grade A bologna, mostly because I was learning and developing my songwriting and overall ability to listen and arrange accordingly. I think the first song I wrote had like three Goo Goo Dolls style chords, jeez.

What piece of your music are you particularly proud of?

Jake: I am most proud of my professionally recorded material. I feel like when I created music for my groups in a real studio with real great hardware, mic’s, etc. I knew that I had to rise to a certain level and bring it on each take.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Jake: I think right now bands like Airborne Toxic Event, Swell Season, Phoenix, Mumford and Sons, Avett Brothers, Muse, and tons of others actually have some very intense and relatable lyrics and songwriting in spades.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Jake: I actually prefer either digital or CD. I feel like most Vinyl can be a novelty in the US. So if I lived somewhere I else, I might think differently.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Jake: I can’t have both…?

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Jake: Roll Acosta is native to Tucson, and I think the best place to look for music is either the Chicago Store downtown, Zia Records or online.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Jake: I guess I would say just listen to as much music as possible. We are in an age now where we can pick and choose, so don’t get stuck on one group. Explore it all, and in the meantime I’ll keep working to make sure you have more to listen to.