SingerÂ discusses the band's new EP, the influence of Venice Beach, and the moments that ground him.
Cody Simpson & the Tide look to capture the carefree summer lifestyle of Venice, California, with their blues, surf rock, and psychedelia-inspired music. The vibrations of Southern California are in full focus on the band's recently released EP, Wave One.Born in Australia, Simpson has already had an impressive career that includes touring with Justin Bieber and collaborating with Ziggy Marley and Asher Roth. He released an autobiography, Welcome To Paradise: My Journey, back in 2013, and has continued to create music ever since. On Wave One, the artist moves away from the synth pop sounds that initially brought him into the spotlight, and finds himself creating the kind of beach-themed tunes that fit his current, more-message-oriented-but-still-laidback state of mind.ARTISTdirect's Christopher Friedmann caught up with Cody Simpson to discuss the band's new album, the influence of Venice Beach, and the moments that ground him.Christopher Friedmann: We're talking because you just released a new EP, Wave One. Now that the dust has had some time to settle, how is the mood in camp?Cody Simpson: I feel quite pleased and quite fulfilled actually. I feel like I've made a kind of step on a new path and it's exciting. There's times when I kind of cocooned myself a little bit, almost a bit of self-imposed exile or something, come by the beach for a year or two and came up with a bunch of songs and started playing with the band I'm playing with now, and was doing a lot of guitar practice, a lot of reading, a lot of writing and stuff. Now I've come out of that shell a bit and am making the first steps on my journey. It's quite cool. It's a nice feeling.CF: The album is said to 'encapsulate Venice Beach.â€� Do you find that landscape influences your music, and if so, how?CS: For sure, I mean it's common amongst artists and quite a natural thing for any artist, I guess, who is writing music, can't help but reflect what's going on around it and the environment and atmosphere in which it's created in plays an instrumental part in the sonic landscape of the work. And so I think even with the first wave, which I think is an exemplifier of where we are headed musically, some of these first tracks, we've tried to really encapsulate that whole atmosphere and feelings.Being down here, felt the change a whole lot since 40, 50 years ago or whatever, but it still has the essence, and we would like to carry it on musically because no one is really doing it in a modern way. We wanted to be those guys I guess.CF: If you're taking the essence that is Venice and trying to encapsulate that attitude, I was wondering if you could you take us through a bit of your songwriting process and where you get your ideas from?CS: Often it's quite like I'll be bringing in something quite, like, fragmentary and disjointed at first. Honestly, the way I do it, it can come about with...I have endless voice memos on my phone and it's fine because I would carry around a notebook, but I have the notes on my phone so I do it all on there. And I'm just writing, whether it's little aphoristic tidbits of lyrics or poems or whatever, or whether it's like a guitar-riff on a voice-note stuff, and then I'll kind of put it all together and that's kind of how it first started. It was with a lot of different kinds of little poems and riffs that I was writing, I would bring them to the guys because I can only do so much. I can only get a song to a place where it's like an acoustic guitar demo or whatever and then