Discover Artists That Joined The 11th IMAs: Justin Dzuban
HOMEBASE: Hermosa Beach, CA
DESCRIBE YOUR GENRE: Indie Rock/ Country
CATEGORY ENTERED: Indie Rock
SONGS SUBMITTED: 10
ALBUM SUBMITTED: Hard love
LABEL Name OR Self-Released: Self released
PLEASE LIST THE ARTISTS FEATURED ON THIS RELEASE. Justin Dzuban (singer/ songwriter), Jimmy Vivino (guitarist/ Conan O’brian), Gary Mallaber (drummer/ Steve Miller Band, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne)
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BAND NAME? WERE THERE ANY CONTENDERS? I have decided to go with my real name for now. I don’t view myself as a mystical. Although a daydreamer, I’m a very grounded person so I thought that representing my work with my name was important. Coming up with a band name is pretty tough as it is…I had a lot of people telling me to come up with a stage name, but I don’t view myself as a performer, I view myself as a songwriter and musician. When I sing or get on stage and perform, I’m always Justin Dzuban. This isn’t a production where I’m wearing makeup and going home with a different persona.
DESCRIBE YOUR LATEST RELEASE. Hard Love, a full length studio album is my first album release. I’ve been working with a band for the past 6 months and we are currently working on the next studio album release. I feel that my first album was a success in the sense that i was able to go into the studio and know what I wanted, and 90% of that was just doing things naturally. I had the opportunity to arrange a pretty wide selection of instruments and musicians to work with. All of that and still be able to capture a sound that isn’t too cluttered, I really wanted to hit the points of the songs without going overboard. The co producer on the album Mike Giangreco knew a few great players that came in and played on a couple tracks. It was a great experience for me and just being able to work with Mike in the sense of what he could bring to the table was quite unique.
DID YOU USE ANY UNUSUAL INSTRUMENTS OR EFFECTS? Well, as far as unusual goes, it’s all about the direction of music I’m writing. I love the sounds of live and acoustic instruments so I was really focusing on capturing some quality live sounds. The executive producer of the album had called me saying he thought the accordion would be great on a track “Amilla My Killer”. He was literally reading my mind, but I didn’t know any players and didn’t own one, so he shipped me a beautiful piece that I learned some basics about the instrument and wrote some parts, I love the accordion and it lends itself to an eclectic sound.
WERE THERE ANY ‘HAPPY ACCIDENTS’ IN THE STUDIO OR DID YOU RECORD IT AS PLANNED? Pretty much everything was planned and worked out to some capacity. But I recorded most tracks live with at two interments playing at once to get a live groove going. One session we had, we recorded.
DID FANS HELP FUND THIS PROJECT? A very close friend and his wife that have been huge supporters of my work and efforts for the past 10 years funded my album. It was really one of the nicest things any has ever done. It’s not about receiving an “amount of money” to fund that project that I appreciate, it’s the fact he volunteered to make this happen and supply the funds to see it through. I could not have done this without them. I wanted to make my first album where I wouldn’t sit on tracks for months and have a difficult time funding the last 30% if I didn’t have the money. Again , THANK YOU JOSH AND CECILIA!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SUBMIT TO THE 11TH IMAS? I’ve been working very hard at getting my music out there, and though I’ve spend probably hundreds of hours this past year marketing my material, it’s never enough. The Judges on the panel are some of my favorite artists, and the benefits of the artists selected was very eye catching. The Typical banner of “WIN $ XX,000 always sounds like a good deal but at the end of the day the money will come. I’m interested in putting my music out there and getting to the next level with visibility. I want the market to decide what’s good and if people are interested in hearing what I am doing. Even at that you have to get the right exposure and get your music in front of people who are artists too!
WHO IS SITTING IN YOUR AUDIENCE? WHAT MAKES YOUR FANS UNIQUE? I find that people who come to my shows are people looking for something new. A lot of people tell me that the style of country music I’m doing is very different than what they visualize in their heads. I’m opening people up to a new kind of rock and roll country that not a whole lot of people are doing, at least not that I know of. At the end of the day, I think people are coming to support my music because they feel something familiar with my sound.
HAVE YOU EVER HUNG OUT WITH ONE OF YOUR MUSICAL HEROES? WHAT’S THE STORY? Crazy thing happened… Co producer Mike Giangreco set up Gary Mallaber to play drums and he is friends with Jimmy Vivino. Jimmy is the lead for JImmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band on Conan. Gary Jimmy and Rick Reed (bass) all came in for a session for one day and we just tore through some of my more country rock songs. We worked out each song for about 30-45 and by the time we hit our instruments we had the keeper rhythm at take 3 on both songs we recorded. I’ve always been a huge fan of the guy and it was a privilege to work with him on my own material.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE? Getting my first album recorded and released was my biggest achievement by far. Being an indie artist learning as you go and trying to minimize all mistakes can be very difficult. The hard work that goes into it is not for people who want results over night. No matter what awesome deals I have been offered, recording and releasing my first studio album is my most memorable achievement to date.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST/CRAZIEST TOUR STORY? When I released my album I drove cross country from California to Ohio where I booked shows in Ohio and Chicago. It was such a good time all in all! Getting the word out and spreading the album to new fans really created an atmosphere of positive energy. ARE THERE ANY SONGS YOU WISH YOU WROTE? Oh wow, I have a ton of songs that I listen to and wish I could just feel for a second where the writer was mentally. One of those would be “Hazey Jane by Nick Drake”
WHAT ARTISTS ARE YOU LISTENING TO THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS? I’m a huge fan of Wes Montgomery, and Django Reinhardt.
NAME SOME ARTISTS YOU ARE CHAMPIONING. I don’t really listen to a lot of new upcoming bands. I try to keep up on local bands and writers who are doing their thing. I really like the idea of a music scene, though Hermosa Beach has a smaller one, it’s more of a click. I have had the privilege to play some shows with “the Canyons”, and “the Get Down Boys”…You will hear or see these bands sometime soon, I’m willing to bet on it. There are a lot of really talented groups doing their thing in LA. I do really enjoy Charlie Hunter, I heard and just love Willie Nelson’s Country Music release (2010).
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM SHOW LINEUP? Oh wow, I’d have to say Seeing Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan at the same show would be it. Well actually Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Justin Dzuban…that would be “IT”.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS… a tough nut to crack, but believing in your music and fueling the creative fire is what makes your material, so you have to stick to your guns and focus on what you are doing…
WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN THE WORKS FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR? I’ve been working with my new band Justin Dzuban and the Blue Label Boys, and we are working out all new material for my next album release.
HOW CAN FANS FOLLOW YOU? WHERE IS YOUR MUSIC AVAILABLE? Fans can follow me at:
My music is available for download on my website, itunes, amazon, and about 17 other online music stores.