Jim Levatte

By Giosi Tortorici

Thank you for taking the time to let our readers get to know you!

You have been around the music industry in every aspect of it…tell me how that makes or shapes the way you can bring forward your sound?

I have seen cassettes come and go, cd's also , and the birth of the on-line music boom. It has taught me how to adapt , and change with the current trends. This change also allows me to be more conscious of current music styles , and to stay on top of , or maybe someday ahead of the next big thing in music .

You encompass all around talent- you are a producer, singer-songwriter and musician. Is there a specific process or structure you follow with each of these roles?

Yes, when I record myself , or some other artist , my process is usually the same . I have my go to microphones, pre-amps ,and other processors I always rely on. With a little tweaking , I can always make these work. I prefer to record drums, first , and overdub everything else. I have tried " live off the floor " before , recording all band members at the same time , but prefer the control of doing separate overdubs . When writing new songs, I usually write with the guitar, but have occasionally wrote with piano. I usually come up with the basic verse, bridge, chorus, on the guitar, then the vocal melody next, and lastly, the lyrics. Guitar is my main instrument , so it is my go to instrument. When recording new songs , I can lay guitar tracks down pretty quickly. I work a little harder with other instruments , such as piano and bass. I will either play the piano, or build parts , via midi.  This allows me to audition many different piano/keys sounds later in the mix to make it sit better.  I try and practice different instruments daily , to keep things fresh.   I alsohave to sing everyday . That is very important. I seem to get out of shape vocally very quickly. 

Which instrument do you instinctively pick up and play?

Guitar was the first instrument I learned to play, and the one I am most skilled at.  I recently picked up a banjo, and have been enjoying that. I started mandolin , about a year ago. 

If you could write for any artist out there right now, who would it be and why?

I guess someone like Tim McGraw , or Luke Bryan.  Or maybe Florida Georgia Line.  These guys are huge , and you may as well shoot for the top , if you had a choice.

And if you could get up on stage and play with any artist…who would that be?

Jimmy Page , from Led Zeppelin.  He was such a huge influence on me when I began music.

You mention being a hard rock-metal fan, how did you come to embrace the country music genre?

I still love rock , but I find for the last few years , my taste has been definitely country. There are so many great songs and artists today.  I have always been a fan of good music, I never cared about the genre. I love pop, punk, rock, blues,  jazz, they all have great artists and songs. Guys like Eminem, and Snoop are also cool to listen to. 

Any special projects, shows we can look forward to?  

Finally finishing up the new album. Some live shows to follow. Really excited about the new album, definitely my best to date . It is a lot different then anything I have been hearing lately.  It really shows my love of different music styles, and eras. I hope that rock fans, modern country , and traditional country fans will al find something they like. Hoping to get 12" vinyl done , and videos to follow the release. 

Lisa SavillComment