SHOW INTERVIEW: Justin Dzuban Celebrates “Shakedown” @ The Hotel Cafe this Saturday (11PM)!

SHOW INTERVIEW: Justin Dzuban Celebrates “Shakedown” @ The Hotel Cafe this Saturday (11PM)!

Singer-Songwriter Justin Dzuban will celebrate the release of his impactful new album “Shakedown” with a live performance at Los Angeles’ The Hotel Cafe on June 28th, 2014. Born in Ohio to a deeply musical family, Justin has spent his life studying the craft of songwriting and working towards building expansive musical arrangements that will stand the test of time; no surprise considering influences like Johnny Cash and Bing Crosby. On his newest album, “Shakedown” his goal was to construct a full length album that honed a distinct sound while remaining cohesive in both technique and instrumentation. A “DYI” musician to the full definition, he mixed and produced the album on his own, using unique instruments and gear, and a mono channel recording device that would allow his simplistic recording style to come full circle. However sparse his arrangements are, his songwriting pulls you in with honest and thoughtful stories, creating an experience that each listener can immerse themselves in.

Justin’s authentic sound and emotive qualities make for an intimate performance style that dives deep into human emotion. He’s a songwriter that focuses on the perspective and experience of his own life, injecting honest hopes and fears into each and every track. The tracks on his new album “Shakedown” are the perfect introduction into who Justin is as an artist, and it was an eye-opening experience to have the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about his performance and his new album.  Read on for insight into his music and the inspiration behind his songs, then join him for the exciting “Shakedown” release party performance at The Hotel Cafe, this Saturday, June 28th beginning at 11PM.

When: June 28th, 2014 – 11:00PM
Where: The Hotel Cafe –  1623 Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Tickets: 21+



How old were you when you first began playing music? What inspired you to explore the art form even further?

My parents bought a piano when I was in kindergarten and my first song I learned was Justin Dzuban_promo“Wipe Out.” I always felt connected to music and I didn’t have to decide anything I just gravitated to it at a young age, playing violin and trumpet throughout elementary and middle school, I let go of playing in a group setting when I realized I was never actually reading the sheet music and I was just memorizing everything I was playing.  I moved over to the guitar when I was 13.  Music has always been my getaway to the space
of inner peace even at the age of 13.

At what age did you begin songwriting and performing?
I began performing when I was 14, my first show at my middle school talent show, I performed Nirvana’s “Dumb”.  I was a wee bit nervous that show (laughs). But that was the start of it all. As far as songwriting, I’ve always had the ability to hear melodies in my head so I’ve always been able to visualize elements but as far as lyrics go, I really began when I was in my early/ mid 20’s.
What artists do you feel have inspired your sound and the way that you write most?
Willie Nelson, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel…  There are a lot of classic influences and I really appreciate the most “human” attributes to recordings and performances like a voice that is more texture than technique (though I do have a deep appreciate for many styles of classical and jazz too).
What experiences and emotions tend to inspire you to put pen to paper and write a new song?
A lot of times when I write songs it’s about a perspective.  As perspectives change so do we but a lot is about love, growth, self realization, and even spending time in someone else’s shoes in thought brings me experience and emotion.

“Shakedown” is an incredibly eclectic album with a distinct focus on the sound of the instrumentation, what was your goal when going into making this record?

I really wanted to capture the essence of what I have been going through in this stage of my life. As far as writing style goes, I’m just following my interests keeping the flow as natural and allowing ideas to surface without judging where they might go… and for production and mixing, this is a project that is about as minimalistic as it gets for tracking and I wanted to really capture a cohesive sound through the different styles of songwriting that there are.

Tell us a little bit about the journey of recording this album. What were some of the defining moments in the process for you? 

I spent a lot of time recording this at night between 1-4am when everyone was asleep for the night and I could really tap into my quiet/ space for focusing. Making this record was a deep almost spiritual experience for me, clearing out the old and bringing in the new emotionally.  I didn’t spend too much time in the recording process, I really wanted to be who I am and roll with the takes that felt the best and not focus on how perfect things were.  Being yourself is the greatest liberation in our world and we can find that within words, and expression.

Your music possess a unique mix of Rock and Americana. How did you discover your sound? What would you say has influenced it the most?
I’m following my natural interests, though I’ve always loved the sound of live instruments and elements of many styles of music.  I always loved country but couldn’t get into “country” if you know what I mean, and once again I’m really exploring myself and the way I’m playing my music is what feels the most natural way of presenting it to the public.
The Hotel Café is a Los Angeles staple, how do you feel going into your performance on June 28th?

I feel this will be a two sided treat.  I’ve always wanted to perform there and it seems that this is my perfect entrance there. I really love the venue and it has a great atmosphere to it which is why I am very happy to be booked to perform for my album release show.  Also, I will have some special guests joining me from the album including some back up singers and an organ player.  We have a really special night planned for all who are attending.

When you perform, what do you hope the audience is taking away from you and your music?

I’m a down to earth person, simple man who is opening up and sharing an authentic perspective of how I make music and how I feel about the experiences of my own life.  This music is for the people and hopefully it will influence the masses to realize something about themselves and not just be entertained on a safe, shallow level of appreciation.

What artists do you feel put on an impactful live show? What elements of a great performance leave an impression on you?

I have been to many shows over the years and I do have my favorites.  They seem to be more stripped down, without the backing tracks and the plastic shades of colors sprinkled in their sound.

Some of the most impactful performances I have seen include Victor Wooten, Charlie Hunter, Nels Klein, Bill Frisell, Khaki King are some of my favorite performers that I’ve had the opportunity to see in person.  People that are mastering their craft, can be very dynamic and also keep it melodic.  As far as simplicity goes, I love seeing someone just sing and play their heart out.  Complex or rudimentary simple, I can fall in love and lose myself for several minutes.
Now that “Shakedown” is out, what do you hope that people take away from it?
I’m a person who wants to see everyone succeed.  I hope a single song on this album will inspire or touch everyone in a way that will improve the way they live their lives.
What’s up next for you? Any touring or new projects in the works?
Yes, the sky is the limit.  I’m working on dates from Texas to Ohio.  Also, a possibly European tour is in the works.  There is a lot going on right now and it’s a little early to spill the beans on dates and locations just yet but there is a serious momentum occurring and I’m open to the flow of where I’m headed.

We can’t wait for everyone to hear the album! Check out a sneak peak below (and more tracks on his official soundcloud located here) and then head on over to Justin Dzuban’s official website to purchase the album and see up-coming tour information.
Don’t forget to head out to The Hotel Cafe this SATURDAY to check out his live set! He’s set to hit the stage at 11PM!


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