Jim Shorts | Halo Repair
David emailed me a few weeks ago about the long road to making Halo Repair. He said Jim Shorts was reaching out to blogs to talk about the new music. I was honored to be included in the list of people he reached out to. I immediately thanked our mutual friend, Drew, for connecting us. Drew described David as, "the most talented guy." I started thinking about all the people in my life I would describe as the most talented. Luckily for me, it is a big list but a few always show up near the front, like one of my best friends Ashley. Ashley is one of the most talented people on earth in my opinion and I get to know her which is amazing. So to know that David is someone's most talented person is very exciting to me. Hearing about his talent resulted in having high expectations of the record and I was not disappointed. Halo Repair is fantastic. For me, it was a real breath of fresh air. I tend to get lost in all the things I want to be doing rather than enjoying what I am doing. Like David says, this record is about the small moments. It is about being present, mindful and true. One of my favorite songs is called Meet The Author. It seems to be about an internal conversation that is both completely personal but also incredibly relatable. Honesty shines bright in this song and the record as a whole. I think that being truthful in your art is an amazing gift. I appreciate Jim Shorts for sharing their talent with me and soon all of us. Halo Repair comes out in a few days (April 6th!) so get ready to ride around in your car soaking in the realness. It is beautiful.
Shout out to Drew Waldon for passing along the word of this site to good people in good bands.
You are the real MVP.
David Haynes on Jim Shorts...
The current band:
David Haynes - Guitar, Vocals
Evan Braswell - Guitar
Charlotte Wood - Bass
Mike Barth - Drums
The band on Halo Repair:
David Haynes - Guitar, Vocals
Ryan Roddy - Drums
Jarrod Gee - Bass, Production
I'm in the kitchen cooking dinner for me and my wife as I respond to these questions, and I think there's a metaphor here somewhere. When you first start out cooking, you follow the recipe. You use the recommended amount of spices; you measure everything. After you've made the recipe 20 times (and other recipes too), you start to think to yourself, "Hey, I know garlic tastes good. So, I'm gonna add more than this recipe recommends. I am the master of my own fate."
Jim Shorts really began as a place for me to practice songwriting while I was in more "serious" bands where I wrote with other people collaboratively. Over the course of the past 5 years, I've released 600 or so songs under the name Jim Shorts. And it took all these years of writing songs for me to finally have the right ingredients to start writing good records. I recorded what was to be the last Jim Shorts album in 2016 and called it Eternal. As soon as that record came out, I started writing Halo Repair. I just couldn't stop because I had finally found the recipe that worked for me. So, I started letting people in. My friend Jarrod wanted to make a record with me for a while, and I finally said yes. My longtime bandmate and friend Ryan Roddy played drums. We toured in the Spring of 2017. Then, I moved up to Maryland and recruited my friends Evan, Charlotte, and Mike. It's been a blast playing these new songs with people. We're going on tour shortly after this album comes out, and I'm very excited to travel with this new lineup!
I really love a lot of 90s indie rock. Built to Spill is probably my favorite band, but I love Pavement, Guided by Voices, etc. I think that's an influence I wear on my sleeve. Lately, I've been getting into a lot of 70s stuff as well. Neil Young has been a huge influence on my songwriting recently. I didn't grow up listening to a lot of music, so I just sort of discovered Springsteen, Dylan, and Mitchell for the first time as well. There's a lot of great music happening now too! The Thermals' album Now We Can See was a huge influence on the sound for Halo Repair. I've been really influenced by Katie Crutchfield over the past few years. Everything she's done is genius. Oops, I better check on my asparagus.
Baltimore, MD music from Chattanooga, TN
So, Jim Shorts really was born and bred in Chattanooga, TN. The music scene there is really cool! Sluggo's is a very cool vegetarian restaurant run by Terry (The Rivers Edge, Basement Benders), and they are always so cool about hosting shows. There's great bands from the area too - Company to Keep, I Can Japan, Mixed Signals, Superbody, and Terry's bands mentioned above (just to name a few).
I'm a newcomer to the Maryland music scene, but there's so much cool stuff going in in Baltimore and Frederick. There's this crazy band called GLOOP that's sort of post-punk/no wave/god knows what else. I've described them before as "the kind of band that makes you want to take the Lord's name in vain," and I stand by that description. Little Lungs, Middle Kid, Flooded - so many great bands up here! I'm really happy to be making new friends.
It's really important to support the local music scene. I try to go to as many shows as I can and buy as many t-shirts as possible. Not only is it good to support bands, but it's also important to support your local spaces that make music happen. If you're there, you can be a force for good. So, be there!
The new record
Yes, the new record is called Halo Repair, and it comes out on April 6th! It's the first time I have entered a professional studio setting. I'd been home recording for years, and Jarrod Gee had been approaching me for a while about making a record. I'm a bit of a control freak, and I struggle with trusting people. When I was writing the songs, I knew it didn't need the same type of home-recorded production. I wanted to work with someone who knew what they were doing. Jarrod had hit me up to engineer a record for a while, and I finally said yes. Working with Jarrod was absolutely incredible, and I wish I had been working with him for a long time! Having Ryan play drums was also incredible. I'm not too great of a drummer, so it was really cool to work with him to make my drum parts better.
We recorded it in 5 days at a studio called Spanner Sound in Chattanooga. It was sort of crazy. I had a lot of guitar parts, and the last day of recording was like this insane rush to make sure all the guitar got done. A couple songs were cut just because my vocals were a little bit shot after an 8 hour day of singing. I moved shortly after this was recorded, so we didn't really have time to go back in and fix them. C'est la vie!
My pal Sydney did the artwork. They live in Lynchburg, VA, and I think I met them at the show we played there on our tour last Spring. I saw their work on Instagram/Facebook, and thought they would make a great fit for doing the art for Halo Repair. The album was also mastered by Jamal Ruhe at West West Side Music in New York. He mastered the newest Built to Spill album, so it was a dream come true working with him!
I was on the brink of a lot of change when I wrote most of the songs for Halo Repair. I was about to graduate, move, and get married. I think Halo Repair is really about the small moments in a day where you realize you're doing exactly what you want to do and hoping to fill up your whole life with those moments. I know the phrase Halo Repair is a little bit religious, but it's not meant to be. In my mind, it's just about getting lost in those moments where you feel right with everything. I hope people enjoy it!