Jordan Klassen: “Big Intruder is an exploration of commitment and choice”

Canadian singer songwriter Jordan Klassen has recently released a new studio album Big Intruder and is currently on European/UK tour with Husky. There’s something very unique and compelling about Jordan’s sound. His delicate but intense folk pop melodies blend graciously with his vocals and Big Intruder is an authentic and interesting record with a story and musical artistry worth exploring.

Check out his latest video for the song Dominika below.

While on tour, Jordan took some time to answer a few questions about his new record and life on the road.

Eva: In one sentence, who is Jordan Klassen? 

Jordan: I am a bonafide Vancouverite and Canadian who likes ramen and coffee (not together), makes songs, and is married to Olivia.

What inspired your latest record Big Intruder and how did the songs come together? 

The biggest inspiration came from my engagement and marriage. At the time it was becoming apparent to me how immature I was when it comes to making decisions; I am the classic postmodern – I want to explore and experience every opportunity but don’t want to commit to any of them. The songs are mostly an exploration of commitment and choice.

If you could pick one track off the album to play for someone who hasn’t heard your music before, which one would you pick and why?

I might pick the track Housefly. Musically I tried a lot of new things on Big Intruder but I think that Housefly bridges the gap between my previous work and the new concepts.

How do you think you’ve evolved as an artist during writing of this record? 

I learned how to just do the work, to stop being so precious about everything. I’ve heard it said before that you have to turn your ‘editor’ off in the initial stages of writing, and introduce it later when the song is ready to be pruned. That’s always been a difficult thing for me – I seem to want everything to be perfect all the time. For Big Intruder I really learned to just do the work and edit later.

Where do you draw the inspiration from to keep your sound unique and interesting? 

I really like imagery when I’m putting a collection of songs together. For Big Intruder it was this really terrible digital guitar pedal I owned as a teenager in the 90s. The sounds were all very silly and awkward, and I started to wonder how I could make some of those sounds work in the context of the kind of music I make. I also thought a lot about the singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s, how they often made pop and experimented with different analogue gear.

You’re in the middle of a European tour with Husky. How is it going and which place or a show has been your favourite one so far? 

It’s been really amazing. All the guys in Husky are super laid back and easy to get along with. We’ve become fast friends. One of my favourite shows with Husky might have been Cologne – Germans are just such good and enthusiastic listeners, and they were very kind to us.

What’s the best part of being on the road? 

The best part of being on the road is the travel aspect – and having a real reason to be everywhere you go. It’s not like a lot of more aimless traveling I’ve done. You see the world and you have somewhere to be, which is a good way to do it I think.

What can people in the UK expect from your upcoming live shows?

Everything’s pretty stripped back as we play in a trio. But I still think the show is pretty dynamic. Some really quiet and reflective times, and some really loud and boisterous ones.

Can you talk about one or two memorable gigs you have seen this year? 

I mean, I think Husky’s set is really amazing. They’re all pretty incredible musicians and they let some of that prowess really show in their set. I also have seen my friend Andy Shauf play a bunch and he’s just such a great craftsperson when it comes to his live set – it’s super unique. Full band but really quiet and patient. I always recommend him.

After the tour is done, do you have any special plans for the rest of the year?

I have a few dates in Canada and New York, and besides that I think I will eat a lot of ramen with my wife and write a lot of songs in my studio.

Links – Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

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