By Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What are some of the things that make you feel fully alive?

Mason Jennings: Being with my kids, for one, and my wife – definitely song writing, being on stage for sure. I like being in the woods a lot, around trees.

MP: What are some of the things that make you feel vulnerable?

MJ: Traveling a lot. For me, being vulnerable is asking for help from other people whatever it may be.

MP: What are some of the ways that you deal with emotional pain when it comes in?

mason-jennings_quoteMJ: Meditation has been really helpful for me and music and great books. Deep down, it’s just that I feel a connection to music and books when I can find that other people have gone through similar things.

MP: What is love to you?

MJ: It’s always changing I guess. It has different forms. There’s a love that I for my kids where I would instantly put myself in front of a bullet for them. I would definitely put my life on the line at any time for them. So, there’s that kind of love. There’s also the kind of love where being around someone makes you feel energized. Just being around them gives you more energy than less.

MP: I am looking forward to that one. What are some of the causes that you are passionate about?

MJ: I am really concerned about all of the chemicals. Global warming is another huge one, but the amount of chemicals being used in like laundry detergents and fertilizers is concerning. Like when I go to my kid’s school and there are no real regulations about the laundry detergent and fertilizers that they are using, it’s so intense – the chemicals that we are using as a culture and all over the world. I can just kind of feel it. It’s a really negative thing that is going to need to be looked at. Also, the switch to these new technologies, like wi-fi. The switch to wi-fi came on so fast that it’s everywhere now. It’s really affecting things and I have a feeling that we’re going to find out a lot more about what it’s actually doing in a few years. I’ve had friends who are really sensitive to those kinds of frequencies and they are really affected by it. If they’re affected by it, then there’s definitely something happening with it that all of us are dealing with, even though we might not be as affected. The increase in chemicals and the increase in technology, like wi-fi and cell phone use that’s going through our bodies all of the time is something that is big on my radar.

MP: First I almost cried and now you’ve made me freak out. In Europe when you buy a cell phone, they all come with a warning label about radiation, just like cigarettes do, that warn you about keeping the phone too close to your head and I always wonder why we aren’t hearing about that. Tell me about any new projects that you have coming out?

MJ: I’m really excited about my new record. It’s something that I have been working on for two years and it’s really different than my other records. I worked with a producer, Bo Ramsey, which was a big step for me. I have a bunch of friends on it – this group of musicians that I really respect. It’s got a really different feel to it. I actually worked in a proper studio and focused my time on the first part of it, which is the song writing. For the last couple of records, I started recording it while I was writing. So, I was recording all of the time, but also writing with a computer in front of me at all times, constantly tweaking things. This was a different way of recording for me, where the songs were actually done before I started recording and I wasn’t messing with them. It feels different.

MP: Do you think it feels more polished? I love your sound. Will it be the same?

MJ: In a way it’s less polished because I am just sitting in a room singing with a guitar and it’s just augmented with a few musicians. It’s more focused on getting the vocal quality of the performance. People kept coming up to me after shows and saying, “Man, your voice sounds so great,” and I don’t feel like that has been totally captured on record yet. They’ve all been lo-fi recordings. I thought it was about time to get my voice captured as well as I can on a record. So, this doesn’t feel more polished to me. It feels just like it’s clearer.

MP: What are the songs that are closest to your heart? I know it’s like picking on of your children.

MJ: On this record? It would be a song “Wilderness”. That will be a good break up one for you.

MP: Do you have a daily practice that keeps you centered in the middle of chaos?

MJ: I do yoga a lot. I do hot yoga as much as I can. That’s probably every other day. Meditation is the one thing I do every day – meditate, pray. I do reading in the morning and try to center myself. I play music every day because that is very centering.

MP: When can we buy your new album?

MJ: 11/12/2013


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