‘Turn’: Actor Samuel Roukin Discusses Revolutionary War Spy Drama

SamuelRoukin2

What do you get when you combine phenomenal writing and acting with a historical based spy thriller? You get, “Turn: Washington’s Spies”, the new AMC drama series that tells the true story of spies during the American Revolution who helped give rise to modern espionage tactics and gave freedom to our country.

“Turn: Washington’s Spies: The Complete First Season” is a new 3-disc set that’s available now on Blu-ray, Digital HD and DVD. The package contains all ten episodes from the show’s first season as well as a plethora of bonus features, including a history of the show, deleted scenes and interviews with the cast and crew.

English actor Samuel Roukin plays the role of John Graves Simcoe on “Turn: Washington’s Spies”. A ruthless lieutenant whose high stakes, emotional affections for the beautiful Anna Strong (Heather Lind) is matched only by the viciousness he holds for the rebel alliance.

I recently spoke with Roukin about the release of the first season of “Turn: Washington’s Spies”. He also gives me a sneak peek at the brand new season of the series, which airs April 13 on AMC.

How did the role of John Graves Simcoe come about for you?

I had originally read for a bunch of roles for the show when they offered me the role of Simcoe. In the original pilot, Simcoe is killed. So we filmed the scene where Simcoe was shot and I thought that was all there would be. Then after the show was picked up, I remember getting a call from producers telling me that the show just wasn’t the same without Simcoe and that they were going to rewrite the pilot and keep the character on the show. That’s really how it all began.

What was it about the show that attracted you?

One thing you must know is that in England, we get taught absolutely nothing about the American Revolution…. and we all know why! [laughs]. But when pilot season comes around each year, the really good scripts just pop out. Apart from that, the writing on this pilot was just phenomenal. You could see the world and the characters and the relationships were very clear. I immediately connected with the material and wanted to be involved. I wasn’t thinking about Simcoe initially, but when the time came my whole creative outlook just opened up. I saw so many options with this guy and had a very specific idea of what I wanted to do with him. He’s a character of such depth and complexity with so many different layers and extremes. He’s someone who’s completely viscous and unpredictable and it’s been great fun developing him.

In season one we see quite a bit of Simcoe’s affections for Anna. Will we be seeing more of this dynamic unfold in season two?

Absolutely. Simcoe really believes that there’s something there with Anna, and it’s interesting that he’s not just trying to intimidate her. In his mind, he really believes he has a chance with her and that there’s some sort of connection. That’s what keeps him coming back. I think he’s genuinely in love with her.

In the season one finale we see a brutal execution scene. Do you feel at that moment we’ve started to see the real face of John Simcoe?

What’s great about the development of the story is that by the end of season one every character has been changed significantly. For Simcoe, he’s always been expected to toe the line under an authority in which he believes to be indecisive and lacking in real military might. So when the crisis moment happens and the town they’ve been sent to defend is under attack, in his mind it’s very clear what needs to happen. I think one of the most dangerous things about Simcoe is that he knows exactly what the solution to the problem should be — even though it doesn’t chime with most human beings [laughs]. In his mind, Major Hewlett [Burn Gorman] wasn’t doing his job and the rebels needed to be sent a message. So in that regard he’s really acting on military instinct. He’s also hell bent on revenge for what’s happened to him and it was the perfect opportunity for payback.

What can fans expect from season two of “Turn: Washington’s Spies”?

From Simcoe, you’ll see what happens to him after his arrest. We know through history that he eventually takes over the Queen’s Rangers and we’re heading towards that. The Queens Rangers are a group of Special Forces sent in to do specific jobs and are a lethal force. Generally speaking, the tempo and velocity of the show goes off the charts in season two and it becomes a more intense, high stakes spy show with some really brutal events that take place. It’s all very exciting.

Did you always know that you wanted to be an actor when you were growing up?

Yes. From a young age I was drawn to it. My parents would always take me to the theater when I was growing up and I grew up in a family where there was a lot of storytelling and it fascinated me. I got involved in theater early on but didn’t know that it could be a job until late into my childhood. For me, it was always just one big, fun thing to do. But once I found out that you could do it for a living, that was it! Everything I did from that point on was driven on making it happen!

If you had to describe season two of “Turn: Washington’s Spies” in just two words, what would they be?

That’s easy. “High intensity”.

Turn: Washington’s Spies: The Complete First Season
Is available now on Blu-ray, Digital HD and DVD
Season Two premieres Monday, April 13 on AMC

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True Beauty: Model And Actress Denise Bidot Discusses Career

DeniseBidot2Model and actress Denise Bidot is turning heads and making statements, not only for her beauty but also for her radiant charm. The international Plus Sized Model and mom has traveled the world, working with many of the industry’s top clients such as Macys, Old Navy, Lane Bryant and Forever 21.

Bidot also stars on Nuvo Tv’s hit show “Curvy Girls”, which provides an all-access pass inside the glamorous world of professional modeling. The show has garnered a huge following of fans since its debut, receiving praise for highlighting a different side of the modeling world and for encouraging women to embrace their bodies no matter what shape or size.

Much like the show, Bidot’s own story is one of inspiration and letting nothing stand in the way of success. I spoke with her about how she got her start, what a typical day is like in the life of a model and how true beauty really does come from within.

How did you get your start in modeling?

I was one of those kids growing up who was always enamored by the whole aspect of entertainment and all of the glitz and glamor associated with it. I knew what I wanted to do early on so I started taking acting classes. When I was 18, I decided to move to LA and started going to auditions. I remember everyone I met kept telling me that I had a lot of charisma and that I was so much of a “leading lady” person, but my body type was something that wasn’t quite what they were looking for.

Seeing that it was an industry that I wanted to be in, my mom convinced me to go back to school for makeup and I eventually started doing freelance work for a plus sized model for a photo shoot. That was when a photographer asked me if I’d be interested in modeling for her as well. I had never done anything like that before but the next thing you know, I’m shooting pictures with her and before long started getting calls for work. It was really one of those right place at the right time type of stories. It’s been an amazing journey of self discovery and a dream come true.

What are some of the things you’ve learned about being a Plus Sized Model?

I think there’s something to be said about what’s lacking in fashion and for me, it’s great to be a part of something that’s at the forefront of change. It’s really all about embracing every woman and the diversity of her shape, ethnicity and age. Of course, I would prefer to just be called “model”, but it’s the technicality of it right now with fashion. Hopefully it will eventually be dropped but right now it’s cool to be involved with fashion in a way that people don’t necessarily expect.

What’s a typical photo shoot like?

A lot of people think it’s all glitz and glamor but there’s really a lot of work and travel involved as well. We’ll usually get up in the morning and have our hair and makeup done (the fun part), but over the course of the day there may be as many as 20 or 30 different changes. It’s a definite workout for ten hours, but as a woman it’s the best job in the world. You get to play dress-up and feel amazingly empowered.

Who are some of the people who inspire you?

There are a lot of women who inspire me. I’m a big fan of Jennifer Lopez. As a Latino woman, it’s remarkable what she’s achieved. I admire her for her production work, music and film. She’s been able to grasp the whole realm of the industry. I also love Penelope Cruz, Jessica Alba and Sophia Vergara. Women who’ve learned not only to love themselves but have also inspired others to love themselves as well.

DeniseBidot3What does your daughter think about your career?

My daughter is a princess and thinks that what I do is so cool. But she also sees first hand that you have to really work hard for what you want. That nothing is impossible and real beauty can come in many different ways. It’s a great journey and I’m so thankful to be able to share it with her.

What advice can you give to women who are self conscious about themselves or think they’re never “good enough”?

First, you need to stop thinking that you’re not perfect. Sometimes the media tries to make people believe that there is that “perfect” woman but the truth is, there isn’t. You need to be happy with who you are; with none of the make-up, hair extensions or fancy clothes. It’s about the woman inside. Every woman has her own specialness and nothing is impossible. I like to say, “There’s no wrong way to be a woman.” But don’t just say it. Believe it!

Do you have other interests outside of modeling?

I love art, movies, painting and playing in the park with my daughter. There’s so much beauty and things that can be done in the world. I’m still growing as a woman and learning about who I am.

For more info on Curvy Girls Click Here

Click Here For Denise Bidot’s Official Website

Bobbi Brown Discusses New Book: Dirty Rocker Boys

dirty rocker boysShe’s been a model, video vixen, rock star wife and a reality TV star. But Bobbi Brown has taken things to an entirely different level as published author. The ex-wife of the late Warrant vocalist Jani Lane is dishing the dirt about the LA scene in her new tell-all book, “Dirty Rocker Boys: Love And Lust On The Sunset Strip.”

In it, Brown talks about her journey from Louisiana beauty queen to the glamorous life of LA. From her early modeling career and time spent on TV’s Star Search to how she became the infamous “Cherry Pie” girl in the Warrant video of the same name.

Brown also pulls no punches when it comes to detailing her sometimes stormy relationships with Lane, Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe), Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and even a young Leonardo DiCaprio; often going into vivid detail about the sex, drugs and debauchery that ran amok in the 90’s. Her book is a roller-coaster ride of emotion and a refreshingly quick read. More importantly, it’s an open and honest look at the life of a Louisiana girl who’s come full circle.

In addition to the release of Dirty Rocker Boys: Love And Lust On The Sunset Strip, Brown’s reality show along with other fellow rock ladies has just completed a second successful season. I spoke with her about the book as well as her relationship with Lane and the close circle of friends that’s become known as the Ex-Wives of Rock.

What made you decide to write a book?

I had read about a dozen or so rock books that I had been mentioned in. As I was reading the stories I just remember thinking, “Well, that’s not exactly right.” I felt the stories were more serving the ones who wrote them and weren’t really being accurate or honest. So I thought I would do a retort, but also have it be what life was like on the scene from a woman’s perspective.

bobbibrownWhat was the writing process like?

Caroline [Ryder] and I met and hit it off right away. She really got my sense of humor and what I was looking for and came back with the best perspective of my voice. There would be times where she would come over and we’d stay up all night just talking stories. I couldn’t have asked for better ghost writer. I wanted it to be realistic and for the reader to feel like they were one of my friends and I was talking to them about it.

After you arrived in LA, did you think that you would be immune to the drugs, sneaking around and cheating?

I think that when you get into a situation like I was in, you always sort-of believe in the back of your mind that somehow you’re “special” and that’s not going to happen to you. But that’s delusional. And the thing is it’s not even personal, but I think it’s the nature of the beast when it comes to dating a musician.

It’s been discussed that Jani’s time with Warrant was strained due to his addiction. What was his relationship like with other members of the band while you were with him?

They all got along well and never really had any serious rifts. It was “party scene-ish” and just very social. There were no serious emotional bonds or loyalties that I witnessed. In the same respect, they had known each other for quite a while and had history together. That’s why I was a little bothered after Jani passed that they didn’t make a bigger deal about it. I took that personally. I do know that he put them through a lot of grief, but I think that was part of his illness and addiction.

You mentioned your regret for not being there much for your daughter Taylar while she was growing up. Is there anything else you regret?

You know, I could actually sit here and say that I have a little bit of regret about all of the decisions that I’ve made. Looking back, you can always say things like ‘”Hey, maybe I should have done this differently or tried a little bit harder.”  But I’m really grateful every day for what I have and I think that has a lot to do with the way things are going for me now. I’ve also learned that the more grateful you are, the less sad you are.

Did you discover anything else about yourself after you finished writing the book?

It was very cathartic. I didn’t go into it imagining that it would end up being therapeutic, but going through all of these stories opened up a lot things that I had suppressed over the years. Some of which I never really had any closure with. It was a nice release.

Let’s talk a little about “Ex-Wives of Rock”. What’s your relationship really like with the girls on the show?

Believe it or not, it’s exactly what you see on camera. We’ve known each other for more than 20 years so it’s very much like a family. We may have our battles, but it’s never a situation where one of us will say “I hate you and I’m never going to speak to you again!” We may fight and argue but at the end of the day, we all care for each other.

Ex-Wives of Rock (l to r): Bobbi Brown, Susan "Blue" Dixon, Athena Lee, Sharise Neil
Ex-Wives of Rock (l to r): Bobbi Brown, Susan “Blue” Dixon, Athena Lee, Sharise Neil

Have any of the people you talked about in the book approached you to refute your side of things?

Knock on wood… Not yet! [laughs]. What I will say though is that it’s my own perspective of my story and I was very honest and open about it. I might have said things that some people didn’t want discussed or talked about, but it’s my life too. It is what it is. My favorite thing to say is “If you didn’t want anyone to find out about it, then maybe you shouldn’t have done it!” [laughs].

BobbiWhat advice would you give to people who might want to follow in your foot steps?

Don’t just think that you’re going to go out to LA and “give it a shot.” That kind of attitude just won’t fly. That’s when you can get caught up in the mistrust and be side tracked by opportunists. Make sure that it’s something you’re really passionate about and driven to do. It’s a crazy city and everyone here is here for a reason.

Is there a message you’d like people to take from reading your book?

I don’t want people to come away from it feeling sorry for me. When they finish the book, I want them to feel that my life has come full circle and maybe say “Good for her!” I want them to feel good about what they’ve read. I also don’t want them to feel like I was a victim, because I wasn’t. All of my life experiences were my own choice.

No one made me do any of the things I did. But in the end, they all made me the person that I am today.

Be sure to check out Bobbi’s Facebook Page and follow her on Ex-Wives Of Rock

Hollywood Is Hard For Frutron and Kimmy Kim

Frutron
Frutron

Somewhere amid all of the glitz and glamour of the Los Angeles scene lies the somewhat bizarre world of Frutron and Kimmy Kim. It’s a world where wedgies are doled out as freely as candy, Fruity Pebbles are used at bath salts and cheeseburgers replace silicon implants.

Collectively, they are known as Hollywood is Hard, an alternate reality web show about two girls who navigate through the cartoon world of Hollywood.

With nearly one million views on You Tube, these ladies really know how to tickle the funny bone. And although their subject matter sometimes crosses the line between the risqué and the extreme, you’d be hard pressed to find two women who are as funny and open about their “pseudo-lives” as Frutron and Kimmy Kim.

I sat down (with my underwear facing away from her or course) with Frutron and got the inside scoop on these wedgie giving, wiener lovin’, Fruity Pebble bathing beauties as she share the secrets behind Hollywood is Hard. During the course of our conversation, Frutron (the nerdy one who refuses to reveal her real name) informed me that there has been talk of the wedgie videos going away, much to the chagrin of this reporter. This would be a tragedy of epic proportions.

Kimmy Kim and Frutron of Hollywood is Hard
Kimmy Kim and Frutron of Hollywood Is Hard

What’s your story?

FT: I would like to say that I was homeless and sleeping in my car and ran into all of this success but none of that’s true. The truth is,  I went to high school in San Francisco and went to art school at the same time. Originally, I thought I wanted to draw comic books, but a year into that I began thinking that comic books just weren’t cool and that I’d never make money drawing (of course, now comic books ARE cool). And although I didn’t pursue drawing, I can storyboard really well which helps with our production.

What brought you to LA?

FT: I wanted to become an actor and was doing commercials; going back and forth between San Francisco and LA. for auditions. A few years ago, I decided to leave my safety net and move here.

I’ve never been a person who was passionate about being a “SERIOUS” actor, but always loved comedy and dreamed of being on Saturday Night Live or MAD TV.

How did you meet Kimmy Kim?

FT: Kimmy Kim and I would see each other in passing while going on auditions. At certain points in our lives, we both had similar looks and knew each other from acting jobs. I always thought she was funny but never thought I’d actually be working with her.

One night, we ended up being at a writing session together that one of our mutual friends had set up. We were both at a point in our careers where we wanted to do something where we were in control. I’m not sure how it is for men, but as a lady you really risk a lot by doing movies that turn out to not be the type of movie you thought it was going to be. You don’t want to have to say, “Oh, GREAT! Now I’m a Sci-fi lesbian space alien in a shit movie!” [laughs]

The other thing is, we both wanted to do something for our career instead of waiting around for some asshole who’s going to want a blow job to give us a part in some shitty movie. Honestly dude, I’m horrible at giving them so it wouldn’t get me a movie part anyway. I’m terrible in the sack so I don’t have that going for me. [laughs]

Our really good friend, Andrew Bentler, who’s the most amazingly talented editor actually knew both of us separately. He was the one who suggested that Kimmy Kim and I should do something together. And once she and I got together, we both found out we were on the same page.

Wedgie of Death

Wieners

FT: I have to tell you, ‘Wieners’ is my favorite episode. When I watch it, it’s not even like watching us.

Fruity Pebbles Bath Time

How do you come up with ideas?

FT: It’s all about what goes on in our daily lives. For instance, one day Kimmy Kim texted me and said (jokingly) “Frutron? I want to get a boob job.” And then I said, “You should stuff cheeseburgers in your bra!” And that would become an episode.

Kimmy Kim Gets Boobs

That’s how it usually starts. We start off with an idea and then everyone puts in stuff. We’ll all write together and then Andrew is just fantastic about taking those ideas and turning them into a story. Basically, we take shit that happens in our lives and then horrifically exaggerate what actually happens.

For more on Frutron, Kimmy Kim and Hollywood is Hard Click Here

 

Actress Julie Piekarski’s Mission: Dancing With The Stars

Julie Piekarski and The Facts of Life cast

Julie Piekarski is on a mission. The former “Mouseketeer” and “Facts of Life” alum is on a quest to join the cast of the ABC hit show, “Dancing with the Stars”. Julie is no stranger to the art of the dance, having honed her chops from a very young age performing in front of huge audiences at The Muny, the nation’s largest outdoor theater located in St. Louis, Missouri.

In the mid-1980′s, Julie took time off from acting in order to marry and raise her three children, and keep the artistic talent they inherited from their Mother alive in their own way.

In this interview, Julie discusses her career, including her time on “The Mickey Mouse Club” and “The Facts of Life”.  She also talks about a certain celebrity she rebuffed for a date and why she believes now is the perfect opportunity to once again showcase her dancing talent.
You can read the rest of my interview with Julie on Technorati by clicking here.

Watch for an extended interview on this blog soon and help get her on the show!

Diane Franklin’s Excellent Adventure

Diane Franklin’s new book, “Diane Franklin:The Excellent Adventures of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s” is a look back at a career of one of the most amazing actresses to come out of the MTV generation.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been thirty years since Diane’s first feature film role in “The Last American Virgin”. The raunchy sex comedy about three friends who were trying to…. well, you know what they’re trying to do.

But, aside from their testosterone fueled quest and Diane’s innocence, for me no single movie exemplifies a slice of the 1980′s better than LAV. When you see the fashions and hear the soundtrack laden with songs by U2, Journey, The Cars and REO Speedwagon; timeless classics now but back then, songs that were fresh and new, it just takes you back. Back to a time of complete innocence.

The thing about Last American Virgin is that it’s not just a movie, it’s a slice of time. And whether it was her beautiful smile or curly locks, I still found a way to forgive Diane for the horrible choice she made at the end of the movie.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Diane about her amazing book and career. The enthusiasm she has for her written word is matched only by the talent she has as an actress.

goJimmygo (gJg): To this day whenever I watch The Last American Virgin, it’s almost like being in a time machine.

Diane Franklin (DF): I agree. LAV brings that 80’s generation back to their teen years. At the beginning of the 80’s, movies that were made had such a rawness to them. The films were real gritty and even the subject matter was grittier. Then in the mid  80’s, movies started to become more polished and upbeat. I’m so happy that I was chosen for that role.  Even though it’s a sex comedy, there’s something that rings true about it, and it doesn’t leave you.

gJg: LAV was also your first feature film as well.

DF: Yes it was. I had actually been auditioning for years prior to getting the role. I was doing good readings but things just weren’t happening. They’d always hire a lead who was someone with a “name’ or some notoriety. And I wasn’t getting the smaller parts because I couldn’t play the best friend; I was told I was too “noticeable”. For my first role to be a lead was just meant to be, and it was a big break for me in my career.

gJg: What made you decide to write a book about your career?

DF: My daughter used to have a crush on Jemaine Clement, a musician and actor. One day, we actually had the chance to meet him and she was in heaven about it. I said to myself, “Look at the happiness that this man brings, and he has absolutely no idea.” I’ve always been recognized a lot and decided it would be great to write a book as a way to give something back to people.

I came to the point of view where I had an “excellent adventure” and was an 80’s “babe”. I found words that were indicative of the 80’s but, I also wanted to talk about everything I’ve done in my career; both the good and the bad. This book exemplifies both my life and journey as an actress. What’s also unique about it, aside from the stories about my journey, is that it also lets you look back and see what the 80’s were really like. There are really are no other books like it. If you know me, you’re definitely going to be into my book. If you don’t know me, but you love the 80’s you’ll love my book anyway!

gJg: What was the writing process like for you?

DF: It felt natural to write and everything just fell right into place. I wanted to make sure I wrote it from my point of view and not someone else putting my thoughts in their own words. This is me. When you read it, it feels like you’ve been sitting with me in Starbucks having a conversation [laughs].

gJg: Where can people get a copy of your book?

DF: Right now, you can get it on Amazon and there’s also a Kindle version of it available as well. Eventually, I’m going to try for a wider distribution.

Do you have any appearances coming up?

I’ll be at New York Comic Con in October. It’s sort of a bizarre schedule but, I’ll be at the Javits Center in NYC Oct 12th from 4:15 – 5:15pm and Oct 13th from 10:45 – 11:45am. In addition to signings for my book, I’ll also have photos from my films available and be taking pictures as well. It will be a great time and a lot of fun.

gJg: Have you stayed in touch with any of your cast mates?

DF: I have. In fact, I recently hosted a radio podcast for CRAGG called, “Babes of the 80’s”. I brought in people I had worked with and we talked about the movies we did together.  I had Amanda Wyss and E G Daily from “Better of Dead”;  Kimmy Robertson and Winnie Freedman from “Last American Virgin” and Kimberley LaBelle Kates from “Bill and Ted”. It went really well.

This time around, I’m planning to do a Halloween Special with Horror Babes and bring in some friends I know who’ve acted in other shows. There are so many beautiful 80’s actresses and it’s so much fun to get together and reminisce.

What else do you have coming up?

DF: I’ve just finished doing commentary with Tony Ginnane for the Blu Ray release of “Second Time Lucky”. The other thing I’ve been involved with is acting in my daughter’s films.

She’s an amazing writer and director and actually won her first award when she was twelve. I play the voice of the computer in a film she did called “Humanized“. It was recently in the Future Filmmaker category for the Los Angeles Film Festival. She’s also completed another film called “My Better Half “.

I’ve heard rumors of a Last American Virgin remake. What do you know about this?

DF: Good question. Brett Ratner actually talked about me on The Howard Stern Show not too long ago and discussed his desire to do a remake. I understand why they would want to do it for another audience and also probably because of the way the original film ended. That’s the reason we all remember it so well.

It would be interesting to see what became of Karen.

DF: I think people might go crazy if I was in it. [laughs]. It would be interesting to tie it together and bring some kind of closure to the original movie. It would also be cool for people who grew up with the film to watch it and get that nostalgic feeling again. We’ll see.

1980’s This Or That With Diane Franklin….

Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday The 13th?

DF: Nightmare on Elm Street, because I was in and episode of Freddy’s Nightmares: The Bride Wore Red.

The Go Gos or The Bangles?

DF: That’s a tough one. I’d have to say Go-Gos, but I do like The Bangles too.

Diane Franklin

Love Boat or Fantasy Island?

DF: When you say it, the imagery just pops into my head [laughs]. Hmmm, The Love boat had some funny skits. I’ll go with that.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Porky’s?

DF: Even though I worked with Roger Wilson in “Second Time Lucky”,  I’d still have to say Fast Times.

A Rubik’s Cube or a Pet Rock?

DF: Pet Rock  [laughs]

Finally, REO Speedwagon or Journey?

Journey – Although every time I hear that song I think, “Uh oh, I wonder if people are thinking of that scene I was in?” [laughs].

Article first published as Diane Franklin’s Excellent Adventure on Technorati.

Jack Dolgen Releases New Album: Wandering Times

Jack Dolgen – Wandering Times

Singer-songwriter Jack Dolgen has just released his sophomore album, Wandering Times” on his own Not One Thing Records. The album is the follow-up to his hugely successful Maricopa album; songs from which were featured on such shows as “How I Met Your Mother”, “16 and Pregnant”, “One Tree Hill”, and “Royal Pains”.

Produced by Mike Geier (B.O.B., Cee-Lo Green), Chuck Brody (Ra Ra Riot, Ted Leo) and Jack Dolgen himself, “Wandering Times” is an eleven song opus that’s filled with organic pop, catchy choruses and melodies that are highly addictive.

In addition to releasing the much-anticipated follow-up album, Jack continues to involve himself in a variety of interesting projects, including co-writing and producing comedy songs with Rachel Bloom (Robot Chicken, Allen Gregory); and composing music for film and TV, such as the theme song for season two of  NTSF:SD:SUV:: (Adult Swim)

I had the opportunity to speak with Jack and get the insight about the new album.  In “Wandering Times”, Jack takes the listener on a journey of thought and self-reflection. And in the end, we discover that sometimes you need to wander in order to find home.

goJimmygo (gJg): What’s the inspiration behind “Wandering Times”?

Jack Dolgen (JD): I decided to quit music a few years ago. Even though I was living in New York and had already made an album (Maricopa), I felt that everything was sort of crumbling around me. So, I put all of my instruments away, moved to LA and closed the door. 

I quit and then the TV and film placements began coming in for my first record. Opportunities to record for TV shows kind of drew me back into recording and it was all going so well, I realized that I can’t really get away from music. I started recording songs in chunks, just to test the water and see if I could handle it. Eventually, I was back in completely.

gJg: What’s your songwriting process like?

JD: It’s different every time. Sometimes I’ll just be out walking or driving and a melody will come to me and I’ll record it on my phone. Other times, I just pick up the instrument and see what happens. All of the songs started out on just acoustic guitar or piano and then build from there. I try and take a stay out of the way approach to the early part of the songwriting process, when an idea comes from wherever it comes from. Then after that stage is over, I jump in and work, rework, tweak and refine.

Baby I’m Afraid Tonight:  This song is about vulnerability and honesty in a relationship. The idea that it’s not the times when we’re perfect for each other that bring us closer together; it’s the times when we’re vulnerable. 

In the song, I’m singing to a lover but in a sense, I’m also signing to myself. It’s a hard thing to be vulnerable. In a lot of my songs, I strive to learn from them.

Jack Dolgen

gJg: What’s next for you?

JD: I’ve already begun writing songs for a third album. I’m always writing and working with different songwriters. I have a theme for NTSF:SD:SUV, the second season of which airs this week.

I’m also finishing up an album with Rachel Bloom. It’s her first full-length release. In addition to being an incredible musical talent, she’s also a tremendous comedic talent as well. We’ve worked on quite a few comedy songs and videos together. She’s phenomenal.

For More information on Jack Dolgen check out the links below:

Official Website * Facebook * Twitter

Article first published as Jack Dolgen Releases New Album: Wandering Times on Technorati.