“In the last few years I decided it was time to go solo since I had been writing all the music for all the bands I’d been in for the last 10 years or so.”
Check out the interview with Sim Ross exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Sim Ross: I started playing in punk bands when I was a teenager. That lead me to my first real band, The Sign-Offs, when I was 16-22. In the last few years I decided it was time to go solo since I had been writing all the music for all the bands I’d been in for the last 10 years or so. I put out my first solo record in November 2015, and I plan to put out my next in the spring of 2017 this time with a full backing band.
What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
The only way I know how to promote myself is to play out. Play live, with or without a band. Two reasons this is a good idea. One is that you’ll be able to figure out what is working for you. Two, no one can judge whether they like your music or not if they’ve never heard it and playing in front of them is the best way to do that.
What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
My ultimate goal, which gets smaller and smaller the older I get, is to be able to live off of my music. I don’t need a big house and a bunch of cars (although a bunch of guitars does sound nice). I just want to be able to play my music and pay my bills. The cherry on top of that sundae would be to be able to meet and play with some of my favorite songwriters.
What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
The music business is forever changing and is based solely on creativity of individuals. Trying to make a business out of something that may have not yet been created can be very difficult. Sometimes I’m glad I have yet to be noticed because I’m not sure I’ve put out good enough material for people to know who I am or what I really want to do.
What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
I just moved to Austin, TX. I moved here because of the music scene. It may be a hard nut to crack, but at least I get to enjoy all the bands that have been busting their asses while I’m doing it. There’s so much talent in this city, it can be a bit overwhelming. I’m hoping to take little bits of everything I see and find my own niche in there somewhere.
What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
I’m still one of you, I’m still trying my hardest to make this happen. All I can offer is this: don’t stop writing and don’t stop playing. If it is inside you to make music, figure out a way to do it no matter what. Not a day goes by that I don’t consistently think about a song I’m writing or several.
What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
It happens in little bits all the time. When someone I’ve never met either downloads a song, or just becomes a fan on a radio site or wherever they find my music. That little bit makes it worthwhile. Even if they don’t tell anyone about the song they heard that made them a fan of mine. Even if they keep it to themselves. It just means I’ve gotten to someone.
What is your inspiration?
I tend to be inspired to write by the darker side of life. I like to take cues from Springsteen. He writes some really uplifting sounding songs, and they are typically about pretty depressing scenarios. I’m much more interested in a layered song than something that is just upbeat and happy.
Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
No. For the most part you need to be able to write a good melody. It’s not terribly hard, but it’s not for everyone. Lyrical content these days seems to have gone the way of the buffalo, but there are still some true lyricists out there. Jason Isbell is among the best in my opinion, and he has done a great job with his career.
Where can we find you on social media?
Official website: www.simrossredemption.com