A while back, I skyped with RJ from Baked. Here’s what he had to say.
First off, who are you and what genre of music do you make?
My name is RJ Gordon, I play in a band called Baked, and Baked is kind of some shoegazey stuff, some folky stuff, some more punky stuff, rock and roll, let’s call it.
So if you had to describe your music with a color what color would it be?
Oh, usually we go with green. Green has always been the one.
So what’s the biggest struggle you have when it comes to creating?
Music? I guess it’s just trying to continue to write. As you get older and so many ideas get thrown out there and things get stale, hear other people, you know, co-opting different sounds and genres, it’s tough to, I guess, just make something original that also feels like it represents us or me or just anyone part writing or songwriting.
If you could play any show in the world what would it be?
In the world? Like, what bill or where?
Either, just any show with any artist or any… anything.
I think it’s safe to say we’d all love to play PrimaVera in Spain. I play in Titus Andronicus as well and we played in Barcelona last year, and man it was just like the best sound and the best people and the best vibes and they take really good care of you, and they curate it so well I got to see Freddie Gibbs and also watch Radiohead from upstage, it just feels like the ultimate melting pot to get out of the states and see, and like Tortoise, Tortoise is big out there, maybe here not so much, but definitely somewhere in Spain. Some festival in Spain. Yeah.
So along a similar line, what do you consider your biggest musical success?
Hmmm. Uh, I don’t know, it’s definitely a moving target. What used to be the goal- I was talking to one of the guys in the band the other day and we were saying that we remember when we were kids, being on like mp3.com and then myspace and all these little things. I don’t know. I guess playing across the whole country. Booking a big ol’ US tour is the biggest. Thus far we’ve only gone out supporting Titus Andronicus and Spider Bags to do the whole country, but we’re booking one right now and it feels pretty good. We’re on Spotify, getting ready to go out into the world, just reaching out to all of the people we’ve met across America in the last ten years. I think that’s it. Putting ourselves out there and doing it.
What inspired you to start making music?
Oh, boy. I guess really, punk rock. As a kid, it was like The Clash and The Ramones, and then the whole wave of you know, pop punk, like Green Day and stuff. It definitely inspired me to play guitar. One of those “I can do this!” type of vibes. That was long ago, now.
If you could hear any person living or dead sing to you, who would it be?
Maybe Dean Martin. I feel like Dean would be a cool guy to hang out with, have a few cocktails. He could teach me a thing about crooning, I always had a thing about trying to do some songs in a Dean Martin kind of way. Big band. He just seems like a cool guy. Maybe the whole rat pack, maybe get Frank in there too.
Who, aside from any band or musician, is your biggest influence?
I’ve always been very partial to Hunter Thompson. Definitely studied his works over the course of my life and tried to take a piece or two from him, tried to make sense of this crazy life. So yeah, I think he’s definitely been a big influence on me for the last 15 years or so.
What’s your favorite book?
Oh my god. That’s like a favorite album, it changes all the time. It’s really tough. I guess maybe Breakfast of Champions. Seems to be one I always go back to. Pretty stereotypical stuff, huh?
What do you like to do other than music?
Well, I do like to read. I’m a very big fan of TV, a big television person. I also do live sound, it’s a nice respite from the whole music world to watch some TV. Beyond that, just the usual stuff.
Who is your favorite musical artist?
In an all-encompassing way? I guess just because of how I feel right now, I’ll say Harry Neilson. I’ve always loved Harry.
What’s one piece of advice you have for young musicians?
Put yourself out there. Work hard and don’t take no for an answer. You decide oh, we’re gonna go out and play 10 shows, 9 shows in 10 days or whatever, you can’t just give up and make it six, you know You’ve gotta go all the way. Persevere, stick to what you believe and what you know to be true about your work and your aspirations. You’re in control. Don’t let anyone make you think that you’re not.
Lastly, what’s your lucky number?
It’s always been 2 for me. Or 22. I was born on the 22nd, but as a kid playing sports and stuff, I was always 2.