Hi Jeff Westlake, and welcome to LiveTrigger Magazine! Let’s start by introducing your project: what does make it unique and where is based?
Jeff : well what makes it unique for me is this is the first project that I’m actually fronting the whole project. In other words I’m singing so I’m the front man and it’s the first time that I’ve done that in my entire career so that’s what’s unique about it. We’re doing all the work in Southern Ohio in my studio. It’s exciting to be doing this I’ve got a whole new group of guys surrounding me and that makes deciding as well and it’s just right now my focus and something is very cool.
How was your 2021 so far?
Jeff: yeah that year was a good year as good as it could be considering still dealing with Covid and everything like that but a lot of progress was made in my music and also in my production end of things. So overall I would have to give the year I mean for what it was and for what we could do it was as good as it could possibly have been.
Tell our readers more about your new album release. Are you excited?
Jeff: Yeah very excited to be honest with you. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a really really really long time in the rock world. And I’ve done a couple of other solar releases which were more bluesy based and I actually played nearly guitar in all of it as well but this time I’m actually turning that Duty or somebody else and I am just doing the vocal work for the whole situation. The album is a hard rock metal kind of album it’s the first release that I’ve gone under the Westlake moniker since 2002. So it’s really nice to reintroduce it and so far it’s been a whole bunch of fun to work on and record.
And what about the video?
Jeff: Yes there will be a couple videos right off the bat for this release I’m not gonna talk about any titles yet or anything like that but there will be a video shot and released probably sometime within the next month.
Where do you get inspiration and how do you create your music?
Jeff: The inspiration can come from a bunch of different places. I don’t really have one area or one thing that inspires me. I’ve been blessed from the time I was born all the way up until this very moment with my ability to create music and do things with music that actually just happen I don’t really know where it all comes from and I don’t give it much thought. It’s just something is natural to me and I’ve been blessed with and I’m very thankful for it. I create most all of the music inside of my head. I’m not your typical guitar player I don’t sit down and just start playing a bunch of riffs and come up with something that way I actually will come up with everything as I’m thinking about it including the melody, the riffs, the bass parts and the drums. Again that’s just the way that I’ve always done it and is the way that I’ll probably always do it.
Who are your favourite artists in your local scene and what do they have in common?
Jeff: i’m not really involved in my local scene. I really don’t know who’s out there playing right now and I haven’t been to a local show in probably 20 years to be honest with you. Now there is a couple bands that I’m friends with the people but even their shows have been out of the local area but I have followed them and gone seen them. So as far as that goes I just really don’t have anything or anyone that I could mention in this because it’s been so long since I’ve actually involve myself in that local scene.
In your opinion, what is the connection between music and creativity?
Jeff: I think all that is totally subjective. As a musician and an artist it’s basically the same thing it’s how you apply what’s in your head to your given talent and able to make something out of it and musical form for people to enjoy. You know creativity goes in a lot of different things that goes in the yard to go in drawing it goes and painting and I can also you of course go in the music. It is however subjective as to however the individual wants to use it and that’s why you know being in an individual is always such a great thing because you bring unique things to the table no matter what form of arts you are in.
Are you happy about what’s happening in your life as a musician?
Jeff: I am happy with what’s happened in my life as a musician. I’m always trying to increase and improve myself on a daily basis. But I’ve been I have been fortunate enough to do a lot of really great things do a lot of traveling across the world and meet a lot of great people. The meeting the great people is probably the best part of the entire situation. There are a lot of people that are great friends of mine now and even considered as part of my family that I would’ve never known if I hadn’t been for what I do.
What’s the most exciting thing that happened to you recently?
Jeff: That would have to be working with a band from New Zealand called mojo Alice. That is clearly been the highlight of my 2021. I got to do a remix and remaster on their freshman release which was called liquid skin and then I was asked to produce their sophomore release which will be coming out sometime later this year. Got on great with the whole group and have really become close with them and work fantastic with them. There are not enough good things that I can say about everyone in that band and the good time during the project.
What about your next gigs. Are you planning a tour?
Jeff: yeah we actually have some tour dates on the book for Westlake. Those will be happening in the middle of April we are going out with the Jeff Carlson band. And we’ll see what happens from there especially since Covid is not slowing down I will be surprised if those dates actually happen so keep your fingers crossed and hopefully the year will be full of them.
What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?
Jeff: oh that’s an easy win an answer that is clearly in this moment. One of my favorite bands to see live and I saw them in 2019 right before Covid said in. They were on the road with disturbed and absolutely blew disturbed out of the arena I saw them in. Very very excellent show.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Jeff: you can find me at hydrogen which is hydrogyn.com you can also find me on social media at Jeff Westlake on Facebook on Instagram the official Jeff Westlake, going back to Facebook you can find me at Westlake militia and you could also find me on Twitter Jeff Westlake.