Los Angeles based artist and musician, Keith Wallen, has been cementing his musical footprint on the music world for quite some time. When he is not busy touring with rock band, Breaking Benjamin, Wallen is flexing his songwriting talents on his solo releases. A couple of weeks ago, the multi-talented artist released his emotive new solo single titled, “Summer Sunday”, a soul baring journey highlighting Wallen’s seasoned songwriting skills on an intricate soundscape.
We had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Wallen about the making of “Summer Sunday” in addition to his musical influences and his advice for any aspiring artists out there and more.
SR: What is your story?
KW: I’m a guitar player, singer, and songwriter from the Southeast USA. I’ve been playing music for over 20 years and I wouldn’t change a thing! I started playing guitar when I was 15 and eventually started my first band a few years after that. Two bands and many years later, here I am playing guitar in Breaking Benjamin and also writing and recording as a solo artist.
SR: How would you describe your music style?
KW: My style is kind of all over the place. I love hard rock but also love synth heavy alternative pop stuff too. I’m a big fan of 80’s music and that whole new wave sound from that time. I guess maybe it translates into my music somewhat.
SR: What artists/ bands have been your biggest influence or inspiration?
KW: Metallica was THE band when I was first learning how to play guitar. I also loved Stone Temple Pilots and Alice In Chains, still do, but they were very influential and inspiring to me when first starting out. I was also into Genesis, Journey, Def Leppard, all those big 80’s bands. Some great songs in that era.
SR: Describe your songwriting/music making process.
KW: It changes depending on how things are flowing. Usually I try and come up with a single lyric and write the song around that. Other times I come up with a piece of music and try to sing something random over it until something sticks. There’s no real right or wrong way to do it I guess. After I have something to work with and a concept, I try and dig into the lyrics. It’s amazing how many stupid and completely ridiculous lyrics come to you when you’re trying to write something serious. Always! Haha
SR: What was the inspiration behind “Summer Sunday”? What was the recording session like?
KW: “Summer Sunday” came from me and some friends of mine wanting to write a song that was a nostalgic look back at the freedom and carefree summers of our youth; young love, and looking back without regret, but with remembrance of the magic of it all. I’m really not that old to be looking back too far, but I can definitely identify with those feelings, and I felt that others might too. The recording session was a blast, as always the producer Colin Brittain really did a great job. Everything came together nicely, and it was a lot of fun to record.
SR: What do you want your listeners to take with them after listening to your music?
KW: I hope everyone will enjoy the song and all my music, and I hope it puts them in a positive, happy frame of mind.
SR: What advice would you give to anyone who aspires to be an artist/musician?
KW: Stay true to yourself, never give up, and have fun!
SR: What can we expect next from you?
KW: Currently out on tour with Breaking Benjamin, so come out and see us! And also more solo music on the way! Thank you for having me!