Jesus Ayala Jr. 'we booked the studio for the day before the stay-at-home order went into effect.'
We were fortunate to interview artist Jesus Ayala Jr.
1) First of all, how are you doing during this pandemic? How’s Chicago?
I’m good. All my people are as good as they can be. We’ve all been trying to adhere to the guidelines set by our officials. Chicago and Illinois are doing fairly well. I think we’re still under 5% positivity rate, but it was trending in the wrong direction last I checked. But, we’re all doing good given the circumstances.
2) That’s good to hear. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Jesus Ayala Jr., and I am a musician from Chicago. I’ve been describing myself as a Mexican in America trying to bring back British Rock. I’m out promoting my new release Self-Titled Debut EP which is a small collection of rock songs.
3) Tell us about Self-Titled Debut EP
I’m really excited to release these songs. Musically, the songs have a raw, garage-rock feel that aim to capture the spirit of early 2000’s rock. Lyrically, it’s got a couple stories about a love triangle and my former high-school principal. It’s definitely some of my strongest writing and guitar playing, and I was lucky enough to convince one of the best drummers in Chicago, Luis Alvarez, to lend his skills. Other than that, I’ve been asked to promote Michael as the lead single and to avoid abbreviating the EP title.
4) What was it like working on this with everything going on?
Everything did kind of create a sense of urgency for me. The pandemic especially put things into perspective. I’ve avoided releasing music in the past because I thought it was always going to be an option, and I always want to refine the music and lyrics until they’re the best. But, all of this really showed me you can’t wait forever. Recording was also a little eerie because we booked the studio for the day before the stay-at-home order went into effect. I should also mention that the racial injustices in my country consumed my thoughts a great deal during this whole process. A great deal going on, for sure.
5) Any highlights or challenges you want to share about the writing or recording process?
I loved seeing all the songs go from ideas in my head to fully fleshed songs. Recording the final touches saw a couple challenges once we were all ordered to stay at home. Luckily, my people were all great with remote recording, mixing, and mastering. Promoting the project has been rough. It’s hard to sell something, even if you believe it can bring good, when most of the world is hurting. I hope people will give it a chance and find some momentary comfort in new music.
6) 2020 saw some new releases from some of your biggest influences. Have you checked those out?
I did! I loved The Strokes’ The New Abnormal. Truth be told, I’ve loved everything they put out, but this one is reminiscent of their earlier stuff. The Vaccines put out a single that was classic Vaccines too, and I am optimistic about The Killers’ new album.
7) Any new artists you’re listening to?
I’m still discovering old artists that will be new to me, and I’m constantly listening to my old favorites. But before the pandemic, my manager and I saw beabadoobee live. I’m excited to hear her new album and see where fame takes her. I’m also getting more plugged into the Chicago scene, so I’ve been listening to Beach Bunny, Arcade 88, and Girl K.
8) Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Thanks for reading! Please check out Self-Titled Debut EP coming out August 28th, 2020. Please connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. And, thank you, Fresh Out Of The Booth, for taking the time.