We caught up with Jim Waneka this week as he works on new material for his upcoming album. Splitting time between recording in Los Angeles and his home of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Jim is working with some of the top producers and studio musicians in the business including Charles Holloman, Kelvin Holly, James LeBlanc and Grammy winner Craig Alvin. Jim is best known for his incredible music videos, and he has a new song called “I Want To Quit” that is resonating with audiences around the country as it gathers momentum on country radio stations. For more information, visit him online at www.jimwaneka.com.
We have fallen in love with the sound of “I Want To Quit!” What inspired you to write it?
JW: I face times when nothing seems to be going right, feeling like I just want to quit, run off and get to a different place. I felt that way a few months ago but thankfully was able to channel that energy into this song. I’ve had negative feelings that have made me feel trapped, but I wanted to show that you can find a place, like a motorcycle, where you feel your freedom, and your anger disappears, and you can make better decisions. So I get on my motorcycle and it clears my head. When I really think about it, the inspiration is the darkness that creeps in from time to time. Don’t let the darkness win. That’s what the song is about.
The video is pretty incredible too – especially the psychedelic parts. Please tell us about what inspired those decisions.
JW: I wanted to show the way I respond to the feelings of quitting, when you’re down and ready to give up. The song reminds me of some of the songs of the 70’s where you were part of the energy of the chorus, you crank it up and you’re uplifted and you feel like you’re on the motorcycle with your best friend and start having a blast and enjoying what this life has to offer, which is so much, and at the same it can be so little. The sun starts setting, stars come out, the headlights cut through the darkness… is there any other place to be right at that moment? A place where you’re inspired, where a spark ignites the good feelings, bringing hope and with that, the feeling that you’re going to get through it, that everything is going to be ok, a calm, almost meditative state, where you can think clearly and open yourself to new possibilities, new solutions, a new positive outlook.
The song is impacting radio across the country – what do you want your listeners to think about when they hear the song on the radio?
JW: I’d like the listeners to think about freedom, overcoming obstacles, something that brings you to a positive mindset, the feeling that you have a chance to win. The motorcycle represents getting away from your issues that are dragging you down. Get on your bike and ride! You get some good speakers and crank this f’er up, you’re gonna feel better! Hopefully it inspires you to do whatever it is that makes you feel better. It may be getting in your car and getting coffee, it may going to the beach to watch the sunset, it may be holding hands, the feeling of something greater than just the routine experiences of daily life. Those little things can be uplifting. I always try to be grateful for the little things, because in the end, those seem to be the most inspiring moments.
What is next for Jim Waneka?
JW: Spending time in the studio to finish an album that I’m trying to make impactful, which will have 10 or so songs on it. The writing, producing and laying down tracks has been my sole focus, but soon we’re going to start playing live. We’ve had some significant venues reach out to us. I’m excited to feel the energy of a live audience, with what should be a give and take emotional ride.
Before my album release, we’ve got another song coming out, one that’s real high energy. This next release will probably take us over a million views on Youtube. For that I’d really like to thank all my fans for their support. It’s truly humbling.