Bobby Long On His Forthcoming Album, Living In New York, Writing Poetry, Nashville, And Favorite Restaurants

Bobby long has another album in the works for Compass Records

Initially famous for having a song featured in the blockbuster movie Twilight while still attending college, Bobby Long recorded his first album — 2009’s Dirty Pond Songs — in his London bedroom. That self-released, full-length debut album charted high on iTunes and led to a record deal with ATO Records. Long spent the next few years touring the world, playing top festivals, and even making it onto The Tonight Show. The British singer/songwriter opted to move to the United States during this period.

After touring behind a second full-length for ATO, 2013’s Wishbone, Long went the independent route and began working with PledgeMusic in 2014. The following year brought the release of Long’s fan-funded Ode to Thinking, as released by the Nashville label Compass Records. Long has since conducted another PledgeMusic campaign for his forthcoming album, also to be distributed via Compass. Two new songs, “Serpentine” and “Nautical,” were performed and premiered online via Paste performance sessions. Also of note for Long is that he recently put out his second book of poetry, Losing My Misery, and there is a possibility of a third one being put together.

I had the pleasure of conducting Q&A with Mr. Long for the Inquisitr, in the process getting some insight of what is ahead for him. For more on Bobby Long, point your web browser towards www.bobbylong.info.

Beyond your music, you have released a pair of poetry books. Do you view yourself as a musician that also does poetry? A musician and a poet? Just an artist?

Bobby Long: I guess I would call myself firstly a musician. I’m just trying to explore and be as creative as possible. I would never call myself a poet. I don’t think there is a humanly way of doing so without sounding a bit pretentious.

Did you start off as a lyricist? Or were you always both a musician and a lyricist?

Bobby Long: I guess lyrics come slightly before. Once I started playing an instrument, they became tandem. I enjoy writing both, one as much as the other.

When you’re writing words, how do you know whether something is poetry versus something meant for a song?

Bobby Long: Because I sit down with one in mind. Occasionally, you are left in a state of confusion as to which your writing will end up as, but you just lend it to whatever you are working on.

If I recall correctly, you were one of the first artists to really benefit from using MySpace. Aside from using it to promote your music, were you a big social media user back then?

Bobby Long: No, not at all. Even now I have to remind myself to use it. MySpace actually was pretty cool when it first came out. You could really explore and follow and interact with people. Now it all seems pretty corporate, especially Facebook. You have to pay to fully promote and reach all of your followers, which really sucks. Feels like you are being held over a hot fire as there is no other way to promote.

What inspired you to move to New York? Had you toured the States much before making the move?

Bobby Long: Yes, I toured a few times. New York just has the history and the energy that seems and seemed so attractive. No matter what happens, it will always be an important creative place, especially because it’s huge and so diverse. Everyone and his dog is moving to and making music in Nashville right now. It’s another great place, but I don’t think it can hold it for long before everyone starts sounding the same or it gets frazzled. I think it’s already happened, to be honest, and I feel bad for the local musicians.

Suddenly all these people from the Midwest or the East Coast have a twang in their singing voice and are wearing cowboy hats. That happens in New York too, but just down the street, something will be churning that immediately puts a stop to that sheep-like mentality. New York will always be New York and the center of the universe. You’ve just gotta ride out the expanse and bust your ass.

Is there anything you miss about living in England?

Bobby Long: Yes, family and the food and weirdly, the weather.

What is coming up for you in the coming months? I understand that you have been working on another studio album.

Bobby Long: Yes, it’s basically just being mixed as we speak, and I’m really happy with it. We kept it in-house, and it was produced by one of my great friends, Jack Dawson, so I’m very very proud and excited.

Will you be releasing your next album through a traditional label? I ask because I know you’ve been active with crowdfunding campaigns, but some artists have been able to do both.

Bobby Long: I am signed to Compass Records, which is a great family-owned label that deals with a bunch of very different artists. Fortunately, I have been able to crowdfund through PledgeMusic because I’m fortunate to have a great fanbase.

Are there plans for another book of poetry?

Bobby Long: Yes, sure. I would love to do one more before maybe branching out and doing something a bit different.

When not busy with your art, how do you like to spend your free time?

Bobby Long: I really like watching the Yankees and being around my kid and wife. I like drinking and smoking and raising hell, too.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?

Bobby Long: Yes I have two: Gaia Italian Cafe on East Houston, and Lavagna’s on East 5th.

What was the last concert you attended for fun?

Bobby Long: It’s been a little while, but I got to see my buddy Brian Dunne play his new songs when we shared the bill at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, which was great.

Finally, Bobby, any last words for the kids?

Bobby Long: Yes. Be kind.

[Featured Image by Jamie Strachan]