Interview: LA Based Rock Artist TJ Stafford

TJ Stafford

TJ Stafford is an LA based rock artist who recently released a very hard hitting album entitled "All My Bad Habits Have Prepared Me For This". It goes without saying that we are big fans of this album as you can read in our review, so it's only right that we connect with TJ to pick his brain about some things. 

After reading our exclusive interview with TJ, be sure to follow him on his social media streams and most importantly, stream/download his new album. 

Congratulations on the completion of your debut album "All My Bad Habits Have Prepared Me for This”. What are you most proud of with this project and what's the meaning behind the album title?

It's mine top to bottom. I've made albums before but always in the context of a band, which inevitably leads to some compromise, for better and worse. This album was just me telling a brilliant producer what I wanted with no compromise....for better and worse. 

The album title is a tongue in cheek reference to continuous mistakes being made throughout my life, yet somehow those mistakes and habits preparing me for situations I find myself in again. 

How did you get your start in rock music and when did you decide that you wanted to be an artist?

I guess you could say I got my start in rock music the first time my dad put a Three Dog Night album on when I was a child and us singing "Jeremiah was a bullfrog!" at the top of our lungs. That's a hard imprint to let go of. 

As far as being an artist, I've wanted to be one in some capacity since taking guitar lessons as a child. I just never really had any idea how that worked or what it looked like. Sometimes I still don't. 

Who are some of the artists who have influenced your music throughout the years and how would you say that you stand apart from them?

Literature has influence my music a lot. I've always been a book worm, so diving into story and empathizing with characters and being made to think about gray areas and life outside of a black & white dichotomy has impacted my music and songwriting more than anything. Learning how to be precise and efficient with words, gratuitous when necessary, silent when appropriate, etc. I only stand apart in that I bow at their feet. 

TJ Stafford interview

As a songwriter, how do you decide which songs you give to other artists and which you keep for yourself?

Yes. And really it all comes down to ego and being selfish. I turn into a little child. When the songs resonates with me on a carnal, basic level, I literally and figuratively go "mine" and keep it.  

We really dig your new single "Catch", which follows the first song on the album "Crazy". Can we expect a visual for "Catch" soon that is just as breathtaking as the "Crazy" video?

First, thank you. Glad you're digging it. And yes, there is a beautiful video coming out. It's aesthetically quite different, but I believe just as emotionally moving. 

Describe a typical TJ Stafford live show for us; is there a song in your catalog that when you perform it, it takes the show to another level?

Oh man, a typical show is loud. I've stopped trying to be pretty and really just want to play loud rock music. I've become a teenager in a garage...with much more skill. Hopefully the first song in the set takes it to another level, and the rest sustain it. 

Stream/Download "All My Bad Habits Have Prepared Me For This" by TJ Stafford on iTunes

Connect with TJ Stafford: Website | Twitter | Soundcloud | Facebook