Maryland indie-folk singer-songwriter Vintz Desert discovered his passion for storytelling during his time in the Marine Corps. His songs combine various elements such as love, heartbreak, and addresses aspects of mental health.
With his emotive and expressive voice, he transfers his feelings and experiences to his audience and enters into a symbiotic relationship with them.
Vintz Desert's second EP 'The Blue Journal' was released today.
Beforehand, I had the great opportunity to listen to the songs and talk to Vintz about the creation of the album.
We talked about his inspiration for the EP and about his musical development since 2020 and what keeps forcing him to write mostly melancholic songs.
Vintz, congratulations on your album 'The Blue Journal' and the really impressive songs!
The EP contains 5 songs. When did you start writing them?
Thank you so much!
I think I started writing these around June of 2021. A lot of these ideas came from older songs that never got finished, but I believe the first of these to be
written was actually River of Gold.
How did you come up with the name of the EP "The Blue Journal" and what does it mean?
I decided to call it 'The Blue Journal ' because these songs all came out of a journal I started writing out of around this time last year. I think my partner gave it to me and I decided to make it a place for me to write songs, stories, poems, or really anything creative. I feel like these 5 songs basically represent all of the songs in that journal and I wanted to kind of honor those because there are things in there that may never see the light of day ever again.
Oh man life back then was so different. I was still in the middle of my military contract and didn’t know anything about the music industry. I had also just gotten
out of a serious relationship and that really comes up in a lot of my songs. Back then I was heavily influenced by folk rock and stadium folk songs. I wanted to be the guy who was stomping and
hollering and singing these anthem-esq songs. But after releasing that EP and going on my own, I realized that I really enjoyed the intimacy of softer songs. I guess you could say I’ve slowed
down a lot both in life and in music.
Who inspires your song lyrics?
I feel like I only talk about this one person, but I think the biggest inspiration for everything I do is Luca Fogale. I discovered him sometime around May
of 2021 and was absolutely blown away. The emotion in his voice and the amount of power that he can put behind a soft-spoken lyric is so ridiculously incredible. He forced me to pay much more
attention to my lyrics and really dive deep into the emotions and stories that motivate these songs. He also helped me capitalize on the whole “slowing down” thing. Other inspirations I think are
just the life stressors that I’ve been through.
Is this an arbitrary arrangement or did you plan it that way for some special reason?
To be completely honest there was no reason for these 2 to be released haha. Enemy was going to be a single regardless since it’s a feature track. Sisyphus was an accident. I had another song planned to go on the EP, but I started messing around
with the guitar melody and wrote that song in a day and instantly had a vision for it. So, I recorded it, got it mixed, and mastered basically almost all within a week and once I heard the final
version, I was like “yes this is it! It’s done.” I was so proud of what it sounded like that I decided that I wanted it to be the first “new” song that people heard.
Did you immediately have the desire to do another collab after ‘So you can come home’ and how did the contact with Laura Lucas come
I did have the desire for a while. Around fall time of last year I was talking to this artist Tess, and we were thinking of doing something, but life just got so
crazy on my end that I never got around to it. Enemy came out of nowhere though. I was messing around with a lyric idea and came up with the first
verse and chorus. I was stuck after that and got the idea to make it a duet-ish song to capitalize the whole story. Laura and I found each other through a mutual playlist. I reached out after
hearing her songs and she was so enthusiastic about doing it! It was such a cool experience because she added so much to the song. I don’t think I could have made the song what it was without
What message do you want to convey to your listeners with your songs?
I think the biggest message I want to give is that sometimes life and people can really suck.. And that’s okay! I don’t want to ever add on to someone’s emotional pain, but I want to be a voice they can listen to that maybe gives them a bit of comfort. These songs are legit moments of my life that I went through and I want the message to be that its okay to struggle and feel things and suffer. Things can always get better.
River of Gold is my favorite song on the EP.
Your absolutely soulful and smooth voice always impresses me and in this song it sounds especially sensitive.
The harmonies are stunning!
Please describe your thoughts behind the song!
Ah thank you so much! River of Gold was such a crazy song to go through. So, I got the idea in the shower haha. I had the guitar part and was just singing and out of nowhere was like “so won’t you carry meeeee” and instantly was like “wow…”. So, I spent a few weeks touching up the lyrics and working through it. This was a hard song to record because the final chorus just has so much power and it is literally at the very top of my normal vocal register, so I really had to practice and train to hit that part. I’m glad I spent the time to do that though, because I think the final result is incredible!
In terms of thoughts of the song, I think that this song is something that I can return to every now and then to remind myself of that feeling of
happiness/self-confidence I once had. The motivation comes from a point in my life where I had truly felt as happy as I had ever been. I was working on myself a lot, practicing a lot of
self-care, and it almost felt like I woke up one day and could just breathe and smile. This feeling of course didn’t last haha, but I still remember that day and this song just captures a bit of
how amazing that felt.
Which song is your favorite and is there a song that has presented you with particular challenges?
Hmm…I think River of Gold as of now is my favorite. That song is just so powerful and driven despite still being a
softish song. In terms of song with the most challenges, it was probably Enemy. I loved working with Laura on this, but the song itself took me a long time to put together
in terms of production. I didn’t know how I wanted the song to develop and even now I question if I like how, it sounds haha. I would say we probably spent 2-3 months changing it and adjusting
Tell us a little bit about Whatever Happened Pt. 2!
Why did you make a second part of Whatever Happened, the song on your first EP
Yeah, those 2 songs are probably the most personal songs on both EPs. At the time of WH1, I had ended this relationship I was in, but felt so terrible about it. Without getting into specific details, I had that moment where I was by myself afterwards and was like “shit this is it what have I done” despite knowing that it was the right decision. So that song is basically me saying whateverhappened to me. Whatever Happened Part 2 moves into what it was like after that. Usually after serious situations, people choose to react differently. Some work on themselves and just try to heal and others self-destruct. Unfortunately, I picked the 2nd option and I wanted to talk about that and continue that story. I think my favorite lyric is “harmonize with my past cries into the night, wishing that their company would never die, and keep on talking to myself cuz I’m my only friend.” That lyric is honestly about as real as it gets for me in terms of what it was like in my mind
There is a certain amount of self-doubt in many of your songs. But also, your insecurity and fear of yourself and your struggle with your personality is reflected in your lyrics.
How do the songs help you to process your formative experiences?
I think the songs help me organize the thoughts a bit. Not every song I write is very personal (Love in
Boston isn’t for example), but most of them just really dive into thoughts/emotions that I’ve had or experienced. So, writing things like Whatever Happened
Part 2, which is such a personal song, just helps me organize the thoughts. I may not be thinking or feeling them anymore or in that moment, but we all have moments of weakness where
past emotions try to creep in and damage us. So, knowing that I have these emotions sorted and out in the world helps prevent that; almost like a sense of personal accountability.
Have you become a positive person despite everything?
I think I have become a person that knows that positivity and optimism is possible in life. I don’t go around saying “life sucks give into the darkness” but I don’t
think I’ll ever be someone who is completely positive at least when it comes to myself/my life. But I will always be positive for other people even if they aren’t as positive towards me. I think
that all we have is each other and how we treat each other. So, I will always do any and everything I can to be positive towards/for other people despite being semi-negative towards myself. I
also find it hard to write positive songs without having them sound kind of cheesy you know.
You won a music award funding competition in 2021, which is really fantastic, and has opened up new opportunities for you. Apart from producing this EP,
have you fulfilled any other special wish?
So far not yet, but I’ve met so many amazing and professional musicians since then. It really showed me that the industry is really small, and things aren’t as
unobtainable as it may seem. But this EP and my home studio are really the main products of that contest which I am forever grateful for.
Do you record your songs in your own studio? What improvements do you think were made compared to your previous recordings?
I do! A lot of the funds from that contest went towards making a home studio and learning as much as I can about recording. And I think that it shows! The singles
that I released last year were all just me testing my skills and seeing how they do. These new songs though have so much more time in them compared to those past songs and to my first EP. I mean
I didn’t even know what compression really was prior to 2020 haha. I think I learned how to work with the space that I have, how to create different types of songs, and how to manipulate “errors”
in a recording or mix to make it sound as good as it can possibly be. There are still so many small things in the EP that I would go back and change, but I think after a certain point, the songs
start to become less real with every correction I make. Some mistakes simply shouldn’t be made, but I like having guitar fret buzz/squeak and like hearing the breaths in recordings because it
sounds that much more real. I know that future projects will sound even more polished, but still the same.
Which instruments do you play yourself during the recordings and how does the recording process work? Were the other musicians physically
So, my main instrument is guitar but on this EP I also played all of the piano, synths, percussion (I had a friend who helped me with enemy’s percussion), bass guitar, and the various organs/keys that I used. I still got help in terms of people listening and giving feedback though which is just as important!
For River of Gold, I had my friends Lauren and Madison help with harmonies and my friend Trevor (Cujo Moon) mixed it.
For Whatever Happened Part 2, I had my friend Hannah Wyatt do harmonies and violin which are absolutely incredible! She also mixed this song and mastered the whole EP!
For Enemy, Laura wrote her verse as well as her bridge part and helped so much with formatting the chorus and overall song. She helped with some guitar parts and harmony parts on that one as well. My friend Gabriel helped with the drums for this as well.
The crazy thing is only less than a handful of people were present. Laura lives in Canada and Trevor lives in Nashville so most of this was done alone. Lauren and Madison were recording something with Kenneth (Son of Lazarus) and I asked them to help so they were there for that. Speaking of Kenneth, he was present for a lot of the mixing and producing. He helped a lot with figuring out the sounds I wanted and helped me make important decisions.
You said in a previous interview that you can imagine signing a record deal at this point. What are your wishes for the label you sign
I think at this point a label would be nice but not necessary. I had one reach out to me that wanted to work together, but I’m still thinking about it. Labels are really tricky for so many reasons, but I think it would be more important for me to really focus on building those “1000 real fans” first before even considering a label. If they reach out and it feels like a good fit then sure, but for now the focus is more towards my sound and fanbase.
Are there any tour plans for this year and do you maybe even plan to tour Europe in the foreseeable future?
Touring Europe would be so sick! I have a few friends around various parts of Europe that I’ve been wanting to see again! Hopefully within the next 5 years.
In terms of a regular tour, I have thought about setting one up. It depends on so many other things though. I’m still at the point where I’m developing my sound and
my fan base so I think it might need to wait on that, but I’d say theres a 75% chance that I’ll do at least a mini tour within the next 2 years.
Is there anything else that's important to you that you still want to talk about?
I wanna give a huge shoutout to you, Susanne! You are such a staple in the Indie music community, and I really appreciate everything you do for us!
For everyone still reading, please check out the rest of her blogs and her amazing playlist Kaffeehausmusik!
Vintz, thank you very much for the fantastic interview. It was a very special honour to cooperate with you.
Just like your song lyrics, your sensitive and emotional answers touched me very much and made me think.
I wish you amazing feedback on your new incredible album and many new fans ❤️
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