Ladies and gentlemen this is Golden Frown, this dude has songs.
Jordan Berardo aka Golden Frown, sounds like Roky Erickson partying with Joey Ramone on certain nights, other nights he sounds like Jay Reatard partying with Neil Young. It doesn’t matter, because his songs always sound great. They sound like snippets of a psychopath and dreams of a child, and echoes in the desert. This is a very honest conversation we had on a Saturday morning.
Hope you enjoy.
Tom Cheshire: Good Morning.
Jordan Berardo: How you doing? Give me a minute. I just woke up, it’s a.m. Alabama time.
What is a normal day for you these days? What do you do, what is the songwriting process.
Life feels great these days. Every day I wake up feels like a gift. Making music is a gift, and I take advantage of it. Cleaning up my act was a gift. There’s no turning back now. My only goal is to be a musician, so when I wake up, I live and breathe music and writing songs.
Can you talk about your past, your drug use?
I’m very transparent about my past. No one is perfect. I started meds when I was 14. I started self medicating in 2000. I’ve made my mistakes, I’ve had my addictions. I died in 2007 from a methadone overdose and came back to life. I’ve died eight times because of my addiction. The last time I died was the beginning of my new life. I was on heroin. I got off it and all drugs and began my new life as a musician. I started writing songs. I use my past to help me with my songs. I will write 15 songs in a day some days, and I talk about my struggles, tell my life story.
Tell me about these songs.
These songs aren’t love songs. They are what happen in my mind. They are stories I learned from. My music is a love song to the road, the romance of life.
Sounds like you’re in a relationship with your songs.
I am. Nothing can touch you when you’re on the highway. No one can touch you when you’re in the moment, writing songs. My romance is the music. I’m in a relationship with my songs and with the road. I just sit down and the music just comes out of me.
Tell me about the lyrics.
Well the lyrics are my story about my past, but I write them all freestyle off the cuff in the studio. I come up with the music on the guitar, that’s all written out. Then I get in the studio in front of the microphone and in five minutes I have a brand new song.
You’ve developed a wonderful working relationship with Peter Mavrogeorgis (Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Twisty Cats) who is recording you and producing your record.
Peter has been amazing. We have a lot in common. We are both artists and eccentric. I love the way he works. He knows exactly what I need. He’s such a great musician and has such a great ear. We have a great system down, so why change it or fix it, if it works already. We have two albums done already and we are writing more.
Tell me about this record. When will it be out?
This will be a four-song EP and it’s coming out July 23. I am calling it Gone Are the Lemon Trees and I think it’s the best stuff I’ve written in my life. The title is a Kinks reference.
I love it and can’t wait for you to share it with the world. Anything else you want to share with our readers.
Everybody loves an underdog. Ruff Ruff Mother Fuckers, and that’s me. I’ve come out of the darkness and now I’m alive. My story is a second chance story. Please give me a chance, and listen to the songs. I’m going to continue writing songs every day, and perfect my craft, and hit the road and play these songs. Check me out, this dude has songs.
Thank you Jordan, and long live Golden Frown.
Golden Frown’s four-song EP Gone Are the Lemon Trees is out July 23.
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One thought on “GUEST EDITOR: Tom Cheshire in conversation with Jordan Berardo of Golden Frown”
Stellar interview—both the questions and answers. Thank you for the insights on a topic I love dearly: how living one’s life inspires great songwriting. Best wishes: guest editor, songwriter and publisher!