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Jose Gonzalez

by Archives March 11, 2008

Swedish-born indie-folk musician Jose Gonzalez is back on the touring scene with his second album, In Our Nature.
The album preserves the classical guitar and smooth melodic vocals Gonzalez is known for, but explores more upbeat rhythms with the use of subtle yet effective percussion. Songs like “Down the Line” and “Killing for Love” best illustrate what the album is about.
Many artists have issues when it comes to recording their sophomore album, especially with meeting certain standards after a successful rookie effort, but Gonzalez felt more comfortable in the studio this time around and had a particular way of looking at the experience. “I felt no pressure from the public to live up to certain standards,” he said. “I just knew personally that I could write a better album this time around and I wanted it to turn out that way, for my own sake.”
He began writing songs while touring for his first album Veneer, but was experiencing a great deal of difficulty writing lyrics, as he was becoming more comfortable with the English language. He dedicated himself to reading as many English books as time permitted on tour. This dedication allowed him to be more at ease with expressing himself in English “and allowed me to overcome writer’s block.”
Gonzalez is also a lot more at ease with touring for this album because he said that he has more songs to choose from when writing a set, and “could come up with a more diverse and exciting set lists.”
Veneer was released in 2003 only within his native Sweden. After critical and commercial success the album was released in Europe and the United States in 2005. “It was rather refreshing to see a fresh reaction to the music that I became so familiar with,” said Gonzalez.
González’ musical endeavours didn’t always involve the folk sound that he now explores. He began playing in hardcore-punk and rock bands, but was brought up on Latin pop and folk music by his parents, who are originally from Argentina. He then began to listen to more Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Nick Drake, and Silvio Rodriguez, who Gonzalez credits as being his favourite musician and biggest influence.
Although he loves the road and playing in front of his fans around the world, Gonzalez looks forward to September, when he’ll be able to return to his hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden and relax. Some down time however, means more work for Gonzalez, as he plans on writing music and hopefully recording his first full-length album with Junip, a band that he’s been collaborating with since 1999.
“That’s one of the main reasons I look forward to going home at the end of the year, I’ll be able to get some new stuff done with the band.”
Until then, Gonzalez continues to tour throughout Europe and North America, and returns to Montreal this week for the second time since December of last year.
Jose Gonzalez plays Cabaret Juste Pour Rire on Friday, March 14.

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