Coming from Pocatello, Idaho, BOSCO is an Americana/Country/Blues musician who captivates listeners across the globe with his unique storytelling ability. He recently released the music videos for “Wicked Woods” and “Raven”, both directed by Jared Sagal. VENTS had the pleasure of interviewing BOSCO, which you can read below.
How did you get into music-making? What is your story?
I got into music making at the age of 11 or 12. I had been playing guitar for a few years by then.
My brother’s best friend died in a motorcycle accident and I tried to write a song in his memory to make everyone feel better.
I wrote poems from as soon as I was able to read and write. I loved rhyming words and playing with different ways to rhyme them to create rhythms, so it was kind of a natural thing for me to begin inserting the poems I wrote into what I played on guitar.
I loved listening to The Beach Boys Surfin’ USA album and other ’60s records I found in the attic. So, writing music was a combination of all of this Just trying to recreate the magic I would hear on those albums. But the first actual song I wrote and played for anyone was for my brothers deceased friend.
I would spend hours regularly just strumming and singing. Mumbling mostly until an idea or words came out and I would build it from there. Every chord progression has its own feeling to me. It’s just a matter of repeating the progression over and over until reaching sort of a trance state where I’m not focusing on what I’m playing, just what I’m hearing and feeling.
I always record it. When I’m done, I listen to it consolidate it and add all of the spices. Lo
What are “Wicked Woods” and “Raven” about? What inspired these stories?
“Wicked Woods” is about the kids who died or got hurt and treated unjustly in the kids for cash scandal Kids for Cash. It’s also about the KKK in 1987 who terrified persons trying to buy flagstaff hotel in Carbon County. It’s also about Kareem Walker, a person whom I feel was murdered. And then there’s the Molly McGuires, and Kehoe, which this link says is a fictional character. He wasn’t. Bill Clinton pardoned him. And this, from the Attorney General.
Carbon and Schuylkill counties have a very dark past and a very racist corrupt present. A combination of all of these public stories combined with things not public I will witness first-hand created the inspiration for “Wicked Woods” because they are wicked and they are controlled by wicked people. The reference to “Paul” is because I wrote the song the day after seeing Paul McCartney in concert at Hershey.
“Raven” is a love song, but it’s more than that. I’d hate to ruin it by giving my meaning, but it’s a song about a vampire and a human lover. A bird and the apocalypse, in a nutshell.
How did you translate “Wicked Woods” and “Raven” into compelling music videos? How was the process of developing them?
The next question is more for Jared [Sagal, video director for “Wicked Woods” and “Raven”]. I rarely discuss what my songs are about because I like the listener to be part of the creative process and use my lyrics to build their own story. So, our videos are Jared’s take completely free from my influence. I like it that way. It’s a surprise to me each time.
Jared has a gorgeous ability to pull stories from lyrics. That can be a bit difficult with my cryptic lyrics sometimes, lol. Every time he sends me a new video, I’m like, “…Wow.” I’m speechless. We’re lucky to have someone as talented as Jared on our team. He’s a true visionary and artist.
How would you describe your style and sound? What makes it unique?
To describe our style and sound I’d have to say it’s a culmination of ideas and styles. Really though, each song has its own life. It tells you what it wants.
That is where Corky James comes in. He’s the guitarist/producer of some of Avril Lavigne’s biggest hits, as well as many other talented success stories you’ll recognize quickly if you Google him. He literally grabs a new song and pulls something beautiful out of almost thin air.
It’s another exciting time in the journey of a song – waiting with anticipation to hear what Corky comes up with. He’s the color man. He gives the songs their bling.
Then we have Luke Tozour, a sound engineer from Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album. He’s the Doctor Spock of production. I sometimes need a translator, he’s so intelligent. Lol.
Ken Dudley is a producer and good friend. He worked on a lot of Hollywood Undead songs and he was key in producing “Wicked Woods.” That was his baby. He loves that song and it shows. He really brought its beauty out. He also hooks us up with a little Daren Pfieffer action from Hollywood Undead. He stands in as our drummer from time to time.
So that is what makes Bosco unique. All of the team members adding their skills to make my songs our songs.
Has COVID changed your approach to making music?
No. Thankfully with technology and the stage we were at recording our album, Covid really played very little part in anything other than probably giving us a whole lot more studio time! Thanks!!