Artist Interview: “Rooftop” by Jeff Tunes

Q: What was your creative process in making “Rooftop”?

Jeff Tunes:  I usually sit around for hours trying to come up with a riff or chord progression to use for a song, but this time, I started with the very first chord progression that came to mind. I didn’t absolutely love it immediately, I just wanted to get something down to jam over for a bit before going to bed that night. I ended up putting some drums in and somehow the entire instrumental came together that same night, within like 2 hours. Then the chorus melody jumped out at me from nowhere, and I put in the first lyrics that came to mind. Most of the time, it takes a lot of effort and exhaustion to keep coming up with ideas and put together an entire song, but there are magical times like this when the ideas come to you. Just need to be listening for them.

Q: Did any real-life events occur in your life that inspired the song?

Tunes: We have a rooftop patio at our place with a view of the Dallas skyline, and the song pretty much is about how good it feels to be up there. The day I wrote the song was a rough one mentally, and the one place that helped me to clear my mind was on our own rooftop. The song coming together as quickly and easily as it did made me feel better. So whenever I hear this song back I remember how much better I felt that night just working on music and not worrying about anything else

Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you decided to follow your path as a musician?

Tunes: Yes. I’ve always loved playing guitar and writing music, but I hadn’t thought about doing it for a living. I thought I was going to just coast through college, then go to med school, and then magically be a doctor. Then halfway through my junior year I realized I didn’t even want to do that. But that didn’t matter anyway because also my GPA was like 2 and a half. I had been doing pre-med just to do something, because I didn’t know exactly what it was I wanted to do workwise. I’m taking the music path because it’s the one thing I care about. If you don’t enjoy what you do, then what’s the point? I’m very fortunate to have the time to work on music for now.

Q: I like your guitar playing! Who are your biggest influences?

Tunes: Thank you! I feel like the leads I tend to come up with are mostly influenced by Santana, but also a bit of SRV and Hendrix. I put a little 12th fret harmonic bit in the second solo, which I would not have thought to add if I hadn’t been listening to so much Polyphia recently. As for the main riff of this song, I was going for something pop-ey, so I think that that was influenced by the typical pop stuff you hear in the top 40. For the guitar solos in this one, I used a grittier amp preset and was trying to get a kind of Van Halen tone. I remember going to a small Ted Nugent show in Waco 7 years ago and one the things he said was something along the lines of “there are six strings on the guitar, why only play one at a time?” and I always think about that when I’m coming up with a lead. But I still love coming up with little monophonic melodies when I’m just noodling.

Q: What is coming up next for you?

Tunes: Going to Kroger to get some chicken, tortillas, and toothpaste. Then probably working on some music. I have another song that’s finished and coming out a bit after this one, but I have been focused more on the marketing than the creating right now. I have so much to learn in that area. I want to see what works and what doesn’t promotion-wise for this one, then set the release for this next one. Just been taking it one project at a time. I do want to release an EP or maybe even an album eventually.

Q: What would you like to tell your supporters out there?

Tunes: I appreciate each of you guys so much, and I am always thankful for the silly comments from y’all on my posts. Not because they contribute to the algorithm or anything, but because I like to see the little red bubble pop up when I open Instagram. My new song (and music video!), Rooftop, is coming out March 4th, and you can pre-save it on my Instagram page. Thank y’all!!!

Interviewed by Katrina Yang




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