In Los Angeles it's hard to cypher through the talented and the unfortunately talentless. Everyone claims to have the skills to make it to the big time, but let's be honest, in this day and age everyone thinks they can DJ. This is not the case for LA's newest young talent Agendas, who is a producer/ singer/ drummer/ guitarist/etc. The artist, formerly known as Jake Weary, has proven through his eclectic and exciting sound that he is a truly talented musician. Hailing from Montclair, New Jersey, Agendas has been working hard to produce top notch tunes. He released his self titled EP in April 2011. Yes, he is from New Jersey but before your mind wanders to the Jersey Shore buffoons, think twice, you won't be seeing a bundle of Bros obnoxiously fist pumping on the dance floor. This artist keeps his beats classy.
Recently Agendas lent his vocals to the ever-so cool DJ Groundislava for his latest Friends of Friends LP. Agendas is not only a mastermind behind the computer screen, but is the drummer for the art punk band NAR, whose badass lead singer, Natasha Roozrokh has opened for the likes of Justice, Peaches, MGMT, Beck, Warpaint, No Age, Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis. Agendas is a genre defying artist and currently signed with I Versus Eye (IvsEye). He lives in Downtown Los Angeles with his dog Lilu, who is a constant source of entertainment and inspiration.
We were lucky enough to sit down and talk with Agendas about his upcoming LP, his sound and what its like to be a musician in Los Angeles.
JB: You have been making music since you were 12-years-old, how has your music progressed from then to where you are now?
Agendas: Haha wow...Well the first song I ever made was recorded through the first version of iMovie and it was a hip hop track. My MC name was Lil Mickey. So yeah I'd say its changed a lot.
JB: Hopefully Lil Mickey will resurface one day. Recently you've switched your pseudonym to Agendas. Why Agendas and what inspired the name change?
Agendas: Last year I hit a creative wall and for some reason I wasn't making as much music as I should have. I was grinding a little more on my acting career at the time and I think that's probably what caused it. It was an awful feeling! That urge to create just wasn't there. Then summer came and I wasn't acting as much, moved Downtown, basically got my shit together and made a 5 song EP in a week. I made a new song everyday. It all sort of spewed out of me. That release manifested itself into "Agendas." The name change at the time was my lame attempt at reinventing myself and disassociating my double life. But I guess it kind of stuck.
JB: What musical projects are you currently involved with?
Agendas: I play drums for a punk/reggae/hiphop/kind of a little bit of everything band called NAR. It's Natasha Roozrock's project, she's from LA and a total badass. I've also been working a lot with some of the other I Versus Eye artists K. Rudd and Somewhere Else in particular and they're all fucking incredible musicians and writers, it's beyond me. I've also been collaborating a bunch with former classmate and great friend of mine Jasper Patterson a.k.a Groundislava and we're thinking of doing another little side project for this summer.
JB: Tell us about I Versus Eye and what it is you and the self-proclaimed "lifestyle producers" do.
Agendas: Hmm…lifestyle producers [laughs]. I versus Eye, in a nutshell, is basically just a collective of really talented dudes that are constantly finding new ways to collaborate and release content that doesn't suck. They produce everything from music to film to graphic design to fucking skate videos. We're all exploiting each other as much as possible. Everyone in the crew is multi-talented too, its crazy like each artist could potentially produce all of their own shit themselves not to mention shoot and edit their own music videos if they had too. But that's why it all works out. We make each other's jobs a lot easier.
JB: You are born and raised a Jersey Boy, how is it living and working in Los Angeles? Ever miss that Jersey air?
Agendas: It's tough 'cause as much as I love being in LA, all of my family is back in NJ, and it's definitely not the cheapest plane ticket. I try to fly back as much as I can. I feel more inspired than ever when I come back to LA after a long trip back home. It's like a small dose of reality. I think I've written some of my favorite songs while at home with friends and family. Good times.
JB: What has been your most rewarding show so far in your career?
Agendas: I played this last minute show one time at Pitzer College in Claremont CA about 2 years ago. I literally threw a little band together a week before the show. I was supposed to play 4 songs with the band followed by a little DJ set after, but my best friend accidentally dropped and broke my computer before I was supposed to go on stage. I was a little pissed at first but I was like 'fuck it' and we got on stage and played the longest 4 song set EVER. It was a fuckin party! I'm a performer at heart, and I'd take rocking out with a band over twisting knobs behind a table any day.
JB: What do we have to look forward to from your newest LP?
Agendas: I have about 15 to 20 new songs that I've been working on for the past year. It's been so hard trying to keep myself from writing more. So I've been trying my best to hone on these as much as I can. I'm planning on putting out a 5 song EP in the next month or so, then my first full length this summer. So look out for that.
JB: Recently you did an amazing cover of "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" by the Talking Heads, any other songs you'd like to rework?
Agendas: I'm not a big fan of doing covers for some reason. It's funny I've actually tried recreating "Naive Melody" multiple times in the past 4 years and this strangely enough was the first one I was okay with putting out there for people to hear. I have this "Turn to Stone" cover by ELO that I started working on a couple years ago that I really want to to try and find. So if I find it… that'll be the next one.
JB: Any dream collaborations?
Agendas: Yukimi Nagano
JB: Hell Yeah! Your music spans across all genres, is it important to follow one particular sound?
Agendas: I don't know. I definitely think it's important to know from the get go what kind of message or feeling your trying to convey with your music. But a lot of my favorite artists are the ones that are constantly coming out with different shit. It irks me when people are like "Ehhhhh I used to like this band, but now their music is weird." It's okay if your fan base changes over time, music is supposed to evolve.
Check out Agendas' Music and Soundcloud:
Also: Agendas latest collaboration with fellow I Versus Eye artist K.Rudd: