Oct 9, 2018
John Oates talks Hall & Oates, songwriting, and his latest record Arkansas. John was destined to be a musician. Born in New York City, his family moved to a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA in the early 1950s – a move that would change the course of his life. He met Daryl Hall in Philly, hung out with his idols The Temptations, and even discovered folk music. John was influenced by the folk scene, bluegrass, delta blues, and ragtime guitar styles of the 1960’s and Daryl was piano, gospel, and classically driven. Soon with the help of legendary producer Arif Mardin (Bee Gees, Diana Ross, Queen, Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin) Hall & Oates became what we know today. With the help of MTV, clever songwriting, and the 80’s Hall & Oates solidified their stake in music history as one of the greatest pop acts of the 20th century.
With the help of John’s memoir Change of Seasons, we chat about the early days of Hall & Oates, working with Arif, and the music of Philadelphia. We also dive into the 80’s and the wild ride of the decade. What made this the decade that made John say, “I’m glad the 80’s were over.” Then we dive into the newest record Arkansas. John lets us in on his process of songwriting and writing for this record. Arkansas is a bit of an homage to pop music of some of John’s biggest musical inspirations. Using the style of the delta blues, mixed with bluegrass and ragtime, Arkansas is a tip of the hat to some of the biggest songs of the 1920’s.
Songwriting is also a passion for this pop legend. John shares his insights on how he molds a song. Do you conform to a geographical way of doing things, or do you stick with what works? The insight and his take on crafting may surprise you.
John Oates and The Good Road Band are on tour right now! Check out tour dates at www.johnoates.com and check out all of Johns music on your favorite platform. Follow him @johnoatesofficial.