Roads is the artistic creation of Portland-based musician Ian Vidovic. An impassioned tapestry of sound and sentiments, Roads is sure to inspire all who take the journey throughout its wondrous refrains. In addition to his previous project A Season’s Slumber, Vidovic was also the drummer for A Hope For Home – a band on Facedown Records. When not pursuing the hypnotic highways of Roads, Vidovic may be found touring around the world with The New Divide. We recently caught up with the mastermind behind Roads to find out more about this highly expressive musician with plenty of ideas and emotions to convey. The road trip commences now…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Roads, and how long the project has been in existence.
Hey! My name is Ian Vidovic from Roads. I started this project back in 2009. I was currently in another band at the time and couldn’t put my full time into Roads. So it was a slow start but it’s picking up. I have been playing Drums since I was 2 years old and learned how to play guitar when I was 16. I now play everything for Roads. I own a recording studio called “Roadie Studios” Haha Yes I do love that name! I engineer, write, produce, record, and play all instruments for Roads.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
I am based out of Portland Oregon. Portland is incredible! People here are very accepting to all styles of music and are open to art that is being expressed. The music scene is pretty broad and is hard to get a fan base because there is a lot of competition.Yes some great bands I know are….
The New Divide – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-New-Divide/23455734514
Vanishing Breed – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vanishing-Breed/143144335705386
His Legacy – http://www.facebook.com/hislegacy777
Neighbors – http://www.facebook.com/NeighborsBand
Winter Coast – http://www.facebook.com/wintercoastmusic
How does the music on Roads compare to your previous project A Season’s Slumber?
My previous project, A Season’s Slumber was embarrassing due to being my first solo music project where I really dug in and experienced composing with different instruments that I didn’t know how to play or how they correspond with on another. Absolute no band is proud of their root years but I am glad that I learned what to do and not to do. It was how I expressed myself back then and I have learned how to communicate and relate with people better now. Roads material is a leap forward to my music and personal maturity. I learned (Still learning) how to sing. There are barely any vocals on A Season’s Slumber music because I hated my voice and didn’t want anyone else to hear it. It’s a personal goal to improve my song writing, audio engineering, musicianship, and creativity on every new song I write. A rubber band is useless until it has been stretched is a great analogy to a true musician. I think that music should be a struggle. It should stretch artists to think, express, and perform differently. My frustration through music has made me appreciate my creation more.
Is there any story or concept behind the title to your latest EP Bruised, But Not Marked?
This album is about my personality, struggles, feelings and desires. I have always tried to write radio friendly songs. “I want to write a song that will get me famous and rich” was always priority. This album Bruised, But Not Marked is about my deep issues and bruises. Its very dark ambient, experimental, long songs that are definitely NOT radio friendly and won’t ever be famous. Honestly I am okay with that. This album really taught me how to express and perform passion with writing and tracking in the studio. I love and look forward to my future albums and taking the elements I learned from this one.
Select any two songs Roads songs and what inspired the lyrics.
Song – I Could Change The World
From the album -“Bruised, But Not Marked”
I was inspired to write this song when I started seeking what my main goal in life was. I want to change the world! That’s a pretty big goal that most likely won’t ever be made, but I can try my hardest to meet it. I want to sing things that affect people in such a way that they are open to truth and hope in life. This song is saying that I want to change the world but I can’t change anything unless I am living what I am preaching. I need to make sure my heart is in the right place to be able to do ANY good in this world.
Song – Body’s Free
From the album – “ In Nature… & Growing Up Vol II”
This song was inspired by the Pixar movie “Up” (Yes I did cry a little in it). It amazes me that a kids movie can vividly capture an entire life in a matter of minutes and tug on your heart with something we all have to face some day. Death and loneliness. I watched this movie when I was newly married and so emotions were pretty strong. My view of life changed when I got married. I began to think about what the end of my life will be like. This song is about dieing and being separated from my wife while she struggles to find what to live for. When she final passes, we reunite again in heaven.
Its easily seen in old married couples. I watched my Grandma age and fall apart soon after my Grandpa died. It’s a part of love that we are meant to experience and it defines our hearts. This song is raw! I wanted to make it as raw as I possibly could. It’s a great folk/Indie sad/happy ending love song. I wanted to capture me in an empty room expressing something so meaningful to everyone. A song is always a winner when you have to stop tracking because it’s hard to sing without crying. Passion behind music rips all emotions out of us.
What could one expect from a live Roads show?
Roads shows should always be experiencing passion of music through the creator. I strive to play music because I love it and believe in it, not because there are people watching. It’s a great Indie Rock show with a warm home feeling. I don’t want a huge show vibe. I want people to be comfortable and in an environment where it’s easy for them to experience the emotions I feel when I create and perform my passion.
If you could open for any band either around today or who has ever existed, which band would it be and why?
Its impossible to pick just one.
Beatles – I am not a huge Beatles fan but I like the majority of their material. I would like to open for them because seeing old videos of them playing is just dudes dressed in sweet suits, rockin Vox amps, Ludwig drums, and singing catchy vocal hook lines. There is no show! It’s the band, music, and people who love to be a part of that music. Its sad how bands nowadays have to add millions of colored lights and dancers, changing to a different color guitar after every song (even though they all sound the same), fog, guitar solos, ect. Its back when people appreciated music and it wasn’t a big fad.
Death Cab For Cutie – They are my roots. The biggest influence and reason why I am still doing music. They can pull off a wide range of genres and that is what a true musician can do. They are creative and add elements to songs that pop out. Every time I hear their music I am mad at myself that I didn’t write it. I can feel the storyline just from the music. Ben Gibbards lyric writing is so intelligent. He paints pictures in my head and is real with himself. It encourages me to write new music and bleed, sweat, and cry to be a better musician.
Coldplay – They write some of the catchiest songs I have ever heard. Extremely radio friendly and pure. Easy and fun to sing a long to. Chris Martin is a master of melodies and sings perfect live. My biggest weakness is vocals and he really encourages me to communicate vocally with the music that’s being played.
Do you have any touring plans this summer?
No touring for this summer. It’s incredibly hard to find committed musicians. I hope someday. I was thinking about trying to buy on a tour with a big band but that might sound lame.
Do you still keep in touch with the guys in A Hope For Home and what do you think of their latest CD?
Haven’t spoken a single word to any of them since my last show August 2009 at Tomfest in Vancouver WA. I have heard a little bit of their new stuff. It’s drastically different from the old stuff. Not gonna lie The Everlasting Man was a great album. They want their new stuff to be vocal and guitar driven and extremely simple. That style of music isn’t for me. I know God is using them right where he wants them so that’s all that matters.
Knowing each of the guy’s beliefs, personalities, actions, and motives off stage makes it really hard to support them. It really went downhill fast when our old guitar player Kyle Cooke passed away August 5, 2006 of cancer. I wont support a band no matter who they are if they are disrespectful off stage. People look to see how bands act off stage and should be true to themselves and everyone else whether they are on stage or not.
What did you think about Facedown Fest the year you performed with A Hope For Home and do you still listen to hardcore music?
I thought Facedown Fest was awesome! Jason is an incredible guy who really opened the doors for every band under that label. Facedown Records have many loyal fans and are extremely supportive of those bands no matter what genre they are.
I do not listen to Hardcore anymore. I haven’t really since 2009. Every once and a while I will play a few hardcore beats when I practice to see how creative I can get. I have listened to some newer hardcore stuff and it all sounds the same to me. I will always respect and be inspired by the bands I grew up listening to.
Would you consider Roads to be a Christian band or project? Why or why not?
Roads would be in whatever category it has to be in to reach lost broken people. I hate religion. I have a relationship with God. That’s it! All my music is from God. Some bands will only go under “Christian genre because they think that it would be renouncing their faith if they didn’t. The ultimate goal is to spread the word of Jesus Christ to everyone. There are some people that wont even listen to bands if they know they are Christian. I want to be real with God, People, and myself.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Roads?
Yes my band The New Divide just got back from a 10 week tour in Europe. We are doing a massive amount of overseas stuff. We are more missions based and are planning a lot of international tours right now. Which is another reason why Roads isn’t really touring. It’s a blessing to actually build a relationship with people and invest into them, rather than play the typical venue every night. I can’t stand rude venue managers that stiff you for money, Sound guys who don’t care what you sound like, people who are disrespectful to bands and other people trying to enjoy the show.
The New Divide – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-New-Divide/23455734514
Would you ever want to compose film scores? A lot of your music could be deemed as cinematic.
My all time goal is to compose for films. It’s a hard industry to get into but it would be my dream. If I can make enough money to just pay the bills and still be home with my wife, then I would rather do that. I hope the doors open for me to do that very soon. Touring is rough physically, mentally, and spiritually. You spend night and day with band members and have to adapt to their personalities so it can be extremely hard.
What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the first time?
As a non musician I hope they would remember and search into my lyrics. If lyrics stand out, then they can relate to it. It might be a song that was written for them to hear. Also to be intrigued by the layers I blend and the vibe from the music.
For musicians I hope they listen to the sounds. Not necessarily chords but chimes and ambient sounds. I love layers and layers of cool sounds. I was told that my music is built of instruments that communicate to each other without stepping over one another.
Any final words of wisdom?
Hahaha I wish I had a fraction of wisdom!
For the listeners, I hope you can relate to my music. I hope it affects you and helps you to view life differently. I hope you are open minded to new textures and styles of music. Moving to music and singing along is also well appreciated. Lets dance!
For musicians – Keep going! Don’t give up! If you truly love music and it’s your passion then that’s what matters. Experiment! There are no rules or boundaries to music. That’s the beauty of it. Its Art and you are creating it. Teach yourself how to express through music. Study other bands. Learn what they do and how they do it. Then be creative after you learn their skill and add your spice to it.
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
Roads on Facebook