With years of writing and releasing music under his belt, Jaeger Wells has mastered the art of bringing acoustically driven pop storylines to life. His songwriting discusses the real life situations of love, loss, and everything in-between with the goal of showing listeners that they’re not alone. That theme of strength shines especially bright in his latest single, “What It Feels Like,” which was just recently released leading the way to his next EP.
Jaeger Wells: To preface this, I’m actually originally from Portland, Maine. I kind of have a couple different perspectives on everything. I want to talk a little on Houston though, because I don’t think it’s a place that gets really good, positive feedback about it. It’s often kind of just left alone, but it’s such a cool city that really embodies the Texas mentality. It gets written off so much, but there are so many creative people here and it’s not just the concrete jungle that you see when you fly in. It’s so cool and there are so many places where you can get off the beaten path a little bit and explore.
SR: What are some of those off-the-beaten-path locations that you’d recommend to a first-time visitor?
JW: One of my favorite places to go around is the Montrose area. It’s grown up quite a bit over the last couple of years. It’s pretty hip. It’s got a lot of cool, little shops. There are a lot of good coffee venues. They’ve got a lot of really cool music venues there too. Numbers [Night Club] is there. There’s Alley Kat that’s right on the edge of all that. Just some small rooms that are really good for small, local shows. They’re not massive venues, but they create a really cool ambiance that you can’t get anywhere else.
JW: I’ve kind of been floating around Maine and Texas for a while. I left Maine when I was 23. In Texas I’ve lived in Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth for a little bit, all before I moved to Houston. It’s been fun. Texas is a really cool, interesting place. It’s hard to pinpoint it as part of the United States, because it just feels like a totally different land half the time.
SR: Out of all the cities that you’ve performed in are there any that stand out in terms of crowd atmosphere? Was that inline with any of the cities’ nightlife?
JW: Playing throughout Maine, New Hampshire and through Texas, you’ll have some good shows and some bad shows. But, the atmospheres at shows are really great. I’ve played at some places in Denton for maybe three of four people, but you know their positivity and sheer enjoyment really fill up the room so it’s like you’re playing to a packed house. One of my favorite places of all-time to play is in Houston called Notsuoh. It’s got everything going for it. It’s got this really cool dark vibe. The people that come love the music and that’s all you really can ask for.
SR: When you get to a destination what’s the first thing you try to do?
JW: I like to get my bearings and figure out where exactly I am in relation to everything. Once I put my bags down, I just want to go walk around and take it all in – get the sights, get the smells. I don’t want to impede myself on it. I just want to get a natural view of it, as opposed to being a tourist on a tour bus. That’s what I like to do, take an hour or two and check out the surroundings.
SR: How, for you, does music and travel fit together?
JW: It’s combining two of my favorite loves. Music has always been, not only the way that I express myself, but also helps to figure out what’s going on in my head. With travel, I feel that it’s just an extension of that. I’ve been lucky in my life and been able to travel to a whole bunch of cool places: across the U.S., down to South America, over to Europe. It’s really great to be able to travel some place, be in a state of mind, dissect why I’m going to this place and see what I’m going to take back and use in my everyday life.
SR: When creating music, where does the inspiration come from? Does traveling to new environments play a role?
JW: I definitely think it does. My writing process is, I don’t want to say sporadic, but I usually start out with a quick thought or two. I love to write all the time, definitely when I’m traveling. You’re seeing so many things and hearing so many things. It’s stuff that not only you want to capture the essence of that, but how you feel in that moment. It’s not uncommon for me to be driving the middle of Texas, like through Big Bend National Forest, and pull off on the side of the road and write a few lines.
SR: You’ve traveled around South America and Europe. What are some of the locations that stand out to you?
JW: I’ve always had this really great affinity for Chile. I’ve been down there probably four or five times over the past 10 years. It’s been amazing just to watch it grow as well.
SR: Is there a destination that you haven’t been to that you want to go and check off the list?
JW: Definitely. I’ve always wanted to go and check out Hong Kong. I’d love to check out Southeast Asia. It just seems, not only lushes and beautiful, like the last part of uncharted territory in the world. You have to dig to find the best parts of it. I had a friend that for his honeymoon did a bike trip through Vietnam, and the pictures and stories from there were just so incredible that it had me sold.
SR: Lastly, do you have any trips or tours planned? Any new music coming out?
JW: Yeah, I’m really excited that [my single] “What It Feels Like” is out. It’s been really fun getting everyone to hear it. I’m looking to actually release a new EP by the end of the year and with that a tour coming up as well.