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  Issue 26 - Feature - Jim Ward

Doing it solo with Jim Ward
By Christa White

Every once in a while a great musician from a well rounded band takes a solo journey down music lane. That is just the case for Sparta and former At the Drive In member, Jim Ward. After intense touring with Sparta, Ward settled back into his El Paso, Texas home only to find himself making quieter music and soon laying the tracks down in his home studio.

"It was more of a reaction from being in a long chaotic tour schedule." Ward mentioned in regards to starting the venture. "When I got home, my house was very quiet and I started to write songs and I started to notice in the middle of writing all these songs that there was kind of a theme."

A quiet theme is what Ward discovered; hence the title of his solo EP, Quiet. Ward describes his new music as "some quiet to his chaotic life." He thought the music was just right as he was back in Texas, alone in a quiet house. Quiet is the first of a trilogy that Ward would like to finish for his solo venture. Friends of Ward pop in and out making musical appearances on the five-track EP and he hopes to have more stop by in his upcoming albums.

"I love having a collection of musicians and we can all play on each other's stuff." Said Ward, "I like having the community of musicians."

You can expect Ward's next solo album to be full-length.
"I've been working on it for years and it will finally be done in the next couple of days." Explained Ward about the next album, "People can look for it to come out in March."

Ward expects to tour soon after its release next spring and will be Ward's first solo tour. He has been playing low-key shows with about 450 viewers in his home town recently and a few here and there when he was on tour with Sparta. Ward said that this tour "Will be a nice change" to what he is used to.

"Touring by myself is going to be weird but it will be a good thing." Ward mentioned, "I've been in bands since I was a kid, it will be a change. It's not like it's a forever thing."

The local shows that Ward has played solo are full of his dedicated Sparta fans and all react very high to his new music. Ward feels that his solo shows are taking him back to when he first started.

"I'm selling my own t-shirts," Ward said, "And meeting more people which I love."

Even though Ward is working on solo work that does not mean it's the end of Sparta. Sparta is still intact and will start to work on new stuff in 2008.

"They've been really supportive. We are all really supportive of other stuff that we do." Said Ward, "Everyone is kind of doing other things.I wouldn't want to be in a band where they weren't supportive for each other."

Ward is hoping to come to the Las Vegas valley after the release of his second solo album. He can't wait to see how his Las Vegas fans will react.

"I am very grateful that people are being open minded to my music and it's sort of the future; a lot more people are making a lot more records." Ward continues, "The days of the 'mega bands' are over. I think it's going to be really good for music."

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