First/Last – J.D. Rau

November 10, 2016

“as a singer/songwriter from pittsburgh, i am a product of my influences. i was raised on zeppelin, the doors, and bowie, so i have just taken my upbringing and turned it into my own music, integrating other influences as i go along.”

J.D. Rau is a Pittsburgh based songwriter who will release his debut album digitally with a celebration at Howler’s this Sunday (11/13). Joining him will be local rock stars Blue Clutch. Much thanks to Johnny Danger himself for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Led Zeppelin I.
  • Your last album bought?
  • And All the Colors by Ian Moore. I had originally been given this album by my drum teacher many years ago, and for about a year, it got stuck in the CD player in my car. This wasn’t a bad thing, as I adore that album. My copy of it was lost in the sands of time, and I was unable to find it anywhere, but recently bought a digital copy so that I could have it again
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • This kind of depends on what time of year or sometimes even what particular day you catch me on. Even then I could narrow it down to a collection of albums. OK Computer by Radiohead, Led Zeppelin I, Superunknown by Soundgarden, I Trust You to Kill Me by Rocco Deluca and the Burden, De-Loused in the Comatorium by The Mars Volta, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 by Coheed and Cambria… just so many good albums that I truly love.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • It’s a weird choice on account of the fact that I grew to rather like it despite its shortcomings, but Frances the Mute by The Mars Volta was a huge letdown for me. De-Loused in the Comatorium absolutely blew my doors off when I first heard it. I greatly anticipated their second album, and while the songs were phenomenal, the insanely long spells of frivolous noise really turned me off at first. eMotive by A Perfect Circle deserves a nod, too, cuz outside of two songs, I disliked that album a lot.
  • First concert attended?
  • Jimmy Page and Robert Plant on their Walking Into Clarksdale Tour in 1998. Zeppelin has always been my favorite band, but that experience, at 12 years old, made me want to play music and completely changed my life.
  • Last concert?
  • Coheed and Cambria. My fourth time seeing them, and they’re always amazing.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Tough call. Page and Plant was incredible, but seeing Bowie live was unreal, as well.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • The NIN/JA tour. Finally seeing Nine Inch Nails live… for a 45-minute opening set, outdoors, while it was still light out. Kind of a bummer.
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • I’ve been to a fair number of places, but somehow Pittsburgh has always just felt right. I don’t know exactly how or why. So many of my favorite memories happened here in Pittsburgh, and between performing and attending concerts in this city, I have some incredible memories that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Thanks, Jack. It’s always exciting when someone releases a debut in Pittsburgh! Have fun at the show, man. Also, you might be the first musician on the blog to name their very first album as one of their faves.