In the earlyish days of social media I was part of a music website/blog/MySpace page called The Hub (or The Music Hub). Each week we would interview and feature a different artist. Most of my musical connections come from there or a songwriting group I organized at that same time. Even my connection to my favorite venue in town, Opening Bell Coffee, came because I was helping musicians from The Hub book shows. So, without a music blog out of LA I may not have met John Lefler or Camille Cortinas who are both here in Dallas. Weird how this music world works. But, the best thing about music is the people you meet through it. The connections from The Hub are still some of the closest friends I have. The Hub developed such a following that we decided to organize something special. The Three Hour Tour was a series of concerts on a Yacht out of Newport beach. I went on the first one. It was an magical afternoon. Performers included; Rob Giles, Tony Lucca, Jay Nash, Jessie Baylin, Laura Jansen, Joey Ryan and a singer I’d never heard of before named Katy Perry. Also on this performance was………
Current City: Nashville, TN, Hometown: Tustin, CA
Record Label: Grateful King Music (Ernie’s own label)
Most recent release: Just released a single “I’m Getting Ready”. Last full length release was ‘Franklin & Vermont’ (Rockridge Music LLC
BRIEF INTRO (condensed, read the full thing here )
“Influenced by some of the legendary names of pop and soul, such as the Beatles, Elton John, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder, Californian Ernie Halter first began to make waves for himself with the release of his 2005 collection, Lo-Fidelity. The singer and songwriter got his start playing a small — mostly covers — coffeehouse gig in 1992, and was able to maintain the difficult position of being a working musician (and closet songwriter) by simply paying his dues, working on songs in his spare time, and playing in coffeehouses and smaller gigs to keep active on the scene and to sharpen his skills. Eventually, word of mouth and the Internet community on websites such as MySpace and YouTube worked in Halter’s favor, and by 2007 — and his next release, Congress Hotel (on Rock Ridge Music) — he had built up quite a buzz, and the staunchly indie Halter could be seen touring throughout much of the United States.” (Chris True All Music Guide)
(Unnoficial- Ernie’s words- “My official bio tells you what I’ve done but not who I am, so..”)
My mom had an upright piano in the house, and I was messing around with it ever since I could reach the keys. When I was 8, she found me a teacher. I preferred Beatles to Bach and after 5 years convinced my parents to let me quit piano lessons. I taught myself to read chord charts out of pop song books and I was hooked again. I learned to play guitar and sing at 15 and was writing songs shortly after. I’ve pretty much been obsessed with music ever since.
Other passions of mine include aviation (I take flying lessons when I have the time and money), audiobooks, learning new things, and I have a long standing love affair with technology. I’d rather leave the house without pants than without my iPhone. (Though where would I put my phone?)
I’m also the father of an amazing 5 year old boy who lights up my world. My wife Kristen and I also have identical twin 2 year old girls. We call them The Twinjas.
What is your songwriting/composing process? What are you most proud of?
The writing process is different every time. I do quite a bit of co-writing, so it depends on who I’m writing with. Typically I write down titles and save them up. When I sit down to write, I write to the title. Trying to get a lyrical shape first before coming up with music.
Most proud of my latest project. The 52 Songs Club. I’m writing a song a week for a year. The project raised $35,000 via Kickstarter from fan support. Currently on week #37.
What is your favorite songwriting lyric?
of mine? “I wanna be your black dress, hold you like a silhouette”
of someone elses: “work all day till the sun don’t shine – struggle like a catfish on the line – they let me off about suppertime, and I’m swimming through the tail lights” – sean mcconnell
What advice would you give to young songwriters/composers?
write every day. don’t worry about it being perfect. writing is a process. it deserves attention and practice. first work on writing songs consistently. the art of writing good songs comes later.
You’ve done some collaborative writing. Do you enjoy writing with others?
i do. i find that i accomplish more when co-writing. its also social, and good to get to know people via writing together.
If you could sit down and talk about songwriting with anyone, who would it be and why?
paul mccartney, because i’ve been such a big fan of his work. same with james taylor.
When’s the new record coming out?
Aiming for a September release. First record I’ll have where I’m playing most all the parts, producing and mixing on my own. So far its been a lot of fun. Can’t wait for people to hear it.
To view Ernie’s selected playlist and other bonus items, please go to; http://www.ourscattereddreams.com/songwriting-blog.html
All interviews and Bonus Materials will be archived alphabetically HERE for easy access in the future.
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