Music & Nightlife

Local songwriter returns with new EP after a six-year break

Two weeks after his EP release show at Visulite Theatre on Friday, Charlotte singer-songwriter and producer Jason Scavone and his fiancé are expecting their second child – right around the time their oldest turns 6.

It’s safe to say the former frontman of the Noises 10’s priorities have changed since his old band was recording in L.A. with producer Eric Valentine (Taking Back Sunday, Queens of the Stone Age, Slash) in hopes of a major-label release.

Back then, the Noises 10 was signed to two major-label development deals – first with Jive Records and then with Roadrunner, under the Warner Bros. umbrella. Neither label opted to proceed with a full-length release, though.

“We had the exact same experience twice. It was frustrating for us. We were all burned out,” says Scavone, sitting in Sioux Sioux Studio, where he works as a producer and engineer. The experience did help Scavone snag publishing deals that placed his music in MTV shows, CBS’s “Criminal Minds,” and a Range Rover commercial featuring a track by his next project, the Hot Gates.

He recorded the Hot Gates’ record with musicians in Detroit. A fun and snappy pop record, it failed to move after a falling out with his Detroit-based publisher, although Scavone hit the road with Brandi Carlile and the pair released a killer duet via Starbucks called “My Repair.” That was six years ago.

“After my son was born, I was a little deflated from being in a band doing what we were doing. I didn’t feel the same need to write,” he explains. “I was focusing less on myself and (started) writing from a different perspective.”

He and his fiancé moved to Cornelius and he commuted to Charlotte recording studios, where he engineered tracks for other artists. He still wrote. Eventually his manager, Andy Johnson, suggested he make a new record.

“I got to a certain point where I lost objectivity,” he says of working alone. So he booked some time in Nashville with Joe Pisapia (k.d. lang, Guster), and recorded the tracks for “Find Today” with a cast of A-list session players – including former Prince trombonist Roy Agee, who arranged horns for one track.

Scavone and Pisapia took his Peter Gabriel-inspired ’80s synth framework and added an organic element, recording the musicians live in a room together.

Scavone opted to release an EP instead of a full album due to the way people now consume music. “I drive into work and I noticed I only listen to the first part of a record.”

He released the EP quietly last winter and is now marking its official release. The band he assembled for the release show will also back opening act Britt Drozda, who he produced.

He’s also lending his experience to developing other artists like 20-year-old up-and-comer Logan Hefner – who he is collaborating with and writing songs for – and booking shows again. But has no desire to hop back in the 15-passenger van and sleep on floors.

“I’m content making songs,” he adds. “But it doesn’t feel complete if I don’t perform it for people.”

Jason Scavone

When: 9 p.m. Friday.

Where: Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave.

Tickets: $10.

Details: 704-358-9200; www.visulite.com

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