"I think most of it takes place in dreams," Caleb Landry Jones says of his debut
solo album, The Mother Stone. "I'm talking more about dreams than I am about
what's happened in the physical realm. Or I'm talking about both, and you're not
sure what's what."
Caleb Landry Jones was born in Garland, Texas in 1989 and comes from a long
line of fiddle players. Three, maybe four generations back, on his mother's side.
His grandfather wrote jingles for commercials, his mother was a singer-songwriter
who taught piano lessons in the house, and his father was a contractor who did a
lot of work for the Dallas music-equipment retailer Brook Mays and knew a guy
if you needed a bass or a banjo. But Jones is not sure if you can hear any of this in
his music and he does not play the fiddle.
Jones has been writing and recording music since age 16, around the same time
he started acting professionally. Played in a band called Robert Jones for a minute,
lost his guitar player to higher education, moved into his own place, and broke
up with somebody, at which point the songs really started coming hard and fast.
"I started playing guitar and playing more keys," he says, "and then started writing
record after record after record after record, because I didn't know what to do
with myself. It was a good way of healing. And it felt like as soon as I started doing it, it felt like it needed to happen all the time."
In the ensuing years he'd spend a lot of time carrying unrecorded songs around in
his head like goldfish in a bag, waiting for a chance to record them in marathon
sessions in his parents' barn. "You gotta play the songs every day, or every two
or three days, to keep 'em," he says. "Otherwise I forget them." Sometimes the
ideas fuse together, one chapter to the next; this is how songs grow into sevenplus-minute epics like the ones on The Mother Stone. His back catalog is around
seven hundred songs deep- a whole discography of full albums, most of them
unheard outside the barn, at least for now.