Behind The Music with Paul J. Clark on Afterglow

Paul J Clark @AVALIVERADIO.png

God has a specific purpose for us all, something he’s created us to accomplish.

In Nashville, I’ve been able to connect with an entire community of like-minded musicians. I've had the privilege of working with top notch producers. It’s helped me push my craft to new levels as well as encourage others to continue creating and pursuing their passion. My favorite instrument is the guitar. Nothing beats a power chord, nothing.

Listen to the Interview:


Band Name: Paul J. Clark

Song name: Afterglow

Music Genre: Alternative rock

I live in... Spring Hill, TN (Nashville)

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This song is about the longing to return home while searching for the fulfillment found in the responsibilities of life. Inspired by the Voyager space probe, the golden record it carries containing a time capsule of information about all of us, and a picture it took of Earth from over 4 billion miles away. Written in the first person from the perspective of Voyager (a satellite of sorts), it’s an abstract metaphor grounded in very real human experience.


This song is heavily influenced by the sounds from the ’90s. There are two conflicting emotions battling for resolution throughout the song. This is reflected in the song instrumentation and structure. It combines driving rock guitars with symphonic instrumentation to effortlessly weave together genres into something both nostalgic and new. Musically, it brings to mind guitar driven songs from the likes of Collective Soul, Linkin Park, Train, Weezer, and Tom Petty.

I tend to write from the piano and then sort out the melody and lyrics as I go. I absolutely love melody. I try to put something melodically memorable in every piece of a song. My primary instrument is the guitar. My best work comes from an emotional place, a situation or circumstance, that I either feel deeply about and or can’t seem to find the right words to express. Writing helps me get out what I’m feeling without the limitation of language. It also helps me connect with others in ways that words can’t. It’s a common tongue grounded in the language of emotion. There are a lot of things that inspire me to write. My faith in Jesus Christ, my family, my beautiful wife who embodies the meaning of love to me, my three children who drive me crazy a lot but who also help keep me grounded in what really matters, and my miracle daughter who survived cancer. She reminds me how precious each of us is and to never take that which we love for granted.

Working with Producer…
After years of being self-produced, this is the second track that I hired a producer for. It’s also the most produced track I’ve done. "Afterglow" was produced by Jason Germain, a seasoned artist and industry insider. It took us the span of an entire year to create “Afterglow.” Both of us have other day jobs and we wanted to take as much time as needed to put on tape what we heard in our heads without compromising on quality. Having a producer to guide and shape every aspect of a song has been a game changer for me. For example, the demo of my latest release “Afterglow” is very different than the final song. The initial round of feedback Jason gave me was to increase the tempo, take the key up from E to G in order to push my vocal to a more evocative key, and sing verse one an octave lower to allow the melodic lift in the first chorus to be more dramatic. We also changed the song from an 80’s synth driven feel to a 90’s rock guitar driven sound. Having an outstanding producer helped me realize a vision that I couldn’t have achieved on my own.

What most inspires you?
In March of 2015, my daughter who was two at the time, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. That is a life threatening type of cancer. It required two and a half years of intense chemotherapy and treatment. The medicine made her sick, she spent weeks in the hospital, she got blood transfusions, spinal taps, pricked, poked, and prodded. Her hair fell out, leaving her exposed. But through it all, she kept smiling, kept putting one foot in front of the other. And then one day, the treatment ended. No more chemo. The cancer was destroyed. Her hair grew back. I’m happy to report that she has been cancer free for a year and a half with a positive long-term prognosis!It was during this time that my professional career brought me to the Nashville, TN area. I work in the hospice industry as a data analyst, helping thousands with critical illness find some comfort at end of life. I’m confronted with the brevity of life on a daily basis. Music is my way of dealing with these heavy experiences. Life is a precious gift.

What do you think of the music business today?

The music business is prime for a revolution. There is so much quality content being created by independent artists on a daily basis that just needs to be heard.

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