Jared Rinaldi–the eclectic artist

Extremes are easy. Strive for balance.-Colin Wright

Balance is not only essential for happiness and well-being; in the long run, it actually increases productivity and success.  I am striving to have more balance despite having 100 ideas I want executed in my head. We all have been there, so many creative projects can make taking a "break" not easy to do. 

It made me think and wonder the following:


I don’t have the answer to that but I want to use the blog as a platform for folks to read different ways many people do on top of my WCW posts.

I had the opportunity to interview my friend Jared Rinaldi a few weeks ago.  Jared is a triple threat  as a fantasy writer, actor, and musician. Similar to a few creatives that we know that carry many hats!

His first book THE UNDEAD KING, caught my attention as it has elements of post-apocalyptic politics seen in fantasy and zombie horror.  Check out the blurb:

In a post-apocalyptic future, where humankind has descended back into the dark ages, a young swordsman and his small band of allies must stand against the Undead King and his army of ravenous zombies.

There is a war brewing in the Green Lands. East versus west, might versus mind, brother versus brother…

While this battle over power and resources consumes the land, the Undead King is clandestinely marching north. At his command are an army of ravenous corpses, their appetite for living flesh insatiable. In the king’s possession is a sceptre of great power, forged in white fire by the monks of Jai Lin…

Mercer Crane is a young wanderer who has lost everything and means to make a name for himself in the war. He has come into possession of a sword, its edges lined with dark matter. This blade is special, as is the man who wields it, for together, they are the only thing that can stop… THE UNDEAD KING.

Being a writer myself that is not easy to combine (kudos Jared! It is a true mix of GoT and The Walking Dead as you described it!)

Peep our Q & A:

O.C.O: Tell us more about your new book you are working on called Sprocket Knights. How is it different from THE UNDEAD KING?

J.R: Sprocket Knights is actually the title of an entire five book series, of which the Undead King was book one, until I made some serious revisions and then changed the title to "The Sword of Jai Lin." The stories follow the same trajectory; the main difference between the two books is in the details.

O.C.O: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

J.R: Currently, I'm working on a series of five books that are all interconnected. I'm trying to build an entire world with its own history. But I also write screenplays and short stories which have nothing to do with Sprocket Knights at all, and look forward to writing books not in that world.

O.C.O: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

J.R: I'd have to say a sort of large jungle cat, like a tiger or leopard. Writing is a very solitary craft and requires me to be in full control, at the top of the food-chain if you will. Oftentimes I'm stalking the story relentlessly until I can pounce and tear it to shreds. I have a very violent process.

O.C.O: What Does Your Band Name “Kitari” Mean?

J.R:  Kitari actually didn't mean anything when I came up with the name. We were calling ourselves Annakari for a few days, which is a Japanese demon, but then I blanked on the name when a hotshot casting director asked me my band's name and I just blurted out "Kitari." We stuck with it. We came to find out that "Kitari" actually translates to guitar in Slovenian, so that's pretty accurate.

O.C.O: Describe Kitari's sound?

J.R: Kitari's sound is, of course, grounded in rock music with traditional rock instrumentation, but my ultimate focus has always been on writing the best songs I can. To me, that means that my songs should have compelling and introspective lyrics, memorable hooks and effective movement throughout the different parts. I think it gives our music and live performance an emotional weight that not a lot of other bands have. I count myself fortunate to play with some really amazing players, with backgrounds in genres as varied as jazz, punk, classical, hardcore and drum n' bass. Their styles certainly influence how the songs are performed. But as far as tying up our sound in a neat little bow? I'd say we're a psychedelic indie-rock band.

O.C.O: Do you write out your lyrics? Do you ever change a song’s lyrics in live sets?

J.R:  Yes, I wrote about 90% of the lyrics, with our former guitarist having written the remainder. And yes, I forget lyrics live a lot. I've gotten quite good at freestyling new lyrics though.

O.C.O: What creative individual would you have lunch with (can be dead or alive). Where would you go, what would you ask?

J.R: Hmmm it would be a toss-up between Jimi Hendrix and Ernest Hemingway. It would have to be a boozey lunch somewhere, and I'd ask them both basically the same thing: where else is there to go with art? What areas need to be explored today? What adventures need to be taken?

O.C.O: What embarrassing songs might I find on your IPhone now?

J.R: Oh god, let me look. There's definitely some bad ones on here. How's Kevin Lyttle, "Turn Me On?" Oh, the Scissor Sisters. That's funny.

O.C.O: What advice would you give someone when balancing different creative endeavors?

J.R: ·  In finding balance, I really try to structure my day. It may sound intuitive and like a "no duh" kind of concept, but you'd be surprised with how many people just let the day drive them from task to task. You need to drive the day. I'm not saying to just sit in your little hermit's cave away from the world or to fight tooth and nail against any sort of change. You should still remain flexible and capable of being influenced and inspired by everything around you.

But to intentionally structure your day, to work at accomplishing tasks as opposed to just getting through them, is a way to achieve balance. Once I'm done with something, once I've accomplished it, I can move on to the next task. Some tasks take longer than others - like writing a book, for instance - so I set smaller goals for myself and when I accomplish them, I feel like I can shift my attention over to another project. Time also forces me to find balance. There are only so many minutes in a day, after all.

O.C.O: Anything you would like share? (This where you direct folks to social media pages for the band and links to your books)

J.R:  All my band's material, including music, videos and pics can be found at kitaritheband.com. A quick search on Amazon of "Jared Rinaldi" will turn up the books I've written. Kitari has some a shows coming up: Saturday August 5th at Mercury Lounge and Thursday August 24th at Bar Matchless.

Follow Kitari on FB friend’s: https://www.facebook.com/kitaritheband

Hope everyone is finding their own balance while creating something rad this summer :)