Jukebox the Ghost don’t make a chorus unless it’s anthemic.
They’ve got a fresh take on 80’s influenced production and story telling lyrics that can and will for sure scare some of the most hyped names in the industry at the moment. They got their national TV debut on the recently retired David Letterman & in April released their critically successful self-titled debut album. Jukebox the Ghost recently played alongside Sting and the Far East Movement as part of Cherrytree Records’ 10th Anniversary celebration at New York’s legendary Webster Hall!
This 3 piece band have the right kinda confidence that we want to see on stage, and with their unique and epic video shot on a go-pro they’re giving the indie scene a dose of what a great band should look and sound like today! Be sure to add them to your summer road trip playlist!
See the full interview below:
1. The original incarnation of Jukebox the Ghost was called The Sunday Mail. Let us in on how you guys met and what led to the change of name?
We met in college — Ben and Jesse lived in the same dorm and I met them a little later from putting up a “guitarist looking to start/join a band” flier in the music department. We changed our name after a couple of years because the name was pretty terrible…Though our “new” one is debatably better.
2. What elements of being from Washington DC do you think influences your sound?
I was and continue to be a huge fan of Dismemberment Plan/Q and not U/Fugazi/all-things-Dischord and I think you can hear it in other projects I’m involved with, but I have to admit that the influence is pretty absent from Jukebox the Ghost. Our confluence of weird influences has created a unit that sounds someone like any of us individually in a vacuum.
3. Ok, so The Great Unknown is possibly the greatest video we have ever seen. With the quality of the shots resembling a Hollywood epic, how did you feel when you all saw the final cut?
We loved it! Honestly it was such a fun video to make that the fact that it came out great was just icing on the cake — Driving around Big Sur is something you don’t have to twist my arm to do. You wouldn’t know it, but this video was incredibly low budget thanks to some guerilla-style filming, a brilliant director and a drone with a go-pro on it.
4. We drove from Vancouver to Toronto once, and let me just say it didn’t look like quite as exotic as that. But we wish we had the lyrical motivation of this song keeping us going. Did you write this song while on the road touring?
Ben wrote that song with Greg Holden, a friend of his. They pounded it out in just a day and emailed a demo of it to us and we loved it right from the start.
5. Your self titled album Jukebox the Ghost is out now. It was co-produced in LA by Andrew Dawson (Kanye West’s engineer) and Dan Romer – the man behind last year’s smash hit “Say Something” by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera. What do you think made this collaboration between these two great producers perfect for your album?
6. The first couple of songs Sound Of A Broken Heart and Made For Ending are heartbreak anthems but remain uplifting. How much real life inspiration is behind this album’s lyrics?
More than in the past. We used to deal with a lot of fictional narratives, but this record skews towards real life experiences.
7. You’ve just appeared on Conan O’Brien’s show. Do you find doing performances in intimate TV studios more nerve racking than bigger concert hall audiences?
In a way, yes. You never know how the first song of any given show is going to go. You might have an out-of-tune guitar, your voice might be a little rough, something might not be plugged in — But at a real show you get to redeem yourself for the rest of the night. The terrifying thing about late night is that you play that one song and that’s IT. No second try.
8. We recently did a Top 10 Recording Studios with the Best Vibes feature, what are your top 3 recording studios and why?
Honestly I don’t think we’ve worked in enough studios to have a definitive ranking!
9. What’s the best piece of advice a music industry insider has given you?
Hm, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten any amazing advice from an insider. Most of our career has been learning from mistakes — But the most valuable thing I’ve learned as a songwriter is just to write all the time. The more I do it, the better I get and the less my ego gets involved in a particular song. It’s also always nice to keep the creative faucet running — I may only contribute 5 songs to a jukebox record every few years, but I have multiple projects to pick up the extras, which makes me come back to Jukebox with a whole new appreciation.
10. So tell us, what is next for Jukebox the Ghost in 2015?
Lots more touring, and hopefully planting the creative seeds for a fifth album!
11. What meal would you guys consider Paradise after a long day of recording?
Ben and Jesse are filthy animals, so they’d probably say Taco Bell. For me, a big-ass bowl of pho.
Album: Jukebox the Ghost
Label: Cherrytree Records/Interscop Records 2015
Buy the album on iTunes.