|Submitted by admin on Fri, 10/22/2010 - 00:40.|
When I sampled The Jesus Rehab, I assumed I knew what to expect. A band that calls themselves alternative out of Seattle, Washington… you probably also know the drill. And there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with the grunge tunes that Seattle is known for – I grew up on and to this day love songs from bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. But when I focused in on the vibe of The Jesus Rehab, I was… surprised? Maybe that’s the word. I wasn’t only hearing music with alternative foundations, but songs that reminisced with the sounds of both the Beatles and Billy Joel – music that borrowed from jazz and still remained honest to its alternative upbringing. In other words; it was some good shit!
Wan to hear what I speak of? Check out the latest Jesus Rehab record, “The Highest Highs and the Lowest Lows”. We asked the band to get into it: “It is a concept album about finding out that you can be your own greatest enemy. The idea is to listen to it front to back as a unit. It’s really a rollercoaster of emotion, from ‘If it Feels Good it is Good’ to ‘Alone by Myself’ and everything in between… Oh, and they can expect to bounce to it, it's a fun album.” The guys continue on their sound, “We play mood driven melodic rock. It is sometimes catchy and sometimes elusive. It is pretty and sweet, angry and haunting, emotionally-charged, progressional, dynamic, and hypnotic… Pop-style songs are the main course, with a hefty helping of composition on the side.” Check out the schedule to catch The Jesus Rehab on the road and read on for all the answers to the XXQ’s.
XXQs: The Jesus Rehab
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?
Dom: We play mood driven melodic rock. It is sometimes catchy and sometimes elusive. It is pretty and sweet, angry and haunting, emotionally-charged, progressional, dynamic, and hypnotic. The depth of our music makes it stand out compared to other rock groups. Every listen reveals another layer. Pop-style songs are the main course, with a hefty helping of composition on the side.
PEV: What kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
Dom: We all spent our childhoods listening to church music and then saturated ourselves in alternative rawk and grunge. Typical of our time, but the Seattle scene in the early 90s was hugely influential for all of us. There are a lot of other random influences too – Andy listened to a lot of country and bluegrass growing up, and Jared studied jazz in college. Dan’s first concert was Rage Against the Machine right before they broke out. Ears are still ringing from that one.
PEV: Tell us your take on the music scene is like in your hometown and what was it like trying to break into it?
Andy: We live in the greatest music community in the country. We use the word community because that’s what it feels like. It's so unique to find a social scene that revolves around supporting local music. Seattle is a rock city. The Seattle scene continues to evolve, but has its clear roots in that 90s sound we all know. That said, you can hear anything in this town. There are so many good bands; it’s both intimidating and awesome. People here are hungry for music at every corner and there are tons of bands to sift through. Luckily for us it is really easy to make friends and in the last couple of years we have really had the opportunity play with some great groups and make our mark.
PEV: With that, what can fans expect from a live The Jesus Rehab show?
Dom: Joy, anger, and sing-a-longs! Dom to take his shirt off. Jared to be serious. Dan to jump around. Andy to make funny faces. They can expect to see a band that is super excited to be playing for them. The goal is to try and get the audience to feel the same way we do about our music, to have the same over-whelming sensations that we get when we play it, and the best way we know how to do that is by jumping up and down and being excited. It's super fun, and it helps break down any social walls they might have. If people come to see your band, and you’re the ones geeking out and going crazy, people can't help but think it's alright to let go a little, and that’s when they are most likely to feel the music like we do.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
PEV: Having all been in other bands before how is playing with The Jesus Rehab different than those other works?
It has finally all come together. There is no better feeling than playing with people you know are contributing something unique and awesome with each performance. It's honestly the most creative thing we’ve ever been a part of, so much so, that it can be frustrating sometimes trying to understand and play along with all the crazy stuff that’s going on. Other projects have allowed a lot of free-form interpretation around the song skeleton. TJR is a lot more composition based, so we spend a lot of time working out songs together until they are just so. Every note is intentional on the records, and we try to play them that way live also. And when we pull it all together, it's pure rock, magic.
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
Jared: Life. I personally try to represent my feelings and experiences in the most honest and vulnerable way possible. I have never been a poet so I just try to tell it how it is. The music is there to enhance the imagination of the listener.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?
Jared: Yeah. When I think back to what I was thinking at each stage of my career, it seems like I had no idea what I was doing. It actually still feels that way, but I think our goals are a lot smaller and more realistic. Every day that we get to play music is a success.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of The Jesus Rehab?
Jared: Dan makes video games for a living! And Andy has a twin brother! Okay that’s two things.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?
Dan: We’re still waiting for that day to come, hopefully soon! Seriously though, music has always been our passions. Jared knew he was making the commitment to a career in music when he decided to pursue his degree in music.
PEV: Tell us about your latest album, “The Highest Highs and the Lowest Lows”. What can fans expect from this?
Andy: It is a concept album about finding out that you can be your own greatest enemy. The idea is to listen to it front to back as a unit. It’s really a rollercoaster of emotion, from ‘if it feels good it is good’ to ‘Alone by myself’ and everything in between. It’s really a great record! We spent a ton of time and energy with it and we can’t say enough about Brin Addison, the producer. He just plain makes you a better musician.
Fans can expect a great variety of music intertwined with a killer story-line, and an album they can listen to over and over again and not get tired of it. And hopefully, they can connect with it. The lyrics are super honest and digestible for listeners. Jared doesn't hide behind any metaphors or play on words. Everything he wants the listener to know about is laid out as openly and honestly as he can make it. Fans might also have a tough time putting the music into any particular category. Oh, and they can expect to bounce to it, it's a fun album.
PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?
Dan: A blast! It is always a nice break from the daily grind. It helps to travel with people you love spending time with. It is great going into a new town and making at least one fan that you knew would never have heard about you otherwise. As long as you are flexible and understand that things are never going to be exactly how you planned them, you’re going to have a good time on the road. Our tour this past summer was really fun for all of us, mainly because there was only one thing we had control over, and one thing we wanted to get from our show every night, and that was to have fun. We're a great road band.
The best parts are marshmallow fights in hotel rooms and camping by lakes. The worst part? Having to come home and work for a paycheck!
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
Dan: The east coast. So many cities, so many people… We have friends out there that don’t get to see us live, and it would be fun to see how our music goes over on the other side of the country. New York City would be awesome. If you can make it in NYC…
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?
Andy: All of our family and friends are super supportive. Although Dan hasn’t told his mom the name of the band yet. Jared and Dominic’s mom likes our band and tells all her friends what we are doing, which they think is awesome and hilarious! We all consider Seattle our hometown now, so every show here is a home show. It’s the best scene in the world. And our friends really seem to dig it. At least that’s what they tell us.
PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
Dan: Being outside, camping, hiking and fishing in the Cascades, touring the local wineries, reading, making video games, managing fisheries and restaurants, making coffee…
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?
Jared: ‘Past would be Dizzy Gillespie. I love that he was not only the father of Bebop, but willing to teach other artists all the cool stuff he figured out as well. He is definitely one of my heroes. Present - Johnny Greenwood - To pick his brain and see what we could do with each other's music.’
Dan: ‘Weezer, because that combo or ROCK, artistry, and plain ole fun is something we strive for.’
Andy: Past - Paul Simon. One of the best songwriters of all time, and his productions in the 70’s and 80’s (e.g., Graceland) would have been amazing to be a part of. Present – Tenacious D, because that shit is just plain brilliant.’
Dom: ‘Pearl Jam, they’ve been my biggest musical influence from the very start.’
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
Adam: Julia Massey. She’s just plain incredible, she writes beautiful songs and sings like an angel. Check her out NOW if you don’t know of her already.
PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?
Andy: Fishing in AK. Loved it, but stopped because I wanted to make music.
Dom: In school in South Carolina, learning how to be a Geographer.