Hey hey! Thank you! I’ve been well – we’ve been absolutely hustling with shows and recording and promoting. So much happening – all good things!
Can you talk to us more about your song “Tranquilizer”?
“Tranquilizer” was actually written and demoed by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer Van Hunt. He has always been one of my favorites and we’ve kept a dialogue through the years. He calls this recording of the song “one of the few modern studio recordings where you can feel the weight of the band. very powerful.”
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I thought it was very appropriate for Remember Jones. Our audiences have always told me that they forget about everything else going on in their lives when they see or hear us. They’ve said time and time again that we really take them to a different time and place. I like to keep things tongue-in-cheek, and I think this song wraps all of that together.
Any plans to release a video for the track?
VIdeo was released on 7/3 and has over 8K views in 2 days as I write this! I will be on YouTube very soon but currently: https://www.facebook.com/rememberjonesmusic/videos/vb.387613088058979/853508408136109/?type=2&theater¬if_t=like¬if_id=1499305306691457
Why naming the EP after this song in particular?
I think the same reason for working on the song itself. A tranquilizer relieves stress, anxiety, tension. I think our music does the same.
How was the recording and writing process?
We recorded our debut album, Ladies and Gentlemen, Remember Jones! in front of a 500 person studio audience after raising nearly $19k in 300 small donations to get it done. Though it included a few songs of my own, it had our brand new arrangements of songs by other close, singer/songwriter friends and a few others. This experience was to show the progression since then and really focus on our own writing.
What was it like to work with Andrija Tokic and how did that relationship develop?
I had been a fan of Andrija’s work and Mark Masefield (keys/synths/organ) had been in his studio before and always thought he’d be a good fit for us. Mark had always said that Andrija and I should meet – not only because we had a similar vibe and clothing style – but because we thought we’d dig into the same sound and I found that to be true.
How much did he influence the album?
I wanted to make sure we put a lot of trust in him and that we did. He helped clean up a few things that were sounding busy, and really worked hard to understand where I was trying to come from as a vocalist and storyteller. His knowledge of sounds, instruments, arrangements, was very important to this, and his style of keeping things authentic and in-the-moment was exactly what drew us to him.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are covering someone else than when you are writing your own original material?
I’ve always said that I’m a storyteller before I’m a singer. I’ve only ever been inspired to sing someone else’s song if I heard my very own version of it in my head… a revival or retelling of sorts. We have dramatically different versions of songs originally written or recorded by The Smashing Pumpkins, Marcy Playground, etc.
What role did Nashville play in your writing?
Not much in the writing… but it sure is an inspiring area to be in. There is a LOT going on.
Known for an energetic performer – do you always intend to capture that energy in every record you put together? Is it an easy task or it’s harder than what people may think?
It is definitely not easy but it is very important for this band and for the audiences. In many ways, we’re an improvisational group and that’s how it’s structured. As a frontman, I put a lot of trust in the band and we all allow each other to be free. I really want that to come across on the recordings. With that, if a take doesn’t “FEEL” right – it’s not right. The feeling is way more important than the sound, in my opinion.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I enjoy wordplay – so a lot of this is just fun. “We used to slide into the DMs / from the AMs to the PMs” in “Don’t Put Me On Hold” was one that made me laugh as I wrote it. I also like to write lyrics that sound conversational and in the moment. As for “Why Don’t They Cry?”, most of the lyrics were written by my friend Rick Barry, a respected songwriter. I knew this was a tune for him to collaborate on the lyrics with. I had the concept in mind, the phrase “Why Don’t They Cry?”, but couldn’t put to paper what I was feeling. I’m an emotional guy and have never had a problem talking about them – this song is a naive attempt at questioning why others don’t.
Any plans to hit the road?
We’ve been on and off the road for the past year but have upcoming shows all over the place! Not only do we perform our originals, but we do theatrical music events recreating Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album, Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and more. It all funnels to our original music.
What else is happening next in Remember Jones’ world?
We have a LOT of cool events coming up, and a special 2nd EP is in the works for this year… which will hopefully have a November release. Excited to be opening up for Darlene Love in December, as well as many other tour dates and appearances!