Jukebox the Ghost created one of my favorite albums of 2008 when they released Let Live and Let Ghosts on April 22nd. It's fun, really well made, and so insanely catchy. The band, that met in Washington, DC and now resides in Philadelphia, is made up of Ben, Jesse, and Tommy. They have toured with a ton of great bands including Via Audio, Say Hi, and Ra Ra Riot. Tommy, who provides guitar and vocals, was nice enough to answer some questions for me.
What was the recording process like for Let Live and Let Ghosts?
We were still in college, so there wasn't a lot of wiggle room for time and money. As a result, we had to track the whole album in 8 days, which was pretty stressful -- We slept on the floor of a friend's abandoned apartment that whole time. Jesse had really bad tendonitis when he was recording drums. My fondest memories are from playing hours and hours of Mario Kart on the producer's gamecube.
How would you describe your sound?
We usually let other people do that and just worry about making the sound itself. But, if you put a gun to my head, I guess I'd say vaudevillian-indie-pop-rock? But who knows what the next album will sound like....
Who have been your biggest influences?
Musically, we've all had very different upbringings. Jesse is a punk drummer at heart, Ben is a classical pianist at heart, and I'm a reformed Phish/noodly-guitar fan. In more recent years, we've had a lot of listening common ground with indie bands, we still have pretty divergent tastes. Jukebox the Ghost is one of the only musical things we can agree on, really.
You have toured with so many fantastic people, who has been your favorite so far?
Too many favorites to pick. We love the Winter Sounds, the XYZ Affair, Via Audio, Say Hi, Nightmare of You, Exit Clov, Pretty and Nice...The list goes on and on. We're very lucky that we've been able to tour with bands we love that contain people we love.
Favorite place to tour?
The west coast, which we only toured for the first time this fall, was pretty novel and exciting. We were all struck by how the scenery changes so quickly and drastically in the Southwest/West/Mountain region. Utah has unbelievable scenery in particular -- I wasn't sure we were on the planet earth.
Favorite song to play live?
Right now, my favorite is probably a new one called "Nobody", but it's always changing. Usually whatever is newest.
What do you like to do when you are not touring?
We live near a bowling alley in Philly, so a lot of bowling by default. Jesse watches a lot of 'Forensic Files' on truTV. Ben plays a lot of piano. I like history books a lot right now. In writing, that sounds pretty boring. In reality, it's also pretty boring.
What was the last album you purchased?
The Medications -- Your Favorite People All in One Place.
What has been the funniest thing to happen on tour?
Not necessarily the funniest, but our van broke down on the Utah/Nevada border, so we were forced to spend two-and-half days at the 'Wendover Nugget', a casino on the Nevada state border. We played a lot of shuffleboard. Hours upon hours. We're all embarassingly good at shuffleboard now. Once the van got fixed, we had to drive 35 hours (no sleep, only stopping for gas) straight to New York City for a show. We pulled up to the venue an hour before the show and somehow managed to get through the whole set without falling over. We'd like to thank vitamin B12 for getting us through that experience. Way to go, B12.
What are your plans for the future?
To record our next album!! To tour more! Overall soldiering onward!
Please visit their website http://www.jukeboxtheghost.com/ and buy Let Live and Let Ghost.