Monday, March 4, 2013

Interview With The Jealous Sound (2/20/13)

The Jealous Sound has been a band for nearly 15 years now, but they are just now breaking back into relevance after an extended hiatus during the mid to late 2000's. The band has recently signed to Rise Records, a signal that the band has plans to continue on strongly for the near future. We sat down with with vocalist/guitarist Blair Shehan on the band's tour with Balance & Composure to ask questions regarding their recent signing to Rise Records, the Jimmy Tamborello remix, music videos, reissues of old material and Knapsack albums, and much more that you can find below.

You recently rereleased your latest album A Gentle Reminder on Rise Records. How has the reaction been since then? Any big difference from when the original release was?

Well technically, the release date was yesterday, so there hasn’t been time to really gauge what that is like yet. It was supposed to come out on the fifth but it got delayed to the 19th, which was yesterday. So it just came out. The differences are small. There’s more songs, and obviously more people are paying attention just because of the scope that Rise has.

You threw the Got Friends EP on the end of the rerelease. Why did you guys decide to do that?

Well we had had that done for quite some time and it never had a physical release. It was just long overdue, so with the rerelease of the record, it was a good opportunity to add new songs that we wanted to get out in a physical release and have added value to the record. Then we added a new song, some remixes, and things like that. But it was time to get that out, and it was a great opportunity to do that.

Was there any thought on releasing that EP by itself or was it always planned to be stuck on the rerelease?

We had to get that release from people, and things like that. We were going to release it somehow, but we weren’t sure how exactly we were going to do that, whether it was going to be an EP or whatever, but we thought it made perfect sense to do it that. But we definitely wanted to get out one way or another, and this was the best way to do it at the time.

How did you get Jimmy Tamborello of The Postal Service to remix one of your songs?

Pedro, our old guitar player, was roommates with Jimmy and we had done some dates with Postal Service and we walked in similar circles. He was an old friend and it was just kind of a natural thing. He was very accessible and very willing to do it.

What attracted you to Rise Records?

They are a functional record label. They were enthusiastic and wanted to be a record label in a world where a lot of record labels just keep shrinking and shrinking and shrinking. That was kind of it. They were enthusiastic and wanted to put out the effort to make it happen.

You guys just released a music video for the title track on A Gentle Reminder, which was your first video in ten years. How was it going back and making a video for the first time in that long?

Videos are silly. I don’t take them very seriously. You pretend to play live but you aren’t really doing it and everyone does it and that’s just the way it is. But it was fun. We called in some favors. Our friend director Nate Weaver was willing to do it really inexpensively, and a friend of mine lent us his cabin in the woods. We just kind of put it all together. You don’t make a ton of videos in your life, and I can barely remember how we did the last one. So doing it again was almost like a new experience.

You have been on tour with Balance And Composure and Daylight for a few weeks now. How has the tour been so far?

It’s been great. It’s been a lot of fun. Balance is a class act as a headliner and everyone is really humble and really friendly, generous, and nice. You never know what you’re walking into on a tour with bands you do not know, and these guys are exceptional as a band and as people.

Is it weird to be supporting a band that’s been a band for probably less than half the time you have?

Yes, and no. We’re on tour, and I try not to think about it too much. It’s like, okay. We’re just going to go to clubs, do what we do. Certainly you think about it, but they have great fans and they are very accepting. They’re younger than us typically, but I guess that’s okay. It seems to work okay.

It’s been said that you guys have plans to release a new album in 2014. Do you guys have any recording plans set in the stone yet?

Nothing in stone yet. We’re going to go home and kind of regroup and figure out where we’re at and then start working on it. It’s all kind of up in the air right now.

Is it weird planning to have a release so soon after the last one?

I haven’t done it yet. The last one was a very specific chain of events that led to what happened. It wasn’t like we were going in every six months to practice, we were just not functional as a band. As long as we’re functional, it should be a lot easier. Certainly following up another record in a relatively short span is a different experience. It takes some discipline, and you need to get in and get it done.

This is easily the most active you guys have been since the mid 00’s. How has it felt as a band to be touring and recording so often again?

It feels exactly the same, like nothing’s changed. We’re kind of at the same level that we were at, the same attitude. Nothing really ever changes. It’s been good with a positive response. You ask me a lot of questions that I try not to think much about. I try to stay in the moment, move forward and do what we do, and these bigger broader questions like this make me look at it a way that I don’t try to. It makes it a lot easier to stay in the moment. I get where you’re coming from for sure, and those are the big questions for us.

You have plans to reissue some of your earlier material such as Kill Them With Kindness and the self-titled EP soon. Do we have any timeline on that yet?

We don’t have an exact timeline, but stuff will be reissued.

Are there any plans for Knapsack reissues of any sort soon?

It’s in discussion. We’re trying to make that happen, I’d like that to happen. We are peeling away the barriers to try and make that happen.

Do you have any upcoming plans for after this tour?

Well, we get home and then in the end of March we’re going to play with Texas Is A Reason on their reunion shows on the west coast. So San Francisco and LA.

Any other touring plans yet?

None as of yet.

Do you plan to do shows throughout the year?

Those haven’t come up yet. We’ll cross those bridges as they appear or are offered to us.

Are there any last things you want to say?

I think that’s about it. Come say hi at the shows if you come out. We’re friendly. 

I wanted to thank Blair again for taking time out of his touring schedule to speak to us. A Gentle Reminder was a return to form by a band that hadn't released much since the well received Kill Them With Kindness, and I'm sure we're all excited to hear that the band will hopefully release a new album far quicker than ever before. You can check out the band's Facebook page right here, and stream the whole album on Soundcloud here

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