Off to the Races is filled with them. Recently Alternative Addiction got to sit down and chat with the guys from Jukebox The Ghost about their upcoming album and how they wrote and recorded it.
“The record was mostly done at Studio G in Brooklyn with Chris Cubeta and Gary Atturio,” said guitarist and co-vocalist Tommy Siegel. We also did two songs in Los Angeles. We did “Everybody’s Lonely” with CJ Baran and Peter Thomas. We also did “Fred Astaire” in L.A. with Chris Wallace.”
When you listen through “Everybody’s Lonely” and the other new song from Jukebox the Ghost, “Jumpstarted” then you’ll hear the difference in approaches that the band took to this album compared to their previous releases. There is a more grandiose approach to what they’re doing on Off to the Races.
“We’ve always been into harmonies, but we’ve always held back on them too… For the last three years we’ve been doing a set called Halloqueen. We play a set of our own material and then we take a break and get into costume and we play a set of Queen. Having to take a deep dive into Queen’s catalogue was inspiring for us. It made us think, ‘why wouldn’t we use the toolkit that we have?’ With this record, part of what we’re excited about is that inhabiting another band we learned to be more like ourselves. There’s more classical piano, there’s some wacky guitar solos, big/thick harmonies, sometimes it’s like Queen and dramatic, sometimes it’s like the Beach Boys. Getting into a band like Queen and realizing that you can be successful and strange was inspiring for us as song writers,” added Siegel.
There’s a lot to be excited about with this new record. In a way, it’s like Jukebox The Ghost has essentially found their quintessential sound and that’s something that has Siegel excited.
“Usually after I make a record I think, ‘That’s cool. We explored that sound, now let’s do something else.’ The funny thing about this one is that I felt like I could make five more just like it. It felt like we stepped into a new skin,” added Tommy.
Siegel is a huge part of the brilliance of Jukebox the Ghost, but he’s half of the songwriting team, the other half is keys man and co-vocalist Ben Thornewill. We chatted with Thornewill about the piano on the upcoming album, specifically we asked him about the piano used for recording and how he found it.
“One of the amazing things about piano is you can make it sound however you want to,” explained Thornewill. “You can take a piano and make it brighter, you can take a piano and make it darker. I found this piano because I did a solo record at this studio – Studio G – and fell in love with the piano. The natural extension of that was that it would sound great for the next Jukebox record. It’s an old Bosendorfer, about 100 years old, grand piano and it has a lot of character to it. You take a recording of a grand piano and make it darker or make it brighter… we even put it through an old fender app for a song on this record. You can do whatever you want really with it.”
Read Part Two