“All pianos have a very distinct character. Some of them lend themselves to quicker and easier emotion. I fell in love with this one quickly. It’s responsive. I play differently depending on what piano I sit down at. The record I first made at Studio G was a classical improvisation album. I thought if I could just sit here and play for four hours we could make a good Jukebox record with it.”
The piano is important for Jukebox The Ghost, but what makes the band stand out is actually their song writing. Siegel and Thornewill work together extremely well. We asked Ben about their approach to writing and specifically how they tackled it for their upcoming album.
“Every song is unique in its origin. Sometimes it’s just as simple as Tommy and I sitting down with an instrument and playing and then the song appears. Sometimes it’s much more of a labor of love of refining a texture. Usually, Tommy and I write on our own and then we bring it to the band and do reconstructive surgery on it – we reimagine it. Most of the songs on this record we wrote on our own and demoed as a band. We spent a lot of time on the songs even before we brought them to the studio.”
Siegel briefly talked about Holloqueen and how that changed the band’s approach to making this record, we talked with Thornewill about that and to hear his side of it.
“It’s the best. Partially because you’re learning the songs and appreciating the chords and the crazy song structure and the movement they got away with. All the songs that everybody knows are crazy. A lot of the pop songs from today and in the past were simple, they were not. Then, there’s a freedom on the stage for me because when we’re doing that show I’m in character and I’m full Freddie. There’s this ego/bravado/carelessness that I get to do that I absolutely love. That freedom on the stage is fun and hopefully that translates to our own live show.”
The song that’s probably most like Queen is “Jumpstarted” - what’s probably the craziest Jukebox The Ghost song that they’ve done. Talking with Thornewill about the song and how they wrote/recorded it – there’s a unique story behind it.
“I constructed that song at home over a series of days. Every day I added another part. I wouldn’t take consideration of what happened before. I just added to the song. I added more vocals, or I added a crazy synth solo. That’s why that song came to be what it is. That’s why it has over 100 vocal tracks, all these crazy instruments, samples, my vocals samples and put into instruments, all this stuff. The bridge was more of a collective effort to put it altogether. At first it was a synth solo, then we converted the synth solo to a guitar solo and layered all these parts together. It sounds very much like Queen the way that big solo happens. That song was so much fun to write and record. Now that we’re getting to the point to where we can play that live in a room that’s been fun too but that’s been quite the ordeal.”
Read Part Three