Social Networking

July 14, 2013



JJXO is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but had yet to put a name to it, or to focus it really. Stephen and I started playing with the idea of incorporating electronica into what we were doing while we were recording the Covetous EP for Oedipus. What most people don’t know about that album is that it was actually double the length, and a bunch of things we recorded for it got put on the back burner. One of those songs was an Oedipus tune that we ended most every live show with called “Younger.” When we were recording that we were trying to put a whole dance breakdown in the middle, but for whatever reason, it didn’t work.

I started dabbling with electronica years before that, under the name “Pilate” writing Drum & Bass and Jungle tracks on Reason software. At that point I didn’t have the capability to record vocals the way I wanted. There are endless possibilities with synthesizers, and though I truly honor the ability to build a song with just bass, guitar, and drums, I had too much music, with too varied a range of emotions for all of it to have the same palette of sounds.

After the last year of touring with Oedipus, with my acoustic bass, while we were driving, I ended up writing almost an album worth of material, mostly dealing with the subject of the counterintuitive actions one takes amidst the confusion within relationships; pecking order, sex, subjugation, submission, adultery, psychological abuse, being anesthetized, being prideful, being in love, and of course being cast aside. These are the oldest subjects to ever inspire the written word, but were a departure from the general bravado of Oedipus tunes.

I had also just spent a decade dealing with the inner workings of a music business that was either not leading, not earning, or giving me advice I was uncomfortable with. I was constantly chasing something undefined (in the business) and therefore constantly second guessing and waiting around to do things like record, tour, etc.

My first step out of this cycle, to truly “cut the chord,” was to fund the recording myself, and to give the JJXO music away for free and donation. The hope, of course, being that you love the music so much that you just have to come see us play it live. Live is where all the good stuff happens anyways.

Only a tiny percentage of artists on record labels, moving massive numbers of records, end up seeing any of the money they make selling them. Also, most people, myself included, are naturally suspicious of being forced to purchase an album that we know is going to have a couple good songs and a bunch of filler. On top of THAT, I love streaming music and being able to see what my friends are listening to on Spotify, and the easy exchange of art amongst a community. So, I wanted to eliminate the guess work and rebuild the trust between musician and music listener, hopefully giving people something that resonates with them, while finally getting to tap into something hopefully a little more intimate. 

The fun of this project is that it can be anything, and that I don’t feel the need to shove a square peg into a round hole for any reason. It’s liberating, and fun, and fast, so I can get music to my friends while it’s still fresh in my mind, and not a year after I wrote it. It allows me to write a lot more material, because I’m constantly purging ideas and feelings. It is catharsis, which is what art should be, and not just, to quote David Bazan, “desperate attempts to fan the flame without the fire.”

I truly hope you enjoy the music from JJXO, and if you hate it, well, at least you didn’t pay for it. Kisses.

No comments:

Post a Comment