THANKS to the guys of Jubilo Drive...
who have been telling me about their new album, Late Night Early Morning, and the inspiration behind it; which one album the members hold dear; how the band got together and the importance of L.A. regarding their creativity and sound.
I ask whether they will come to the U.K. and which approaching artists we need to watch; how they unwind away from music and the advice they would give to those coming through – the guys pick some cool songs to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been good! We’re still on the heels of the record release, so we’re still kind of basking in the glory of that; but we’ve also got a ton of new demos in the works. Happy to be here right now.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Sure thing. We’re Jubilo Drive and we’re a group of fellows who enjoy playing music together and working to create new sounds. The five of us all have remarkably different taste in music, so we play a pretty eclectic blend of Psych-Rock/Synth-Pop. Jordan sings and plays guitar. Henry plays the guitar. Aaron’s on the keys. Jacob’s on the drums and Kalyn is the bass player.
Late Night Early Morning is out now. What does it feel like having the record out?
It feels great. Many of these songs were a long time coming and many of them were written before this current iteration of our lineup, so it’s cool to see things come full circle. The response has been awesome. It feels like a weight off our shoulders. We’re lucky to have a great support system. And, of course, there is the satisfaction of completing a project and putting it out into the world. Now that we have something to show for all our work, we feel really free to just create regularly. On to the next.
Are there particular inspirations and people that inspired the album and its stories?
Very much so. Tragically, much of this album was inspired by the untimely death our founding drummer and friend, Eric Cruz. Some of the lyrical content deals with themes of grief, anxiety; depression and the power of music. For instance, our frontman Jordan H. Kleinman wrote the opening track, When The Curtains Draw, the night his grandfather died; he played trombone with Louis Prima in 1940s Harlem and met Eric a few times, so it felt fitting to include that song on such a cathartic album.
I think the process of building this album also really inspired us to grow and evolve as a band. In our current lineup, we’re still young and still working out the kinks. Seeing this album come together taught us a lot about our band dynamic.
How did Jubilo Drive get together? Did you bond over shared tastes?
We originally formed in college; played shows a lot and recorded a few bodies of work. In 2016, we decided to take a hiatus after a few years and, in early 2017, Eric passed away in a car accident. In early 2018, we reformed to keep the project going and began recording and releasing new music, using this exercise to heal as well.
We’ve always been lucky to have members who come from different backgrounds with various and unique music tastes. While we all definitely have shared musical interests, we individually hold wide spectrums of listening habits - which we feel gives us all an expanded musical knowledge to bring to the table.
What sort of music did you all grow up around?
As we said earlier, the influences are kind of all over the place. Henry and Aaron grew up on music that most California kids were raised on: a lot of Punk-Rock, Hip-Hop; Ska/Reggae. Jordan started out on Classic-Rock and later became obsessed with Jazz and World music. Kalyn was raised on R&B and Hip-Hop but also grew up listening to many different genres of Rock. Jacob’s a Metalhead and listens to a ton of Pop-Punk and Emo (still). Our parents introduced us to all the classics.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Our release show was an absolute blast, especially the part where (in practices leading up to the show) we swore we weren’t going to play an encore. And then the crowd really was calling for it, so we had no choice. Most encores are premeditated but it was cool to have such a genuine, spontaneous moment. We all kind of looked at each other and realized we had to go out there and play one more.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Jacob: Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park is the album that got me into Rock music, so I owe everything to it.
Jordan: I know this is going to sound corny…but The Dark Side of the Moon is probably the most meaningful and withstanding album to me and has been for a long time. The breadth of lyrical imagery, the fortitude and humanity displayed by the songs’ narrator(s); experimental recording techniques side-by-side hit songs, all while being considered a critical and commercial success. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t get better than that.
Henry: Too many. But, I would lean towards albums I’d listen to as a kid, when I had a C.D. case and a booklet to look through while listening. Very impressionable times.
Aaron: By the Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Kalyn: It’s impossible to choose just one, but Nevermind by Nirvana is certainly up there. Having grown up and spent the first nineteen years of my life in Seattle, something about that sound will always resonate with me.
Being based out of L.A., how important is the city and its people to your sound?
We’ve definitely written a considerable amount inspired by landscapes, traffic and weather of this town. Most of us work and live in Los Angeles, so there is an abundance of interesting characters to observe. You get a better understanding of the world the more kinds of people you see and meet. I don’t know how to articulate it but there are definitely ‘L.A. sounds’ in our music.
The ‘Indie’ music scene in L.A. is also superb. So many friendly and talented people and most people are pretty approachable. I definitely feel lucky to be able to call some of my favorite local artists friends and sometime-collaborators.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
The Rolling Stones, Tame Impala; Radiohead or St. Vincent among others. Our rider would include Pepto-Bismol, Haribo gummy dinosaurs; hanging out with Keith Richards for fifteen minutes before the set, a handful of JUUL pods; five La Croix and a post-set joint (where legally applicable).
PHOTO CREDIT: Shawheen Keyani
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Keep putting out music. Keep playing shows. Find what works well for you first and try not to worry about what everyone else is sounding like. The more content you have and the more exposure you get, the better. We’ve been a band for a long time and there are days that feel like we’re still starting out - which just goes to show that there’s always something new to learn and ways to improve yourself, both personally and musically.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
We’ve got a few things in the works right now, but can’t officially announce yet. So, we’ll say that you can catch us in L.A. this spring and definitely this summer.
If we came to one of your live shows, what might we expect?
Controlled chaos: sweaty, spectacular dance moves. Headbanging. Kalyn’s sultry gaze. Jordan dropped the mic and ran around the venue during Aaron’s keyboard solo one time. You know...standard Rock ‘n’ Roll stuff. Come ready to rock the **** out and, if you’re standing close to the stage, to get sweat on you. You might learn something new about yourself.
Might you play in the U.K. at some point?
We’d absolutely love to. A lot of us are huge fans of some big U.K. artists (Joy Division, New Order; The Cure, Cleaners from Venus; Radiohead, The 1975) so that’d definitely be a bucket list item. When are you having us?
IN THIS PHOTO: SWIMM
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Honestly, most of us are still working on music when we’re away from Jubilo. We’re all pretty active in solo and side projects, so music keeps us pretty busy. We’re lucky to have a day jobs so, when we’re not there or working on music, we love to unwind with friends and chill out. Music is always playing in the background, so it never goes away.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Jacob: How to Draw/Petrichor - The 1975
Jordan: Chiko-Chan - Yasuaki Shimizu
Henry: Fools - Drugdealer
Aaron: Slide - George Clanton
Kalyn: Star Treatment - Arctic Monkeys
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