American proggers Jolly are a band so unstoppable that even Hurricane Sandy can't stop them releasing the second half to their Audio Guide To Happiness opus or joining label mates Riverside on a European jaunt next month. Our scribe Dominic sat down with bassist Anthony Rondinone to find out what makes them tick.
Introduce Jolly to the TMF readership.
Jolly is four guys from New York City who grew up on alternative rock but are into all different kinds of music. We aren't afraid of trying different style or sounds as long as we think the melody and grooves are awesome and everything flows organically.
You have the new record The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part II) coming up. Tell us a little about it.
It is the continuation of part one. I think it is even more dynamic then part one though; we have some of our heaviest riffs next to some of our most atmospheric moods, pop grooves, or sombre moments. Also in my opinion, it's an interesting album because it's full of catchy melodies while having a lot of wacky or experimental elements which is an interesting combination I think.
Did you approach this record any differently to Part I?
Well Part I and Part II were written and mostly recorded at the same time, so we were in the same mind set for both parts. During the finalizing phase we had a chance to listen with new ears though and that helped to finish the album.
How are preparations for the tour coming along?
Pretty good considering! It was a slow start because in the past we could just go to our studio and start practicing but this time we had to use makeshift equipment, figure out our set ups, rebuild the studio and then start practicing. We actually are currently practicing while a contractor is putting up sheet rock walls and putting in a floor... Although the dust everywhere looks very cool and rock star-ish, I don't think my lungs think the same. But we're really excited to be practicing for a tour like this, it's going to be awesome. We're excited to open up for Riverside and get in front of big crowds and show them who Jolly is.
Have you managed to get everything sorted after losing all your gear to Hurricane Sandy?
For the most part I'd say. It's a slow process, you come to know your equipment and feel comfortable with it, so little changes take some getting used to. I'm actually in the process still of re-building my pedal board. In a way it's cool to change some things about your set up, it's always fun to play around with your rig.
Do you have an earliest musical memory? Was there a record or act that made you think "I want to do this"?
I remember finding a Grass Roots record with the single 'I'd Wait A Million Years' and I listened to it over and over. That made me realize I wanted to make good music. The first few bands I came to know were Guns 'n' Roses, Nirvana, Metallica... Seeing those guys on stage, playing great music was so inspiring. These are guys who were nobody, and they are doing what they love in front of people who love what they are doing. There's nothing better than that, it's something I've always wanted to do.
If we were to look at your MP3 player, is there anything on it you'd rather we didn't see? Do you have your own stuff on there?
Hmm, that's a good question! I don't think so, although I am getting sick of everything I have on there so if you have any good suggestions of new music, I’d love to hear them!
Is there any style of music you just don't get?
I think dub step. When i first heard it I thought it was going to be awesome, but I quickly realized it has no melody and it's just a bunch of cool sounds, not much else to it for me... maybe it's just what I’ve heard of it. I don't know, maybe I'm dumb.
What's next on the Jolly agenda?
We're in the process of making another video for a Part II song that we're really excited about and you should start getting excited as well. And after the tour though we're going to go back to writing and coming up with some new music. Also, we're trying to get on a tour for Summer and/or Fall...
What's the question we should have asked you today?
I was hoping you were going to ask "What's the question we should have asked you today" but now that you have I think we got everything.
The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part II) is out via InsideOut Music on 4th March, and their tour with Riverside begins 10 days later in London on the 14th.