MySpace may give people the opportunity to listen to thousands of new bands every day but I have to admit that it’s still rare to find a band that makes me want to know more about them as sonn as I listen to them. That’s what happened when I first heard JUPITER BLUE’s “Anthem For The Jaded” for the first time, so let’s find out a little more about one of L.A’s best kept secrets…
Can you give us a brief history of the band?
Maddox- The band started out in Chicago about 4 or 5 years ago. Dickie started it with some friends that he had that were playing in other bands in the area, but after the concept and material really took shape he decided to move to Los Angeles and put together a new lineup. That’s where Stacy, Robbie, and I came into the picture. We went through a series of drummers before finally finding the right guy, but now there’s a great chemistry in the band and we’re enjoying ourselves. ~m
You say on the band’s website that it took far too long to make “Constellations & Satellites”, how long did it take?
Maddox- Well, we had met with about 5 different producers about doing the record. We met with everyone from young upstart guys that wanted to make their mark, to veteran producers, to drug addled ex-rock stars trying to produce music in between binges. We actually started tracking a few different times, but nothing was really knocking anyone out. Since we have our own studio, and Dickie had some previous production experience with other projects, we ultimately just decided to keep it in the family and do it ourselves. Of course, with no one to really keep tabs on us, and no budget restrictions, it ended up taking over a year and a half from pre-production to completion. Much too long considering the songs were already there. We suffered from a little too much freedom to play in the studio I suppose. ~m
Did you have a precise idea of how you wanted the album to sound before recording it or was it more a kind of natural evolution that led to how the songs sound?
Dickie-We had demo’d the songs previous to recording them for the album, so we primarily focused on getting each track to sound more “live.” There’s always a natural evolution in the studio for me personally. I enjoy allowing songs to evolve based on how they begin to sound as recorded works. ~d
Can we see the space atmosphere of the album as a direct Bowie influence?
Maddox- Absolutely 100% correct. We are all huge Bowie fans, but it also comes from just wanting to do something a little outside the box of what every other band is out there doing. Lyrically, I think Dickie works from a much more classic and poetic stance than most writers, so he likes using imagery of all kinds to paint pictures. Space and Universe are themes that have always been intriguing obviously. Maybe the next record won’t have any of that at all, but that’s where his head was at as a lyricist at the time. ~m
Can you tell us a bit about the lyrics? Can fiction and reality sometimes mix in them?
Dickie- rarely. i tend to pen lyrics based on actual events, but i allow my imagination to bend the story a little bit. some of the lyrics may make little sense to the listener, but i think it’s important to allow the creation process and train of thought (no matter how abstract) to remain in place. it’s a vital part of remaining true to the art. ~d
Have you played elsewhere than the L.A area and Chicago? What is your favourite club to play in L.A?
Dickie- i personally like Key Club here in L.A. it’s a great room with a helpful staff, nice stage & sound, and usually an upbeat crowd. it presents the band favorably. ~d
Stacy-Key Club is definitely a favorite. The El Rey Theatre is nice and the Roxy has a decent stage. Many LA venues have really small stages, there are a lot of bands in LA that do just fine huddled together in a tiny area, or that play as if they are confined to one anyway, but I think we are one of the few bands out here that really try use the space so the larger the stage the better. ~s
It says on your CD that you’re ok with unauthorized copy, reproduction, etc. What’s your view on the music business nowadays since it’s been changing a lot these last years with the Internet, the downfall of CD sales, etc.?
Stacy-Its just us embracing something we’ve seen coming for a while. Obviously the whole industry is struggling with finding a profitable business model now that digital downloads are de rigeur, bands are just not likely to make much money off album sales these days. Labels want a bigger cut of everything and even pieces of the pie they never really had their fingers in – publishing, merchandise, etc. because of it. We want to get our music in as many hands as possible. Chances are if you dig it, you’re going to burn it for a friend anyway. Why should we pretend thats not happening? We know the music stands on its own and we would rather develop a larger fanbase so we can focus on what we love the most – putting on a show. The more the music spreads, the more gorgeous little faces in our audience. Plus, there will always be those fans that will choose to pay a little to own the physical item – for the satisfaction of holding that CD and artwork in their hands, reading the lyrics, etc. Its all good for us. ~s
In the band members section of your website, some of you have Paris places (Le Père Lachaise…) in their favourite settings, have you seen much of Paris/France?
Dickie- yes. i’ve been to Paris a few times myself, as has Stacy. in fact, the two of us went on holiday there a few years ago. it’s a fantastic city. an amazing mix of history and energy. it allowed us to practice our French language skills and devour several paninis. ~d Stacy-I think I was european in a previous life. When I visit places like Paris and London, it just feels like “I’m home”. Love it. It will be amazing when we get to play over there! ~s
Are you working on a new album? Other projects?
Dickie- we’re continuously writing and recording new songs and have enough unreleased material for more than one new album. it’s only a matter of waiting until we get the right package of songs to constitute what we think is a cohesive, completed album. there are only a few more holes to fill. ~d