Easy Blog

Los Angeles, 2008. 3. 11
text by Yoshiyuki Suzuki
interpretation and translation by Miho Suzuki
photo by Travis Keller

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"We spent all younger years trying to be like how many different time signature changes, or how weird can we make this song or... even younger younger years when we are all growing up on punk, how fast and heavy we can make, how brutal we can be. And some of them were conscious effort to be like, in the beginning, we were like, "let's see if we can bomb everybody out, and put out whimpiest, poppiest stuff", and then ended up rocking a little more. In the end, that's just who we are."

Aaron, Do you remember when you started having this idea of being a...

Aaron:being rad?

(haha) no, a front man of your own band?

Aaron:I was in the band called Icarus Line for about 9 years. Over the course I was making the last album with them, It was a very uncomfortable process that led to the disintegration of my relationship with those people, who had been my friends, but by the end of it, we were not friends anymore. We played in Japan couple of times, we played at Summer Sonic in 2003...Anyway,I grew up listening to punk rock, and that's what got me to play guitar.

Like what?

Aaron:Like, this room basically looks like my bed room when I was 15. All those posters I had when i was 15. Germs, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, Total Chaos, Weirdos, stuff like that. And I still love punk rock, and the band originally started as a punk rock band. But we were evolving in a certain way, and a certain people wanted to go on one direction, and I was listening to more folk music, blues music, and stuff like that. So before the band was disintegrated, I had started working on this record that was going to be a full record, and started booking shows. I did one show with these guys actually, with their band Wires On Fire. That was an acoustic show and that was the first time I played songs. It was terrifying. Because with Icarus Line, we played like Redding and Leeds, like 12000 people, and now I had to play in the room full of like, whatever, 40 people. But I was scared of shit list. Because I could not hide behind the feedback and loud drums and guitars stuff. Anyway, then Icarus Line disintegrated, I had started recording this record, folkie kind of sounding record, and that idea lasted a couple weeks, then I got asked to play in NIN. So I kinda had to put that on hold. I thought NIN would last 2 weeks, or 2 month but ended up being 3 years, constant touring. But I still had a lot of music and the idea to start something that wasn't loud or aggressive rock music. I wanted to do something more song oriented. So Jubilee thing, before it was called Jubilee, that was intention. At first it didn't even have drums. It spurs on more acoustic instruments, or piano or harmonicas, that kind of things.

Then how did you form Jubilee?

Aaron:At some point, me and this weirdo (Michael) over here in all black sexy tight jeans, he had mentioned that he had some songs, kind of, not like what Wires On Fire sounds like. So he had been recording stuff on his own, and I had been recording on my own, so we just did swap CDs type thing. And I was like, man, this is great! I thought his songs were awesome. He recorded them basically, i think, in garage band, and he had a song in his head, it's either he played a whole song with drums first and overdub everything, or he would record on a guitar and overdub the drum.

Michael:In my room in my parents' house.

Aaron:And you hear this cell phone going off in the song or whatever, or whispering vocals, or something whatever it's cool. And I wasn't putting any huge thought like staring the band, cause I was so burnt out from touring with Nails so much, I just wanted to do something different. And it was like, I came back from tour, I just gotta get out of town, I just needed to get away. So I was gonna go out to Joshua tree, and he ended up going to Joshua tree too. And a friend of ours, Dave Catching who plays in the band called Eagles Of The Death Metal, he used to play a guitar in Queens Of The Stone Age, he is in the band called the Earthlings?. He just basically gave me the key to a studio, a studio called Rancho De la Luna. And we just sat out there and recorded all stuff. It would be like "I got a verse", and " Oh, I got a chorus", or " I got this whole song", " That sounds cool, I will write a word". So he would write entire song, or he would set a piano and I would just set up a crappie mic across the room, and he'd play this amazing things on a piano and I would sing something. So we would record all these stuff. And somehow in the middle of there this place came about more for Buddyhead Office/ storage space for all of stuff. And it kind of turned into... I had so much gears from Nail stuff, I needed to store it all in somewhere. And it started as, literally like, i just had this little tiny my lap top and a little tiny pro tools or a digital recorder and a couple crappie mics. And he was the program director of KXLU, it's a college radio station in L.A., and he was the musical director, I can say it like that?


Aaron:And There was this drum kit that had been there for a year or something and they were going to throw it away, so he grabbed it and brought it out here. And all of a sudden, we just started with whatever friends happened to come through. We had a mic set up, they played drums on songs and stuff. We didn't have a name for a band yet, we didn't have a drummer or anything. It just happened to be just from a circle of friends and people, then somewhere in there he got Queens of A Stoned Age.

So, when did you actually go, "Let's start the band"?

Michael:There was an idea, but wasn't really an idea for the band. It wasn't Jubilee, or it wasn't anything, really. I guess once Evan joined, we were like All right, now we have like, a band. It was hard to form a band band, when you had all different drummers coming in.

Aaron:And schedules.

Michael:Yeah, he'd be away and I'd be away. It was actually hard to have a normal band where you practice, write songs together stuff like that. It was different way of doing it. So I think once Evan joined, and now Jeff is in the band. We had drummers played with us, but still we are not a complete, definite band. We are four basically now (Evan left the band after this interview) .

Aaron:Basically everyone sitting down here is the core, who go on a tour and break stuff, kicks over stuff.

Michael:And He, Michael Harris (a sound engineer, who was also at the interview) did everything. Also there's like 6 and 7th members.

It seems there's many different drummers played on the record, from Josh Freese to Kevin Haskins to Carla Azar from Autolux. Not having a solid drummer was conscious decision?

Jeff:As of right now, We've chosen not to. We've all been playing music for so long, we've been blessed to know so many talented people. And we kinda thought "Hey, it wouldn't be fun to ask everybody and see who says yes." We thought probably most would say no. But no one said no. We were trying to find songs for people to play on, because people keep saying yes, which is cool. It's cool, it's different thing to do, to have all different drummers come out, everyone sets different styles, you know. Carla from Autolux plays entirely different than Josh Freese does. We just had Nick Jego from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club come to play, and it was different style. I wasn't here but they had a drummer from Bauhaus. They got a jam with him, coming out. You know both (Michael) Shuman and Aaron are huge Bauhaus fan for life. it's such a cool thing just right there, then you listen to the song, you hear that's him playing.

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