Our Artist of the Week a few weeks ago, The Static Jacks, recently came through NYC to play a couple CMJ shows before getting right back on the road again to start off their tour with The Wombats and The Postelles. While the band was in route to the first stop in DC, I caught up by phone with guitarist Henry Kaye about their brief CMJ experience, what’s unique about their live show, and other bands they look up to.
Kelly Knapp: How was CMJ?
Henry Kaye: It was good. It was brief – We only got to play two shows and then we had to leave immediately for DC. We didn’t really get a chance to enjoy anything other than our own showcases, but our shows went really well.
KK: Are you in the middle of a tour right now?
HK: Actually this is the first date of a full nation-run that we’re doing with The Wombats and The Postelles. It’s like 30 days across the country.
KK: Nice! Is touring a great way to get out of New Jersey, or do you miss home when you’re on the road?
HK: I love touring, I love traveling, so any opportunity we get…this is the first time we’re really going east coast to west, so I’m really excited to go across the country and do all that.
KK: In your past touring have you seen a big difference in music scenes from place to place?
HK: Yeah, it totally changes. It’s always a different vibe. We’re on our way to DC now, and we always have a good reception there; I really like DC. Boston’s great. We’ve only been to California once, so I’m excited to finally get there and go through San Francisco, and all the places and territories we’ve haven’t covered yet.
KK: What do you think defines you as a band, or sets you apart from other bands?
HK: We do a lot with our live show – I’m really proud of it. A lot of other bands just stand there and play, and sound like exactly how they are on the album. I think we’ve got a lot more energy, and we make sure that people walk away from the show with a unique experience, and not just something they could get after buying the album and sitting in a room around and listening to it at home.
KK: So you really give fans a great live experience and then the album can maybe be a way to remember and relive it later.
HK: Yeah, I mean, on the album we really tried to capture that live feeling and tried to make it as energetic as the live show, but it is very polished. We spent a lot of time making sure it sounded right. It’s two very different experiences, but you can totally go to the live show, and then go home and listen to the album and have those memories.
KK: I’ve been listening to the remix for “Into the Sun,” and I think that came out really well. How did that come about? Did you have specific intentions for that?
HK: Well, the guy that did it, Andrew Maury at RAC, we’ve been friends with a while. He actually did a remix of one of our earlier songs a number of years ago, and we just kind of built this relationship. He produced our EP that we put out in 2009 called Laces, so we’ve gotten really close with him. So when we named the album, we sent him a few tracks and he really wanted to do one.
KK: Are there any other artists you’re listening to right now that you have on loop on your ipod?
HK: I still really love that Smith Westerns’ albums that came out the end of last year, Dye It Blonde.
KK: Are there other bands that you look at and think, yes, that’s how we’d like to be?
HK: I mean I really love everything both Arctic Monkeys and Arcade Fire have ever put out. I just think they're both so consistent. I mean obviously the Arctic Monkeys story is that they just like blew up over night, but the fact that they kept putting out amazing after amazing album is really inspiring. So many bands are just hot for 15 seconds and then burn out quickly. It's nice to see bands with real full careers.
KK: What’s the best thing about performing live for you?
HK: The best part is just seeing the return from an audience. We put so much energy into each show, it's great to see that energy rub off on other people. Force some movement and get them to uncross their arms.
KK: What’s next for The Static Jacks after the tour?
HK: More touring! Yeah! No seriously, when we get back from this run with The Wombats we'll probably take a quick break and then head out again. We should be going overseas before the year is through...which is really exciting. I can't wait to get to London. I hear good things.
The Static Jacks are on tour through Mid-November. Check their full schedule, and let them uncross your arms when they come through your town.