Interview preview for XPN Fest with Jukebox the Ghost!
As a writer who spends a lot of time discussing and researching music, bands who incorporate literary references into their body of work draw me in – and Jukebox the Ghost deserves special honors for drawing their name from a Nabokov novel. Ben Thornewill (vocals & piano), Tommy Segal (vocals & guitar) and Jesse Kristin (drums) met as students at George Washington University in 2003, forming the trio The Sunday Mail. After a two year hiatus, the trio reemerged with a hefty amount of new material and a new identity. The energy of the Georgetown and Foggy Bottom neighborhoods fueled their early songwriting efforts with Tommy tending toward progressive arrangements while Ben is more at home with classic piano work.
Drummer Jesse Kristin and I spent some time chatting last week during a rare day off for the band about the their creative inspirations from Washington, D.C and Philadelphia (which just so happen to be two of my favorite cities), their upcoming record and why a trio just works for them. Their sophomore album, 2010’s “Everything Under The Sun” brought major media attention, including a spot on Late Night with David Letterman, and stands as a great example of how snappy, lively pop songs work – I mean, really work. Ben’s ebullient piano riffs and Tommy’s tightly constructed guitar work are pulled together by Jesse’s rocksteady drumlines from beginning to end. Jukebox the Ghost will performing at WXPN’s Xponential Music Festival this weekend. “After being in Philadelphia for a number of years, we’re incredibly excited to play this year’s festival. Philly has provided us with amazing fans and the opportunity to give back is pretty awesome, “ Jesse said.
“We’re just beginning some work on the new album, working with a close friend to produce. Ben and Tommy have such different songwriting styles that it gives us lots of directions to take the new record. And the nice thing about having three of us? It makes decision-making pretty painless.”