The Water Cooler
with Jacob Jeffries Band
A few weeks back, we had the pleasure of hosting the Jacob Jeffries Band for a performance at our in-office studio. This high-spirited Florida band had all the Sharks gleefully bobbing their heads to gritty pop tunes and soulfully charged vocals. Fresh from a chain of performances along the East Coast, the band’s front man, Jacob Jeffries, took some time away from coaching musical theatre in South Florida to catch up and talk about some of the band’s upcoming projects. Be sure to check out the video for Suffocate My Heart off their latest album, Tell Me Secrets, at the end of the interview.
GS: Hey Jacob! Last time when you guys were at our office, the band had to head out that evening for a chain of upcoming shows, how did that go?
JJ: Great man. It was like a nice little almost-vacation. The traveling aspect is always going to be a part of any band’s career, and in this day and age you have to get the music to the people, but starting in a couple of weeks we are actually going to be based mainly out of New York.
GS: Are you excited?
JJ: I’m stoked, man!
GS: When did music become a part of your life?
JJ: Music is really a part of my life because of my mom’s passion for the Beatles and the music she grew up on. My mom is a pretty introverted person, and I think she found a lot of comfort and safety in music growing up. When others would have been going out and gallivanting around town, she found more happiness in just listening to a Beatles record, y’know? So, growing up that was all I listened to and I loved it, I embraced it, and I wanted to be them.
GS: How did the band get together?
JJ: I met my guitarist, Jimmy Powers, when we were in high school and he was known as this hotshot guitarist. He was in this amazing band that I just literally drooled over. I used to look up to them so much and I was kind of scared of them because, in my head, they were kind of famous. Anyway, in my sophomore/junior year I started jamming with Jimmy and he asked his band if they would be interested in jamming with me. After that his funk band started playing my songs with me and backing me up, and it was kind of this cool full-circle thing. I couldn’t believe that the drummer was playing drums for me, that Jimmy was playing guitar for me, and I was playing with this amazing band that I marveled at and loved for so long.
GS: I am curious to know who was Jacob Jeffries in high school. What album really defined you at that time of your life?
JJ: I was friends with a lot of different people in the high school food chain but I mainly did a lot of the musical performing arts stuff like drama, chorus, and jazz band. If I had to define myself with an album in high school, I would actually have to mention a couple albums. When Gavin DeGraw came on the scene, and his first album came out, I couldn’t stop playing that with my girlfriend at the time. There was also a Rufus Wainwright album called Release the Stars that I listened to a lot. Sprinkle in the Beatles and pepper in some Fountains of Wayne and you got my high school playlist.
GS: You guys have been together for nearly a decade in different incarnations. Any advice to other bands on trying to make it in the industry?
JJ: There was advice that was given to me years ago, and I try to practice it everyday: it’s not to compare yourself to others. Comparing yourself is the worst thing you can do, and it’s a disease that we all have. When you start comparing yourself to other artists and their progress or stagnancy, it starts to become more of a competition and you start losing your mind. The advice I have to other people is to put up blinders and only pay attention to yourself and your goals.
GS: I wanted to thank you guys, because last time you came through town you left copies of your first full studio album, Tell Me Secrets. What are the secrets or inspirations behind this album?
JJ: It’s pretty ironic that the album is called Tell Me Secrets because I don’t have any secrets. I am an open dude and I’ll tell you anything you want to know about me. The album is like a glimpse into some of my relationships with friends, family, and lovers, and how I feel about them, but they aren’t really secrets. That’s my job on this world, on this earth—to play music for people to relate to. And there’s no secret about that.
GS: How would you describe your music?
JJ: I feel like it makes people comfortable and it really applies to everyone on the planet. It’s kind of like the three little bears: not too hot, not too cold, not too hard, not too soft.
GS: Speaking of childhood, what was your program or cartoon as a kid?
JJ: When I was little it was definitely Rugrats, then as I got a little older it was Full House, and then I graduated to my favorite show, Freaks and Geeks. It only ran for one season but I can watch it over and over.
GS: What is something you want listeners to know about the Jacob Jeffries Band?
JJ: The music that we make and the shows that we put on are pure energy and honesty. I hope that people can relate to us and just smile that we are bringing good music to the world.
flat•tr | ‘flatər |1 n. the worlds first social micro-payment system
2 v. a unique way to contribute to content creators on the web
and to show love for artists on Grooveshark.
It’s no secret that the Sharks have a passion for music, technology, and innovation, so it only makes sense for us to recognize an amazing company that has created a service that manages to fuse together all three.
Flattr is a social micro-donation system that offers internet users a unique way to contribute to great content all across the web. When a user signs up with Flattr, they can add money into a monthly online allowance. The allowance then gets evenly split and 90% of funds are given directly to any artists, entities, or campaigns flattr’d that month .
Flattring Artists on Grooveshark
The latest version of Grooveshark has been loaded with amazing new features, one of which is the ability for anyone with a Flattr account to contribute to an artist they enjoy via Flattr buttons located on artist, album, and song pages. In addition to the Flattr button, we have included a brand new function called Listen and Flattr that allows users to automatically Flattr artists by listening to their music. When enabled, any “flattr-able” artist will automatically be flattr’d at the end of a song. It’s the easiest way to flattr the artists you love on Grooveshark!
If you are an artist on Grooveshark and are interested in making sure your account is flattrable, email us at email@example.com and we will take care of it!
Set up an account on Flattr and head back to Grooveshark to start giving your favorite artists something to blush about. Check back with the Grooveshark Blog every week to see more exclusive updates, interviews with amazing bands, and more notifications that are sure to make you smile.
Dozens of special needs preschoolers view him as Mr. Garfield, but little do they know that after early mornings in the classroom, their favorite musically inclined mentor spends his evenings delivering music to the city of New York. Evan Garfield, along with his bandmates Michael Pedron, T.J. Masters, and Alan Busch of Conveyor are far from your usual mid-twenties New Yorkers. Juggling day jobs, thesis papers, and recovering from a week full of performances at CMJ Music Marathon, the guys of Conveyor exemplify that there is much more that exists behind the music.
Just a few hours before an evening show, Conveyor drummer Evan Garfield managed to steal away and find a few sweet minutes to hang with Grooveshark. Despite the hefty list of obligations that day, Garfield had every ounce of chipper still intact when we linked up. He admitted that though his life is riddled with the quintessential New York hustle and bustle, he is loving every minute of it. Primed and ready for a week of performances at CMJ, Garfield shared that despite currently residing in Brooklyn, he still feels like he and his bandmates are still from that college town in Florida.
Flacos Cuban Cafe, known for their ability to satisfy the deep-fried cravings of Gainesville’s bar hoppers, was the location that first united the quartet. Pedron and Garfield, along with fellow Gainesville musicians Michael Claytor and Devon Stuart, hosted a weekly music night at the restaurant that brought out the vocalists, instrumentalists, and music lovers from around town. This mecca for musicians introduced the future bandmates to one another and created the breeding ground for tons of other musical entities, including their long time friends Hundred Waters. Garfield shared that some of the highlights of his college experience was the sharing of music from different artists in the cramped back room of that Cuban cafe. Even though Wednesday nights at Flacos offered TJ, Alan, Michael and Evan the opportunity to play music around one another, it was not until leaving Gainesville did their musical journeys coalesce.
After moving to the Big Apple for graduate school, fate would have it that the rest of Evan’s mates would all emigrate to New York City as well. The years of making music around each other, paired with the fortuitous circumstances that brought them all to New York, made it impossible for the gentlemen to resist the opportunity to form a band. It all began when Evan and Michael volunteered to add their drum and bass on some demos created by TJ and Alan under the band name Conveyor.
Evan admits that the choice to keep the name Conveyor came from a pure appreciation for the aesthetic of the word and the humor that came with donning a name that was much darker and grittier than their cuddly personas (as depicted in the above picture). Conveyor’s upbeat indie melodies mixed with their Four Top esque vocal harmonies perfectly reflect the youthful quirky energy of the band.
Though the city of New York has yet to set up a Flacos, Garfield shared that the Big Apple is starting to feel a lot more like that small college town. Aside from the new relationships the band is forming with other musicians, CMJ week allowed for Conveyor to reunite with their old Florida friends, Hundred Waters, on the same stage again. Garfield admits that he is grateful to be able to make music, but even more grateful to see the journey that he and his friends from Gainesville are experiencing together.
Conveyor on Twitter: @therealconveyor
Conveyor on Facebook
Catch Conveyor live in Boston this Saturday, November 3, at 7:00pm at Paradise Rock Club as they open for Geographer and Freelance Whales. Head back to the Grooveshark Blog every week to check out the latest news, exclusive updates, and interviews with amazing bands like Conveyor.