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.
A little over a year ago, Zach Tetreault spent his days in front of a computer managing some of the essential functions of Grooveshark. Flash-forward to the Fall of 2012, and this Grooveshark alumnus can be found emblazoned across the pages of Pitchfork with his band, Hundred Waters. Comprised of singer and pianist Nicole Miglis, multi-instrumentalist and programmers Paul Giese and Trayer Tryon, harmony vocalist and percussionist Sam Moss, and drummer Zach, this five-piece band’s music will soon be featured everywhere from Grooveshark to the soundtrack of one of the biggest video game franchises in history.
In the heart of downtown, nestled near a record shop and across from Grooveshark HQ, the quintessential kitsch Gainesville hangout Maude’s Classic Café is the perfect place to catch up with the longtime friend of the Sharks, Zach Tetreault. Despite the exciting events unfolding in his career, which include his bands’ newly signed record deal, the Hundred Waters’ drummer retained his perpetually calm demeanor.
Unlike bands formed with aspirations for commercial success, Zach poetically admits that Hundred Waters is really just a haphazard byproduct of spending a summer doing the same thing the group had all done countless summers prior, making music that they felt proud of. Despite day jobs, the members would often reconvene at night to listen and discuss developing songs together. In order for everyone to stay up to speed with what was happening, the group utilized a folder in Dropbox to share all of their thoughts and progress. While there was no immediate intent to form a new musical entity, it was the first track on their debut album, Sonnet, that created what is now Hundred Waters.
“…we finished that song and all just kind of realized that we had something here.”
The song Sonnet embodies the depth of talent, hours of practice and performance, and years of friendship that serve as the foundation for this quintet. The guys in the band have been in numerous musical entities together since high school and prior to the creation of Hundred Waters, Trayer had already released two solo albums with the aid of Paul and Zach. However it wasn’t until they met concert pianist and lifelong solo artist, Nicole, did they find the last missing atom in the Hundred Waters’ molecule.
“Last summer when the four of us were living under the same roof together for the first time, a lot of new musical ideas were being brought to the table. The ideas started evolving, began making a lot of sense, parts coming together, and Nicole’s vocals and lyricism just seemed to take everything to the next level, to the point where we were like, ‘Okay, it’s starting to feel like we’re making an album.”
While many bands release their work in a series of singles, Hundred Waters chose introduce themselves to the world by leaking a free full debut album on their website. After circulating to friends, family, and the Gainesville community, the album caught the attention of different media sources and garnered the band stellar reviews in publishments such as Pitchfork.
Positive coverage of Hundred Waters marked the beginning of the band’s exciting journey. Hundred Waters has now toured internationally, collaborated with acts such as Skrillex, Diplo, Grimes, Tokimonsta, Pretty Lights, and was recently signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA label. Zach admits that Grooveshark taught him a lot about the intricacies of the music business, but nothing could really prepare him and his bandmates for their experiences more than diving in head first.
“Grooveshark stood behind Hundred Waters from the very beginning and helped us reach a ton of new people by promoting our music on an international scale. There’s a lot to be said about the power Grooveshark has in connecting artists with fans and I think it’ll continue to improve over time.”
The band hasn’t limited music creation to their Gainesville home. During their 12-day Full Flex Express Tour, the band collaborated on a brand new track with their aforementioned EDM tour mates. Zach shares that much like Sonnet, they utilized the power of cloud storage to allow each musician to add their artistry over the tune. Along with this track, Hundred Waters will feature a remixed song for the bonus compilation to one of the most popular video game series in history, Halo 4.
“We wake up some days feeling as though we’re in a dream. We’re just extremely grateful for the fact that we’re creating art alongside each other as a profession.”
This fast-rising band is hydrating the music world by delivering their incomparable sound to thirsty listeners. Check out their latest release, Thistle EP and get a taste of their forthcoming self-titled album along with a series of remixes from the likes of Araabmuzik, Star Slinger, Tokimonsta, Lockah, and Different Sleep/Troublemaker.
Head over to Grooveshark.com and get the Hundred Waters site theme and stay tuned for the web premiere of their Grooveshark Session for Visitor. Check back with the Grooveshark Blog every week to stay updated on our latest news and interviews with amazing bands like Hundred Waters.
Skrillex kicking off the show with a bang at Counterpoint
This past weekend, the Grooveshark team set out on a mission to divide and conquer. Joined by our friends at Bacardi+, we hopped on a plane out of NYC, loaded up the RV from Gainesville, FL and headed out to two US cities that were hosting some of the best acts in live entertainment the music industry has to offer. Over the course of 3 days, we had teams stationed in Atlanta and Cincinnati delivering music lovers everything from beverages to beach balls at both the Counterpoint and Midpoint Music Festivals.
Atlanta, GAThe crowd enjoying some Grooveshark beach balls
After some exhaustive engine troubles with the RV, our team safely made our way up to Atlanta to set up the event’s media tent with Bacardi+. Equipped with free wifi, listening stations, outlets and over 2000 cans of Bacardi+, the media tent was the perfect place for journalists, bloggers, photographers and artists to hang out and take a break from the heat.Left: Hanging with The Constellations in the media tent.
Right: The look of satisfaction from free Bacardi+.
Bottom: …an additional look of satisfaction.
Though an insane storm nearly washed out all of Saturday’s festivities, it was amazing to see how creative the festival goers were that managed to receive some cool Grooveshark Gear. The beach balls and frisbees that coated the air the day prior became the perfect makeshift umbrellas for some of the attendees that stocked up on all of the free items we gave out.Left: Grooveshark Gear and Bacardi+ Arctic Grape
Right: Did we mention that there was lots of Bacardi+
With a garnered reputation for featuring the hottest up-and-coming acts, over 30,000 attendees came out to the 11th installment of Midpoint Music Fest. Showcasing acts such as Grizzly Bear, Pujol and The Walkmen, the Grooveshark team along with Bacardi+ had the pleasure of hosting the in-door media lounge for the event’s VIPs.Top: The Lounge.
Left: The beverage of Choice, Bacardi+
Right: Bacardi+ Prep
From 5pm-11pm daily, we once again provided the central hub for artists, media professionals, and VIP’s to relax and enjoy some free wifi, recharge their devices, and enjoy complimentary Bicardi+ while grabbing tons of Grooveshark Gear.Left: Queueing up some tunes
Right: Teaching the ins and outs of Grooveshark.Above Left: The Walkmen
Above Right: Pujol
Lower Left: Turbo Fruits
Lower Right: Dirty Projectors
Hop over to the Grooveshark Facebook page to check out the rest of the album from our adventure at the Midpoint and Counterpoint Music Festivals. Check back with the Grooveshark Blog every Tuesday to keep up on the latest Grooveshark updates, our interviews with amazing artists, and more of our adventures with Bacardi+ as we continue to make our way around the nation to cover live music.
We made a promise to ourselves to deliver music to the world and we are proud to say that we have now become the first music company on the planet to allow instant global access to streaming on-demand music, without the use of an app. All over the world Grooveshark users can now hop onto Grooveshark.com on their iOS and Android browsers and get instant access to their Playlists, Favorites, and their entire music catalog.
Not yet available in: UK, France, Italy, Spain, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Brazil, and Canada.
The Water Cooler
with The Eastern Sea
Infectious energy, thoughtful lyrics, and a haunting melody, are just a few of the attributes that define the Austin based band, The Eastern Sea. These Texas natives took a break from the Florida leg of their tour to pop by the Grooveshark HQ to delight the Sharks with a refreshing dose of fun and undeniably great music.
Though we only managed to receive 5/8ths of the entire band, Matt (vocals/guitar), Kevin (trumpet), Chris (bass), Charley(drums) and Lauryn (keyboard/flute) refused to cut any corners when it came to delivering their music. Trumpets and flutes seemed to materialize throughout their set as the Eastern Sea managed to juggle nearly 8 instruments amongst the existing 5 members. The experience that each musician brought to the performance was evident from the way they seamlessly maintained the life and intent of each and every one of their songs.
Though the maturity of their music is undeniable, the members that comprise The Eastern Sea don’t attempt to take themselves too seriously. While Charley and Matt took a break from the performance by hanging out on the balcony with our artist team, Lauryn and Kevin chose to unwind by body slamming and belly flopping on the bean bags in the office. We all reconvened for dinner where the band teased us with a sample of their upcoming Christmas album, as well as offered up some insight on their recently released and highly praised sophomore album, Plague.
What’s songwriting process like?
The way that i usually describe our song writing process, especially with the Plague, its kind of like planting a seed and once you have a seed you cultivate the seed and I bring the seed (the basis of the song), and everyone else tends to the plant. Just like you tend to a plant by manipulating the leaves and trimming the branches, thats what we all together. But every song kind of starts off, music and lyrics with our writer on keyboard or guitar.
With the band gearing up to gearing up to become a more visible and public entity, what is something you want your audience to know about you guys.
I think that it’s important for people to feel that we are honest above anything. Because if people feel like we are dishonest or disingenuous then our music is not worth anything.
Like right now in Austin there is this big folk thing going around, and its hard to buy into because its not believable. Like a kid pulling up in a BMW dressed all raggedy with a straw hat playing old folk songs just doesn’t seem authentic.
Lauryn: Its the evolution of the hipster. (chuckles)
Does The Eastern Sea tend to surprise people with their music?
Often. Especially because a lot of the time we play with bands that don’t sound like us. I think we have music that tends to shake people and its something they can identify with. When we were making the Plague, we wanted to make something that we could put in peoples hands and it would do the job for us. And I believe we accomplished it with this record.
How’d you like hanging at the office today?
It has been nice getting know the actual people behind a music streaming service like Grooveshark. Music streaming is such a huge part of today’s music listening as well as today’s music selling and funny to think that so many people use music streaming sites and never think that an entire team runs the functions of the website. Thats part of our generations web culture. But I have to say that hanging out with you guys and doing work with y’all has been exciting because I’m meeting really great people in a very specific side of my industry.
So what are some things listeners can expect from The Eastern Sea in the near future? Rumor has it a Christmas album?
We have a Christmas album coming out in early December on our WhiteLabBlackLab label and we are really excited about it. During July we spent some time in the studio putting together 12 songs, some that I had been playing for a while (I’ve been doing home recorded Holiday music every year for the last three years), and some that were brand new, even a few original compositions. I think Plague is a pretty serious endeavor for us and this Christmas album is a great balance of good vibes and silliness that we have been craving as a band, and I imagine our fans wouldn’t mind a break from all of the seriousness either.
The Eastern Sea on Facebook
The Eastern Sea on Twitter
Hop onto Grooveshark and sample The Eastern Sea’s latest album, Plague. Check back with the Grooveshark blog every Tuesday to stay updated on our latest releases and our exclusive interviews with amazing bands like The Eastern Sea.
We know discovering new music can be a love/hate process so we have decided to tip the scales further in the favor of love for our Grooveshark listeners. We are introducing a new series to the blog, Tuesday Tastemaker. We will be providing samples of amazing artists and their playlist worthy tunes for your listening pleasure. Enjoy a taste of the Blacklight Dinner Party, Kopecky Family Band, Jacob Jeffries Band, and Hoodie Allen as these artists open up our first Tastemaker.
Check back with the Grooveshark blog every Tuesday to stay updated on our latest releases, our exclusive interviews with amazing bands, as well as the next Tastemaker playlist.
In our relentless pursuit to empower musicians and nurture the world of independent music, we hopped on Kickstarter to scope out artists and innovators that are using their talents to bring music to the world. After browsing through an absurd amount of projects, we stumbled upon two campaigns that sounded so great, we were compelled to harmonize with them. We teamed up with musician Jeff Harms and indie-music web series Dirty Laundry TV to promote their Kickstarter campaigns on the Grooveshark site via our video engagement platform. More than 75,000 YouTube views, and thousands of dollars in crowdfunding later, both campaigns were successfully funded. Jeff Harms and Dirty Laundry TV linked back up with us, and offered to give our Grooveshark listeners, and readers, a heads up on what we can look forward to as a result of their campaigns’ success.
Pledge Goal: $3000
Singer-songwriter, Jeff Harms, found his way to Kickstarter to test whether he could pay for an album before it was even released to the public. Promising prizes that ranged from digital downloads, to even an 8-hour live performance, Harms left no limits to the extent of his gratitude for his supporters. His curiosities, and wild tactics, produced positive results because Harms managed to receive more than double the amount of his requested backing and his two-part album, He Said She Said That’s What She Said and Pretty Girls Don’t Just Talk to Me, are being released to the public this summer and this winter respectively. While this multi-talented artist plans on using the extra funds to ramp up the awareness for his new album, he may find himself too preoccupied with his new responsibilities of arranging and writing 15 custom songs and a rock opera for some of his generous fans.
Check out this Kickstarter update video and get a glimpse of the creative process.
Pledge Goal: $15,000
The self-produced web-series, Dirty Laundry TV, has had a 3-year track record for delivering interviews with some of the most interesting bands in the independent music scene. Appropriately shot in a Silver Lake laundromat, this unconventional web-series became inspired to create a Kickstarter campaign after hearing about a fundraising drive on a local public radio station. Raising more than $15,000, Dirty Laundry TV’s fundraising efforts managed to provide more than enough spare change to keep the machines going on their weekly series. The team is now gearing up to expand the breadth of their content by taking their Dirty Laundry out of Silver Lake and onto the road.
Check out their recent interview with Deap Valley and some of the sweet t-shirts they have on sale.
Deap Valley having a Zen Moment.