Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Jealous Girlfriends- Interview

Since 2005's Comfortably Uncomfortable ,the Brooklyn four piece The Jealous Girlfriends have been generating a steady buzz around NYC indie circles. Well a lot has happened to the band since their last album dropped. The band has gone thru some key line-up adjustments, been signed to the label Good Fences, embarked on a national tour with Kevin Devine and more recently w/Nada Surf, and now are about to see the release of their long awaited new self titled work on May 6th.
Drummer Mike Fadem was nice enough to give us a few minutes for an online interview recently, touching on the band's sound, reaching new audiences, and how the group got together.

The band's sound has been compared to a wide variety of artists, from Sonic Youth & the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Billie Holiday and Blur?? Does that make you feel good that it's hard to pigeon hole your sound?
Mike- Yes, very good. We’ve definitely been criticized for being all over the place, but we think its a great attribute. We never get bored, the audience (we hope) never gets bored – its a win win situation.

You guys toured earlier in the year w/ Kevin Devine. How was that tour? & Did it expose the band to a different audience that might have been unfamliar w/ Jealous Gf's?
Mike- The tour was totally amazing. Kevin and his guitarist, Mike Strandberg, are two of our favorite people in the world and it couldn’t have gone better or smoother. I think most audiences are unfamiliar with us, unless they’re in New York. It was our first real tour and it took us to places we’d never been to. So yes, it was great exposure for us and Kevin’s audience was really kind and open to us.

What song off the upcoming record has been getting the best reaction in concert so far??
Mike- That’s a tough one. Roboxulla, the first single, always gets a great response. It has a really nice build to it and it ends big. Secret Identity and Hieroglyphics are also similar in that way. But its really different every night. I think each night we’re surprised by which song or songs get the biggest applause after. And sometimes it depends on when we have the biggest audience too, since recently we’re usually opening we have our biggest audience towards the end of the set.

How did your relationship with Good Fences come about??
Mike- A friend of a friend of ours is in a band called Memphis, who was Good Fences’ first signing, and came to see us play. He loved the show and then brought Serge, Good Fences’ owner, to come down from Montreal to see us in New York. The rest is history!

How did the band meet??
Mike- Holly and Alex met at Alex’s studio, Headgear. They decided to make a record together, Comfortably Uncomfortable. Towards the end of the session they decided to make what they were doing into a band. Josh was interning at Headgear and Alex and Holly invited him to join the band as the drummer. Then about a year later Alex met me at the coffee shop i work at down the street from his studio. I then saw them play a few times and became a fan. Shortly after the three of them decided to have Josh step up and really sing co-lead and add another guitar to the sound and invited me to take over on drums.

In the beginning the bands sound was considered a bit more mellow. How has the sound changed since Josh came into the band??
Mike- When Josh joined is when both him and Alex started bringing in songs. They both come from different backgrounds as does Holly, therefore the sound and process changed dramatically. If you listen to Comfortably Uncomfortable and our new record you will instantly hear the change.

I read in one interview that during the recording process you guys sabotage each other's songs and that's how it ends up sounding the way it does. Can it get complicated having multiple songwriters??
Mike- Of course. But thats why we’re in a “band.” Together we make totally different music than we would ever make on our own. We never know what’s going to be the end result of any idea that one of us brings in, which is cool and exciting for all of us. Of course there has to be a lot of comprimising during the process, but we all must agree on and love the end result, which luckily is very rarely an issue.

The Brooklyn music scene. Is there too much hype on who will be the next big band coming out of Bklyn?
Mike- I don’t know, there’s a lot of good bands here. Seems like there’s lots of great bands coming from everywhere else too. I get pretty excited when i hear a great new band, I tell everybody i know!

Does the band have a favorite song to cover??
Mike- We love to cover “Only Shallow by My Bloody Valentine

What's coming up for the band in 2008??
Mike- Our record comes out on May 6th. Yay! And we’ll be touring everywhere for the rest of the year. That’s all!

Big thanks to Mike for giving us the time, you can take a listen to The Jealous Girlfriends on myspace or stay up to date on what's happening with the group on their website.

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