Jukebox the Ghost to bring their infectious passion to The Blind Pig

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 10:56pm

“We’ve always been willing to do anything to get our music heard or jump on an opportunity,” wrote Ben Thornewill, the vocalist and pianist for indie-pop band Jukebox the Ghost, in an email interview.

Embodying the trio’s fervent restlessness, Jukebox the Ghost never cease to chase possibilities. They’ve been hopping from gig to gig for the past 10 years, constantly working to sharpen, develop and spread their sound.

“We played on the David Letterman show some years ago now – but we got the call to be on the show at 10 p.m. the night before. I was living in Philly and the other guys were in NY — but the van was in NY and the instruments in Philly. Tommy and Jesse drove down, we loaded the van, drove through the night to get back to NYC, slept for two hours and then rushed to the studio,” Thornewill wrote, summing up their attitude as a band.

Other members are Tommy Siegel (guitar, vocals) and Jesse Kristin (drums, vocals) –– together the group has played almost 1,000 shows together, slowly creeping their way up the power-pop landscape and collecting an ardently loyal fan base.

“We started playing together in college (at George Washington University) — Jesse (the drummer) and I lived next door to each other in the dorms, and we met Tommy through a flyer he put up in the music department,” Thornewill wrote. “It started out as us playing in basements and frat houses and somehow now we are still a band. The world is a mysterious place.”

Easy on the eyes and outrageously passionate, Jukebox the Ghost has been riding their dream for quite the hot minute, managing to inject the same dynamism into their performances now as they did 10 years ago.

“It’s all about the audience for me — playing for new people gives an energy and life to the songs,” Thornewill wrote about their concerts. “Hollywood is one of my absolute favorites (to perform live) — Jesse comes out from behind the drum set and for a moment embodies a classic crooner.”

The trio screams vitality, constantly touring because they love it and they’re ridiculously good at it. They’re like your older brothers, best friends and the nonchalant dudes who jam across the street — unabashedly fun, yet the kind of cool you always hoped to be. They’re so eager to continue exploring the world of music that you can’t help but groove through it with them. With nowhere to go and everywhere to be, their vigor for life is so pure it’s almost tangible.

Despite being danceable as hell, Jukebox the Ghost’s music avoids falling into the nonsensical trap of lyrics that pop music is occasionally victim to.

“It varies,” Thornewill wrote when talking about the group’s creativity. “Sometimes it’s a good book, a new song, bad TV, relationships … Inspiration can come from anywhere if you keep your eyes open.”

With endless muses, their songs are about irresistibly normal human triumphs, losses and fates. They’ve got oomph.

Their latest record, the self-titled Jukebox the Ghost, encompasses the progressive fruition of the band. The 23 tracks hold true to their pop background yet venture into the realms of jazz and hip hop. Including a solo piano version of each song, the album is reflective of the experiences, nuances and distinctions the group has accumulated over their time together.

“We are currently working on our fifth studio album," Thornewill said. "I think when music is your life, it constantly evolves. The evolution is a byproduct of years on the road, getting older, growing increasingly senile and falling in and out of love with the sound of a cowbell.” 

Continuing their voyage through pop, the group is rearing to experience fresh territories with their audiences. Fans can expect to party their hearts out and newbies should anticipate bopping around to their tunes long after the night fades.

Playing some new songs and keeping on with their easygoing power-pop gusto, Jukebox the Ghost is set to take the stage at the Blind Pig next Friday.