Jukebox the Ghost
Jukebox the Ghost

To be perfectly honest, D.C. piano rockers Jukebox the Ghost is one of those bands that I’ve been trying to listen to for awhile. I listened to their single “Good Day,” grabbed the album and meant to have it play through a few times on the way out to Chicago. Unfortunately the promo copy of School of Language pushed on me by an over-enthusiastic publicist nearly killed our road trip vibe due to its mind-numbing monotony. We stuck to safe picks for the majority of the trip, and Jukebox’s virgin LP, “Let Live and Let Ghost” was only soiled once.

My word choice deteriorates with the waking hours, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from checking out this infectious blend of piano-rock. They’re playing with Tereu Tereu at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Saturday Night and after they sold out the Black Cat’s mainstage for their jubilant/dancing/smiling cd release party, this show should hardly be a let down.

1. For those people outside the D.C. area, what’s the life story of Jukebox the Ghost in paragraph synopsis form?

Life story of Jukebox The Ghost? Tough… formed in D.C. while we were all studying at GW, got our start around campus and in small bars around the city. We recorded in a real studio for the first time in 2007 and have been going since.

2. You sold out the Black Cat for your cd. release party, and you’re in the middle of a pretty ambitious cross country tour ending in SXSW, any easy answers for the increased exposure?

No easy answers — we had quite a bit of time to write songs and get better as a band during college. I guess we got our act together as a band, graduated, and had the fortune of working with a great manager. Not to mention we’ve been playing a ton of shows….Up and down the east coast…And up and down again….And again….

3. Its fashionable to critically beat up on Ben Folds, but to be perfectly honest I think more people have a soft spot in their heart for him. Soft, or not? Do you get tired of being compared to Ben Folds (Five)?

Perhaps a little tired, but it isn’t insulting. Ironically it is Tommy (guitarists) voice that most often get compared to Ben Folds. So it isn’t the piano player’s songs that people think sound like Ben Folds. Also, i think the comparison falls mostly because it is a piano driven band and it isn’t hip to compare anyone to Elton John or Billy Joel.

Jukebox the Ghost – Good Day (Live at Pianos, Sept. 07) from Gus on Vimeo

4. You get a lot of love for the energy in your shows, how do you do that every night, any way that you try to maintain the intensity?

It isn’t a conscious effort really – we play the music and entertain the only way we know how and even when we are tired or sick, the energy just happens when are on stage.

5. What do you want people walking out of your shows thinking?

My favorite comments from fans to read are the ones that go something like “I can’t remember the last time i smiled through an entire show”

Jukebox the Ghost
Jukebox the Ghost

6. If you could open for one band, who would it be? Living first, and then you can throw dead in.

Ace of Base (and then, since you want the dead in, The Grateful Dead).

7. Top five albums you’ve been listening to, (they don’t have to be recent)
Band Of Horses, Cease to Begin
St. Vincent, Marry Me
Built to Spill, There’s Nothing Wrong with Love
George Harrison, All Things Must Pass
These United States, A Picture of The Three of us At The Gate of the Garden of Eden

8. Top five. or four. or three. or two. or one (book). Do you read?

Kurt Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan
Richard Russo, Straight Man
Steven Hawking, A Brief History of Time

9. Best thing about music in D.C. and worst?
Community of Musicians, feeling of inclusiveness and home. for best
Worst: The Brightest Young Things Comments Section

All Photos by Shervin Lainez.

About The Author

Nathan Martin

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