EDIT: thanks so much for hanging out with me, guys!! not sure why i was labeled in the 'business' category, but i hope this was interesting even without talk of "third quarter projections" or whatever people with real jobs say. I'll have new videos out every Thursday (think "throwback thursday"), and thanks to our awesome fans, Postmodern Jukebox will be on tour all over the world this year and next. now, it's back to work!

Hey folks, I started Postmodern Jukebox - a rotating cast of musicians and vocalists that put modern hits into a time machine- out of a basement apartment in Astoria, NY, and now I have a million YouTube subscribers and a touring show. Reddit was a big help in spreading the word- so I wanted to stop in and say hi.

I post all my song remakes to YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottBradleeLovesYa

This is my first AMA (if you exclude the time I turned redditor song requests into ragtime piano), so talk to me!

Proof

Comments: 334 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

IslapUrGrandma63 karma

Hi Mr.Bradlee,

First of all I would like to thank you for the wonderful covers that you've made along with the rest of PMJ. Your versions of "Rude" and "Stacey's Mom" make me want to literally start dancing on the spot.

My question is what qualities do you try to find in popular songs that make you think "I want to do a cover of this."?

scottbradlee32 karma

You're welcome! To distill it into one sentence: I like to pick songs that are familiar, and put them into older genres that somehow still oddly fit the lyrical form or subject matter.

mandilew37 karma

Any more Puddles covers coming sometime soon?

scottbradlee24 karma

it's always on the table. both of us seem to always be on the road at the same time, but i'm sure that before long, the fates will allow another monumental moment in youtube / clown history to occur... any requests?

mandilew34 karma

...Do you really love me?

scottbradlee44 karma

yes. yes i do.

geminiwraith32 karma

Hi Scott, love your work!

Australian tour...any idea if/when?

EDIT: Oh, and more of Mr Von Smith too please. Damn that guy can croon!

scottbradlee25 karma

fingers crossed for september...

jmckenzie5129 karma

What happened to Robyn Adele Anderson? Read somewhere you 2 were dating, so I was real surprised when she stopped touring and doing video with the crew!

Will we hear more of her? Love her voice.

scottbradlee26 karma

she's in today's video - check my channel. she's doing a big part of the North American tour, so she hasn't stopped touring or doing videos with us at all

wisebud22 karma

Hey, Scott! Big fan here. I especially loved your covers of "Creep" with Haley, and "All about that bass" with Katie.

  • Who writes the arrangements of the songs you guys perform with PMJ?

  • Do you have any funny stories while working with Casey, Haley, and Katie?

Keep up the great work. :)

scottbradlee37 karma

I guide the creative process and typically write a big chunk of the arrangements, but I'm a strong believer in collaboration and incorporating ideas from other talented musicians. So, it varies by arrangement. I almost always come up with the reharmonizations and horn section parts, but I like to leave enough space for others to do what they do so well.

stories with Casey... he's amazing- just naturally super gifted and so much fun to have on tour. one time, he licked a fan's leg at a meet and greet in Europe. not in a creepy way, either. it's hard to explain unless you were there.

Chicagodelphia8119 karma

How often do you hear from artists who's song you've covered? And is the feedback usually good?

scottbradlee58 karma

Quite often, actually. We've gotten shares from Beyonce, Tove Lo, Meghan Trainor, and a bunch of others. Lorde once said in an AMA that the Puddles cover of "Royals" [i'm not sure how to link things on here, otherwise I'd link that] was her favorite cover. Haven't yet heard from any artists that downright disliked any of our versions. we did have an irish-style cover of "Get Lucky" get pulled, but that was because we thought it would be funny to throw in some stereotypical product placement like Guinness and Lucky Charms, and Daft Punk thought we got paid to do so. Daft Punk- if you're listening, we didn't!! we were just being silly.

AintGotDatSwing10 karma

I found you guys through Lorde's recommendation, and never looked back!

scottbradlee8 karma

nice! i owe her another cover

ICouldBeTheChosenOne12 karma

Does Puddles really not speak during rehearsals, only sing?

scottbradlee25 karma

when he's in character, he stays in character.

Mrs_Damon12 karma

Hey Scott! I've been a lover & subscriber of ScottBradleeLovesYa/Postmodern Jukebox for years now and I give you a hearty congratulations on reaching that one million milestone! I don't need to tell you that your guys' covers are amazing and is Adam the bassist single?

  • random question but if you could have ANY movie quote written on your tombstone, what quote would you choose and why?

Thanks for the AMA and I can't wait to see what PMJ conjures up for the future! maybe a 1940s vintage Who Let The Dogs Out swing number! ;)

scottbradlee24 karma

i plan on living forever in digital form once the singularity occurs, so this question doesn't apply.

But thank you for the congrats:)

lumensimus11 karma

What was it like getting pushed out of the apartment you were recording in, even as PMJ started to pick up steam? Were you ever tempted to say "but I'm rising Internet sensation Scott Bradlee..."?

And will we see any more Kiah Victoria collaborations in the future? Her "Such Great Heights" performance is amazing.

scottbradlee9 karma

ha! i try to avoid using "youtube sensation" to describe myself whenever possible. But yes, it was a bummer- but i totally could see where it could be annoying to my neighbors. I'm just surprised i wasn't kicked out sooner!

As for Kiah, definitely. She's got such a gift, and is such a sweet person. good things will definitely happen for her

Labradiddler10 karma

Hi Scott! I've been a huge fan of your work ever since I heard Robyn singing "Call Me Maybe."

Do you consider any well-known genre of music too difficult or otherwise not amenable for postmodernization?

scottbradlee20 karma

songs that are already retro sounding are the toughest...for instance, i have no idea what to do with "uptown funk," even though it's a massive hit.

ImBeefingSoy9 karma

Hey Mr. Bradlee, when are you and PMJ going to stop touring Europe and come to Australia?!

Oh, and if you do manage to come, bring Morgan James, I've listened to your Maps cover more times than I care to admit

scottbradlee6 karma

we may make your dreams come true in september

rpryor039 karma

Hey, Scott! I'm a huge fan, and I have all of your albums. My questions:

  1. What is your favorite cover you've done? (Mine is Stacy's Mom)
  2. Can we get sheet music for your works? That's be great.
  3. Who else is joining you on the North American tour other than Robyn, Haley, and Ariana? Potentially Tambourine Guy?

Thank you for answering these, you're the best.

scottbradlee16 karma

Tambourine Guy tends to show up unannounced, when you least expect him

Sotrm9 karma

Hey Scott! My friends and I love your music and as a result were planning on entering a talent show and would like to cover one of your arrangements. Is there a way to get the sheet music of your covers and if so how would we go about doing it?

Thank you for all of the help in advance and keep doing what you do!

scottbradlee21 karma

I'm working on getting a PMJ songbook made- we'll have it available at our North American shows this Spring

huckpie7 karma

What led you into being a fan of ragtime, jazz and oldies music, besides Rhapsody In Blue?

Also, what's your opinion on fair use, parodies, piracy and copyright in general, being as you do covers and all that?

scottbradlee8 karma

Rhapsody in Blue was the catalyst, but from there, I really got into the New Orleans sound- Jelly Roll Morton, in particular. I used to go to the library and borrow CDs of all those great musicians and then sit by the piano and try to pick out what they were doing. It was time consuming, but it wound up being the perfect education for the stuff that I do.

scottbradlee6 karma

forgot the second part- i'm very pro creativity, so i absolutely believe the copyright act should be amended to make it easier for artists to sample / mash up work.

jerk--alert7 karma

HUGE FAN! I have everything you guys put on iTunes.

I'm most impressed when you guys cover a song from an artist I (normally) don't enjoy and turn it on its head. That cover of Kanye West's "Only One" had me in fucking tears. TEARS! Props to Emily West, that woman is amazing.

That said, how do you and your band choose what songs you cover?

scottbradlee7 karma

Thank you! Good question, and one I get asked a lot.
Sometimes, I'll have an idea for an arrangement and then go find the musicians and vocalist(s) that I think would be a perfect fit for a song (All About That Bass with Kate Davis, Rude with Von Smith, Royals with Puddles are all good examples). Other times, singers will come to me and pitch their ideas and then we'll make it happen, like in the case of Wiggle with Robyn Adele Anderson.

What I look for is a song that is familiar to a lot of people - that way, the contrast to the original is readily apparent - done in a style that still fits the lyrics or subject matter. For instance, in Sweet Child O' Mine cover, the framework of the lyrics are similar to the framework of old blues and folk songs - verse, refrain, verse, refrain, etc. So, I brought in Miche Braden to sing it Bessie Smith-style and turned it into a New Orleans blues song about a child.

Mysaiah6 karma

Where is tambourine guy?

timkubart49 karma

I'M RIGHT HERE!!!! <3 Hi Scott! Thanks for the text! Hi Mysaiah! shake shake jingle high 5 love you <3

scottbradlee11 karma

ask and you shall receive. what's up, Tim!

timkubart20 karma

Scott Bradlee, long time fan here, question...have you ever been on the clock at a job, but spent the time watching Frasier on my phone?

Also, fav karaoke jam?

scottbradlee14 karma

I still watch Frasier on the job. only different is now I can afford my own netflix membership.

Fave karaoke: lately, it's been "Poison." I may retire "Take On Me."

toadeh6906 karma

Hi Scott, I'm a huge fan of PMJ and I've been following your channel for a while. I just wanted to ask how you usually find the singers you work with, since they all seem strangely amazing (especially Cristina, she's unbelievable). And then how do you decide what song to sing with them and in what style, is it their choice or yours or a mixture of both?

Thanks for doing this AMA! I can't wait to see you guys on tour in Michigan.

scottbradlee4 karma

thank you! i find singers a lot of different ways. i actually met cristina at an open call when i was the music director of sleep no more in nyc. i hired her instantly, even though she had never sung in a show before. she has a rare natural talent.

TheAmeneurosist6 karma

Hey scott, ive been a long time fan since your channel was only a few thousand subs. Im so happy that youve gained the fame you deserved! I miss your late live streams improvisations. When will we see them again? Also, my mind was blown when I found out you were apart of Bioshock, aka my most favorite video game ever. Will you be a part of another games soundtrack?

scottbradlee6 karma

yes! always love hearing from long time fans!! it's been a crazy ride, huh?

ill definitely do another live stream session someday- i LOVED doing those. it'll likely be at a random time and basically unannounced

curtisharrington19886 karma

What's your favorite chord progression? Scale?

scottbradlee7 karma

random, but i actually have a favorite: the chord progression from "if you want me to stay," by sly stone.

Igi_Ari6 karma

Why you gotta be so rude?

scottbradlee12 karma

tough luck my friend, but no still means no.

HairEqualsGods6 karma

Hey Scott! I was showing my dad your Lorde-Team cover with Puddles and he recognized the saxophonist, Ben Golder-Novick, as someone who he knows! Is there a reason he walks in and leaves during video? Was he sitting outside waiting for his cue? <3

scottbradlee15 karma

he was! He's a good sport, and loves coming up with crazy performance ideas for his part in the videos. i think we were joking that it would be funny if he came in just to play six notes and then left, and that's exactly what happened.

LeVampirate5 karma

Scott Bradlee, big fan, just found ya, looking forward to your CO show in June. I'll be quick since it's early in the AMA:

  • What made you want to start doing this? I mean there's plenty of people who do covers, but to create such a following by mixing the sounds of the past with the hits of today is a bit more unique.

  • Some of the members, do you reach out to them directly and ask if they'd wanna join, or do they approach you? For singers, how do you decide whose voice best suits that style of song?

  • Will we ever hear an original song? I love the covers, I really do, but if you made something totally original, I'm sure that would end up being absolutely rad. Just curious.

Thanks for taking the time to do this! Your fans love ya!

scottbradlee5 karma

glad you discovered me! i've always enjoyed older music- since i was about 12 years old, actually. around that time, my peers were listening to grunge and gangsta rap, so i would relate by turning those songs into ragtime and jazz. i didn't take it seriously until i tried putting one such arrangement on youtube. now, i've got this whole crazy niche universe going. i wish i could tell my adolescent self to just stick through the awkward years!

Seekay115 karma

Hey Scott - big fan, saw you on tour a couple months ago and it was a stellar experience. What were some of your favorite songs to arrange/record and what are some of your favorites to perform live?

PS: An 8-second clip of Burn live in concert is one of the best things on my phone, period. Just saying.

scottbradlee7 karma

Thank you! which show were you at? Burn is definitely one of my favorites, both live and on video. i risked my security deposit with that flame-o-phone, after all...

jaxel475 karma

Scott, love your stuff, very cool. Hoping to come see you in Michigan in June. How do you get hooked up with such great artists? How do you get involved with people who have been known before, such as Haley and Casey from American Idol?

scottbradlee9 karma

talented artists always know other talented artists, so it's usually just a matter of time. in the case of haley and casey, my buddy mike cottone recommended jacob scesney as a sax player, and jacob tours with casey. so, he introduced me to casey, and casey introduced me to haley. now we get to tour together, which is awesome. it's a lot like 'captain planet.'

Greenshoes1015 karma

Hey Scott! First things first - thank you for all your amazing covers - you bring a bit more anachronisity in to my life. :D

Anyways, have you ever thought of covering the songs Happy or Uptown Funk? Those two are really the only big pop songs from 2014 that you guys really haven't covered, and I think they'd sound awesome in doo-wop or jazz or something.

scottbradlee4 karma

thank you! I'm happy to make music sound old for you. i've been consciously avoiding uptown funk because i have no idea how to make it retro in a way that adds anything to the song. it's pretty retro as is. happy is another one. but, who knows? it could still be remade by us at some point, if inspiration strikes.

YerMumsSexyBum5 karma

Did you ever receive any response or follow-up from the BBC, producers of The Voice UK, or the star coaches, as a consequence of your disappointment at the lack of credit for "borrowing" your arrangement?

scottbradlee7 karma

no:( but i was encouraged by the fan response. it makes me think that those shows will be more careful in crediting people in the future. EDIT: just heard that The Voice in Croatia ripped off my arrangement of "Creep." oh well...

Mumford675 karma

Of all your covers, the one that has really stood out for me is the cover of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" with an absolutely gorgeous arrangement and my favorite Morgan James vocal performance to date. It may also be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, songs you have covered. Do you foresee reshaping any other pre-80's chestnuts in the near future? Would love to see what PMJ could do with something like "River Deep, Mountain High."

scottbradlee4 karma

I'm definitely interested in covering some older material- perhaps not with Postmodern Jukebox, but as some sort of collaboration side project. i've got a lot of work to do

DefilerDan4 karma

I do love me some PMJ music and videos. I think you and your whole crew have so much talent. I think my favorite video is the compilation video with every one pretending to be office workers. Keep up the great work! We love it!

My questions : Any plans for more NA dates than what's currently posted?

What song or artist would you love to cover, that you been able to yet?

Thanks for the AMA!

scottbradlee3 karma

We're definitely going to expand our tours in the coming year- we'll likely have another North American PMJ tour in the fall / winter, and we should be announcing a new Europe tour soon, as well. In the future, PMJ tix are ALWAYS going to be on sale at http://www.pmjlive.com, so that even if a show is a year away, you'll know exactly when you can see PMJ

Noiding4 karma

Hi Scott looking forward to the PMJ Toronto show. How do you manage to secure the collaboration of so many wonderful vocalist? Particularly the Broadway background ones. It's a real embarrassment of riches you got going on.

scottbradlee5 karma

seriously! i'm fortunate to know some of the best vocalists in the US, and lucky for me, they enjoy the project a lot. that said, i used to bribe everyone with falafel sandwiches in the early days

AkilesOfCydonia4 karma

Easy one: Is the "Creep" cover in 4/4? I'm doing an analysis of it and the original, and for some reason I can't get the counts right in my head.

Also, any chance there is a Led Zeppelin cover on the horizon? I would love to hear your take on "Achilles Last Stand" or another classic hard rock song.

Thanks.

scottbradlee6 karma

12/8!

ultrawox4 karma

Hi Scott,

I'm a big fan of your work and am glad to see you bringing the art of arranging into the spotlight.

What you think would be better: making albums with all songs roughly in the same style/genre/era so that the full album can be played without radically altering the mood, or putting different styles/genres/eras on the same album for interest or diversity?

In particular, will PMJ be doing any more klezmer covers?

scottbradlee4 karma

good one! since i don't put out albums in the traditional sense, a bunch of different styles appeals to me more. our albums are mostly grouped chronologically, so each one is kind of just a random snapshot of a few months of my life, rather than a grouping of similar genres. there will definitely be more klezmer covers; Robyn's klezmer rap is a def highlight of PMJ arrangements

carsondelmaje3 karma

Hi Scott! I was first introduced to your music when I happened to come across your improvisation on the Pokemon theme. It's still one of my favorites of yours, and I love what you've done with Postmodern Jukebox!

As a composer and aspiring jazz violinist, I'd like to ask: what drives you? On days when it just feels like the music isn't right, how do you push yourself to practice/play?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

scottbradlee3 karma

good question! there are definitely days that i don't feel like practicing or working. but, then i remember that i've been fortunate to be able to get to play music for a living, so it's kind of my responsibility to take advantage of this fact. i feel pretty guilty when I'm not working or improving.

Conscientia_Flos3 karma

Considering touring in Phoenix ? A Crescent Ballroom show would be awesome :)

scottbradlee3 karma

we'll def hit phoenix again soon- prob in the Fall

HappilySingle3 karma

Von Smith and Puddles are two incredible show stopping performers that always make people in my office come in and ask, "OMG who is that?"

Would you, could you, name some of your favorite moments on Your YouTube channel that send chills down your spine?

scottbradlee7 karma

off the top of my head- miche braden's last note in sweet child o' mine gave everyone in the room chills, and still gives me chills to hear it recorded.

sh0rty1013 karma

Hi Scott, love the covers you guys do, I can't get enough of them!

my question for you is, out of all of the songs you guys have redone, which one was your favourite to do?

scottbradlee3 karma

i love all my children equally. but, i can think of a few really memorable ones that were just a lot of fun to make. "burn" with the flame-o-phone was one, for sure. "Stacy's Mom," too.

JazzAndHeroin3 karma

Have you ever thought of or made plans to release a songbook of your arrangements?

scottbradlee7 karma

yes! we'll have it available on our Spring US tour. it's the same charts i give to our musicians

fuckgreenteam3 karma

How pro are you guys planning on going? Will you be getting a label and doing big shows or is it a more low key business you have in mind? Love the music though, been listening to it for a year or so.

scottbradlee7 karma

My goal right now is to bring the Postmodern Jukebox touring act to the entire world, so that everyone can get to experience it. The show is just so FUN - we tour with a dozen amazing musicians that really bring the arrangements to life, and I'm really passionate about sharing their talents with the world. We've already done that with the videos, so expanding the tours are the next step. As for labels, etc...I'm not convinced I need a label to do this. Not hating on major labels, I just don't think I need them, and I like to do things on my own terms, anyway.

zzuruell3 karma

hello!! big fan here!! I love what you are doing!! I'm from Chile, any possibility of a tour to Latin America? >_<!! keep it awesome :D!

scottbradlee6 karma

yes! i want to bring Postmodern Jukebox all over the world, so that includes you:)

haomao3 karma

Q1: What was your job before starting the Postmodern Jukebox? What makes you decide to fully devote to making these covers?

Q2: What is your schedule like creating the covers, from drafting process to finish?

scottbradlee4 karma

my eyes thank you for organizing this in list form.

1: in the early days of my youtube channel, i played occasional gigs and taught children's music classes; tim kubart ("tambourine guy") was also a teacher there, funny enough. the covers gradually picked up steam online, and before long, i was able to focus entirely on them. it only took 7 years.

scottbradlee4 karma

oops, i forgot part 2. still, the list form was helpful.

2: the first part - the idea stage - takes the most time. it's unpredictable; sometimes i get writer's block (or cover's block, or whatever). writing the arrangements could take a few hours or a few days- depending on what i have in mind. the recording process always takes 2-3 hours, oddly enough

omarsh84773 karma

Hi Scott! My roommates and I all LOVE PMJ, and we're about to go to our 2nd PMJ concert in May. We're so excited!! My questions are: what is your favorite era to portray in a song? also, have you ever considered taking a vintage song and modernizing it? would've been a funny April fools joke. keep doing what you do!

scottbradlee2 karma

it's all fun, but to play, I LOVE the '20s and new orleans stuff the best. anything where i get to get all ragtime-y on the keys is fun for me. i may steal that april fools' joke. time to invest in an auto tune machine..

can't wait to see you guys in may- ill be there!

steveh283 karma

Hi Scott!

I have somewhat recently become a big fan of your work and will be at the show in Cleveland (please bring Haley!). I love how you can take songs I don't normally enjoy and make them completely enjoyable, as well as take some great songs and remake them into something amazing and different. I was watching your YouTube channel and cracking up while hearing some of the song choices and styles they are made into.

My question is how do you choose who to work with on a song?

scottbradlee6 karma

thank you- can't wait to see you!
i've been fortunate to be surrounded by so many world class performers, all with unique styles. so, at this point, it's sometimes as simple as picking a song and style, and then reaching out to the singer that i think would be the best fit stylistically. other times, there will be a singer that i know i want to work with- even without having any ideas in mind- so we'll come up with song ideas together. that's how "maps" with morgan james came together.

are_you_there2 karma

I love you guys! I'm a concert photographer in Atlanta, could I get a photo pass when you come to town?

Edit: Please?

scottbradlee3 karma

just kidding! maybe. email the email address on the pmj website

scottbradlee2 karma

no.

VincenzoMarsden2 karma

Love the music! Two Questions, first, Who was your biggest musical influence growing up? Second, who & what is your biggest influence now?

Thanks for doing AMA. Cheers!

scottbradlee3 karma

thank you! favorite musician growing up was art tatum. favorite now is probably still art tatum.

Raviede2 karma

Is it true you're unable to cry? (Reference: 1m subscribers video.)

jmckenzie513 karma

Ya. He said he was gonna cry at 1million!

scottbradlee2 karma

to be fair, i do remember saying "maybe"...

eldergreene2 karma

  1. Any chance you would ever cover a standard for those of us that love the classics as well as your arrangements?
  2. Your favorite Scott Joplin rag?

Also, as a long time lover of jazz and ragtime, it is my life goal to become just successful enough of a vocalist to collaborate with you and your musicians. Cannot wait to see you guys live!

scottbradlee3 karma

  1. sure! i think i mustve recorded one by now, haven't i?
    EDIT: i havent :(

  2. Ragtime Dance and Maple Leaf

Minoripriest2 karma

I hope I'm still in time for this. I recently found your channel and I love it.

How scared where you the flame-o-phone was going to burn down the apartment?

Any plans on the tour coming to south Florida?

How long does it normally take to make a cover? What's the process like?

scottbradlee3 karma

on a scale from singed eyebrows to mrs. o'leary's cow, i'd rate it a solid "goodbye, security deposit"

mkjf2 karma

my parents love your 'all of me' cover, I wish you cover more 90's bands.

any plans of doing an Asian Tour? a big big fan here from PH

scottbradlee3 karma

yes! hopefully we'll hit Asia in the fall!

becdawn2 karma

Scott! I became a fan of you when you put out your handbook on turning any song into ragtime so I've loved watching you slowly become famous! I know your focus is on PMJ right now, but....Any chance you'll ever put out any more songs/videos of your solo creations, such as the twinkle twinkle little stars variations, Pokemon theme song, Mario brothers tap dance, and mixing 2 songs into one medley? (I love what PMJ is doing but I'm still a big fan of old school Scott Bradlee!) How did you even come up with those brilliant ideas? Also, I'm bummed about missing your Copenhagen tour date while I was in a different country for a week, and now I'm missing your Philly show because it takes place a week before I return to the States. I have the worst timing! But I love seeing the crowd selfies on Instagram :)

scottbradlee3 karma

hey! great to hear from a long time fan, and hopefully, our schedules will sync up next time. i'll definitely find a home for my solo creations- my channel is definitely a Postmodern Jukebox channel, but i love doing those piano videos, too. it's a good workout and keeps me sharp.

onrv2 karma

Do you resent being known as "the old-timey covers guy from Youtube" rather than someone who does original songs? Has your viral success allowed you to explore other musical avenues or restricted you to doing gimmicky (but excellent) covers?

(sorry if this question sounds mean, I don't mean it that way. I'm interested in your response)

scottbradlee3 karma

not really. i'm not too attached to labels, and i don't really have much desire to do original songs at this point in time. not saying that won't change, but for now, i treat these covers as my originals...just ones that i didn't write!

viral success has definitely opened a TON of doors for me, but i'm actually pretty selective of what projects i get involved with-- if i feel like i don't have something to add or if i'm not particularly well suited for something, i prefer to let it go.

embiggenedmind2 karma

Have you ever been in the middle of making a video or doing a cover and just decided it's not working and so you drop it all and move on?

scottbradlee3 karma

yup. i always want to put out the best work i can, and so do the singers i work with. so, if something isn't working, we've learned to be open to changing course.

Mumford672 karma

Have you ever done a cover that you absolutely loved but were surprised to find the reaction less enthusiastic than your own?

scottbradlee3 karma

yup, sometimes! i think i can usually tell which songs will resonate with a lot people, but i'm not always right. no regrets, though- i try not to base things on sheer statistics. some of our lesser known videos are actually the biggest crowd pleasers on tour.

timetravelingjazzdud2 karma

Mr. Albert Fink/Scott Bradlee, Congrats on 200,000,000+ views on your YouTube channel.

Q1: If you had a time machine what era/time period would you travel back to?

Q2: Also will you ever release a recorded version of Valerie? I've been waiting for it to come out ever since I saw you guys perform it as the encore at the Highline Ballroom and was traumatized when your stageit stream cut out right when you guys started to play it.

Also #gattipants!

scottbradlee3 karma

good question! i'm not sure if i actually want to live back in time, though. i think iPhones and modern medicine and such are pretty cool. i think i'd prefer to do what i do now.

i will alert cristina to your use of #gattipants. she's really trying to make that hashtag happen.

B33TL3Z2 karma

Hey Scott!Let me start by saying I absolutely loved your show in Troy last Fall, and was planning on grabbing tickets to your show at Clifton Park this coming May. How different are your setlists going to be between the two shows? Specifics not needed, but as a college student conscious about his budget, I can't really afford to spend money for two very similar shows, considering I'd be buying tickets for two.

P.S. I got all my housemates hooked on your covers this semester. It's great. Keep it up!

scottbradlee3 karma

well thank you for spreading the word!! the setlist will likely be very different, since some of the vocalists will be different, and there are a lot of new songs that have come out since then. switching things up keeps us on our toes. Always different, always amazing is what we strive for when it comes to live PMJ shows

idunnoforsure2 karma

Hi Mr. Bradlee, as a former Astorian, how long are the lines on the subway each morning since the W train stopped coming out to Ditmars?

scottbradlee2 karma

wayy better than the 456 lines- i can say that! the w train was overrated, IMHO

wazzy472 karma

Scott,

I can't remember how I was introduced to your work, but I fell in love. As a WW2 living historian (reenactor) I love when others bring relevancy to the past. I've introduced many of my comrades to your music in the evenings when the public is gone; the first time they heard "Beauty and a Beat" at a reenactment everyone had a good laugh and started an impromptu swing dance. I look forward to seeing more from you and the Postmodern Jukebox crew.

PS. As a Pole, will we ever see a classic polka rendition of a song? Perhaps Walk the Moon's "Shut Up and Dance"?

scottbradlee3 karma

thank you! i think weird al may have the polka market covered already, but it's certainly a possibility

RedSquaree2 karma

Saw you in Belfast (The Empire) A few months ago, fantastic gig, I was wondering why you decided to have Belfast as the first date of your tour? Muse also started their surprise tour last month in Belfast, maybe it's like a thing now?

Edit: Oh yeah, how do you decide which lead singers to bring on tour? Was surprised this lady wasn't there as she's featured one of the most!

Cheers!

scottbradlee2 karma

the tours always feature a rotating cast of 5-6 vocalists each. we have SO many fantastic performers, so it's been great that we've been able to expand our touring and introduce ALL our vocalists to audiences around the world. As for Belfast - i think it's a routing thing? the first travel day was def an ordeal for us- red eye to london, get the bus, take a ferry across, drive 8 hours...we were so confused as to where we were and what time it was by the end.

Zadeth2 karma

If you could have any singer, dead or alive, do a cover with you - which singer would you have and what song would you cover?

scottbradlee5 karma

good question! hmm...how about frankie lymon singing a doowop version of mmmbop by hanson?

Trabaledo2 karma

I've been following you (in the least creepy way possible, I swear) ever since you took live requests to an audience of no more than a few dozen people. I have all of your solo piano tracks from bandcamp as well.

Any plans to return to your roots a bit, so to speak? I miss your ragtime improv!

scottbradlee3 karma

hey everyone gets the right to be creepy on the internet... so great to hear from a long time fan!! i miss the ragtime improv, too- i actually do a bit of it (and the mashups) when i'm with PMJ on shows. there will be more of it in the future, for sure

JadeEyePanda2 karma

What do you recommend fellow artists to do to mentally survive, and thrive, the "hustle?"

As a beginning freelancing 3D Character Artist for video games, I'm starting to realize there's this new aspect to my career I never really understood, and am slowly learning.

scottbradlee5 karma

the hustle is real. it took me 7 years to get Postmodern Jukebox to where it is today- and that's even after i had a few viral videos and other successes under my belt. you have to focus on minor victories when you're starting out as a freelancer. whatever you do, don't compare yourself to others; everyone is on their own timeline. you have to just believe in your abilities, improve where you can, and keep at it unconditionally.

--liveitup2 karma

Postmortem Jukebox sounds interesting - How do you deal with the estates of the deceased artists? Do they continue to receive royalties?

scottbradlee4 karma

they usually haunt my apartment until i pay them royalties, just like in 'beetlejuice.' it was fun at first, but got old fast.

JBHoTep2 karma

The current lineup is great and all, but how do you let Robyn get out of touring with you? She's the OG!

scottbradlee3 karma

she's touring with us this Spring, check her facebook

Nomgath2 karma

Absolutely love you guys

How do you get these amazing guests like morgan james on your show? do they approach you? or you, them?

What does an instrumentalist who aspires to play in a group like yours have to do to get in that jam?!

scottbradlee2 karma

it works both ways- i'm always looking out for new talented singers, and sometimes, they reach out to me, too.
best thing to do is just old fashioned networking- go to jam sessions, open mics, shows, etc. talent always gets recognized.

YerMumsSexyBum2 karma

As the project grows and becomes more popular, enjoys greater reach and stardom, have there been any opportunities to do surprise collaborations with big name artists? I think it would be crazy cool if we were surprised one day by someone with a huge profile performing their own songs with you, in your arrangement. Do record labels represent a major barrier to this sort of thing?

scottbradlee3 karma

no barrier is insurmountable, so it's definitely a possibility. i think i'd like to have someone more unexpected cameo with us, like an actor or personality that also happens to sing very well- even if they aren't known specifically for that. i think that would be really interesting. anyone got any ideas?

Dzmagoon2 karma

Hi Scott - big fan here. One my favorite things about your arrangements is how you manage to get such a talented assortment of people to sing, play instruments, and even tap dance in your songs. How do you find them all? And do you have a core group that you work with?

Also, loved your ted talk - how was that?

scottbradlee3 karma

thank you! talented people tend to know other talented people, so a lot of musicians i meet actually recommend their friends to be a part of this. our family keeps growing, which is awesome; it's become a really cool platform at this- almost a genre.

which tedx talk? i gave two. one i was prepared for, the other i wrote on the plane ride there and forgot what i was talking about a few times

ArabianDisco2 karma

Thoughts on Mambo No. 5? And why wasn't Lou Bega bigger?

scottbradlee2 karma

i remember hearing that friend saw lou bega in concert. he started and ended with Mambo no. 5, and his set was 3 songs long. so, 33.33% of his set was Mambo No. 5.
hope those thoughts were ok.

stark23x2 karma

Hi Scott! So, now that you are big time, do you still remember us fans who used to gush over you in the Manderley, and who were your first Patreon subscribers? KIDDING! I could not be happier for you, man. You deserve all of this success and more. Hopefully I'll see you in New Haven :)

scottbradlee2 karma

that must Jim! so there- i still remember! really appreciate the support since the early days- it's been such a wild ride! def let me know if you come to the new haven show!

Thepopobawa2 karma

How do you manage to get so many talented singers? Also, what was it like getting to work with Marie Digby? Is she as awesome as she seems?

scottbradlee3 karma

Marie is one of the sweetest people in the business. she sang "wicked game" with us at our Hyde Sunset show and brought the house down.

buckhenderson2 karma

I'm a big fan. I've wanted to play piano for ages but watching your videos actually inspired me to go out and buy one, and I've been playing ever since, so thanks for that!

I saw one of your shows live and really enjoyed the old timey radio act you guys did. Whose idea was that?

scottbradlee3 karma

awesome!! SO happy i could inspire you. one day i hope to assemble a ragtime piano army that can spread joy and old timey slang across the world.. radio idea and the cheesy jokes that didn't land at all in Europe were mine.