Hello Reddit, we are Tommy Jesse & Ben from Jukebox The Ghost, AMA!
Howdy Reddit, we are indie pop trio Jukebox the Ghost here to answer all of your questions!
A bit about us; we have been a band for over a decade and we are releasing a live album this Friday (12/2) called Long Way Home. We hope you will enjoy :)
OKAY EVERYONE>>> THAT"S IT!!
Even with all three of us a different computers frantically typing we couldn't get to all of your questions but we had so much fun! Thank you for joining us here... we love you all dearly. So nice to hear from so many of you who have been listening to us for so long.
UNTIL THE NEXT TIME!
-Ben, Tommy, and Jesse
We do have it all documented - it ended up being mostly Boston and Philly with a bunch of others tossed in there.
Thanks for being part of the AMA!
HI! It's Maggie. We were floormates at GW. JUST WANTED TO SAY HI. I love watching you guys soar and kickass and be generally awesome. Tommy- can I get a JTG drawing of you three as Colonial Georges?!?!
HI MAGGIE!!!!! HOWS IT GOING!?!?!?!?
Love when you come to Boston, been a handful of times. How many songs did you practice for that "Spin the Wheel" bit last year? Did you secretly know them all and were just pretending to suck? PS Give some love to /r/JukeboxTheGhost.
We practiced all the songs that we put on there... but we did so at the start of the tour. Some of those songs weren't landed on until 6 weeks in and at that point all practice was pointless. I remember when The Sun came up and all of us blanched. Somehow we made it through. It's almost scarier when you have played a song a bunch and so you think you know it (aka me forgetting lyrics CONSTANTLY).
Will give some love to r/jukeboxtheghost now... (this is my first time contributing to reddit)
Hey! I love you guys and come to your shows whenever you are in Tampa. My question is how was your experience recording a live album?
Also, Tommy, can you please draw JBTG as a band of platypus sometime?
YEAH TOMMY>>> PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
I wanted to buy your ghost imprinted socks, but I'm not a fan of white socks and how dingy they get rather quickly. How about black socks with white ghosts? Ghosts are white anyway. Just a thought!
yeah i agree
How unique are the crowds in each different city? If you were transported to a random city would you be able to make an educated guess of your location based solely on the behavior of the audience?
Most places tend to have similar-seeming crowds for us, since we've got such a niche fanbase. Some of the nicest dorks on the planet. The kind of people who come to party, but don't actually get drunk.
There are some crowds that stick out in my mind. Germans clap along to songs way ahead of the beat in an unsettling way...The effect is amplified when it's an arena filled with people (we did an opening tour there once...we're not famous in Germany). Terrifying, really. Another night in Baltimore had the only crowd-surfing we've ever had. Gotta hand it to Baltimore. Other than that: Boston crowds are the loudest, NYC crowds are the drunkest, and Idaho crowds are the smallest cuz no one cares about us in Idaho.
Is there an official recording of Hold It In
Deluxe Supreme* (I am ashamed) as a secret track on this album?
Love your music. Additionally, you guys have played on tour with more of my favorite artists. Ben Folds and The Family Crest, to name a few. Do you guys have any favorite tour-mates?
We released Hold It In Supreme just to our Kickstarter backers.. but we may chose to make it public at some point.
My favorite tour-mates are Tommy and Jesse.
At the request of a friend, "When are you coming back to Omaha, NE, and will you play board games with us at Spielbound Board Game Cafe? It has over 2,000 games to choose from! Or if that's too weird, what are your top five favorite board games?"
Ben here... and I LOVE BOARDGAMES.
My top all time:
Dominion (no board, but still...i have all the expansions) Catan (make your own board!) Monopoly... because it's monopoly and i played for days at a time as a kid Racing Demons (Card game... but a Thornewill family staple)
Okay...i need a fifth... can i get some recommendations!?!?!?!?!
Want to do a game night?
If you like Dominion and Catan, I'd highly suggest Machi Koro. There's a pool of cards available to everyone to buy (like Dominion), most-to-all of which generate resources. But instead of going into a deck, they sit in front of you and (potentially) generate resources based on die rolls that happen at the start of each turn (like Catan). Some cards trigger only on your turn, whereas others have weaker effects but also trigger on opponents' turns.
Winning is based on buying/building four specific structures, all but one of which are really expensive.
Does this stay interesting for multiple plays int he same way as dominion and catan?
With only the base set, the buy options are always the same, so if you play with the same group people might settle in on strategies that they like (though the dice do introduce randomness). That's especially true for two-player games.
If you grab an expansion or two, however, the piles get randomly chosen (with a few rules to make sure that all die rolls are potentially meaningful) which changes things up a lot.
Even then, it's probably not quite as highly replayable as those two games, but that's a very high standard to meet.
Since I have your attention, I'd also like to thank you for all of the beautiful music. I've had some rough times in the past year or two, and your music has taken turns being a refuge and a way for me to express and process when I'm ready to.
And now, back to your previously scheduled board-game tangent.
Love this... makes it extra worth it.
Thanks for the rec... got xmas coming up. One of my fav things to do is get my family a game (that i know I want to learn) and then make them play it with me.
Check out Ascension, it's a pretty cool concept known as a "deckbuilding" game!
Orrrrrrrr, delve into the world known as Dungeons and Dragons. And then record your sessions with the rest of the band and create some top quality YouTube videos.
The only reason i woudl do D&D is to be a guest on Harmontown.
Jukebox! You guys don't have many collaborations on your albums. Is there anyone you're dying to work with, or are you just three men, united by one supernatural being and an antiquated music player?
I appreciate your question but am unable to make sense of it.
We are Ben, Frankinsense and Mir. United by the great spaghetti monster and a casette-player. Desperate to collab with Celine Deon on an album of patriotic music.
Hey tommy, it's Sy! First off, I love seeing you guys succeed. Congrats on the ever increasing success.
Back in Rome, you used to play beady eyes on acoustic. I could have sworn there were more verses than ultimately made it to the album. Am I right? If so, can you share a recording of the complete song?
Hope all is well buddy
Sy! Holy shit! Hi/how are you??
There totally were more lyrics...Good memory. I never did a recording of it though!
(for anyone that's not me and Sy looking at this, I should add that we were apartment-mates when I studied abroad in Rome. I bought a crappy guitar while I was out there and wrote all of the end-of-the-world stuff while traveling/busking/bumming around Italy)
A question for each of you:
If you were to be supervillains, what would your superpower be and why?
Also, pleaseeeee do another tour with The Family Crest, please and thank you.
I would be the eggman... coocoo kaBLAM!
I would take eggs (fake of course, so as to be environmentally friendtly) and throw them at superheroes. I would have five arms - so i could throw many many eggs at once. Also I would be able to fly. I would use that ability to get to my fake egg factory in the clouds. I am cracking myself up.
Hey guys! I've been listening to you all for a couple years and saw you at the 9:30 club last year.
How do you decide what order the songs on a record will be in? Is it just random, or do you all have a special method?
Tommy and I can be pretty picky when it comes to picking the track order of a record. There's no particular method to it but it's important to us to put each tune in a good spot that makes listening to the record enjoyable. A nice spread of ben and tommy tunes, throw in a mellow tune when the energy is getting tiresome. Some songs are just perfect openers and some perfect closers. The middle is tricky. Tommy and I actually each independently came up with the same exact track order for "Let Live & Let Ghosts" - Jesse
What kind of bear is best?
Teddy bear mostly.
A) Love you guys. Like a lot.
B) Ever care to do a Covers album? I cherish my copy of "I Love You, Always Forever" and would love to hear you guys do a lot more covers in your own style.
EDIT: C) Which would you consider your best album, and why is it "Everything Under the Sun"?
B. Maybe! You're not the first to suggest it....
C. We haven't made our best album yet, duh!!! They all hold a special place in my heart because I'm equally sick of them all. But if I'm picking favorites for any reason: Let Live for originality, Everything for retro-ness, Safe Travels for consistency from top-to-bottom, self-titled for best arrangements and my two favorite songs in the catalog (Hollywood and Long Way)
did you guys have a "big break" moment?
We don't think of any moment as being a 'big break' moment. We have had some important moments though... Playing on Letterman was huge (Donald Trump was the other guest (though that is not why the moment was huge for us)). First big supporting tour, which happened to be with Ben Folds was important as well.
Why hello there Juicebox the Toast, where are you guys in the process of recording your next album and can Jesse get an allotment of vocal parts more proportionate to his talents?
Your pal, not Steve (unfortunately)
Jesse will be singing the entire album. We are tremendously excited.
Your pal, Ben
Favorite song off the live album?
(Thanks for the AMA!)
THE OFFICIAL RESPONSES, FOR PUBLIC RECORD
Jesse - Hollywood and Nobody.
Ben - Hold it in Supreme. Even though I know it's not actually on the album.
Tommy - Black Hole and Undeniable You.
How did you guys come up with the Idea for "Hallowqueen?"
We've always loved Queen so very much, and even tried covering "Don't Stop Me Now" in college but it wasn't that great. They are just the most fun band ever. Usually when we cover a song, it requires some reinvention to make it a piano-rock tune, but when JtG plays Queen, no reinvention needed. We just do our best and don't overthink it. I thought of the word "HalloQueen" about 5 years ago, and the concept of us actually dressing as them for Halloween and doing a whole Queen show. So it's been kicking around as a dream for awhile, and finally we just had enough down time to learn the tunes and GO FOR IT. -Jesse
I loved when you name was "The Sunday Mail," why did you change it?
It was a bad name. Plus, every article that was written about us either had the headline "The Sunday Mail Delivers" or "The Sunday Mail Fails to Deliver", and we just couldn't bear the thought of that continuing for the rest of our theoretical career.
I saw you guys almost 3 years ago in a little town called Red Bank where you played a free concert. It was spectacular. You guys signed my tshirt. Hopefully I can make it to another concert soon and get that shirt signed again because it's seriously starting to fade!
My question is, have you guys ever considered doing a concept album? I've always enjoyed your songs that tell a story (like At Last and The Stars) and I was wondering if you'd ever write an album that was story based or had a universal theme.
We definitely would... we are also slowly but surely working on a Musical, which, i guess, Is kind of like an album based around a universal theme.
Hello! I made an account just to ask this question because it's been on my mind ever since I discovered y'all. In the song "Carrying" (one of my faves), what is the meaning behind the lyric "And why on earth should you do what God wants you to do/when he's got more than a few manuals(?) from which to choose"? Thanks guys ~
Well - there are many (more than a few) religious texts in this world that claim to represent or express the word of God / will of God etc. etc. So ... take your pick (or not).
Hey guys thanks for doing this AMA; I've been a fan for a really long time and I think this is awesome! You guys are on tour for a good chunk of the year every year. Do you think that your extensive touring schedule really helps keep you guys tight as a band?
One show is worth a week of practice, in my opinion... in rehearsal you can dick around and mess up and forget lyrics, but in a live show... well actually, I guess I do that at live shows too.
I loved the Wheel of Tourture on the wintour tour! Do you guys plan on bringing it back for the next pun-infused tour?
The Wheel of Tourture was a hit! If we miraculously don't break it by then, you can expect it making a triumphant return on a future tour! Plus, writing a setlist hurts our thinky parts -Jesse
Ben... tell us about your third nipple... do you have a nickname for it???
3rd rock from the sun -Jesse
"Only Person in the world I can truly trust".
Heard you guys at the 9:30 club in DC last Spring, any chance you all will put out a recording of the live version of "Undeniable You"? It gave me chills and was amazing!!
That live version is on the live record! It's probably my favorite track on the whole thing.
Which one of you is the biggest and strongest boy?
Also I'm a huge fan of the classical piano covers. They're so good. Any chance that I could get the sheet music for those?
I believe I am the most masculine and feminine member of this rock and roll band. -Jesse
I am the biggest and strongest boy.
Thank you for asking.
Also - all of the classical piano pieces were improvised, so there isn't easily done sheet music. But you aren't the first to ask...
Tommy, What type of effects do you use?
All- will you make more "hard/punk" songs like static??? Please
I don't have a ton of pedals, but I lean on my Barber Tone Press Compressor and my GHS Double Barrel pretty hard. Other than that, a shitty tremolo pedal I got in high school, a holy grail reverb, and a digitech whammy.
As for the hard/punk songs, we tend to steer away from that camp these days with Jukebox but I keep writing them! These days they get funneled into Narc Twain, another band I play with that tends to mostly live in the end-of-the-world/punk-ish sphere that Static inhabits. You might dig it! http://narctwain.bandcamp.com
This question is for Tommy:
I asked you to draw a picture of you in a van after your last tour. Do you regret not including mushrooms in the drawing?
Your reddit username wins awards, both nationally and internationally.
Whatever happened to the passport thing you were doing for a while? I have a fairly full JtG passport that I've forgotten to bring to the last dozen+ shows because the original idea seems to have been forgotten about...
The stamp thing turned into a bit of a logistical nightmare, so we've taken to 'notarizing' passports by writing the date and signing it. So we're a really lax government organization.
But yeah, it was our old label's idea so we got a little disorganized with it once we parted ways. Bring it and we'll backlog-certify those dates you didn't bring it for!!!!
Also hi Jeff!!!
I've been listening to your music for a while now and I've noticed that although a lot of time passes between album releases, you guys still have the same sound/feeling. (if that makes sense)
How do you gain inspiration for each of your albums/songs and still have the same type of sound?
We say this all the time when people ask, but it's true: We all have very different music taste, but we can generally all agree on what the band should sound like. So even though each album has its own flavor from having different producers and intentions, we can't help but sound like whatever-the-hell-it-is that we do on every record.
More specifically for inspiration, caffeine.
I loved getting to see you perform 3 times on the Rock Boat this pst year, bummed you guys aren't going to be there this coming year!
What were each of your favorite moments from the cruise??
Stingrays, Queen Night, Jager shots at noon -Jesse
So stoked for the surprise AMA!
I've seen you guys so many times, in varying points of your career. I've seen you guys in small venues where you were openers or headlines at bigger ones.
What is your favorite type of crowd to play to? I vividly remember chatting with you all after one of your shows in CT a while back, I couldn't believe you were opening for some random band I had never heard of and I was front and center loving every second of it! Are the intimate environments nicer or do you like bigger crowds with more response?
I think I speak on behalf of the band when I say the worst kind of crowd to play for is a seated crowd. It's terrifying. Not their fault, of course - if there are chairs, people sit. But terrifying nonetheless.
So, yeah...Dancing, general-admission crowds are the absolute BEST.
Hi JTG! You're my favorite band ever, and I've seen you three times in Columbus. Hoping for a fourth soon! My question is simple: Why Hava Nagila? I love every live rendition you do, but why the fascination? I'll keep tuning into your lives even though I know this is what I'll get. Keep on keeping' on! We love you in Columbus!
Hava Nagila is the greatest song ever written and we are its loyal evangelists.
(we were practicing to play a Jewish wedding and had the burning desire to lovingly troll our fans)
(we will probably continue to troll)
(apologies in advance)
What is your favorite sandwich?
Rick Reuben -Jesse
Is there any way I can watch this past year's HallowQueen show? I watched it streaming live last year and you guys rocked! Was it by chance recorded?
We didn't record this years show... but we are making the event annual, so you will have many more opportunities to see and hear it. (hopefully)
When are you recording/releasing the Candy Corn Video???? I love your music btw
as soon as we stop vomiting.
Hi guys, long time fan- been to at least 7 of your shows- usually go with my brother. Why did you decide to make the "Jukebox the Ghost" album more pop-py (like pop rock) than the last two? Are you headed more in the mainstream direction? (Still love that album, but Safe Travels is still my fav)
We are getting really excited about the new record... isn't clear cut one way or the other. We are definitely aware that there are positives and great things in each of our records that we want to make sure stay with us.
Hey guys, I really love your music! Where did "yetthhhh" come from? You guys and your snapchat are hilarious.
Ben does this strange british lispy character and it was born from that, then spread like wildfire. -Jesse
What do you think is the purpose of the universe?
is that a band?
Do you have an Slayer covers recorded and if not, why aren't you doing this right now?
We paused the recording so that we could answer this question. THANKS FOR RUINING OUR SLAYER COVERS ALBUM.
My question is something I've been wondering for a little while...
How many licks does it take for each of you to get to the centre of a Tootsie Pop?
No, but being serious, what's the one market in the world you'd love to play shows in if you could?
Favorite all-time novel(s)?
Lonesome Dove Kavalier And Clay Anna Karenina Love also all the Harry Potters and His Dark Materials.
ALSO - just read Ready Player One and lost my shit.
Hey guys! Saw you at Bonnaroo a while back and was impressed.
What kind of venues do you guys enjoy performing in the most?
All venues can be fun in moderation- dive bars, theaters, etc.. but for our level, it's hard to beat a general admission 1000-2000 cap rock club like 9:30 club in DC, union transfer in Philly, or Paradise in boston. -Jesse
Hey guys! My buddy and I are huuuuge fans. We've been to at least 5 of your shows around Louisville and Nashville, and you're incredible. When Ben does the solo undeniable you with the voice loops, it runs right through me.
My question is, Ben told us we could all go karting in Middletown, still down??
When did you realize you guys were the perfect Queen cover too?
Tommy, I love your drawings and your solo stuff, what is your biggest inspiration for Narc Twain?
Jesse, how difficult was it to lend your vocals to Holiday? When you sang it live, I was blown away because I had no idea it was you!! It sounded like a feature of the Gorillaz and I loved it!!
Re: Queen, we covered Somebody to Love for a friend's wedding and realized Ben could do a mean Freddie. Then we did more Queen and confirmed this.
GLAD YOU LIKE THE DOODLEZ!!! Narc Twain is my attempt to rip off all of my favorite guitar rock bands. Namely: Fugazi, Dismemberment Plan, and Television.
Long time fan.
Do you ever see yourself returning to the more quirky stylings of your earlier music? I love the latest albums, but miss the weirdness that sold me on your music.
Thanks for the music and stellar shows. You have so much fun every time I see you, and I think that'll reflect on the live album.
I think you'll be pretty pumped to hear the new stuff we have cooking. It's got the arrangement sense of the new stuff, but the outlandishness of our old stuff. And the semi-retro-ness we explored with Everything Under the Sun.
Is there a chance of the album "Jukebox the Ghost" being available on vinyl?
Also, any future Acoustic tracks planned and any desire to record another track with Secret Someones?
our self-titled album on vinyl is currently out of stock, but we could reprint some at some point in the future. future acoustic tracks will certainly happen! we'd love to record another track with secret someones. they are dear friends of ours but currently everyone is busy doing their own thing. If you'd like to hear more of their music, check out Bess Rogers solo, Zach Jones & the Tricky Bits, or Lelia's new future project Jupiter Winter! (: -Jesse
If you absolutely HAD to add a fourth member to the band, and it could be anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
Harry Nilsson, dead.
-the whole band
What's the inspiration for the Hava Nagila livestreams on Facebook?
our jew-ISH heritage!! -Jesse
Do you have a full list of where each song was performed from the live album?
Thanks for doing the AMA you guys are the best!
EDIT: I went to the Boston Show last year with u/robowtie (doesn't actually have Reddit) thanks for being our favorite band 😄 keep on doing your thing!
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