- Introduce yourselves (where are you from, what genre do you consider yourself in etc.)
Hey! We’re Jocelyn and Chris Arndt. We’re siblings from Upstate New York, and we write and perform blues-rock music all across the country. And we really love sour patch kids. But that’s kind of unrelated.
- For our readers who may not have heard your music, what would you describe your sound as?
We usually just say blues-rock, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that. We grew up listening to everything we could get our hands on, from classic rock to old blues to new blues to contemporary and alternative and indie and country and grunge and classical and everything in between. I think our music is a pretty good blend of all of those different styles—we take inspiration from everything we like, and we like pretty much everything. It all comes out pretty blues-rocky more because of the orchestration than anything. We usually travel as a four piece: drums, bass, guitar, and vocals/keys. Every once in awhile we bring out a hammond organist to jam with us too. That combination of instruments is just such a classic bluesy, jammy sound, especially with the abundance of guitar solos and Jocelyn’s retro, crazy-powerful vocals.
- What kind of music influenced the kind of music you want to create?
Everything! Everything we can find—there is nothing we enjoy as much as hearing a great song for the first time and realizing that we just learned something new about music. When we were little, we had a library in our house. It was this little room of the hallway, half full of books and half full of CDs and cassettes. There were probably almost a thousand albums in there. We used to spend all day taking turns picking random ones to listen to. Then, once we started playing music and getting into the scene, we drew inspiration from people we met and heard live, rather than on a recording. We still draw from everyone we meet, and the best part is, it’s like a crazy self-propelling cycle—as we tour and play more and meet more musicians to learn from, we gain exposure, which turns into shows, giving us the opportunity to tour even more and meet even more musicians to learn from, which gives us more exposure, etc. It just keeps going like that. That’s one of the best parts about being a musician—we get to meet so many inspiring, amazing people!
- If you had a pick one song off of “Edges” to perform on national television, what would it be and why?
I guess the most logical answer is to say either Where’s The Rain or Shame, since those are the two radio singles and it makes the most sense to push them. But that’s also the most boring answer. Personally, I’d like to do Jagged, or maybe Mystery if we had an organist with us. Those songs are an absolute blast to play live, because they’re so jammy and rocky and just awesome. We definitely get way into them onstage.
- Describe the process in creating “Edges”
Recording “Edges” was a blast from beginning to end. We came into the whole process with a shared goal in mind – we really wanted this LP to sound like a cohesive album, like all the songs fit with each other from top to bottom. We wanted it to be a complete record, not just a mixtape. And we also wanted the sound to be very authentic and organic. I think our music works best when it sounds like a band just playing in a room together, because that’s what we usually do. With these goals in mind, we really spent a lot of time making sure we got the most emotional, most organic takes we could as we were recording. We actually recorded most of the vocals at a lake camp in the Adirondacks; that let us work in a peaceful setting with no deadlines, and take campfire breaks whenever we needed to. Studios are amazing, but they can also be a little stressful. Getting out of the studio grind really let us sink our teeth into the music, and it let Jocelyn take her time as she was singing to get the best performance possible. We also had the amazing opportunity to record some more vocals in the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, while we were down south on tour. Talk about inspiration… that place is wallpapered with platinum records. A ton of our favorite artists have recorded some of their best material there. Jocelyn got to use the same microphone as Etta James, and I managed to mess around with some of the amps Duane Allman used. So that was awesome. And then, when the record was solidifying itself a little bit and we were starting to get a handle on what it was going to sound like, we worked with some absolutely insane musicians to put those special touches on a few of the tracks. G Love lent his blues-harmonica chops to our song “Hot”, which I think turned out really cool. Plus, he’s a really nice guy, and he genuinely cared about the music, which is always nice to hear. Especially from a musician we respect so much. The same goes for Danny Louis from Gov’t Mule, who played Hammond organ on a large part of “Edges”. What a cool dude! And then, when the dust settled and we’d done all the recording and mixing and everything, suddenly we had this complete album, years of work condensed into this tiny jewel case with a CD inside it. Woah.
- Your music has premiered on sites like Paste Magazine, can you describe that experience a little bit?
Crazy! In addition to our management at Bridge Road Entertainment, we have the benefit of working with an amazing publicity firm called Big Picture Media in NYC, and they’ve had a hand in so many amazing press opportunities for us. It’s weird; we make the music, but after all that’s said and done, we still need a little help getting people to notice it. We spread the word as best we can, but having a team who has our back is invaluable. And then all of the sudden we get word that Paste Magazine has premiered our latest tune, or Fox5 NYC wants us on their morning show, or something else crazy like that, and we know things are happening. Gears are turning. It’s just a really good feeling, knowing that everyone’s hard work is paying off, and more people are going to hear our music as a result.
- If you could create your dream tour, who would it be and why?
Oh man. that’s tough. Can the people we pick be anyone, living or dead? Because if we can pick now-defunct musical groups, I’m going to immediately add Queen to this fictitious lineup here. Freddie Mercury is one of the greatest vocalists of all time, and Brian May is a guitar god. Heck, they’re all just super talented. We both listened to a ton of Queen growing up, so we’ve been inspired by their songwriting and energy since we were really little. And then to give the lineup a little twist, I think adding Stevie Ray Vaughan would be awesome. He’s one of my heroes. And then to cap it off, maybe Hall and Oates? Just because they’re amazing, and we love pretty much everything they’ve ever done. How many people do we get to add to this? Because I could definitely add a lot more. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Pink Floyd. Jimi Hendrix. Okay, okay, I’ll stop now.
- What was the longest amount of time you spent writing a song?
This one depends a lot on how you count the time. If it’s just the time from the initial concept to a finished song, it’s definitely more than a year. We started Too Much to Me a few years ago on vacation. We got it pretty close to where we felt good about it, but it was never quite right, so we decided to take a break. Then, about a year and a half later, we picked it back up and finished it in less than an hour. But if you only count the time we actually spent actively working on the song, we probably put less than 5 hours into it. The most time counted that way is probably somewhere in the 10-15 hour range. We never really keep a detailed log of time per song—we just kind of keep working on them until we’re satisfied that the end result is to our quality standard. But there are definitely some songs that have been an absolute struggle. A lot of the time, it feels more like we’re just sort of writing down a song that already exists than creating one from scratch, it comes to us so quickly. If we’re in the right mood and it’s the right song, we can turn one around in an hour or two. But every once in awhile we come to a song that gets halfway done and then we just have to fight and keep trying and eventually brute-force our way through the process, which takes way, way longer.
- If you had the chance to sit on a plane next to one famous musician, who would it be and why?
This is a really tough one… there are so many amazing musicians out there. Plus, you didn’t specify that they had to be alive, so people like Jimi Hendrix and Elvis and Les Paul and BB King are thrown into the mix too. I think I’d consider myself mainly a blues guitarist, because I really love the blues and I think it’s one of the most emotive styles of guitar playing, but if I had to pick one musician to sit next to on a plane it would probably be David Gilmore. It’s hard to say who’s the best guitarist ever, but he’s certainly in the running, and I’ve always really wanted to have a conversation with him. He seems like a pretty chill dude, and I remember watching him in an interview once where he said “I could never really play fast, so I always just tried to make my guitar sound like it was singing.” That quote has been one of the single most influential things on my guitar style.
- If you played in another genre of music, what would it be?
Maybe classic vocal jazz? That would be pretty sweet. Jazz musicians are just so COOL. Their chill factor is just really high, and I admire that. Or I guess I could go in a completely different direction and say country. We listened to a lot of country music growing up, and I really appreciate how instrument-heavy it is. Plus, a lot of modern country is pretty much southern-fried rock. And country music fans are some of the rowdiest, most enthusiastic concertgoers out there. We went to see Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker live a few years ago, and it was basically a giant party. Awesome.
- What’s next for you guys?
So much stuff! We’re busy recording an acoustic version of Edges, as well as writing material for the next album, which you should see sometime this winter. We’re also working on some music videos and playing shows around the east coast. On top of that, we’re still pushing Edges to radio, and we’ll continue to do so as long as it keeps succeeding; single number 2 makes impact on Monday! We’re constantly writing thank-you notes to program directors and doing whatever else we can to help out with that. And, on top of everything else, we’re planning a major tour for this August! We’re going to drive out to California, hit up the Pacific Northwest, and make our way back across over the span of about 4 weeks with shows in DC, TN, AR, MO, CO, NV, AZ, and CA. Then we’re back to work on our next album. Needless to say, we try to keep ourselves pretty busy. If we didn’t, I’d most likely have Netflix brain rot by now.
- Current Obsession Song
‘Kiss From a Rose’, by Seal. Not only is the song both absolutely amazing and incredibly weird at the same time, but every time I listen to it I just can’t quite believe that there was a group of people who got together in the mid-90’s and were like “You know what song would perfectly compliment Val Kilmer dressing up as a large, crime fighting bat and getting it on with Nicole Kidman? Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’.” That song makes me think of a whole lot of things. Batman is not one of those things.
- One food you can’t live without
Literally all of it. Food is one of my greatest passions, almost equal to music. I don’t know if I could choose a single dish that I could live without—right now, I’d probably kill someone for a couple bowls of hummus and tzatziki with some nice pita, but about an hour ago I wanted nothing more than to dive into a huge plate of North Carolina style vinegar-sauce covered pulled pork and ribs and the accompanying coleslaw. It really goes all over the place.
- Caffeinated beverage of choice
This really swings with my mood too, but it’s usually either a Thai iced tea (with boba, of course), a nice green matcha, a Vietnamese cafe da, or a cup of hot tea made from really really nice tea leaves, like the oolong they serve at fancy Chinese restaurants. I’m a bit of a total hipster when it comes to caffeinated beverages.
- Night owl or morning person?
I read an Atlantic article the other day that said there’s actually a third kind of person—neither night owl nor morning person, but just really tired all the time. I think that’s me.
- Something you’re horrible at, but really wish you were good at
Memorizing things. I’ve always been terrible at it. For most of my life, it hasn’t really mattered that much, but since the release of Pokemon Go everyone’s all like ‘There’s a Charmander over here!’ and ‘Look at that Dodrio!’ and ‘Omg it’s a Lapras!’ and all that jazz and even after a week of playing I’m still like ‘Pikachu is the yellow lightning mouse one, right?’. It’s pretty hard.
How can our listeners find you on social media or find your music?
Facebook: Jocelyn and Chris Arndt
Spotify: Jocelyn and Chris Arndt
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