Jacob Jeffries has been described as “the best kept secret in south Florida,” but with the amount of media craze this singer-songwriter has been receiving, he may just be a secret no more.
The Fort Lauderdale, FL native has been at this since he was 10, but only really assembled a band in 2006, titled – you guessed it – The Jacob Jeffries Band. Armed with piano-driven, pop heavy hits, Jacob Jeffries is a dream for the radio. Who doesn’t love when an artist can stay true to who they are while still delivering great, fresh new music?
With his album “Tell Me Secrets” just debuting, Jacob took some time to talk with us about everything from releasing an album to spending the 4th of July with Sister Hazel (you know, the “All For You” band).
Joonbug: What can people expect from (the new album) "Tell Me Secrets"?
Jacob Jeffries: "Tell Me Secrets" is our first release in years. We have been waiting to share an album like this for a while…3 years or something. Our last release was a live album and the 2 before that were more like EP's, so "Tell Me Secrets" is long overdue and hits hard like it's been rattling its cage for years.
How did the song writing process go for this album? Was there a certain sound you were trying to go for, or a theme?
JJ: It's a collection of songs written and recorded in different spots on the map. Some of the tunes took care of themselves - just me and piano in my house, but a bunch of them were collaborative efforts spawned from hours and hours we've logged as a band. A few ideas in Atlanta, rooted in the vibes we got from the rolling hills and southern hospitality, grew into uptempo choruses inspired by the hustle and diversity of NYC…wherever we were, whatever we were surrounded by, inspired a tune.
Is there a song on the album that holds particular meaning for you?
JJ: I am pretty attached to a song called "Over & Past." I wrote that tune for my sister, the first song I had ever written for her. She is my best friend and when I heard her upset in her room one night, I gravitated toward the piano and was compelled to write. Normally I would have eavesdropped and questioned or consoled or intruded into her life somehow. However, this time, I took what I overheard and what I knew, and hammered out a song for her.
What's been your best experience so far with playing shows, recording and promoting yourself?
JJ: For me, the coolest and most unique part of my job is waking up each day to something new. Maybe it's an opportunity that fell short or maybe it's an enormously lucrative potential show. Whatever it is, it excites me. Recently, Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba recognized us and our music in a recent interview, that was an honorable moment. We have shared the stage with many sweet musicians over the years which makes this job totally worth it - Trevor Hall, The Click Five, and Eric Hutchinson this summer to name a few. One moment sticks out in my head: I was leaving a performance at a theatre once when a girl stopped me and said, "Are you Jacob Jeffries?" which in itself is a startlingly, uplifting moment. After I assured her I was Jacob, she went on to say, "Oh my god, this is gonna sound weird, but I had my first kiss EVER to one of your songs." That was just too sweet and I will never forget that little moment.
How's it feel to get compared to bands like Mumford & Sons? Have you heard any crazy comparisons yet?
JJ: Mumford & Sons! They are great. Smiled wide when I heard that we were compared to them. I think comparing sounds and trying to identify specific genres is a natural way to gauge something musically new. That being said, we have received a crazy range of comparisons. From Gavin DeGraw to Paul Simon to Maroon 5 to Jamiroquai to The Beatles to Little Feat. I can't really argue with any of these attempts at classifying our sound because I genuinely dig something about all these fantastic bands that people decide to group us with.
I saw that you'll be opening for Sister Hazel son, who would you love to tour with?
JJ: Yeah! July 4th celebration with Sister Hazel in Florida! If I had my pick of the litter and could open for any band out there I would have to say it's a three way tie between something utterly unrealistic and dreamy: Paul McCartney, something unimaginably awesome and ambitious: Wilco, and something super cool: Dr. Dog. All three acts are on repeat for me right now and I would love to just share the stage with each of the three for just one night of fun!
Who came up for the concept for the "Crazy Under the Moon" music video?
JJ: The "Crazy Under The Moon" music video was dreamt up and brought to life by my pal and talented director Johnny Moniz. Without asking me what the song was about really, he just interpreted what he could and ran with it. After showing me a treatment I was impressed but confused as to how he thought of something so elaborate with a storyline so detailed. Honestly, I was worried we wouldn't be able to fit the whole story with its heavy message in a 4 minute song. He told me that he was very inspired after spending hours and hours tediously laboring over the conversion of his grandmothers' 8mm home videos (including wedding footage) from 60, 70 years ago into DVD's. All his hard work translated well and "Crazy Under The Moon" really hit hard.
Photos courtesy of Miami New Times