JOLLY: The Music That Makes You Feel Good

JOLLY interview on Prog Sphere

With three studio albums under their belt, progressive alternative rockers from New York, JOLLY, show that the genre still has potential for great things. The Audio Guide to Happiness albums in particular brought much needed freshness and were hailed as great examples of how progressive rock should sound in the 21st century. With a scheduled appearance on the upcoming Progressive Nation at Sea cruise, while waiting for the new songs, Prog Sphere spoke with the band’s singer and guitarist Anadale.

Define your mission with JOLLY.

To create music with no limitations stylistically. To challenge ourselves with new ways of writing and producing. To take risks. To blow peoples minds with epic space dragon battles.

Your music is full of untamed changes. Let me know about your creative process.

We all come from different places in the musical world. We either write together or separately and bring it to the rest. There is no system except for the system that there is no system. Keeping an open mind is the most important thing and we make decisions together where everyone has input and songs are not done until everyone agrees.

What is the concept behind The Audio Guide to Happiness albums?

The concept is a journey through juxtaposing feelings and situations that reflect the surreal inner world. All a part of realizing that everything leads to Happiness, no matter how bizarre. We wanted to make people happy with music. Everything is built on that statement first and foremost.

The Audio Guide to HappinessSo, let me put this straight – your idea with The Audio Guide to Happiness albums was to make people happy. Elaborate on this.

We really felt it was a concept that applied to the way we see things. How wonderfully strange it is to be human. How grateful we are to have this opportunity to share something beautiful with the world. We just wanted it to feel good. We wanted to show that even dark heavy music could bring happiness. That was the goal.

What the optimization of the JOLLY listening experience brought in the final structures of TAGTH albums?

If you are talking about the Binaural Beats, we used them on both albums and received much speculation on the effects of the studies. We felt it went along with the concept and added an extra layer to everything. Overall we are very pleased with how it turned out and was implemented.

What were some of the challenges you faced with when working on the two iterations of TAGTH recordings?

We faced the usual problems of recording and producing as any band does. There were many sessions where we would conceptualize how the albums would play out and fit together. Getting the Binaural Beats in was a long process involving many people. And then we were hit by hurricane Sandy just before the completion of AGTH pt.2 where the album was nearly swept away into the ocean. Maybe it would have been found in the year 2046 on a cargo ship, and alien robots would have really enjoyed it.

In the period of four years you released three albums. What evolution do you feel The Audio Guide to Happiness albums represent for the band? Especially considering the progress you made since your debut Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music.

We are more passionate than ever and want to take this crazy journey as far as it will go. We cant wait to get to the next phase. We have some really exciting and ridiculous things coming up.

What are your expectations from the upcoming Progressive Nation at Sea cruise?

This cruise is going to be such an incredible time. So many amazing bands and people attending. We really cant wait.

Your cruise invite video is personally my favorite. Who came up with its scenario?

We all sat around thinking of a way to do it in a funny way. Someone yelled out that scene from the movie “Sin City” which is pretty much exactly the same…minus the comedy and tuna shared milkshake. We used Louis’s old Tom drum with a plastic tarp to film as if it was inside of a toilet. There was water everywhere. Tony and Joe are actually eating tuna with milk, they are disgusting. Just think about that combination for a second.

The music you create is very cinematic. What leads to it?

Film is a major part of our band dialogue. We are inspired by films and draw many things from film scores and great actors/directors. Atmosphere is very important.

What are your ways of channeling inspiration into writing?

Any way possible really. Mostly bits of songs passed around sometimes for years that end up taking shape. Sometimes its a piano chord progression or a vocal line. Its all very magical and unexpected. We dont know much in terms of theory, so everything comes from heart and inner ear.

How do you see your music evolving in the future?

We plan to boldly go where no man has gone before. We want to keep experimenting and keeping things fresh. The next album wont feel like AGTH, and we are going to make sure of that. We hope that people are willing to take this journey with us. Its going to be a blast.

Metallica’s James Hetfield keeps shouting “Metallica loves you” on their concerts. Considering that “JOLLY loves you” – is there some kind of connection between you and Metallica?

James Hetfield is Anadales father. I thought everyone knew this already. James Hetfield played the bagpipe solo in “As heard on tape”. You can see a video of it absolutely nowhere.

One last thing. What’s the deal with the band’s name?

We wanted something big, bold, short, and arrogantly memorable. I think thats what we got. JOLLY & Metallica loves you ;)

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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