Out of the idealist picturesque town of Orange, California a band of four boys are turning their college experience into an experiment in slowed down metal drumming mixing one part Red Hot Chili Peppers and two parts deep retro Sublime-like grooves. Jubilo Drive’s new music release out today February 25, 2014 (premiering at midnight) “At My Best” is all about getting pumped up and stoked on life. Gaining fans and booking shows at an increasing rate, Jubilo Drive is ready to roll and hit your playlist. LOAR is pumped up and stoked to bring you new music from this hot alternative rock indie band.
I chatted with lead guitarist and back up vocalist Jordan Kleinman a few weeks ago over the phone and he shared with me how the band formed. Jordan and Hayden Vaughn (bassist) met two years ago when they were freshman in college and wrote their first song “Push Down and Turn” the first time they ever hung out. Meeting lead vocalist Henry Kuckens and drummer Eric Cruz (who was a hard core metal drummer for over nine years) rounded out the band and the foursome started jamming together.
“Push Down and Turn” was recorded last summer with one microphone in a bedroom over a four-day period Jordan tells me. “It was a lot of fun to get done,” he comments who also says his influences include The Strokes and RHCP. Eric and Jordan moved into a house together and that’s when things started taking off. “We wrote like ten songs in the first semester and then we started gigging—like playing on campus and our backyard one time,” Jordan explains. He adds, “I’m a PR major at Chapman [University] so I kind of had to do all of our stuff. I take notes in class and think of ways to promote us. …We just played at a coffee house the other night–an acoustic show–which was a lot of fun.”
Henry, the lead vocalist, is a graphic design major and works with Jordan to create images for the band. Together they created the modern bright 80’s stripes meets iconic college house vivid photo of the old broken TV sitting on bricks in the backyard of the house they lived in last year. “That backyard was just this big dirt plot and we thought it would be cool to have this broken TV just kind of sitting behind the house,” says Jordan. “The name ’Redwood’ [title of Jubilo Drive’s first EP] also comes from it. The house is from the 1950’s and the walls are made of redwood from Southern California so we figured the place where were made the music that kind of got us started is what we should name our first EP.” With interesting angles, colors and shapes, the cover of the EP is as interesting as the music itself. When you look past the rudimentary recording of their first song as basic as the house itself, you find a place to be inspired hearing hooks that draw you in and create curving bold rhythms.
Jubilo Drive was named after a street Jordan used to live on in Tarzana, California. The band’s mission statement on their Facebook page says, “Jubilo Drive has started a journey to create music that reflects the emotions of the geography they inhabit.” Equating emotions with places, I asked Jordan to give me an example for him of a happy, sad and mysterious place.
Jordan tells me about his happy place first. “In California the scenery and the landscapes are really something that’s big for me. …There’s this old missile tower up Mulholland Drive in the Valley and if you take this big hike up to it you can stand on top of the tower and look at a 360º panorama of the ocean, LA, Hollywood, the Valley and you can just see everything. …It makes me feel at home, especially because I can see my house from there.”
“A sad place for you?” I ask. “Kind of like the 405, between Orange County and LA at like seven in the morning, the peak of worse rush hour,” he says and I start laughing. He expounds from a wise youthful place that sees the insanity in adulthood, “It’s really sad for me because everybody is just waiting in line in their car to get into another city to sit for the rest of the day and then do it all again to get back home and plop down on the couch and do it all again.”
After recounting to him my previous night’s drive home in the nightmare that was the 405 in a half inch of mist that created a massive backup, I move on to ask him about a mysterious place. “I’d say the desert,” Jordan replies with reasoning that I’ll not soon forget. Referencing Palm Springs he says, “I like the desert a lot. It’s something that always intrigues me. I always just want to take a jeep and just drive off road for 40 miles and see like nothing and everything at the same time.”
Their newest music release “At My Best” (lyrics written by lead vocalist Henry Kuckens) has a great energy, a party vibe and thick grooves that dig in as it spins. “What does the song mean to you?” I ask Jordan and he pauses a bit to collect his thoughts and explain it properly. “To me it’s about finding the good parts of your life and appreciating them,” he begins. “When you are in a situation where things aren’t right, your friends will still stick around for you getting to know your highs and lows. It’s like that Marilyn Monroe quote [if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best]. To me that’s kind of what it means. I just look at it like it’s a song to get you pumped up and stoked on life.”
The “At My Best” video was filmed in Jubilo Drive’s backyard the night before drummer Eric Cruz left on a study abroad trip to Spain. Listen to the midnight drop of “At My Best” on SoundCloud premiering 12:00 AM Tuesday, February 25, 2014.
WE ASKED JORDAN KLEINMAN
“If you had to choose one song title to describe your personality what would it be?”
“Walkabout” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
“In Australia they have this coming of age process it’s called the walkabout. Apparently you’re supposed to go out in the outback and just experience nature and like they would probably smoke and hallucinate—that’s not why I’m saying it—but I like to just go out in the world and experience things and see what different kinds of life is like in different areas.”
“If you could go back in time and see your favorite artist play live, who would it be?”
“I know the answer to this right off the bat. Roger Waters playing “Dark Side of the Moon” at the Hollywood Bowl in 2007. I was at it and I was there with my mom but I didn’t know the “Dark Side of the Moon” album well enough at the time to remember it. I remember like two songs and that’s like my favorite album of all time. I wish I could just go back and just watch the whole thing.”
JUBILO DRIVE AND CHARITY
Jubilo drive supports Give the Gift of Music (http://givethegiftofmusic.info/)
“We believe that playing music can be a cathartic and invigorating experience, and that if presented with the opportunity, those in need would greatly benefit.”
By Nicole Hanratty
February 24, 2014