The Jauntee Go On Tour to Support their New Album, Excelsior

LMNR: How did the band The Jauntee come to be?  Is this the original line-up?  Where did the name come from?

J: The band formed in fall 2010 when I (Scott) met Caton in his first semester of college.  We spent the majority of that semester jamming with other students and the original 4-piece lineup was solidified early 2011. Since then, there have been several line-up changes. John joined on bass in 2012 and Tyler, a long time fan and friend of the band, was added this past summer. 

The name derives from the Old English word ‘jaunt’ – a short jovial journey — Which, in essence, is the experience we want to create for our listeners. 

LMNR: Can you give a brief description of what The Jauntee’s music is like?

Drawing influence from a wide variety of bands, The Jauntee’s improvisational landscape spans multiple genres, including: Funk/Rock/Jazz/Progressive/Bluegrass and Ambient music. Our willingness to explore genres, abandon all song structure, and dive into ‘the weird’ sets us apart from your average upcoming Jam Band. We aim to push the boundaries of improvisation, embrace the moment and engage the audience.

LMNR: How does living in Boston influence your lyrics and music? And what about touring? Has touring made an impact on your style and music?

J: I’m not sure that Boston itself had much influence on our music or lyrics. None of us grew up in New England so our individual roots are elsewhere. As the primary lyricist, I can say most of my songs come from introspective thoughts, personal relationships or straight up fictitious stories.  The specific environment I’m in when writing doesn’t seem to have much influence. 

Touring, however, has definitely had an impact on our playing. Our music thrives in the live setting, it’s all about the ‘in the moment’ improvisation in front of an audience. Touring as much as we do gives us that opportunity night after night. The more shows we play, the more we learn what works and what doesn’t work on stage. There’s also things like on-stage sound that affect our night-to-night performances. Sound can be so drastically different from room to room and that’s something you have to learn to adjust to, especially in an improvisational setting.  Those are things we can only learn through experience, and touring gives us that real life experience. 

LMNR: What makes the Jauntee unique?

J: The Jauntee is unique because they are the only up and coming band in the Jam scene that actually still jams. I’m talking true, balls to the wall, improvisation with no safety net. The feeling that any song can go anywhere at any given time.  Full band improvisation resulting in on the spot compositions.  Bands like the Grateful Dead and Phish adopted this concept of improv from the jazz world years ago, but since then, I don’t hear any of these younger “jam bands” actually jamming. They ‘take solos’ or ‘groove’ but I don’t see anyone truly letting their guard down and taking musical risks. That is where the Jauntee differs.  

LMNR: Excelsior is the second CD from The Jauntee; can you tell me how this whole project came about? How is this album different from your first?

J: ‘Excelsior’ was produced, mixed and mastered by Warren Amerman @ Rotary Records in West Springfield, MA spring 2015.  It was our first real experience together in a professional studio — Our first album, which was released in 2012, was recorded in a friends home studio. We really wanted to go all out this time and add lots of vocal harmonies and other overdubs so it is a much fuller album than our debut in that respect. Also, musically speaking, the band is much tighter than we were in 2012 and the songwriting has matured.  

LMNR: What did the creative process look like? How did recording go?

J: As far as the songwriting process, about half of the songs were written solely by the drummer, Scott Ferber, one by bassist John Loland (Valley Girl) and the rest were collaborative efforts. Generally, one of the members will come forward with chord changes and the other three will write their individual parts. For some of the more complicated tunes like Flutterby, guitarist Caton Sollenberger and Scott worked together to compose instrumental sections.   Lyrically, six of the eight song’s were written by Scott Ferber.  Lunch in Be has lyrics written by long time friend, Zach Yopchick the Valley Girl is John’ first lyrical efforts for the band. 

As far as the studio process, producer Warren Amerman was very helpful in the creative process and helped realize the band’s full studio potential. He had a great ear for vocal harmonies and helped to fully realize each songs potential. Tyler Adams was brought in on Mandolin for Know it All and I Wonder Why I Ponder… and several percussion overdubs were done by Scott. The studio also had a full Yamaha grand piano, Hammond B3 organ, Rhodes and Wurlitzer which helped broaden the type of sounds found on the album. 

LMNR: If you had one original song to choose for new listeners to get into the The Jauntee style, what would it be? Why?

J: I think a good song for new listeners to check out would be the last track on Excelsior, ‘Flutterby’.  It’s a song that showcases a little bit of everything The Jauntee does. It has quirky, introspective lyrics, a catchy hook pop/rock “song” section, a long composed  middle section, and a soaring, triumphant jam at the end. 

LMNR: What artists or bands have inspired you guys?

J: There’s a pretty wide variety of influences between the four of us. Compositionally wise, I love classical composers like Ravel and Debussy. We all love jazz and jazz fusion artists like Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, and Medeski, Martin & Wood.  Newer bands like Snarky Puppy have sparked all of our interests as well. 

LMNR: Do you have a favorite musician or band that you like to cover? How do you make the covers more your own style?

I wouldn’t say there’s one specific artist we like covering most. I like the idea of having a wide variety of covers, new, old, slow, fast, ballads, rockers etc.  On almost every cover we do, we open up sections of the song to improv so that always revitalizes them with our own style. 

LMNR: How is the tour going? Any particular shows you are looking forward to playing? Why?

J: Right now, we’ve had the past month and a half off to prepare for our upcoming tour. We’ve been writing new material learning new covers and adding tons of new vocal harmonies to older songs so we all are very excited to showcase our work this fall. Personally, I’m really looking forward to returning to Richmond, Atlanta and Covington/Cincinnati area.  Those spots have really started to show some growth for us over the past year or so and I’m excited to see what sort of crowd energy we get this time around.  

LMNR: You will be collaborating with many different bands from all over the country on your tour. Are there any in particular you are looking forward to working with? Why?

J: We’re playing with a bunch of great bands this fall so it’s hard to pick but I’d say I’m most excited for our tour closer with Moxa, in which Tyler also plays keys in. They’re a great band, close friends of ours and it’s been far too long since we’ve last linked up with them. 

LMNR: Any last thoughts you’d like to add?

J: Nearly all of our live shows can be streamed and/or downloaded for free on archive.org 

Here’s the link to our page: https://archive.org/details/TheJauntee

 

Upcoming Shows
11/25 – Electric Haze – Worcester, MA
11/27 – The Hollow – Albany, NY
11/28 – The Lucky Slug – Wantage, NJ
12/02 – Rapture – Charlottesville, VA
12/03 – The Camel – Richmond, VA
12/04 – Evening Muse – Charlotte, NC
12/05 – Aisle 5 – Atlanta, GA
12/08 – The Blind Tiger – Greensboro, NC
12/09 – Pawleys Island Tavern – Pawleys Island, SC
12/10 – Nowhere Bar – Athens, GA
12/11 – Pisgah Brewing – Black Mountain, NC
12/12 – Preservation Pub – Knoxville, TN
12/16 – Hideaway Saloon – Louisville, KY
12/17 – Madison Live – Covington, KY
12/19 – Johnny D’s – Somerville, MA

 

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