Jocelyn & Chris Arndt: Thanks for saying that, I’m glad you dig the tunes! Making “Edges” was a crazy creative journey, both inside and outside the studio. Some of these songs are tunes Chris and I wrote in high school; others are much more recent, written a few months before the album’s release. So working with our producer, David Bourgeois, and the rest of our studio team to make sure the album was as cohesive as possible. Our goal was for “Edges” to be an album listening experience from start to finish, and I’ll go so far as to say I think we accomplished that goal. But to get there, everybody really put their backs into it. It took a lot of work, but luckily Chris and I have a great team behind us every step of the way. And through the course of that process, when we started talking about adding some other players to the mix, both Danny Louis from Gov’t Mule and G Love were top on our list. So David reached out, and they were both interested in contributing to the project! And boy, am I happy they did. They’re amazing musicians, and they each of an individual style that really added a lot to the songs they played on. And they also both happen to be really nice guys, which is kind of the frosting on the cake. You know how it is: sometimes you’re nervous about meeting people you look up to, because you’re afraid they’ll be total jerks and ruin your image of them. Not the case with these two, I can assure you. Both Danny and G were really interested in our music and what they could do to make it as perfect as possible; they spent a ton of time crafting their parts in the studio, and I can’t thank them enough for what they added to the songs. All in all, I think you can consider “Edges” a chronicle of our entire lives in music, following our development as artists from when we first started writing original music to when we released the record. There’s a lot of personal history there, and whenever I listen to those songs, I find myself thinking about how we wrote each one, where we were, how it evolved. We’re gearing up to release an entirely new studio full-length titled “Go” on May 5th, and creating this new record has been a very different experience, because for the most part we wrote all the material in the same 4-month period. So it’s a very different group of songs. We’re a little more mature now, a little more in tune with our own sound, and “Go” reflects that focus. Both the new record and “Edges” are still very much “Jocelyn & Chris Arndt” music though, so they match in that way. They’re still us, and they still reflect our thoughts, our feelings, and our style.
MWN: My favorite song on the record is “Jagged.” It’s such a good tune. I think your vocals are killer alongside the guitar. Can you guys tell me a bit more about this song?
Jocelyn & Chris Arndt: Ahh thank you! That’s a fun song to play. Chris really digs using his wah pedal. And it’s a fun song to sing, too; I kind of just go nuts. Lyrically, “Jagged” is about this evil maneater woman who always gets her way. She uses men and then casts them aside; she’s a total viper. So when I sing it, I get to adopt that character, play that role, which is really fun. I promise I’m not like that in real life. :p
MWN: How do you guys manage to attend Harvard and do music at the same time?
Yeah, “30,000 Miles”! It’s really awesome to be able to say we have a live album. Especially because we had no idea it was even in the works. Our team surprised us with “30,000 Miles” as a Christmas present! Needless to say, our team ROCKS. And it’s a really cool collection of recordings, because while it’s meant to be a live-show listening experience, all the tracks are recorded in different places across the country. So hearing them all takes us back to where we were when we were originally playing them. It’s kind of like an auditory scrapbook that way. And we’ve been lucky enough to get some awesome support for “30,000 Miles” from radio stations all over the place, which is amazing. The album actually debuted on the Relix National Jamband Top 30 at #8! I had to pinch myself when I heard that one.
As for a favorite song to play live, oh man, that’s a tough one. They’ve all got their own charms. We were talking about “Jagged” earlier; I’m honestly pretty partial to that one. Chris gets to break out the wah and go crazy, and the whole band really gets to sink into the jam. It’s fun. Another great one to play live is “Hot,” for similar reasons; it’s just a really fun song to jam to. But really, we’re not too picky. We like playing all of our songs. We live for it, actually.MWN: Speaking of live music, do you remember your first live music experience?
Jocelyn & Chris Arndt: Yes I do, clear as day. The first real concert I ever went to was Ingrid Michaelson, when I was in 7th grade. I was BEYOND excited. And it exceeded all of my concert expectations. The place we went to see her perform was a relatively small venue, so I ended up getting pretty close to the stage. Ingrid did an awesome cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” She’s just so COOL. I still love her to bits. We’ve been to a lot of other concerts since then, although nowadays we’re usually playing the shows as well as watching them. Which is exactly the way we like it. Case in point: a couple weeks ago, we played with the amazing Marc Cohn at a great venue called Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury, MA. The place is literally right on the ocean; when the tide comes in you look down out of the window and see nothing but water. It’s awesome. And Marc Cohn was the coolest dude ever. What an inspiring musician. “Walking in Memphis” was one of the first songs I learned to play piano and sing simultaneously to, so seeing Marc perform it live was a pretty life-changing experience.
MWN: Who do you guys look up to, musically?
Jocelyn & Chris Arndt: We look up to a ton of people. Chris and I grew up listening to a very diverse musical palette, thanks to our parents. Rock, pop, blues, jazz – you name it, it was on the list. So when we started to write our own music, we had a pretty varied background to draw inspiration from. Even with that, though, we each gravitated naturally toward different influences. I’m drawn to big voices, those artists you hear singing for three seconds and can identify instantly. Adele, Janis Joplin, Grace Potter, Pat Benatar, Aretha Franklin, Freddie Mercury. The greats. And Chris loves retro guitar-rockers, those innovators of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix. We take little bits and pieces from our idols and try to absorb them into our own style. And we’re always on the lookout for new artists as well. One of the best feelings in the world is discovering a new music artist you really love.
MWN: What do you hope people take away from your tunes?
Jocelyn & Chris Arndt: Anything! For real, though. When we perform, our goal is to share a little bit of ourselves with our audience. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. We pour our emotions into our songwriting, and then when we perform those songs, we want to pour that emotion into the audience. If you come away from one of our shows having felt anything, anything at all, we’re happy. The same goes for our recordings; if you’re listening to our music and you feel something, if you identify with some part of it or tap your foot or smile or cry or click “play again,” we’ve done our job as artists. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited for all of you out there to hear our new album “Go” – it’s a chance for that kind of connection to happen all over again, for us to share ourselves with you and for you to take something from us. That’s why we do what we do.
MWN: Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to people who have supported your music?