Intervju med Anthony Rondinone, Jolly

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Interview with Anthony Rondinone, Jolly in february 2011.
By Conny Myrberg.

In what way has your musical focus changed since your debut “Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music” when compared to it?

It’s more evolved, than changed, we’ve added components to an existing foundation. I think since 46:12, one of the most notable differences would be that we incorporated more groove and harder riffs. We tried to create more movement on The Audio Guide to Happiness. Just because people consider us a form of prog, doesn’t mean we want people to look like they are solving math problems when they come watch us, we wanted to incorporate sections that allow people to move and have fun when they listen, as well as have those deeper, introspective moments. Also, with this album there was more experimenting with different sounds in production which gives this album more characteristics.

What was it that made you decide to sign a contract with the record label InsideOut Music?

Well they are a well-known and respected label in the genre that we have
been associated with which is obviously a selling point. Also, we met with Thomas Waber from InsideOut when we were on tour with Riverside and Pure Reason Revolution, and we had a very promising conversation with him about JOLLY’s future with the label and where he sees us, it actually made it a pretty easy decision and so far we’ve been happy with them.

I’m very interested in layouts and logo creations, what was the inspiration behind yours and who is the creator?

The layout for this album feels like a textbook in some ways. The cover is unapologetically bold, the inside is straightforward and to the point, It’s also very clean and sleek. Drummer/Producer Louis Abramson did the design of this album, he worked very hard to get everything perfect and we think it looks great. It fits the Feel of the Audio Guide and everything it’s about perfectly.

When I listen to The Audio Guide Of Happiness ”Part 1”, I sense a touch of arena rock with some progressive elements, kind of like bands like Muse. Is it a goal of yours to reach the big arenas or do you prefer the smaller and more intimate stages?

I don’t want to speak for the rest of the guys, but I would love to play in a giant arena. I think our sound and style lends it’s self to that sort of venue. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing in smaller places, there’s something very personal about it, but we got a taste of playing larger venues when we were with Riverside and it’s like a drug in the sense that I think we’re just going to want larger and larger crowds moving and singing along to what we are playing. There’s no other feeling like it, unless you’re Charlie Sheen of course.

From where did you get the inspiration for the lyrics of The Audio Guide Of Happiness ”Part 1” and ”Part 2” which according to InsideOut is in the Pocket Pac on the first?

Well InsideOut is not lying, we did include the lyrics to part 2 in the liner notes of this album, we hope you enjoy reading them without music. The lyrics are inspired by almost everything and anything and sometimes nothing at all. We have a pretty interesting lyric writing process, I do not want to give away all of our secrets yet. Maybe in the future we will discuss meaning a little bit more, but for now I would like to let the listeners find their own meaning in these lyrics. It’s a very introspective album and I believe people listening will be able to take away their own meaning that will help them in their situation.

The music for ”Part 2”, when is it planned to be released and why didn’t it become a double album?

We didn’t want to release both albums at the same time because we wanted you to become familiar with part I first. We thought it would be a bit much to give you the whole thing at once. It’s a lot to take in.

Will the music concept differ in ”Part 2” compared to ”Part 1”?

The concept is the same; it’s still part of the Audio Guide-  There are, however, styles and sounds on Part 2 that are not on Part I. Because it’s a four-phase process, Part 2 containing the 3rd and 4th phase, these will have some different styles because it is further along in the progression, bringing the listener closer and closer to happiness.

The melodic track ”Joy” should, according to me, be able to reach successful list placements – how has it been going with being aired on the radio?

Someone actually recently sent us a message on Twitter saying they put a preview of the album on their station and said they got some good response to it, I don’t know how Joy in particular is doing. If anything it would be on air in Europe and I don’t have a European radio so unfortunately we don’t get to hear if it’s played. We have the same hopes though; I think Joy among a few other songs on the album would do well on the radio. That’s where you come into play, maybe one of your readers is a DJ and will want to play our album over and over on the radio after reading this!

The track ”The Pattern”, with its absolutely magnificent drive, seems to be a song made to be performed live – are those factors that you consider when you compose your material?

Absolutely, I think I mentioned this earlier; we wanted some parts of this album that just moved and had groove and energy. This riff was actually made to do just that and we hope it’s working! So far we’ve gotten a really good response to that song and we’re very happy about that. I actually would like to thank all the fans that have posted feedback about this song and the album in general, we really appreciate all of it.

How does a song come to you normally, when you count in everything from the first idea to the finished track? Take ”Storyline” for example, which is also one of my personal favorites.

Oh well thank you! That song from what I remember started out as Joe playing that chord progression and Anadale just singing a melody over it which sounded really nice and we all liked it. Louis started playing a funkier/groovier rhythm and that’s what I started to follow with the bass line. That was the foundation of the song, usually we start with some sort of foundation like that, then as we work on it more and more things get added, and as we start recording and Louis starts to work his production magic, the songs takes on a new life that’s bigger then the 4 of us. We usually start out with a base of a song, then it gets JOLLY-fied and we have the end result, it’s a pretty interesting process.

You guys have been touring with both Riverside and Pure Reason Revolution, who both have a pretty dark visual image on stage (at least when I’ve watched them perform), how would you like to describe yours?

Those guys are the Queen’s tits by the way (that means they are awesome, it’s a popular British saying). I guess I would say we’re pretty dark as well.

A lot of bands are not particularly keen on being categorized within one musical genre or other, like neoprog for example, but if you have to choose one then where would you place yourselves?

Probably Post modern updated classic contemporaryism, but what it used to be, it’s changed now.
How does Sarcasm translate in Sweden?

(Almost the same “Sarkasm”)

After a few record releases a lot of bands usually have live DVD’s following, are there any plans of doing that and will we be able to watch you live in Europe this year?

I certainly hope we will be able to play live in front of you in Europe this year, we’re looking for opportunities to come back of course. We had a great time last year when we were there and we want to return.
As for DVDs, we’ve talked about something like that, who knows what the future holds
. Just be ready.

Is there a dream artist/band of yours that you would like to perform with or have as guest performers on your upcoming albums?

I would have liked to play bass with Michael Jackson if he were still around. I can imagine playing that sort of show and with such a talented musician that would have been a lot of fun.

And on a last note I’d like to thank you for your time and I will be waiting with excitement on The Audio Guide Of Happiness ”Part 2”.

Thank you too! I’m glad you liked Part I, that means a lot. We can’t wait until people have the full collection! Take care.

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