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by CHIRP Radio DJ and Features Co-Director Mick R (Listen to his most recent shows / Read his blog)
It's the same thing, day in, day out. Wake, go to work, have a dinner, go to bed. The in-between parts of these predictable, routine segments of your day are mostly filled in by mistakes, doubts, and compulsive behavior.
A couple of weeks, months, and years of this rat-in-a-wheel kind of plot can make anyone ready to throw themselves into traffic. Life can feel like one big bowl of gruel. Like one grey, undifferentiated mush. And it's this chain of stunted progression that Indiana's Jacky Boy are looking to break.
Comprised of drummer Mark Edlin, guitarist Zac Canale, and guitarist and vocalist Steve Marino, the Bloomington band has just released their second album Mush on Darling Recordings.
By plugging into the buzzy verve of late '90s and early '00s alternative rock and bringing the larger than life hooks of groups like Foo Fighters and Third Eye Blind back to the level of the oil stains on the floor of your parent's garage, they have drafted a set of enthusiastic power-pop that shows that speaks directly to the inner optimism of slackers everywhere. Just because life isn't going the way you'd hope it would, doesn't mean you can't bare its brunt with a genuine smile.
Don't believe me? Check out Mush for yourself and try not to get a little bit of a contact buzz from the vibes they are producing. I bet you can't do it! And if you're not feeling anything, maybe consult virtual health professional. You may be beyond what help music can provide for the human psyche.
If you want to know more about Jack Boy and what their whole deal is, then you are in luck. I had a quick email exchange with the band and you can read it below:
The following interview was conducted over email on May 2, 2022.
How did you all meet and why did you decide to form a band together?
Mark - Steve and I met through mutual friends at a house show in Bloomington, IN. We started jamming with our buddy Stone, which led us to release a tape and our first full length as a three piece. Zac joined the band shortly after, and worked with us on two singles before our eventual recording of our second full length record.
Steve - After meeting Mark I hit him up about starting a band that sounded like Superchunk, Weezer and Built to Spill. We started playing with our friend Stone and the rest is rock 'n roll history.
Why is it important for rock music to be fun?
Mark - I don’t quite understand this question, but I guess I feel that rock music has an energy that is infectious! At the end of the day it is really fun for us personally, and it is important for us to share that energy on stage.
Zac - There’s no point to any of this if it’s not fun!
Steve - I’d like to think I’d stop when it became not fun but I probably wouldn’t lol. Hasn’t come close yet though!
What was special about the MTV era of alternative rock that is worth remembering?
Zac - Just the sheer amount of artists that were on fire, churning out what have now become classic songs on a seemingly regular basis.
Why do you think people who weren't in their teens and 20s when The Colour and the Shape dropped have such strong nostalgia for that era of simple, hooky '90s rock?
Mark - I think there is something to be said about the production of that record (and records that came out around that time) that were genre defining, and also had the luck of radio stations actually playing it lol. It lays out the groundwork of solid sounding, pop-rock music that’ll always have a “nostalgic” vibe to it. Also the songs on that record are just damn good!
Steve - My family had the CD in the living room and growing up listening to it definitely had a big impact on me.
Who are some of the unsung heroes of the alternative rock era in your opinion?
Zac - Hum, Failure, and Superdrag are three that come to mind. Downward is Heavenward is an absolutely flawless record that for the most part flew under the radar in the '90s.
Steve - Zac is all-knowing in this department ha but a record should have slayed in America is Failer by Kathleen Edwards.
Am I picking up on a Cracker flavor on songs like "Good Enough"? Relatedly, when do you think Millennials and Gen Z are going to give David Lowery his due?
Mark - I have no idea who that is, someone else please answer this!
Zac - Not dug too deep into Cracker, but “Sweethearts” by David Lowery’s other band Camper Van Beethoven is a beautiful song worth checking out!
Steve - not too familiar with that band other than the single but there’s definitely a general late-'90s alt rock feel being chased with “Good Enough”
I love some of the Pixies influences that come out on tracks like "Sun." What is their best album in your opinion?
Mark - That’s really cool! I personally have never really gotten into Pixies.
Zac - Doolittle!
Steve - Also never really got into the Pixies. Not a bad group tho!
Which Tony Hawk Pro Skater has the best soundtrack in your opinion, and why?
Mark - Number 1!! I have distinct memories of playing the first level as a kid.
Steve - “No Cigar” by Millencolin on THPS 2 was huge for me in middle school. I’m pretty sure it’s what started me using the internet to find music.
What are your favorite songs off of Mush to play live?
Mark - I personally love playing “Sun” and the title track “Mush.” I feel like they both have a great energy to them and hit hard live.
Zac - “Say You’re Right” and “Good Enough.” “Mush” is also a personal favorite to play. That one feels like a real success to me!
Steve - “Live It Up” is extra fun for me, as well as “Good Enough”
What are we going to see as far as a roll out for this album?
Mark - We will be doing two weekends of shows in May in support of release. We will have another music video and *hopefully* a live session in the works.
Steve - Hoping to get another video out and some shows in May!
Anything else you'd like our readers and listeners to know?
Mark - We are very proud to finally share this record and hope you enjoy it!!
Zac - Thanks so much for listening!
Steve - Took a while for this record to come out and I’m happy people get to rock it finally!
(Photo courtesy of Anna Powell Denton)
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