(1) Do you dig much Hip-Hop? If so, what were a few of your favourite new artists/albums of 2011?
I really like that new-ish Young Jeezy [-feat. André 3000 & Jay-Z] track, "I Do" and lately that has kept me waiting for it to come on the radio again. I also like that new song by Cash Out called, "Cashin' Out." I wasn't too excited about any new Hip-Hop artists this past year, much less could I tell you about an entire album from 2011. For the record, Lil' Wayne is the rapper that I am most impressed by currently (he is insanely prolific) and I do have all of the Baltimore Hip-Hop stations saved as presets in my ride. 92Q is what's up.
(2) How would you describe the overall sound of the new Dope Body record, Natural History? Cause "Lazy Slave" is pretty Hardcore, dude!
It's a little difficult to try to describe an overall sound of Natural History because of it's wide range of moods and styles. Some songs are more Sunburst-Classic Rock than others while some are pretty "Heavy," like you said. There might even be a few tracks that are flat out silly. The production by Jay Robbins is certainly the meatiest and tastiest that we've ever had. It's a proper Sludge Rocker [Dad Rocker]. THANKS JAY!!!
(3) Brett Yale describes Water Karaoke as "weird pop music" (Bandcamp) & it was further described by yourself as "lush, textural pop jams." So, I was wondering... What sort of Pop albums from your childhood/past helped shape this very record?
When I first got into music, I focused mainly on Classic Rock but, I have come to love Alternative from the 90's, as well. Some of my favorite Pop albums ever include Led Zeppelin I, II, III, IV... Jimi Hendrix: Axis Bold As Love, Weezer (Blue), Nirvana: Nevermind, Prince: Purple Rain, Talking Heads: Fear of Music, and Nas: The Illmatic, just to name a few.
(4) Baltimore seems like a very fruitful, creative city these days! Have any friends in bands that you think my readers & I should check out?
Definitely check out RoomRunner, the new Grungy Rock band, brain child of my good friend and fellow drummer Denny Bowen (Double Dagger, Dan Deacon Ensemble). Rick Rab and DJ Dog Dick both have full-lengths coming out on HOSS this year that I am stoked on. If you haven't heard Dustin Wong of Ponytail's solo project (Thrill Jockey) then you def need to do that. Also, CEX and Jeremy Hymann (Ponytail) have a new project called Sprayer that totally shreds. There's too much to mention.
(5) Can you tell me a little bit about the creation of "STEPS" (music video), which was created with director Mark Brown?
Mark and I were next door neighbors and I had asked him to help me make a YouTube-Karaoke-esque style video for my song. In the same way that a lot of people post videos of themselves singing songs they love and portraying their fantasies of being performers, I wanted mine to show that imagination can really manifest itself as reality. This is some small proof of that. I love what Mark does with layering and colors in his work so it was a natural collaboration. Artist Beth Hoeckel did the collage work on the wall behind me in the video (my old room at The Copycat), which to me was the perfect background for a tripped out karaoke stage and the combination of the music, video and art made a nice Psych eye-candy bar.
(6) Friends Records' site says that Water Karaoke was slowly recorded over the course of the past 3 years. What compelled you to finally finish & release it?
I suppose it just took me that long to compile what I thought of as a coherent group of work that fit together as a whole. I was pretty busy with other projects for those 3 years so this was on the back burner in that way. I've always been compelled to write, record and release solo music but I wanted to make sure it was good enough to share.
(7) I know that you also play with Dan Deacon & Holy Ghost Party, too. Any new music from those projects coming anytime soon?
Big Time. Holy Ghost Party has a 12" EP called, THE WEATHER CHANNEL coming out on HOSS RECORDS this Summer. We are also currently working on our next full length, which we are really stoked about. As for Dan Deacon, he has 2 releases coming out on Domino Records this year that will be excellent no doubt!
(8) Did you play all of the instruments on Water Karaoke or did you have "a little help from your friends?"
It's literally all me except for the bass guitar part on "STEPS" (played by Dan Frome).
(9) Madonna or Cyndi Lauper? Please explain your choice.
What a tough question. Madonna is so epic and has tons of great jams and taught us to "Vogue," true! But i feel like Lauper has written more songs that I consider faves and she would probably be more down to earth in real life. Is the question "Who's music do I like better?" - I'm going with Cyndi Lauper for now.
(10) What roles did Dan Frome & Matt Schulman play in the creation of your album?
Matt mastered my album at his place, MobTown Studios in Baltimore. He made it louder and shinier. After writing, arranging and demoing all of the songs on my own I re-recorded the drums and vocals at Dan Frome's studio. Then he mixed it a lot on his own before we finally mixed it together. Dan Frome is the man!!! And I want everyone to know how great he is at what he does. Hit him up to record, if you're in Baltimore.
(11) Do you plan to tour behind Water Karaoke this Spring/Summer? Hypothetical question: If you had an unlimited tour budget, what sort of stage theatrics (visual effects) would you employ?
I currently have no touring plans for my solo material but maybe something will come up, who knows. For now I'll just be doing occasional local shows and recording more. If I had an unlimited budget, I would have pyrotechnics galore, giant projections and aquatic animal shaped fireworks. I'd really just like to be able to afford Fish Entrees at gourmet restaurants a lot.
(12) Assuming that you play a handful of assorted instruments in your various musical projects, which is your personal favourite to play live?
My favorite is drums, but I also really love to sing and play marimba. It depends on the project and the day. I recently bought a new crash cymbal (that actually works) and a double bass drum pedal, so right now drums are definitely winning.
(13) I must admit, I'm very intrigued yet confused by the Water Karaoke album cover. But what the Hell is going on in that picture!? Care to describe the series of events that led up to that very photo?
It's just me walking around on the beach in Rehoboth, DE singing nothing at all discernible to my girlfriend. I paid to rent a PA and a generator for an hour to sing into a mic, through speakers on a beach at night. This was a fulfillment of a dream I seem to revisit a lot during the day time.
(14) Now that you've released Water Karaoke, what's next for Jacober?
Next is Dope Body's new record on Drag City May 22 and touring to support it, as well as Holy Ghost Party's [12" EP] this Summer on HOSS and hopefully some touring with that project as well. On the solo tip, I'm going to keep writing and recording music to start working on a next release. I'm taking it a slow and working out a live set while writing new stuff and recording on tape. I'm stoked to be busy!