Sunday, December 2, 2007


Rising from the ashes of former ska band HyJinX, Stealing Jane – currently, Bryce Larsen (vocals, rhythm guitar), Matt Giordano (guitar), Brian Bunce (bass), Pat Iannelli (saxophone), Dave Calzone (trombone), Andrew Mericle (trumpet), Will Tully (drums), and Jesse Sears (keyboards) – have come together to create a fun mixture of ska, pop, rock, and a dash of R&B. Stealing Jane’s ska-pop sound is a high energy, harmony-filled, blues-infused sound that moves a person to jump up and dance on a chair. This is, no doubt, a contributing factor to SJ’s popularity as a live act, and live is what they love doing most. Their anarchic, pulsating, kinetic shows draw huge audiences, and this has opened doors for the young group who have already opened/toured with Spin Doctors, Hanson, The Wailers and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic.

Stop sign SJThis tumultuous live show attitude has produced a debut album, Say Something, that is nearly as high-powered, dynamic and fun as the real thing. As you would expect on an album version, it is more polished, structured, and mellifluous than the live version, making Say Something a rollicking romp through rock/blues/R&B infused ska-pop. Recently SJ’s sax player, Pat, agreed to spend some time with me. This witty, animated, intelligent man is the perfect face of Stealing Jane: with an open honesty, an articulate demeanour, and standing more than six foot seven, Pat makes a lasting impression.

Where did you get your name?

We got our name from Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane, that was kind of the album that transitioned us from being a bar band to a pop band.

What's a bar band?

A band that plays four hours of covers.

So you decided to be a pop band?

Yeah, when Songs About Jane came out we decided to be a pop band. It was a new light. We were all very inspired; we had never met eye to eye on music before that album. Collectively we had never all agreed on a record. For us there was always a distinct difference between bar shows and original shows. A bar show is four 45 minute sets of covers. An original show is 45 minutes with one cover. We still cover Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Love” and during the middle, within in the structure of the song, we add “Thriller” or “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL COOL J, and a Fresh Prince rap. We value the difference of a good cover.

Tell me about Say Something. Is this your first EP?SS cover

Yes it is. The name Say Something came from that Bob Marley cover. When it came time to name the record, which was the last step of the process; we were all in the basement trying to think what it meant to us. Trying to think what it represented and what we were trying to achieve. And we threw around a bunch of different names. We were going to call it “Seven,” because there were seven of us and we felt strongly about the line-up at the time. We tried to touch on the music aspect and [thought of] calling it “Influences Infused” - that one got voted out. “Through the Door and On the Floor” was one of Bryce’s suggestions. We didn’t feel… it wasn’t a bad name but we didn’t want to name it after a lyric or a song.

Tell me about your previous line-up. It’s changed since you recorded this EP?

Yes, the drummer, Vito, is no longer with us. The bass player is no longer with us; he didn’t even make it to the final mix. He left the band before the mixes were finished. The trumpet player (Brian Bunce) on Say Something is the band’s full time bass player. We just added a keyboard player (Jesse Sears) 'cause while producing this record I incorporated a lot of different keyboard and piano sounds. The keyboards fill the record out. The new drummer is Will Tully.

You’re well known for your live show. Where do you get the energy for it?

It’s our claim to not yet fame. (laugh) When it comes to the live show... you asked where the energy comes from? The audience, always. For example we’ve played in front of thousands of people who don’t move much and it’s nothing when compared to 300 that dance and move and know all the lyrics. Live shows are the most important thing, aside from the songs themselves. We also get a lot of comments from the older crowd about how we entertain, this is because a lot of the bands we are into are entertaining, like Dave Mystery Maching JaneMatthews Band and George Clinton. You go to a Clinton show, at just a loop of one word, the entire audience are just bobbing their heads and getting excited about a word. We are nowhere near at the standard of George Clinton but we try to have that energy.

Where do you want your music to be in five years?

I hope as musicians we have excelled, I hope as friends we are stronger. Bradley [Nowell] from Sublime said it best when he said “the good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain." And if we can get someone to feel that way that would be great.

You can hear Stealing Jane’s new six track debut EP Say Something at their MySpace page, purchase it at their online store, and get more information and join their online community on their website.

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