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Wednesday, February 28th
The Hot Sweat
Hana Pestle
Hana Pestle
If anybody knows about diversity, it’s the musical group Jupiter Rising. The band is made up of Spencer Nezey and Jessie Payo and they want nothing more than to pursue their passion: create great music with a completely different vibe than all the rest. Their album entitled ‘The Quiet Hype’, released November 27th, 2008 is really refreshing to hear. Their songs talk about topics that are very “in”. Their music has been featured on two Disney Channel Original Movies and also numerous times on The Hills and it’s spin off, The City. The one song that is constantly on repeat for me is LA Girls because it talks about the materialism in their residence of Los Angeles, California. I got a chance to speak with both Jessie and Spencer about their music, their influences, and how Jupiter Rising came about.

Chelsea: So, how did ‘Jupiter Rising’ come about?
Spencer: Jupiter Rising came about starting from a previous project called Anamastic, we got signed in 2005 and as we were recording some of the members slowly left the project so the project came down to the original singer of the band and myself. The other three members that left actually owned the name Anamastic, so we had to come up with a different name. It just so happened that the original lead singer was going through astrological signs and looking at peoples planet (rising) signs, so the guy who was co-producing on the album (a friend of mine, and her boyfriend at the time) his sign was Jupiter, and that just so happened to be Jessie’s sign as well. (Jupiter Rising) is kind of an inherited thing that we just rolled with.
Jessie: Well, Jupiter Rising came about when, there was actually another singer before me. Spencer and I had known each other through other artists and friends, we had never made music together though. But, he was friends with my bass player at the time in my solo band and he needed a back-up singer for Jupiter Rising, because it was a full band so. He didn’t ask me to do it because he kinda wanted me to do my own thing and he didn’t want me to be a back-up singer, but I was like “oh, I’ll do it!” because I wanted to sing all the time. So, I got the job and after about a year and a half, the other singer left the project because it just wasn’t what she wanted to do anymore. So, I jumped in! That was in 2007.

Chelsea: So there was a full band before it was just you and Spencer.
Jessie: Yeah, it was completely different. It was a whole different vibe then what it is now.

Chelsea: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t ever heard it?
Spencer: I would say it’s Urban Pop music, it’s definitely on the electro side. It’s edgy, it’s not typical. Of the years people always compared us to the Black Eyed Peas, but I would say now, if anything they sound like us, considering our record came out with the whole electro thing before ‘ Boom Boom Pow’ came out.
Jessie: Electro Pop. It’s pop music, it’s relatable to many audiences ya know. We have the electro dance vibe that is very relevant right now, but we also mix a bunch a genre’s because we come from different backgrounds. Spencer’s more into Hip-Hop and I’m more of Jazz, Blues, and Rock. So when we come together to write, it makes for very interesting music. But, for the most part, it’s electro pop.

Chelsea: What was your favorite song that you recorded for the album?
Spencer: ‘Follow Me’ is probably (one of) my favorite songs I’ve recorded. It’s just a dope song, (it has) one of my favorite verses and just the people who worked on it. One of my favorite bands in the world is N.E.R.D, and the guitarist for the band is a friend of mine, so he came in and played guitar. Just the production and all the writing on it (made it my favorite)
Jessie: I love many of them , but I’m gonna have to say ‘Quick Sand’ is my favorite.

Chelsea: Do you have any pre show rituals?
Spencer: Um, not really. I mean, we’re actually really quiet in the back. I actually like to have a glass of Patron before I go on (stage). I kind of sip on that for about an hour or so, ya know? Just one glass, nothing crazy.
Jessie: Spencer and I take a shot of Patron, and I like to bump the tunes on my iPod and take my time getting ready, so I feel good about myself. When I feel put together, I feel like I can put on a good show. And I do my vocal warm ups in the shower.

Chelsea: Yeah, I’ve heard that if you warm up in the shower, then the acoustics sound better.
Jessie: Yeah, definitely, it’s like a studio.

Chelsea: What was it like hearing yourself on the radio for the first time?
Spencer: I was actually in South Bend, Indiana (when I first heard myself on the radio). It was cool, I wasn’t to excited about it because I was like this is what’s supposed to happen. Our shit is supposed to be on the radio. It’s always nice and it’s always dope whenever you go to a new city and you hear yourself on the radio. You just can’t take it for granted, it’s dope everytime.
Jessie: It was really rad. We were in Charlotte, North Carolina. They were promoting a show that we were doing that night (that we landed) and it was cool to hear ourselves, and then see all the listeners come out to the show after being heard on the radio. But I gotta say a bigger moment was when we heard our music on MTV. Two of our songs were on The Hills. I was watching, and I didn’t expect to get emotional at all, but it was one of those moments where I had felt like I had come really far in my life.

Chelsea: I would be the same exact way. What can people expect at a ‘Jupiter Rising’ concert?
Spencer: Lots of energy, we kind of take it on a rollercoaster when we do our set. Especially depending on what the venue is to, but lately we’ve just been sticking with the ‘rollercoaster’ no matter what the audience is like because the music will speak for itself. Expect see a lot of energy, expect to have a good time, ya know? I’ve never had one person, and we’ve been on tour with a lot of off bands that you wouldn’t expect us to tour with like Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony, and we hold our own and people come out of it like “yo, we dug that”. I’ve gone into the crowd afterwards, and even Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony have said they have respect for us. Kid Kapri came up to me and said “Yo, yall are crazy!” so, we do our thing.
Jessie: Definitely a live and energetic show. Me and Spencer dance around the show like crazy people. It’s very musical as well as danceable. We have a drummer and a DJ and we have some real interesting transitions in between songs. Spencer is kinda the ring leader of it all, and I’m the hip shaker

Chelsea: When did you know you being a musician was what you really wanted to do?
Spencer: Probably my sophomore year of college. I was already playing music (I’ve been playing Saxophone since I was 9). But, I didn’t really consider it a career because to me (as a jazz musician) there was no way I was going to make it in the music industry, nor do I even know how to. At 16 I was making music with drums and bass and stuff like that and I didn’t really think that count. I didn’t know how to make pop records and I didn’t understand how those guys did (know how to make records). It wasn’t until I got to San Diego and started playing an improv night with a bunch of friends and I got with this one dude and we just started making beats together and I got hooked on N.E.R.D my freshmen year of college and I didn’t even know who the Neptunes were, I was so out of the music game. I was raised on listening to old Michael Jackson, L.L Cool J, Busta Rhymes, but in high school I listened to anything and everything that was underground and tons of electronica ,like Fat Boy Slim, Dat Punk, and I was just completely out of the pop game. So, when I got to college, I had a friend who introduced me to N.E.R.D’s music and he said “their production is sick too” and I was like “what do you mean their production?” and he told me that N.E.R.D were The Neptunes and I was like what?! And I started to put two and two together that the goofy guy running around in the ‘Pass the Courvoisier’ is the same guy that sings in N.E.R.D. I was like I love both of these, live music and making music, so that’s when I decided I wanted to be a professional musician.
Jessie: Well, my parents were always trying to let me listen to different music and musicians and artists and I was always kinda in the background when my dad would practice with his band in the garage. At a party, my mom and her friends were playing some Janice Joplin, and I had been listening to her (Janice Joplin) a lot on vinyl , and they had been listening to one of her songs and I just started chiming in like screaming these notes. My mom’s jaw was on the floor, she’s like ‘I did not know my daughter knew or wanted to sing”. It was then that I really felt a connection with the music, and even as a young girl, I was very sensitive and I wore my heart on my sleeve and I liked to express myself. I found that music was the best way I could express myself with all these emotions I could feel

Chelsea: Who are your biggest influences?
Spencer: I guess Pharell is definitely one of them and the more I think about it, probably Dat Punk and Q Tip.
Jessie: Janice Joplin, Erica Badu, Prince, and as a writer I love Linda Perry. She’s just an incredible musician, I look up to her as far as that goes. OH! And I also look up to PJ Harvey

Chelsea: Growing up, who did you listen to the most?
Spencer: A lot of Dat Punk and John Coldtrane. But, when I was a lot younger, I listened to a lot of Michael Jackson records and my dad was a big Yanni fan. Do you know who Yanni is?

Chelsea: No, I’ve never heard of him.
Spencer : He does all this weird like, kind of electronic /live orchestral huge chamber choir and all this weird shit, but he makes electronic music with it. Its very emotional.
Jessie: I listened to a lot of Blues. A lot of Buddy Guy, The Black Crows, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Erica Badu, D’Angelo, and The Beatles

Chelsea: If you weren’t in the music business, what would you be doing as a career?
Spencer: I’d be in some way in the food game. I’d be a chef or something in the food business.
Jessie: I would be a Yoga instructor and I’d teach surfing lessons in Hawaii, and I’d have my own little get away where everyone could come over for cocktails.

Chelsea: Who or What influences your personal style?
Spencer: A lot of my person style is based on my environment, I’m an LA guy and I wear pretty much everything and anything that was made in Los Angeles. So on top of that I think it’s just also, California style. I’ve been wearing Vans since I was 4 or 5 (years old). I mean I wear Nikes and other things, but I’ve always had a pair of Vans or Chucks. I’m a big t shirt and jeans kind of guy. I’m about as California as it gets when it comes to that (clothes). I think fashion is pretty cool, ya know? I like to wear The Hundreds and Bathing Apes.

Chelsea: That sounds nice.
Spencer: Yeah, ya know I got my skinny jeans on.
Jessie: My dress style or my singing style?

Chelsea: We’ll go with both.
Jessie: I guess to sum it up I’ll go with PJ Harvey. She’s just super dope. She’s unconventionally beautiful , she takes risks, she’s hardcore, she rocks a mean guitar, she just has the whole essence of… badass. She’s just super cool. I love her music, and she’s still doing it. So all around, I’m just gonna say PJ Harvey.

Chelsea: What inspires you to make the beats and write the lyrics for your songs?
Spencer: What inspires me? I can go out, or if I go to a concert, I get really inspired. The last inspiration I got for most of the tracks on this album came from New Years 2008. I went and saw a band called Justice play and their one of my favorite bands and I was thinking ‘man this is my shit right here’ and that just kinda put me on what I’ve been writing for the most part but like I don’t know anything like trends, fashion, conversations with people the night before, anything. I can get inspired by anything.
Jessie: Well, obviously, love and boys. I won’t even have to know a guy and have an encounter and I can write a song about it. I listen to a lot of different situations of my friends and what they’ve gone through and their experiences or by certain people I meet. Just living and loving and then putting it on paper is one of the most interesting things to me because then you can revive that emotion from that experience through melody and imagery and I just think that’s really magical.

Chelsea: I totally agree, because I know I’m starting to write music too. I mean I can’t play any instruments, but I’m writing lyrics, so it definitely helps me get out what I need to say so I totally understand what you’re saying.
Jessie: Oh Yeah, it’s very therapeutic.

Chelsea: Oh yeah! Definitely. Who would you want to collaborate with on a record?
Spencer: Um… as of right now, The Crookers, or probably Q Tip… maybe? And of course The Neptunes.
Jessie: I would love to collaborate with N.E.R.D, Prince, Sandy Gold, and Jack White

Chelsea: What was the first song you ever wrote?
Spencer: The first song I ever wrote was called ‘Summer Time’ It was like an old hip hop track that me and some friends did. Actually… I take that back, was that the first song I wrote? That wasn’t the first [song I wrote]. The first song I wrote was called ‘She told…’ I can’t say that never mind. Well go with ‘Summer Time’, I was 19 when I wrote it.
Jessie: I wrote it when I was 13 I think… yeah I was 13. I wrote a blues song, kind of like an old school Jazzy Blues song, and my dad recorded me and my band. That was the biggest thrill to actually feel like you can actually write your own original song and have a band play it, and then perform it.

Chelsea: That’s one of my biggest dreams is to write a song, and have someone else play it.
Jessie: It’s the best feeling.

Chelsea: and finally, anything you would like to say to your fans?
Spencer: I love y’all, y’all are dope, come follow us on twitter! Keep rollin with us, I will not steer you wrong. I will guide our people to the promise land when it comes to music.
Jessie: Tons and Tons of love and thanks for y’alls support. Especially being a new band, and seeing all the love that we get is truly rewarding. And also, keep your head up during crazy times, Keep creating art, Keep creating, and keep things interesting.

Kim KaminskeChelsea Cannon is a staff writer for the South/Southeast region for Musiqtone.com. You can reach her at chelseacannon@musiqtone.com.

(C) 2009 Musiqtone. All Rights Reserved. Any part of this interview cannot be used without written express consent from both the representatives of Jupiter Rising and Musiqtone.
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