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Music
 
Joseph Jacks Up a New Trade
SLC Natives Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons Make Changes and Decide to Stick

By Autumn Thatcher
 
Concert Preview:
The Jackmormons
 
CD Release Concert
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10
7:30 p.m.
   
 
Ego’s
(668 S. State St.)
Must be 21
   
 
Tickets cost $10 in advance,
$12 day of show, via Smith’sTix
   

Formed in Salt Lake City in 1996, the Portland-based trio Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons is celebrating the upcoming release of its seventh album, Into the Lovely, and its ten-year anniversary by doing a special winter tour of the intermountain region. Feeling as if they needed to rejuvenate their sound lest they get bored and quit making music altogether, the jam band’s members set out to try something different.

“We have a lot of weird hippie jam-band baggage that we carry around, and so we decided to make a record for ourselves and keep ourselves interested,” says singer/songwriter Jerry Joseph, who spoke with The Salt Shaker on the phone from The Coffee Trader in Colorado.

With a coffee in hand, Joseph revealed himself to be a laid-back guy with a self-mutilating sense of humor who, even over the phone, can bring on bouts of laughter and trickling tears. Pausing every now and then to describe the strange customers singing Christmas carols in the coffee shop, Joseph explained that after 25 years of creating music, he recognizes when it is time to make some changes.

“It’s kind of like a marriage. You wake up after 10 years and you don’t love them any less, but you wonder, ‘How did I get here?’ Sometimes it’s good stuff and sometimes it’s bad, and there are a lot of relationship growing pains. We’ve been sitting around wondering where to go from here. One step was to make this record to see if we were still excited to make music together,” says Joseph. Luckily for the cult-like followers of the band, the Jackmormons realized that they do in fact still enjoy making music together, and are particularly excited about their album,which is set to be released in late December, and whose release will be celebrated in Salt Lake City at Ego’s on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10.

After spending a number of years living in Portland, the Jackmormons decided that they wanted to create a record that represented the area in which they live. “We decided to create a record that sounded like Portland to us,” says Joseph. Though the band is pleased with the outcome, Joseph is uncertain as to how his fans will respond to changes to the band’s sound..

“It’s really different for us,” he says. “There are a lot of electronic samples and loops from our bassist, and our drummer is playing a variety of instruments rather than a standard drum kit. I don’t know if our fans will like it, but we like it.”

Though hardcore followers may be hesitant to embrace the upcoming album, many should feel a sense of relief rather than bitterness, since the album motivated the band to stay together.

“At times I think that we are a really great band, but then there are times when we are totally sick of it. The record was a good thing to get done,” says Joseph, who adds that the record was financed and recorded by the Jackmormons themselves rather than by a label.

In a band that has remained successful due in large part to their constant touring, Joseph and his bandmates have found that their fanbase continues to grow larger and stronger with each passing year. “The music changes, hopefully that is why we have our fanbase, which is pretty loyal. As weird as they might be, they all seem pretty articulate,” says Joseph.

The Jackmormons will be making a special stop in Salt Lake City, which, according to Joseph, is just as much of a hometown to the band as Portland. “At least in Salt Lake City, people are nice to us. In Portland, we have a lot of friends that are in cool bands, but they don’t want to be seen with us in public,” laughs Joseph.

For the new album, the band brought in special guests Steve James and Steve Drizos, both of whom will appear on stage with the band for its Salt Lake City shows. “The record is pretty complex, and it is hard to replicate it with just the three of us. Plus, it’s fun to have more players,” explains Joseph.

Salt Lake City fans can feel privileged in knowing that the band members will only be touring for a couple of weeks, and chose to spend two days in Salt Lake due to their sincere love for their second hometown. The Jackmormons will set up an extended tour sometime this spring.

Those fans who are eagerly awaiting the release of the album should know that this record will be listed under the name Jackmormons. “If you don’t know that I play in this band by now, then you will never really know,” says Joseph, who admits that he has hated using his name along with the Jackmormons since day one.

autumn [at] saltshakermagazine.com

 

 
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