By April Ibarra
By April Ibarra
Marilyn Manson once said, “music is the strongest form of magic”; he was so right. Music transcends the blurred lines, and it can speak to you no matter the language. Music is life – music is my life. I lose myself in rhythm and verse – I lose myself in words. Music saves my life each and every day. I have written a couple of articles about what music has done for me and how I “feel” music; I guess you can say it hit a cord. I was asked to watch a YouTube video and see what I thought of this band. I instantly connected with the song and the music. I told my editor what I thought, and he asked me if I would write about the band, My Body Sings Electric. I instantly went to work. I researched the band, listened to their podcasts, trolled their social media sites, looked at their website, and finally read all about them on their Wikipedia. This band is definitely something to listen to.
I reached out and spoke with Jason, their bass player, via email, and he too was gung-ho about the interview. I reached them during a tour in California amongst other things the band had going on, so this process was long. This did not stop me or my editor one bit; patience and a couple months went by, and Jason was able to get back to me. I was amazed at how sweet they were to even consider doing an interview with me. Jason fit me into their very busy schedule via email. I was able to get the idea of what it is to be a band just living the dream, even though sometimes it may not be what everyone can handle.
You guys have been a band, I read, since 2007, and in 2011, ya’ll changed your sound, why?
We had all been in many bands before this band. Back in 2007, we were playing the music we had naturally wanted to play, which was a mish-mash of many different sounds.
With time, a little reflection, and a particular bad review we got on our first E.P., we all pretty much (unspoken-ly) changed the way we wrote and played songs. Looking back, it doesn’t feel like we did anything differently than any other band. We changed our style a bit, but we were all making music we wanted to make, just a little more maturely.
How would you describe your sound today, and how is it different from when you first started?
Our sound today would probably fit into that of “Modern indie pop rock.” Trying to fit music into a genre is tough for anyone nowadays, especially when you aren’t specifically trying to be anything.
The main thing we do now, that we didn’t do in the past, is scream in our songs.
Something I feel like we focus a lot more on now than in the past is actually writing the best whole songs that we can instead of writing the best “parts” of songs and puzzling them together.
What are some of your musical influences?
If you asked all five of us you would get a LOT of different answers and a lot of the same answers. We listen to literally every kind of music. It’s easy to dissect other peoples’ music and derive some sort of inspiration or influence from it, no matter what it is.
There is a certain kind of influence that can directly relate to My Body Sings Electric though. Sometimes I’ll hear a band or a song and think, “We could do this”, or “This sounds like something we would write”, or “This is a song we should’ve written”; those are always the most fun. It keeps the inspiration flowing and the progress moving.
Some of those bands are Two Door Cinema Club, Young the Giant, Walk the Moon, and many others.
If you could meet one of the greats, dead or alive, musical influence or not, who would it be and why? What would you ask them?
I would probably want to ask Kurt Cobain what was wrong, and if I can help.
I would probably ask Amy Winehouse to get a drink with me.
I would also love to just meet Frank Sinatra and offer to take his coat for him or something and see how much he would tip me. I would also like to see exactly how big of a “wise guy” he really was.
You guys have been together for a while; how have you managed to keep working together?
I honestly think it has been solely because of the love of what we’re doing.
We are all best friends, and we have all played music for so long; I don’t know if we will ever stop.
Luckily, we have had enough freedom and dynamics within MBSE to keep interested as musicians. Changing our sound and trying new things and not boxing ourselves into a corner is a big part of that.
I imagine 4 guys working and traveling together, there have been disagreements. What was the worst, and how did you overcome it?
It’s actually five guys, haha.
We usually get along just fine. We’ve all been friends for so long that we know when to give someone space or when not to push someone’s buttons.
We all have pretty thick skin when it comes to everything, so it’s hard to really blow up. I think any of the disagreements we have had have been normal instances that come with the territory of being in a band and essentially running your own business.
The only times it’s ever gotten ridiculously bad is on the road when massive amounts of alcohol have been introduced, and by that point, it’s so stupid and ridiculous that it’s laughable the next day.
If you could offer some advice to the newcomers, what would it be? What are your words of wisdom trying to make it as a new band?
I would say the same thing every other musician says nowadays because it’s SO TRUE: You HAVE to do it purely because you love it and have the passion for it.
It’s not a good way to make money or become famous.
It IS, in fact, a good way to not be able to hold on to jobs or save any money.
But, if you are into it because you love writing and playing music, and you have some good friends to do it with, it is a very good way to have an endless amount of good times.
Playing music and being a part of a music scene is a priceless venture.
Just take care of yourself and your friends, and have fun making and playing the best music you possibly can.
What is your favorite part of making music?
I love the part when your simple starting idea is just starting to form into something bigger.
When you take a little riff you wanted to write, spend some time with it, write more parts, structure it, lay down some melodies and harmonies, and start to see the rest of the song clearly; that’s the best part.
Where would you like to see your band in the next 5 years?
I’d like to see us traveling more. Maybe out of the country? I know we are currently writing a lot of music, so we will have lots of new material to release and travel with.
I love going on tours with a few bands that are like minded and have some ‘bleed-over’ with their following.
If we could keep on touring and bringing great live shows and music to people all over the place I would die a happy man.
We’re always excited for the future!
I listened to, I think, every piece of music they have out, seen all the videos I could find via YouTube, and followed them on all their social media sites. While I was putting together the questions for the interview, I tried to find the song that I thought we could feature in the magazine. Trying to find a song with this amazing band was a really hard task. I picked a video I thought was fun and caught the essence of being on the road. The song is really a great song the melody – is catchy and gets caught in your head almost at once.