1.What inspired you to become a musician?
Jaeger:Ever since I can remember I have been a music fan. It was something that always felt like it was an extension of my soul – so for me it was an easy decision to become a musician. I was hearing all of these amazing sounds coming through the stereo and decided to start experimenting with these sounds and song structures myself – and the rest is history!
Vic: Same, I’ve always been a huge fan of music. While other kids were out partying and what not, I was holed up in my room just listening to my favorite records over and over. I got my first taste of the open road doing merch on tour for my friends, Versus the Mirror years ago. I’ve been touring in various different bands ever since. Needless to say, I’ve got some miles under my belt.
2.You describe yourself as “Punk Rock’s Neil Diamond.” That is some pretty big shoes to fill. How has Neil Diamond influenced your songwriting ?
Jaeger: While most people really love Neil Diamond for his incredible knack of writing these amazing melodies, I find myself really drawn to the fact that throughout his career has always had this aura of never being satisfied, always searching for something – which I think you can hear throughout his entire discography. I definitely believe that through Neil’s own influence, it has gotten me to where I can tackle the growing anxiety and yearning for a resolution in “What it Feels Like”.
3.Your bio lists that your songs “emphasize the idea that giving up isn’t your only option when things don’t go according to plan.” Where does your positivity stem from?
Jaeger: I think my positivity comes from knowing the power that music has. Whenever I feel like I hit rock bottom, there has always been an artist or a record that acts as that beacon of hope – and it reminds me why I believe in the power of music. It can pull you back down to earth when you are feeling high and mighty – but it also gives you a life vest when you are drowning in the worst of times.
4.Speaking of positivity, how hard is it to remain upbeat and positive in the music industry?
Jaeger: At Times, it can be extremely hard to remain positive and upbeat in the music industry – and there is a balancing act on understanding where the artistic side and the business side separate. There is a lot of rejection on the business side, but that doesn’t necessarily take away from what you are doing artistically. Ultimately it comes down to a decision where you might not be a good fit into their business model / what people can sell – but you can’t look at that as a reflection on the artistic side of the industry.
5.Your single “What it Feels Like” definitely has a 90s sound to it. You have listed Barenaked Ladies and Ben Folds as some of the artists you like, does the 90s era of music speak to you? If so, how?
Jaeger: I like 90’s music because it was the first time when artists could really be free to be “tongue and cheek” with their songs. That freedom, which Barenaked Ladies and Ben Folds were extremely successful with, allowed for a pretty cool marriage of competing messages/feelings in songs – where you could get a really poppy, upbeat song that talks about really heavy subjects. That juxtaposition is something I always try to incorporate in some aspect of all my songs.
Vic: Agreed. The 90’s has definitely been my favorite decade of music. It’s when I first started getting into music and finding bands that I truly love.
6.How did you team up with Vic Chan?
Jaeger: I was a fan of Vic’s early projects The New Classic and My Girl Friday. Initially, Vic was just going be a part of the recording process but we realized that we are a part of something bigger and decided to join forces on a full time basis.
7.What was the video making process for “What it Feels Like” like for you? Where was it filmed?
Jaeger:The filming process for the “What it Feels Like” video was extremely sweaty, but a lot of fun. Vic and I took our director Justin Kroger out to the desert near Phoenix for 3 long days of shooting. I really enjoyed that we had this very small, organic creative enclave involved – especially with our lead Hannah Walker, whose performance really captured the subtle nuisances that we were aiming for in the story.
8.You recently wrote a guest blog post for the website infectiousmagazine.com What did you learn from that experience?
Jaeger: I was really honored to have been asked to write the blog post about my transition from a solo artist to a full band. It is the first guest blog post I have ever gotten to write – so it forced me to think about the past and the role that it played in where I am as an artist today. Much like songwriting, putting your thoughts down on paper gives clarity on how far you have come – especially if it is not something you spend a lot of time thinking about.
9.In that blog post you write “The sheer act of growing up is a terribly wonderful, confusing thing.” What was your childhood like and how do you translate the “terribly wonderful, confusing” act of growing up into your music?
Jaeger: I was really lucky to have a great childhood growing up, receiving a lot of support from my parents. They were able to give me guidance when I asked for it but for the most part really let me explore and make the mistakes that helped me learn the realities of life.
I have been writing songs for the better part of 13 years so I have this musical diary of my thought processes throughout that time. It is fun to revisit those periods in my life because it provides a snapshot of how it felt to experience good and bad things for the very first time – and getting to see yourself grow up over the course of a couple three minute long songs is a pretty humbling experience.
10.What can you tell us about your upcoming EP?
Jaeger: You are going to see similar themes like the chaos of thoughts forming that you see in “What it Feels Like” but they come from a couple different places. After it comes out Vic and I are going to be hitting the road in support of the release. We are going to be announcing some more things over the coming weeks so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@jaegerwells @chandals), and Instagram.