The indie pop/rock group Darby Jones is at it again. They will celebrate the release of their second full-length album Harmony and Discord on July 19 at Maxwell's in Hoboken.
The album, produced by Hoboken resident John Seymour, was recorded in Jersey City and New York. It is rich in harmony and it has a variety of catchy hooks with punkish anthem-like songs. With a home base in North Jersey, Jones draws from garage bands for influences to produce the appealing pop melodies with intricate arrangements.
Darby Jones, comprised of Nick Cavagnaro, Rob Chojnacki, Steve Sabet, and Seth Masarsky, broke into the scene with their debut in 1999. They played many regional shows with bands like The Strokes and Longwave, and quickly gained a following. They've appeared on compilations from Artist Amplification and Reinforcement Records. The Maxwell's show marks their official CD release party and they will be joined by The Blakes, Val Emmich and Noba. We recently caught up with Masarsky.
EM - Where are you from?
SM - Scattered around North Jersey. Our practice room is in Wayne and our mail goes there too. Hoboken seems to be our home base of late as far as gigging.
EM - Who are your influences?
SM - Built to Spill, Talking Heads, The Pixies, Jimmy Eat World, the Get Up Kids, The Cure, The Police, Crowded House, Radiohead, Dashboard Confessional, Van Morrison, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age and REM.
EM - Why did you become a musician?
SM - This I couldn't tell you.
EM - Where have you performed?
SM - Venues include Mercury Lounge, CBGB's, Arlene's, Brownies,
Luna Lounge, Bitter End, Luxx, PNC Arts Center, Court Tavern, the Saint, and Maxwell's.
EM - What is your favorite day of the week?
SM - Saturday.
EM - What are the last three CDs you bought?
SM - Coldplay, AFI, Nada Surf.
EM - How would you describe your music?
SM - We are a rock band to the core. In 2001, the band changed members and made a conscious decision to go for a more up-tempo, high-energy and focused indie rock sound. We try to bring a ton of energy and emotion to our shows. The recordings end up being a little more polished and showcase our musical and songwriting abilities. That said, we touch on accessible pop, heavy modern rock, garage and punk. Again, this is something that is hard to describe. We write from the heart and play with energy and believe that a good song is a good song, and we try to leave it at that. In that sense, it is really hard to describe our music. We leave that to the listener. Darby Jones is probably most stylistically similar to bands like Jimmy Eat World and the Get Up Kids, minus the emo. Indeed, the band effectively mixes high-energy indie rock and skilled musicianship with pensive lyrics to create a sonic stew that is distinct yet familiar.
EM - Are you looking for mainstream exposure?
SM - Yes.
EM - What professional plans do you have for the future?
SM - Release album and tour in support of it. Get a buzz going and develop a wide fan base...sell some records. Put team together of personal managers, business managers, lawyers and promotion. We want to align ourselves with people that really believe in what we do and will work together to get us at a level where we can support ourselves financially and make the band our primary thing. After the team is set, we will investigate opportunities with record labels (majors, mini-majors and independents) in order to achieve backing that includes record distribution and promotion, tour support and further recording funds. Basically, we'd love to get to a point in the next year where we can walk around New York City streets and subways and see big posters of us advertising our record and have people come up and draw funny faces, graffiti and lewd things on them.
The ultimate, however, would be to get parodied by Weird Al.
EM - What is the best part about your job?
SM - The buzz that comes from playing a great show or hearing a finished song on record. Moving people and have a creative output.
Darby Jones will perform at Maxwell's at 1039 Washington St. in Hoboken on July 19 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7. For information call (201) 653-1703 or visit www.darbyjones.com. q