Interview: The Holophonics cover Jimmy Eat World's album "Clarity"
What's your name?
Where are you from?
Currently Denton, TX but originally Long Island, NY
What band are you in and when did it start?
The Holophonics, started 5 years ago
Top 5 emo bands for you
Jimmy Eat World (duh), Saves The Day, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Glassjaw (do we count Glassjaw? I do)
Top 5 ska/reggae bands for you
Always changing, but Less Than Jake, Big D and The Kids Table, Be Like Max, The Skints, RX Bandits (do we count RXB? I do)
How did the idea start to cover Clarity?
Almost 4 years ago I was thinking about doing some ska covers that were more of a tribute rather than a parody and decided I wanted to do a full album that was really influential for me at a young age. I narrowed it down to Clarity and STD’s “Stay What You Are” and ultimately chose the latter because I thought it would be easier at the time. I naturally heard more horn melodies coming out of the guitar riffs from that album and just had more immediate answers to the question “how would a ska arrangement of this song go?” - I knew I’d have to work a little more creatively for Clarity and I’m glad I waited a few years to get more experience in earlier styles of traditional ska and rocksteady, on which our version leans heavily.
What resonates with you and the band about Clarity?
It was just that album that came at the perfect time for me as a kid. I was 12 years old, just started playing bass, and I discovered JEW totally of my own volition while learning how to discover new music on the internet. I had just started a dumb kid rock band and I told my friends we should learn to cover some JEW songs, and they had never heard of them. Shortly after, Bleed American blew up and there was this huge sense of validation that one of my favorite bands was now also one of everyone else’s favorite bands. I could go to everyone that loved Bleed American and say “but listen to the album they did before!” - I had a sense of ownership for Clarity, and I’ve been listening to that album for more than half of my life now.
How long did it take to figure out all the songs?
The first step in arranging covers for me is to learn the original version pretty intimately, and of course, I already knew these songs very well. A lot of it was picking up a guitar, getting the chords under my fingers and then I immediately could play and sing the song.
How long did it take to do the arrangements for the songs?
Once I decided to pull the trigger on this album, most of the arrangements took shape in July/Aug between other projects, I wrote out all the parts and we recorded in September.
Who's decision was it to do the full 16 minutes of Goodbye Sky Harbor? I fully support.
Honestly, it never occurred to me that we could do it any other way. That’s part of the reason I waited so long to do this album after I decided I wanted to - I knew it would be a challenge to do that song justice. It’s part of what makes this a tribute and not a parody. Now, we did loop the recorded tracks to get that length - except for the guitar. Just out of principle I wanted to play through the entire outro in one pass. I know it doesn’t sound any different but I just wanted to do it.
Did you think the actual band would hear it?
I thought there was a possibility since Saves the Day got wind of our “Stay What You Are” tribute from 2014. Although I’m pretty confident Maroon 5 doesn’t know we exist and we did a full tribute to their last album so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯