Friday, August 28, 2009

Jaguar Club: Don't call us a 'Brooklyn band'

By Meredith Deliso

While New Wave rockers The Jaguar Club live and rehearse in the borough, they don’t necessarily call themselves a “Brooklyn band.”

“We’ve never identified ourselves as being a very Brooklyn band,” says drummer Jeremiah Joyce, who lives in Cobble Hill. “We don’t really have a lot of Brooklyn bands that we’re friends with. We’ve always sort of been doing our own thing.”

Since forming three years ago, that includes putting out two EPs of fun, effortless pop, a slew of shows along the East Coast with bands like Bear Hands and The Cinematics, and, most recently, the release of their debut LP, “And We Wake Up Slowly,” out September 1.

In celebration of the CD, the band, also comprised of Boerum Hill-based singer/guitarist Will Popadic and Bed-Stuy-based bassist Yoichiro Fuita, plays Union Hall August 29.

“That’s easily our favorite venue in Brooklyn,” says Joyce of the Park Slope spot, where the trio will be joined by the Williamsburg-based guitarist Gavin Dunaway to allow Popadic to focus just on singing where appropriate. “It’s just a very enjoyable place for us to play.”

With the album written in Brooklyn but recorded in a barn in upstate New York, that contrast does well to illustrate the dueling draws of city and county life that the band encounters.

“There’s always this balance between [Popadic’s] love for the city and his affection for it, but also a craving for an escape [and] getting out to the country,” says Joyce, who himself grew up in a small town near Michigan while Popadic could be found north of Boston (Fuita was the closest to urban sprawl, coming of age in Greenwich, Conn.). “I definitely like the city a lot, but we all have sort of a small town vibe in some ways. I don’t think comes across in the music very much, but personally, I like to take things slow.”

The same attitude was applied to their recording process. While at the Marcata recording studio in the Hudson Valley working with producer Kevin McMahon (French Kicks, The Walkmen, Titus Andronicus, DieDieDie), the band, which for their EPs spent no longer than a day in the studio, took their time.

“It was the first time we slowed down and said, What are these songs really about and what’s the best way to flesh them out?,” says Joyce, who went up with the band on the weekends the first chance they could afford it. “We came up with surprising results.”

Indeed, kicking around the same garage rock tracks for the past couple of years, on their debut full-length, the band has expanded on their familiar tunes.

A song like “Perfect Timing,” for instance, that has a driving rock beat and slight growl to it live, became an even slower, more introspective and stripped-down, acoustic version of the song on the album, that also better showcases Popadic’s soaring vocals.

It’s that open attitude that will encourage the band to continue to do their own thing and not, in this case, identify themselves with any one sound.

“We don’t want to be a band that is always typecast as doing this one thing. If anything we identify with bands like The Kinks or Blur,” says Joyce, in that there are many different types of songs on their albums. “I think more than anything, that’s what we’re striving to do.”

The Jaguar Club play Union Hall (702 Union Street) August 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8. With Powwow, Spanish Prisoners, and Coyote Eyes. For more information, call 718-638-4400.


Anonymous,  September 10, 2009 at 7:47 AM  
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