By: Jenna Melanson
Static in the Stars is a Vancouver based, five-piece rock band consisting of Jordan Carriere (Vocals), Cam Thomas (Guitar/ Vocals) and Jacob Owen Lütje (Bass/ Vocals).
The band is known for their energetic and interactive live show, and guess what? You can catch them live at The Shark Club in Vancouver on September 21st with Kieran Mercer, One Bullet Down and Dear Adeline. For More info on the show:
I had a chance to ask Jordan & Jacob a few questions during an email interview, so keep reading.
Who is your biggest musical influence?
Jordan: I would say personally some of my biggest influences would be U2, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Foo Fighters, but that’s just me. I’m so schizophrenic when it comes to music, I love pop, rock, punk, electronic, country, so eventually a lot of everything makes it in. Everyone in the band has a number of different influences and that comes through.
Jacob: A lot of the bands i admired when i first started playing music are still the most inspirational to me to this day. i did pick up a more along the way as i grew as a musician and a person, but just like everything else in life, i don’t think you ever forget the people or things to inspire you to get started in the first place.
What made you want to pursue music in the first place?
Jordan: Music has always been one of the most important things in my life, and I knew how songs affected me and I want to do that for other people. I remember seeing live concerts on TV and just seeing the energy and passion of the band and the interaction with the fans did it for me. Plus I wasn’t a good enough hockey player to make it to the NHL…
Jacob: I was around 8 or 9 years old when i got my first guitar for my birthday from my parents. i played it for about a week or two before i gave up. fast forward to about 6 years later to 15 years old, i was very into skateboarding and that whole scene when i heard one song that completely blew me away… it was titled ’96 Quite Bitter Beings’ by a band called CKY. i had never heard anything like it. it was completely new and fresh to me. and even though i wasn’t a musician at when i initially heard it, i could feel how perfect and intricate the musicianship was. there was a passion behind it that was lacking in a lot of the music i was listening to at the time. i dived headfirst into the rest of the band’s catalogue (which was only an album or two at the time) and loved every second of it. still do to this day i’ve never grown sick or tired of any of it. needless to say as a result of discovering this band, i dug out that old acoustic i received when i younger, threw some new strings on it and obsessed over the instrument. i’ve been hooked ever since. CKY’s song ‘Disengage the Simulator’ remains my favorite song of all time… along with their songs ‘Close Yet Far’ and ‘Karmworks’… ‘Everlong’ by Foo Fighters is right behind them. they are another band that has kept me driven.
What kinds of things inspire you to write new songs?
Jordan: I find that the best inspiration comes from life itself, whether it’s experiences you’ve had, conflicts or tough times you’re going through, or ideas from books or movies that make you think about your place in life. I look for inspiration in a lot of different places, but really I think you could take most of the songs and fit the emotional content into the span of a day. You’re happy and hopeful, you’re depressed and sad, you’re in love or heart broken, and sometimes you just want to party! Whether they I’m writing about something very personal or writing a story within a song, it can all tie into something that has happened in my life.
If you could tour with any band or artist, who would it be?
Jordan: For me it would be U2, 30 Seconds to Mars or Foo Fighters.
Jacob: i knew Jordan would say U2 and 30 Seconds to Mars. i’d love to tour with Foo Fighters, Rise Against, or HIM. all those bands seem like very cool people to hang out with. Static’s style of music tends to jump from place to place which makes us hard to pinhole. but that’s a good thing, i think. somehow we manage to pull off a bit of genre-hopping without sounding too ridiculous.
What was it like being in the top 20 for Fox Seeds in 2010, and then being one of the winners in 2012?
Jordan: Fox Seeds has been amazing to us. It’s a great program that brings the Vancouver rock community together, and being one of the winners last year has definitely helped increase our profile and allowed us to do a number of amazing things.
Jacob: i can’t say much about 2010, but 2012 was a great year filled with so many opportunities for us. we were very lucky to be a part of such a cool program and accomplished some things that, if you would’ve told me about earlier in my life, i never would’ve believed you. Seeds is a great opportunity for anyone willing to take advantage of the tools and opportunities they present you with, and they are great ones.
What was it like working with people, such as Tommy from Hedley, on your EP? Were you intimidated at all?
Jordan: It’s a lot of fun working with Tommy and Dean and we’ve been working with them for a while now, so we’re all pretty close. Every time we work with them it’s like going to songwriting school and we learn so much from them. Now we’re all such good friendsand they’ve been such a big part of this band that it’s very comfortable, and exciting to see what we can do next.
Jacob: i was pretty ecstatic to work with Dean Maher. he’s worked with a lot of great bands, some of which i really look up to, like Rise Against. getting the opportunity to work with Bob Ezrin was great too. he’s produced KISS (another one of my favorite bands) and Pink Floyd!
What advice would you give to bands/artists that were entering competitions such as Fox Seeds for the first time?
Jordan: Write the best songs you can, and kill it live. If you don’t make it one year don’t get discouraged, just continue to work hard and try again. Nothing comes without hard work and growing into a better person, musician and songwriter.
Jacob: rehearse. then when you’re done rehearsing, go do it again. wether or not you win seeds or your local battle of the bands, or your the best musician at an open mic at a coffee shop, you should be constantly pushing yourself to improve. 99% of the professional bands are in the position they are in because they never stopped working. every aspect has to be properly in place. ‘luck’ may play a part, but luck will probably never come your way at all if you aren’t willing to put in the time or effort. being an independent band is hard. even being a signed band is hard! Work on everything. your songs (the number ONE factor that oddly, a lot of people seem to overlook)… work on your live show. look at your favorite band or artist, then try to sound better than they do and surpass them. don’t stop. image is a very important. some bands’ image is as simple as jeans and a black shirt and skateshoes, but at least it’s consistent and works for them. find, or better even yet, create your niche and perfect it. work social networking. its absolutely essentially as a band in this time period. it’s not going to go away. know how to properly things like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and whatever other tools are available to you. and finally, soak up every bit of information you can about the business side of music. it isn’t always fun, but it’ll come in handy later.
If someone hadn’t heard your music before, how would you describe it to them? What song would you suggest they listen to first?
Jordan: I would describe it as epic anthem rock and I would recommend they listen to WE ARE.
Jacob: i would show them ‘We Are’ or our new song ‘We All Die Young.’ personally my favorite Static song is ‘No Grace in Goodbyes.’
If there was one thing that you could change about the music industry, what would it be and why?
Jordan: That’s a tough question, because the industry is changing so much as it is that no one really knows where it’s going next. While the internet has made it easier to create and distribute your own music, that democratization also makes it harder to get noticed. I wish there was more room for artist development from labels/managers and the like, but now you have to basically do it yourself, which is how we’ve always done it, but it gets harder and harder.
Jacob: it sure would be nice to have physical media like CD’s and Vinyl flourish once again. but maybe that’s just my age showing. when i was a kid any CD store was one of my favorite places in the world. as far as the business side goes or who and what is successful, everyone has different tastes and ideas of what their favorite artists should be doing. i think it would be pretty boring if everyone liked the same thing.
A lot of bands and artists are connecting with fans through social media. Do you think this is an important tool for musicians?
Jordan: It’s a very important tool and it’s great for the fans and the bands to connect in a way that you never had before, which is amazing. The band can talk directly to the fans and the fans have unparalleled access to the band. I do miss the mystery that used to surround your favourite bands though.
Jacob: absolutely… 110% yes. how else can you get yourself out there anymore? just make sure it doesn’t take away from you as a musician or a song writer. if the amount of people following you on twitter is more important than writing a good song for them to listen to, then you may have to rearrange your priorities a bit.
Now a few fun questions:
What is the first song you remember listening to?
Jordan: I can barely remember yesterday let alone that! But probably something like Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer” haha.
Jacob: U2’s Joshua Tree album was on a lot when i was very young. that album still holds a special place in my heart. as does the Nirvana ‘Unplugged’ album, which my mom used to play all the time as far back as i can remember. there was also a lot of Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, lots of blues and rock artists. i was pretty lucky in that regard that my parents always had great music playing through the stereo. i liked a lot classical music when i was a kid too. Bach and Tchaikovsky were my favourite composers.
What was the first CD that you bought?
Jordan: Guns n’ Roses Appetite for Destruction
Jacob: bought? i don’t recall. my parents got me a Great Big Sea album which i played non-stop. it was either that or the Beatles. or Now! 3… the one with Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’ on it.
Any guilty pleasures?
Jordan: I don’t know if you would call it a guilty pleasure, but I think Pink is amazing. I also enjoy a lot of country music.
Jacob: none that i feel guilty about. not yet, anyway. well, maybe it was that Aqua tape i had as a kid and hid from my parents.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Jordan: I would do a castle and history tour through Europe, then swing by Egypt to the pyramids. Then I’d find out a way to go to space.
Jacob: Finland. Iceland. it would be nice to see a real desert. i’d love to take a road trip through America at some point in my life. something about the idea of driving absolutely nowhere with nothing in mind has always appealed to me… as long as i have music playing or an Art Bell stream going. look him up if you don’t know who Art is.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
Jordan: Disneyworld… Always Disneyworld.
Jacob: i grew up in a smaller town called Squamish… surrounded by mountains, trees, and rivers. i have lots of great childhood memories from that place.
Favourite flavour of ice cream?
Jordan: I can’t eat ice cream… Thanks for rubbing it in… haha
Favourite TV show/movie?
Jordan: Favourite movies are Labyrinth and The Neverending Story. Favourite TV Shows are Community, Archer, Game of Thrones and Firefly.
Jacob: favorite TV show would be Breaking Bad, but i’m horribly behind on it. i startedwatching Arrested Development and that was great. i also like Seinfeld and theSimpsons a lot. favorite movies would be ‘The Thing’ (1982 version with Kurt Russell), the original Star Wars Trilogy, Batman Begins & The Dark Knight, Office Space, Jurassic Park, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Pineapple Express, The Big Lebowksi, Zodiac, the original Black Christmas from 1974, and the Jackass series (if not solely for the nostalgia factor and that i can completely turn my brain off and enjoy them which is generally VERY hard for me to do… so there you go… maybe Jackass movie could be my guilty pleasure…?) other than that i’ll watch anything with Johnny Depp or Robert Downy Jr. in it and more than likely i’ll enjoy it.
Jordan: Lord of the Rings series, Game of Thrones series, His Dark Materials series, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy, World War Z, and at the moment, the Logic Pro User Manual!
Jacob: ‘Jurassic Park’ by Michael Crichton. i’m a big fan of Ray Bradbury’s work as well, like ‘The Martian Chronicles’ and ‘Fahrenheit 451.’ i enjoy Dave Barry’s writing alot too, even though i’m sure i didn’t fully understand a lot of the humor at the time. i used to be a pretty avid reader and would blow through entire books in about a day or two, but not so much anymore.
Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook?
Jordan: Twitter for news and information, Facebook for funny pictures. But I’d take Reddit over either of them.
Jacob: you know, I’ve always really liked ICQ.
Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Jordan: ALL THE DOGS AND CATS!!!!!!