Hot of the release of their dynamic debut EP, Odyssey, Toronto progressive rock duo, Jupiter Hollow have agreed to sit down with us to discuss their recent release, as well what 2017 has in store for the musical innovators!
Before we move forward, could you tell our readers about Jupiter Hollow?
Jupiter Hollow consists of two young, passionate and driven Canadian artists, Grant MacKenzie (21) and Kenny Parry (18). Grant, who plays guitar, bass and synth for the band started his music career 8 ½ years ago at the age of 12, sitting in his basement watching the movie Rock Prophecies. This movie was about legendary rock photographer Robert M. Knight, finding and transforming a young, unknown guitarist from a small town into a worldwide success. Inspired and motivated, Grant spent the next few years honing his guitar skills, writing music, and later learning the business side by attending college for business marketing. At age 20, Grant was invited into the Brotherhood of the Guitar, by founder Robert M. Knight, leading to endorsements with Ernie Ball Music Man and JH Audio.
While Grant was performing with another group at a local battle of the bands, he came across a mesmerizing singer by the name of Kenny Parry (vocalist, drummer and synth for Jupiter Hollow), who was almost performing as if he was possessed on stage, hitting notes that seemed impossible by any guy. Kenny Parry started music at the young age of 2 years old, setting up pots and pans like a drum set and banging away. This led to an obsession with music, and a discovery of his unique talent. In his teenage years, Kenny won himself the title “Best Drummer in Ontario” 3 years in a row. Around this time, Kenny started learning how to sing after being inspired by singers such as Maynard James Keenan, Mike Lessard, Dan Tompkins and Ian Kenny to name a few. Through years of strengthening his vocal abilities in choirs, bands and hours of dedication, Kenny has acquired an articulate vocal range, relentless endurance, and almost shocking performance through his uncontrollable stage presence.
Shortly after meeting, Grant and Kenny knew that their talents combined would create something truly unique, and Jupiter Hollow was born. Since then, the duo effortlessly created music in Kenny’s basement for months on end. The concept grew to be a two-man band, since Grant and Kenny wrote all of the music and wanted to keep it that way. The two musicians used technology to their advantage, allowing them to perform with a dominating stage presence, while captivated their audiences with their unique sonic journey.
Odyssey sounds fantastic, how did this album come together and what was the recording process like?
The EP was written very naturally and relatively quickly. A number of songs such as ‘Over 50 Years’ was literally written by just jamming together. We would be improvising random things, then we would stop once we came up with something cool, and keep building upon ideas until the song was complete. There really was no solid process in play for writing these songs, but normally I would demo the guitars and bass at my house, then go work on it with Kenny as he did the drums. Then, we would add drums and synth over my guitar demos. Once that was done, Kenny would do the vocals. Then once we firmed up all of the demos, we recorded, mixed and mastered the record at Lake Effect Studio in Brechin, ON.
Your song writing skills are quite sophisticated especially for a young band, how would you describe your song writing experience?
Thank you! Honestly, as mentioned before, our songs are ussually written through jamming, or messing around and stuff. We put sections together that sound good and go from there! We don’t write our songs around what a typic structure should be, we just go with the flow, and that’s what prog is all about.
Between your name, the titles of certain tracks, and the Odyssey album art, space seems to be a significant theme to you. Could you expand on its importance?
We just have always loved space. The mystery, the beauty, the endlessness to it, its just really cool and we feel that the theme of space goes hand in hand with how we feel about music.
Who’s music provided to be the biggest influence during the making of Odyssey?
We have been listening to a lot of different music around the time we wrote Odyssey. Some of the bands that we were listening to and still are listening to are The Contortionist, Karnivool, Tesseract, Between the Buried and Me, Steven Wilson…. but we really each-other as band members.
Who proved to be the most unexpected influence?
Our mothers hahah.
Progressive rock seems to have taken a side step, allowing for progressive metal to take the lead in recent years- especially with bands like Periphery and Protest The Hero. How would you describe where Jupiter Hollow falls on that spectrum?
Jupiter falls where Jupiter Hollow falls in its own spectrum. Progressive music isn’t a genre, its the denying of one genre. Prog is like the hall pass of music, go nuts!
After listening to Odyssey, there is so much going on with each track, would you ever consider branching out from a duo to incorporate more musicians as a means of adding even more to your controlled chaos?
No, at this point in time we plan on remaining a duo because it represents what we’re all about!
Tell us about your 2017! What is already lined up and what are you hoping to achieve throughout the year?
We are really excited about 2017. We hope to tour our EP and then we hope to release our full length album AHDOMN by the end of the year. So far we’ve already been printed in PROG magazine and performed on the National Post, so who knows whats next!
Just for fun, what is the last album you both bought?
Grant bought Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic and Kenny bought Pantomime – Desired Path