A Conversation with Jake McKelvie

Laurel Auth
You just released the album on November 6, it’s your first full length album in a while, right?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, since 2014.

Laurel Auth
Were you writing it during the pandemic? Or have you been writing ever?

Jake McKelvie
No, it was actually recorded, like, two years ago.

Laurel Auth
Really?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. So it was kind of just sit in there collecting dust for a while. And even prior to recording it. Most of the songs have been written out, you know, at least a year prior to that, in most cases with maybe one one exception. So, yeah, pretty much all the songs are, like three to six years old at this point.

Laurel Auth
Oh, my gosh, I had no idea. So I was gonna ask you what it was like recording during the pandemic, but you didn’t. So what was it like just releasing an album in general during the pandemic? Because it is weird times right now, and I know that you guys are a band who play a lot locally. And you tour a lot, huh?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I mean, that’s kind of why we chose to eventually just release it digitally last month, because, you know, we, like I said, we recorded a while ago already and, you know, the hope would have been the initial plan would have been, we would have gotten physical copies made, and, you know, proper release show, and then some, some amount of touring around that time, too. And so once we finally got everything in place for that to theoretically happen, you know, then the pandemic stuff started. So, you know, everything, obviously, it’s fun on the back burner at that point, and we weren’t practicing for you know, we’re basically not practicing still. And so, yeah, we kind of just decided, at some point, well, if clearly, we’re not going to be able to do any sort of release show or anything for quite a while, so why not? This thing’s already old. So let’s just put it up, you know, online at least, and then we can just sort of get the physical stuff, you know, situated in time. But it felt less pressing, you know, under the circumstance, so. So yeah, basically, we just kind of like, put it, put it online, and just just for the sake of doing something with it, and not feeling like it was just, like, the thing that was already old to us was never gonna actually, you know, become anything. That’s what it was starting to feel like so. Yeah. So it’s been fine. I mean, you know, working out I guess, there’s nothing really to judge that against you know, it’s just like, the people that already like our band seem to like it well enough. And that’s nice. And, you know,

Laurel Auth
yeah, in my opinion, why I wanted to like talk about it at Simmons is it’s just your music is, in general, I feel like it brings a smile to my face. It’s very warm, fuzzy music. And even though your lyrics are pretty, in my opinion, pretty complicated in depth, you’re or maybe not, but from the outside.

Jake McKelvie
I’m glad it seems that way.

Laurel Auth
But otherwise, like both of your songs are danceable and fun. And I feel like that’s what people need right now. Seeing you guys live I know is a great time. Do you have plans to do a big, like post release show eventually?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I mean, ultimately, you know, whenever we’re able to do that again, we’ll you know, we’ll do it. But we don’t have any plans just because it’s obviously everything’s very up in the air still. So I I don’t anticipate it being anytime soon. But yeah.

Laurel Auth
Yeah. And it’s also difficult because some of our favorite Boston venues are closing down too.

Jake McKelvie
I know. Yeah, I know. That’s a bummer. And I don’t know not much to watch to add to the Yeah,

Laurel Auth
it’s just a bummer. The usual the usual places like I haven’t heard about O’Brien’s update recently. But have you guys played there for sure. Right?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely like one of the kind of go to places I do. I follow Ryan, who’s like the booking guy there we’re, you know, social media pals, and I see him still posting somewhat often about just on an O’Brien’s in a general way and it’s it seems like things are still you know, hopefully on track for them to remain but that’s that’s just what I’m gleaning from like vague social media things so I can don’t quote me on that. Yeah.

Laurel Auth
I mean, the DIY scene in New England right now is something that is, I mean, everywhere, not just New England is something that is, I watch a lot because I do booking and it’s difficult to watch. A lot of bands right now just aren’t releasing anything or dropping off the face of the earth. So it’s also cool that you guys released this now. Do you have any local bands that you’ve been particularly into lately, just so I can spread the word? Any projects you’ve been hearing of?

Jake McKelvie
Geez, man, I don’t know, like I have been sort of off the radar also, just in terms of and not super on the pulse of that our drummer plays in another band called happy just to see you. I know they just put out this thing for yesterday, or two days ago, Friday was the latest band camp day and they put out this or they were featured on this compilation of local ish bands doing TV theme songs.

Laurel Auth
I saw that they did the Cheers theme song. So good.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I listened to that they did a really good job. So yeah, I mean, that band is we’ve been friends with them for a while, but I hate to like not really having an answer. Otherwise fair, but yeah, I’ve been not super super with in terms of that stuff. And it’s,

Laurel Auth
there’s not much to be with right now.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. Cuz like yeah, it’s, I mean, like you said, people are sort of just seeming to fall off the face of the earth. And it is a weird thing to think, you know, when things kind of resurface, how many of those people are still going to start playing shows and being in bands, you know, to the same extent that they were previous? Hopefully, most of them like yeah, I don’t know, it is a weird thing to just be like, I don’t know how many people I know that have been involved with this sort of stuff will remain that way. You know, a year from now after having been stagnant for like, the better part of two years, you know, it’s kind of odd.

Laurel Auth
Yeah it’s, what how you think your band is going to return to normal? Or do you think Have you been writing at all still or just hanging out?

Jake McKelvie
Mostly hanging out. I don’t Yeah, I haven’t been doing a tremendous amount of writing or anything, but I certainly assume that our band will will still you know, be very active once we’re able to start again. Like I have the thought and I think there’s actual reason to believe this I don’t think it’s too far fetched but I like to think that we’re our band is one of those bands that just always exists you know, not not necessarily in a super prominent way but I feel like we could be that type of band where we just kind of you never break up and even if we don’t you know play constantly we’ll still we’ll still be there

Laurel Auth
That’s true friendship and I you guys definitely are a staple around here I’m I’m when I first entered the music scene in the area I’m 21 so when I was working I actually I bar tended one of your shows once at Union and I knew about you guys pretty quickly so I feel like you guys are a staple in the in at least the scene around here. I’m excited to to hear you guys play once again. And I also noticed I was looking at your Spotify and you have a ton of streams on your on your previous full length LP is do you hope that the new one is gonna just exponentially top pop it out or?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, we you know, we just got to keep keep piggybacking on our previous success was riding our own coattails to the top

Laurel Auth
your song mini monster has 83,000 streams. That’s that’s that’s pretty good. That’s a classic.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, that’s, that’s that’s been our, you know, our hit if we were to have one. That was it, I guess. But yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I haven’t been doing a tremendous amount of like, I mean, I’ve been making occasional posts about the album, I didn’t really do a great deal of press, you know, anything. I sent a couple emails to people I sorta know saying like, Hey, here’s our new thing if you’re interested, but yeah, I don’t know, I sort of just don’t know, I’m hoping people here. You know, as however, however the word gets to them. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, like I said, I, it seems like, we have a small, but fairly devoted sort of core group of people that, you know, we’ve just become familiar with, as, you know, like, fans slash, friends, we see it shows over the years and the people I’ve heard from in that realm, you know, have had nice things to say about Yeah. So, you know,

Laurel Auth
Something I remember every time I’ve seen you, as people are always singing along with you. And that’s so fun. That’s the best energy to have at a show. So, I hope that the new album will be like that for you guys. One day.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I hope so too, I mean, it’s funny, because, you know, again, like, the songs are mostly pretty old at this, or, you know, they’re several years old. And so most of them, we’ve been playing in shows for that amount, same amount of time. And so some of them, you know, a couple people have come in saying, like, Oh, it was interesting to hear the song recorded after, you know, hearing you play it it’s on an acoustic guitar for a few years, you know, or, or just, you know, after hearing the band play a, you know, live, you know, hearing how it’s changed, you know, over the years or what have you, but, um, so, yeah, I don’t know, I, I, I guess they’re the reason I’m mentioning that just because I use some of the songs I feel like have become staples to some degree, you know, like, the Live Set. And so it’s kind of funny to sort of have these songs like we’ve been playing for years and then presenting them down the road is like new songs when they’re, you know, when they’re just not.

Laurel Auth
Well, what is your favorite not new new song to play off the new album? Would you say?

Jake McKelvie
well, I think that the first song on it is actually the, the newest in terms of like, that. The first song is called the clot the wobble, and

Laurel Auth
it’s super fun.

Jake McKelvie
Thanks. Yeah, that’s the one that was sort of written and, you know, arranged to whatever degree we have to arrange songs, you know, like, the, the, the, the latest, you know, leading up to recording. So, yeah, basically, we, I remember, when we went into start recording, like the, we had gotten together, like the day before, to do one final practice, and that song was still kind of a new song. And it was sort of a last minute addition to, you know, the set of songs that we knew we’d be recording. In that one, we were still kept we, we made like a last minute, you know, chord change that sort of, you know, had a considerable effect on like, the core. You know, the song like it was one of the one of the chords we changed, and at the last minute, and that’s just a long winded way of saying that, I guess that song is the is the least old out of the bunch you know, still still felt exciting to play to, to a degree but I think all of them I mean, you know, it’s they’re all it’s just fun to play, so I don’t necessarily get sick of playing any individual song. I wouldn’t think

Laurel Auth
How would you self describe your genre?

Jake McKelvie
Um, I mean, as just a very generic catch all term. Yeah, actually just say indie rock, but, um, yeah, I don’t know. It’s sort of like I have you. I feel like the word like I’ve used the word like goofball to like it’s got like a goofball-ness to it in this sort of somewhat silly, but

Laurel Auth
I think that’s what makes it so great. And so listenable.

Jake McKelvie
You know, bouncy to Yeah, it’s like it’s but it’s guitar music like it’s just kind of guitar rock. Music I guess, ultimately. Yeah.

Laurel Auth
Yeah. And when you tour you are usually just yourself, right? Just, you

Jake McKelvie
um, yeah, kind of became that way at some point, just purely due to like scheduling or just because I was able to more than my bandmates were so, yeah, more often than not in terms of actual sort of proper touring, it became just, mainly just me, you know, like an acoustic guitar. And then, you know, we’ll get like a, maybe a couple of weeks of full band touring in the year outside of all the weekends and one awesome things we do. Yeah.

Laurel Auth
What has been your Do you have like a favorite show? Ever? That’s gonna be my.

Jake McKelvie
Um, I mean, I don’t have I can’t say there’s like, there’s one in particular. You know, there’s, there’s a handful of sort of, I don’t know, memories that pop up just in terms of exciting, you know, they were they were fun. Because, because there is a lot of a lot of people dancing or singing rowdy. I mean, yeah, I mean, any of those sorts of scenarios where there’s, you know, a few people singing along or what have you. I mean, it’s, that is the very gratifying thing. You know, cliche, though. It may be it’s, it’s, it always feels really good. And so yeah, there’s been a lot of scenarios like that where it’s just been people. There’s a couple people that like, that’s, that’s great.

Laurel Auth
Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of people love to see you play my favorite show. I mean, I love your original music, as I’ve mentioned, but my favorite shows definitely that I missed this year where Halloween shows big bummer. That those didn’t happen. I also saw your Halloween show last year where you guys played? Like, I think you played like dad rock or something. I can’t remember.

Jake McKelvie
Oh, yeah.

Laurel Auth
Those shows in general.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We were sort of loosely. Yeah, we just sort of happened to have a handful of those, like classic rock covers in our repertoire. So we decided to turn that into our covers. But yeah, I mean, I definitely. Part of the reason he, like no particular things popped in my head is because it’s been has been kind of like, not at the front of my mind in that, in that sense lately. But yeah, I also just tend to things like that we’ll all come up with an answer. Like as I’m falling asleep. That’s the one I should have mentioned, that was fun.

Laurel Auth
Well, I mean, productivity and creativity in general, during times like this are insanely difficult. I wouldn’t expect very many songwriters to be coming up with new stuff right now. And if you are go you like, That’s hard. So I’m sure it’s all gonna sound great at the end, and I have not mentioned the rest of your band yet. So you have Matt bacon on drums. And then what is the name of your bass player again?

Jake McKelvie
Nick dhruba.

Laurel Auth
Nice. And do they help you? So do they? Do you mostly write the songs and then they come in and help you fill in the rest? Or do you work all together as a band?

Jake McKelvie
Um,yeah, it’s pretty much the case that I write the songs and then just kind of, yeah, show them then I’ll it just play it for them. Generally, you know how to practice and then they’ll just sort of, yeah, they’ll build. they’ll write their parts and yeah, fill in the gaps and whatnot. Yeah, that’s pretty much how it’s always gone. We just sort of, sometimes I’ll send like a demo ahead of time, and you know, I’ll email them a demo or something, but either that or just Yeah, just play it a couple times a practice, and then we’ll just kind of just keep trying to play it until it morphs. And there was a song.

Laurel Auth
I think that’s a great way.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I mean, it’s I, I don’t really know of another way. I mean, I guess we, I don’t know that we’ve really made a great effort of like, writing a song together, necessarily. I guess we’ve dabbled in that, to a certain degree. I don’t, I don’t find that to be my most effective way of doing things like that. Probably just added self consciousness if nothing else. But yeah, I don’t know. We just kind of just kind of try to try to turn the scraps into a song, I guess.

Laurel Auth
You do well.

Jake McKelvie
Well, thanks. I appreciate it. Yeah, sometimes we’ll have there’s there’s been a fair number that haven’t quite made the made the cut, or will be sort of playing, you know, trying to play it and then we’ll, we’ll finish and I’ll like, in my head, I want to have this like, I’m just gonna step back and close my eyes and just kind of like, envision what the missing pieces here. And then, but it never quite works out that way. And then I’ll, you know, just kind of have this, like, I don’t really know if this is a good song, or I don’t know if this is gonna become a song for us. So I don’t know. They can’t all be they can’t all be around ones, I guess.

Laurel Auth
Yeah, they can’t. That’s true. Well, do you have anything else that you want to say about the new album or anything? Or?

Jake McKelvie
Um, no, I don’t know. I, you know, it’s, it’s there if you want to. If you don’t want to, then it’s you never have to. You never have to load it up on your computer if you don’t want to but we’re, we’ll have the physical versions floating around in the coming months. If all goes according to plan, so yeah, right. Right now, it’s just still just the digital stuff. But if Yeah, people are are hankering for the hard copy. You know, they’ll be here sooner than later.

Laurel Auth
You’ll probably released that on Bandcamp. Maybe?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And then you’re

Laurel Auth
streamable on Spotify and Apple Music and all that.

Jake McKelvie
Yep.

Laurel Auth
Nice. Well, it was great talking to you, Jake.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, same here. Laurel, thanks for asking.