Shortly after releasing their fourth album, the Washington, D.C. trio Jukebox The Ghost swung through Baltimore on tour, fitting a Mobtown BSide session into their busy schedule. The band, which features alternating lead vocals from keyboardist Ben Thornewill and guitarist Tommy Siegel, also recently began to include vocals from drummer Jesse Kristin on its self-titled album. And the trio’s slick harmonies became a big part of their BSide.
“We kind of settled on a sound for this record in particular that’s almost more of a big, broader, poppier version of our band,” says Siegel of their 2014 self-titled album. And while Jukebox The Ghost alludes to some headier influences with their name, which was inspired by both Captain Beefheart and Vladimir Nabokov, the trio has come to embrace their role as a self-proclaimed “pop” band. “It’s been a long road as a band to figuring out what it is that we’re supposed to be doing,” explains Siegel. “Jesse came from a more punk background, Ben’s kind of from more of a classical/jazz school of thought and I like a lot of like angular punky guitar driven stuff.”
For the band’s BSide, Jukebox The Ghost took on two songs from their latest album, “Long Way Home” and “Undeniable You.” For the latter, Thornewill was anxious but excited about the decision to switch from electric piano to an acoustic upright piano. The result was a rendition of the song with a more spare, intimate atmosphere than the original album recording, in line with the band’s live shows.
Recorded on November 14, 2014 at Mobtown Studios
Vocals, piano and electronics by Ben Thornewill
Guitar and vocals by Tommy Siegel
Drums by Jesse Kristin
Engineered by Sean Mercer and Paul Mercer
Mixed by Mat Leffler-Schulman and Paul Mercer
Filmed by Joe Austin, Nick Hughes and Sean Mercer
Edited by Nick Hughes
Interview by Aaron Henkin
Photography by Tedd Henn
Photography post-production by Cassandra Robbins
Audio post-production by Aaron Wold
Thanks to Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel, Jesse Kristin, Gabe McNatt, Meah Pollock, Lisa Kaneff and This Fiction