After some 15 years as a band doing that dynamic piano-pop thing that they do, Ben Thornewill (vox/piano), Jesse Kristin (drums/vox), and Tommy Siegel (guitar/bass/vox) aka Jukebox The Ghost are on the verge of two events: releasing their fifth full-length studio album, Off To The Races (surely a nod to their not-so-subtle love for Queen, right?), and taking their bouncy feeling-good-about-feeling-bad songs on the road for a run of gigs this spring on the appropriately titled Off To The Races Tour. Way to keep it simple, guys.
Off To The Races is due out on March 30th and if their latest single, “Everybody’s Lonely,” is a decent indicator, the trio has lost not an ounce of their signature jaunty, melodic sauce. Feel free to check out the unusually messy video for said single:
If there’s one thing that we know about the album, it’s that the very first word of the very first song that Thornewill sings is “strictly.” No, seriously. And, according to Thornewill, he’s pretty damned excited to get that word out of his mouth at a show.
“I am so excited to sing that word that I anticipate forgetting all other words that follow it. We might even start the show with that song which means that the shows will be short, and to the point. And strictly speaking, just strictly. Or I’ll replace all other lyrics with the word ‘strictly.’ That sounds good and reasonable.”
After so many years as a band, of course, Jukebox The Ghost has racked up plenty of time on tour: 2017 even saw Thornewill on the road with Sting (yes, THAT Sting) as part of his touring band. That being the case, one might think that after being in the presence of one of the all-time best-selling artists in the world on daily basis, some platinum-level tastes or habits might rub off. What say you, Thornewill?
“Sting is the epitome of class, so diva habits were hard to come by. BUT I definitely got used to flying from show to show and it was fascinating to see someone deal with and live with an amount of international fame and recognition that few people ever achieve.”
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: music is art and touring that art is hard work. Everyone has their own method of surviving the beautiful chaos of life on the road and, while they may not be divas, Jukebox The Ghost has needs. So Thornewill clues us in on what helps keep the Jukebox The Ghost-machine running on tour and even crafted a pretty wicked Spotify playlist of songs that they listen to. Why? Because tour happens…
Items we cannot go on tour without:
- Vocal steamer
- Musical equipment
- Jesse Kristin
- A keytar
Top 10 Tour Dos and Don’ts:
- Do drink lots of water
- Don’t feel like you have to drink alcohol
- Do eat breakfast
- Don’t feel like you have to eat breakfast with other people
- Do take time for yourself
- Don’t take other people’s dogs, no matter how cute they are. (Good advice in real life, also)
- Do remember that every show matters no matter how many people are there
- Don’t cancel a show to watch Gilmore Girls reruns
- Do play your heart out every night, leave nothing on stage
- Don’t take anything for granted