Drop Photo, comprised of piano- and bass-playing singer Jordan and guitar-soloing Ben, are bringing their Northfield-based act to THE GARAGE tomorrow for a night of acoustic-heavy rock. Jordan, who spoke with GARAGE MUSIC NEWS for this interview, shows a keen eye for music, while remaining decidedly chill and a bit quirky.
He described Drop Photo as:
Jordan and Ben birthed this project from their own four loins at a lame rave somewhere in the Minnesota countryside. They made up for their lack of formal instruction on guitar, bass and keys with extreme amplification. And so, Drop Photo was born. Jordan assumed the role as songwriter because Ben is lazy and his songs are weird. Soon, the band evolved from simple four chord songs to simple 6 and 8 chord songs. Jordan also picked up a bass. So yeah, that’s where they are now.
With that quirk, Jordan was also clear: they’re making music with specific goals. In the interview he points out song characteristics he admires and lays down the law on his theory of band chemistry, as well as hyping other local acts to checkout.
THE GARAGE: Name, instrument?
Jordan: We are a two-man group, headed by myself on bass guitar and vocals and with Ben Andrew on guitar. We’ve been experimenting with drums, but have yet to find a full-time drummer.
THE GARAGE: First of all, tell the people: What’s your brand of music and who are the artists that influence Drop Photo?
Jordan: The best way I know how to describe our sound is that if indie rock had ridden the coattails of the Pixies, Drop Photo would be classic indie rock. But we yell more than the average indie band, so in that way we’re a little more punk rock-ish.
THE GARAGE: What should the audience expect from your performance this weekend at THE GARAGE? And is there a particular song you’re most excited to play? Why?
Jordan: I’m really pumped for our new single titled “Genocide Bop,” which is going to feature Hannah Mahr on vocals. It’s probably the most complex and detailed song we’ve constructed thus far, complete with a catchy melody and packed full of pop culture references.
THE GARAGE: What makes a song good? What song do you consider perfect or which one comes closest?
Jordan: The way I go into writing a song, or how I choose which finished songs I should present to Ben, is usually if the song really grooves, or has a tune that is easily repeatable and can stick in people’s heads. If a song doesn’t make you feel anything or stick with you after listening to it, it’s probably not very good. The best example I’ve heard recently is “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. It’s fun and easy to sing along to and that’s the kind of music I’m interested in writing.
THE GARAGE: What do your practices look like?
Jordan: We practice in my basement hooked up to a 14-year-old soundboard. (Doesn’t sound that old, but it still has a tape recorder attached!) I usually pull up text files of songs I’ve written on my computer and then we work on more complex and detailed guitar work if needed. Overall, it’s pretty causal, and between songs we can have some quite lengthy conversations. Sometimes Ben brings over equipment, since I get the majority of my music making devices from garage sales.
THE GARAGE: Excluding THE GARAGE, what’s your favorite venue? Why?
Jordan: The Key! NORTHFIELD REPRESENT!
THE GARAGE: This is a different direction, but is there a piece of technology that’s indispensable to you (aside from the obvious, like mics, amps, etc.)?
Jordan: I write all my songs on my computer, so that’s a necessity for every practice. Also, no practice is complete without the octave pedal, which makes Ben’s solos about 100 times better.
THE GARAGE: Besides you, what local artist deserves more attention?
Jordan: I’m a big fan of the Twin Cities band Communist Daughter, who make some of the calmest indie music I’ve ever heard. I’m also pretty good friends with the singer of the band Kittyjangles. Though it’s a bit harder than most of what I listen to casually, but whenever they play a concert you bet I’m the first person to buy a ticket.
THE GARAGE: What are you listening to right now?
Jordan: I’ve really been digging Pheonix’s new album Bankrupt! Also, James Blake, Daft Punk, Alt-J, Beach House, iamwhoami, Death Grips, and Andrew Jackson Jihad, just to touch on the surface. I try to listen to as much music as I can, because I draw musical inspiration from everywhere.
THE GARAGE: Do you have any advice for a fan who wants to start a band?
Jordan: Well, if you don’t play an instrument, I’d suggest you might want to start. After that, the best way is to just find friends who are interested in doing what you want to be doing. I was already writing a lot of music before Drop Photo started, and all I did was show Ben was I was writing, we played some stuff and then started practicing.