NU Bands Spotlight: Jet Black Sunrise

By Brenda Maguire, News Correspondent

Just a few weeks ago, rock indie/pop band Jet Black Sunrise played in WRBB’s Battle of the Bands, where they performed original songs such as “Falling” and “Fire Escape.” While on stage, they danced and goofed around, even performing Cee Lo Green’s “[Expletive] you,” where they traded instruments and rocked out.When first sitting down with The News they were a bit distracted, discussing Death Cab for Cutie’s upcoming Boston show and complaining that they couldn’t get tickets, as well as poking fun at each other.

But then the band members got down to business. This coming Saturday will be a busy day for them, they said, with the release of their new CD and a party April 2 at Copperfield’s Bar on Brookline Avenue to celebrate their accomplishments.

The band consists of Keyboardist Matt Cronin, guitarist Nick Fede, bassist Jay Schneider, drummer JC Zwisler and guitarist Matt Smith.  All five members of the band contribute to the vocals.

Huntington News: How did you form the band?
Jay Schneider: So, Nick was in a band in high school and the first year of college and they had broken up and needed a drummer and a bass player, and I got introduced to Nick through my roommate. Nick wrote a Craigslist ad and JC responded. They got lunch one time, I don’t know if they kissed or anything.
Nick Fede: I paid. I paid for lunch.
JS: We had a different lead guitar player who could no longer be with the band. So, Matt Cronin came in on keys, mostly to add a Coldplay aspect to the band. Matt Smith is the latest addition. Me and Matt Smith actually grew up together.

HN:  What style of music do you play?
Matt Smith: First you have to consider the facts. We have three guys who are writing songs for this band. You have a lot of different influences. You have a lot of Barenaked Ladies, Gin Blossoms and Guster from Nick, Death Cab for Cutie and Coldplay coming from Matt Cronin, and then Jay and I, we have kind of always been an alternative, punk influence-bands like Alkaline Trio.
Matt Cronin: We put our iTunes genre as indie pop.
MS: I feel like the words alternative, indie, pop and rock could be used to describe us.
JS: We’re rock/indie pop, because we’re more rock than we are pop, I would say.

HN: How do you split the songwriting?
NF: Between myself, Jay and Matt Cronin, we are fairly prolific with our writing. We do write a lot of songs and having three songwriters, everyone’s best writing comes to the table.
JS: Lyrically, Nick is very upfront, very narrative in his lyrics. Matt is like, almost 100 percent cryptic. I try to find somewhere in the middle usually, but it all comes together. At the end of the day some of the songs, it’s hard to call a certain song, you know, “A Matt Cronin Song.”
MC: Because we bounce ideas off each other so much that it turns into a JBS song.

HN: Where did the name Jet Black Sunrise come from?
NF: We’ve heard of bands look at bands they like’s songs and maybe that will inspire a band name. So, we were looking at songs from Gin Blossoms and found one called Jet Black Sunrise. It isn’t a song that particularly resonates with anyone, ever. It’s a very deep cut that didn’t get any attention but we really liked how it sounded.

HN: How often are you working together for the band during the week?
JS: We rehearse once a week at the Sound Museum. That’s just rehearsal. With the album we’ve been having band meetings a couple times a week to hammer out fliers for the show, booking the show, getting press coverage, making T-shirts.
NF: This has been a busy week; we’ve probably gotten together about four times.
NF: At the end of the day we’re best friends, really. We’ll get together and we won’t even talk about music. We’ll watch hockey.
JS: Sass each other all night.
NF: Officially, days the bands work together are one to three a week.
JS: The better answer to that question is that we hang out all the time.

HN: What are you plans for the future?
JS: In the future, we’re hoping that the money from the album could fund going to play some Philly shows, some New York shows. I think that’s a viable next step, we want to reach more ears. The point of the band is to have fun.
NF: We’re not at the point yet where we’re thinking about this as a career, because, you can’t. If that happens later, great.

HN: What are the details on the album?
MC: It’s called Falling, which is the title track. I won’t say that I wrote that song, but I did write that song.
NF: It encompasses a lot of the themes that we did write about. A lot of it is about taking chances in relationships, starting new ones and it’s all about taking a chance. Falling and you hope you end up somewhere.
MC: Yeah, we’re a pretty sentimental band. For a bunch of goofy dudes, we’re pretty sentimental.
JS: You can buy it on our website, iTunes, Amazon, most digital outlets. It will cost $10. I think we’re going to try to work on getting it into local stores, so hopefully you’ll see it there soon.

HN: What about the release party?
JS: It’s going to be at Copperfield’s Bar, which is near Fenway on Brookline Avenue.
NF: Our tour is going to start and end that night, it’s going to be awesome. The first band starts at 9 p.m. and we’re going to party on until 2 a.m.
JS: We’ll have our album and T-shirts for sale, too. One of the T-shirts, proceeds will be going to the American Cancer Society.

The 21+ release party will charge a cover of $10.

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