JJAMZ and The Lazystars @ Hard Rock Cafe« Back to Events
JJAMZ. Why do we feel like we already know them? Is it because James is the lead guitarist for the always radio ready Maroon 5? Jason the drummer of indie institutions Rilo Kiley and Bright Eyes? Alex the singer/writer/guitarist from Phantom Planet and Mark Ronson’s solo records? Michael a beloved musician/artist/designer? And Z the leader of LA girl gang The Like?
No? Not ringing any bells? Maybe it’s because this is how you feel when you hear something at once fresh yet familiar. Like you’ve accidentally dialed up next year’s radio. This is what happens when five Best Friends come together to play music for no other reason than the joy it brings and the refuge it provides. After years and years of playing in their own bands, to varying degrees of success (James has Grammys, Jason was once nominated for a Woodie), they realized the absurdity of never having joined forces, and set out to right that wrong.
The resulting effort is their debut album, SUICIDE PACT, an offering as honest and personal as you might expect from people that have had each other’s backs (and occasionally been at each other’s throats) for the last 10 years. Only friends this close could provide such a rewarding synthesis of disparate musical tastes, coupled with perilously revealing lyrics; it’s as if Rumours were recorded by My Bloody Valentine, Fiona Apple sang Heart of Glass, or Andrew W.K. wrote Saturday Night Fever. This mix of accessibility and surprise stands as JJAMZ’ greatest asset. You knew that James had great guitar chops, but did you know he can make a racket? Jason is every indie fan’s favorite drummer…but he loves disco? Alex is a classic front man, but he’s also a consummate musical director, at home on every instrument. Michael writes beautiful, intimate song-poems with big choruses. As for Z… well, whatever your preconceptions were of Z, you’re only half right…or wrong.