jesbrieden

Sudden Rush:
Jes Brieden

Jes Brieden is the talented lead vocalist for Motorcycle. She has also done two collaborations with Deepsky. Calling from New York City, Jes discussed “As the Rush Comes,” chanting Scots and Rick Rubin.

What vocalists have influenced you? 
I’ve said this so many times before, but I love Bjork a lot. I love her tamber and her style. I have every single album she has ever done and I’ve seen a ton of her shows.

Do you have a favorite Bjork song? 
Yes, “An Army of Me.” I love that one. I also love Blondie and Chaka Khan. I also love Radiohead a lot. I love a whole bunch of different things.

How did you first become involved working within the dance scene? 
Well, I live in New York City, and the music I used to do was very dance/R&B oriented. It was a couple of years ago when I moved out to L.A., and I started to work in a band called Guardians of the Earth. It was about five years ago, we had a song called “Star Children,” That was the first trance song that I had done. Then we did another one called “The Moons That Glow,” and we were sort of very underground rock. “Star Children,” the first single got a lot of play and was remixed a lot, so that was sort of my first entrance into the dance scene.

Is that what made you want to become involved with Trance? 
Well, I’m basically a songwriter and I liked the guy that I worked with, Mike Olsen. He did Guardians of the Earth with me, and I liked the way he produced stuff, so we just started working together and so he was into the electronic scene. I just naturally wrote the songs to fit that background.

As a songwriter, do you have a favorite topic to write about? 
Love always comes up a lot. I write so many songs, and a lot of times its what you’re feeling. It’s very autobiographical. I try to write about a lot of different things, people and behavior mostly, the way we are in general.

What are you enjoying most about working as a part of Motorcycle? 
The collaboration between Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden, we have such a funny kind of energy together. We both love like 80s and 90s music, and we take a lot of our stuff from that. We are sort of on the same wavelength. It works really well, and we mesh really well.

With “As the Rush Comes,” did you write the lyrics first or did they come in with the beats and production?
We had a very old track that was nothing like the end, more of a vibe. We were together for the whole weekend, and actually that one we wrote all together. We just threw a lot of lyrics into the pot. We had a whole bunch of stuff out,, and went into the studio and just sort of emotted over the track, pulling a whole bunch of ideas that we all came up with. Not really saying, “This is what this is called.” Its sort of, that’s what I saw on the page, that’s what jumped out at me. It came in one piece. We had it awhile in our possession, and we knew that there was something in there that we really liked.

How long did it take you to create the song? 
That song didn’t take that long, it took about an hour. We were together the whole weekend recording a whole bunch of stuff. It was our first time recording together, and I think a lot of that newness and excitement of collaborating together. When I look through all of the tracks we came up with that weekend, you can definitely hear that.

Were you surprised by the massive reaction the track has gotten worldwide? 
I’ve been totally surprised, I really have. Just by going all over the world, I see how everybody, whether they even speak our language, it is a very simple song and it seems to reach people. It’s interesting, because they sing every word with me, they look at me, and they feel it. It has affected a lot of people, and I’ve been so happy by it. I didn’t think it would be like that, none of us did, and we were very happily surprised.

You’ve been touring a lot, what’s been your craziest gig? 
I just came back from Moscow, believe it or not, and that was pretty crazy. It was very exciting, 8,000 Russians. I also liked Scotland, it was very crazy. They started singing this Scottish chant. I thought, “Oh my God, they’ve written a whole other part to the song.” It is this thing that they sing when they get very excited.

I’ve heard you are working on a Pink Floyd cover…
Oh! How did you hear that?!

Just from several publications.
It was supposed to be a secret. That’s going be on the album, but they are kind of hiding that one. It is so beautiful, I’m so excited. It preserves what is beautiful about the song originally, but really giving it a new twist.

What are you putting out as the second single from the album? 
Well, we’ve done a whole bunch of songs, but I think we are coming out with a song called “Imagination,” which we did acoustically and as a dance song. It has gone through a metamorphosis; it was a dance song, then it was an acoustic song, ballad, then it went back to a dance song. We’ve done it so many different ways; we’re just putting the finishing touches on it. We’ve been feeling the pressure because “As the Rush Comes” has been so big.

Are you feeling pressure for the album to come out?
Definitely for the album to come out; the second single should be out in June, and I will be touring that throughout the summer. The album should be out at the end of the year or the beginning of next year. We have to go by their schedule, but we’ve been working on it for a while and I really love it because it is not only a dance album. It is primarily a dance album, but there are some other styles and great songs on it.

Do you have a favorite track off of the album?
We’re still writing it, but we’ve got some funky songs in there. “Imagination” is really good. It’s a real “song” song, and I also play it on guitar, which makes it really special to me.

We were talking about the Pink Floyd cover earlier; do you have favorite songs to cover?
There are so many, I would love to cover a Pyscodelic Furs song “Love My Way.” We don’t want to do too many covers. The one you pick you want to do really good.

What made you pick Pink Floyd as a cover?
It’s so moving to me, and I love the song so much. Actually, I was in a cab going to a session and I heard it; it just makes me cry. I thought, “God, I want to do this song.” So I went home, looked on the Internet for all of the chords and just went in and did it. It was just so right. That’s why I’m going with that one, plus I love Pink Floyd.

Are you working on any new projects besides Motorcycle?
I’ve really been tied up in Motorcycle, it’s really my main project. Prior to that I worked on a couple of things; I’m really excited about a Solostone song called “Like a Waterfall,” that should be out this year. It’s a chillout track. I also did two songs with Deepsky, who are better known in America. One called “Talk Like a Stranger,” which is now just hitting the radio in Europe, and Jayson Bentley is playing it on WKCRW. {KCRW} is one of my favorite stations at the moment. And another song, “Ghost,”which is really beautiful, that I wrote for their album. So those are coming out. I’m just working; writing, writing, writing. I am also hoping to come out with my own album.

Do you have a certain method to your writing? Do you do both melody and lyrics, or do you just focus on the lyrics?
I’m very much a lyric person, but I’m even more a melody person. I am constantly writing down everything; I listen to people talk, constantly in my sleep I have my book right by my bed, my hands are sometimes covered in pen. It’s been a little hard because I’ve been doing so many shows. Either you are in the creative mode where you are in the studio, or you are doing shows. We have a little studio that I take with me on the road.

Do you find it hard to write on the road?
{During} my last trip, a lot of thoughts, and a lot of lyrics popped into my head. The road is better for lyrics. I’ve been working on a couple of Motorcycle tracks I am trying to get done.

Do you have any producers you would love to work with?
There’s a friend of mine that I love, who has done a lot of the Bjork records: called Marius Dubrees. He has worked with everybody. There’s defiantly a lot of older producers I would like to work with; Rick Rubin.

That would be good…
I’ve actually met him a couple times in L.A.

That would be quite interesting…
Yeah, that would be great.

Do you have any tips for aspiring vocalists?
Don’t give up, don’t get discouraged, keep on working, keep on finding your own voice. Definitely write, and just get out there, get out there and do it. The best practice is singing in front of people, you really find who you are when you do that. Look for people to collaborate with; I think that’s important. Find people you like to work with, and do your scales!

“As the Rush Comes” is out now on Ultra/Positiva Records. For more information on Jes, please feel free to check out her website: www.planetjes.com

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