So we are now under the two week mark until Christmas & Chanukah. Is it just me, or has the holidays become less about loved ones & more about how much can you spend for these big retailers? If these corporations don’t stop laying people off and trying to squeeze the middle class, who will buy their products? Not the people overseas making less than $1/day. Let me get to my guest today before I get in trouble. This duo is a musical marriage, literally. Just Married are back on Skoped Out and this time Gary & Li have a new album ‘Waiting for the Changes’ and a babyboy named Kai, Mazel Tov! We are so excited for them I had to have them on and talk about the new album, using social media, ignoring Iranian aggression, and they offer an MP3 of “Secret Garden.”
Stoli: Where are we talking from today and what is your plans for the holidays & New Year?
Gary – We are here in Israel enjoying the seasonal clementines and avocadoes here on the farm. We like to spend the winters here and summers stateside. We are laying low for the holidays and getting ourselves prepared for a tour this summer and fall.
Stoli: It has been about over a year since we had you on Skoped Out. What have you guys been up to over that time?
LiLach - Yes,THANKS for having us back! The last time we spoke to you we were in England on our UK tour. After that we played the US and Canada and finished up in Israel at the Jacobs Ladder Bluegrass Festival. We also finished our new record and had a baby! Our boy, Kai, is four months old.
Stoli: You recently released “Waiting for the Changes” album which I love. How long were you working on that and how do you feel about the release?
Gary -Thanks so much for the love. Yes, we just released it and are excited about it. We definitely feel it is our best effort to date and are looking forward to start touring on it. We worked on the record in a couple of phases. We wrote songs for about a year while we were on the road with our acoustics and got them to a point of recording demos of them. Then we sat with demos for about 8 months and got down to recording final versions of the songs all this year from January on. A couple of those demos became finals. All in all it took us about two years in the making while being on tour. It was a cool and relaxed approach which was a much easier, though longer, process. We originally said “no deadline, we’ll let the songs finish themselves” but when we found out we were going to have a little boy, we felt the pressure to get moving and get things finished. I think we got the master one week before Kai was born.
“Secret Garden” MP3: SKOPE IT HERE!
Stoli: You have gained many more fans over the past year. Do you use social media to attract the masses?
Li – We certainly do. Our original model, when we formed the band, was to gain exposure by touring and trying to play in front of the most amounts of different audiences as possible. We believed that we could gage our acceptance by, say, comparing the turn-outs of a Toronto gig vs. one in L.A. or London vs. Tel Aviv. We’d also measure the reception at the shows at these places and try and work out better formulas for future sets and things like that. All that is good, but we realize that you must make a place/name in the social media platforms as well so we’ve gotten on board with Facebook (www.facebook.com/thebandjustmarried) and Reverb Nation (http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/justmarried) and of course Myspace (www.myspace.com/justmarriedtour). I guess we could be blogging or tweeting to our fans but we feel that any value we have to offer wouldn’t be in us rambling on about our day. We would consider it, you know, if our fans were asking us to tweet. In the meantime, our way of communication to our fans is by and through our performances of our songs, or any songs. Just making music and recordings as often as possible
Stoli: Can we expect a music video to accompany this single “Waiting for the Changes” and what would that be like?
Gary – We definitely are considering options for making music videos for a couple of songs. We haven’t put much thought into a music video of this song, but we could make something fun of it. We like the idea of animation videos and have kicked around ideas for Secret Garden and Please Don’t Cry
Li – Now that you have us thinking about it I could see a cool, fun Brazilian vibe in the video. We do like animation so perhaps we could combine those two ideas.
Stoli: What would you say to Skope readers that are new to your sound but open to hearing new music?
Li – I would say come in, have a seat, let me pour you some coffee. If you are into the “songwriting team” then we are fun to listen to. We tend to dabble around different styles of music but our sound leans towards Americana.
Gary – If you like the Indie style recording sound you’ll dig us because we do the recording, engineering, producing and editing all in our studio. Most of the record is performed by us .
Li – We had the pleasure of getting Jamie Alegre on drums on seven tracks and Anthony Krizan on bass for three tracks and some guitar. We did the tracking of Jamie’s drums in Anthony’s studio, Sonic Boom Studios, in NJ. Very cool.
Stoli: How much of your marriage & relationship is revealed through the album?
Gary – You can definitely hear us in our songs. Our friends tell us this is one quality of our music, that you can always tell it is us. The songs are more about something, a feeling maybe, that we would enjoy making a song out of. Sometimes it comes from our relationship but we also make songs that have no connection to our relationship. Or sometimes you write a song that you feel had no personal meaning, but overtime it evolves to have a strong significance for you.
Stoli: Muzikreviews.com raved about the album. How does that feel when you read positive reviews and know people love what you are doing?
Gary – It feels great to read a positive review and hear positive responses from people after you show them your stuff. I think when I finish a record I’m connected to it in a way that my analytical mind won’t accept compliments. Li has more of an ability to take in the positivity and that usually snaps me out of my mindset.
Li: Yes, I definitely feel really good when someone listens to the record and enjoys it. We put our entire selves into it, so the compliments encourage us to continue to do what we do.
Stoli: The album art is very intriguing. Can you explain what it is and its meaning?
Gary – Doron Terre is a great friend and amazing artist. When we were getting to the end of the recording process of the record we were chatting with him about the record and then he said “I’m going to make the cover.” That was great to hear and we were excited. After some time he sent us the first sketch of the woman – it blew us away.
Li – She was beautiful. The colors on the face were to represent the different feelings or interpretations of the songs. Her body is moving forward, but she is looking back, I feel, representing “Waiting for the Changes.” Also, personally, I feel that the image just does something to you. It makes you think and want to dig deeper.
Gary – I agree.
Stoli: I am married too. I love my wife but I feel like sometimes we argue just from the stress of kids, work, house, chores, etc. Can you offer us some advice?
Gary – I’m not sure if we are in any place to be giving out advice…I could only say that you can’t ignore or get away from those things and the stress. It’s just a part of life and sometimes things are great and you feel great. Sometimes they aren’t and you may have heavy emotions about them. Then it becomes how you deal with it. In our case we try to put those feelings into music.
Li – “Even When We’re Lonely” is a good example of that for us. And when you work on it in crafting a song around it, it gives you a chance to connect to the feelings in a different way because you are in it together, positively. Finding a healthy way to deal, that’s what I’d say is important.
Stoli: Being that you live in Israel, I must say that I am fearful about the talk of war with Iran. What are your thoughts on this and do you feel peace will ever be possible?
Gary – When we are here we try to look at the positivity and beauties of living in this part of the world and there are so many of them. It’s quite a diverse country. You don’t have to feel the fear of war. It is sad and hard to believe there isn’t peace all around. But there isn’t and there is a fear that comes along with that. But we try very seriously to focus on the abundance of beauty that being here offers and ALWAYS have hope and faith in humanity.
Stoli: What is coming up for Just Married and where can we grab the new album?
Li: We will continue to promote the record by getting exposure with PODCASTE placements and things along those lines. We are certainly interested in licensing our songs and are pursuing that. We started planning our Summer/Fall 2012 tour in the US to support the release of the record and look for us in the major US cities that we have toured in the past because we’ll be coming through. You’ll be able to see all our tour dates by liking our facebook page at:
The best way to get our CD is through Amazon, they are selling it for $8.99 or by track. (http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-for-the-Changes/dp/B0063MWX36/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1323070184&sr=8-2). We also have a Reverbnation store which you can access from our Facebook page www.facebook.com/thebandjustmarried. We will be offering T-shirts and band merchandise featuring the album cover image in our store in the next month so keep a look out for it! The record will be on iTunes 1/01/12