Jet Edison's Hot Summer Nights tour crams in 16 shows in 19 days throughout the Midwest, North and Southeast, with their Tybee Island and Savannah dates as stops No. 10 and No. 11.
Keyboardist and music school teacher/director Phil Johnson shares what the group has been up to since playing at Savannah's former Mojo's in April and their plans for the rest of 2013.
DO: What are you looking forward to about playing in Savannah again?
Johnson: It's a very beautiful city and we were lucky enough to play down by the water at Mojo's this past April. We're excited to bring the Colorado energy back to Georgia with another round of shows. We're hoping to expand on the buzz created when we first came through town and even debut some new original tunes.
DO: What can people who come out to your Wormhole and Tybee Island Social Club shows expect?
Johnson: They can expect to hear a sound reminiscent of the 1960s yet contemporary all the same. They can expect driving rock and funk of the '70s and dance beats from the '80s, but with rich harmonies and songs that ebb and flow. People have called us rock/fusion or party rock, and even that we're like the feeling of putting on a fresh pair of socks. Jet Edison gives the audiences a little of everything with the purpose of making you dance.
DO: Are you all full-time musicians? If not, what are your day jobs?
Johnson: In as much time and love that goes into Jet Edison, it is not our full-time job yet. Alex (drums/vocals) is a designer with a landscaping firm, Adam (bass/vocals) works in the restaurant industry. Max (guitar/vocals) works in specialized outdoor retail and I teach and direct at a music school. But as things have picked up for Jet Edison over the last couple years, we've certainly considered making the move to full-time musicians sometime in the future.
DO: You recently had your first Summer Superjam in your hometown. How was it and do you plan to have this event annually now?
Johnson: On June 27, we were given the great honor of hosting a showcase of Boulder's music scene at the famed Fox Theatre. It was a special night for us in so many ways.
First, we've become known for fun and interesting collaborations at our shows. Members of our band regularly play and sit in with local groups in Boulder, and it was exciting to bring all our friends to a prestigious venue and put on a real bona fide gala.
All 25 musicians involved wore suits or dresses, so it was a classy backstage and a raging after-party. Aside from just performing with some of our favorite local musicians, we got to build a show unlike anything Boulder had seen before.
IF YOU GO
What: Jet Edison
When: 9 p.m. July 29 at Tybee Island Social Club and 10 p.m. July 30 at The Wormhole
Where: Tybee Island Social Club, 1311 Butler Ave., Tybee Island; The Wormhole 2307 Bull St., Savannah
Cost: Social Club free with purchase; Wormhole $5 in advance, $10 day of show
Members of some 13 bands played not just covers but original songs, bringing in guests so that there might have been just one member of a band playing with five or six others, from Banjo to Trumpet and everything in between, we had a lot to choose from. To top it all off, with a big crowd, we had a dynamite light show and filmed the whole thing with HD cameras. It was truly a night to remember. We've had a lot of requests to make this an annual event and I see no reason why we shouldn't. Boulder's music scene is rich and colorful and needs more national recognition. If we're so privileged to help broaden the scene's reputation, we certainly will oblige.
DO: You allow fans to choose a price for your "Adopt a Highway album" on your website. Why did you decide to do this and what has the reception been?
Johnson: We've had a great response to this. We borrowed from Radiohead, as they released their album "In Rainbows" in the same manner.
It was a huge success for them and for us it's been a valuable way of sharing the music with our fans that's more direct and if they'd like to give more in support, they can, unlike other online music services.
DO: What has been the biggest obstacle you've overcome as a band thus far? What did you learn?
Johnson: In living, working and performing with these guys since we were in college, we've gone through a lot of things together. When we were first starting out, we played some of the worst gigs you can imagine. ... Many long nights and miles have shown we're very resilient, and we're still the same four members from the start. We've learned to appreciate each and every opportunity we're given to play for music lovers ...
DO: What are some of your favorite non-musical hobbies/interests?
Johnson: We're all skiers ... but then again we have to be, living in Colorado! Maybe it's something with the air, but we love all things outdoors; barbecues, hiking, golf. If it's outside, chances are we like it.
DO: What's your favorite Jet Edison lyric right now?
Johnson: I'm sure everyone in the band has their own opinions about their favorite lyric, but for me right now, I'm digging a lyric from a new song of ours, "Wasted (The End)." It's a song written from the perspective of a man who's slipped into insanity and how he may still have glimmers of wisdom. The second verse goes like this:
"Social workers, cops and hookers, we're all a big family
Troubled from our youths, just read the prescriptions
Stuck in a room where the walls start to wander
Lost and confused, still my heart ponders
Jumping out to sea, I should've learned to swim."
DO: What does the rest of 2013 hold for Jet Edison?
Johnson: After our Hot Summer Nights tour wraps in August, we'll take some much-needed time off to be with family and write for our album. But then September, we're hitting the road again with smaller tours to the Midwest and Colorado mountain towns. Then in October, we're playing the Fly Free Festival in Adams, Tenn., on the 12th ... November, we'll tour out to the Northeast again and when we return, we'll be recording our long-awaited second studio album.