Q&A: Office RomanceBy Joe Martone
Can’t have too much of a good thing, right? This is the simple logic behind new supergroup Office Romance, a musical amalgamation of Les Savy Fav, Amy Carlson and Holly Miranda. Seth Jabour, one of the group’s writers (among other talents), talked to us about OR’s conception, and being a musician in the modern world.
First off, how do you do it all? Music, fashion, graphic design, fragrances, and a marriage?
Well, I would say I kind of got in a groove when I had a full time job and when we put out Let’s Stay Friends. It was around that time that I managed to try to get my hands to a little bit of everything that I liked without having to sacrifice one thing to the other. Musicians don’t make a lot of money, we didn’t really have a lot of managers or anything like that. It’s easier now, getting things out there with the internet.
You’ve used the internet well: you’ve got a website, a Twitter, Soundcloud, a Tumblr….
Oh I love it! I kind of feel like an old fogey sometimes when I do that kind of stuff. I look at another [musicians] page and they’ll have white space and 300 comments. I love the fact that my friends and I can put up music on our Soundcloud page and just play whatever’s in our heads and put it out there. It’s enjoyable.
So, to stay on topic, how did Office Romance come together?
Syd Butler, our bassist, also owns Frenchkiss Records. As a label guy, he’s been doing this for 15 years or so; he’s been fortunate enough interest up in other groups and take bands under his wing. He has hands in all kinds of multimedia, he’s well connected. Earlier this year, he asked if we would be interested in booking studio time and recording cover songs. I kind of reveled in the opportunity to record and just jam. I love it. We started with cover songs and then the original holiday stuff came out; we did one song and realized “This is sounding good!” We went for two more to make an EP and make some front page promotion and stuff. It’s kind of funny how it all came about
How do you think your holiday record will compare against the people who keep re-recording old carols?
I think our perspective is a little fresher, and I think it’s the one thing the genre needs right now. We thought to make holiday music for a different generation, for our generation. Kids who might listen to something than other our band.
How do you think OR’s music style will be different than what you’ve done before?
With the Office Romance stuff, we kind of focused on the writing. We had a very talented musician come in and play a lot of the stuff on piano. I can play a little, but not like they can, and that makes more of a difference. In one band, I’m more of a performer and in the other I’m more of a writer. I could play guitar, but not tenor sax or glockenspiel. It’s all about bringing other people.
As this is CULTURE, we love to ask: do you use MMJ?
Um, funny question! I don’t use marijuana, but I do think it should be decriminalized. A lot of states are getting on board with passing these laws. It’s not the 20’s anymore. It’s not Reefer Madness, no one’s going to jump off a building or lose their mind. I am an advocate for that kind of change. Ninety percent of the people I know would say the same thing.