Sunday, November 21, 2010

Local Spotlight - Commissioner Jams Gordon - November 2010 - Pittsburgh

Commissioner Jams Gordon is our local spotlight for the month of November. Matthew Ciaramella and Joseph Kameen are the original members with several other musicians contributing. Below is an interview we conducted with CJG along with several tracks off their cd The Six Year Bus to the Sun. You can find more information about the band on their site along with a free download of the album.

How did the band come together? Were you all friends that went to school?

If you go all the way back to the beginning, the idea of forming a band came from Matt's guitar instructor. We were friends in school, and both interested in music, so it just happened, though other friends have come and left since then.

Mighty Mouse by Commissioner Jams Gordon

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?

It sounds like you gave four dudes $150 and a MacBook and told them to record an album. And one of them plays ukulele. And one of them is very full of mediocre mexican food.

As far as the music is concerned it sounds like The National meets Beirut meets Yo la Tengo, if such a thing is even conceivable.

Are you all originally from the Pittsburgh area? Families here as well?

Yes, we all grew up here, although now one of us lives in Boston and another in New York for school.

Do you all create music full time or is this more of a part time venture?

We are all currently enrolled in school, so being a full time band is not really an option at this point.

This Spot by Commissioner Jams Gordon

How do you create your music? What is the song writing process?

Usually Matt comes up with a melody and lyrics, and over time each person adds their own bits and pieces over multiple practices. Eventually, after successive meetings and recording sessions, the song get's finalized into something more concrete, though minor changes keep getting made up to the final moment.

What are your goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish? Are you trying to get signed to a label?

Getting signed to a label would be great, but honestly, the big dream is to start our own.

Western by Commissioner Jams Gordon

Have you all toured nationally? Or do you usually stay more regionally?

We've done mainly open mics around towns and small shows for friends and friends of friends. Eventually, we plan to start playing shows in Boston and New York.

What are some of the obstacles you face trying to create some 'success' in Pgh?

There isn't a huge scene for indie rock, or at least there isn't a very apparent one. It works ok for us though, since we tend to work more on the recording side of the equation.

What are the positive benefits of being in the area?

I like trees, so there's a lot of those. Also, recording in my basement is free, so that's nice. Also, Rey Aztecas is cheap, delicious, and near by.

But in all honesty we really do love the area and being home. Its almost like the shire or something to us.