Editor’s Note: What a show it was at the Gas Lamp in Des Moines, Iowa recently. Twin sibling duo Jocelyn & Chris Arndt absolutely crooned, swooned, and seduced their audience with their wonderful blend of singer/songwriter, blues, soul, and rock. Some people have to work really hard to hone their craft, Jocelyn & Chris Arndt make it seem like it comes naturally to them, plus they have an undying work ethic. With their work ethic and a gift for their craft, the sky is the limit for the twin sibling duo out of Albany, New York. Find Jocelyn & Chris Arndt at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: So, you both went to school at Harvard?
Madness To Creation: What’s the music scene like in Harvard or in that area?
Chris: It’s different, it’s more classical, we come from the country where we play a bunch of bars and stuff, I don’t remember the last time we played at a venue that has no Sharpie in the bathroom walls, they don’t play at venues that have Sharpies on the bathroom walls! *laughs* It’s Harvard, it’s a different thing, but it’s just as cool!
Madness To Creation: Did you all learn music at Harvard?
Chris: A mix of music and computer science.
Madness To Creation: If you combine music and computer science, what does that get you?
Chris: Well, I’ve been writing my thesis in my car, but they way that I’m combining it is the way of writing the music on software through networks that I’m trying to use in order to generate good music!
Jocelyn: A blues robot! *laughs*
Madness To Creation: What stereotypes about Ivy League schools drive you nuts?
Jocelyn: I would say that not everybody is super rich. We’re actually not super rich! *laughs* Some people are, but not everybody is. Not everybody wears the polo sweater.
Chris: I feel like all of the stereotypes that you think of when you’re the Harvard student, it’s actually a pretty small subset, but of that subset, they are very true, but the rest of it is like the weirdest, most diverse, all kinds of people from all over the place.
Madness To Creation: What is your craziest experience at Harvard? Like toga parties?
Chris: I have never been to a toga party.
Jocelyn: I don’t even know how that works! No toga parties in this weather!
Chris: In the dorms, there’s this annual party called the Mather Lather, they take the dining hall in the dorm, and they layer the surface with a plastic seal, and they just fill it with soapy water and people will do this in their bathing suits, and this is in February! It’s pretty wild!
Madness To Creation: You all worked with G. Love and Gov’t Mule, tell us about that experience!
Jocelyn: First of all, both G. Love and Danny Louis, who played the Hammond organ on our album are amazing guys, you’re almost like, it’s someone that you look up to so much, that you’re afraid that if you make a mistake they’re going to be jerks, but they were really nice. Both of them were definitely not jerks, far from it, they were super nice, they really actually cared about playing the right chord. As people who wrote the songs, they mean a lot to us.
Chris: I remember that we had a set amount of time that you want to adhere pretty strictly to, their time is valuable and your time is valuable, and we didn’t want to abuse his time or anything like that, the time ran out, and they were like, “no run it again”, and I was like, “dude, you know you’re on a time limit”, and he’s like, “but I’m in the groove, I want to keep going”. That moment was one of the best moments of my career.
Jocelyn: Same with Danny, Danny was amazing! Every take he was amazing, you could’ve taken anything he would’ve played and it would’ve been amazing.
Madness To Creation: Speaking of grooves, what kind of music gets you into the groove or any parts that you have played gets you into the groove?
Jocelyn: We listen to a pretty wide selection across the board. On the way here, we found a ’70’s roadtrip playlist.
Chris: It was awesome, there was some Manfred Mann, some Eric Clapton, some Looking Glass, it was all over the place, some early metal to easy listening.
Jocelyn: We were also listening to some 80’s power pop to get into the groove, like some Wham! Pretty much everything!
Chris: Love Wham! George Michael was awesome!
Madness To Creation: Speaking of power pop, you all have to cover an 80’s power pop song, what do you all cover?
Jocelyn: We do actually cover “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul, I don’t know if it’s in the set tonight, maybe we can squeeze it in there, we actually start with “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, and it just switches up to “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul.
Madness To Creation: You guys have already experienced SXSW and Milwaukee Summerfest, what’s the craziest experience so far?
Chris: It’s going to be a lame answer, but it’s really hard to pinpoint any one particular thing, because when you go to an event like Sundance or SXSW or even Summerfest, when we were only there for two days, it was such a whirlwind, it’s like you don’t remember it afterwards. There’s so much! You wake up at 8, and you do interviews all day, you do an acoustic performance or two in the afternoon, then interviews, then you perform, then you go to bed late and you’re up by 8, and you do that for a week. It’s impossible to describe the atmosphere, but it’s amazing!
Jocelyn: I agree, I think the most memorable part of any giant festival is just the sheer magnitude of not being able to see it all even if you’re trying to see it all, walking down the streets of Austin, every bar, and every corner of every bar is a different band playing at the same time, it’s like heavy metal across the street from hip-hop to old-school country. It’s overwhelming, but in a good way.
Madness To Creation: Were there any bands at SXSW or any of the festivals that left a lasting impression?
Jocelyn: We actually got to meet Lucius, it was crazy because we just happened to be loading in as they were loading out, they were headlining the thing, we knew it was them because they were dressed as twins, they were super nice, said hello, and we switched CD’s.
Chris: We also got to see The Heavy, it was great! It was like everywhere you go, there was somebody amazing playing, every street corner, by the time Saturday night rolls around, it becomes so packed that you can’t walk down the street, you’re packed like sardines, but if you go there during the day, there were intersections where there was a ring around every intersection, and there were totally different performances that were all happening at the same time, at first you’re like, “I don’t know how to listen to this” but you kind of get used to it and you get used to the fact that it’s complete sensory overload, it’s a pretty surreal experience.
Madness To Creation: Speaking of live music, what can fans expect to see from a Jocelyn & Chris Arndt concert?
Jocelyn: We try to bring a different energy, you’re going to get to see me jump around a lot, Chris is going to be jumping around a lot, his hair is going to be flailing around, we just try to pour everything out there on that stage and have fun with it, it’s awesome we get to play an hour and a half set tonight. We don’t always get to play some of the deeper cuts instead of just our singles, so that’s way cool.
Madness To Creation: Very stoked about your top 40 Billboard AAA hit “Red Stops Traffic”, tremendous song by the way, what’s the message behind the song and how can people go about requesting it so it’ll climb even higher on the charts?
Jocelyn: So crazy, it debuted at No. 37 and we checked last week and it moved up to No. 36, which is crazy. I guess the story behind the song is just kind of the story of this person, well people will interpret it in different ways, so I don’t want to say too many specifics in case it wrecks someone’s vision of what the song is about, basically it’s about someone who is upset and she is trying to hold it in and hold it in, but there’s too much to hold in, and I think that you find out by the end of the song, there’s no holding it in anymore, that’s kind of where I was at with it.
And how you can request it is that if you know of any AAA stations, call them up and say I want to hear Jocelyn & Chris Arndt and we would be super appreciative of that, we’re going up against the major record labels, we’re on an indie label so it’s really appreciative.
Madness To Creation: You all have another song called “Footprints On The Moon”, over 50,000 hits on YouTube, can you all take us into that song as well?
Chris: That was last song that we wrote for this album, it’s the first song that we released and it’s track one, and we basically just sat down after writing all of the other songs, it was like the first time that we ever had to sit down and write an album and start to finish 12 songs to track. We wrote a lot in high school and we had all of these backlogged songs that we could draw from, but this time we were like, “we’re out, we’ve gotta write 12 songs”. We sat down and we were freaking out because we weren’t sure if people were really going to dig it, and we wrote the other songs on the album, and this is a lot of fun, and it was a total high, and we were writing some of the best music that we have ever made. “Footprints On The Moon” is about that, that feeling of “this is where we want to go and this is what we want to do”.
Madness To Creation: Where do you all see Jocelyn & Chris Arndt the rest of the year or five years from now?
Jocelyn: For the rest of the year, as we are on this month long January tour, we are going to be writing the next album, and we have given ourselves less time from the last album to write it, but it’s going to happen and it’s going to be crazy, but another album is going to come out this next Spring. We’re going to tour to support that and hopefully five years from now we’re playing everywhere!
Madness To Creation: Anything else you would like to add cause I know you all have to get ready for the show tonight.
Chris: Thanks for having us, it is so appreciated!
Jocelyn: Yes thank you, it was a lot of fun!
Fans can check out Jocelyn & Chris Arndt on tour! Check out the tour dates below!
Saturday, February 3rd- Rochester Performance & Arts Center in Rochester, New Hampshire
Friday, February 9th- The Pasta Loft in Milford, New Hampshire
Saturday, February 10th- Main Pub in Manchester, Connecticut
Friday, February 16th- Riverwalk in Nashua, New Hampshire
Saturday, February 17th- Newburyport Brewing Co in Newburyport, Massachusetts
Thursday, February 22nd- Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis, Tennessee
Friday, February 23rd- Clyde’s On Main in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Saturday, February 24th- Scruffy City Hall in Knoxville, Tennessee
Sunday, March 4th- Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, New York
For tickets and further information for any of the shows listed above, click here!
Visit Jocelyn & Chris Arndt’s Bandcamp page here to listen and download their latest album “Go”.