Sounding Board: So, Stolen Jars began in 2009, how did you guys come together and is there a story behind your moniker?
Cody Fitzgerald: Yeah! Wow that’s been a while, sheesh, haha. Stolen Jars has kind of been a continuously evolving project, with the clear constant being me writing music in my bedroom and then bringing in friends and collaborators to make the pieces I started whole. The first album was done mostly over Skype with my friends Magdalena Bermudez and John-Elio Reitman who I met at camp. The second album and this most recent EP were done mostly with Molly Grund, who I knew through High School and who I started the live version of the band with.
And who knows what group of people will be involved with the next album. Then there is the live band, who bring so much to the table and who are beginning to be a part of the recording process as well — Matt Marsico on drums, Sarah Coffey on vocals, Grant Meyer and Max Finkelstein on Keys, and Peter Enriquez and Connor McGuigan on guitar.
As for the name, when I was first making this music, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. I found myself going back to all the different artists I had listened to over the years—Elvis Costello, Against Me!, Arcade Fire, Dirty Projectors—and trying to collect the different sounds that had made me love those songs. The first songs I wrote felt like these collections of sounds were manifesting themselves in new ways, as if they were held in small jars opening one at a time, each letting out a new riff.
Sounding Board: Gotcha, So the band gradually grew as you making the records. What bands do you think have helped shaped the band’s sound?
Cody Fitzgerald: Oh, so many! I grew up listening to Elvis Costello and The Beatles with my parents, later my brother’s influence came with ska punk and Bomb the Music Industry!, and then I found Sufjan Stevens, the Dirty Projectors, and Bon Iver. At this point I listen to everything, the most recent album I couldn’t stop listening to was the new Crying album, which is this insanely beautiful amalgamation of math rock, video game sounds, and heartfelt melodies.
Sounding Board: So, it was an eclectic mix of artists, I definitely hear a number of those influences when listening to the records. Your third record Glint came out a couple months ago, what was the production process like this time around?
Cody Fitzgerald: The production process for this EP was really similar to the last album, except for all of the orchestral players haha. Basically, I spent a year working in my bedroom, coming up with these pieces of music, then brought in Molly to work on and finalize the vocals with me, and then brought in orchestral players to record those parts and replace the midi.
Sounding Board: Do you guys have a regular way of recording or has it evolved since your first record that came out in 2011?
Cody Fitzgerald: I think that the process is pretty similar actually, the people shift around and the equipment gets a lot better haha, but the kernel always starts in my room and then builds out, bringing in collaborators and ideas from the band and other people I love and trust.
Sounding Board: The new EP is pretty introspective, focusing on things such as loss and letting go, did you feel it hard to write any of the songs in particular?
Cody Fitzgerald: I think that the hardest thing in writing this EP, besides the challenge of bringing in new orchestration and new timbres, was that I was writing a lot of this EP from loved ones’ perspectives. When you are writing a song for someone else and using their voice, you have to make sure you are representing what they are really feeling, not just repeating it, but trying to bring some clarity to it. That’s a hard balance to find.
Sounding Board: Do you have a favorite song off the record that you feel will really resonate with people over others, when you start your summer tour this July?
Cody Fitzgerald: My favorite song is definitely “Long New York,” I think that the end of that song is one of the best pieces of music I have written, and also I think the version we have put together as a live band really resonates with me and builds the energy in a new way.
Sounding Board: Nice! And Is there a specific show you guys are looking forward to most or is there just a general excitement to get out on the road to play the new material?
Cody Fitzgerald: This is the longest tour we have done so far so I think we are all just looking forward to the trip! There are so many good shows lined up, so many places we haven’t been before, and playing them all with Fraternal Twin is going to be so sweet!
Check out the Glint EP Below, along with all Stolen Jars’ live dates
Stolen Jars // Fraternal Twin North American Summer 2017
7. 11 New York- Silent Barn
7. 12 Boston – The ER
7.13 Easthampton- Flywheel Arts Collective
7.14 Winooski- The Monkey House
7.15 Montreal- La Vitrola
7.16 Rochester- Bug Jar
7.17 Pittsburgh- Mr. Roboto Project
7. 18 Cleveland- Mahall’s Locker Room
7. 19 Columbus- Double Happiness
7. 21 Chicago- Schuba’s Tavern
7. 22 St. Louis – TBA
7.23 Nashville- Drkmttr
7. 24 Ashville- The Mothlight
7. 25 Atlanta- Mammal Gallery
7. 26 Chapel Hill – Local 506
7. 27 Richmond- TBA
7. 28 Washington- Songbyrd*
7. 29 Philadelphia- The Sound Hole*
* w/ Bellows