January 14 2019

Annie O Presents: Jocelyn & Chris Arndt

New York-Standard Sounds
Influenced by acts like Grace Potter, Janis Joplin, Nina Simone and Jimmy Page, 22- & 23-year-old Harvard-bred siblings Jocelyn & Chris Arndt will release their latest album ‘The Fun in the Fight’ (out Feb. 22) Featuring Gov’t Mule’s Danny Louis and Vulfpeck’s Cory Wong, the album is their self-proclaimed love letter to classic rock. Embodying their shared love to music, the album captures their shared love of storytelling through song. On January 15, the duo takes over the penthouse at the Standard, East Village in NYC.

“Fun in The Fight” is the title of your new album- why this title? When is the release?

We named “The Fun in the Fight” after a lyric from one of the songs on the album, but it goes a little beyond that. It has to do with our life as artists and the struggle that comes along with trying to make a living doing what you love. We’ve always held the belief that in order to make it through, you’ve got to be interested in more than just the end game - you’ve got to enjoy the process, find the fun in the fight. The record is set for release on February 22nd. 

This album sounds more like classic rock to me-Who were you inspired by for those new songs? 

You’re right on the money! We grew up listening to a ton of classic rock (we still do), and we’re constantly inspired be rock pioneers. Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin… we all love them, because they project this energy that’s just universally powerful and relatable. That’s what rock is all about - harnessing that emotion and tapping into that energy. We couldn’t do what we’re doing now without the artists who came before us, and “The Fun in the Fight” is our thank-you to them for everything.

Can you tell us about some of the collaborations on this record?

Sure! First off, we’ve got Cory Wong from Vulfpeck on a track - he’s an insane guitar player, and also just a really cool dude. We wrote this song with a funk-type feel, and we all immediately thought of him for it. And he was totally down! We’ve also got Danny Louis from Gov’t Mule on the Hammond organ on a bunch of the album. He’s been on all of our studio albums, and we love working with him because he’s just got such an ear for exactly what each song needs. Plus, he’s super nice. It’s nice to work with your heroes and discover that they’re also just really down-to-earth, cool people. And speaking of cool… Beau Sasser from Kung Fu is also on this record. He lent his Hammond chops to a few tracks. The dude’s got such a unique, fun style.

How does being brother and sister works for you? I understand you have played music together since childhood?

True story. Music has always been such a huge part of our relationship as brother and sister - it’s cheesy, but we’re best friends. And that kind of friendship really helps when it comes to music, because when we’re making art we’re often at our most vulnerable. It’s so important to have someone around who really understands you at a time like that.

What did you study at Harvard?

Chris was a Computer Science major, and I studied English. I’ve always been a words person… I write the lyrics. Honestly, we spent a lot of our four years at Harvard away from campus, either in the studio or on the road. I’m glad we were able to balance the two.


Adele would be crazy, although I wouldn’t be able to say two words to her between freak-outs.

Do you enjoy touring? What are your future touring plans?

Yes, we love touring! Playing our music in front of people is a dream come true. We’ll be hitting the road in the Spring to promote “The Fun in the Fight,” and it’ll take us coast to coast. I can’t wait to see our music family in various places across the country.

What would you say are the few albums/musicians that had a real impact on your life and your music?

For me, the albums that immediately comes to mind are “Eye to the Telescope” by KT Tunstall, “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac, “Fallen” by Evanescence, and a set of 3 greatest hits CDs by Queen that Chris and I listened to nonstop growing up. And Chris is a huge fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Dire Straits.

If you could collaborate with any artists today, who would that be?

Oof. That’s tough. Mark Ronson? That would be insane. I’d love to make some crazy retro-throwback rock song with him. Also, Adele would be crazy, although I wouldn’t be able to say two words to her between freak-outs.

What are you currently listening to?

Mark Ronson. I just put on “Uptown Funk” because your previous question reminded me of him and how good he is. His song with Lily Allen is next in the queue. 

What can we expect from your show at The Standard East Village, as part of the Annie O Music series??

We’re really excited to be playing songs from our new record “The Fun in the Fight” in a stripped-down, intimate setting - this isn’t something we get to do all the time, so we’re all really looking forward to it. I always love playing more acoustic-y sets because you get to hear the songs in an entirely new light. Thanks so much to Annie O for having us… we can’t wait!

 

The Standard
INTERVIEW BY
Annie O