Veishea features Jukebox the Ghost

Dominic Spizzirri

Jukebox the Ghost, the Brooklyn-based three-piece rock band, will be playing Veishea on April 20, 2013 for the first time in Ames.

Touring extensively since 2006, Jukebox the Ghost has released three albums, has appeared on television as well as toured as openers for large acts like the Barenaked Ladies and Jack’s Mannequin, which the band described as being a very rewarding experience. 

The band was first formed in 2003 through founding and current members Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel and Jesse Kristin, all of whom attended George Washington University.

“We started a band like most college bands start — friends playing together,” Thornewill said. “It was always my dream. It didn’t start to become a theoretical reality until our senior years. We made a record, friends came to shows, [we] graduated and started touring.”

The band has since then recorded two albums: “Let Live and Let Ghosts,” which released in 2008 to favorable reviews and “Everything Under the Sun” in 2010, which featured the song “Empire.”

The band toured throughout America and Europe as headliners and as openers for many bands before recording an album that featured an altered writing style from the two previous albums.

A major point in Jukebox the Ghost’s career occurred when they made their television debut on Late Show with David Letterman.

“That was our national television debut. We got a call for that the night before, so we had one night to prepare,” Thornewill said. “It validates us as a band; there’s something about the power of TV in our culture. It gave us national approval.”

Their third album, “Safe Travels,” was released in 2012 to their lead single, “Somebody” and later on, “Oh, Emily.” This album was the first Jukebox the Ghost wrote on topics that reflects their own life experiences, unlike their previous albums, which carried more of a sci-fi narrative approach.

According to their biography, the album includes a song that was initially difficult for Thornewill to perform. “Adulthood” was written before his grandfather’s death from lung cancer. 

According to the biography, the line, “In my lungs I still feel young,” was painfully prophetic and the overall message that “from adulthood, no one survives,” became all too real. “Dead” approaches a similar theme with understated elegance. The song begins with Siegel’s innocent, boyish croon over a ghostly drone and builds into a climax with post-rock ferocity entirely new to the band’s catalogue.

“The biggest time off we get has been making a record, and we’re up to 700 shows as a band, which is an incredibly high number for just five, six years,” Thornewill said.

Also according to their biography, “Jukebox the Ghost manages to contrast these darker themes with the same optimistic sound and a familiar sense of youthfulness that stays true to their core.”

As for their current tours, Jukebox the Ghost has been having much success in support of their latest album and the amount of people showing up to their shows.

Jukebox the Ghost can be seen on April 20 for Live @ Veishea.