Which of your own record is closest to your heart?
JG: Towards the Sun is the closest to my heart because itís more
of a survival story then the rest of them. But the first record, the
self-titled album, is closest to my fansí hearts. That record for me was
innocent, and itís really vulnerable. And thatís most likely what the
audience likes about it, that itís so human, and there are wavers and
cracks in my voice that makes it a really close and intimate listen. But
for me, I find it almost too naked, and maybe embarrassing to some
point. Itís pure and itís cool, but Towards the Sun is strong, and for
me itís more important to have strength in what youíre delivering. And
itís only about 45 minutes long. I like that itís so concise, and that
each song is its own little pop song.
BB: Do you prefer playing at a studio or
JG: I like aspects of both, but I like the way I sound in the
studio better than at the clubs. A lot of time you come to a gig and
itís not set up to really make you sound the best. In the studio you get
an idea in your head and you open up your mouth and you put it through
the mic and there it is it is, actualized. Iím inspired by that. You
hear it like you dream it.
What makes a good show?
There is this intoxicating bliss that goes on. Itís a moment that the
group and the audience share, where nobody was repressed, no oneís
holding anything back. You get on stage and inspire people through your
honesty. I go up on the stage and completely disarm myself; there I am,
going for it. Iím not James Brown, Iím not a band leader, but if I do
the work maybe I can help that guy in the front row whoís hoping someone
helps him get his hands out of his pockets, and get into the music. Wake
something up in him.
BB: You do a lot of covers on stage, it
makes for a really fun show. What made you decide to do so many?
JG: Like I said, I am a singer first, and I love just singing. So
if there is a song I like, I donít mind doing it. The best one, the one
I get most drive out of doing is ďA Change is Gonna Come,Ē which is an
old Sam Cooke song.
BB: What do you think of the fans of Boston?
JG: The fans in Boston are really really great and they have been
super good to me ever since I played Earth Day down at the Hatch Shell.
Itís just been great. Boston is always good to me, and I donít even know
why. Iím just thankful for it.
BB: Youíve played with some big people over
the years. Who were you most excited to meat?
JG: Well shit, Iíve played with a lot of people. Iíve done shows
with Tori Amos. But I was most excited to meet David Bowie. It was kind
of weird and cool, to be on the same record with him. The fact that we
were able to cross paths on a project and talk about it, not so much as
ďan artist and a fan,Ē but as two guys on a record, that was real cool.
Bruce Springsteen was nice too. I did a benefit with him in Jersey. You
know, sometimes you donít think you going to react a certain way, but
when a guy walked me up and introduced me to Bruce Springsteen, I was
standing there, like, ďDude, what the fuck, youíre The Boss, man, holy
shit.Ē I didnít realize how awesome that was going to be. I really
respect what he has carved out with his audience.
BB: If you could play onstage with anyone
alive who would it be?
JG: I would like to actually sit down and be in the studio with
Prince, and this is just because of the Musicology years, this record
and tour now as a mature man. He's playing music from another place, and
the strength and the directness of his stage performance now is just
something. You know, Iíd like to just hang out and have him help me get
BB: What do you hope people get out of your
JG: Thatís hard. I donít know. Ultimately it gives me pleasure
that people allow me to come sing for them. I get to do that for a
living, so Iím happy if itís making them happy. I go up there and do
whatever I want for two hours, the club pays me, and people pay me with
their applause. I see the glee in their eyes. Thatís the whole point: to
give them what they want. You give them what they want and suck it up
and rock the hell out of the thing.
BB: What advice would you have for starting
JG: Advice? (Laughs.) Donít listen to me, man. Just follow your
heart, and have the courage to follow it.
Jeffrey Gaines plays The Attic on Saturday
To learn more about Jeffrey Gaines,
please visit his website at
*Pictures courtesy of