Band Booking: Jacuzzi Boys

Interview by Tobias Carroll

Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys play energetic, smart punk rock, abounding with garage-rock energy and just a touch of Televison-inspired surrealism. I spoke with bassist Danny Gonzalez on the eve of the release of Glazin‘, the trio’s second full-length, on Hardly Art. (It follows No Seasons, released by Florida’s Dying.) The topics discussed ranged from live albums to the work of photographer Christian Patterson, whose “Railford’s Boots” is featured on the cover of Glazin’.

How did you first encounter the work of Christian Patterson?
Well I first saw his work in Tokion in like 2004, he had shot some pictures for a feature called “Jam on Down the Road”… but I feel like I really discovered it when I came across it again about a year later via the Tiny Vices site.

What appealed to you about it? And what made you decide to use one of his works for the cover of Glazin’?
Well it reminded me of landmark color photographers like William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, and the Sound Affects project was something that really appealed to me.. The use of color, the subject matter, and the way music played such a strong role in that work really struck a chord. As far as using one of his images for the cover, I guess it was a situation where we knew we wanted this record to be different from the first. I had shown Gabriel the Sound Affects book and the “Raiford’s Boots” image was one that just kept coming back up in conversation and stuff, and as the songs began to take shape it seemed like a nice fit.

Though there are definitely areas of overlap between the two, do you see any (intentional) dissonance in bringing together the fine-art world and the punk/garage one?
Nah, not really, I don’t think we ever even discussed that…. To us it’s more a matter of if it works or not. It’s not like we needed that image to exist in a “fine-art” context for us to consider using it. But it’s always cool to work with other folks whose work you respect… Whatever that work may be.

You have released or have plans to release a number of albums that feature live songs — the 12″s on Third Man and Social Music both come to mind. What do you find most appealing about live recordings?
Yea, I think those two are the only releases of ours that contain live performances actually. I think in both cases though, they were just things that were presented to us and we felt like they made sense. Working with the folks at Third Man was something that we never really anticipated happening as a band and it was more than a pleasure to do. And the Social Music release features some performances recorded in Seattle durig our first comprehensive U.S tour, so just for records sake, I think that’s pretty cool. I’m not one to give live records many spins though, but I do find them interesting… Sometimes I get a bigger kick out of hearing the crowd and the room than the performance per se.

What have you been reading lately?
Some recent standouts are…. Just Kids by Patti Smith, and Life by Keith Richards. They’re both non-fiction obviously, but damn, sometimes you just can’t make that stuff up! I also like magazines quite a bit…

What are some of the books that have stayed with you over the years?
Some that come to mind are… A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, The Wanderers by Richard Price, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Born Standing Up by Steve Martin, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, and Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azzerad.

(Photo: Ivan Santiago)