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DM) How did you get started in music?
JJ) I think we all got started in pretty similar ways. None of us was forced to take music lessons as children, but rather we each discovered music on our own...mostly through listening to our favorite bands and finding a desire within ourselves to do the same thing. Once you start learning about music and creating it, you develop a connection that drives you to continue. And as you continue, the connection gets stronger and stronger, until eventually, you couldn't give it up if you wanted to.
DM) Have you ever thought of giving it up?
JJ) As I said before, I think you reach a point where you can't quit. After you've spent hours and hours and a lot of effort on something, it's hard to just give it up. It seems kind of like having a child. You don't just up and decide one day that you don't want to be a parent anymore. Our music becomes part of us, as individuals. And giving it up would involve a lot more than most people might think.
DM) Giving up is harder? I'm confused. Most people call giving up the easy way out.
JJ) I never said it was harder. I said you reach a point where you simply CAN'T quit. You could quit playing, and quit trying to be successful, but the music will always be a part of you. Just as if you're born and raised in New York City, you can't quit being a New Yorker. Even if you move to New Zealand, New York will always be a part of you.
DM) Do you consider yourself a driven person?
JJ) I'd have to say yes. Maybe I'm speaking more for myself when I talk about not being able to quit. In my life, there is no greater driving force than music, except maybe love. In the business of music, you have to be driven, or at least be in with a group of people that are. There's a lot of leg work to be done if you want people to hear your music. Fortunately, we have a few driven people in The Quiet Room. It makes the road a little less bumpy when you have a few people to absorb the shock.
DM) Where did the name of the band come from?
JJ) The name "The Quiet Room" comes from the book USHER'S PASSING by Robert McCammon. The book is about a family that suffers from a mental illness characterized by seizures of intensified sensory experience. During these seizures, normal light is blinding, average sound is deafening,and so on. So the family creates, in their house, rooms devoid of sensory stimulation, and they take refuge there during a seizure . They call these rooms The Quiet Rooms.
DM) But who made the connection from the band to the book-- and why?
JJ) There is really no solid connection between the band and the book. It's not like we base all of songs on that story or anything like that. An old vocalist came up with the idea. (This was before I was even in the band.) Everyone liked the sound of the name and the idea that it represented: a place of sanctuary.
DM) Is music your first love, or did you pursue something else first?
JJ) Music is definitely the first love for all of us in the band. I can't imagine pursuing any another career with the same passion as I have for music. I enjoy a lot of other things, but nothing is quite as satisfying as what I do in The Quiet Room. There is a certain satisfaction, a natural high, if you will, that comes with creating a piece of music. You feel it when you perform the song just right, and you feel it when you record it and hear the song come together piece by piece. To me, that experience is the most rewarding part of what we do.
DM) What recording of yours were you the most satisfied with?
JJ) That's a difficult question. For the experience described above, I'd probably have to say "Holding On." It was pretty amazing to listen to that song come together. We did the drums, bass and keyboard, and were amazed at how rich and full it sounded. Everything just seemed to mesh perfectly! When the guitars were recorded, we got the same feeling, not only in the way they fit with the rest of the instruments, but also the way they fit with each other. The vocals were icing on the cake at that point. While I'm not crazy about the lyrics, the melodies in that song were some of Chadd's best. It's kind of funny that I always thought we'd get "flamed" for that song, that we would be accused of trying to write a radio-friendly song. But it seems like everyone likes that song, and no one has ever accused us of that.
DM) Where do you go to get away from it all?
JJ) If it's possible, I'll go to mountains to hike or mountain bike every now and then. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen too often, so I try to read a little bit each day.
DM) What's the last book that you read?
JJ) The last book I read was George Orwell's "1984," which was rather disturbing. I'm currently reading OLIVER TWIST.