[intro music, Jump, Little Children's "U Can Look", plays briefly and fades out]
Anne: I'm Anne
Melanie: and I'm Melanie
A: and you're listening to Just a Second: A Jump Little Children Fandom podcast
M: where the topical discussion is beyond belief
A: Ok, this is our first episode and I think we wanted to go ahead and talk about why we're doing this podcast. I think it was in December it occurred to me one day, I was just in my apartment and it occurred to me, I should do a Jump, Little Children fandom podcast and at some point I must have been, gosh actually I don't know, was it before or after the licmag show that we decided?
M: I think it was before.
A: yeah I think as I recall I think we were having a discussion on Facebook and someone suggested that either you or somebody else suggested that you would be a good co-host.
M: yeah I think I think you made that post on Facebook and I was like "I volunteer as tribute."
A: Yeah, that's what it was. And I think that's really something, the idea just sort of really came to me out of the blue and I want to also go on the record that we decided to do this before we knew that Jump was going to be doing their own podcast which is coming out soon. It will be basically I think Jay will be talking about different songs off of Sparrow to start with. What is the name of that podcast that they're sort of inspired by where you break down songs?
M: I think it's Song Exploder.
A: Yeah, that's it. So they're doing something more like that. They're gonna be everybody in the band is going to talk about different aspects of the songs, but I wanted to mention right off the bat that I don't consider this to be a Jump, Little Children podcast. I consider this to be a fandom podcast and that's a very different thing in my mind. And when I think about that it reminds me of my website seven-days.org which I became well known for which took on a life of its own where it's very much focused on fans. And I had that niche the site filled in contrast, not only to the band's official site but to jumplittlechildren.net which is very much a technical site. It has all the songs they played, when they first played them, the lyrics or you know the actual archives of live shows on archive.org. So that's not really what we're trying to do here. I'm not going to be focusing on talking about technicalities of the songs or anything like that because that is not really my specialty and I also want to add that I'm not a musician, unlike you, so there's a lot of things that I just can't speak to because I haven't been to as wide a variety of shows of different artists as you have. So that's not right be my focus but I'm hoping that you can bring more something that's a little balance to that in terms of context.
M: I'll bring something.
A: Yeah, definitely. I think that's not in question. And I wanted to talk a little bit too about why I thought this was a good time to do it and I think that's because we're in an interesting time for the band. In 2015 I think we were all kind of, at least I was, I was really surprised to hear that you know they were touring again and that was 2015 was probably the most difficult year of my life because that's the year my father was diagnosed with cancer and passed away and right after he passed away was when they had their reunion shows. So that very much under lined for me how important they've been you know straight up until 2005, before the hiatus, and that you know all the events in 2015 and the events since really have me looking back at my time as a Jump fan before the hiatus, what that means now, what it means now that I'm 40. This is sort of like a time period where I'm looking at what the band is doing and how that contrasts to what they were doing pre-2005, what I'm doing and what's basically been happening in my life since then. So there's a lot of a lot of food for thought right now.
A: And I don't know if you have been doing as much of that as I have.
M: Oh, definitely.
A: Yeah. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of us have sort of had, you know I don't want to necessarily call it a midlife crisis for people who don't want to look at it that that way, but it is true that when you're around this age you do look back and you think, wow, you know 20 years ago or however long ago, it's sort of looking at periods in your life and thinking, "wow, I want to really think about how my life now contrasts with what it was like then."
M: Yeah I had been looking or thinking about...because it had been 10 years since the last show and I felt like something was about to happen but I didn't want to get my hopes up or anything but I had been. 'Cause Facebook is a funny thing and it reminds you of things that you post.
M: And right around the time when they announced the Dock Street 11, I had gotten a bunch of 'on this day' notifications that are just Jump, Little Children so I had been...they had been on my mind the whole time they were on hiatus because they were such a huge thing in my life and then they were gone and then life went on.
A: I think what I kinda did was I didn't really...I tried not to think about them that much because I thought that was pretty much over and I didn't want to get my hopes up and be like oh man I wish they were playing again because I would've thought it's pointless to want this to happen because they're not doing it, you know. So dwelling on how much I want them to get back together and tour again and put out a new album I didn't feel was really a productive thing to do. But when they actually did it was really interesting to me that it just so happened that it coincided with the worst year of my life and I realize that's exactly what I needed. And I really realized that they were just as important to me as they ever had been and actually more so because it's more than just...I want to try to think about how to phrase this but I was sort of trying to phrase it in my mind earlier. It's more than just I like so-and-so's music or I think so-and-so's good or I've seen so-and-so a few times. And I'm not sure if people who are not Jump, Little Children fans like this really get it because if you try to describe it to someone who's not that it just seems weird. To say this is basically a profound spiritual experience or that the licmag show was a profound experience or whatever whatever; if you're not actually in it then you don't actually relate to person telling you that. It's just like okay.
M: They look at you like you're from a different planet!
A: Yeah! It reminds me I was reading an article about Depeche Mode fans the other day, in Eastern Europe where for a very long time they weren't allowed to play and they weren't even allowed to, I can't remember exactly what it was, but that they weren't allowed to have music in some of these places, in the article, it wasn't all Eastern Europe. But they couldn't see them. But they were such incredibly devoted fans that they loved them regardless. And it really makes you think about, you know I've gotten to see this band over a hundred times over the course of 20 years. So it's just interesting the Depeche Mode fans could relate to each other, I'm sure, and it's a lot like what we feel but it's not exactly the same. I think everybody can relate to being a fan or in a fandom of somebody or something. It's just levels of how involved you feel like you are. But I think this is an interesting time because we're looking at new stuff even now we might have thought that in 2015 you know they're just going to do a reunion tour and that's it. Then you know they decided to record a new album and they could have stopped there and said okay this is our last album where we just don't feel the need to make any more new music. But they're not, they are planning to go on and do something else. And I think a big part of that is what Jay said at the licmag show is we don't necessarily have that much time left. You know he's so morbid and goth. What was it he said to us? It was it was something like...I think it basically was that. We don't have...that much time...
Me: He doesn't have 10 more years to go on another hiatus.
A: Yeah that's what it was. The guy was like, "Don't go on another hiatus" and he said that we don't have another 10 years to go on hiatus. [laughter]
M: We're all gonna be DEAD in 10 years!
A: And then he laughed. That was pretty great but it really is a good point because, to sort of dovetail that into the talk about being around 40, when you really are around this age and I understand not everybody who was a jump fan back in the day is 40 some of the people are 35. You still do sort of look around and think ok, we're kind of getting down to the wire here and I'm sure people who are older than that are like haha that's real funny. But you kind of are though because back in the early twenties we didn't really, I don't want to say we didn't have a care in the world, but it's a very very different situation for one it's much easier to stand up for long periods of time.
M: So much easier.
A: And with a drop of a hat just be like 'well I'm gonna go to the Charlotte show and then the Greenville show and then Columbia or whatever whatever.
M: Three nights in a row!
A: Now it's like 'woo, I gotta recover from that show I went to that was 15 miles away.'
M: And that ended at 10:30.
A: Exactly! And on the other hand though at this point we have somewhat more disposable income than we did then though, of course, a lot of people have children, the monetary considerations of children and what not to consider. There is a good amount more disposable income that we can put toward things like the pledges and Patreons and what not. And I do think, and I've thought this for some time, that it's pretty funny, like if I go on back to 2006 and said, "well they're gonna roll out a system where you help fund the album by paying for stuff and you're going to pay $50 to talk to them before the show." I would have been like you're me. Fifty dollars?
M: Fifty dollars for what we could get back then for free?
A: Then, of course, I would have been like 'well, but see they ALL have to take a picture with you. It's legally mandated that they all have to take a picture." And I'm like, ok now I get it, I see now. Ok.
M: Even Jay!
A: Even Jay who usually looks unhappy or mildly confused in all of the pictures. And I'm like 'all right I see now I guess I'll allow it.' I have definitely thought about like going back in time either to 1998 or early 2006 and been like 'yeah, they're gonna reunite in 2015 and such-and-such and such-and-such and then there's going to be a new album in 2018. Like, 'Wow! 2018! That just sounds so far off!' It is. It is still weird looking at pictures from 1998-99 and looking at what people were wearing. I have a problem sometimes trying to determine like what is early 2000's fashion, what is late 2000s fashion like around 2010 and what is now because so much of the things seem to be sort of recycled from the 90s. If I look at a picture I cannot determine what year it's from a lot of the time, except in some of these Jump pictures where's it's like yeah, ok, everybody's got bleached tips in this photograph, ok.
M: The frosted tips.
A: Or it's like blond ambition and blond complacency. It's Ward's blond complacency tour. [laughs] I still think that's hilarious. Blond complacency. [laughs] Oh man...
M: What was the Blond Complacency Tour?
A: Oh that was like, there was a tour or brief period of time where Matt had blond hair and he said that it was...
M: I think that was before my time!
A: I don't know, it was not a very long period of time but he said it was his Blond Ambition Tour. At that point, this is something I think that Vivian wrote out so this is Vivian's recap, and Ward had been blond for some time at that point and he said, 'this is just my blond complacency tour.' Which I just thought was hilarious but it's always fun looking at old pictures which is why I have that old picture thread on the Opium, it's not squared. With the three it's not squared.
A: Cubed, okay. The Opium Cubed Facebook page where I've got that thread going which has sort of got out of hand and got wildly popular and I need to post in that again.
M: Yeah, it's been awhile.
A: That's part and parcel of looking back at the old Jump stuff because during that ten year hiatus I didn't really look at that. Like I found my posters and I found my Rosebud album, like I told Jay, in the closet. And a large part of that was because I didn't want to listen to them a whole lot and just sort of get agitated about, "oh are they going to go on tour again or not." So maybe that wasn't necessarily the right thing to do but I just did not see a point in getting worked up over those 10 years about something that might not happen.
M: Yeah I...I didn't really listen to them much in those 10 years.
A: What I like to do, and I'm not sure if anybody else does this, I like to go long periods of time without listening to them at all and then listening to a bunch of their stuff and just being like, wow. And I do that so that I don't listen to them all the time and get sick of them. I really don't want to do that. There's a huge catalogue of songs anyway, and there's a lot time's I'll forget about a song entirely because it's maybe something they...that wasn't on an album or it's something they didn't play very often. I'll just completely forget about it. And I think that's kind of nice because that way you're not getting sick of it cuz you can't remember it.
A: [laughs]It kind of works out nicely that way. but it does definitely seem like over those 10 years they really did what they wanted to do and were able to come back strong from a stronger position. Because it really is a shame what the music industry was like at that particular point in time when they were trying to make it big and I can't really speak to the technicalities and the ins-and-outs of that but it really seems like that was right at the point where things were really going downhill in terms of Clear Channel. And MTV and VH1 of course were no longer what I knew of them to be in high school of actually playing videos and getting people known. They were not...I think a lot of stuff has been microcosmed, if that's even a term, on the internet where you've got random YouTube channels or random Spotifly Spotifly, I can't believe I said that, Spotify playlists and it's a lot of stuff is just so atomized that there's not a way of someone really hitting a big unless it's like one of five people now. It's like we see five pop stars and they come out with something new and that's it. But on the other hand there are more ways for bands to find success in niche markets and I hope that you know Jump's able to do that but regardless of whether they are not it really does seem like they've had a satisfying hiatus. And I'm really glad of that for them because they got to work on their own thing and not freak out about "we got to make a living doing this."
M: Yeah I think, I don't know about you but it seems like they're more laid-back about it now.
A: Yeah, yeah and that's great because I do vaguely recall, although sometimes these times blend together for me, how stressed out they were by some of the recording sessions and releases and how well things went over and hoping for a particular type of success that seemed to be continually denied them even though you know they still had us [laughs] but to be able to... you know I have to also point out that my boyfriend at the time broke up with me the year that they were actually like, a couple months before they said this was "our last show and we're going on hiatus." Well they didn't say they were going on hiatus, I don't remember, but you know, before the last Dock Street. So at that point I was like, "sure, whatever. Ok, this might as well happen." Like the John Mulaney line, "this might as well happen." That was sort of a downer thing in general and I wrote a little essay on Facebook sort of explaining my feelings about Jump's place in my life and vis a vis that particular time in my life. And it was a depressive period right then and there were depressive periods quite off and on from then to now and certainly in 2015 and a different kinds of depressive periods from 2015 to now. And I like to look at how they have managed to mitigate some of those depressive periods and... as opposed to being the direct cause of a depressive period. But I don't know. I sort of feel like I look back at the hiatus and I look back at the past 20 years or so of my life, and there's a lot of stuff that I could have done that I didn't do. And like I've said when you're around 40 you think, "ok, I need to either do this stuff or decide that I'm definitely not going to.
M: Yeah, it's a reckoning.
A: Yes exactly, exactly. And it's been nice looking and looking around and meeting up with people that I used to see all the time and meeting people that I didn't originally even know as Jump fans, probably because they were way before my time and I never really had the opportunity. Because I think some people checked out during Magazine, to be honest. Some people were just like 'nope, I can't do this.' But whereas Magazine was my introductory album. But looking at these folks and seeing what everyone's lives have been like the past however many years has been interesting because one thing I used to think to myself I recognize all my Jump people and I can visualize all my Jump friends very easily where as maybe some people I worked with a few years ago that I was good friends with, yeah you know, whatever. But Jump people from 20 years ago I'm like, 'I know you, I knew you, I knew you.' It's just it's sort of like we are all in that place where we understand each other, at least to a certain extent, which I think is really what makes a fandom as opposed to just people that all like a band.
M: A collection of fans.
A: Yes yes we have our in-jokes, we have our references that you know you're going to understand something even if no one's really articulated that to you before you still know what I mean. Like if for example to be talking about the way Jay positions his feet when he's about to sing something that requires some effort. A lot of people would would get that. So I think it's an interesting time not only to look back on what things were like 20 or however many years ago but to look at what's our situation now. Would you say that you prefer being a fan now and in the past 3 years or back in the day?
M: They both have their pros and cons. [laughs] I miss being able to stand for long shows without having pain the next day.
M: But, you know, the stressors of your early 20s aren't there. You're...cuz I got into them when I was 19 I think.
A: Yeah, me too.
M: Maybe I was 20.
A: My 19 was in 1998.
M: Yeah, my 19...I can't even, I can't do the math quick enough for a podcast! [laughs] I think I was around...I think I was about to turn 20 the first time I saw them. So I was, you know, in college and having a full load of classes and also 'oh here's this band that I want to follow everywhere.'
A: You know what's weird? I was 19 and just about to turn 20 and I don't remember any real conflicts with my school work or anything like that because I really honestly don't know if it wasn't important enough of a conflict or if it just all managed to work out. Maybe some finals or whatever.
M: I had a bunch of art classes so I had to work on these big, huge art projects that were huge drawings.
A: Oh, right.
M: So I had to choose and I chose Jump. [laughs]
A: Well my college life was actually super boring. I took MARTA, our public transport system in Atlanta, to get there. I did not live on campus. I didn't have any like wild stories or anything cuz that's just not the type of person I am. I didn't have crazy college stories because my Jump fans were my crazy college people and as far as that goes. Like, I don't remember anybody from my college years basically like yeah, nobody. Which maybe sounds weird to people but I did not live on campus I did not have a college social life. Jump was my college social life in terms of the people that I knew. Just a note about the possible sound in the background that is pipes from the unit next door. I just wanted to add real quick though, yes it is harder to stand now and it's, you know, I'm even less patient with opening bands than I was back then and it's also everything's like too loud. That's one thing I really do like about Jump is they're almost never too loud.
M: No, they never are.
A: They--and I really respect that about them. They don't always have control, I'm sure, over ever sound system in every venue but for the most part I haven't had to have earplugs and I haven't had to grin and bear it through and incredibly loud, painfully loud show with them. So that's something I've always like about them. But I like a lot of being a fan now coz there's a lot of--I think a lot of stuff has distilled down to its purest essence. You don't really care about a lot of things that you might have back in the day and everyone's just sort of more themselves now so it's just like what--how people are is how they are.
A: There's a lot less stress and as far as that goes.
A: So, I kind of I kind of do prefer now in many ways but there is a lot to be said for youth. [laughter] But conclusively speak, you know like you said, there's good things and bad things to both then and now but one thing I like is that a lot of stuff really is the same in many ways. I thought it was so funny when I saw my friend Rachel at the show in 2015. She looked exactly like she did back in the day. She acted like she did back in the day. We interacted exactly like then so it was so weird to be exactly like it was 10 years earlier, yet knowing the whole time it's not. It's 10 years later. It's--in many ways it's wildly different but it was similar enough that you know you still feel these connections with people.
A: You still laugh at some of the same things.
M: [laughs] Yeah it was it was really funny after the licmag show and, you know, we were all standing around waiting to talk to, you know, whatever member [crosstalk] Matt,Matt, it was specifically.
A: Oh was it.
M: But we were all just standing there like, 'oh here we are again. It's the same as it ever was.'
A: Yep. Yeah.
M: [laughs] It was kinda-that was a nice feeling though.
A: It is. It's a great feeling. Sometimes I, you know, I don't want to become too...I don't even know what the term would be that I'm looking for; I don't want to become too fixated on the wanting to bring back--I don't wanna become too nostalgic.
A: Where you know, that was one of the most exciting time of my--Oh, let's face it, that was the most exciting time of my life was this amazing experience and what does that mean to me, thinking, you know, a lot of people did other exciting things...you know, I've been to Europe, I been to Canada, I've had some little, these little trips that were also exciting but nothing is really quite the same as Jump fandom. I don't know. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. Maybe we can cut this part out cuz I sound like I'm all over the place and I'm regretting my life choices. [laughter]
M: No, I think, I think--cuz there's there's this connection that, you know, the people who have been to a bunch of the same shows as each other we all have this connection and it's it's almost like-I don't want to say like a high school reunion because you don't really care about those people [crosstalk] unless you've kept up with them, but see through social media we've all kinda been able to keep up with each other...
M: ...that we've wanted who we've wanted to keep up with and it's just nice the connect--see I don't look at it as nostalgia cuz it's it's more about the connections that I made with other people and just being able to be around those people again and to be around the guys again with those people it's just it's just it's a warm fuzzy feeling. [laughs]
A: Right! So it like a living Nostalgia cuz I--when you were talking about that it's like you really realize once you have these post-2015 shows, you really realize how important this is because I think there was a couple times back in the day where I'd be like 'ugh, I didn't like the so-and-so show. I've just like...' and you get sort of tired of seeing them, you know, excuse me for saying so but you'd just be like 'uuugh, ok, I need a break.'
M: You see a couple hundred shows get a little tired.
A: Yeah, yeah, you're like 'ok, that's enough,' and then 10 years later it's like wow, every show, even if it's not, you know I'm not crazy about it--cuz I wasn't that crazy about the Charleston Music Hall Show because I sort of felt that everything was just you know waiting for the licmag show.
A: So, the Charleston Music Hall show was just okay for me but at the same time there's an understanding that because you know they're also planning to not tour as frequently, there's a sense of you know we only have a limited number of Jump, Little Children shows left. To go back to what Jay was saying you know we don't have time for another 10 year hiatus. [laughs] I know some people thought that was funny. They were like, 'he's only gonna be 60 [laughter] what's the problem?' [laughs] But you still there is a greater awareness of you know we are--we have to really value every every every show we've got.
A: And everything that they put out so...
M: Yeah cuz, yeah going back to you know whether now being a fan is good or back then whether you prefer either one I think now. I don't know there's like a feeling of like we're more grateful for it. [laughs]
A: Yeah, yeah. It's more meaningful. Although, there is something to be said for just sort of living through a time period without really pausing to think about wow I need to be profoundly grateful for every minute of this. That's really something you can only look back at in retrospect and say wow I just soaked this up without really thinking we only have so much time left. Because that's very much a young person thing to just be like not even thinking about stuff like that at all. But having the context to really be like we're grateful for every--it's all gravy, as I like to think. They didn't have to reunite in 2015. They didn't have to make new music. They didn't have to plan to do another album like I said earlier. So, it's all it's all gravy at this point.
A: I guess that's a good thing to end on. What are we going to talk about next time?
M: next time on Just a Second!
A: I literally can't remember cuz I was just looking at our Google doc on that but I can't remember what we wanted to do the second time. Oh! Maybe it's probably gonna be about female fandom.
M: Oh! That'll be good.
A: Just really blow the wad and just get the most important episode [laughs] It's possible. I guess we'll just have to see what comes about. All right so I guess that's about it.
[outro music, "Too High" by Jump, Little Children plays a few seconds then fades out]