Ballroom Jacks are an alternative rock and roll band which formed in Queens, New York in 2010. Composed of brothers Will Arland (Singer and Songwriter) and Ben Arland (Bassist), & Conor McGlone (Drums), the band is influenced by 1960's American girl groups, Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, and the aesthetic of new wave 80's music. The song writing of Will Arland combined with the clipped precision of the drums and reverbed guitar tones make for soaring compositions that uplift with melancholic angst.
Will Arland - Vocals, Guitar
Ben Arland - Vocals, Bass
Conor McGlone - Drums, Percussion
Do the Wolf Paw Waltz - 2012
The Ballroom Jacks, Rowdy Brit-rock, via Brooklyn
[+ Show ]
Local kids the Ballroom Jacks certainly keep up with the “all in the family” tradition (cf. Kings of...Local kids the Ballroom Jacks certainly keep up with the “all in the family” tradition (cf. Kings of Leon, Oasis, Mars Volta). Will and Ben Arland play guitar and take turns belting out the band's rowdy, vintage Brit-style rock. Talk about sibling rivalry. But for these brothers, it seems to suit them well. Watching their fast, pounding live show, bands like Dawes and Deer Tick come to mind — guttural voices highlighted by solid musicianship. Let's hope they reprise their surreal cover of La Roux's "Bulletproof" at the show tonight.
The Ballroom Jacks
Interview after Brooklyn show
Ballroom Jacks Do the Wolf Paw Waltz
[+ Show ]
New York City rockers, Ballroom Jacks, recently self-released their debut EP “Do The Wolf Paw Waltz”...New York City rockers, Ballroom Jacks, recently self-released their debut EP “Do The Wolf Paw Waltz” with a ‘name your price’ tag. The band consists of Will Arland (vocals, guitar), Ben Arland (bass, vocals), Conor McGlone (drums, percussion), Graham Stone (guitar, vocal) and the trio brings forth a rock fusion of indie-new wave, like The Cure meets Young the Giant. With a solid first effort that’s available for free (you could at least tip them a few bucks!), Ballroom Jacks are definitely worth a listen.
Ballroom Jacks play The Knit on July 21
[+ Show ]
You won’t have to go through much of Ballroom Jacks' new EP ‘Do the Wolf Paw Waltz’ to understand wh...You won’t have to go through much of Ballroom Jacks' new EP ‘Do the Wolf Paw Waltz’ to understand what they brought you here for: it’s time to get moving, and you know it’s been too long. Sure you didn’t get the girl, but that’s no reason to mope around. As singer Will Arland says in closer ‘I Could Be You,’:”‘I don’t need you, I’m just jealous of you.”
A band exploring New York’s uptown in bouncy guitar-driven tracks like ‘Harlem,’ the quartet has more in common with Britpop icons like Blur and Arctic Monkeys than they might think. Like Albarn, Arlan channels personal relationship outcomes both good and bad to universal resonance with, band in tow. See them live at The Knitting Factory on July 21. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)
An Interview with Ben Arland from the Ballroom Jacks
[+ Show ]
Back in 2011, NME dubbed the Vaccines’ debut album as “The Return of the Great British Guitar Band.”...Back in 2011, NME dubbed the Vaccines’ debut album as “The Return of the Great British Guitar Band.” While the validity of this statement is debatable, it’s undeniable that bands like the Vaccines and the Drums have heralded a movement of young, guitar heavy, British 1960’s-influenced bands that are catchy but substantial. They’re carrying on from where the Arctic Monkeys left off in the mid 2000’s. I’m an ardent listener and follower of this movement, and the Ballroom Jacks’ EP Do the Wolf Paw Waltz fits snugly next to my Crocodiles, Girls, the Big Pink, and Twin Shadow records. Rock n’ Roll ain’t dead quite yet, kids.
I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Ben Arland, the Ballroom Jacks’ bassist, a few days before Christmas break. I’m kind of surprised he had time for it: Ben is studying a combination of Marketing, at the Gabelli Business School, and Art History. We rescheduled our meeting once for his class-related MoMa trip, and he ran off to the Met right after we finished interview. Arland hails from northern Connecticut, but currently commutes to Fordham from Sunnyside, Queens. He flipped out (in a totally good way) when I showed him a picture of me having a beer with Peter Singer and expressed his concerns about the overwhelming corruption in the FDA’s regulation of America’s industrial farming industry. Ben was self conscious about sounding like a conspiracy theorist, but I told him I was a vegetarian because of my own fears regarding industrial farming. He admitted that he should be vegetarian, but enjoyed the glorious beauty of a steak too much. He’s that kind of guy.
So it’s pretty obvious that in the past few years there have been a lot of debuts of British influenced bands that focus on guitar riffs. The Drums, for example. Would you consider the Ballroom Jacks part of that movement?
Yes, I would. Definitely. I think it’s an amazing movement that heightens the importance of the guitar band, a genre that I think hasn’t received a lot of respect in the past. There’s a simplicity to the music. It’s rock n’ roll, but there’s this focus on the construction of a pop song. I mean, what the Vaccines can do with three chords is just amazing. It’s simple, but not without meaning.
Dude–I. Love. The. Vaccines.
[Omitted: 10 minutes of geeking out about the Vaccines.]
You’re in the Ballroom Jacks with your brother. Do you come from a very musical family?
Not at all! Neither of my parents play instruments, but they did have great taste in music. I grew up on a lot of the Beatles and Motown records.
What instruments do you play and how did you learn to play?
I can play the bass and the guitar. I’m self-taught in both, but I did take piano lessons when I was younger.
What bands and musicians have influenced the Ballroom Jacks the most?
We’re influenced a lot by Phil Spector’s sound and 1960’s girl groups.
Really? That’s interesting. Not something I would have guessed. What have you been listening to lately?
Well, I’m always listening to the Arctic Monkeys, Glasvegas, and the Clash. Man, I love the Clash.
I literally wake up every morning to the Clash’s “Bankrobber.” Like for real. Do you listen to anything outside the indie/rock/punk genre?
Yeah, definitely! I really like electronic music. Grimes is great. She makes really great, quality electronic music. Bad electronic music is so easy to make. Anyone with a computer can do it, but when someone like Grimes does it well with such great subtlety and artistry, it sounds like a symphony. Cults is great too. I can listen to their album all the way through.
So you really like female vocals, huh? Cults, Grimes, 60’s girl groups…
Uh, well, I haven’t really thought about it, but, yeah, I guess I do. I do really love the Supremes.
Cool. The Supremes are pretty great. So how often do the Ballroom Jacks play around the city?
Around 2-3 times a month. We mostly play venues around the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. We’ve played at Arlene’s Grocery, the Knitting Factory, the National Underground, and even Jersey. We did a show in Passaic. You’re from Jersey, right?
I’m from Passaic County.
Is that the same thing? I always drive through Jersey, but I literally know nothing about Jersey.
Oh, boy. Passaic is the city where white suburban kids from my high school bought weed. It’s, uh, kind of dangerous.
Yeah, I guess it was pretty sketchy, but awesome.
Haha, awesome. Sure. Traveling to Jersey and doing a few shows a month must be time consuming. Are you the only student in your band?
No, our drummer goes to City College. I do try to take as many classes at Lincoln Center since it eases the commute. The two campuses are so different, though. This one is a little artsier, right?
That is a valid observation.
But there’s not a lot of people doing music here.
Well, actually, that’s right. There’s a music major, but I think we’re bigger in Theatre and the Visual Arts. We have a few Lincoln Center students in bands, though.
Oh, really? I haven’t heard any of them.
So do the Ballroom Jacks use a lot of social media?
Yeah, we do! We have a Bandcamp, a Facebook, a Twitter, a Soundcloud, and a Myspace. Do people still use Myspace?
No, Justin Timberlake tried to revamp it a few months ago, but it didn’t work.
Haha. Our band has a tumblr too, but we don’t use it as often as we should.
Alright, you get the last word in the interview.
We have a show coming up on January 17th at Spike Hill.
|Jun 1, 2013 Saturday||8:00 PM||Sip This||Valley Stream, NY, US|
|Jun 7, 2013 Friday||8:00 PM||Muchmore's||Brooklyn, NY, US|
|Aug 10, 2013 Saturday||1:00 PM||Live&Local At Six Flags Great Adventure||Jackson, NJ, US|