Fred Jones
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Fred Jones

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“Life and Wine” celebrates life with melodies to inspire and evoke fun and bring to mind the pop/rock piano sensation Ben Folds 5. The incredible collaboration of the six song EP is filled with songs such as “Here and Now” which force the human body to begin moving limbs in sync with the music.

After the first week of listening to The Fred Jones Band’s first recorded album together, I found getting the songs out of my head and mouth surprisingly more difficult than actually taking the CD itself out of the CD player. The catchy piano riffs and vocals create a pop sound with many aspects of traditional alternative aspects. With just piano, bass, and drums, the band may seem undersized, but their music carries enough sound to fill any room. Lead Singer and piano player Ray Orias has an exceptional voice and great talent behind the keys, which become the building blocks for each track.

“Come and get together. We just want to dance,” request listeners of track 4, “The Jive,” to do just that. This song includes a much faster tempo from the bass line and drums with a jazzier piano jingle which guarantees to swing any one off their feet to “jive” right along. “Grab your finest girl.” You can slow things down a bit with songs such as “La Plus Belle Fille Au Monde” and the CD’s intro “The Coming together of everything.”

The only draw back that I found on this album was the minor drowning out of the piano by the other instruments. The volume on the piano should carry the lyrics along with it. I also felt that the drums sound slightly hollow during certain tracks, to hold up with the additional musical contenders.

The Fred Jones Band is recommended for those who seek fun and entertainment from their music. For the bands first recorded album they sound amazing. They sure know how to make people dance.

-Melissa Wells
- SanDiegoPunk.com


SDP: Since “Life and Wine” is the first recorded album for the Fred Jones Band, what was it like recording together?

Fred Jones: We recorded with producer, Ryan Matteson, at Blue Room Production and the process was extremely relaxed. It was less like work and more like hanging out. At times you can’t help but focus too much on your playing and the recording process grows frustrating and laborious. If we ever felt that way we would all take a break, get some fresh air, and try again once we felt completely ready. It was a blast and a major lesson on how things should work in a studio.

Many of the songs on “Life and Wine” play background music to good times and the moments in life where you are just glad to be where you are and who you’re with. Where did the inspiration come from? Any particular moments in either of your lives which inspired the tunes?


All the songs, in general, are really positive, and think that occurred because of our own personal takes on life, love, and being. “The Weight of My Intentions” and “The Jive” are songs written with this philosophy on being content in the moment. Other songs like “Here and Now”, “La Plus Belle Fille Au Monde”, and “Entropy”, are basically extracted experiences from our lives. While the latter were written from an individual’s perspective that does not mean that it has to have this narrow and unchangeable meaning. Songs have a transcending effect to them. It means different things to different people.

How are fans and listeners taking to the new band and album?

People new to us are really receptive to the band and the album. The most common remark that we receive is how happy they get when they listen to our music, and we’ve been working really hard in bringing that to our live shows as well. All in all, fans and listeners have been positive, which is very fortunate for a new band on the scene.

In three words or less how would you describe “Life and Wine”?

Good times.

How does the future for Fred Jones look from here? Have you planned any upcoming shows locally?

The future looks extremely bright. We are set to tour up the California coast in March and we just have an amazing time playing live. We have a few local shows lined up. We’re going to be playing in Vista this Saturday and in Murrieta the next week afterwards. As for after that, we’re still booking.

Has there been any talk on record label signs in the near future for Fred Jones? Has the band been offered any contracts?

That is what we’re striving towards right now. As a band, we take music seriously. The CD and the tour we’re planning are all out of our pockets. I think that if we show record labels our diligent work ethic, our music, and press about us, they may be more willing to pick us up. As for any contracts being offered to us, that may be a long ways from now, but if there where, we wouldn’t miss the opportunity.

How long did “Life and Wine” take to produce?

“Life and Wine” took a very long time, but a lot of that was due to outside priorities like school and work. We would come into the studio about twice a week. This started in early March, and after a long downtime, ended in mid-July. If there was ever a recording problem or a scheduling conflict, we didn’t stress it because we all understood that recording and producing is a long process. We did not want the work to suffer so we only had a vague time table that we followed, more or less.

What is your favorite song on the EP?

Ash and I (Ray) both have “The Jive” as our favorite song because of the mood it invokes. Meanwhile, Jason really likes the song “Here and Now.”

What types of fans do you think Fred Jones would most likely appeal to?

I think that Fred Jones would appeal to the average listener, young or old.

-Melissa Wells
- SanDiegoPunk.com



Fred Jones is a band not a person. But it’s still a badass name regardless. Juxtaposing pop harmonies with power-pop ballads and crafty rhythms, “Life and Wine” is a piano-pop lifestyle that everyone should adopt. Featuring “only”, bass, piano, vocals, and drums, the group’s sound is in the Keane and Ben Folds Five region. Refusing to fall in love with this band is like an alcoholic resisting temptation at an open bar—impossible!

- J-Sin
- Smother.net


Evidentemente sono incontentabile: invoco l’inverno, desidero una coerenza climatica con il Natale che inesorabile avanza a grandi falcate verso di me. Ed un bel giorno, in cui la pioggia decide di venir giù accompagnata da un vento fresco e insistente mi ritrovo nella cassetta postale un disco proveniente da Oceanside, California. E ora quel vento inizia a darmi fastidio, la pioggia diventa insopportabile ed inizio ad immaginare giornate di sole, spiagge immense popolate da una sfilza di ragazze in perfetto stile baywatch e tramonti che si sciolgono nell’orizzonte rosso fuoco. Merito di questi Fred Jones e del loro Ep Life & Wine, fresco come la primavera e allegro come un pomeriggio di agosto in riva al mare. L’impostazione pianoforte-basso- batteria ricorda ai limiti del plagio Ben Folds, però la ricetta funziona: pop solare ed orecchiabile, canzoni riuscitissime ed un lieve accenno jazz scanzonato che regala leggerezza a chi li ascolta. Aprite la finestra e godetevi una ventata di aria fresca, infilate questo disco nel lettore e alzate il volume, vi verrà una voglia irrefrenabile di indossare i vostri occhiali da sole e scendere a farvi un giro da qualche parte. Questo è sicuramente il Natale più caldo degli ultimi anni, e se le cose cambieranno potrete sempre aggrapparvi a questa manciata di canzoni e far finta che è ancora agosto. Funzionerà.

-Sachiel - Indie for Bunnies


Décidément, MySpace est une véritable mine d'or pour peu qu'on y farfouille un petit peu... Je vous propose de découvrir Fred Jones, un groupe californien mené par Raymund Orias, qui souhaite par son nom rendre hommage à sa principale source d'inspiration, j'ai nommé Ben Folds.

Seulement 2 titres sur ce site donc, mais tous deux très intéressants... Un piano, une basse, une batterie, c'est tout ce dont à besoin Fred Jones pour laisser éclater sa musicalité impressionnante. Certes, les enregistrements ne sont pas parfaits, mais cela rajoute, je trouve, un charme et une certaine spontanéité. La voix de Ray est excellente, très mature et addictive... Les ambiances jazzy/groovy développées ici paraîtront peut-être mièvres à certains, et je peux le comprendre. On a clairement affaire ici à du format FM, mais cela n'enlève rien à mon plaisir, je me suis même déjà surpris à chantonner ces chansons entraînantes et spontanées.

Le groupe vient de finir l'enregistrement d'un EP avec l'aide de Blue Room Productions, dont, personnellement, j'attends la sortie impatiemment... (11/09/2006) - Tatapoum


by Ollie
Published June 14, 2007

Life & Wine centers on the incredible talent of Ray Orias. Jason Encabo's drumming is secondary, the Matteson brothers sing backup on one song, and Thorpe hadn't been added as bassist until this year. Still, the CD brims with raucous feel-good music.

The band's name is also the name of a song by Ben Folds, Ray Orias's main influence. The impression must have been a great one.

Life & Wine features spirited piano and quirky lyrics of melancholy, longing, and self-deprecating humor; the songs could be the b-side recordings of the Ben Folds Five's 1997 album, Whatever and Ever, Amen.

To know what Fred Jones sounds like, think of the tune "Army" (from Whatever and Ever, Amen) and sing these lyrics from the song "La Plus Belle Fille Au Monde": "I'm hoping you have followed/ in my every foolish folly/ 'cause I'll be so good for you/ and you'll be so good for me."

Ben Folds left an empty slot in the "piano-based alternative rock band" category, and Fred Jones could fill it if they moved a bit further away from being a quasi-tribute band to being their own creative original.
- the San Diego Reader


Discography

San Diego Soundscape (Comp. 2007)
"La Plus Belle Fille Au Monde"

Life & Wine (EP 2006)
Singles-
"Entropy"
"La Plus Belle Fille Au Monde"

"Entropy" 94.9 FMSD
"La Plus Belle Fille Au Monde" Insomnia Radio SD
"The Weight of My Intentions" Indie for Bunnies podcast/indie blog

Photos

Bio

Inventive. Unique. Idealistic. Insightful. All these words accurately describe one of the many personalities of Fred Jones, a band that both flirts with the complexity of music but stays faithful to the reliance of a good pop song. In the summer of 2005, Fred Jones, still unnamed at the time, started out merely as a casual occurrence between longtime friends, Jason Encabo and Ray Orias. The two liked what they had and decided to take it further. They paraded through a series of short- lived titles like “Friends & Lovers” and “Flying Kites” before settling on the name “Fred Jones”, as a way to pay tribute to their main musical influence, Ben Folds. Also at this time, they wrote a collection of songs that would inevitably make their first self-released EP, Life & Wine.

What is so defining about Fred Jones’ sound is that the band only depends on drums, bass, piano, and vocals as the means to carrying the note, but this does not necessarily equate to the band setting itself boundaries. Rather, it is the opposite. Fred Jones is able to create something that is refreshing and faintly familiar by truly capturing a mixture of several musical genres. By listening to just one song, the influence of Ben Folds is apparent, yet there are hints of anything from sixties’ Motown to modern hip hop enclosed in the overall melody.

Although the band, Fred Jones, is somewhat new to the music scene, its core members, Jason Encabo and Ray Orias, have paid their dues. First working together in late 2001, they, along with two other friends, played in a band called “The Artificial Amateurs”. One year later, the band self-released their first EP, Good From Far, but Far From Good. They reached a substantial local following, playing a series of shows, contributing songs for a national CD compilation, and releasing one more EP before finally calling it quits in mid 2003. Not to be deterred, the boys made their time for other projects. Jason Encabo established his independent clothing line, “Thin Line Clothing”, and Ray Orias started the acoustic band, “Schröeder”.

His band released two EPs and a full length, all in the span of two years. However, the two friends proved to have strong ties because in December of 2004, they collaborated together, along with another friend, to form the electronic group, a²+b²=c². In early 2005, Orias moved to Northern England, where he was able to regain some perspective. Upon coming back that summer, he ended his acoustic band, wanting to play in a band with a more lively and wide-ranging sound.

Fast-forward to just one year later and the boys released their first record, Life & Wine. Life & Wine is a testament to living in the moment and celebrating the many moods of life, love, alcohol, and friendship. The EP begins quietly, with the anticipatory introduction, “The Coming Together of Everything”, but soon picks up with its anthemic second track, “Here and Now”. Next, Fred Jones offers a delightfully positive message of action and being with “The Weight of My Intentions”, and goes into a discourse on existentialism with “The Jive”. The EP follows with the instant pop gem, “La Plus Belle Fille Au Monde”, and finishes off tastefully with its epitomizing last track, “Entropy”.

So what’s next for our boys? Although no one knows for sure, the future of Fred Jones looks extremely bright and promising. Just recently picking up their close friend and fellow musician, Ash Thorp, as their bass player, Fred Jones is extremely anxious to hit the stage. With a new sound at hand, and after more than six years of repetitious trial and error, Jason and Ray have finally found something that works so naturally and sounds just too good to pass up.