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Miami, Florida, United States | INDIE

Miami, Florida, United States | INDIE
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"Perchance to Dream: Still Rocking Miami, Jacob’s Ladder Releases New EP"

It’s been a long and busy climb for Jacob’s Ladder, but all around Miami (and increasingly the nation) fans are thinking that the latest step may help take them to the cultural summit of their namesake.

The Old Testament tells of a tale where Jacob falls asleep, only to dream that he climbs a ladder to Paradise — eventually, his path to salvation is found through his work here on Earth. This Friday, the hometown purveyors of pop-punk anthems are taking this next step and getting set to release the newest and most anticipated effort of their career: a new EP entitled “Back To Life.”

Drummer Brian Hernandez and guitarist/lead singer Oren Maisner have known each other since their days in awkward elementary school physical education class. The relationship continued through middle school until they joined forces with bassist Sammy Gonzalez. In Miami Beach High School’s Rock Ensemble they all came together to quickly (and in hindsight, solidly) form an adolescent group of ‘kids’ just trying to make rock ’n’ roll. Starting with early gigs around the Beach and Miami’s Churchill’s Pub, the then-proving grounds of Miami’s music scene, the trio surpassed barriers with grace uncommon to most of their colleagues.

Recently on their touring schedule, they’ve taken their brand to the revered South By Southwest Festival in Austin. Billed next to big names didn’t seem to obscure their vision, however. As is true for their tenure, the band doesn’t seem to let any limelight get in the way of the vision of the pure rock ’n’ roll they started with so many years ago.

Over 10 years, the band has been riding what many would call the bench of the modern punk scene. They’ve played alongside some of the biggest and progressive names in the genre many times over, including multiple Warped Tour appearances. This band is now no one’s bridesmaid and, with their new record, is ready to take the oath. They’ve played things the right way, coming into their own under their own terms: building chops on the road and working with names such as Fall Out Boy, Relient K, The Ataris, and others.

“Back To Life” is reminiscent of so many post-hardcore/semi-emo albums of the ’90s. However, it adds a twist of experience that the creators of those albums perhaps didn’t take the time to acquire. Over their tenure, the band has grown in a way that not many bands can stake claim to. Having started out together so early, and taking things in such respectable stride, the band has a unique sound that comes from the fact that they simultaneously grew apart musically while remaining together. The new EP is four tracks that range the musical gamut while remaining catchy.

Jacob’s Ladder’s synergy is a testament to a conglomeration of Miami musicians working together toward a final unique sound. Now with different backgrounds, their latest effort combines post-hardcore, reggae, and pop into a more than satiable serving of musical statement.

Jacob’s Ladder will perform at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, April 8 at Churchill’s Pub, 5501 N.E. Second Ave., in Miami, at their “Back to Life” EP release party. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m. They are joined by Danse Macabre, Addax, Hit Play, Deaf Poets and more. Call 305-757-1807 or visit myspace.com/jacobsladder and churchillspub.com for more information. - THE LEAD

"Jacobs Ladder Visits L.A., Avoids the Tar Pits, and Returns With a New Album"

Even 207 years after Lewis and Clark dared to make that first incredibly dangerous cross-continental trip, millions of Americans -- like local prog-punk trio Jacobs Ladder --continue to head West, looking for fame, inspiration, intoxicants, babes of both sexes, and giant bags of cash.

Needless to say, most of these wannabe superstars will fail. They'll hitchhike to Hollywood. Sign with some agent in a low-rent strip mall. Audition for a few TV commercials. Or try to scam their way into a recording studio.

They'll drag themselves to another thousand auditions and/or studios. Resort to a full-time gig waiting tables. Get addicted. Get evicted. Get fired. And finally, in the most unfortunate cases, begin performing strange acts in rundown motels just to buy a double patty, fries, and Diet Coke at In-n-Out Burger.

Luckily, Jacobs Ladder's three members -- singer and guitar guy Oren Maisner, bass player Sammy Gonzalez, and drummer Brian Hernandez -- are supersmart dudes. And when they were planning their own trip to Los Angeles, they vigilantly avoided the tar pits.

A scout was sent to survey the situation. And some ground rules were set. For one, this wouldn't be a permanent move, only a working vacation. For another, it would last no more than three weeks. And lastly, they would spend almost every waking hour in producer Carlos De La Garza's Music Friends Recording Studios in Eagle Rock, California, hammering out their new five-track album, the Back to Life EP.

So thanks to pre-planning and foresight, the weirdest thing the boys of Jacobs Ladder have ever done in an crappy L.A. motel room is turn out the lights and go to sleep. "Well, we spooned with each other and shared beds," laughs Maisner.

During daytime hours too, the mayhem and mischief was kept to a minimum. "You know, we went to West Hollywood to rent our gear. We visited the landmark first-ever Guitar Center and I put my hand on the Les Paul imprint, which was cool," Maisner says. "But we were pretty much in straight-on work mode while we were out there."

And now, still innocent and unscathed, Oren, Sammy, and Brian have returned from the West Coast with their minislab, the Back to Life EP, which will get its hometown unveiling at Churchill's Pub next Friday. "We are going to take the stage at 11:15 p.m. We are going to get the audience involved. Maybe even get them on stage with us."

In other words, expect fun. Expect business. And expect to share beds.

Jacobs Ladder's album release for the Back to Life EP with Arboles Libres, Deaf Poets, Hit Play, Addax, Danse Macabre, and others. Friday, April 8. Churchill's Pub, 5501 Second Ave., Miami. Doors open at 8 p.m. Ticket-and-EP bundles cost $10 via jacobsladder.bandfarm.com. See the Jacobs Ladder EP Release Facebook event page. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com. - Miami New Times

"Jacobs Ladder Interview with Oren Maisner (lead vocals/guitar)"

With constant touring and over five hundred shows under their belt, Miami based progessive pop/rock trio, Jacobs Ladder is back with a brand new EP. "Back to Life," released indepently by the group, provides listeners with the perfect soundtrack for their summer vacation. Jacobs Ladder's new album will have you wanting more of their unique sound, immediately. I had the chance to speak with vocalist/guitarist, Oren Maisner about the bands latest EP...

With your new Ep, "Back To Life," what were some things that you approached differently in comparison with your previous works?
We set out to craft catchy hard hitting songs with integrity. We really wanted to produce a tight EP where all the songs had their proper place and feel. We invited and welcomed different styles into the writing process that we previously had never tried before, such as ballads, R&B grooves and pop/punk breakdowns. We pump up listeners on our up-tempo rock driven title “Back To Life” but then on "Enchantment" the listener gets a sense of romance.
How did the writing process pan out for this record?
Portions were conceived before we were of drinking age & others we joined forces for in the van. Mostly our dueling acoustic guitars and "morning voices" evolved into multiple choice options with electric guitars and drums in our warehouse. We all play guitar and write, which gives us common ground. We start with the riff, Sammy and I then get together and write vocals. Brian plays a big role in the transitions and rhythms.
We ended up recording 15 songs and then picked 5 with our management team to record with Carlos de la Garza in LA. Carlos helped us really match everything up sonically and challenged us to make every part as full as we could.
What attracted you to the idea of working with Carlos de la Garza? What were some specific things that he brought to the table?
Carlos worked with Mark Trombino for many years, who we’re big fans of. Bleed America and Dude Ranch are two of our favorite records.
Working with Carlos we wanted to achieve that "punch you in the face with our guitar while serenading you" sound. He ended up being a super rad dude. He had great ideas, and challenged us, but never made us do things that we didn’t like. That was in itself really nice... Everything just felt right.
What would you like for people to take away from this record?
A sense of fulfillment mixed with a yearning for more. When the listener finishes hearing the EP we want them to feel like they've spent the summer with a new lover who is everything they've dreamed of and the thought of summer ending is killing them! With this record we intend to invoke excitement, joy, a touch a sadness and most of all optimism. We built this band from ground up and we finally feel like the product we've created represents us fully.
How supportive has your hometown crowd been?
Our hometown crowd is everything to us. They keep us on our toes, and make us always want to step it up a notch.
Everyone in our South FL scene has always been behind every tour we've embarked on as well as every record we've put out. We love our hometown and feel we owe it to them do our part in generating as much of a scene as we can.
A bunch of great bands have come out of the South Florida area, who are some of your favorite local bands?
New Found Glory, Poison the Well, Torche and Dashboard Confessional. There’s also lots of up and coming bands like Capsule, Rachael Goodrich, and Arboles Libres.
What can people expect when they come to one of your shows?
We all have the instinctive nature to be aggressive performers. We like to be in your face and dripping with sweat. It’s how we express our music. Expect to have fun, to dance, and fall in love.
Who are some bands that you have looked up to in terms of stage presence and live performance?
We've always been adamant believers of energetic live shows. Bands like At The Drive In, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Foo Fighters, are huge inspirations.
Being veterans of the road, what is some advice that you would give to newer bands?
Get out and do it, be smart, don’t waste money on hotels. Meet people and sleep at their houses. Save money by going grocery shopping and not eating fast food. You never know what the next city has waiting for you. Change those strings and warm up those voices. Also E-mergency and Aloe Vera are life savers.
Perfect day, windows down, driving in your car what are you listening to?
Mae "Beautiful Destination". There’s just something so raw and relaxing about the record.
- Music & What Not w/Mouser Time

"‘Back To Life,’ Jacob’s Ladder"

 ?Back To Life hasn’t deviated from what Jacob’s Ladder, a Miami-based trio, has been doing for years, which is straight up alt rock. However, what this EP does is show off a mastery of their style and what they are trying to say. The cinematic, soft intro leads into the first and title track of the EP, “Back To Life,” a solid track with driving guitar, flowing bass, and steady backbone of pounding drums. Later, “The Silence,” with a Sublime-like influence, gives the EP an overall good flow that gives you a reason to loop this six track taste over and over again.
This is their third release—their last being 2009's Ours for the Taking, which was produced by New Found Glory‘s drummer, Cyrus Bolooki. Jacob’s Ladder continues to surround themselves with serious talent in Back To Life, getting Ikey Owens, the keys player for Mars Volta, to lay down some tracks and make their sound even fuller throughout the album. Their ability as well as maturity has grown with each release as a result of constant touring up and down the east coast. Their unrelenting addiction to music has made them a staple in the south Florida music scene. - Key Pulp

"Review of Jacobs Ladder Back to Life EP"

When Oren Maisner, Sammy Gonzalez and Brian Hernandez, masterminds of Jacobs Ladder, set out to follow the railroad tracks they found they had arrived to Eagle Rock, California. However, this was no vacation, they met with producer Carlos De La Garza to record their Back to Life EP.
It’s a shame the East Coast gets to see more of these guys. Their show starts just like their record with some Reggae vibe on the intro for their title song “Back to Life”. Once you start to hear this song your fingers will beg you to learn the song and play along with the record. As if that was not enough they make you sing along, raise your arms and enjoy the moment. You can hear the passion in this record, something that many bands have lost in recent years. This can be proven on the mellow track “Enchanted”, a slow paced song, yet it does not bring you down from the rhythm of the whole record.
So head up to jacobsladdermusic and be sure to check out the Back to Life EP, it will enrich those things we call ears, and perhaps your brain too. - The Illegal Press Sound

"CD Review: Jacob's Ladder Come "Back To Life""

Florida's own Jacob's Ladder have been on the music scene for almost a decade now and have been making a name for themselves by their outstanding live performances. The band is releasing their new EP "Back To Life" on April 1 and are offering fans a little more with this release. The new album was produced by Carlos de la Garza (Neon Trees, Reel Big Fish).

The trio comes out strong with the title track showing off the band's experience in creating songs that express the energy that put into every song. "Enchantment" slows down the tempo to express the song's heartfelt lyrics. The groove of "The Silence" gives the song a rock-funk sound that the band seems to have fun with.

Jacob's Ladder has a EP release show lined up for April 8th down in Miami, FL, but look for them on to go on a full-fledge tour soon. In the meantime, visit their website, jacobsladdermusic.com for more information.


Jacobs Ladder is one of my new favorite discovered bands. I first got a small taste of their music when Substream Music Press had a small feature on them a little while back. Of course the first thing that stood out was the name, I mean you know, well not going there. Anyway, this trio from Miami, Florida are tight.

The band makes a concoction of progressive, powerpop, and straight up rock. It is pretty crazy too when I was looking some information up on these dudes. Since 2001 Jacobs Ladder has Played 550+ shows, 13 national tours, played at last years SXSW, did an acoustic set at Warped Tour 2010), 3500+ sold of their EP Ours for the Taking (released Nov 09), got sponsored by Ernie Ball/Gibson/Orange/Visual Sound, Won Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands 2006 & 2008, and had "One of the Best Local Albums of 2009"-Miami New Times. All I could say was wow, those are some accomplishments. Jacobs Ladder has also shared the stage with acts like: Fall Out Boy, Bayside, Relient K, and tons more.

Their new work is coming out this April and is called Back to Life, and I am more than excited to hear the tunes. Their vocals are clean, the guitar is heavy and sometimes intense, and the bass is strong. It is a wonderful sound and only 3 members create the music, which shows the amount of talent they have. Check out some tracks below.

Connect with Jacobs Ladder: Facebook | MySpace | Twitter

Fresh? - Oh So Fresh Music

"Live: Anthony Green at Culture Room, March 18"

Jacob's Ladder busted out next with a mix of Reggae and emotive rock songs. Their new EP, Back to Life, hyped up the crowd. Bassist Sammy Gonzalez jumped and danced around the stage, making each song come to life even more. Everyone from Jacob's Ladder sings, and they raised their arms toward the ceiling almost like they were having a prayer answered. The energy of these musicians just became organic and free, looking both in control while getting lost in the music. On the song, "Enchantment," the crowd swayed back and forth and embraced.   
- Broward Palm Beach New Times

"Last-Minute Show Alert: Jacobs Ladder and Anthony Green at Culture Room Tonight"

File this under: Things Everyone Including Us Should Have Known About Earlier But Didn't, For Whatever Reason. 

Tonight, Miami rockers Jacobs Ladder open for Anthony Green at Culture Room. Yes, that's the Anthony Green from Saosin a million scene years ago, and most recently from Circa Survive. You'll know him and either love him or hate him for his particularly glandular, high croon and penchant for off-kilter time signatures. Green and all his projects: Really just Rush for the Warped Tour set? 

But more seriously, tonight is all about rocking out at Culture Room, but backed by serious skills. Green only collaborates with players with serious chops, so Jacobs Ladder's opening slot is a good fit. The Miami Beach High-bred trio got their start as part of that school's locally famous jazz band program, and the years of formal training show. 

A Jacobs Ladder song may wander from punk to prog to jazz to reggae and back in just a few minutes, but all of it anchored by super-tight playing. Guitarist Sammy Gonzalez, for instance, is also a classical player and teacher of the kiddies in his spare time! 

Alright, so I've been hyping these guys for years now over on the Miami New Times site because their blend of slightly nerdy musicianship with a major pop sensibility seems poised for some crossover power. After years of self-booked national tours, the band has finally scored a real national PR deal, just criss-crossed the country again, and recorded a new EP in L.A. (the you've-made-it music industry hive!) called Back to Life.

The official release party is at their hometown spot, Churchill's, on April 8, but they'll air out some of the new material, as well as old fan favorites like "White Magic," tonight in the 954 at Culture Room. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets to the all-ages show cost $12. 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. 954-564-1074; cultureroom.net - Broward Palm Beach New Times

"Jacobs Ladder Kick Off Another Evil East Coast Tour at Churchill's October 1 (9/24/2010)"

Coming off a couple of consecutive East Coast tours, the dudes in Jacobs Ladder -- Oren, Sammy, and Brian -- were totally tired. After more than a half-thousand shows and countless hours of midnight driving, the road had finally worn them down to cold, hard bone.

"We've been doing this for so long now, like, the last eight years," says bass player Sammy Gonzalez. "And we've been touring DIY for three and a half years, you know? We just feel like it's finally our time to make it and be the next band."

So they packed all that exhaustion and optimism into ten lines of emo lyrics ("That pirate ship is going down/We'll burn it to the ground") and 250 seconds of poppy prog rock. The end result was a surgingly earnest ode to rebirth, a new song titled "Back to Life." If nothing else, it's proof that even though the Jacobs Ladder dudes might have been burned out, they'll never really be beat.

And another vital sign: "Right now we're demoing a lot. We just did 10 songs and we're gonna do, like, 10 more," Gonzalez reveals. "The plan is a new album next year." Plus, this Friday's show kicks off another one of those evil East Coast tours, which means that the bone is no longer exposed. Oren, Sammy, and Brian are all healed and ready to eat some blacktop.

With Arboles Libres, Thieves of Crayons, Dirty Hooligans, Addax, and Danse Macabre. Friday, October 1. Churchill's, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $8 in advance via myspace.com/jacobsladder or $10 at the door. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com. - Miami New Times

"JACOBS LADDER By Janett Sanders (7/14/2010)"

Sammy Gonzalez, Oren Maisner and Brian Hernandez make up the unstoppable trio that is Jacob's Ladder. When they are blasting through your speakers, their polished, punk-rock, SoCal-infused sound will have you singing along through an arsenal of, "Whoa oh, oh's." And when they are live-- blasting through the same catchy intros right before your very eyes-- they pack a powerful, tailor-made punch that most bands spend years in development to gain. Simply put, they rock. After meeting up with Jacob's Ladder at a recent show, I talked with guitarist, Sammy Gonzalez about the driving force behind the band, their unique sound, and ultimately, keeping it real.

It's obvious that Jacob's Ladder is heavily influenced by bands like Blink 182, Red Hot Chili Peppers and New Found Glory (drummer and fellow BMJ recording artist, Cyrus Bolooki, produced their EP, Ours For the Taking). How do you describe your style?

We look up to bands that write great, catchy songs. We really developed a mainstream-progressive sound from growing up with bands like Incubus and the Deftones. We rock, but tastefully.

Speaking of catchy songs, I've had Birds of a Feather on replay since I last saw you guys. It has to be my favorite song at the moment.

That's good to hear. Birds of a Feather is about having a great time, living life, but getting caught up in the moment and forgetting that there are consequences to your actions. Brian thought he had gotten his girlfriend pregnant at the time, so that's where the song came from.

Are you a fan of Gold Finger? When I think of Jacob's Ladder, I think of Gold Finger.

Love Gold Finger. We're actually working on some new stuff that is deeply influenced by them. I have to say, you're the first person to call that out.

Miami is your home base right now. Any plans of moving to a different market? I talked to Oren about it a while back; Los Angeles would welcome you with open arms.

Miami is home for us-- touring, everywhere is home for us. We love traveling, but just up-rooting the band to live the L.A. dream and get famous? Fuck that. We're too real for that.

That's what I like about you. Somehow, you've managed to keep it real and keep it home, all while having this ready-for-radio, ultra-mainstream sound. How did you get that? How are you going to keep that? The entire music industry is based upon change--evolution. People will try to change you.

We're all extremely judgmental about what we put on the table, so until all three of us feel a part, it won't happen. If you can't tell a story, then forget about writing a song.

Forget about being a musician.

Very true. Will people try to change us? Probably. But in the end, we've developed such a unique sound that--no matter what-- people will be able to say, "Oh, that's Jacob's Ladder." - MF MAGAZINE

"MP3 of the Day: "White Magick" by Jacob's Ladder, at Churchill's this Friday (5/19/2009)"


MP3 of the Day: "White Magick" by Jacob's Ladder, at Churchill's this Friday
By Arielle Castillo in Concert Preview, Free Music, MP3 of the Day
Tuesday, May. 19 2009 @ 11:48AM

via myspace.com/jacobsladderOut of the countless towns he's played during his band's national tours, Sammy Gonzalez, bassist of local trio Jacob's Ladder, still prefers the tiny Frankenmuth, Michigan. An obscure, German-theme tourist destination billed as "Michigan's Little Bavaria," Frankenmuth is home to one "amazing promoter," Jacobs says. "He throws shows at a place called Fisher Hall, and there are always 200 to 300 people there."

It's just one of the many pleasant surprises for the band in recent months, during which its profile locally and elsewhere has suddenly increased. Jacob's Ladder -- rounded out by Oren Maisner on guitar and vocals and Brian Hernandez on drums -- has no booking agent, and only an indie recording deal, with the Coral Springs-based JMB Records. Instead, Gonzalez has taken d.i.y. ideals and adapted them to the digital age. "I just use MySpace and contact bands, venues, and promoters," he says. "At first it was hard, but now it's easy because I've been doing it for a while."

Jacob's Ladder's last show at Churchill's drew a crowd upwards of 200 people -- no small feat for a local act at that venue -- and this Friday's gig there marks the kickoff for the band's second national tour in the past two months. All told, the band has embarked on some seven tours in the past couple of years, completely on its own.

Besides boasting the tireless energy of rock musicians in their early 20s, it helps that the guys' sound is also fresh. True, they may be relatively young, prefer bright colors, and smile and juggle fruit in their promo photos. The image is deceptive -- the threesome is not a pop-punk band. Maisner's vocals and riffs are propulsive and sometimes hooky, but the Jacob's Ladder sound is ultimately spaced out, wandering into funky, reverb-drenched workouts that bely a jazz-band fondness for noodling and experimentation. Indeed, the bandmates met as teenagers, playing together in different school ensembles at Miami Beach High.

The current tour will take the band through New England and back through southern mountain states like Kentucky and Tennessee. And when they return, Gonzalez, Maisner, and Hernandez will head into the studio with New Found Glory drummer Cyrus Bolooki to record a new EP to shop to labels and booking agents. "We want to show the CD to people to show we're a hard-working band. Our goal as a band is to be on the road 10 to 11 months a year," says Gonzalez. "We're showing everyone, 'Hey, look what we can do on our own -- imagine what we could do with a little help?'"

This track is called "White Magick," and you will find it on the band's forthcoming EP.

MP3: Jacob's Ladder - "White Magick"

Jacob's Ladder, with Kid:Nap:Kin, Zen the Band, I Shot Broadway, and others. Friday, May 22. Churchill's, 5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $8 in advance from myspace.com/jacobsladder, $10 at the door. Ages 18+ with ID. 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com - MIAMI NEW TIMES

"Miami heat: Jacob's Ladder brings the sound of good times to East Tennessee (5/20/2010)"

When Sammy Gonzalez broke the news to his mother that he was pursuing his rock ‘n' roll dreams, her reaction left a little something to be desired.
Of course, Gonzalez was leaving behind a little more than most aspiring bass players — he was in his third year as a pre-med student. But in the three years since he and his two bandmates in Jacob's Ladder took the group from a part-time passion to a full-time occupation, they've also gone further than many of those contemporaries ever get.
And that, Gonzalez told The Daily Times this week, has soothed mama's fears.
“She was not happy at all at the time, but now she actually sees that I'm doing what I love,” said Gonzalez, who will join his bandmates — vocalist/guitarist Oren Maisner and drummer Brian Hernandez — at Patrick Sullivan's Saloon in Knoxville's Old City next week. “Now, she's more supportive, because she sees how much I love it, and that we're actually getting somewhere and that people appreciate what we're doing.”
At the time, Jacob's Ladder had been a steady fixture in the Miami local music scene, ever since the three members formed it in the summer of 2002. They met while in high school, Gonzalez said, and started Jacob's Ladder as a way to do the things that young men love to do — meet girls and have a good time.
“We did it for a good six years, just playing around and doing it for fun, but we didn't really take it seriously,” he said. “But then when we were all in college and recording our last CD, we were approached by JMB Records, and they asked if we wanted to release our album on their label — but part of that meant we would have to tour.
“So we had to ask ourselves — do we break up, or do we take it seriously and make this our lives? At the time, I was in my third year of pre-med, but it was me settling and not doing my dream. All my life, people had been telling me what I could and couldn't do, to settle down and just follow the crowd, but I said (forget) that — I wanted to follow my dream.”
So the guys took the plunge, throwing themselves into the lifestyle of a touring band with enthusiasm and dedication. During final exams of his last semester at college, Gonzalez put together the group's first extensive tour, and Jacob's Ladder has been on the road ever since, leaving Miami for four or five months at a time and scheduling three days off out of 20.
Yes, they enjoy a good time — the girls and the beer and the accompanying accoutrements of being three relatively good-looking dudes with long hair and instruments they can actually play aren't beneath them. But making rock ‘n' roll their lives actually requires some work as well, Gonzalez said.
“People think you (sleep) all day and party and drink beer, but that's not what happens,” he said. “There are so many responsibilities — the upkeep of the van and the trailer, making sure the bills get paid, having to watch your driving every day because you're constantly going from one gig to the next. But the payoff, at the end of the day, is that you're playing for new people every night, and it makes you realize what songs are good and how much tighter you have to get.
“You get to see all of these new bands, and you develop this respect from them and the fans because you're still doing it after all these years. You're not flatlining; you're getting better and better, and people are always coming out to the shows who are there for the first time and say, ‘Wow — you guys are sick! I heard you were good, but I didn't expect that.'”
At the same time, performing with like-minded groups encourages Gonzalez and his bandmates to work harder at their chosen profession. That work has paid off in the slow evolution of the band's sound, a marriage of the catchy power-pop tag that the band's been saddled with in recent years to the progressive rock overtones of Jacob's Ladder's early work.
“I don't think power-pop really fits anymore, because that sounds too trendy and trying to be all cute, but that's not what we do,” he said. “When we first started, we were very progressive with influences like Incubus, 311, At the Drive In — and we did that and it was cool, but at some point, people didn't get it, so we started to simplify it.
“Now, it's very catchy with lots of harmonies, but it's still progressive with those break-downs we keep in there. If you mix our live performance with what you're listening to, I tell people they get a cross between Jimmy Eat World and At the Drive In.”
This story was edited for presentation on the Web. Additional information and details are available for subscribers only. If you want every word of Blount County's best news and information source you can get home delivery and e-edition subscriptions here. Nobody knows Blount better than The Daily Times, your hometown newspaper for 125 years and counting. - THE DAILY TIMES

"Jacobs Ladder: Their way or the highway (3/30/2010)"

For three years, the members of Jacobs Ladder dreamed of playing South by Southwest. The festival, which last week concluded its 24th annual edition, features 2,000 acts on 80 stages throughout downtown Austin, Texas. For Jacobs Ladder, this year’s SXSW was even bigger and more-organized than they had imagined.
“[By day], there were conferences at the convention center where you got to meet the biggest people from labels and booking agents and managers of bands like the White Stripes and Vampire Weekend, the people who book Tegan and Sara,” bassist Sammy Gonzalez recalls. “They tell you about the business. It was really cool to be in the same room as them and to meet them after and shake their hand and give them a CD and a press kit. The wealth of knowledge was phenomenal.”
Nights were all about the shows. “You just go bar to bar, and it was really cool to see so many people into music,” Gonzalez says. “Every band was awesome, and I got to see a few bands that I’m in love with and I think are really, really sick.”
Gonzalez’s favorite SXSW moments included performances by Muse, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Miami’s Torche and, of course, Jacobs Ladders’ set with Relient K at the Dirty Dog Bar. “It was a great turnout,” Gonzalez says. “The sound was phenomenal at the bar we played. We just killed it, we rocked out. We were really happy with our performance and our set.”
Days after the festival’s end, Gonzalez discussed his hopes for the power-pop trio he formed eight years ago with singer-guitarist Oren Maisner and drummer Brian Hernandez. “We started when we were 16, and it was something we just did for fun,” Gonzalez explains. “We would play a show here and there, at Club Q, Churchill’s or the Alley.”
In 2007, Jacobs Ladder signed with JMB Records, the label owned by Jarett and Nevin Grushka, brothers of New Found Glory bassist Ian Grushka. As a result, the members of the band decided to ditch college and work jobs that accommodated their touring and recording schedules. Gonzalez and Maisner give private guitar lessons. Hernandez serves drinks at Miami Heat games.
This past November, Jacobs Ladder released its second album, Ours for the Taking, which was produced by New Found Glory drummer Cyrus Bolooki and which the band plans to promote tirelessly this year. “We’re realistic now about what we need, and this year we’re like, ‘All right, I want to play South by Southwest, Warped Tour, SunFest,” he says. “I want to do showcases. I want to try to land one tour by the end of the year with a bigger band because we feel like once we land one tour, it will snowball. We’re hoping that things just keep happening and it puts our name on the radar and that one guy comes along and says, ‘We really love what you’re doing’ and helps us to break it. Our goal is to break it by the end of the year and start touring more.
“We were in such a bubble before, being in Miami Beach all the time,” he continues. “And we realized how much nicer people can be everywhere else. If someone walked up to me and was like, ‘Hey, can I stay at your house?’ I’d say, ‘Um, what do you mean?’ I go on the road and it’s just normal. People are just so much looser.”
Gonzalez is confident that the band will accomplish its goals, an idea reflected in the title of Ours for the Taking and in songs such as “One Sword, One Sway.” Written before the 2008 presidential election, the song addresses the frustrations of trying to find the truth when politicians are corrupt, big corporations are screwing over the little guys, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. “We love America, we love capitalism,” Gonzalez says. “But I feel like there’s a point where you need checks and balances, and between the housing bubble and all that’s been going on and the lending, there haven’t been checks and people have been getting fucked in the ass. And that’s what that song’s about.”
Like other tunes on the band’s seven-song EP, “One Sword, One Sway” is really about triumph. “Yeah, we’re being screwed over, but we can change,” Gonzalez says. “We can come together and put the power back in our hands, because at the end of the day, we have the influence.”
Back from South by Southwest, Jacobs Ladder is gearing up for its big homecoming show Friday at Churchill’s Pub. The next morning, the band will head off to perform in Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Georgia. The musicians will return home for a few weeks before heading out again.
“We’re a touring band,” Gonzalez says. “We feel touring is where it’s at — what you’re supposed to do.”
Jacobs Ladder will perform 8 p.m. Friday at Churchill’s, 5501 N.E. Second Ave., Miami. Admission is $10. Call 305-757-1807 or visit Churchillspub.com.
Contact Colleen Dougher at cdougher@citylinkmagazine.com. - CITY LINK

"The Best Local Albums of 2009 (01/2010)"

Jacobs Ladder 
Ours For The Taking (self-released)
HYPERLINK "http://www.myspace.com/jacobsladder" myspace.com/jacobsladder
Look past the complicated MySpace presence, deliberately goofy promo photos, hell, even the hair of this Miami threesome. Jacobs Ladder is not yet another color-by-numbers pop-punk band. Sure, in some of the tunes there are hints of that genre's penchant for choral whoa-oh-ohs and sweeping melodies, just made for crowd clap-a-longs. How else would this band be so wildly popular on the national all-ages circuit, which it's traversed for basically the past three straight years? 

But listen to the whole of this self-released EP, produced by New Found Glory's Cyrus Bolooki. The hookiness eventually gives way to some real band-nerd weirdness. (In fact, the threesome first formed back in 2002, when all were rock ensemble players at Beach High). There is interplanetary prog, astral reggae, even a tiny bit of vaguely jazzy noodling. Somehow, it all works out into a tight, bright thing that translates into high-octane live shows that sail along on waves of good vibes. This record is a worthy snapshot of it all. -- Arielle Castillo


"JACOBS LADDER (04/2010)"

Jacobs Ladder is one impressive band. Brian (drums), Oren (guitar/vocals) and Sammy (bass, samples, vocals) have spent the last eight years playing under this moniker without a single lineup change, and their tight-knit relationships come through in their cohesive sound. Check out the interview we did with Sammy below and listen to their tunes for yourself at myspace.com/jacobsladder.

SMP: Tell me a little about how the band got started.
Sammy: Brian and Oren have been playing together since they were ten years old. I have always known them but I didn't get musically aquanted with them until we all joined the school rock band called Rock Ensemble. After playing together for a good year in the group we decided to start a band together and Jacobs Ladder got together that summer of 2002. It's been the same three guys since the beginning. 
SMP: What was it like producing your EP with Cyrus of New Found Glory?
Sammy: After talking on the phone for a good few months we finally set a date in November to go into the studio. Before we went into the studio to record we did two weeks of pre-production with Cyrus. It was really cool and surreal to work with him. At first we were all a little nervous and not sure how it would work out. But it ended up working out great. ??He's a really down-to-earth, smart guy and he had a lot of input and great advice. It was cool to listen to him talk about the way New Found Glory recorded their record, the different ways they approached songwriting, and how different producers approached them as a band. After working with the best people in the industry it was great to see his perspective on our music. 
I hear about all these bands paying people to produce their band, and it was cool that we knew he was there out of his own free time and because he really dug the music and wanted to give us a hand. And as a band that's what we're all about; people that want to work with us because they actually respect what we're doing.  I'm very thankful that Cyrus took the time out of his crazy schedule to work with us. Even though all the songs were already written before he came into to the room with us, he for sure helped us put a spark into our EP. 
SMP: You guys have played ten national tours in your career and opened for tons of big name bands. What's been your best experience so far?  What have you learned from so much time spent on the road?
Sammy: Touring at first was rough on us. We were so used to being in Miami, which is the biggest bubble ever, so it was really crazy to see the US for what it really was. I was pre-med at the time, and we decided that we were going to quit school and start touring after our winter semester. So over Christmas break I booked a month-long tour on my own and we went out in mid-January. It was such a pain in the ass to get going, but well worth it. Now ten tours later, and looking at a good five to six this year alone, we have a different feel and approach on everything we're doing as a band and people. 
Touring has definitely made us better friends and tighter as a band. When you're playing on the road everyday and getting people who have never seen you before to stand up and clap and get into your music, it really makes you realize what songs work and what doesn't. So touring has really helped us with the shaping of our songwriting, the way we perform live, and the stories that go into our music. 
Being away from home forces you to stay headstrong, independent, and extremely social. You're forced to enjoy the moment and the people around you at the time; if not, you get homesick and hate it. The best part about touring is the chance to play with so many different bands and to see what they do differently. We've learned so much from other bands and are happy that so many bands have let us play with them and stay on their floor.   
The best experience on tour is when we play a packed house in the middle of nowhere, and every fucking kid loves our performance and what we work our asses off for. There's no better high or drug than people appreciating what we do day in and day out.  ??SMP: You guys played SXSW this year; had you played there before?
Sammy: Nope, we'd never played SXSW before. We are very honored and feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to play SXSW. It's been a goal and dream of ours to take part in this festival for the last three years. We couldn't wait to to see a lot of other great bands, perform ourselves, meet up with long time friends in other bands we've grown to know over the years. To have the chance to go to all the daily conferences and the amount of knowledge being passed around was breathtaking.
SMP: What are your plans for the rest of 2010?
Sammy: After playing SXSW, we headed on a mid-west tour routed up to Michigan. We're also planning on doing some more recording, an east coast tour routed towards New York in May, and then two weeks on Warped Tour whether we land dates or have to rent a ten - SUBSTREAM MAGAZINE

"Jacob's Ladder Interview: SXSW 2010 (3/14/2010)"

When it comes to the power-pop landscape, Miami-based trio Jacob's Ladder -- Oren Maisner, Sammy Gonzales and Brian Hernandez -- have made a habit of surrounding themselves with solid company. Since forming in 2002, they've shared stages with Fall Out Boy, The Audition and Forever The Sickest Kids, and have nearly 500 live under their belts. New Found Glory drummer Cyrus Bolooki produced their latest album, 'Ours for the Taking,' because he was a fan. But 2010 might prove to be the band's biggest year yet, as Jacob's Ladder gears up for its debut SXSW performance, followed by two months of live shows and a possible slot on the Warped Tour. Spinner caught up with bassist Sammy Gonzales before the band hit the road.

Describe your sound.

Straightforward, catchy, lots of harmonies, mixed with spacey progressions and break downs. If I had to compare us to bands, I'd say we're a good mix of Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters and Coheed and Cambria.

How did Jacob's Ladder form?

We've all known each other since we were in elementary school. Brian and Oren jammed all through the early years into high school. In high school, we were all part of a group called the Rock Ensemble. We just decided to start working together, and it's worked out pretty well so far.
What's the story behind the name?

To us, Jacob's Ladder means constant evolution and growth. We all grow spiritually and mentally as songwriters, musicians and people. There's always change in life as we better ourselves and the way we treat the people and situations around us.

Biggest musical influences?

This is a hard one ... we all have our favorite bands. But I'd say Lagwagon, At the Drive-In, Incubus, 311, The Mars Volta, Bayside, New Found Glory, Coheed and Cambria, Deftones and Circa Survive.

Tell me about your latest album, 'Ours for the Taking.' What was the creative process like? How did New Found Glory's Cyrus Bolooki get involved?

This EP, everything from the artwork to the packaging, was extremely planned out. We started writing the songs while touring, which was different for us, and we based everything on personal experiences and relationships we had: from struggles with each other, to girlfriends, parents, to frustrations with politics and corruption. After recording the songs a few times, Cyrus came in the picture, and he made us really think about every part, and keeping the songs fluid. It was nice to be with someone that was so cool and nice, and had so much knowledge to offer us. It was great knowing that he genuinely worked with us because he was a fan of our music, and not for the money. The entire thing was about a six-week process.

What other bands are you most looking forward to seeing at SXSW?

We're looking forward to seeing our good friends in Torche, La Dispute, Circa Survive, Vega Under Fire and Every You. It's going to be a big family get-together.

What's in your SXSW survival kit?

Cigarettes, beer, condoms, Alka-Seltzer, flyers, press kits, CDs and Red Bull.

After the festival, what's next for Jacob's Ladder?

More recording at home, then touring the Midwest in April and the East Coast in May. We're also trying to work out some dates or a tent for the Warped Tour.

Biggest musical guilty pleasure?

Dashboard Confessional's first album. Justin Timberlake's, too.

Drink of choice?

Dogfish Head. Best beer ever.

You guys have more than 400 live shows to your name -- any pre-show or post-show rituals?

Lots. Before every show, I always like to stretch it out, because we run around the stage like lunatics. People always look at me like I'm the asshole, especially when I'm doing squats behind the merch booth; but you've got to stretch. Besides that, Oren and I always warm up on vocals, and Brian usually burns in the van.

Craziest thing you've seen or experienced on tour?

On our first tour, we played in West Virginia, and this lady let us stay at her house that night. We later find out that her daughter's 17, and she's 30. The lady's tripping on mushrooms and trying to rub my legs and rape me in the middle of the night. Good old-fashioned country hospitality.


Another National Tour!

Arielle Castillo
The local progressive/rock/whatever trio Jacob's Ladder just does not stop. The last time we checked in with these 23-year-olds, just this past May, they were debuting some new tracks and setting off on a national tour through New England and the South. ??Well, one national summer tour is not enough for this band, so Jacob's Ladder is hitting the road again — but not before hitting the studio. On Thursday, they'll head to the Dungeon to record a new EP, produced by Cyrus Bolooki of New Found Glory, which is slated for a November 6 release. ??After that, they'll play a local show at the Dugout, followed by another at — you guessed it —, with tourmates Your Best Friend, a similarly minded, proggy-ish, indie-ish rock band from Saginaw, Michigan. Following that, the two acts will set out on that new national tour, dubbed the "Obey Your Mastour." It'll be Jacob's Ladder's ninth trek through the country.


By Emmi Weiner

Jacobs Ladder has been around the local music scene since the early
2000s. Since then its members, Sammy Gonzalez, Oren Maisner, and
Brian Hernandez have grown up and become one of South Florida’s
most popular local bands. But they aren’t stopping there. With 5 DIY
tours in the past year under their belt, these guys are determined to
take it to the next level. They were signed to JMB Records in early
2007 and are currently working on their third album.

They are hoping it is this album that will take it to the next level for
them, as it is a more mature straight to the point record. It is set for
release sometime next year, as Jacobs Ladder fans eagerly wait. But
they won’t be sitting idle while they are working on their album, they
returned August 16 from their In-Tents Tour on the east coast. They
will also be doing another tour, with various local dates as well.
Gonzalez took the time to talk to RAG’s Emmi Weiner about what
they have coming up in the near future.

RAG: How did the In-Tents tour go?
Sammy Gonzalez: It was amazing, it was the best ever. We did 20
shows in 25 days. We sold all our Cds (500) and all our t-shirts (200).
The shows we played were great and the crowds were awesome. There
were a lot of people coming out to see us specifically.
RAG: Now that you are back, what are you working on?
Gonzalez: We are focusing on our next record which is going to be a
6 song EP and it is currently in pre-production right now. We are still
talking to some producers with some big names. The goal of this
album is to put us more onto the radar and to start being able to tour
10 months a year.

RAG: Jacobs Ladder has a specific sound, how did this develop?
Gonzalez: We all play guitar and write songs, then we rip them up
and break them down and don’t stop till we are all happy with every
part. Then Oren and I write the lyrics, more Oren then me. That’s why
we are so excited for this album,
since we are all happy with all
parts. And since we are all
happy, it has built a better
relationship between all of us.

RAG: You have been on the
local scene for a while and
are drawing some of the larger
crowds, how are you going to
take it to the next level?
Gonzalez: The next level is going
to come with our album that will
hopefully help us get a booking
agent. This will get us into
bigger shows with bigger bands
in venues like Culture Room and
Revolution. Basically its just
band net working.

RAG: How is the new album
going to be different form the
older stuff?
Gonzalez: Its more mature. Our
last album was written when we
were 16 and 17, we are older and
more mature now. We are better
song writers, keeping it straight
to the point but not generic. Its
main frame but still very
technical. A lot of it is just vibing
you know? There are fewer riffs but we are proud of the production of
them. Also I will be doing more singing instead of just background.

RAG: Is it going to be a singing conversation? Or just taking
Gonzalez: It’s all about communication, and this has allowed us to all
have our own presence. The songs range from going on tour and leaving
the people you care about behind to politics. Basically they are all
about relationships with other people.

RAG: How is this album more mature?
Gonzalez: We are trying hard to get straight to the point 100%. Oren
and I are checking each other to make this happen. Our lyrics are still
off the wall, but they are more focused. But since we are older, this is
coming naturally. We are making each song a story and an experience.

RAG: Since you are spending so much time on tour, what do you
due with all that down time?
Gonzalez: We spend a lot of time listening to music, on our last tour
we brought 20 new Cds, and learned about other bands. This also
gives us time to update everything like our online journals and our
MySpace. We also take time to brainstorm and figure out the next
step. I also spend a lot of the time reading. It gives me a chance to get
into my own space and my own little world.
RAG: What did you read?
Gonzalez: I read Trainspotting, and I learned a whole new vocabulary
of curse words. I also read the last Dune book which is my favorite of
the politics and sci-fi books. It was like 600 pages, so I read a lot.
RAG: You said that the new album is about relationships, how
does touring affect your relationships?
Gonzalez: My mom is busy with my sister so she is fine, and so are
family and friends. You can leave and come back, but with girlfriends,
it strains the relationship. I can’t imagine that. I guess if you did have
a girlfriend, it can’t be something new. But I guess that is good for
song writing, we actually have a song about that. My last girlfriend
cheated on me while I was gone - RAG MAGAZINE


Another National Tour!

Arielle Castillo
The local progressive/rock/whatever trio Jacob's Ladder just does not stop. The last time we checked in with these 23-year-olds, just this past May, they were debuting some new tracks and setting off on a national tour through New England and the South. ??Well, one national summer tour is not enough for this band, so Jacob's Ladder is hitting the road again — but not before hitting the studio. On Thursday, they'll head to the Dungeon to record a new EP, produced by Cyrus Bolooki of New Found Glory, which is slated for a November 6 release. ??After that, they'll play a local show at the Dugout, followed by another at — you guessed it —, with tourmates Your Best Friend, a similarly minded, proggy-ish, indie-ish rock band from Saginaw, Michigan. Following that, the two acts will set out on that new national tour, dubbed the "Obey Your Mastour." It'll be Jacob's Ladder's ninth trek through the country.


"Ring Ring" - Vinyl (2011)
"Back To Life" - EP (2011)
"Ours for the Taking" - EP (11/2009)
"On A Chariot Of Fire" - LP (2007)
"Like Water" - LP (2003)




Rick Fury Management: http://www.rickfurymanagement.com

Miami power pop reggae rock trio, Jacobs Ladder announces a new batch of recordings. Four new songs are available on 7” vinyl as well as streamable on the band’s sites. On the heels of the successful recent Back to Life EP, the band went back into the studio with producers Carlos de La Garza (Neon Trees, Reel Big Fish) and Cyrus Bolooki (New Found Glory) to record new songs and perfect their brand of fresh-sounding rock ‘n’ reggae with Jacobs Ladder signature flair. Already a fixture and fan favorite on the Southeast touring circuit, having played over 600+ shows with such bands as Fallout Boy, Anthony Green, Forever The Sickest Kids and Bayside, to name a few, Jacobs Ladder is bound for big things.

-15 National Tours
-9000+ Records Sold
-SXSW & Warped Tour 2010
-Won Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands 06' & 08'
-"One of the Best Local Albums of 09" - Miami New Times
-Sponsored by Ernie Ball/Gibson Guitars/Orange/Visual Sound Pedals


07/01 - 07/23
7/06 Wed Myrtle Beach, SC @ ISLAND BAR
7/07 Thur Knoxville, TN @ LONGBRANCH SALOON
7/08 Fri Nashville, TN @ SPRINGWATER
7/09 Sat Louisville, KY @ UNCLE PLESANTS
7/10 Sun Indianapolis, IN @ THE VOLLRATH
7/12 Tues Dayton, OH @ BLIND BOBS
7/15 Fri Frankenmuth, MI @ FISHER HALL
7/16 Sat Frankenmuth, MI @ FISHER HALL
7/17 Sun Pittsburgh, PA @ SMILING MOOSE
7/20 Wed Philadelphia, PA @ KUNG FU NECKTIE
7/21 Thur New York, NY @ ARLENES GROCERY
7/22 Fri Levittown, PA @ ST PAULS CHURCH


"A Jacobs Ladder song may wander from punk to prog to jazz to reggae and
back in just a few minutes, but all of it anchored by super-tight playing."
- New Times (Broward/Palm Beach)

"Jacob's Ladder busted out next with a mix of Reggae and emotive rock songs.
Their new EP, Back to Life, hyped up the crowd. Bassist Sammy Gonzalez
jumped and danced around the stage, making each song come to life even more.
Everyone from Jacob's Ladder sings, and they raised their arms toward the
ceiling almost like they were having a prayer answered. The energy of these
musicians just became organic and free, looking both in control while
getting lost in the music. On the song, "Enchantment," the crowd swayed back
and forth and embraced. "
- New Times (Broward/Palm Beach)

"The trio comes out strong...showing off the band's experience in creating
songs that express the energy that they put into every song. "Enchantment"
slows down the tempo to express the song's heartfelt lyrics. The groove of
"The Silence" gives the song a rock-funk sound that the band seems to have
fun with."- Record-Journal (CT)

" You can hear the passion in this record, something that many bands have
lost in recent years. ... it will enrich those things we call ears, and
perhaps your brain too."
- Tip Sound

"One of my new favorite bands... a concoction of progressive, powerpop, and
straight up rock"- Ohsofreshmusic.com

"Back To Life hasn't deviated from what Jacob's Ladder, a Miami-based trio,
has been doing for years, which is straight up alt rock. However, what this
EP does is show off a mastery of their style and what they are trying to
say....an overall good flow that gives you a reason to loop this six track
taste over and over again. Their ability as well as maturity has grown with
each release as a result of constant touring up and down the east coast.
Their unrelenting addiction to music has made them a staple in the south
Florida music scene." - Keypulp.com

"...will have you wanting more..."- Music & What Not Blog

One of “ The Best Local Albums of 2009”

“Not many bands can tour as much as
Jacob’s Ladder does and still produce
amazing music. [Jacob’s Ladder is] very
persistent in creating music while still keeping
[their] fans happy. “

“one of South Florida’s
most popular local bands”

“Oozes with intense guitar strums, meaningful
lyrics, crazy drum beats, great vocals and fantastic
bass skills..other than being amazing, the songs are
contagious...it was worth the wait.”

“Touring relentlessly they've racked up 
some pretty notable achievements...”

“All of the songs kick ass”