If you’ve yet to acquaint yourselves with The Jips, this week will offer you two opportunities. Tonight on WEFT Sessions at 10 p.m. on WEFT 90.1 FM, they’ll be playing a live radio set (which can also be streamed online here). Then, on Saturday, the high school phenoms will take the stage at Taste of Champaign-Urbana at 11:30 a.m. in West Side Park.
Tyler and Boston joined us through the wonders of email, while Alex had a very specific prior engagement.
Smile Politely: Can you give a little history of The Jips?
The Jips: We started out at the 8th grade talent show and then it was just Tyler and me and we’ve gone through a few band member changes since then. It got pretty rough in there, but now we’re back up to full power.
SP: Are you all from Farmer City? How do you like it?
TJ: BOSTON: Nah Alex is from Monticello. But Tyler lives here and we have band practice in my basement (in FC) so basically we’re from here. Hmm, how do I like it… boring. But that’s me!
SP: Will you go with your standard lineup for the program?
TJ: BOSTON: Yeah, we did a sort of “Talent Show Reunion” a week ago where we used our original lineup (drums and guitar) but we usually go with the power trio.
SP: Have you played for a radio show before? Any complications or advantages that you expect?
TJ: TYLER: No.
SP: How does the songwriting process work for you?
TJ: BOSTON: I usually write the music before the lyrics, play it a few times to see what melody could possibly fit, and once I’ve got that down, I show it to Alex and Tyler. They’re really great at being able to take my musical ideas and make them concrete.
SP: How would you describe your sound for someone who’s never heard your music before?
TJ: TYLER: Different. BOSTON: The Rolling Stones meets The Clash. And I realize I am setting a high standard there.
SP: Was there a moment when you realized that you wanted to be a musician? How did that come about?
TJ: BOSTON: Well right after I got my guitar there were only two guys in the whole Jr. High who had drums. I was already friends with Tyler so in the school bathroom (where all important decisions are made) I asked Tyler to play a few songs with me for the talent show.
SP: What’s a singer or band that you’ve been compared to that you don’t think is representative at all, and why not?
TJ: BOSTON: We played at the Battle Of The Bands at my high school (where we won) and one of the songs we performed is called 45. I announced “This song is called 45- like a record or a gun” and everybody went crazy. We couldn’t figure out why until afterwards and some hoser said “Hey, that wasn’t a Shinedown song!” No it wasn’t. OUR 45 is better.
SP: What is the greatest album of all time? Why?
TJ: BOSTON: Uhh that Jonas Brothers Live CD was pretty tight… KIDDING. Man that is such a hard question. TYLER: Michael Jackson Thriller. BOSTON: But if you really want a solid answer I’m just gonna go with David Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. It’s great.
SP: What was your favorite band when you were in junior high?
TJ: BOSTON: Zeppelin, Zeppelin, Zeppelin. TYLER: Wolfmother
SP: What do you like to do in your spare time?
TJ: TYLER: Play Xbox, read, play basketball. BOSTON: Pole vault.
SP: Would you like to say anything else that wasn’t covered in these questions?
TJ: TYLER: Nope. BOSTON: Sorry Alex wasn’t available for this interview, but she was fishing for lemon sharks off the coast of Puerto Rico.