“Two brothers, two cousins, and one friend”
Style (as described by the band): Pop infused with soul, electronica. Recorded it’s a lot cleaner, but live there is more edge.
Members: Jerome, Jacob, Addam, Robert, Jesse
I had a chance to sit with the band before their performance and talk about their journey. Originally from Melbourne, this is there first major North American tour as headliners (they previously supported Fish Bone as well as played at various festivals). When they walked in they appeared very calm and a bit unassuming. There wasn’t a clear “leader” of the group. They all bounced off each other and had something unique to contribute.
ORSVP: Where does the name Jakübi came from?
Jakübi: A lot of different places. It’s an adaption of my brother’s, Jacob’s name. It evolved from the nicknames we called him
O: What/Who are some of your influences?
J: We each have different influences because we all like different types of music. But we all like the same qualities in songs, like a good melody or bass line. We’re influenced by a lot of producers and we really influence each other.
O: How does it feel to headline your first North American tour?
J: It’s crazy. It’s just the beginning an we wanted to support more because then that act already brings an audience, but we surprise ourselves all the time. Like tonight.
O: Writing songs? Is it a collaborative process? What works for you?
J: Just put jam. We jam.
O: Have any of you had any classical training?
J: Not really. I mean he (Addam) was in band in school, but besides that nothing.
O: What were some of your favorite places to perform?
J: There are so many… The Independent in San Francisco, Here, Baby’s All Right, Denver, Chicago… We’ve played a lot of festivals. New Year’s On the Hill.
O: Your music video? How was it filming that?
J: Addam’s brother directed it, it was his first. It was really just our friends and family. The little girl in the beginning is our [Jerome and Jacob’s] little sister. We just made a group on Facebook and asked anyone if they’d liked to be in the video.
O: Where did the idea for the video come from?
J: Lot’s of talking. We basically said what is the simplest and most effective thing we could do and ended up doing the hardest. Like tying the couch to the car. But it turned out really well in the end. The budget ended up being like $100 dollars, which was mainly the traffic fine.
O: So you just released an EP, what are your plans for an album?
J: Well currently the EP is only available in Australia, but should be available elsewhere soon. We hope to have an album by maybe the end of this year or the beginning of next.
O: What should fans expect?
J: Oh, we don’t really know. What we can come up with? It’ll be our first album.
Venue: Baby’s All Right, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
After the interview, I had a chance to watch Jakübi perform. I wasn’t sure what to expect (up to that point I had only heard one song). They came onto the stage, gave a small intro and then the action started. What came from the stage was a gritty, raw, rock-fueled intensity. There were never any significant drops in energy. Jakübi’s sound spans multiple genres. A majority of the songs contain a certain degree of rapping, but what really sets it apart is how, within even one song, there can be a sudden change. Jakübi manages to accomplish jumping through genres without sounding cacophonous. “Feels Like Yesterday” has a very soul, 60s doo-wop, jazzy feel and then “Stop Drop Roll” doles out an insane guitar solo. “Couch Potato” is a laid-back summer anthem and “This is My Life” is essentially the polar opposite, containing that gritty hard rock sound. After the performance I decided to check out their recorded music. The difference was pretty amazing. They both sounded great, but for disparate reasons. Recorded was for sure cleaner, clearer. The main difference was in the guitar. Live the guitar sounded dirtier and that works more for a live performance. They know how to cater to the situation. This makes Jakübi worth seeing live because the experiences are so different.
While the music was spectacular, what made the show fun was the obvious joy the band was feeling. There is an apparent camaraderie between the band members as they interact with each other stage. Together they overpowered the venue. Baby’s All Right is a small intimate joint, with a low stage and small dance floor. Jakübi could easily fill venue much bigger. They already have so much great content and what they do with it is key. But honestly things are looking bright for these five Aussie men.