Soundtrack recently caught up with the Philadelphia band Desoto Jones. They’ve had numerous song placements across many MTV shows, most notably Jersey Shore.
ST: Where are you guys from and how has that influenced your music?
DJ: We are all from New Jersey, directly across the river from Philadelphia. Adam and Owen Staszewski are brothers and grew up playing together. Ean and Adam Francois went to the same high school only about fifteen minutes away from where Adam and Owen went to school. Greg Townsend is from a bit further north in New Jersey. Philadelphia really had a vibrant music scene while we were growing up. Ean, Owen and Adam were heavily involved in the hardcore, metal and punk underground scenes of the early 2000’s in New Jersey and Philly. I think that definitely had an influence on us, but I’d say the music that influenced us all and made us start playing was grunge during the early 90’s.
ST: What did MTV mean to you growing up? What does it mean to you now?
DJ: MTV was really important to us all growing up. Seeing videos of bands we loved, finding new bands, watching breaking music news, and live performances on the Video Music Awards all made us stop in our tracks. Nirvana Unplugged, as well as Pearl Jam Unplugged (and their Video Music Awards performances) are vivid memories for us. MTV was truly was an integral part of our adolescence. What does MTV mean to us now? Words cannot describe the intense feeling of nostalgia as the theme song of Beavis and Butthead launches the show into new episodes. Amazing. Hearing newer bands through the various shows and how MTV is shedding light on how important music is when paired with visuals to create certain feelings is simply brilliant. We also can’t describe how much the folks at MTV have done for Desoto Jones by placing our music in various shows. It provided a platform for us to gain invaluable exposure. Who would have thought that the channel we grew up worshiping would be using our music in their programming? Surreal stuff.
ST: Who are some of your biggest musical influences and why?
DJ: Some of our biggest musical influences include 90’s bands like Pearl Jam, STP, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, and so on. They were a major part of our formative years and left a huge imprint on our sense of what rock music is and how great it can be. That is our one common thread. Individually, we don’t listen to the same music. But we feel that is part of what makes us a strong band: the ability to have a common vision of what we want to hear in songs and what is missing from modern alternative rock music. A lot of new music today seems to pull from 80’s and new wave so we are proud to have roots in rock.
ST: If you could work with one artist dead or alive, who would it be?
DJ: Kurt Cobain because the guy could muster more musicality and passion in a few chords than others could do in their lifetime.
ST: If your music was a food, what would it be and why?
DJ: If our music was a food it would be a Doener Kebap (a turkish sandwich found in Germany). A confluence of different ideas, tons of substance, and a nice balanced approach. Punk rock prices, delicious results.
ST: Real World or Jersey Shore?
DJ: Jersey Shore – because you can hear us on the show!
ST: If you could be known for only one of your songs, which would you choose and why?
DJ: As far as material already out, I would say “Unreliable” because it has great melody, but isn’t sugar coated. It has parts in it that musicians and fans alike can appreciate.
++ Interview by Jaron Lum