Who We Are: Grand Junction band JACK+JILL keepin’ it in the family
It’s at Powderhorn Mountain Resort on Saturday, Dec. 28. They’ll be playing outside weather permitting.
Editor’s note: Who We Are is a regular series featuring men and women who embody the unique spirit of the Grand Valley. To nominate someone to be featured, e-mail email@example.com.
When 14-year-old Jessica first laid eyes on her future husband, Aaron Seibert, 15 years ago, she knew she was hooked.
“I’ve had a crush on Aaron more than half my life now,” Jessica Seibert, 29, said. “We ended up dating eight years ago, and we’ve been married for almost seven.”
Now the busy Grand Junction couple have two children — 4-year-old Ezra and 2-year-old Lorelei, teach music lessons from their home’s Atom+Eve Studios, and front the popular local band JACK+JILL. They play shows every weekend, often traveling across Colorado and out of the state for gigs. They also have big dreams of touring even more and incorporating their kids into the band.
Jessica and 33-year-old Aaron are JACK+JILL’s main songwriters. Aaron plays guitar and sings in the band; he also plays bass, drums and piano. Jessica, a classically trained musician, plays violin and sings for the group; she also teaches violin and piano on the side.
Grand Junction resident Cory Roberts, 29, plays bass and sings backup for JACK+JILL. Another Grand Junction resident, 33-year-old Jake Cram, rounds out JACK+JILL’s sound, playing drums and percussion.
“We all play kazoo,” Jessica joked.
Aaron added: “We’re all pretty good tinkerers.”
All four band members moved to the Grand Valley as children from out of state, and now work together as a tight-knit musical group.
“We’ve lived in the Grand Valley off and on for 20 years, and probably for the next 20,” Jessica noted. “We have family here; that’s a big reason to stay. We really love Colorado.”
And Aaron weighed in, too — “We definitely embrace western Colorado. Our latest album is called COLORADiO.”
According to the Seiberts, they love living in Grand Junction because it’s a perfect place to base a working band like JACK+JILL. The location provides a good jumping-off point for weekend trips to gigs in the band van. JACK+JILL members spend anywhere from two to 25 hours each week traveling to shows, depending on where they’re going.
They also love Grand Junction because of all their supportive fans.
“There’s a bubble here where people will actually pay musicians,” Aaron explained. “It’s totally good here once you’re an established band.”
Family and a non-traditional work schedule make touring possible for the Seiberts, Jessica said — “We don’t have a 40-hour-a-week job. I’m with my children 24 hours, five days a week.”
That’s because Atom+Eve Studios is located in the Seibert’s basement; that’s where their band practices, and where they teach around 30 music students weekly, Monday through Thursday.
“We practice when (our children are) sleeping, and if it’s a daytime show, they’ll come,” Jessica continued. “Ezra likes to tell people, “We’re JACK+JILL!” He’s got some pride going on for JACK+JILL for sure.”
When the Seibert’s aren’t performing or teaching music, they like to do things as a family.
“We love Old P. (Old Powderhorn, also known as Mesa Creek Ski Area on the Grand Mesa),” Jessica said. “It’s our favorite place to go.”
And Cory likes to hang with his two black and brindle weiner dogs — Bert and Winston.
“No dogs and girlfriends in van,” Cory noted. “We learned that the hard way. My dogs are couch dogs.”
“The band is family, too,” Jessica said. “Because we’re together so much, it’s important that personal dynamics are good.”
Jake Cram, who was unable to make the interview, loves motorcycles, outdoor recreation and he’s a vegetarian, band members added.
“We eat better because we hang out with Jake,” Aaron said.
UNIQUE SOUND FOR JACK+JILL
When Aaron and Jessica were asked about JACK+JILL’s sound, they looked at each other and laughed.
“We have the hardest time figuring out a genre,” Jessica said. “We say ‘Just listen to it and decide yourselves’.”
Aaron added: “We have a raw indie sound, almost folky with the violin. … Our genre is indie alternative [insert another laugh here]. We’re just tying to be different, a little folky and a little grungy.”
How they came up with the band name was a natural progression, too.
“We’re a husband and wife band; we wanted to bank off that,” Jessica said.
Around the same time the band formed seven years ago, Aaron said an acquaintance kept accidentally calling Jessica by the wrong name, Jill. It was then casually suggested they call the band JACK+JILL, but at first it was more of a joke.
In the end, it stuck however because the name was not specific to any one genre, and it was memorable.
“No one would remember the Aaron and Jessica band,” Jessica said. “It’s easy for people to remember.”
For more information about JACK+JILL or to order their newest album, COLORADiO, visit http://www.jackplusjill.com. To learn more about music lessons with Atom+Eve Studios, call 970-210-7032 or visit http://www.facebook.com/atomandeve.
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