Jazz Passengers

Individually Twisted is our seventh album. It has both Debbie and Elvis on it. It's mostly played in downtown NY.

Hey Roy. How's it going down at the Supper Club?

ROY I'm excited about the show. There's something really nice about this place. Look forward to doing it. We've worked really hard and the show's gotten a lot more complex. It's a very strangely fluid thing. This band and performance. Sometimes it's special, sometimes it's not as special. There is this sense that people are really quick on their feet. And you never know what that will be or not.

What are the instances that would make it "not as special?"

ROY You go on these long tours. And play night after night. I don't even remember...

How is it playing with Elvis Costello?

ROY He's a really good guy. I think he's a big band singer, in a strange way. The rock instruments don't obscure the fact that he has a very big sounding style, like the guys that used to be in front of big bands. And he's certainly one of those guys. His father used to lead a big band. And Elvis is out of that tradition.

How many albums have you guys made?

ROY Individually Twisted is our seventh album. It has both Debbie and Elvis on it. It's mostly played in downtown NY. We have a loyal small following. This is our second vocal album. The first one is called Jazz Passengers In Love. That's how we met Debbie.

I was just at the U2 press conference earlier today and everything seemed so staged and choreographed. What are your thoughts on mega-rock bands, and what are the aspirations of the Jazz Passengers?

ROY We certainly are the farthest thing from the mega rock band. When rock stars are in our milieu they know that it is complicated, and in no way staged. Therefore, it will always have a relatively small audience. We'd like it to be bigger than 40 people a night. You know, we'd like a middle class band, in terms of popularity.

What happened to Mavis Staples?

ROY We did a couple of gigs with Mavis. She's great. She did a very difficult song on that record. It was challenging and very interesting. But we needed to have one singer who would do all the tours with us. Debbie was in New York and shared the vision.

What clubs have you guys been playing at in NY?

ROY We played for years at the Knitting Fact, Bottom Line, SOB's and others.

How do you feel about the Knitting Factory move last year? Has it lost some of its original charm?

ROY I've always felt more comfortable in the old room, but I think it had to be done. It's had positive and negative effects on the scene, like more experimental stuff can't fill the upstairs room. But it still increased attention to alternative music, and that's good.

Will you reciprocate on the Blondie re-union ?

ROY I don't think that's in the cards. A reunion is about having that sound recreated, and that's not our style. We don't do anything but what we do.

Who writes the lyrics?

ROY The music is written by myself, Bill and Bradly. The majority of the lyrics have been written by David Kale, with some by myself, Debbie, and Ray Doven, a playwright.

The show is starting soon. Good bye. Thank you for your time.