What are your names?
Tom Vickers (vocalist) and Jesse Jensen (multi-instrumentalist / producer).
How did you come up with ‘Jane In Space’.
Tom: Jesse liked the name “Jane” and had been numbering his musical sketches “Jane 1,” “Jane 2,” etc. When we started turning those sketches into songs, I suggested “Jane In Space” because it sounded sci-fi / B-movie-esque, which fit the musical vibe.
What is your genre of music?
Jesse: We straddle industrial, synthpop, and electronic rock, but we always try to write in a pop framework.
Give us a little bio about you as a duo and individuals.
Jesse: Tom and I have been in various bands together for six years now, but none of them have quite scratched the musical itch I had. I started developing the songs that became Jane In Space on the side, and when they started to sound like they might be something, I really wanted to get Tom on board — he’s got some of the best melodic instincts of anyone I’ve worked with. We each have very different musical vocabularies, so we push the songs–and each other–in directions we wouldn’t go if left to our own devices.
What made you go in to music?
Jesse: I never had a choice — when I’m not making music I feel anxious. It took me years to realize this, but music is all about the thrill of exploration for me; going looking for sounds that surprise and excite me, and that vibe with what’s inspiring me. Pop music is a framework to organize that.
Are you signed?
Tom: We work with a small Brooklyn-based record label called Aion Records.
You released your new single “Eat Your Face”; tell us more about it.
Tom: “Eat Your Face” came together pretty quickly as soon as Jesse played me the music. We have very differing ideas about it which I think is a good thing. Jesse sees it as aggressive. I see it as a love song of sorts.
What was the writing process like?
Jesse: Like most of our songs, it started with me exploring ways to articulate musically concepts that were inspiring me. With this song and the album as a whole, I wanted to see what happened when systems worked ‘correctly,’ but with the wrong inputs. So “Eat Your Face” started with a drum loop pitched down and manipulated until it had harmonic bass content, and then I sequenced it as if it was a bassline.
Continuing that theme of inversion, I wanted to use my Moog Little Phatty — traditionally a ‘bass’ synthesizer — to create a very distinctive percussive element. So I hooked it up to a bunch of effects pedals and automated a bunch of parameters until I found that “ROWR” sound.
When I had that concept in place, I played it for Tom, and his melodic instincts kicked in–he very quickly hashed out some vocal ideas and a general structure. After that, it was just a matter of playing with instrumentation and arrangement.
What was the recording process like?
Jesse: As most of the song was built using hardware sequencers and synths, for the most part recording just meant hooking it up to my computer and pressing ‘record.’ But the song actually underwent an interesting permutation after that — our friend / live guitarist Andrew Tell plugged his guitar into a billion effects pedals and jammed on top of the track as I ‘played’ the pedals in real time. Andrew is an amazing player, so when I pushed the sound of his guitar off a cliff (so to speak) through the effects, he took it as a challenge and made some of the coolest sounds on the record. I cut that up and sprinkled it throughout — including that amazing guitar solo!
Who did you work on the Single with?
Tom: For “Eat Your Face” and the entire record, we had the privilege of working with Keith Hillebrandt, who had worked with Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, and others. Keith had done a remix of “Weightlessness” from our first album that we liked so much, we really wanted to work with him again.
Jesse: Keith was a huge, huge inspiration for me–his sonic handiwork is unique and still unrivaled to this day. The sound design he did on NIN’s “The Fragile” is a big part of what makes that album the classic that it is.
What message are you trying to get out?
Jesse: With this song and the band generally–I’m not trying to ‘make it’ or to be a superstar. I’ve got sounds in my head that I want to get out, and I think they’re worth hearing. I love being inspired by other artists and want to contribute to that energy.
You also dropped the video what was the making process like?
Tom: It was fun! The director Permian Strata knows how the videos will look when they’re finished but most of what he does is in post-production. When we’re filming it therefore I just do what he tells me to do (“pretend you’re stuck in a TV and want to get out” etc) and trust him that it will all make sense when the video is finished. It always does, and the videos he makes for us are wonderfully unique.
Can we expect an EP or album this year and if so can we have a teaser?
Tom: Yes! The new EP “Gorerunner” comes out on July 13th and will be available to stream/download everywhere one can stream/download, like Spotify and Apple Music. For a teaser, check out the lead single “Eat Your Face.”
Do you have gigs coming up or a tour in planning?
Tom: We are playing our record release show at Mercury Lounge on July 14th alongside American Fever and Aisha Badru; tickets are available here: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1710252?utm_medium=api
If so where are you thinking of heading?
Tom: We will be playing more gigs in and around New York City in the coming months.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
Jesse: Making a record is very insular for me, so I tend to lose touch with the outside world. But that said, Tom and I are both working with DJ Paul Feder (of Charcole Federation) on some of his tracks.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Tom: Absolutely! Please just shoot us a message on Facebook: www.facebook.com/listentojaneinspace
What else do you have planned this year?
Jesse: We have quite a few more songs in varying states of progress that didn’t fit our vision for “Gorerunner,” but which we are going to try to finish and release this year. At least one or two, anyway!
Do you play any instruments?
Tom: Jesse plays guitar, keyboards, and anything else he can get his hands on. I play guitar badly, but not on this record luckily.
Jesse: Yes, lucky! And to be clear, I don’t play any of those things well.
Who are your influences?
Tom: For the band, the obvious musical influences are Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Radiohead. For this new record in particular, I was inspired by The Jesus and Mary Chain and These New Puritans.
Jesse: On this album, I was really inspired by HEALTH, Ben Frost, MOSH, Kanye… Outside of music, the biggest influences were the books “A Problem from Hell” by former ambassador Samantha Power and “Eichmann in Jerusalem” by Hannah Arendt.
Which TV channel would you like one of your songs to be played on?
Tom: We are not choosy. Let’s make it happen.
Jesse: Beg to differ. I’ll keep an open mind.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Jesse: As stupid as this is, music feels like spelunking to me. I go exploring. Sometimes the songs are there, sometimes they’re not. But it’s an itch I have to scratch, and it’s magic when it works.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Tom: Hopefully still alive, having not been replaced by the robots, and possibly still making music.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Jesse: Thinking about the next time I can do music.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Jesse: “We’re In This Together” by Nine Inch Nails — listening to that loud on speakers, then on headphones, and realizing there was so much more than ‘just’ a rock song.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Jesse: Never let your fears decide your fate.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Tom: Don’t be a dick.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Tom: My mother would say “be excellent to each other”, from Bill and Ted, and I agree with that.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Tom: Peppers Burgers in the Jericho area of Oxford. That place is an institution.
You’re coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
2/ Who do you see first?
3/ What do you eat first?
Tom: We’ve never been on tour so I don’t know, to be honest.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Tom: Earplugs, and four more sets of earplugs in case any get lost in your pocket.
Jesse: Our amazing live band: Tom, Josh, Andrew, and our awesome new live drummer, Brian Korpalski. And then Permian Strata, who does epic visuals for us live–the show wouldn’t work without him.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?