Jocelyn and Chris Arndt are a powerful bluesy singer/songwriter sibling duo that are here to rock your world. Their soulful, seductive charisma speaks to you beyond the words they are singing. We caught up with the siblings and were able to talk about their newest record Go and where they get inspired from; see what they have to say below!
Being that you're siblings you must have a much closer bond than most other acts out there, do you think that is something that works to your aid?
Yes, definitely! It absolutely works to our advantage. Chris and I grew up doing everything together, and that includes music. I mean, we got used to practicing in the same living room pretty quickly… after a while, writing our own songs together seemed like a natural next step. He just gets me. We each understand how the other works best, and that really helps when we work as a team. Plus, I think one of the best parts of the whole deal is that we know not to take each other too seriously. We’ve seen each other at our best AND our worst, and that’s great, because we can keep each other humble. Chris keeps me from going full diva. And vice versa. :p
Who were some of the artists that inspired you to team up together?
Everybody! But actually, though… we grew up listening to a giant variety of music. Blues, rock, jazz, pop, you name it. You can thank our parents and their enormous CD collection for that. And you can bet we were always on the lookout for sibling acts. It’s always cool to watch others do what you’d like to do… it keeps you focused on what’s possible. So we keyed in to The Carpenters, Heart, Dire Straits, and The Allman Brothers right off the bat, as well as more modern sibling groups like Halestorm and The Band Perry. But I think we were also really focused on groups built on powerhouse songwriting teamwork as well. You know, The Beatles. The Eagles. Those guys. We study classic rock like it’s our job. Which I guess it is, sort of. And as our music grows and we’re able to perform at a higher level, we’ve actually been able to play with some of the musical heroes who inspired us growing up, which is absolutely insane. We played the Mountain Jam Music Festival a couple years ago, and we were on the same bill as Robert Plant and The Black Keys. I mean, freaking ROBERT PLANT. Cue hardcore fangirl mode.
Since your debut album Edges was released you've steadily released new music/content and working very diligently touring, how do you stay inspired and find new sources to continue to create such solid content?
We look for inspiration everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. We’ve written songs about breakfast cereal, traffic lights, and poisonous snakes. Not necessarily all in the same song, mind you. Although that does give me an idea. But really, the great thing about writing as a team with Chris is that it’s twice the brain-power we’ve got working for us. Whenever one of us hits a wall, the other’s usually got some idea that’ll get us back on the right track. Knock on wood, we’re never completely stuck.
Go, your latest full length, was released in the beginning of May 2017, what has the response been like thus far?
In a word? AMAZING. Putting out new music is always a pretty nerve-wracking experience. We wrap a lil’ chunk of our soul in a tiny little metal disc, shove the disc in a tiny little plastic box, and send it out for the world to judge. We love it, but it’s hard as hell to do. We started from scratch with “Go” - no songs in our back pocket from high school, no scraps of lyrics or riffs floating around in our instrument cases and nightstand drawers. And that was terrifying. But as it turns out, we were scared for nothing. To put it in perspective: “Edges” peaked at #14 on the Jamband radio chart after 5 months floating around the upper teens and lower twenties, and our top-performing single off that album cracked the FMQB triple-A top 150 after 12 weeks. “Go,” on the other hand, hit #2 on the Jamband radio chart in its first month of release, and is still holding that position a month later. Our first single, “Footprints on the Moon,” was the 2nd Most Added Song in FMQB triple-A radio in its week of release, and hit #64 (!!!!!) on the triple-A charts in week 6 of its campaign. We just started pushing our second single, “Ready Steady Go.” We can’t speak for the future, but it was the 4th most-added song in Billboard triple-A radio in its first week, and we’re hearing lots of good things from our radio friends about it so far!
Lol. That was a lot of numbers. In a nutshell, Go is doing really well, and it’s still in the beginning of its push to radio, which means there’s a ton of time for it to continue moving up! Our fingers are crossed. Wish us luck!
What's been the most rewarding part about creating/releasing Go?
That’s easy: the people! I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say “music is a universal language,” and I know it always sounds cheesy, but it’s honestly so true. Music brings people together in the best way possible. As a completely unbiased judge, I can say with complete confidence that our team at Bridge Road Entertainment is the single greatest team in the history of the music industry. Recording an album is supposed to be a fun, awesome, life-changing experience, and they managed to make it even better than that. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, the list of guest players we got to collaborate with was excessive in all the right ways. Gov’t Mule’s Danny Louis made a return to our studio to lay down some organ—he’s been on every studio LP we’ve ever released! He was joined on keyboards by Kung Fu’s Beau Sasser, who’s basically the Iron Man of the Hammond organ world, in that he’s a total badass (organ player) and also a super cool guy that I wish I was more like. Beyond that, we got Nolan Neal (former lead singer for Hinder and star of NBC’s “The Voice”) to cut some breathtaking vocal harmony. Bryan Barbarin of the San Diego-based funk band The Routine guested on our first ever duet, Eric Halborg from Dragondeer (Denver’s best blues band, IMO) crushed an epic harmonica track… you get the idea. It’s obvious from listening to the album that those collaborations went a long way toward the quality of the final product. What might not be so obvious, however, are all the personal connections we made and all the experiences we had working with those guys. If you think listening to music is a lot of fun, you should try making it sometime. Your mind will be straight-up blown.
What do you hope to accomplish with the rest of this year?
Touring and radio promo all the way. At some point this winter we’re probably going to have to get in the studio and start to put together the bones of our next album (think next May-ish release, probably), but for right now, we’re in full-out tour mode. Shows and radio shows and shows and radio shows and writing notes to radio stations and then more shows and radio shows and shows. Over the next few months, we’re going to hit up more than half of the states in the lower 48. Like, a lot more. (Sorry, Hawaii and Alaska—we’ll make it there eventually, we promise!). For a full schedule, check out our website, jocelynandchrismusic.com. The ‘Tour’ tab has everything you’ll wanna know. But to give you a brief glimpse of our next month or so: we leave tomorrow for a week-and-a-half-long run with Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, where we’ll do 7 shows across PA, NY, VA, MD, and MA. Then, in August, we head out west! We’ll be at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on August 3rd and the Old Rock House in St. Louis on the 4th. After a quick stop in Wichita, we’ll head over to Colorado—a few days in Boulder for the FMQB triple-A radio conference, and then Denver, Crested Butte, and Steamboat Springs. From there, we’ll make our way through Salt Lake City and Reno over to San Francisco, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. Then we’re back in the Northeast for a few weeks, but we head out again in mid-September for both Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, and more. There’s a fair chance we’ll be somewhere near you sometime in there—come out and say hi! We’d love to see you. Til then, thanks for reading, and peace out!