The Running Jumps is four people in Los Angeles that love jangly pop. Inspirations include albums like Skylarking, Spilt Milk, Sgt. Pepper, Village Green & Odessey and Oracle. Those records roughed up by Guided By Voices or Superdrag. Vocalist/guitarist Joel Martin has lead notable power pop ensembles like Every Single Saturday and BIMBO! Folks might also recognize bassist Sid Jordan from LA-by-way-of-Britain phenom, Minibar. Drummer Dave Johnstone has been a musical foil for over a decade. Multi-instrumentalist Todd McDearman paints in the rest of the sound.
In this interview spotlight, we virtually sit down with Joel Martin of The Running Jumps to talk influences, new projects and more.
Q&A, links and streams can be found below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into You, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
There is a magical force in the best powerpop. The tubes in the vintage amps most of the guitarists favor, the room sound of the drums, the active and melodic bass players, the sympathetic mellotrons and other synths – all these things build upon each other and create an undulating foundation for great songs to sit on. Songs about joy or love or even melancholy aching to break you. Regal power! Add the psychedelic wash to that and it’s a creative dream world.
What led you into this journey with music? And further, what drives you to push it out to the public?
My mom had lots of music on in the house – everything from Led Zeppelin to Russian folk songs on 45’s. I latched on to everything she played and by the time I was 10 I was buying up all kinds of vinyl at garage sales or used record stores. When I started playing guitar at 11 I knew ALL the catalogs by most of the big 70’s/60’s bands. I’ve given music everything I had since I started so I got to be fairly proficient early on. It always seemed like something I would make a living at. Still waiting…
Who or what influences your creativity? Have your tastes in music changed over time?
It sounds a little coy but really EVERYTHING influences what I do. Music I like, music I don’t like, movies, directors, all kinds of art and everything in civilization around me.
My tastes haven’t “changed” but they’ve developed. When I was very young, the first bands I loved were Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Doors and Pink Floyd. I still listen to them all the time. When I was 11, Iron Maiden was my favorite group – I saw them play live this year and had the time of my life. By the time i was 14, I was listening to exclusively progressive rock. That music, Genesis with Peter Gabriel, Rush, Yes, King Crimson, Van deer Graaf Generator is often my GO-TO. In my late teens I got into Miles Davis and John Coltrane. That grew into a love of Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and Thelonius Monk. And in my early 20’s I FINALLY got into the Beatles!!! That took over everything and through most of my 20’s and 30’s I only listened to jangle bands: Jellyfish/The Posies/The Grays/The Zombies/Guided By Voices. When I started playing pedal steel I listened to almost exclusively classic country. I’ve also gone through huge waves of modern classical music like Stravinsky and Messiaen.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
I really wanted people that loved The Zombies to have a place to go amidst a world of Fall Out Boy and Lady Gaga.
What was the last song you listened to?
Currently listening to Jason Falkner’s “Author Unknown” record.
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
I cling to CDs as I don’t really have a good vinyl system. MP3’s are deeply disappointing. I’d like to get a Pono as I have done side by side tests and they blow everything out of the water.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
I don’t use any of them. I don’t enjoy the user experience like ads and that kind of BS.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what is the biggest challenge you face when trying to connect with or find new fans?
The biggest challenge with fans is the fans. I live in LA. No one goes out to shows unless it’s their favorite people. No one buys anything and why should they? They can get it for free online. There is very little support.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more music?
www.therunningjumps.com and we’re on Facebook too!