JESSE AND THE RISE
Jesse and the Rise is a musical collaboration that was founded around early 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Jesse Sarvinski writes the songs and performs all lead vocals while Minde Maus produces and co-writes for the group. Jesse and the Rise has a new EP titled “Mystic” to be released on May 27th; their sound is a “melange of pop, alternative, and dance, with hints of blues, reggae, and country, driven by emotional lyrics and themes of promise and optimism”. Enjoy our interview with Jesse Sarvinski of Jesse and the Rise below!
Tell us about Jesse and the Rise; how did you all meet and begin collaborating and writing music together?
“I was telling a friend one day that I wanted to change things up sound-wise. I had been doing the folky singer/songwriter thing for a while and I was bored with it. I needed to reinvent myself and I knew that I wanted that reinvention to involve beats and synthesizer. This friend told me they had someone they wanted me to meet and that person was Minde. You never know if you’re going to click with someone (and a good percentage of the time it doesn’t work) but this time it did. Minde sent me a beat and it was so perfectly crafted that I instantly knew we were a match. The first day in the studio together was perfect. We didn’t have to go back and forth a lot because we were very much on the same page. This was in 2010 and four years later we are still making music. I released some of our music as a solo artist but I felt the need to have a name that was more inclusive. We will debut our first EP as Jesse And The Rise in late May.”
Who are your biggest musical influences? Why have these artists or acts had a profound impact on you?
“My influences are really all over the place. I’m the type of person that listens to many different styles of music and surrounds themselves with many different types of people. I like anything with a hook, whether that’s pop, reggae, rock, or electronic. I grew up on country music and that’s a genre that is very much about telling a story, in a literal way. It’s not too heavy-handed and you can kind of grasp the message without having to strain too much. I like to write songs that empower; (that’s) not to say that I don’t have a dark side that I’m in touch with, but I like to keep our music light. Minde is very much about the Top 40 sound and producers like Stargate, Max Martin, Shellback, and Sandy Vee, so you combine that with my storytelling and wide range of influences, and you get our sound.”
What life events and experiences led to the writing and recording of your upcoming EP “Mystic”?
“I was in a really dark place the past few years: I was f*cking up opportunities and sabotaging my life with drugs and alcohol and I came to a point where it just wasn’t working anymore. I’ve always been pretty spiritual but I couldn’t quite connect with the world the way I wanted to because I was always f*cked up. That’s been a major influence on this record for me; the start of a new chapter and the realization that there’s a force out there that we’re all a part of, and this new conviction that you really can do whatever you want in life. You just have to get rid of whatever brings you down and just look yourself in the mirror and say “I can do this. I can do anything”. “Mystic” is definitely a spiritual record, yet I find that word a bit loaded and I don’t want to give the impression that I’m some sort of saint. I do very much believe in the otherworldly and the mysteries of life so the record is interwoven with those types of themes. I can also get a bit political at times but that’s a whole other interview.”
Could you give us some further insight into the meaning and story behind each song?
(On ‘Rollin’ On’): “We live in this sort of society where everyone is scurrying around trying to keep up. We have to look good on the outside, so we buy the car we can’t afford and put everything on credit just to maintain an image. At a certain point you kind of explode and realize, wait a second, this isn’t even what I want. This societal dream isn’t my dream. I don’t follow these rules that somebody else made up for my life (because) they don’t work for me. You can only keep up this facade for so long before you crack. I prefer to let life carry me in the wind. ‘Rollin’ On’ is that free-spirit anthem to just do you. I was lucky enough to have my friend Josh Sklair, who played with Etta James for many, many years and who also has two Grammy’s, play on the track. He has such a good vibe and he really added such a nice bluesy rock vibe to the song. I’m really stoked about this one.”
(On ‘Live Forever’): “I was on this tiny little island in Hawaii called Lanai. I spent a few weeks there writing and hanging with the locals. The island is beautiful and completely untouched. I was outside one night looking up at the stars and I can’t really describe it, but I just felt this overwhelming sense of oneness with the universe and all of the people in it. I began to think of the stars as all of us, and “Live Forever” was born out of this idea that life really does go out and ultimately billions of years from now, or perhaps sooner, all of the atoms and particles that make us up eventually end up somewhere amongst the stars. I had a visual of New Orleans for this one, and I don’t know why but I’ve always had this fascination with voodoo and Bayou culture, so I wanted that particular vibe. The verses are feature chants, as I could picture a group of people shackled and enslaved singing along and finding comfort in the fact that they will live forever.”
(On ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’): “I think that a lot of people are paralyzed by their past. They let these stories in their minds dictate everything they do and most of the time the negative sh*t we tell ourselves isn’t even true. It’s complete bullsh*t that gets us nowhere, and once you realize that, you have the power to rewrite that story. I think it’s a pretty common thing for people to feel not good enough or unworthy and I think we all have to help each other change that.”
What is it like to have your musical creations featured on large television stations such as ABC, MTV, and TBS?
“Having our music on television for the first time was a really big deal. I come from a very tiny town where most people marry early and spend the rest of their lives doing that whole thing (not that there’s anything wrong with that). That is a calling for a lot of people and we need good mothers and fathers to bring up good kids, but I have a thirst for something more and to have a music supervisor use your music helps solidify that you’re doing something right. It also keeps the fire alive, which we all need, not that I would ever stop otherwise, because music and songwriting are my heartbeat, but it helps to hear that people dig what you’re doing.”