"Stacy Jones works both Miley Cyrus and American Hi Fi." - Interview

American Hi Fi is back after five years of being away, well the band wasn’t really away, the guys were helping Miley Cyrus become an international super star, but they’re back as American Hi Fi with a new album called “Fight the Frequency.” If you’re into early Beatles, Oasis, Foo Fighters, Puddle of Mudd etc etc I think you’ll really like this album.

In terms of hits on the album, literally every song could last on the radio. I think once three or four songs start to hit the radio people are going to realize how solid this album is beginning to end. Check out my review here: "American Hi Fi's 'Fight the Frequency.'" - Music Review

Recently I got a chance to talk with Stacy Jones about the new album “Fight the Frequency,” Miley Cyrus and his new label.

Q - You guys have finally released your highly anticipated album “Fight the Frequency,” why did it take five years?

A - Well, Jamie (Arentzen) the guitar player from Hi Fi, and I have been playing with Miley Cyrus. I’m her musical director as well as her drummer and he plays guitar for her. So that’s kept us busy for the last four years. That’s the main reason that we didn’t put out a Hi Fi record, but at the same time I don’t think we would have made this record if it weren’t for her. Just because Jamie and I worked on this record while we toured with her. There is a lot of down time on those arena tours. So we utilized our time and spent it writing our songs.

Q - What is your favorite song off of “Fight the Frequency?”

A - That’s a tough question to answer because I think it changes depending on the day. I think overall I’m really proud of this record and there aren’t any songs that are skippers for me.

Q - I agree with you, I got a chance to listen to the album, actually several times and really beginning to end you’re right, there’s not a skipper on there. If you had told me you had spent five years perfecting this album I would have believed you.

A - I appreciate you saying that. We recorded this album over the course of a couple years. Basically what happened was that we’d work hard for a couple of weeks, and then we’d have to go on tour with Miley. We wouldn’t be able to work on the album for a couple weeks. What that allowed us to do was really sit with the music. We probably wrote 40 or 50 songs for the album and we probably recorded 20 or 30, but we didn’t always finish them. That was the benefit of having the luxury of time and not really having any kind of real schedule in terms of releasing the album. That’s what that affords you, is the opportunity to really sit with the music and make sure you like what you’re putting out.

Q - You guys created your own label for this, what made you decide that it was time to create your own label?

A - It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. My manager and I talked about it and it just seemed like the right opportunity. We spoke to some other labels when we were done with this album and the opportunity with Sony/Red to partner up on this was just too good to pass up.

Q - Are there plans to sign other bands?

A - You know, we’ve discussed, I think it’s really going to have to see how we do with this Hi Fi record, to see if we’re capable of doing it. Ultimately yes, that would definitely be something I’d be interested in.

Q - Are there plans to tour with the new album?

A - We’re definitely going to tour. We’re just kind of looking around; we want to do the right thing. We’d like to get on a good support tour. We’re kind of putting the vibe together to see what would be good.

Q - Do the pressures of the music industry get to you at all? Do you worry about album sales?

A - No, if there is one thing I’ve learned from all the years of being in the music business is that once you released an album, you don’t have a lot of control over what happens next. It kind of just takes on a life of its own. Basically what I do is I try to make the best record I can make. We try to be the best band we can be, whether it’s put on a show or writing music. That’s really all we can control. So beyond that there’s not a lot I can do.

Q - What are some bands or artists that you’re into right now?

A - I’m kind of going back, I’m on a real Beatles/Oasis kick right now. That’s really what I’m listening too. I’m sort of studying music. I’m going back and learning all The Beatles albums, and all those chords and same with Oasis. That’s sort of what I’m into right now.

Q - What advice would you have for up and coming artists trying to make it in this business?

A - I would say do it for the right reasons. Hone your craft. Learn the art of being a musician; learn the art of making records. It’s something that I think gets lost occasionally with people. People get wrapped up in the other trappings of being in a band. Really what it’s about is making great music.


Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.

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