Saved by the Daylights (Feb 2001)
The next day I caught up with Jessica for a quick couple of questions to help me gather a few more morsels about this extremely interesting band.
Aaron: First off I wanted to get a little background information on you. Where did you all meet, and how did you get to playing music together?
Jessica: I went to high school with Arne, so we’ve known each other for a long time. And Arne and Dale played in different African bands in Seattle, and we were all sort of in similar musical circles at the same time. That was about six years ago when we began collaborating, but for the first few years it was more of a project. It wasn’t until maybe three years ago that we made it a priority, where we were touring and putting all our energy into it.
Aaron: Moving to last nights show at Winston’s it seemed to be a very wide open jam out session. I recall Arne commenting on how you might actually play some songs in the second set. Was last night very different from most of your shows?
Jessica: Yeah, that was pretty much made up on the spot. There were no real songs or arrangements. Just a lot of laying down various textures. Playing with more spaces, just building off the energy with amazing musicians like Psydecar.
Aaron: Do you usually have a general set mapped out that you follow?
Jessica: Well that’s one of the things about touring a lot, like we have been. You get really tight as a band, but don’t have any time to rehearse anything new. So a lot of the time we will have a composition that takes on a new direction on stage, and turns into something totally different or entirely new. We are very open to each other’s musical motivations on stage. We are willing to go in new directions and follow each other. Like playing with Psydecar, flowing with them just raising energies.
Aaron: Speaking of Psydecar Harold Todd seemed to be full of kudos for you; I could tell he really enjoyed playing with you. . .
Jessica: I know the whole time he was up there I was like ‘no its you, its you’. That was amazing.
Aaron: Had you ever played with him before?
Aaron: What did you think of him?
Jessica: He’s amazing, what a wonderful sound. And his flute playing was inspiring. He really impressed me with that. You know I had stopped playing the flute for a few years, and was working on my sax until about six months ago I started bringing some flute into the Living Daylights. And you know to really learn an instrument I feel I need to focus all my attention on that instrument. And when I was watching him I was just like ‘ya that’s what I want to do.’ He was really inspirational.
Aaron: I noticed you talking with Cheme before the show how do you know him?
Jessica: We did a Halloween show in Williamsport Pennsylvania with Robert Walters 20th congress and we met there.
Aaron: How did you like that triple horn blowout last night with Cheme and Harold?
Jessica: I had a great time.
Aaron: Oh yeah, I wanted to ask you one more thing, on your new album, which I picked up last night, and think sounds great but obviously haven’t put enough time into, how did you hook up with Bill Frisell?
Jessica: He played at this festival I put together in Seattle, but it seems that we just keep running into him. We just asked him if he wanted to sit in and he was very excited about it so he came in.
Jessica and I chatted a bit more as I basically thanked her for her time and an amazing show. And I thought back to the previous nights shake down and thought of the irony at play in my weekend. I considered my Saturday night with the famous Snoop Dogg who charged me thirty dollars for nothing. Literally nothing, no musical talent, no thought provoking message, not even good beats. It seems that this type of show dominates at times here in San Diego, but my faith was restored for only five dollars on the next night. It’s almost comical how a band like the Living Daylights can go through a city hardly being noticed, outside of a few enlightened music fans, and only receive five dollars a head. While Snoop Dogg gets rich and couldn’t touch the musical talent in Arne’s left pinky toe, let alone the entire band together. Its almost a metaphor for mainstream society, you can listen to the hype and bleed out your wallet for crap, or you can seek original experiences and transcend the obsession with money. You cannot put a price on the sounds radiating from talented musicians all around the world who are true artists with musical vision and positive energy. I realize that this is not a news flash, but at times it needs reiteration. The Living Daylights rescued my weekend from the grasps of gangster rap, reminding me why I travel all over the country in search of true genuine music. By talking with these very cool people, (Dale, Arne, and Jessica) I am more optimistic about the future of music in San Diego. Hearing how happy they were to come down from Seattle and that they really dug the vibe here makes me look forward to other musicians making it all the way down to the border city or S.D. I can only hope the positive atmosphere continues to blossom, pushing people like Snoop to the side, while more real musicians take the stage.