Jupiter One is a tragic band

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When it comes to stories about how bands meet, New York jam-band Jupiter One has everyone beat.

“Zac [Colwell, keyboard] and K [Ishibashi, vocals and guitar] were playing in a traveling circus together,” said drummer Dave Heilmen. “That’s how they met and moved to Austin, Texas, where Zac is from, where they started making music together. Then they moved to New York [City] because K was dating this Japanese violin player [Mocha] from the Berkley School in Boston. K moved back there to marry her . [and] now Mocha is in the band playing keyboards . I met them through a friend, so I joined the band.”

Traveling circus acts aside, the band members draw their musical influences from many different places, though one of their biggest influences comes from the soul music of the ’70s. The band is also influenced by a variety of rock bands, including the Talking Heads, David Bowie, Bloc Party, The Police, Justice, Digitalism, Pink Floyd and Franz Ferdinand. When it comes to their own music, however, the bandmates try to take the best parts of each genre to make their own.

“We’re inspired by music,” Heilmen said. “When we hear something really cool, that will inspire us to do something as cool . It’s hard to define our sound. The best way to define it is as cinematic synthesizer heavy rock that’s influenced by the new-wave bands of the ’80s.”

The band is currently on tour promoting their self-titled album Jupiter One (Cordless Recordings, April 3, 2007).

“We love touring,” Heilmen said. “We love meeting the people who have reached out to us from the Internet. It’s nice to show up in these towns in like February when there’s nothing to do and be something that people can come out and do, so people can hang out and dance and have a good time.”

Despite the band’s love for life on the road, their tour experience has been quite taxing-and painful.

“K, our singer, has managed to fall and hurt himself two of the three shows we’ve done so far,” Heilmen said. “He’s covered in Band-Aids and cuts right now. He’s kind of clumsy. I also slipped on some ice and twisted my knee, and I’m limping around, and the bass player [Ben Wright] has a bad cold right now. So we’re kind of a tragic band, limping and coughing.”

When the members aren’t nursing their road wounds, they like to rehearse new music, fine-tune their new songs and just hang out.

“We’re all broke,” Heilmen said. “We’ll just spend time in my apartment just working on music. We [also] watch a lot of ‘Lost’ on DVD . Zac and I have been catching up on seasons one, two and three. We also love watching Ricky Gervais’ show ‘Extras’ and also the show ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’ Since we’re broke, we just get a bunch of DVDs, eat pretzels, drink Old Dan Tucker and Wild Irish Rose and just watch some comedy. We love funny shows, basically.”

Avoiding more touring accidents and resisting the desire to run back to the circus, Jupiter One performed in St. Louis on Feb. 17 for the National Association for Campus Activities National Showcase.