Ours | Preserving a Pure Human Moment

prof ours-75People often miss my true influences, like Elvis, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and k.d. lang.

Ours is more than just Jimmy Gnecco’s strong, yet fragile voice (though, sometimes, that’s enough). It’s a full-fledged band, one that saw two successful major-label releases, 2001’s near-perfect Distorted Lullabies and 2002’s Precious, both on DreamWorks, followed by a 2008 American Records release Mercy (Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy). After putting forth a solo album entitled The Heart—released in acoustic form in 2010 and as a reimagined, full-band effort the following year—the ruby-throated front man has reunited Ours bandmates for a tour, fundraising campaign, and new album.

The well-spoken singer/songwriter took time out of the tour to answer a few questions.

prof ours-500

You’ve drawn comparisons with Muse and Jeff Buckley. What’s the weirdest comparison you’ve heard? What’s the one band you’ve never been compared to but wish you had/think you should have?

I’m often confused by some comparisons. The Muse one is frustrating because we’ve been around so much longer than them. It was the same for the Jeff one. I don’t think people are listening when they say that though. People often miss my true influences, like Elvis, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and k.d. lang.

How receptive was the rest of the band when you decided to reunite Ours for a new album and tour? How was writing and recording different this time from the band’s last go ’round?

Static and April were all ready to go. They actually played with me through much of my solo stuff, as well. We just made a small shift and said, “OK, now we’ll work on Ours songs.”

There will most likely be a few co-writes on this record, and for the first time ever on an Ours record. We’ve spent years throwing different ideas around, and finally some of them have begun to stick.

It sounds like the new album will be self-released. What aspects of self-releasing most appeal to you? What one thing would people be surprised to hear you miss about being on a major label? (The advance money and tour support don’t count.)

prof ours-300The most exciting thing about recording a record and releasing it ourselves is that we get the opportunity to do many things that we have wanted to in the past, but mostly preserving a pure human moment. The ability to get these moments of creation out to people without them being interfered with. We can’t wait!

I haven’t come across anything that I miss about the major labels just yet.

What’s the craziest thing (that you know of) a fan has ever done in the name of the band?

I have seen a few very moving things over the years. Tattoos, people traveling overseas to come and see us. As far as “craziest,” though, I’m not sure I would use that word about what I’ve seen.

Tell me about the Michael Maxxis film. How did that come about? What is your role in the film? When and where will it be released?

I wrote a song called “Autumn,” and apparently it inspired Michael to come up with this idea for a short film. My role is a young man who is obsessed with the goal of leaving behind a lasting and powerful legacy. It’s a look into his tortured soul as he finds himself alone in life.

I assume the forthcoming album will be called Ballet the Boxer, and I know the tour and Pledge Music campaign are to raise money for its release (and satisfy Ours fans who have been wanting to see the band live again, of course). What is the ETA for that? Will the album—or any part of it—be available for sale at these shows?

Just to be clear, our new record is not recorded yet. We are doing this pledge campaign to raise money to both make it and release it. The campaign would give us the ability to actually make a record if it all goes well. In an ideal world, we would spend two months raising the money, and then the next few months making it. It would be released to anyone who contributes immediately upon its completion. This is the exciting part. We’ll no longer have to wait years to put records out. The moment they are complete, they will be released. No more sitting on the shelf for a year or years while labels figure out what to do with us. Straight to consumer! Very exciting times for us. | Laura Hamlett

 

Ours plays the Firebird on Saturday, July 14. Tickets are $12 over 21/$15 under. Doors 8:30, show9:30 p.m. Animal Empty opens the show.

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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