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CALEB LANDRY JONES

Caleb Landry Jones

Gadzooks Vol. 1

    Caleb Landry Jones is a continual creator. The Texan-born star found fame as an actor - you’ll recognise him from key roles in X-Men: First Class, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, amongst others - but music is perhaps his first love, and his source of greatest comfort. A chance encounter with famed auteur Jim Jarmusch brought him into the orbit of Sacred Bones, and the stalwart independent released Caleb’s 2020 debut album The Mother Stone. Psychedelic in a defiantly non-retro way, this indulgent, freewheeling trip won critical acclaim, but masked a secret - he’d already finished another album.

    Filming alongside Tom Hanks in dystopian themed Finch, Caleb found himself writing during those long evenings after the shoot in locations across New Mexico, idling away his hours by focusing on creativity. “I need it,” he says, “I’ve tried working without it. On one acting job, I intentionally didn’t bring a guitar to try and do it without music... but that didn’t last long. I need to create something - it could be a drawing, it could be a song - because otherwise I feel like I’m wasting time. Which is something I do plenty of on my own!”

    With his creative faculties burning, Caleb knew he had to get straight back into the studio when filming stopped. Linking with the same cast who formed The Mother Stone, he resumed his partnership with producer Nic Jodoin, based out of the elegant Valentine Recording Studio in Los Angeles. A studio steeped in history - everyone from Bing Crosby to Frank Zappa worked there - he interrupted mixing sessions for his own debut album in order to focus on something different.

    Gadzooks Vol. 1 is unlike anything you’ve heard before - comparisons range from Skip Spence’s fractured masterpiece Oar through to skewed troubadour Robyn Hitchcock, via John Lennon’s black moods on The White Album and Frank Zappa’s caustic surrealism. Recording to tape, Caleb would hack away at each take, re-assembling the songs like Escher diagrams. “It’s like when you’re swimming in the pool,” he smiles, “and you’re doing a bit of butterfly, and then that gets old after a while. So then you start doing breaststroke, and then that gets old after a while. I think it’s just a reaction from the place where we were before.”

    Part of a flood-tide of creativity - as its title suggests, a second half to this album is already on the horizon - Gadzooks Vol. 1 is thrilling, shocking, and wonderfully entertaining. Each song starts and finishes in entirely unique places, often totally divorced from each other. “I’m trying to write something very simple,” he says, “And it gets really abstract because I don’t know any other way.”


    TRACK LISTING

    1. Never Wet
    2. Yesterday Will Come
    3. The Loon (A Gate Away)
    4. Bogie
    5. Gloria
    6. California
    7. For A Short Time (There Was Loving)
    8. A Slice Of Dream
    9. This Won’t Come Back

    Caleb Landry Jones

    The Mother Stone

      “I think most of it takes place in dreams,” Caleb Landry Jones says of his debut solo album, The Mother Stone. “I’m talking more about dreams than I am about what’s happened in the physical realm. Or I’m talking about both, and you’re not sure what’s what.”

      Caleb Landry Jones was born in Garland, Texas in 1989 and comes from a long line of fiddle players. Three, maybe four generations back, on his mother’s side. His grandfather wrote jingles for commercials, his mother was a singer-songwriter who taught piano lessons in the house, and his father was a contractor who did a lot of work for the Dallas music-equipment retailer Brook Mays and knew a guy if you needed a bass or a banjo. But Jones is not sure if you can hear any of this in his music and he does not play the fiddle.

      Jones has been writing and recording music since age 16, around the same time he started acting professionally. Played in a band called Robert Jones for a minute, lost his guitar player to higher education, moved into his own place, and broke up with somebody, at which point the songs really started coming hard and fast.

      “I started playing guitar and playing more keys,” he says, “and then started writing record after record after record after record, because I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was a good way of healing. And it felt like as soon as I started doing it, it felt like it needed to happen all the time.”

      In the ensuing years he’d spend a lot of time carrying unrecorded songs around in his head like goldfish in a bag, waiting for a chance to record them in marathon sessions in his parents’ barn. “You gotta play the songs every day, or every two or three days, to keep ‘em,” he says. “Otherwise I forget them.” Sometimes the ideas fuse together, one chapter to the next; this is how songs grow into sevenplus-minute epics like the ones on The Mother Stone. His back catalog is around seven hundred songs deep— a whole discography of full albums, most of them unheard outside the barn, at least for now.


      TRACK LISTING

      1. Flag Day / The Mother Stone
      2. You’re So Wonderfull
      3. I Dig Your Dog
      4. Katya
      5. All I Am In You / The Big Worm
      6. No Where’s Where Nothing’s Died
      7. Licking The Days
      8. For The Longest Time
      9. The Hodge-Podge Porridge Poke
      10. I Want To Love You
      11. The Great I Am
      12. Lullabbey
      13. No Where’s Where Nothing’s Died (A Marvelous Pain) 
      14. Thanks For Staying
      15. Little Planet Pig


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