Jarrod Pedone is the man who “wrote, performed, mixed, and mastered” all of the wonderful music under the moniker Ninth Floor Mannequin. Jarrod took time out of his schedule to shed light on this project.
Ninth Floor Mannequin just released six exclusive Free Downloads via wavo for all to enjoy. Find them here, and the interview just below our player!
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And here’s our interview with Ninth Floor Mannequin:
Where are you answering these questions from?
I’m in my humble little office/studio/computer/closet room. I do most of what I do from this type of space. The room has a tendency to relocate from city to city but, the contents remain the same.
How long have you been playing music?
In a broad sense…about 17 years. I started playing different instruments at different ages but I didn’t begin seriously writing until more recently. However, it technically began with sneaking in some playing time on my oldest brother’s bass guitar when he was out of the house. I was about 11.
Who are your musical influences?
Like most musicians, my influence list is long. However, if I had to boil it down to the essentials, I’d go with Paul Simon, Erykah Badu, Frederic Chopin, Broken Social Scene, The Get Up Kids, Jeff Buckley, Bjork, Fleet Foxes, Bad Religion, Bon Iver, Radiohead, The Zombies & Danny Elfman.
Who are you listening to right now?
At this very moment, I’m listening to a playlist of Erik Satie & Chopin piano pieces. I absolutely love this stuff but, it usually falls into my background music category. As far as more current music, I still can’t put away that Father John Misty album. When I’m drumming with ear buds in, I’ve been listening to a lot of Hiatus Kaiyote. When I’m cooking, it’s Etta James. When I’m exercising, it’s Passion Pit, Bad Religion, or Tame Impala. It all depends on the time of day, the accompanying activity, & the weather.
Any new releases that you are looking forward to?
I know that it’s not exactly hip underground indie but, I just heard that Radiohead is headed back into the studio. They don’t often disappoint & their last couple albums are two of my favorites from them.
How did you come up with the name, Ninth Floor Mannequin, for your first solo project?
- “The After Hours” is the first episode of The Twilight Zone that I’ve ever seen. In that episode, a mannequin is given the chance to live as a human being for a month before returning to the mannequin lifestyle. The subject forgets that she truly is a mannequin until she revisits the ninth floor of the department store where she previously resided. I can’t say for sure what my next songs will be about. However, the debut EP happens to correlate with my five favorite classic plots of that series.
Northwest Prime, as well as other sources, has documented your accident and subsequent coma, can you recount that time of your life for our readers/listeners and how it helped you craft this EP?
Physical therapy & mental recovery are interesting things. Though I did have a pretty significant setback, I am still the same person. As I mentioned, I’ve been a musician since age 11. Making music is what I do. So, I naturally resumed where I left off. Understandably, hospitals do not have therapeutic programs specifically designed for musician’s skills recovery. So, I scoured my hard drives for ideas. I found them. I relearned them. I finished them. I compiled them. I made a debut EP out of them. This was my musical therapy program.
By the reaction we have gotten from the tracks on wavo.me it is obvious that your songs fit intomany of our charts from Alternative/Indie to Folk and Rock. Was it your intention to cross genres?
I had no pre-existing genre intentions. Although the subject matters of my songs may be considered a bit strange, my intention is to keep the music as honest as possible. As a musician, I see that many bands put themselves in a creative box with their bio that mentions their genre. Personally, if the lyrics call for a harsher sound…overdrive is my tool. If the lyrics are more narrative…a folkier arrangement leaves more space for the lyrics to resonate. If the story has a bit of an eerie characteristic…I like ambient vocals layered with synths & slide guitars. For me, each song needs its own individual arrangement. I try not to use genre cliches as a fail-safe that would dodge my songwriter’s block & finish my four minute song for me.
What are your thoughts on today’s music distribution and delivery?
The streaming & digital download platform is a double-edged sword. Artists can quickly & easily get their music out there without the cost & hassle of physical distribution. However, this has led to decreased audio quality, hundredths of a cent per stream for artists & complete over-saturation of musical content for the average listener. “Come to our show & buy our record,” was a good thing for artists while it lasted but, those days seem to be dimming. Nowadays, it seems to be “like, share, retweet or stream this link to my music.” Ninth Floor Mannequin is unfortunately closer to the latter for the time being. Hopefully, it slides back toward the former quite soon.
Any plans for touring?
Of course this project will find its way onto the road. The 9 piece band is prepped & damn, would it be a great thing to play with those folks every night…folks can play…good people, too. I would be a happy guy if that was happening sooner than later. However, I have a bit of work to do before we can embark.
What is next for Ninth Floor Mannequin?
Ninth Floor Mannequin lives indefinitely with the record button on. There are a handful of new songs already sitting on a hard drive in that room I mentioned. As usual, the next release is already in progress. The next performance is on the horizon. With continued support from the wonderful folks at places like Wavo, we could be on a stage near you soon.
Alexander Lagman hails from the Detroit area and it one of Wavo’s top contributors. He has a lovely wife and 2 amazing children. He used to DJ nu-disco house in the early 2000s to crowds of tens for free bar burgers and discounted drinks. He now has two of the best jobs in the world.