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  • Ellie McGuire

Interview - Jasmine Tea

Jasmine Tea originated in New Jersey, but has since traveled the East coast from Martha's Vineyard to Florida. Their music touches many genres so they despise classifying themselves. Some of their songs are of the singer-songwriter variety with catchy melodies, while others lean on retro roots rock with bluesy guitar riffs.

Their latest offering ‘Just a Little’ is of the indie singer-songwriter genre. With a romantic mood to the track, it discusses the loss of a loved one. Featuring acoustic and electric guitars, organ, bass guitar, and drums. The overall tone of the song will capture the listener’s attention from the first note.

We sat down with Bob Short of Jasmine Tea to discuss Jasmine Tea’s music and much more. Here is what he had to say:

Hey Jasmine Tea, welcome to FLEX! How are you?

Great, I love being busy with a new release and this one makes me very excited.

How did the band come together?

I was playing in a cover band with the drummer. He also had a side gig going with an all- original band and when my band broke up, he invited me to one of their rehearsals. They needed a bass player and I quickly taped a few of their songs and came back the next week with some bass lines and a few songs that I had written which they all liked. So, it’s the same old story about one band’s death that leads to another’s birth.

And what inspired the band’s name Jasmine Tea?

Our name is not really a good representation of our music. In fact, I don’t like our name. When I first heard the name, I thought it might be perfect for a jazz band of sorts, or maybe some soft all-acoustic duo, but not for us. I was the last to join and therefore, alas, forsooth, had no say. The name had been christened in a study hall back in DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne, NJ when someone was drinking Jasmine Tea and it’s been that ever since. And so it goes.

Congratulations on your brand-new single ‘Just a Little’ - what inspired this particular song?

We had a few verses but no hook. There were some pretty heavy issues we were dealing with at the time due to the death of a loved one and the chorus literally came from a dream sequence. So ‘Just a Little’ is the reminiscing and longing for that loved one.

How was the recording and writing process?

The song went through many iterations. Originally it was going to be all acoustic…even down to using an acoustic bass guitar. When we electrified it, the challenge was to maintain the intimacy and emotion. The organ part reintroduced the dream-like quality and added an element of nostalgia to the recording.

For viewers that don’t know Jasmine Tea, how would you describe your sound?

We are a singer/songwriter rock band that can sometimes sound bluesy or folky. There are two songwriters which allow us to explore many different genres. I hate classifying our genre so let’s just go with indie-rock, pop, bluesy, intellectual, folk, Americana, acoustic music style.

What’s the music scene like where you live?

The music scene here in Fort Myers, Florida is awesome. That’s one of the main things that brought me here. We have everything! Within a four-block area of downtown we have a jazz club, a few rock clubs, some indie showcases, and even two late night “house music” venues. I even get to see the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra at the local auditorium. I love the variety and love all the live music here. Sadly, the recent hurricane has closed some of those clubs and the downtown area is still getting back on its feet.

And what are some of those activities that you engage yourself in when you aren’t writing or recording in the studio?

Florida is great for all outdoor activities, kayaking, beaches, etc. Watch out for alligators in the back water canals! (That warning comes from a personal encounter when one bumped the bottom of my kayak)

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