Jocelyn Arndt – an interview by Danny Coleman
“It’s a funny story actually,” says the dynamic Jocelyn Arndt. “We were playing in a band at the Fonda Fair. We were assigned to play the beer tent; which was kind of cool and we notice this guy wearing a really weird hat. We noticed that he was really paying a lot of attention to us and as the set went on we saw him speaking with our parents…”
The guy in the hat turned out to be David Bourgeois of Bridge Road Entertainment who took an immediate interest in Jocelyn and her very talented brother Chris. That chance meeting and subsequent parental discussion led to the signing of a deal with Bourgeois and Bridge Road Entertainment which has produced a seven song debut disc entitled “Strangers In Fairyland.”
“This is my first release with Davis and Bridge Road,” says Jocelyn. “We are on a developmental deal. We recorded the tracks at White Lake Music in Albany, N.Y. and it was such an amazing experience.”
Jocelyn and Chris grew up in a family where music was a constant. According to both, their parent’s diverse tastes nourished their appetite for their talents. “Our parents listened to everything,” said Chris with a laugh. “They had a wide range of musical tastes. They would listen to Queen, Elton John, Shania Twain, country, rock, jazz and blues and if they were listening so were we.” Jocelyn says that her parents were not only “Huge in their musical influences” but very much behind them as well. “As soon as Chris and I started playing together in elementary school our parents have been super, super supportive. They were always telling us no matter what you do make sure you do it well and do it to the best of your abilities.”
Currently Jocelyn and her guitarist brother are enrolled as students in a school which some may be familiar with; Harvard University. These two academics have placed an emphasis on balancing their passion with their need to further their education; with Jocelyn focusing on being an English Major and Chris admitting that he’s “Still searching.” When asked why they chose Harvard, their response was; “Why not?” “We worked very hard in high school and our parents instilled that academics are very important,” said Jocelyn. “We are totally all on the same page there,” says Chris. “Even though I have zero idea what I want to do yet; I take random classes but I am sure I’ll figure it out,” he said with a big laugh.
What they’ve both figured out is their desire to write, play and perform music; their own music. “Strangers In Fairyland” is a well-constructed, well-produced and gutsy performance from Jocelyn with Chris playing some blistering guitar licks behind her powerful vocals. Arndt performs at a level both live and on this debut effort that is far above her years of experience; totally complimenting her all star cast of Gov’t Mule’s Danny Lewis on the B3 organ, Tony Miceli on vibes, Bourgeois on drums, a host of session players and a “Surprise guest” whose identity is being kept under wraps at this time. “We went in the studio with eight or nine tracks in mind that we had written to choose from and settled on seven for the disc,” they explained. “Working with such talented musicians was just an unbelievable experience.”
Talented studio players are one thing; so how is it working together as siblings? “You know what? Ninety nine percent of the time it’s great,” said a laughing Jocelyn. “We always have easy access during a stroke of creative genius,” added Chris. “We definitely know how to keep one another in line; we don’t allow each other to get too big.”
Shall these talented young artists keep moving forward as they are; many things are going to get very big. Their music is hard driving, straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll that most younger players do not embrace; yet Arndt not only embraces it but squeezes it so tight that she leaves no doubt who is in charge. Jocelyn’s command of her material is second to none and her desire to bring it home, drop it on a plate and serve it up is not only admirable but should be a model for her peers. “We are going to keep playing, keep pushing and writing music,” she said as she pondered their next move. “This, music, it’s our first love, it’s really what we want to do; as David says, “We’re going to throw the ball down field;” hopefully we’ll score.”
Jocelyn’s music is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and Spotify. To learn more about Jocelyn Arndt; please visit her web site at www.jocelynarndt.com .