Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jimmy Gnecco: future holds for the name “Ours” ?

January 12, 2011

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year,

I hope that you all had a peaceful and enjoyable holiday. I wanted to take this time to fill you in on what has been going on with me.
I’ve been in the studio re-working a few of the songs from “The Heart”, and creating full band versions of some of the songs that I felt would sound better with more instruments and vocals on them. When I first set out to do this record I just wanted to do a more stripped down production and get as many songs out to you as I could. I didn’t want to release any songs that felt like they should be “Ours” songs though and this created some challenges for me.

Years ago when I first came up with the name “Ours”, I was part of a band that I had played with for years. We took that as far as we could, and in 1995 decided to end it. In 1997 I signed a record deal with Dreamworks as a solo artist, and the understanding was that I would make music under the name “Ours”. That meant that even if it was just me and a cello, it would still be called “Ours”. The name was meant to describe my relationship with the audience, not necessarily the band. I just wanted the music to be limitless. I then struggled and spent years trying to find the right dynamic and chemistry for a band. I played with many different great people, and even though it didn’t always work out, I really did love everyone who had played with us.

In 2003 I had gotten my fill with the politics of the record business, the pitfalls of trying to hold it all together, and I just needed a break. Instead of having a long break, I was met with the sudden inspiration of two new musicians: Static and Locke. They re-ignited my spirit to create music and be in a band. This finally felt like the beginning of something special and right to me. We spent the next six years together and basically inseparable. We toured non-stop and did very long shows that sometimes included self-indulgent jams. Though sometimes even too long and noisy for me, there were times when I was transported somewhere else. That is what music has always been about for me.

Due to the long shows, long drives, singing like it was the last night of my life every night, and the constant grind for all of us, some of us almost didn’t make it. At one time I felt like it was all going to physically and mentally kill me. We wouldn’t dare complain, or stop though because even though it wasn’t always easy, we were together playing music night after night and getting so much love in return from you all. There was no other place that we would rather be. I consider my relationship with April, Race, Locke and Static to be one of my greatest accomplishments in professional life, and one of my most treasured gifts. That said, it was time for a change. We could no longer financially afford to be on the road. I decided it would be a good time to do this solo record.

I didn’t want to go into competition with “Ours”, though “Ours” was originally set up for me to make music in whatever way I wanted to. This was where some of the challenges and questions would arise for me. I chose songs that I felt would sound best without any other personalities or counter parts on them. Everything would be simple and just support the song. However, there were a few songs that were somewhere in the middle, that felt like they still belonged with the other songs. So I put them on in a more stripped down version. I then went out and toured on my own which proved to be an experience that wasn’t very rewarding or fun. I was really getting a bad feeling about touring alone. The shows felt different to me, especially with people talking through my sets which I know can happen with audiences, but some nights I couldn’t even hear myself playing some of the really quiet and intimate songs. I felt that something again had to change.

Just recently I had the opportunity to open up for A-HA’s farewell tour in arenas throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. Now even though I’ve always wanted to make integral, personal music that moved people, doing it on a large scale was always a part of my dream. The energy that comes from big crowds like that is just magical to me. I felt I needed a band with me to really get these songs across in the way that they were intended. These shows throughout Europe have re-energized and inspired me to continue creating music and to present it in the way that is best for the song. This means that I will no longer put a boundary on myself or the show for reasons that don’t make any sense. I will be making music in this way from now on and touring with a band, unless it’s a special occasion and then I will do a stripped down show. The shows will be more focused on playing songs than doing long, out of control jams. We will however continue to create music that can hopefully transcend our pain, make us feel joy, and take us to another place. Limitless.

Soon I will be finished with these revisions on “The Heart”, and I then plan to head out on the road with a band in the Spring. I’m not certain what the future holds for the name “Ours” or if I will ever create music under that name again, but I can promise to give you all that I have inside of me, and to create the best music that I can.

Also, due to my experience of playing the solo shows, I realized that maybe those kinds of shows would be better suited in specific environments. Therefore, I am going to save such intimate shows for special occasions and private events which I will be offering to the public for the first time. We have an email address if anyone is interested. Reach out to us and we’ll see if we can fit it into our touring schedule.

Thank you for your love and support. I wish you all the best of health and happiness in this upcoming year.

All of My Love,

This reminds me of some others..Trent Reznor, Steve Morse, Andre Matos..they just changed the name of the group (to their own personal name) they were making music under. The solo show touring will be limited, which saddens me, but I get why. And at least I did get to see one of those, even if it was just for the 35 minutes opening for Greg Laswell last year.

It certainly gives an idea of what Jimmy's plans are. But I think the music coming from him, that was under the Ours name, will just end up being under the Jimmy Gnecco Band name instead.


-In searching for album names or tour dates, the name or word "Gnecco" is incredibly distinctive and rare, as opposed to "Ours" which is a short word and at times made it quite difficult to find. Plus saying "Ours" can sound like "ars" "are's" "hours" or even "aww-ers" or "ow-ers."

-more people will know his name and understand he was/is the band, with all due respect to the talents of the guys who've played in Ours. At least from a writing standpoint.

-The Ours name is established, to a point at least. Like Kaddisfly, he is sort of starting over and may never reach the name recognition he got with Ours. But maybe that doesn't matter in any way to him, nor should it to the fans who will hear and talk about his music no matter how many people they/it reach(es).

-The live jams and acoustic shows are limited if not gone. Well, to a point. If I never get to see him and the other guys jam to "Get Up" or "Live Again" again, well I can hold those memories incredibly high when I did.

All in all, I think this move should be good, however much it does change things. I read that entry as Jimmy really being comfortable in doing this, and learning what makes sense for him to continue his career. He sounds at peace, happy, optimistic, and satisfied of how his future life professionally should be. As a fan, I can only be happy because he seems happy about that.

It's probably also worth adding, the bit about re-recording/re-arranging some of the tracks from The Heart with the full band sounds intriguing. I do hope though, the dozens (or a couple hundred?) of songs that he has written over the years still are recorded of course, in one or more arrangement.