Q&A: Stolen Jars’ Cody and Molly talk about Bob Boilen, iPad commercials, and more with LPR



Stolen Jars’ Cody Fitzgerald and Molly Grund told us all about their background, performing at CMJ, and what it means to have a song be featured as part of a television commercial. The duo will perform live at LPR on December 5th as part of our On The Rise series.
Tell us a bit about how you came together and started making music. Was your first meeting (or band practice) particularly noteworthy?
Molly: Cody started writing all this music his junior year of high school and basically had the first album done when he started looking for people to translate it to live performance. He asked me and Elena and a couple of other kids from our school to join in, and eventually I got more involved in the project. And… let’s see. I think our first practice was actually the first time that I had met Cody, which was funny! Yeah, we went to his house and sat around and listened to the songs for a while, and I tried to sing along but didn’t know any of the words or parts at all yet, and then everyone ate ice cream. And that was it I think.
Cody: Haha sounds about right.
Where did the name “Stolen Jars” come from?
C: Oh no, the classic question. Well, when I was first making this music, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. I found myself going back to all the different artists I had listened to over the years—Elvis Costello, Against Me!, Arcade Fire, Dirty Projectors—and trying to collect the different sounds that had made me love those songs. The first songs I wrote felt like these collections of sounds were manifesting themselves in new ways, as if they were held in small jars opening one at a time, each letting out a new riff. And that’s where the name came from! Haha, does that make any sense at all?

Bob Boilen really took to you guys during CMJ. Have you gotten any other recent praise as a result of performing that week? Any bands come to town that you think our readers should check out?
C: Yeah that was really exciting for us, we have definitely gotten a little more press after the NPR features. We also got to see and play with so many great bands that weekend, Porches, Mitski, Empress Of, Le1f, Shopping, Deradoorian, it was pretty unreal, all of those bands are amazing.
In that same episode of All Songs Considered, Boilen mentioned that your song “Driving” was featured in an iPad commercial. Did the ad help with discovery at all? Can you think of a band you discovered through an ad?
M: Well, that was crazy, because the commercial came out during a summer that the Olympics were happening. So the first time we saw it we were also just watching the Olympics! Which was crazy and surreal. Because it kind of just seemed like we were just playing it from a home recording and that no one else in the world could possibly be seeing it. I don’t think that a lot of people discovered us through the ad, but I could be wrong!
C: Yeah our ad was post the iPod commercial craze so it didn’t have quite the same effect that those ads did. Also it was an instrumental, so I don’t think people picked up on it as much. But, that said, it was still pretty amazing to see and had a huge impact on us! Hmm, I can’t remember a band I discovered through an ad though.
M: Oh I thought of a song I first discovered through a commercial! Actually this is maybe a little sad now that I think about it. But I think I first heard Nick Drake on a commercial for a bank or something. Yeah, actually I’m sad now that I’m remembering that. But also, I guess it’s ok too.

Your bio mentions that you’re based in Montclair, NJ, but this is the sort of question always worth asking. In a talk at Cooper Union, Patti Smith said: “New York has closed itself off to the young and the struggling. But there are other cities. Detroit. Poughkeepsie… New York City has been taken away from you… So my advice is: Find a new city.” Do you guys feel this way? Is there another city that’s calling your name?
C: I mean, I completely understand what she is saying. It isn’t exactly the most affordable place to live. But I do love it here. I hate to say this sentence because I feel like I’m 70, but I love the “energy” or whatever haha. I just love being able to go to amazing shows all the time. Prospect Park is pretty dope too.
M: I want to go to Portland, ME! But for the immediate future, it seems like New York is where the rest of us are hanging out so I guess I’m sticking around there for now.

Fill in the blanks: Stolen Jars is the lovechild of _________ and __________.
M: The holey sweater that you can’t throw away and a fresh and tasty snap pea.

What can we expect in 2016?
M: We try to keep our expectations low. So probably nothing… Just kidding! Probably music and stuff or whatever and stuff or…
C: Haha yeah. I agree. Expect some more new music from us, we aren’t going anywhere
And last but not least, tell our readers in 140 characters or less just why they should come out to see you on 12/5.
M: I Will Make A Personal Hand Shake With Each and Every One Who Comes to The Show and We Will Be Best Best Friends Forever!
Stolen Jars will perform Live at LPR on December 5th with Haybaby and Great Caesar, as part of LPR’s On The Rise series.
post by b.s.