Jacob Jeffries talks Sara Bareilles, performing live, missing Florida

Since it formed in 2006, the Jacob Jeffries Band has taken the music scene by storm. Jacob Jeffries, who sings and plays piano, and Jimmy Powers, who sings back-up and plays guitar, have toured with several successful artists, including Dashboard Confessional, Eric Hutchinson and Sugar Ray.

The guys recently stopped by their hometown, Fort Lauderdale, while promoting their fourth studio album, “Tell Me Secrets.” The Miami Hurricane got the chance to talk to Jeffries about auto-tuning, performing live and their career so far.

The Miami Hurricane: What do you enjoy most about performing live?

Jacob Jeffries: The easy answer is the audience, the energy from the crowd. But also those little moments that happen on stage during a performance when I’ll look over at [lead guitarist]Jimmy because he just did something amazing on guitar. Selfishly, I love those moments.

TMH: How do you feel about the popularity of auto-tuning in today’s music industry?

JJ: There are two ways of looking at it. One is that it allows people who can sing to enhance what they already have, it gives them an advantage. The other is that it allows people who might not get into the business otherwise to get in. It opens doors to more people out there. And that makes things more crowded but it’s the nature of the business and the way things have evolved. It’s kind of like guns and gun control. Police use them to protect us while other people use them to kill people. Auto-tuning is like a gun. And I just got really morbid [laughs].

TMH: What was it like getting recognition from Sara Bareilles for your cover of “Uncharted?”

JJ: Amazing! She’s incredible and that meant the world.

TMH: How did the band come about?

JJ: Jimmy, I knew back in high school. He was in his own band at the time and I was doing my thing and then we started jamming together. Eric I met working at summer camp.

TMH: What do you miss most about living in Florida?

JJ: The open space and the relaxing way of things here. I still think of this as home. When I land here and get off the plane, I’m home. I don’t miss the heat that smacks you in the face but I just miss the way it is. New York is such a hustle and I love that, but sometimes I just want to walk down the street without someone right up against me.

TMH: What has been the best moment of the band’s career so far?

JJ: We did a show at a fraternity and we were playing at a huge party. I just looked around the room at one point and was like, “This is my life” … just seeing all those people, having a great time to the music.

TMH: What do you still hope to accomplish?

JJ: Winning a Grammy. That’s the dream from when you’re a little kid like 10 or 11 and you watch the show at home with your parents. Other than that, just reaching people with music. I’ll tell you a story. One time I was out at a high school in Weston, seeing a friend of mine perform and this little teenage girl comes up to me and she’s all, “Are you Jacob Jeffries?” And I was like, “Yeah, that’s me,” and she was like, “I had my first kiss to one of your songs.” And that was a great moment for me to have that kind of connection and be a part of a moment in someone’s life that she’ll never forget. So I want to keep doing that, having more experiences like that one.

October 2, 2012


Ashley Zimmerman

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.