Geneva Jacuzzi (Geneva Garvin) singer, songwriter, visual and recording artist from Los Angeles, California and former member of Bubonic Plague spoke with S.O.T.R. about her work and shared with us thoughts on her music, and what inspires her to write for the sake of love.
Sick Of The Radio: How would you describe your work? What are you doing with your music?
Geneva Jacuzzi: It’s just like a human thing I guess. Music is one of the things I like doing. It started out as a hobby. It was like, “I can make a song, yeah. That’s so cool!” And then its weird how one thing leads to another. I wasn’t planning on becoming a musician. But then your friends hear and they’re like, “Oh that’s cool, let’s start a band!” Seven years later I’m a musician. But the music itself is hard to describe. Its just songs, pop music, stuff from my brain.
Geneva Jacuzzi: I think we all get lumped in together because we all live near each other and see each other. Nite Jewel has ex-members of Bubonic Plague which was my old band. It’s all kind of incestuous. I think a lot of people hear it and think it sounds similar which I understand. I might not feel that way because I’m in the middle of it. I don’t have a good perspective. Like I’ll get people saying, “oh, lo-fi,” but I don’t understand how that can be a genre. It’s a recording method. It’s like saying, “oh they’re a CD bands,” or “they’re a pro-tool band,” it just doesn’t seem to describe the music whatsoever, only describing the quality of the sound. I think I want to start a new genre. I’m into the concept of making music that doesn’t fit into a genre. It just exists on its own. It’s like the Geneva Jacuzzi genre. It’s its own genre. I’m starting a new one and if anyone sounds like me then they can be in that genre too. But in terms of influences, I get the 80’s reference a lot, which I love because 80’s music is so good. You could turn on the radio in the 80’s and every song was good.
Sick Of The Radio: On the lo-fi thing I feel the same way. When you ask someone what music they like and they say “indie”–that doesn’t mean anything.
Geneva Jacuzzi: Right, I think what happens is when you create labels and you have bands kind of like the poster for that label, then all of a sudden you associate that word with that band or type of music. And so the word “lo-fi” ends up creating a whole new meaning. Which I guess that’s what having a band name is for. You connect a name that connects the thought to the sounds. So I guess a genre can be lo- fi, I don’t know. I think the new stuff is so much weirder now. Main stream music sounds avant-garde to me. I don’t get it.
Sick Of The Radio: You live with Ariel Pink, what’s that like?
Geneva Jacuzzi: We’ve been together for five or six years, its kind of like husband and wife. He’s really successful right now and I learn a lot from watching him. He’s good as an adviser. He can call bullshit on a lot of things, which is really nice. Because people contact you on all sorts of stuff, a lot of stuff that isn’t real. It saves me from a lot of drama. For the music, we have a separate life. He will come in and listen to my recordings but if we’re not collaborating, we’re not collaborating. We just bring the finished product to each other. But it doesn’t affect the music. We have separate project rooms.
Sick Of The Radio: So where are you guys living right now?
Geneva Jacuzzi: We live in East L.A. We have a little apartment on top of a hair salon. It’s in a Hispanic community so it’s mellow.
Sick Of The Radio: What are you doing album wise?
Geneva Jacuzzi: My album is finally out. It’s been coming out for a long time, like Lamaze. (Laugh) I finely got the money. I’m in a better place to deal with it, promote it and dealt with it. I’m happy it’s out now. I got new stuff that is going to come out too. I’ve been prolific. I go into a trance and record. I’m getting very experimental with my body–not even with drugs. I do weird energy work on myself and then record a song and see what happens. And dancing. Dancing is the solution to all problems in life. It’s my motto. I want every one to dance. That’s my goal in life, to have everyone dancing, boogieing down—to my music.
Sick Of The Radio: What do you use to record your music?
Geneva Jacuzzi: I use an 8-track cassette recorder. And I use what ever instrument that I have handy, whether it’s a Yamaha keyboard or a drum machine. What ever isn’t broken. And then I just go into the 8-track and just record. Ultimately it has to be digital so I’ll just dump in into a program like Garage Band at the end and make a sound file out of it. It’s pretty easy-mostly keyboard and bass. But I’d like to go into a studio, I’m curious to see how it would turn out. I’d love to get a funk band, or like studio musicians, someone who can play bass really good, like Quincy Jones style. (Laugh)
Sick Of The Radio: Do you ever get nervous before a show?
Geneva Jacuzzi: I use to. I use to get angry. All my live performances were a rage. Its not like I was mad at anyone but you’re nerves come out in different ways. Sometimes you’re mad or you cry, you know what ever it manifests as. I’d be on stage and I’d be so frustrated because I don’t have a band; I’m just up there with a microphone and it gets chaotic and I’d end up cursing into the microphone and throwing tantrums. And now I’ve started doing energy tapping before shows and its like, “oh,” it is so nice. I think I’m going to put something about that on my web-site.
Sick Of The Radio: Do you do anything special get into a mind frame for recording?
Geneva Jacuzzi: I use to record was when I was really depressed. But then sometimes that can also be a way in deeper. It just depends on where your mind is. But then I kind of had to take a break from everything and get the whole mind, body, spirit back together. I think most importantly, people need to take care of themselves and love themselves, that’s most important. The music I’m writing lately, I’m trying to infuse it with love. I’m not a hippie or anything but I’m into the concept of like a lot of people hearing my music. So ok, what do I want to say to those people? What is the most important thing to say to anyone: It’s love yourself!
Phone interview by, Mariana Lynch
Interview transcribed by, Martha Raymond