"We should feel just as comfortable talking to people in our lives about things with are struggling with as we do when we share good news"
Having already built a strong community with heartfelt releases across the past five years, Jetty Bones, the musical moniker of Kelc Galluzzo, is gearing up to release her debut full-length ‘Push Back’ on Friday (February 26) via Rise Records.
The latest taster of the record comes in the form of ‘80s inspired pop-rock stormer ‘Nothing’. Pairing a seriously upbeat melody with a tale of loss and struggle, plus there’s a stirring saxophone solo, it's a perfect representation of the juxtaposition of vulnerability and unbridled fun that exists at the heart of the project, and ultimately the new record.
We jumped on the phone with Kelc to find out more about her journey, her sound, and finding hope in difficult times…
Tell us about your journey into music. What has brought you here?
"There’s basically nothing to do in Ohio so you either work on a farm or start a band, so I guess I started a band. When I was in middle school my brother who lives out in California came home and found me listening to Simple Plan, and I think he saw a shred of hope that he could work with. He sent me the entire blink-182 discography and a bunch of classic punk like Misfits, The Clash, Dead Kennedys - all of that - and I was instantly enamoured by this world. Two weeks later he sends me a bass guitar, and I started a very 2008 Myspace band called Delta Delta with some people I met at local shows. The band didn’t last long but the internet memes stayed prevalent."
When did you realise music was going to be your career?
"Oh, this will help us get serious. At one show, I was playing a song I wrote about my friend Laura who had committed suicide. Somebody sent me a message later saying that the things I had said had convinced her not to die by suicide too. Before that it was fun and I liked writing music, but that was the experience where I signed up to this for the long haul."
Has that openness and honesty always formed part of your songwriting?
"I went through a bit of a journey with my last EP [ '19's '-'} and for this album. I realised I spent a lot of time in previous projects writing in a very vague, poetic way. When I started writing about more personal experiences and finding the power in being vulnerable, I didn’t feel the need to write in analogies and metaphors anymore. That said, there are some things on the new record that are a little bit buried under symbolism, but that’s because some things need to be left up for people’s interpretation."
Does that make it more difficult, or does it make you more nervous to share those stories?
"When I started playing ‘Innocent Party’ live it was a tough one, but seeing people respond and sing it back to me… it’s a hard feeling to explain. Now, every bad thing that I’ve experienced, and every negative thought gets to exist as something shared in a community."
Is that why now is the right time for the album?
"I think I might have been subconsciously standing in my own way before. Whenever I would gain momentum I would back-pedal. There was a fear of losing the community that I built or getting to a point where I would run out of what I have to give. The journey with the album specifically has been figuring out how to give everything that I can but still have some of myself left. I have a really good team of people now who help me do that in a way where I can stay healthy and help other people."
How do you think the singles you have released so far, ‘That’s All’ and ‘Taking Up Space’, represent the album?
"I think some people when they hear the album are going to be confused. ‘Taking Up Space’ hands down sounds like a Jetty Bones song, and ‘That’s All’ comes from a narrator that people can see as me. It’s a soft step into what the album sounds like. The difference between those two songs is a very good preface for how different the rest of the album sounds."
What has encouraged the album to sound so varied?
"In the past, I kept myself in a box, but this time I felt a lot more confident trying new sounds and putting out songs I’m excited about, even having no idea how people would react. I toyed with new vocal styles on the last EP, and the things I was most worried about was the things that people were most excited about, so that made me feel more confident about pushing the boundaries."
Where does your newest track ‘Nothing’ fit into that?
"‘Nothing’ is going to be the most fun song to play live, and arguably it’s the coolest song on the record. The song is fun and upbeat, but at the same time if you listen to the lyrics it’s about an intense struggle. The contrast there represents me really well as an artist and as a human. The lyrics also allude to a lot of the concepts on the album."
You quite often mix the serious message with humour and fun...
"I believe in a world where we can feel safe enough to talk about what we are struggling with, and those conversations don’t become an additional burden on our mental health. That’s a world I want to represent in my art as much as I can. We should feel just as comfortable talking to people in our lives about things with are struggling with as we do when we share good news."
Is that what you want to get across with the record?
"I just hope people find something they can connect with; something that makes them feel less alone and isolated, especially following 2020. If it can make them feel like that meme of the kid that’s eating the sand, you know? Something that makes them feel empowered and encouraged. A reminder that we are all working through it and we are never really alone."