Greg Jacks has gone on the record touting the ease and chemistry musical duos offer.
“We don’t need to talk and at times we read each other’s minds when we put forth new ideas,” Jacks says of his and Evan Berg’s relationship creating music as the duo Penny Billionaires. “The way we perform live I think best shows how tight we are not only as a band, but as a duo in life. We pretty much do everything together when we’re not with family.”
ED Magazine spoke with Jacks and Berg, courtesy of StripJointsMusic.com, about how the difference in consuming music as listeners versus performers, the advice they give aspiring musicians and their newest single “BRKDWN.”
ED: In the last interview, you’d mentioned how the chemistry you share musically is incomparable — can you talk a bit more about that and how that chemistry sets you up for future success?
PENNY: The chemistry we share really makes us a powerful force. We don’t need to talk and at times we read each other’s minds when we put forth new ideas. The way we perform live I think best shows how tight we are not only as a band, but as a duo in life. We pretty much do everything together when we’re not with family.
ED: In that same interview, you mentioned the pandemic gave you time to step back and be listeners vs performers — can you talk about the difference between listener/performer as far as consuming music?
PENNY: I think when you spend so much time trying to write music, you start to get tunnel vision with your writing and at times you don’t even realize you’re re-writing the same things. I’ve always found listening to be an important part of songwriting as it is the key source of inspiration. The pandemic really gave us the ability to sit and take our time on who we are, what we consume, and what we create.
(“BRKDWN”) has the perfect tempo to dance to. The song structure is very similar to buildups in electronic dance music. It’s loud, sexy, in your face, catchy, and a constant adrenaline rush (just like a lap dance). — Penny Billionaires
ED: Evan, you talked about meeting Adam Clayton and the advice he gave you — what advice would you (or do you) give to aspiring musicians?
EVAN: Never forget your love and passion for the craft. Never be afraid to try something new. And even if you hate a certain type of music, you should always give it a serious try. There was plenty of music that I grew up hating, that I now love, and has now given me inspiration for my writing. This career takes a lot of work and it’s not an orthodox 9-5 type job. You will spend nights until three in the morning (not partying) working on your career in music. You have to put in the hours, not only in the music side, but the work side as well.
ED: Who’s an artist you’d love to collaborate with if given the opportunity based on your sound profile?
PENNY: Ghostmane for sure. We fell in love with his crossover style and really dark and heavy production. Jeremy Parker actually turned us on to him. He more so put it on as a joke, but we thought it was the shit.
ED: You talked in the last interview about how much easier it is to create music when it’s a duo vs a larger group — who are some of your favorite musical duos?
PENNY: Twenty One Pilots (“We like to think we’re sort of like them, but from hell”), Royal Blood, Daft Punk, and Chemical Brothers.
ED: StripJoints services DJs at gentlemen’s clubs nationwide, so, in your words, why would “BRKDWN” be a good choice to play at a gentlemen’s club?
PENNY: It has the perfect tempo to dance to. The song structure is very similar to buildups in electronic dance music. It’s loud, sexy, in your face, catchy, and a constant adrenaline rush (just like a lap dance).