I’ve known Jacob for at least ten years, he has been in a ton of great bands and is currently playing shows with us in Girlfriends. I thought I knew everything there was to know until I googled him and found out that he lives a second life on independent film message boards where he is the punching bag of internet trolls. I talk about that and more under the guise of an interview:
Alex: So, Jacob, you’ve been in a lot of bands. Can you start off by saying something about them? Briefly.
Jacob: Yeah, I was in this acoustic duo Life in the Iron Lung in high school, which was like a twee Belle and Sebastian type of band. We released an EP. I did a few solo shows after that but not much else until I joined Le Tenia which was the band before Girlfriends with the same members. During that time I also had a synth-pop solo project called Beaux Mondes. “Your Angst Is Fake” is actually a song leftover from that project.
A: …Which is of course a song that has since been appropriated by Girlfriends as part of our set. So, you’ve been nothing short of prolific. What sort of ‘effect’ have you had on the hawaii ‘scene’?
J: Effect on the Hawaii scene? I’m surprised anyone still remembers who I am… but they might remember when Bill Bixby spit in my face.
A: Bill Bixby was of course an emo band that I am certain nobody remembers. I do recall a certain ’emo’ spittting on you and it was funny. What is Aesthete?
J: Aesthete is my current solo project and in the process of being developed. It could maybe be seen as an extention of some of the synth-pop tendencies I explored in Beaux Mondes but basically it’s me trying to do Italo disco.
A: Which the hawaii scene is sorely lacking! Do you have any track’s you’d like to share?
J: I have a few I’m working on, redo’s of Beaux Mondes songs mostly. I should have something (official) within the next few months. Oh right, I did an unofficial remix for a band called Nightwaves who are kind of known on hypem.com. I sort of forgot about it after I sent it to them and they didn’t post it on their blog.
A: So, is Beaux Mondes/Aesthete and extension of your ‘personal brand’ and perhaps you’d like to take time to hip us to what exactly that is?
J: Yeah i guess Aesthete is sort of conceptual since I took the nom de plum Jake Aesthete while I was still in Le Tenia. Aesthete is a vehical for the persona, but it’s not really a character like Ziggy Stardust or anything, it’s just a name and an excuse to wear nicer clothes than I did before.
A: So, Italo-disco, blazers… what else defines your ‘personal brand’?
J: I think blazers sort of defined my personal brand (via Pulp) before i’d ever gotten into Italo (Disco)… I suppose bad glasses and a caustic wit also define my ‘brand’ although I could gladly do without the former
A: Your taste in clothing has always been quite unique. In fact me and Nick decided to google your name prior to the interview and we came up with an old picture of you wearing a velvet jacket and holding a kitten while sporting some facial ‘growth’. What was suprising was that I guess on the ymdb.com message board you were a regular and opinionated poster and someone who wasn’t a huge fan of your opinions found this picture and there was a very heated internet discussion. You recall any of this?
J: Sure… I suppose kittens aren’t a bad personal band.
A: I must editorialize now and say I am very upset you didn’t let me know you were such an internet celebrity.
J: Only among a select group of film nerds. I also think that site no longer exists.
A: Well I found one of the discussions regarding this picture, may I list off some of the commentary directed towards you?
J: Go ahead…
A: “He looks like a gay cocaine dealer who doesn’t do so well. ”
“It’s one thing to not have any fashoin sense but its another to fucking exploit the fact that you have no fashion sense. i dont know if any of you guy read vice magazine but hed be great in DO’s and DONT’s.”
“I dunno about Vice, more like a paedophile watchlist.”
“It says he named his cat Fassbinder. I hear he also has a dog called Andrei Tarkovsky (Taco for short) and a budgie named Existentialism Theory. He’s out of his mind.”
The cat was called Fassbinder wasn’t it?
J: Yeah… I think that was actually from the Harmony-Korine.com message board.
A: Do you get the feeling they found you pretentious calling your cat Fassbinder?
J: I have a feeling they found me pretentious long before that. I sort of wish I knew some of those aforementioned gay coke dealers, they might appreciate my fashion sense and give me a few free lines.
A: They might give you more that that.
J: I suppose sexual ambivalence is also an element of my personal brand, albeit it a rather unintentional one…
A: I am not going to follow that line of dialogue that you just opened up. It’s obvious you’ve dedicated a lot of time to film message boards so you must really like film and or message boards. Any films you’d like to reccomend before we end this wonderful interview?
J: Everyone should watch the films of Wong Kar-Wai and Claire Denis.
Alex Soze, 2009