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  • Interview: The Morning Of

    Mon, 03 May 2010 09:32:49

    Interview: The Morning Of - The Morning Of's Jessica Leplon speaks to ARTISTdirect.com editor and <i>Dolor</i> author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about <i>The Way I Fell In</i>, musical theater and so much more...

    The Morning Of sound like a dream.

    On The Way I Fell In, the New York quintet conjures hypnotic harmonies that soar with fervent pop power. Masterfully mixing serene male and female melodies, various voices give The Way I Fell In a vibrancy that few of their contemporaries channel.

    The best way to think of it is She & Him but way more epic—and minus all of the Hollywood hype. Songs like "Heaven or Hell" are pure sonic poetry, decisively gorgeous musically and heartfelt and honest lyrically. Coldplay may want to move over…

    The Morning Of's Jessica Leplon (vocals) sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for this exclusive interview about The Way I Fell In, writing lyrics while driving, her favorite musical and so much more…

    Pick up The Way I Fell In on iTunes tomorrow (5/4/10) and in stores 5/11/10!

    If you were to compare The Way I Fell In to a movie what would you compare it to?

    Good question! One of the songs, "Tell Me I'm Wrong," was actually inspired by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That would be a good example of happiness and sadness within one song. We have all of that within the record. I think if this album were the music to Eternal Sunshine, it'd fit well. Justin had never seen the movie initially and we already had lyrics to "Tell Me I'm Wrong" but they weren't really hitting for us. It wasn't sitting well with us, but we watched Eternal Sunshine when we were out in California recording and we wrote the lyrics. I'm glad how it turned out!

    Where are you coming from in terms of inspiration?

    We listen to lots of music. When we're on long drives, we'll listen to so much. It's cool because we all like the same kind of stuff. No one is ever like, "Oh, I hate this song!" We like to a lot of Third Eye Blind and old '90s rock. Lately, we've been listening to country, which is weird, because the guys were always kind of against it [Laughs]. I was never against it, but now the guys are all into it. We make everything that we listen to our own.

    From the beginning, did The Morning Of feature both male and female vocals?

    I went to high school with most of the guys in the band, and I used to go to their shows at VFWs and places like that [Laughs]. I knew all the lyrics to their songs too. They had a girl before I joined. She left, and I joined a year later. After I came in, the harmonies really took over. We love trying to pull those off live.

    Where do the lyrics typically come from for you?

    For me, I like writing lyrics in the car. When I think of something, I'll put it in my own phone. I open the memo pad and type ideas down. It's weird [Laughs]. When I get home, I'll write the idea down in case something happens to the phone. Usually, I always write in a car. Your mind spins good ideas while you're driving and all of these words pop up.

    Are there people that come to life in these songs like "Jennasea?"

    That song is about a person, so that helps [Laughs]. Justin [Vocals] actually wrote that about a girl he had a crush on. She's one-of-a-kind, so he decided to write a song about her. It's funny because she had no idea until she saw we wrote the song about her. It's too late [Laughs]. It's cool though. We've never written a song about a person and put the person's name in it. That was new for us, but it's probably one of my favorites on the record.

    What's the story behind "Heaven or Hell"?

    I love that song! That's probably my favorite, just because Aaron Marsh from Copeland sang on it. That's a huge honor for us. Copeland is one of our favorite bands. We listen to them all the time in the van when we're driving. The song can be taken anyway. We want to be as relatable as possible but still true to what we'd want it to sound like.

    Where did the album title come from?

    It's actually a lyric in "Heaven or Hell." That was one of the lines in Aaron's part. We attached ourselves to that one lyric and it made sense as the name of the album. I joined the band a little later than the rest of the original members, and I didn't know I was going to end up here doing albums and tours with them—probably being home once or twice a year. I guess I fell into it [Laughs]. I didn't know this was going to happen, but it did and I love every minute. It's not easy, but I don't regret it; that's the way I fell in.

    Do you draw inspiration from any places other than music?

    Before I joined the band, I was really into theater, acting, dancing and singing. Every night during a show, I always put a little bit of that performance into it. It's not the usual headbang that kids expect from a girl in a band [Laughs]. I do it the way I want to, and the kids seem to like it. I used to do musical theater. I did a lot of plays and shows. That was my thing since I was a little girl, but my dream was always to be in a band and that came true, so I'm loving it.

    Do you got to a lot of musicals? What's your favorite?

    I do! I'm lucky to be in New York. I'm only an hour from the city so whenever I get the chance and the money; I like to go see shows with my family. I have respect for it because I used to do it so much. I think my all-time favorite musical is probably Hair. It's crazy because I've been listening to it since I was seven, and it's not really for a seven-year-old. I've always loved it. I just love the music. It's just '60s psychedelic. It's all about hippies, peace, love and harmony. It's totally me!

    What do you think of when you listen to the album?

    Listening to the record reminds me of recording in California and living there for a month and not always being able to shower [Laughs] but working with one of our favorite producers. It was an honor. Every time I listen to it, I'm like, "Gosh, we got so lucky!"

    —Rick Florino

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