Moogfest Q&A: The Jellyrox

Photo from The Jellyrox Facebook page

If “Appalachian electropop,” the self-styled classification of Black Mountain-based The Jellyrox sounds like a misnomer, don’t over think it. The band’s most recent release, Embellish, promises “warm, dreamy, danceable, electronic pop joy.” The Jellyrox is the solo project of Matt Langston from indie-pop outfit Eleventyseven; he performs as part of the local showcase at New Earth on Thursday, April 24, at 8 p.m.

Mountain Xpress: You also perform with Eleventyseven, but at Moogfest you’ll be doing your solo project, The Jellyrox. What are you able to do as a solo performer that you can’t do with a full band?

Matt Langston: My first reaction to that is that I miss my friends in Eleventy, and kind of wish they were on stage with me. I played guitar in Eleventy, so being able to play synths live is a really fun experience for me, because I’m not a keyboard player by trade. I have a lot more control over the flow of the set since it’s only me, so that’s cool. Unfortunately, it also means I’m the only one making jokes, and that’s bad for everyone involved.

Anything special planned for your set?
I’m hoping to have time to play a cover of R. Kelly’s “Remix to Ignition.” That song makes me want to find the nearest skating rink, re-open it (since it’s probably closed), and jam-skate.

What does it mean to you to be part of the Moogfest lineup — anything you hope to takeaway from the experience?
I feel really honored, and really excited to be a part of this intricately mammoth and all-inclusive scene that is electronic music. I love meeting new bands, swapping stories, talking tech … hopefully that will happen. I hope to take a poster away from the experience.

If you could collaborate with another Moogfest performer, who would it be?
I’ve been a huge fan of Pet Shop Boys since I was a kid. Neil Tennant’s vocals are just so freakin’ cool. Maybe one day they’ll let me produce a track for them, if I’m really lucky. I love their approach to pop, and how they’ve figured out how to stay in the game so long.

Are there any day programs (panels, talks, installations) that you hope to check out?
Dave Smith, Tom Oberheim, Roger Lynn — they all kick ass. I always love hearing from people who make the instruments that we all obsess over. They probably have a great perspective on music from where they’re sitting.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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