Jetpack Hotline Takes Over Chicago
Chicago electro-rock band Jetpack Hotline is living proof that the pop punk Warped Tour crowd can grow up gracefully. Officially formed just under a year ago, they've already started taking over the local scene, playing shows at The Original Mother's and Reggie's downtown, traveling as far as Springfield to headline SoHo fest last June.
Hotline began as a project between lead singer Randy Daniels and guitarist Mike Spinelli, expanding to a full band when they were joined by bassist Dan Robb and drummer Joe Precup. All four have pop punk roots, giving their music the feel of punk pop's electronic older brother.
I got to sit down and swap concert stories with Jetpack Hotline after their performance at a benefit festival in Valparaiso, Indiana. Their live performance was lively and interactive, marrying dance-y electronic backtracks and rock 'n' roll riffs. "(We're) reintroducing the guitar into electronic music," guitarist Spinelli said.
Although electronic elements are crucial to their live performances, Jetpack Hotline insists on keeping the attitude of a rock band. “People take themselves very seriously in electronic music. There’s a disconnect,” Spinelli said. "We embrace the punk rock attitude onstage."
Robb, JPH's bassist, described the band as being "small time with big mentality, trying to bring the big show to smaller places.” Their performance included a light show and plenty of audience engagement, including lead singer Daniels yelling at passersby across the street to come dance. Although he didn't make an appearance at their benefit show, they also claim to have a robot named JP (presumably short for jetpack) who joins them onstage. "I think we should bedazzle him," Daniels said. "He dances and humps things."
Jetpack Hotline has a few shows on the horizon, including a September 18th show opening up for The Hot Sauce Committee at The Original Mother's and an October 8th show at Reggie's playing with Chicago Loud 9. They're set to release their self-titled album on November 27th. An album release show is in the works. They described the upcoming album as "really funky, upbeat, goofy (with) some darker introspective stuff." As excited as they are for the album release, they already are dreaming up ideas for their next EP, considering the incorporation of live drums and a little hip-hop influence. "(We) just want people to be able to dance," Spinelli said. "We're not tied down to any one genre."
You can follow Jetpack Hotline on Instagram as well as liking them on Facebook. Stream their music below!