Interview by EsteeS
Jacques Brautbar is the newest member of Something for Rockets, previous guitarist of Phantom Planet and a steadily rising photographer. Jacques, at this point, is mostly known for his affiliation with Phantom Planet, a Los Angeles pop rock band signed to Epic Records.
"I was in it (Phantom Planet) from 1994 to 2004, and you know, my relationship with the guys, might feel a little strained, because of the situation. There is no good way to leave a band. It was just time to go, for me. It wasn't as fulfilling as it once was and well, you change a lot. It was just time for me to move on."
The members of Phantom Planet are connected to other successful bands in the Los Angeles area and are included, even key members, of the Los Angeles scene.
"Look, the L.A. scene is just a bunch of people who band together and decided on, you know, what they think is cool, and they rest of the city is like, 'oh all these artist and stuff, they think this is cool so we're going to think this is cool too.'"
Jacques, in a suppressed self-involved way, is almost endearing.
"Phantom planet is friendly with Maroon 5 and The Like. Personally, I have kind of distanced myself from that whole scene of people because everything has kind of changed in terms of my relationship with everyone in that scene, and its all kind of weird. I met all those people when I was fifteen, and all I really was is that guitar player of Phantom Planet, that was my identity. And so, when I left that I felt like people didn't really know how to relate to me."
He then explains, that now, after being on tour for months with Something for Rockets, he would rather smoke a spliff and watch nature DVD's on his new plasma television then go out and "be apart of the scene".
After leaving Phantom Planet in 2004, Jacques attended USC music school,
"It was part of my process of learning who I am and what I want to do. I thought I was going to go back to school and get a job in the music industry. I realized on the last day I was able to drop my classes that it was the opposite of what I wanted to do. "
Instead, Jacques expanded his musical career by playing for musicians like Beck, OKGO, Jack's Mannequin and the Pharcyde.
"When I dropped out of school (USC) I figured I had to make money somehow...It was my first step back into the music scene since leaving Phantom Planet and so it was like, personally, fuck you guys, I'm playing on stage with Beck!"
Jacques also launched his career as a photographer and almost immediately created a name for himself. You can view his work on www.whitegirlphotography.com.
"I just like to take pictures of things that I think look interesting. Maybe through the way I take a photograph someone might see something a way that they wouldn't have seen it before, like an ordinary moment."
Jacques has been in Elle Japan, High Times, Spin, Jane Magazine and Rolling Stone.
"You must be thrilled to in Rolling Stone!" I exclaimed, and he immediately jumped excitedly in with,
"It was so money! I was on tour and then I just happened to have two days off and that's when the shoot was so I flew from Seattle to L.A., shot for Rolling Stone then flew back to Portland. It was just so money, my rep was up with everybody. They (Something for Rockets) were like 'oh, hey, our new bass player is flying to L.A. to shoot for Rolling Stone, how about that?'"
Jacques is currently the most recent member of Something for Rockets, an extremely talented power pop band whom I expect to see heavily in the indie rock scene within the next few months.
"My latest tour with Something for Rockets was awesome. The band that we toured with, we had an instant bond, and you don't usually get that, the Benevento/Russo duo. They were amazing musicians, like, unbelievable players and they would play on some of our songs and we would play on some of their songs and we started this thing we called the 'Superband' and in a couple years, hopefully when our bands will become a little, you know, more successful, we're going to make a record together."
Jacques also spreads himself musically in quite unexpected places.
"My friend made a pilot for a children's television cooking show called Waffles and Mouse Meat, that's like Peewee's playhouse meets two fat ladies. I heard about the project and I tracked her down and was like, look I want to write the title track for this show because I think its amazing, I think it s a great idea, and I did it, I did it in like ten minutes, and it was great. I actually recorded it with my friend Stephanie whose now the lead singer in a band called Agent Sparks and it's kind of cool, it's like, (in a deeper voice he says) 'Stephanie of Agent Sparks and Jacques, formally of Phantom Planet, collaborate to write a children's cooking show song."
He reflects and smiles,
"I left phantom planet and my fucking whole world changed. I realized the kind of person I want to be. I want to be a positive thankful person who's always honest and genuine. I was a complete prick. I didn't know any better."