Luscious Jackson Continues Slow, Steady Rise on Electric Honey

by Kim Taylor
cdnow.com
June 18, 1999

Luscious Jackson’s fourth album, Electric Honey (out June 29 on Grand Royal) may surprise a few fans by being the record everyone knew they could make but hadn’t. Until now, the all-female downtown New York band were known for a rather lo-fi alternative sound made famous on their 1996 sample-heavy hit “Naked Eye.”

Electric Honey features bolder dance beats, lusher vocals, and an overall more intelligent experimental sound. “Another thing about this record is that most of the songs are upbeat and happy — less on the dark side,” says drummer Kate Schellenbach.

“On this record, we were using about four different producers (Tony Mangurian, Tony Visconti, Mickey Peralta, and Alex Young), so it enabled us to work simultaneously with different people,” Schellenbach continues. “It meant that the people working on the songs were excited about them, so it kept the momentum going. Then we got Andy Wallace to mix the whole record, and that made it cohesive… we hope.”

As previously reported in allstar, the record also features guest appearances by Deborah Harry, Emmylou Harris, and WNBA player Kim Hampton of the New York Liberty.

The only thing missing on Electric Honey appears to be keyboardist Vivian Trimble (allstar, Feb. 10) who left the band because she’s basically sick of life on the road. The other three original members remain — Jill Cunniff on vocals and bass, Gabby Glaser on vocals and guitar, and Schellenbach.

All were high school friends of the Beastie Boys. In fact, Schellenbach was an original member of the now-mega hip-hop act. The guys went on to promote white boy hip-hop and world peace while the girls developed a sassy electro-rock fusion sound and self-sufficient attitude.

“We’ve had a pretty steady rise as far as the level of our success going from album to album, and it would be nice to continue that slow, steady rise,” says Schellenbach. “I think it’s hard for bands when they get a big, big hit. In a lot of ways it can alienate the fans. It would be nice for us to continue the slow rise and get some radio play, and hopefully get a video on MTV. That seems to work better. That way we can expand the live show with better lighting and bringing on really great opening bands.”

In addition to the new release, Luscious Jackson will be hitting the road with Cibo Matto, beginning July 23 in Columbia, Mo. They are also looking forward to playing this year’s Lilith Fair. “It was one of the most fun things we did last year,” continues Schellenbach. “The bands we played with, the people we met, and the audiences were all really excellent.”

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