Jesse Lee Jacobs was born on September 22, 1975 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Living around one of the oldest cities in America, he discovered art in many forms.
Sound Is Color
Early creative expressions came in the form of song as early as age 8. Jesse would sing and play every instrument, yet deplore the idea of being referred to as just a "musician," rather he was an artist who feels sound is color. His experiences, as well as his interest in Chinese philosophy, dreams, astronomy, the ecology, and politics would become relevant later in his work. Jesse believes music is a great platform- experimenting in sound and for voicing his innermost feelings and moral believes through melody and rhythm to convey his ideas. He believes music comes to him mostly through osmosis, therefore sound has an element of surprise which allows for a truly mystical discovery. He believes if people want to play music they should merely pick up an instrument and try to make it sound good; this, mixed with a love of listening to music, is all that is necessary to embark on a musical journey.
Jesse performed for the first time at age 12. As a shy, passive boy he found that music could act as a social release. Jesse also believes the stage can be a mask to further communicate song. Illustrating this point, his favorite performers growing up include: Prince, David Bowie, Kate Bush, Paul Reubens, Jim Morrison, Salivador Dali, David Lee Roth, Bjork, Wayne Coyne, Deborah Harry, Andy Warhol, Marc Bolan, Frank Zappa Lou Reed, and John Lennon and many more. Jesse sang and played in many bands throughout high school and at that time met his friend Keith A. Link, songwriter and fellow visual artist. They would begin to write music together easily and freely. Jesse sees this period as the first milestone in song writing for him.
Painting On Tape
The second big advancement in song was his discovery of the 4-track. It was then that he coined the phrase "painting on tape" – songs just seemed to appear. Then at age 20, Jesse took a voyage to Europe and had another amazing experience. In 1996, Jesse recorded songs with Norweigen techno musician, Rune Rønenberg, who spoke virtually no English. Jesse was blown away by the fact that sound is language, music is universal communication. When Jesse came back from Europe he continued to record song after song. Then, Jesse and Keith formed The Plastic Act. They were self-proclaimed Warholians. One song, a recording, of "It's All Just Relative," survived an 18 song concept record in 1999.
Off to L.A.
After hitting a hard rock bottom in 2000, Jesse left Philly in the middle of the night and headed to California. Jesse formed Blue Vinyl in Hollywood with Leonel Suite, Johnny Hemp, and C.J. Scharg with this band he performed all over LA. His favorite live show was on New Year's Eve, 2001, at the Troubador playing with LA Guns and Circus of Power. Blue Vinyl later recorded their self-titled CD, produced by Gilby Clark of Guns n Roses. Jesse left Blue Vinyl to and began to record solo material – tons of it. After some time he got together with Wil Robinson and wrote songs for his new band, Wil Robinson vs' Jesse & the Plastic Cats. In 2003 they released their record, Lost n Space. It was written, recorded and all instruments were played entirely by Jesse and Wil, then mastered by producer Bruce Witkin. Prior to the release of Lost n Space, the song "Suzy and the Telepathic Monkey" appeared on a compilation cd and in the first week of it's release the song was played on LA radio, KXLU. The song is being played on radio stations across the planet, including Norway, France, Finland, Canada and the United States.
In 2004 Jesse had been working as a Carpenter and silversmith for a living. And at this point (it was the Bush years) he met someone who would become a great friend (through his girlfriend at the time Gillian). He and Dorian Heartsong would become The LP’s or The Little People, and would eventually record the politically aware and retro and eclectic “Earthbound” at Dorian’s Studio that they had built together with friends Mark S. Brunner and Dan Rockett.
Jesse begins to go back to his roots “painting on tape” only this time, for the first time -it would be by using a computer. This was done all by programming drums and recording all other instrument tracks and vocals himself. His now Wife Gillian Whitlock gave him a gift drum kit. And this is the main reason besides it’s the only track with acoustic piano that the last track on Sentience in the Early 21st Century “hurry up and wait” sticks out a bit. But, seems to tie the album together and cap it off in a nice way. Off of Sentience in the Early 21st Century Jesse made a video for Sentience/The Path with Friend and fellow artist Frank Duran.
In the past few years Jesse has gotten involved with doing soundtracks / scoring some Film projects for both actor/writer/director Stuart Paul and also for writer/director/producer Diane Fredel Weis of Laugh More Entertainment. Recently Jesse made a video for his song “Go” with “Laugh More”, directed by another Friend and fellow artist David Finch. Which has lead to the current release of the Album Visions of Grandeur, Subterranean Star Demonstrations, Lo-Fi Freq Fantasies, and the Means of Production.
Jesse plays all the instruments on this album including for the first time live drums. The only other human being besides Jesse who has played a musical instrument on the record was Jesse’s Brother-in-law Jonathan Hall. Who played a great sax part on “Serf’s Up”. “Visions of Grandeur...” is a Retro-Revolution-Pop-Art-Rock Album that packs a socioeconomic and political punch. Very appropriate for the times.
Beyond the art
If you want to learn more about Jesse's art, check out his one-of-a-kind jewelry at Jesse-International.com.