We had the good fortune of connecting with Jared Mancuso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jared, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
I think people sometimes don’t see all the details that go into our show or a tour. At face value, someone see’s us play live, they experience 2 hours of what is basically a party on stage, they look at our tour schedule and see all of the places we’re going to visit around the country, they look at our social media and watch videos of us in the studio, audiences cheering, all this amazing stuff, and they say to us, “Wow! It’s so cool what you do! How amazing it must be! Always having so much fun!” Of course it IS amazing, it IS so much fun, and I wouldn’t trade what I do for the world. But they don’t see the countless MORE hours we spend driving, packing the van, planning our itinerary (a joke we have amongst the band when someone asks when we need to be doing something, we respond with a very perky/sarcastic, “oh I think the itinerary knows!”), booking hotels, coordinating with sound and tech people, cataloguing merchandise, making sure we edit photos or videos for social media, responding promptly to emails, creating poster art, rehearsing, making sure we’re available for any promotion needed for a show, sound check, making sure we have food to eat before a show, sometimes planning all of these things down to a T to then find out you have to completely change course in the middle of all of it…I think you get the picture. They also don’t see all the people who don’t come out on stage with us who help make a giant portion of that happen. They have such a thankless job and we owe each of those people our endless gratitude. Again, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but to an outsider it can look like all we do is play and have a nonstop party, but there’s a lot that goes into what becomes a 2 hour show. None of this is to imply that this is an offensive thing to say. It’s actually a compliment. It means we took all of that stuff that we did and put it aside to rock out! And we feel a special connection with our fans, who have day jobs, bills to pay, kids to feed, and their own personal dramas, because they put that all aside to come rock out with us.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been playing music, or dancing, or singing, or performing in some way since I was child. So it’s just been how my brain has worked as long as I’ve been cognizant enough to know my brain works. But by no means has any of the journey been easy. There have been, without a doubt, far more failures than successes. But what has really helped get through is remembering that the next thing will be new. Good? Who knows? But new, and that’s exciting to me. It could be a new album, a new single, a new show, a new festival, a new city. Leading up to these new things I have had doubts and worries and fears, but once I’d get over the horizon, I’d realize there wasn’t a cliff there. Just a new path. So if there is one thing I’d want people to know about my brand and story it’s that it didn’t happen overnight. And I would even say…it hasn’t happened yet. Whatever “it” is. I’m excited to find out!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would absolutely take them to UnderTow for some amazing Tiki drinks. It’s so intimate and unique and really…who doesn’t love a speakeasy? Then for something a little bigger in that regard we’d have to hit up Valley Bar. Then we’d eat everything. I’d take them to Taco Guild, Taco Boys, Joyride (too many good tacos around town to keep up), Green New American Vegetarian, Lux, Dark Hall, The Wriggly Mansion, and if they don’t have one where they are from…Sprouts, to grab their amazing gummy bears! I would show them Arizona Broadway Theatre, The Musical Instrument Museum, hike Camelback, and then check out some vintage shopping at Retro Ranch, Modern Manor, and McAlpine’s (where I bought my upright player piano). Then we’d just spend some time grilling in my back yard with the beautiful sunset winding us down. There’s really so much to do and see in Phoenix, I’m sure I’m forgetting things, we would have too many things on our list!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are too many people to thank and I’m very afraid that I’m going to forget someone. My parents (Terry and David) are #1. They have always been supportive of what I do and I quite literally couldn’t do any of what I do without them. It’s insane. They literally take up the top 10 slots of thank you’s. Then I’d say mentors I’ve had throughout my life, including, but not limited to, Kurtis Overby, Stephen Casey, Melanie Pittner, Andrea McCormick Smith, Wendy Blevins, Bob and Peggy Krist, and I’m sure there are others and I’m blowing it. Then my friends, old and new. Notable would be Nick Gallardo, who has always just been such an amazing friend right from the start. My friends and bandmates Allison Kelly and Ian LeSage, they’re not just talented, but I’ve always felt safe in confiding in them when life’s rollercoaster got bumpy. The bandmates that have come and gone and sometimes came back, “the show must go on” has been held up by these people! My partner Maddie, she has helped me both professionally and personally and I don’t know what my year would’ve been like without her. And my brother and sister, Ryan and Michelle. We just get each other’s humor and creative sides. My brother has helped me shoot music videos and my sister convinced me to play bass when I was 10.
Instagram: @jaredmancusomusic / @notfadeawayshow